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Month: February, 2013

Localizing the Q&A Systems

You may know one of the most used resources for support in the Ubuntu Community is But there is a big problem with the system: it is only in English. So many people end up wondering where can they get support in their local language, as their English level is not that good, or do not even understand it, or maybe they want to get support on their language. They go to their Local Community teams, and maybe Launchpad, but we all feel this is not enough.

In an effort to give a solution to this problem, which we discussed last UDS during the Leadership Summit, I got assigned the work item to investigate and work on localizing the Question and Answer (Q&A) systems. As I mentioned before, we are using Ask Ubuntu! as the current Q&A system, and is only available on English, and if anyone asks a question in other language it gets translated. But we want to have a system that can be used in various languages for people to get support in their native language, with no hesitations. This will be a way to improve the quality of the support given at the moment, and also get to a broader scope when we are talking about outreach. Ubuntu is available in many different languages, so why not also offer support in those languages?

So this is where you come in. I have been investigating on various Q&A systems, but would like to hear from all of your suggestions on which systems can be used for this specific project. That is why I have created the QandALocalization wiki page for you to add all your ideas on the project. We really need your help on this issue, as I would like to have many systems to compare, and finally decide on which one we should be using, so I do not regret about choosing the wrong system.

I would like to mention some requirements for the systems, remember they should have most of them (if not all!):

  • Free and Open Source Software
  • Easily translatable, even better if it can be done with Launchpad
  • Integration with Single Sign-On systems, as we would use the Ubuntu SSO for logins
  • Points or trophies system
  • Obviously, a nice design that looks professional, and can be tweaked to get an Ubuntu theme
  • It would be great if it is already translated in some languages</li

If the system you are thinking of meets those requirements, it is certainly something we are looking forward to analyze. In the future we will need the help from developers, translators and designers, so we can create a platform that can be stable and fulfills all of our requirements. I will also make sure to provide constant updates on how the project is going. I am really excited to start this, and expect a great outcome from it.

If you have any suggestions or want to chat about the project, you can go to the #ubuntu-q+a channel on (click here to join using webchat) and ping me (JoseeAntonioR), or you can also send me an email to joseeantonior AT ubuntu DOT com, I will be happy to answer all your enquiries and listen to all of your feedback.


Great customer service, Dell.

UPDATE AT 11/MAR/2013:

Just wanted to mention the problem has been solved now, and Dell has given me 18 free months of warranty. I want to thank to the people involved in solving the problem and the ones who helped by showing this post to their managers. I am still holding the position I mentioned on my last update, that will surely not change. I will leave this post online as an archive, so anyone can find it in case they want to. And remember, not everything are happy faces behind these customer service cases. I hope this helps in future situations.


Almost a month since this blog post. I’m still concerned about what’s happening around here. I’ve been put in contact with many people, and the worst part is that THE PROBLEM IS STILL NOT SOLVED.

A day after I did my last update and got the dispatch order, Victor Maldonado called me and said they have decided they were going to give me 6 free months of extended warranty for the bad experience I’ve been having. They promised to keep me updated on what’s been happening, but guess what, even those free months are not valid yet. It’s been a week since that ‘started to being processed’.

That same day they mentioned that my dad’s bank has been holding the payment, and that is why they could not process the order. We just waited, and on Thursday we got a call from Francisco Arias, the guy who originally processed our order on Feb 12th. He called to my dad’s cellphone and said he needed his credit card details, including the CVV, and wanted my dad to give those AGAIN, over the phone. My dad just mentioned that was a fraud call as he could not verify that was a Dell agent, and hanged up. I called Dell later and verified it was not, but we did not give the details again, and my dad decided to contact his bank so check if that was the real reason.

My dad went to the bank, and checked if anything was being held. They told them that no, that there wasn’t any kind of transaction being held, plus they would’ve contacted him in case they held it. Finally, we contacted Victor.

Victor said that they needed the details again to confirm the purchase, as the bank has been holding the transaction SINCE FEB 12th. Does that sound reasonable at all? I think not. He said he would contact someone on the sales team to get the transaction number or something to get this verified with the bank. But sincerely, this all seems like a smoke curtain to fake that the payment has not been processed yet.

I think I can honestly say that this is the worst experience I have had with a customer service department, and I would not recommend Dell to anyone again. I do not want anyone else to be suffering just to make a simple purchase as I am right now. I hope this post serves as a really solid experience of what happens with Dell behind all the happy faces and smileys we see. I will keep updating the blog post with future events. And if you have anything to say, please leave a comment, and I’ll make sure to answer it.

UPDATE AT 21/FEB/2013:

It’s been 9 days since we bought the warranty extension. I called Dell as Francisco said I should call on Friday to confirm about the dispatch being made, and I did call, but last Tuesday. Guess what! ‘Your warranty is still expired, wait so we can contact you to someone who can help you extend it’. Great, isn’t it? So I decided to contact Edgar Tejada, who commented on this blog post and claimed to be the person in charge for the LatAm area.

He forwarded my email to Victor Maldonado, who has now been helping me create a dispatch order for the S/PDIF, and my display (which had a couple dead pixels). He said we should deal with the repair first, and then with the warranty issue. But my question is, when am I getting to get through this problem?!

It’s almost been 10 days since I originally bought the extension, and more than a month since the problem started at all. As you may see, this is not solved. By getting the pieces changed, they’re not solving my original problem: the warranty extension not being validated. And it is still not, they keep saying it’s because of an internal issue. But I repeat to myself, where’s the automation part? My dad even had to give his credit card details (including the security code) to a telephone operator, who can take down the details, no one knows this is secure.

I really, really hope this gets solved soon. I feel seriously affected by this issue, and can’t believe the service is so terrible. Hope this gets better, and will keep you updated about this.

UPDATE AT 12/FEB/2013:

I called Dell. I first spoke with someone called Nelson, and assumed we were right, so transferred me with Rita. Rita, from the Customer Service Dept., didn’t know about the case, and without giving us a reason or telling us, she transferred us. Finally, we got to Francisco.

Francisco assumed we were right too. He looked up for the order and everything, and he got to it. So, he went ahead and processed it for the same price we had at the beginning (733.13 PEN). Basically, he solved the problem, and everything is alright now, I will be getting my S/PDIF replaced soon.

I really think that they should have done it faster, and without saying a word; Dell LatAm’s attitude at the beginning was not right. I hope they learn from this issue, and that this post at least gets to some people, so they know what happens apart from the ‘great service’. Thanks for those who read this post.


I am feeling frustrated. After hours of being on the phone, I ended up angry and still can’t believe what happened.

A few months ago, I called Dell Latin America as I knew the warranty for my PC was going to expire, and exactly two days before it expired (Dec 6th), I confirmed with them. They offered to renew it by phone, but I said I would be renewing my warranty for another year online, as my dad didn’t want to give his credit card details to anyone via the phone for privacy and security matters, plus it was actually cheaper buying it online. We went online, and voilá, bought the extension for the warranty for 733.13 Peruvian Nuevos Soles (PEN), which was cheaper than what the technician was offering (I do not actually have the price for it as I did not know this was going to happen, so I am sorry for not being able to list it here). My dad entered his credit card details online, and eventually we got an email saying ‘Congratulations on the purchase, we’ll email you back soon’. We did not get any emails at all, and assumed everything was going as expected.

But after about a month, I called them again. Everything started as a technical support call, where I was going to ask for my S/PDIF line out to be changed, as it was failing. This was supposed to be covered by their warranties, so I entered all the numbers and went through a lot of options, and just before communicating me with a real person, the machine told me ‘Your warranty has expired, if you want to renew it or update the details in case you’ve already bought it, please wait a couple seconds’, which I did. I did get in touch with the Tech Support Dept., and asked if they could please create a repair order to get my S/PDIF out changed. A man called Wilfredo was the one who took that call, and what was said was that my warranty was expired, that I didn’t buy anything at all, and that if I did have, I should forward the credit card statement or the email I got to their Customer Service Dept. While we were on the line I forwarded the email (as I didn’t have the credit card statement, it was arriving on the next couple days), and got the Case # 49952453 opened. He told me to call again in 24 hours to see if they’ve got any information on regards of that.

The next day, I called and gave my case number, which they did not seem to recognize, and after insisting to get it reviewed, they did, and linked it to my service tag. After talking and waiting on the phone, I said I would review the credit card statement to see if there was any charge for it, as they couldn’t see it on their system. I hanged up, and I checked after a couple days. Effectively, they did not charge it to my dad’s credit card for any weird reason.

So, after talking to my dad, he said to me ‘just tell Dell to charge it again, they do have the credit card details, and if it has not gone through, tell them to do it again’. I called on Friday, and spoke to someone called Karla, who asked the same details as usual, and said ‘your warranty has expired, and it has not been renewed, but if you give me a couple minutes I will confirm that’. I waited more than 20 minutes, and she apologized for the delay, and said it was actually expired, and that the payment did not go through. I asked what happened, and she said that after purchasing online I should have called by phone to confirm and that was the only way to process it. I was extremely surprised about that fact. If you are making a purchase online, it should be processed in that moment, without making any phone calls and losing your time on the line just for someone to say ‘give me your details again’. Plus, anywhere on the webpage or the email it said that we needed to call to get the transaction approved.

Anyways, I asked for it to be processed then, and got the credit card handy, but the agent told me that she could not do it as the part is already in a bad state before purchasing the warranty extension, and it would be too expensive for them as they have to change the motherboard (which I can confirm is false, as I have got my motherboard replaced because of a power problem, and they did not even touch the S/PDIF out at any time). I said her so, and also said that the part was not in a bad state when I first tried to purchase the warranty extension. It was not a problem on my side, it was on their side as they did not automate things as they should have. I asked to talk to her supervisor, and he denied the request and said ‘I will talk and see what we can do’. I spent 20 more minutes playing video games and listening to music, while suddenly her voice pops up on the phone and says ‘ok, we will process it, let me make the quote and give you the final price.

I waited like 5 minutes (which seemed like seconds after waiting lots), and this is the part where she started to get a bit rude. She said the final price would be a bit more than 910 Peruvian Nuevos Soles (PEN), as I had a 50 USD penalty for not renewing it on time (which I actually did!). I went to their website, and checked she was not giving me a price higher than the actual one, just as happened with the other guy the last time. I checked and I was being charged the penalty, but the price still was not more than 900 PEN, it was actually 890 Peruvian Nuevos Soles (PEN). I told her what I was seeing on the webpage, and in a super rude tone she answered ‘well, then you can do it through the website, but it will not go through, want to give me your details so I can do it?’. They should already have my billing details on file, and in that moment I was not in a mood to do it, and I would need to ask my dad. Plus, I was in the phone with her so she could process it in case I needed it, right? So I just said I was not taking it, and asked what would be the price for a one-time support ticket, and she said ‘just buy a motherboard yourself and replace it’. I ended up saying I would call again if I decided to buy anything.

My dad got home later on, and we were frustrated on what happened at all. He tried to call Dell Latin America, but it was already too late, and the person who answered the phone said the people in charge for that are the Sales Dept., and they had already closed. So, I am calling later today to see what we can do (If you got to this point, please remind all happened with Dell’s Latin America Call Center). I hope we do not have to wait lots again, to end up in the same situation. I just wanted to write this to make sure at least someone knew what was happening, which is not mentioned many times. I will make sure to keep you guys updated on what is my progress on this, if there is any.