As of today, the situation with Dell has gradually improved, apparently without their being aware of anything that has been posted on this website.
They eventually determined that they had lost the computer that was sent in for repair, and have promised to replace it. The replacement is supposed to arrive on Friday.
In the meantime, Dell Financial Services continues to call regularly dunning us over bills that have been paid on time. We received many e-mails from others about this. It appears that dunning people for bills they have paid on time is simply a part of the routine at Dell.
A manager at Dell Financial Services explained to me that it is indeed routine, because they are an outside contractor and they often do not receive notice of payment until, as he put it, 'five or ten days' after posting.
In addition, their website is still structured like a fogbank, and getting through to them on the telephone is an ordeal that Kafka would have found deeply inspirational.
Once they realized our problem, however, Dell personnel were extremely helpful. A supervisor has followed up to keep us informed about the effort to find our old computer and to replace it.
However, a lot of software and a certain number of files were lost forever, of course. There is really no way to replace this. Fortunately, our son, whose computer it was, backed his files up on external media before sending the computer away.
NOTE: This Insight, previously published on our old site, will have any links removed.