Below is the text of a letter I sent to the Dell Board of Directors, along with several other departments, on 6/13. This issue remains unresolved, and I have not even heard from the company since writing this.
To the Board of Directors:
My name is John, and I have been a Dell customer for over 15 years, going all the way back to a Dell 386. During all of that time, I have never had a bad experience with your company, and have recommended it to friends, family, coworkers, and anyone else who asked. After purchasing two new desktop computers for myself and my wife, that will no longer be the case. I thought you all should know why.
The issues began when I first purchased the computer. The representative with whom I spoke that day did not understand many of the questions I asked about the configuration of the machines. She also had an annoying pattern of using the same phrase over and over again, which grated on the ear after a time. Eventually, she transferred me to her supervisor, who was able to answer some of my questions, but still could not answer a fairly straightforward question regarding the printer that was included with the system. After agreeing that I would attempt to use the printer for its intended purpose and, if it did not suit my needs, I could return it, I went ahead and placed the order.
I received both PCs within a few days, but immediately began to notice problems. My wife's system arrived first, and I set it up myself. The speakers didn't work, so I attempted to contact technical support. I first tried the chat option, but I received a message telling me that I wasn't a home or home office user, so I could not use chat support. I then proceeded to call technical support and inform them about the issue with chat support. They informed me that they could not fix that problem, and that I had to write to the webmaster. I did so, but received no reply for some time, so I went ahead and called technical support again.
At the time, I informed the support representative (as well as both representatives with whom I subsequently spoke) that I was visually impaired. I was first asked if I had the speakers plugged in correctly, and I described to them how and where I had plugged the cord. I was then walked through a number of tests, and eventually was informed I needed a new sound card. I accepted this diagnosis and went ahead and scheduled a visit from the local service technician. Also note that, during this call, I found the representative using the same type of repeated-phrase pattern that I'd encountered during my initial call to purchase my machines, and it continued to annoy me to no end. Later that day, as I was reviewing the installation, I discovered that, indeed, the speakers had been plugged into the wrong jack. Despite all my descriptions, and my suggestion that I had difficulty seeing the back of the computer, none of the support representatives even checked to see if the hole into which I'd plugged the speakers was, in fact, the correct one.
I immediately called back to cancel my appointment. The representative with whom I spoke said it would be handled. It wasn't. The next day, my wife received a call from Dell when I was unavailable to confirm the appointment, and my wife again told them that it was no longer required and to cancel it. This wasn't enough, either, as I was then woken up at 9 AM on a Saturday by a call from the technician, attempting again to confirm the appointment. I told him that it wasn't needed, and finally that issue was resolved after three attempts.
Shortly thereafter, my wife and I both noticed that our Windows sounds weren't working. All other sounds worked fine -- Windows Media Player worked fine, MusicMatch jukebox worked fine, I could even play the Windows sounds from within the window where I set up the sound scheme -- but when the Windows events that are supposed to trigger these sounds occurred, no sounds played. After my past experience with the support staff, I tried to address the issue myself, trying a number of tweaks in all the various places where sounds can be played or methods for handling sound can be set. I had no luck.
Finally, today, I decided to contact technical support. I was first amazed to discover that the chat feature worked, as I'd never been contacted about that issue after reporting it nearly two weeks ago. During the chat session, I kept getting redirected to a blank page, and had to press the back button to return to the session. This occurred three times. Finally, the representative told me I should try to create a new user account in Windows XP. I told her at that time that I would need to import my old settings, and she expressed nothing that would lead me to believe this would be a problem. I admit that I did not tell her WHY I would need to do so, but given what was about to happen, she should have told me this would cause problems.
In any case, I created the new account and restarted the computer. Again, let me remind you that I am visually impaired. Specifically, I have some difficulty focusing, and viewing a computer screen with high contrast gives me a headache in short order. With that in mind, I logged back onto the chat feature and entered my case number. A different representative picked up the chat, and I asked to speak with the person with whom I'd already addressed my problems. The new representative told me that was impossible, but that he would help me. I then proceeded to tell him that I was having trouble with the screen, and that I needed to import my old settings. He didn't seem to know what I meant, so I told him about my difficulty viewing the black-on-white color scheme that is used as the default. For some reason, he had me open the Device Manager, and I informed him that the text was too small and I couldn't make out the fonts. His solution to this was to tell me to reinstall the Video Driver. I told him that all I needed to do was use my old settings, but neither he nor his supervisor, who eventually joined the chat, was able to understand this. Eventually, I gave up and ended the chat session. The supervisor then called me and I explained my problem again. He then told me that they couldn't fix it because transferring my old settings was a software issue, and that I needed to call another number. Why I wasn't told that earlier is still a mystery to me, but I accepted this at face value and called the new number I'd been given.
Upon reaching a representative at the new number, I was told that if I wanted his assistance, I would either need to buy a software service contract or I would have to pay a one-time fee of $49. I was quite surprised to discover there was a separate software service contract, as this had never been mentioned when I bought the computer. I told him I could not afford this, as I'd already blown my entire budget in buying this PC along with the maintenance agreement and hung up. I then proceeded to call the sales number again, and described to the representative what I'd so far encountered. By now, I was fed up. I told her that I hadn't been offered this software service contract, and that I would have to return something if I needed to purchase it. I also said that I couldn't understand how a company such as yours could justify shipping me a defective product and then charging me to fix it. I gave her three choices -- either fix the machine, replace it, or allow me to return it for a full refund. She wouldn't even tell me which of those Dell would be able to do for me, so I asked to speak to her supervisor. She offered me a $50 gift certificate of some kind to placate me, but at this point I just wanted my machine fixed, so again I asked to speak to her supervisor. She said she would do so, and left the line for a few moments. When she returned, she did not allow me to speak to her supervisor, but she did say she was going to place some kind of service order so that I could access software support to fix my problem without being charged. After waiting a few minutes for her to place the order, she said she was going to transfer me to the software support line. Finally, I thought, I would get some satisfaction. I waited on hold for a couple more minutes...
...and then I was disconnected entirely. She never told me the number to which I was being transferred, and never gave me the order number which she'd placed, so now I'm stuck. My original issue was never resolved, and now I'm stuck with a useless user account sitting on my system to boot. All this, and I haven't even TRIED to get my wife's system fixed yet. I must admit, Dell has impressed me. I have never encountered such a company-wide level of incompetence. The sales staff couldn't provide me with the information I needed, and didn't offer me necessary options that I now cannot afford to purchase. The telephone customer support staff seem unable to even solve simple issues such as where to plug the speaker jack. The chat customer support staff tried to solve nonexistent problems while ignoring the actual problem I'd reported. I am at my wits end. Only Dell's superior hardware is preventing me from just packing up the entire machine and sending it back.
I hope that you all will understand it when I say: given that the entirety of my experience with your company over the past two weeks has been beyond sad to the point of being laughable -- or at least it will be once I'm done being angry beyond belief -- that I will now tell anyone and everyone I meet that Dell makes a good product, but if you want even the most basic level of customer service you should stay far, far away from them.
I recently ordered and received (not in a timely manner) a computer from Dell for an individual I occasionally help out who does all his work on the machine. As part of the order I made sure to check whether or not the graphics cards supported DVI. They even had a "Help Me Choose" page that I looked at and could see that my chosen card, although integrated, did support DVI. I have snapshots of the website showing it and the actual URL to the page that shows it also. Anyway I got the machine and low and behold there was only VGA connections to be found. I contacted Dell and was told that integrated cards don't support DVI. So I pointed Dell's website out to him that said it was supported. He agreed that Dell was in the wrong. All I wanted was for Dell to send me a free graphics card. Not a big deal for such a small company. At first he basically told me there was nothing he could do for me and to take a hike. But after some persistence he now wants to sell me a graphics card and they will pay half of the cost. I want to know why I have to pay for their admitted mistake? Sounds like false advertising to me. I can imagine the ad, come buy this graphics card with all these features including DVI support, and then sending you something that does not support what they just advertised. I think Dell doesn't care about their service quality any more or their small customers.
First off- I am posting this expression of frustration here because Dell does not care enough to provide any access point for feedback that I could find( after searching for an hour) with the exception of feedback on their website.
I purchased this high end Intel i7 based model 8100 desktop a week ago to replace a Sony Viao desktop that had been serving me very well and without any problems for 8 years.
The hardware is all that it is advertised to be. A good piece of assembly.
However, Yesterday for some reason all of the Application Icons went blank and became dysfunctional. This rendered my new screaming piece of hardware almost useless. I knew it was a software issue. After re-installing Windows 7, running Norton scans three times in an effort to detect if a virus was the cause, re-installing MS office and surfing the Microsoft Windows 7 support website and blogs for answers to my problem, the Microsoft website stated that Dell provided support for its products. Consult them was the suggestion. So I did! By phone.
After providing permission for remote access to my pc, the first guy concluded that he did not have the training to deal with the problem that I was encountering. He would need to transfer me to the software area.
After providing permission to guy #2 for remote access to my computer he looked around for about 45 seconds and concluded that it was not Dell's problem. Since my Norton registry indicated that there were two threats that were recently detected and remedied that there was obviously a major problem due to a "wireless virus." (BTW: the two threats that were detected and remedied occurred as the result of Dell's remote access attempt. Norton did its job. I authorized Norton to allow the access.)
This second guy did not even look at or acknowledge my dysfunctional logo issue. The fact that somehow link files had lost track of their respective executable files was consequential to the "virus". That was the only explanation. He stated that obviously I had caused this by using the Internet and using the wireless capability of the computer. Dell would not accept any responsibility for such a situation. Dell would not assist me ( without a charge) to get the computer that I had bought just seven days ago back up and running. He could "remedy my virus problem and thus fix all other problems" on my PC but it would cost me. Forget the obvious fact that neither this guy nor the first had a clue as to what they were doing. It was obvious that they were operating from some sort of scripted knowledge base which led to to the ultimate and desired conclusion that Dell would not claim any responsibility or at least compassion for their product or my predicament.
At about this point my blood pressure began to rise. To make a rather long and painful story I finally hung up in disgust.
I returned to the MS windows 7 support website and after a dew more searches was pointed to a inexpensive third party register cleaner utility. I bought it for less than 10% of the cost that the incompetent Dell guy attempted to scam me out of. It installed and remedied my icon problem in about 3 minutes.
After 5 hours of frustration my software issue on my Dell computer was finally remedied. No thanks to Dell.
I fact, I am totally convinced that Dell's lack of interest in their customer will prevent me from ever buying or recommending a Dell to anyone.
I have direct influence and approval authority for all desktop purchases in my company.
Dear Dell...pick up a copy of the "Cluetrain Manifesto". The consumer world is out here talking to one another.
PICTURE BUTTE, ALASKA -- On November 11, 2009, I ordered a Dell Studio Slim Desktop online through the Dell Canada website. On November 12, 2009 the order was approved. Dell did not provide me with a shipping date. I assumed that late November, maybe early December the computer would have been shipped and at home. That would allow me to have the computer easily in time for Christmas. I was mistaken. On November 23, 2009 Dell sent me a e-mail notifying me that the computer was delayed. Considering that it was a customized desktop I didn't find this any cause for alarm. In the e-mail Dell requested me to contact them if the order had not been shipped in 5 days and if I hadn't received any further notification from Dell. After the 5 days came and went I sent them a e-mail notifying them of the delay and requesting information about my order. In the e-mail I sent Dell I allowed Dell a 5 business day response time with the suggestion that if there was no response within 5 business days that I would be seeking a refund on my order. After 5 business days had come and gone I still hadn't received any response from Dell. Just as I was about to give up on ever getting a response Dell finally sent a e-mail. This was on December 12, 2009. Dell apologized for not responding in the time period given saying they were experiencing a high volume of emails. Then they informed me again that there was a delay in the order. They also informed me that there would be no refund and the only way to get money back would be to return the order once it shipped. I was requested to reply for shipping information in 48-72hours. On December 15, 2009, I replied with a request for the shipping information. On December 16, 2009, Dell replied with the same information. The order was delayed. I was to contact them in 48-72hours. On December 18, 2009, I replied again and requested an update on the order. On December 21, 2009, Dell responded. This time they requested that I provide the first and last name associated with the account for some security reason and to verify information of the account. I responded On December 21, 2009, by providing them with all the information including first and last name, associated with the account. On December 22, 2009 Dell responded with a e-mail very similar to the ones they sent me on the 15th and 18th. Dell continues to inform me of my order being on back order and that there is no estimated delivery date.
Dell says they have sent an e-mail internally to obtain this information and that I am to contact them for it in 48-72hours. However, I continue to wait and wait and wait. As I am a resident of Canada and the order is coming from the United States. I can forget about it being here by Christmas. I also recognize that because it is a customized desktop that it may take a little longer to get shipped. At the same time, considering the ordered was confirmed on November 12, 2009, it's seems to be taking extremely long. And on top of it all, I still have no indication that the order is any closer to being shipped then I did on November 12, 2009. How patient must I be?
TEXAS -- The problem: I must admit that after reading all the reviews about Dell on this site I feel lucky. Lucky that my computer at least comes on and connects to the internet. The problem? The Philips rewritable DVD Rom Dell put in my computer will not burn music or video files. And apparently Dell has no intention of fixing the problem.
The history: When I discovered the DVD Rom wouldn't burn music files, I called Technical "Support" and like everyone else was shifted from one number to another, holding every time for 15-30 minutes each time, and repeating my express code number, service tag number, email address, and telephone number every time. Finally, I got a "specialist" aware of "issues" Dell was having with the Philips DVD Rom. I spent two hours on the phone trying to burn music files every way possible but had the same result every time. The DVD Rom would kick open, disregarding the blank DVD +RW I had in the drive, and a message would demand that I "insert a rewritable blank disc". TS finally said it was a hardware problem and dispatched a technician with a new Philips DVD Rom to be installed at my house.
When the technician arrived and installed the new DVD Rom, I asked him to wait so I could test it. He did and the new DVD Rom demonstrated exactly the same problems as the first one. The technician said, sorry, it wasn't his problem and left. I called TS again, spending another 45 minutes holding, giving all the personal information plus my new case number and then waiting 10 minutes while the TS agent "reviewed" my case. He came back and said the problem was I was using blank rewritable discs on my rewritable DVD Rom and that I should instead use NONREWRITABLE blank discs!!!! I knew this was insane but went out and purchased a five pack to satisfy TS that I was at least trying. Of course the nonrewritable blank discs didn't work either.
I called again and spent several hours for TWO DAYS with my calls being "dropped" after I would spend 10-30 minutes on hold and another 10 or so minutes giving my personal information, each time, every time, over and over and over.
After two days of futility, I tried calling TS once more. After going through the usual song and dance for 25 minutes, the real DELL HELL began. I was shifted to no less than eight (YES, 8!!!!! different numbers) and ended up spending literally over 6 hours HOLDING for various TS agents until one of them came on and informed me they had discovered a DIFFERENT reason my DVD Rom was not burning music files: software incompatibility. And despite the fact that Dell was the one who installed the hardware and the software on my new computer, TS says that since it is NOT a hardware problem Dell no longer has any responsibility to resolve the matter. They offered to SELL me new software.
I pushed the matter and demanded restitution and compensation but was told that my 21 day product return period had just ended. That day, nonetheless! (See how things work? String along the customer and then dump them once you've got their money and their return date out of the way.)
This was my second Dell. The first one, bought over six years ago, worked fine and had only a few problems that were handled by TS back then rather handily. The new TS in India, however, is rude and incompetent. Their English is incomprehensible and their sense of urgency and customer service non-existent. This is the last Dell product I'll ever purchase. Everybody else, when you hear the word "Dell" offered as an option, start running and don't stop till you pass the county line. Avoid these people, because Dell is the Ebola Virus of computers.
BAKERSFIELD, CALIFORNIA -- I have purchased 2 computers -- desktops and one printer from this company. All have had problems from the first day of use. The 926 All-In-One printer never worked right and support techs were never able to offer any help in fixing this. Their support department is a joke or non-existent. They all mumble in their incoherent Indian-accented voices telling you to try another department, just to hear more incoherent babbling that they know nothing about this and try another department.
I think the whole idea is to wear you down with long waits, no answers to your problems and always transfers to yet another service tech, who also does not anything about your problem. Well that is fine, because I will never buy another Dell product.
My grandson is taking marketing courses in college and he says that these computer companies do this on purpose so you will be forced to buy a brand-new computer. They have lousy customer and support service for a reason, but sometimes it backfires. In the long-run, they are losing many customers, like me who are fed up with this nonsense and refuse to put up with it.
Dell you are about to hang yourself -- the sooner the better.
When I first went on line to see what Dell offered, I was looking for a lap top.. when I called the sales office, they said that a desk top is best for me. I bought one, over $1,000 as I also bought a fax/ copier. I rec'd it but was unable to use it to what I wanted. I called and called and all I got was foreign people and trying to explain what my problem was but never got any answers. Then, windows 7, and I called them back and they said too bad in their own way. I gave up and have never used this computer as yet. I decided to try DSL, high speed and called them again as Verizon said I needed to. They charged me $60 for this and I also bought the windows 7 pack and the salesman said if I bought a warranty for a year, then I could call anytime and not have to pay $60 anymore and that did sound good as I can't use this computer and needed help. So did and when I tried to call back and asked for help. Another foreign person said that this call will cost $60. I said I had a warranty for this and they said no, I didn't. I had a warranty on the computer only. So, I now have a new, one year old and windows 7 and all just sitting on my desk not being use as I can't figure it out. I have been lied to over and over again and no one to talk to but foreign people which can't help me but will take my money. I will never buy anymore from Dell, and if this hasn't cost so much, I would trash it. SO, all just sits on my desk getting dust on it.
TEXAS -- Just bought a new Dell desktop Model 545 labeled with "Integrated Stereo Speakers". I like the box but there was no sound after trying all the settings. It only works with an external speaker. Thinking of no reason that it would not give sound by itself, I decided to give a quick call to Dell customer technical support.
Are you ready for my ordeal? I called around 9 pm. First I was put on music hold for 15 min, then someone got my service tag and transferred me away. After another 20 minutes, an lady asked for my service tag number and told me to call back tomorrow after registering on line. I asked her to stay with me while I do that immediately, she politely agreed but diplomatically transferred me to "someone who can help" me. It went on like this for another 20 minutes also. Finally, someone came to pick up the call, asked me for, you guessed it, my service tag number, plus my name, telephone, etc. I told him that I've registered on line and that I don't want to repeat all these over and over but it didn't help. I explained and explained and was told that Dell's term of "Integrated stereo speaker" doesn't mean one won't need an external speaker in order to hear any sound. I disputed and was offered to hook onto my computer and "check the settings". At that moment, I really got enough and declined that offer. After two hours, around midnight, I received a call from the last support guy whom I talked to. I guess he was in India having a lunch....
Well, while besieged and bombarded for an hour by Dell's automated messages about how wonderful their technical support is, I went to Dell 's technical support central to look for answers and found that the site was very poorly designed and nothing but a big maze, a waste of time to seek help from.
All in all, after spending more than an hour and giving me service tag five times, my experience with Dell's technical support is that it's a behemoth of little value. I wonder where that Dell's reputation on support came from. In contrast, ASUS doesn't have a good technical support, and you know that and won't bother to seek any help thus waste your precious time.
Another thing I learned is Dell's term of "Integrated Stereo Speaker" is a sound card "integrated" to a motherboard. Alas.
ROSEVILLE, CONNECTICUT -- I bought my Dell Dsktop XPS computer in June, 2007. Everything was fine until Octrober of 2007 when the hard drive failed. Tech support was called and made provisions to replace the hard drive and everything was fine. Then in November of 2008 the hard drive failed again. I called Dell support and they again made provisions to replace the hard drive, which they did. Then about a month ago(3/2009) I was experiencing problems to the point where I had to reload the Vista operating system to get my computer to boot up. I knew something was wrong but didn't what it was. Then this past week, the hard drive had once again failed. Mind you this will be the fourth (4) hard in this machine that is less than two years old. I asked the tech support people why the hard drives were failing and they had no idea; well I have no idea either but
it seems to me, and other computer literate folks, that there is something wrong (power supply?)with the computer to keeps causing the hard drives to fail. I think that's a reasonable assumption. I've been a long time user of Dell equipment and a manager of a firm that also uses Dell equipment extensively, but after this instance I am having very serious doubts about replacing old equipment with Dell. I am willing to work with Dell to have them replace the computer but so far they are unwilling to it. Am I being unreasonable? Thanks
CANADA -- I made a purchase just after xmas. I understand that they have these caveats, such as, waiting for parts may delay order. Then why advertise shipped within 6 business days. I used their pathetic order status tool on the web, each time I had to enter the order number and postal code. I believe these data is part of my registration data. Each time I checked the begin production date slipped, slipped. I finally received an email in early Jan reporting possible delays informing it would either arrive by ship date or will be informed by email if further delays should result. Well that's today and no email. 4 hours prior to midnight. OK maybe I need to wait to midnight. NOT. I checked their online status tool and re-entered my order # and postal and it showed nothing different than the last number of times I checked.
I called their customer service line (which btw I had to peruse through a few pages to obtain) and was shunted to technical support line. I hung up and I called their sales line and after couple of hops and providing my order # and name twice before I was able to speak to someone. The service representative was good and explained delay. yada yada.... reason for delay was waiting for parts.
I am waiting. I do not like their purchasing service. I want to email them my dissatisfaction. I found a page to email them. Guess what, the page is not secured and wanted all kinds of personal information prior before I could proceed. Guess what, I didn't bother. I was logged in, my personal information is already with them. Why would I need to enter my personal information on an unsecured page. I can only conclude, it is designed this way to discourage email complaints.
Too bad. This will be my last purchase will Dell and I have made several in the past without glitches. Not sure why Dell is doing what it's doing. It will lose more customers this way. They lost me.