Since the Trans-Americas Journey is, after all, a working road trip we travel with what amounts to a mobile office. The travel tech gear we use on the road is pretty tough and we haven’t had to repair or replace anything too major until the AC power adapter for Eric’s Dell laptop recently kicked the bucket, requiring international service.

Dell international service to the rescue

When we called the Dell warranty service line in the US, where the laptop was purchased, and explained the situation (ie, we’re in Mexico stuck with a laptop that can’t be used because the adapter needs to be replaced) we were worried. An international shipment of this replacement part from the US could take weeks to arrive, could be subject to hefty import duties into Mexico, and might even be stolen before it ever reached us.

To avoid all of those hassles Dell put us in touch with their Mexican service department where an English speaking agent confirmed that they had the adapter we needed. Then they sent a technician from Guadalajara (more than an hour away) to deliver it to us by hand.

The new AC power adapter arrived four business days after we nailed down an address with no long wait, no import duties, and no risk of losing it to a thief. While we hope we won’t have any further reason to fix or replace the tech we travel with, it’s good to know that service-minded global companies actually have ways for travelers to tap into the convenience and service of their in-country offices even when they’re overseas in order to get things fixed fast.

Anyone who plans to travel outside the US with any gadgets that might need parts or service would be well-advised to make sure the company they buy from has warranty and support facilities in the countries they plan to visit.