I'm In Dell Hell
ROUND ROCK, TEXAS -- In April, 2009, I was in the market for a new computer. We have always purchased Gateway computers and have had no problems or issues with them. I was a satisfied Gateway customer but my daughter insisted that I go with a Dell instead.
The computer was purchased on April 23, 2009. We were also charged tax on the shipping. We are told by the so-called Dell Resolution Team after we started actually having problems with the computer that the warranty clock starts ticking from the time of the purchase, even though you don’t actually have the computer to use. Therefore, it is not a true one year warranty.
At first, the problems were little quirky things, like the Internet freezing or the sound coming and going. We never thought twice about it. On
10-19-09, the computer would not boot at all. I tried pressing the enter key as instructed but received the same message. I turned the computer off and on several times. I unplugged the computer from the wall but still received the same message.
At that point, I called Dell’s Customer Service and that’s when I entered into a black hole that I refer to as “Dell Hell.”
My call was answered by a technician in India. Previously I was a medical transcriptionist for 23 years and have worked with doctors, interns, etc so I am well versed in foreign accents and the use and misuse of the English language. However, I had difficulty understanding this technician at times. A U. N. Interpreter shouldn’t be necessary to communicate with tech support for a product purchased in the United States. I could tell that she was quite annoyed with my repeated attempts to interpret what she was saying. She repeatedly asked me (very loudly) “Are you with me?” She had me take my computer apart, disconnect the hard drive and then reconnect it back up. She then advised me that the hard drive and the system board would need to be replaced, after which she asked if I could install the parts myself. Isn’t this a service that was provided with the purchase of my computer? When I told her that I could not install the parts, she laughed. She then had to check if there was a service technician available in my area. I had to inform her that my bill of sale states that I am entitled to “1 year In-Home Service.” She then informed me that the technician would be at my home on Wednesday. She confirmed my name, address and phone number. Then she tried to convince me that I needed to buy an external hard drive from Dell to back my information up. In fact, she strongly encouraged it.
Wednesday came and went, as did Thursday and when Friday came and I had not heard from anyone regarding this issue, I called the Dell Customer (No) Service department again. I asked to speak to a manager. Another Indian speaking gentleman came on the phone by the name of “Nathan” (support is from techs in India with pseudo-American names reading from scripts.) I told him that I wanted to speak to someone in the United States. He told me that was impossible and that from now on, my service would be through India. He informed me the technician attempted to call me three times but no one answered. I told him that since I have an answering machine with caller ID and that was impossible since no calls were recorded on either machine. He placed a conference call with Dell’s in-home service contractor. Apparently, the first Indian technician I spoke to gave them my name and address, but supplied my daughter’s phone number and she lived in another state at the time. The contractor told Dell that the area code and address did not match but they never bothered to return the call. It wasn’t until I made contact that the situation was resolved.
The contract technician was at my home an hour later. He installed the hard drive and the system board and my computer still did not work. Apparently the system board that was sent was also damaged. He called Dell to get a replacement. The tech from India didn’t understand the repairman and kept asking him to perform different tasks. The repair man repeatedly told the gentleman from India that the system board was dead. After stating this fact 6 different times, they finally agreed to send another system board. I was then told that the repairman would be back on Monday, October 26, to make the final repair. It turns out that the parts weren’t even shipped until October 26 and the service tech installed them on Thursday, October 29. I was informed that the parts used were “refurbished.” I was furious. We did not PAY for a refurbished computer, we paid for a NEW one. If I had wanted a refurbished computer, I certainly could have purchased one at a much lower cost. I felt the parts should be new as that is what was paid for.
By this time, I was assigned a contact whose title was Senior Support Resolver,
Dell/Consumer Resolution Center (their choice of title, certainly not mine). Apparently they don’t know the meaning of “resolution.” Her first message she left me stated that she had tried to reach me but I was not available and so I was to respond to her e-mail instead. Now, remember, I don’t have a computer so how in the world did she even expect me to reply to an e-mail? I have spoken to her on many occasions, mostly my speaking and her robotically reading the same paragraphs over and over again like I am a slow learner. If someone can only read paragraphs from a paper and cannot make normal conversation, they obviously have no clue as to what they are stating. She continued to call me every day at the same time and read the same paragraph to me, then sends those exact same words in an e-mail. She informed me that no one will call on her days off and she announces what days those are.
To prove a point that she has no clue as to what she is saying, she has read yet another paragraph to me stating that “refurbished” does not mean used or rebuilt. When I read the definition of refurbished from the Webster’s to her, she reads her same paragraph back to me. She then informed me that if this next part did not work, they would replace my computer with a new one (actually it is a refurbished computer but remember, according to Divya from Dell, “refurbished does not mean used.”)
I told her that I wanted to speak to someone in the United States. Then, she did have some real words to say and they were “You will never speak to anyone in the United States again. I am your only contact and you will never talk to anyone but me.” I was also informed that no one was above her or Nathan. This was as high as I could go. Maybe the CEO of Dell would like to know that these contacts are his boss?
I was so furious by this time, I decided to call Dell Sales Department. Guess what, I got someone who actually spoke English. She was so very pleasant and was really willing to help with anything. She asked if I was interested in a desktop or laptop. After a few more questions, I said “now I have a question for you. Where are you located?” There was this pause, and then energetically she replied “Well, I in Austin, Texas. Why do you ask?” My reply was “Why don’t they have sales in India like the (no) service?” I explained my situation and she said she would try to help me. I felt she was the only sincere person I’ve gotten to speak to as of yet.
Now, if you are a large corporation, guess what? Dell gives you the Gold Service. However, if you are just a personal computer owner, like me, Dell gives you the “shaft.” Since my daughter purchased the computer through her company, the lady from Austin said she would send me to the “Gold Service” department. I received another American technician. I once again explained the whole situation. She told me she was going to talk to her manager and placed me on hold. I was on hold for what seemed like eternity but being that I actually had someone from the states on the phone, I did not want to lose that call. Well, guess what? When someone finally came back on the line, it was “Nathan” from India! I was back overseas.
Nathan apparently was told that I wanted to return the computer. Nathan started our conversation by reading the return policy to me stating that the time limit of 21 days to return the computer had passed and that it could not be returned. He had no idea what customer I even was even though he had spoken to me on several different occasions. He then transferred my call to sales yet again in India to “purchase” another computer. I told them that the Dell computer I already owned didn’t work, why in the world would I purchase another one? By the way, the 21 days starts when the order is placed, not when you actually receive the computer. Therefore, if they don’t deliver your computer until 22 days after you actually purchase it, it cannot be returned. How fair do you think this return policy actually is?
There are numerous, and I mean endless, complaints about this same Dell Customer (no) Service posted on the internet. I have spent hours upon hours reading the horrifying experiences and still didn’t get through all of them. They mirror my story. I have also noted on line that Dell has had Class Action Suits in 48 states for similar practices, yet they continue to do the same. I have also found that some people have experienced identity theft after going through Dell’s Financial Department. Funny, three days after my initial call with India, I received a phone call from a gentleman asking to speak to a “Mr. & Mrs. XXX.” Normally I would have told him he had the wrong number since he could not pronounce my last name. However, this gentleman had an Indian accent and so I assumed he was from Dell’s technical support. I asked what the call was in reference to. His reply was “It’s about your mortgage.” My reply was “What?” and he stated “You don’t have a mortgage?” I told him that that was none of his business and that I was registered with the “Do Not Call” and never to call me again. Coincidence? You can decide.
We are now left with a computer that doesn‘t work properly. We have difficulty connecting to the internet even though we have broadband. The page we are on freezes. The mouse indicator goes away and the sound comes and goes. It seems like every day brings yet another problem. Talking with Dell Resolution team is like beating a dead horse and brings no resolution whatsoever. Dell’s answer seems to be to give me someone else’s piece of “refurbished” garbage when I paid top-dollar for brand new.
We’ve lost very important information on this computer because of the first system failure. I’ve spent countless hours trying to replace some of the files, others are lost forever. I probably should have backed up the system but who would ever expect a system this new to crash? I’ve also spent countless hours on the phone with no resolution from their so-called “Resolution Team.”
Dell says it prides itself on its corporate code of conduct to include Trust, Integrity, Honesty, Judgment, Respect, and Responsibility. They state that their success is built on a foundation of personal and professional integrity. I am enclosing a copy of that same code of conduct. Apparently those in charge didn’t receive that particular memo because they certainly do not live by those standards. Maybe their mind needs refreshed.
There was a time when Dell actually lived by these standards, but that was before the greed.
Frustrated is putting it mildly as to how I'm feeling right now. This is by far the worst customer service I have ever experienced. Dell has no real phone number for the corporate office. In fact I’ve concluded that Dell Corporate simply doesn’t care about repeat customers as they apparently have absolutely no feed-back once the computer leaves the factory nor do they care. It won't be long before they will go the way of Woolworth's, Montgomery Wards and so many others. They cannot continue to lie and cheat their customers and really expect to have any customers. At Dell, customer service means no service at all. Dell’s consumers are intentionally misled, and they’ve had to pay for that “privilege.” It's sad to say that I will never do business with Dell again. I plan on posting this story on every possible complaint site there is in addition to e-mailing this letter to everyone I know. I will also be mailing numerous letters to Dell and other agencies until I see some type of resolution. This was our first experience with Dell and I can assure you, it shall be our last!
Dell has a goal-------to “Earn a seat at the Billion Dollar Roundtable.” I say, not on my dime! Your Goals for 2010 and Beyond are many……How about we start with a working product and customer satisfaction! Dell states their goal is to increase communications about corporate responsibility to customers. How can you possibly increase communications when there obviously is no communication to begin with? Let’s first strive for a good product. Your motivational ads look great on paper but your bottom line does not reflect those same promises. According to Dell Key Performance Indicator Chart, your corporate revenue for Fiscal Year 2009 is less than that reported in Fiscal Year 2008, even though you have nearly 10,000 less employees. It does not take a mathematical wizard to figure out why the numbers are off.
You have built your empire on the backs of hard-working people---don‘t forget that. Dell corporate take a good look in the mirror because you are cheating the average American consumer!
I have a news flash for corporate at Dell:
Word of mouth is the BEST advertising..... Are you listening DELL?
CODE OF CONDUCT----”DELL’S HIGHER STANDARD”
Dell's success is built on a foundation of personal and professional integrity. We never compromise these standards and we will never ask any member of the Dell Team to do so either. We owe this to our customers, suppliers, shareholders and other stakeholders. And we owe it to ourselves because success without integrity is essentially meaningless.
Our higher standard is at the heart of what we know as The Soul of Dell – the statement of the values and beliefs which define our shared global culture. This culture of performance with integrity unites us as a company that understands and adheres to our company values and to the laws of the countries in which we do business. Just as The Soul of Dell articulates our values and beliefs, the following Code of Conduct provides guidance to ensure we meet our higher standard and conduct business the Dell Way - the right way; which is "Winning with Integrity."
Simply put, we want all members of our team, our shareholders, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders to understand that they can believe what we say and trust what we do.
Our higher standard includes several key components and characteristics that both underpin The Soul of Dell and provide the foundation for our Code of Conduct.
• Trust. Our word is good. We keep our commitments.
• Integrity. We do the right thing without compromise. We avoid even the appearance of impropriety.
• Honesty. What we say is true and forthcoming – not just technically correct. We are open and transparent in our communications with each other and about business performance.
• Judgment. We think before we act and consider the consequences of our actions.
• Respect. We treat people with dignity and value their contributions. We maintain fairness in all relationships.
• Courage. We speak up for what is right. We report wrongdoing when we see it.
• Responsibility. We accept the consequences of our actions. We admit our mistakes and quickly correct them.
All of us – regardless of grade level, position or geographic location – should base our daily actions and conduct on these standards, which support The Soul of Dell and our ultimate success.
Thank you for your commitment to our Code of Conduct and to maintaining Dell's higher standard.
Signed, Michael Dell
WEBSTER’S DEFINITION OF REFURBISH:
freshen up (v), renovate (v). To refurbish used parts. On this web page, when I click on “Refurbish Dell” I get the following.
An excerpt taken from the book “Green to Gold” by Daniel Esty and Andrew Winston, page 125, states:
“"... then dismantles the machine. Dell refurbishes and reuses some parts, and recycles the plastics. In the ..."
Or, how about an excerpt from “Green IT” by Toby Velte, Anthony Velte, and Robert Elsenpeter found on page 175, stating:
"... brings a computer to be recycled into a Goodwill store, Dell will pick it up, refurbish it, sell it, and give those profits to Goodwill. ..." (So nice of Dell to make a donation to Goodwill on my dime).
So which is it Dell, is Refurbish new or used?