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Dell PC + Customer Service. MUST vent!
By -

I just stumbled onto this site while googling for info relevant to my dell pc, ironically, since I needed the info to make sure the tech support I was talking to had their facts correct while working out yet *another* problem. And what do I find? wow. you all inspired me to vent. it can't be helped now.

I bought the computer in question about 1.5yrs ago, and was not very current with the "tech beat" at the time, and I guess I missed the memo when dell went from an excellent company to complete crap.

3 onsite visits, 2 fans, 2 motherboards, a power supply, a hard drive, and a stick of ram later, I get the point. I still look longingly at my old dual p3 800mhz dell that worked flawlessly for ... well it still works, it just got too outdated for my needs. what happened dell?

to dell's credit - after going through the motions of talking to "tech support" and letting them read their scripts, I inevitably managed to get them to schedule a tech to come replace the necessary part(s) on each occasion. also, the 2 motherboards were not broken up front, but were being fried by a failing power supply (very difficult to diagnose, trust me), which was finally fixed.

also, the stick (1gig) of ram was a casualty of war - somehow the tech killed it while replacing the hard disk. don't ask me how, he seemed a capable enough guy - always called the next working day, not 10 days later... worked fast and efficiently despite hardly speaking a word of English (ukranian maybe?) but I've had similar mishaps in my career, and nobody's perfect.

OK, so in reality, I got a bad power supply (failed after ~1yr) and a cheap hard drive that failed. so not as bad as it sounded, but frankly, I expect better brand name parts than what I found inside (I got samsung, not kingston ram. maxtor, not seagate harddrive, etc. - though I noticed the replacement drive was seagate, maybe they're learning) on a $3500 system, especially when I could swear, albeit a long time ago, they listed the good brand names on the website when I was customising it...

with that out of my system - to dell's DIScredit:

I used to work for a company that handled outsorced phone support for a ton of companies - AT&T worldnet, AOL, compuserve, ups, and a handfull of airlines, and unsolved mysteries phone-in tips, just to name a few. I was a floor supervisor and it disguested me daily the way the system worked. the scripted crap, the lies (never say the network is done, it's being "upgraded") and knowing that, being completely separate from the actual company (and not allowed to admit such), there wasn't a thing I could do to help people unless it was a problem on their end - and even then, minimally.

BUT - we were located in the same country as the people using the services we supported and we ALL spoke ENGLISH, and most of the phone reps really did *try* to help and/or be kind and understanding, knowing the service we supported was... unstable on a good day. it wasn't the reps' fault, it was a job - we all got to eat. people screamed at me daily when a rep would send up a flare for "they want a manager/supervisor". I never hung up on them, insulted them, berated them, or left them on hold for years, and tried real hard to talk around the subject rather than lie like I was supposed to. (and no, I'm not telling you what company this was for, nor what service we were supporting).

I didn't last long in tech support, even as a supervisor. stupid morals and stuff. I got moved to corporate, so I supported the company I worked for. my soul was put to rest. at least I could fix things, and if not, it was my own fault.

SOOOO... anyway. New Dell Computer runs happily along. one day, we (me and my significant other who actually uses the machine in question) wake to find the dreaded blue screen. reboot, bad/missing file trying to start windows. check this and that... determine disk has bad sectors that have crept into the windows critical file area. (did I mention I was a bench tech and fixed PC's previous to above mentioned tech support? OK, I'm a little out of date, but a disk is a disk. this isn't rocket science.)

but really, and I know this from experience, if you tell the person on the phone you know what you're doing, it instantly translates (I don't care what language they speak) to "I'm an idiot end user that's just going to make this call more difficult by thinking I know far more than I really do", and yes, that is often the case - those people were *quite* adamant that it *was* a cup holder, and "why didn't the internet come installed on my computer?" and "I ordered a 486 plentium damn you!" - it really makes it difficult when you DO know what you're doing. *sigh*

when a disk goes bad, it can go *CLANK* (or a number of other unpleasant noises), or it can slowly deteriorate over time, which can take awhile when you're talking well over a hundred gigs. I've seen it many, many times, ever since it happened on my first, beloved, 20MB (yes M not G) drive. I call tech support to get it replaced, via my shiney warranty.

I tell the tech what the problem is (note, tell, not ask). he says it's software configuration. windows "randomly marks sectors as bad sometimes and causes this" he says in extremely broken English. bull!@#$. he has me go through a slew of steps; removing and reinserting the bios battery (nearly impossible do to it's placement among other parts). using a jumper to short the bios and cause it to reset. re-seating the RAM and graphics(?!) card. then boot to the utility partition, and reinstall windows. viola! the computer is up and running, and he is proud to have shown me how ignorant I am. I tell him thanks, we'll call back when it happens again, which it will, in due time.

time passes...

wake up one morning (this computer ONLY dies during the night - or day if I stay up all night, I swear!) and the screen doesn't come on when the mouse is moved. finally the screen produces "no input device". this means nothing is come out through the graphics card. this is bad. again, I go through my personal troubleshooting system and determine that the motherboard and/or processor is dead. I call tech support.

I tell them the problem, which is this time backed up by the diagnostic lights on the back of the computer, and the fact that the cpu fan isn't working. again, I'm to open the case, reseat the ram and graphics card, and I flat out refused to take out the battery again stating that whatever their screen said it WASN'T causing a problem and the last cuts were still healing... OK, so I was right and wrong. the motherboard WAS dead, I just didn't realize that it wasn't suicide, but murder by a 3rd party. either way, after much to-do, I was granted my on-site tech with a new motherboard. hurray!

a few weeks later, the exact scenario happens again. wake up, dead machine. laugh cry and scream all at once. call tech support. same problem. explain to foreigner what a "no lemon law" is, he doesn't get it. we finally get somebody to get a manager to authorize that if it happens again, we get a new machine. tech guy comes, and brings new power supply, and new motherboard. I'm still not sure who or how they figured it out, the guy on the phone hadn't let on if he had... but whatever, if it works, I'll be happy. OK, so yay! it's working again - the only caveat being that after attaching and de-taching the monitor cable a few times, the vga to digial adapter literally just fell apart, so I have to give the male MY 21" Sony flatpanel for his 19", since my graphics card has a vga port, and his didn't. I suggested swapping cards, but he didn't buy it.

time passes...

it's the male's birthday. he wakes up (don't ask why) at 30min past midnight. it's JUST turned his birthday. he turns on the monitor. blue screen. he nearly starts to cry. I, being just about to go to sleep, realize I've just had a change of plans. (he does not "do" computers, he just uses them).

reboot. missing windows file. boot to dell utility thing, run hard drive diagnostics, get error code 7. google for info on my (working) computer (which isn't a Dell), truckloads of posts on message boards and such about it. always a bad disk, support always ended up having to replace. surprise surprise. I call tech support.

I TELL them the problem, and tell them to read the notes that I KNOW they're supposed to keep for each customer ticket/problem, and explain that I'm more than a tad annoyed I (he) will be yet again without his computer when I explicitly said this was going to happen. the only thing they hate more than an irate know-it-all is an irate female telling them they're wrong. only men use computers, duh.

in broken English we wade through the problem. he makes me run the disk diagnostics - again. I tell him the error - again. he runs some other diagnostic thing dell had hidden somewhere on the disk, it fails when it gets to the cd drive, so the test stops prematurely. he says it'd have said there was a problem, "disk is checked before cd drive." "don't these programs usually report a summary of errors when they COMPLETE?" I ask ever so innocently... he mumbles some irritated sounding jibberish and starts in about how we're going to reinstall windows, then check the disk, "and disk will be fine. this is software configuration error, disk is fine. we re-install windows and you see when we run test." can't we just fix the installation? you get that option on the windows install. no.. windows is installed on special partition. no fix, only reinstall. (thank you microsoft, for deciding customers no longer needed real windows installation disks anymore, and "system restore" disks would cure your piracy problems!)

so I reinstall, losing all hope of recovering the non-corrupt data from the disk. why? because I can't afford new parts for this system and if I go through their "troubleshooting" I don't get the tech and replacement part that I paid for via that god-send of a warranty (what if I hadn't bought it? I usually never do. why would I? dells are (were) reliable that I knew. woman's intuition. must be.) OK so windows reinstalls, his tone changes to something resembling gloating, even through the accent. OK, now we run hard disk diagnostics again. I do. fail - error code 7. you can hear his ego fall through the chair and *splut* on the floor. he will not be defeated! we go back to dell's util partition and run a custom test and tell it to check the disk sector by sector. low and behold, at 20% I get an error. then another. then another. wow, bad sectors abound! read failures! no additional sense data! he grunts and puts me on hold.

I realize he's only gone to so much trouble to diagnose the problem because he was determined to prove me wrong. I believe this is where they hang up on most people. he comes back, creates the order for the on-site tech and admits defeat. we will get a new hard disk, but they won't install windows. they only do that in the first few months. "but this disk WAS defective then, you just didn't believe me". no go. just a blank disk. and some restore cds. we argue, he digs in his heals, finally we give up. fine. a disk. a working disk is good.

don't give up on me now, dear reader, this is where it gets good.

next morning the on-site guy calls. we get the same one every time. I guess people around here don't have many dell problems, because he's always here in 24-48hrs, and he seems to be the only tech. my boyfriend just says his name and the guy says he'll be right over, he knows the directions by heart by now.

he replaces the disk, closes the box, and is gone in 10min or less.

we plug in the computer preparing for the grueling installation of windows, drivers, updates, and a crapload of personal software. but hark? I know that sound, those beeps. bios error codes. no. hard drives don't cause beeps. a system will boot fine with no hard drive, it's not a critical error. something ELSE is wrong.

you all know what happened if you've been paying attention so far. I look up bios codes on the net, on dell's website, in the computer's owner's manual. I look at the lights on the back and compare. yes. they all agree. I re-seat the ram, and even the graphics card, just so I don't have to give them the joy of hearing my pain during the inevitable call. I take out chip #2. no beeps. I remove chip #1 and put #2 in #1's slot. beeps. again, not rocket science. I put #1 back into #1's slot and proceed to start the install-fest 1gig short. the male calls tech support.

he explains what happened. they go back and forth, and armed with the beep/no beep pure simple logic, he is able to dupe them into actually admitting we seem to have a dead ram stick without going through 3hrs of "troubleshooting." OK, but customer care needs to handle this. I'll transfer you. *click*

... "if you'd like to make a call, please hang up and..."

he calls back, and gets another "tech." he re-explains the issue, then looks over at my vexed expression and his computer - which is not installing windows - and starts to say something about it and ... *click* this time the guy just hung up. no hold, no transfer.

truly, I'm fighting with the computer. I won't go into details (this is long enough eh?) but suffice it to say, the thing was being purely possessed. by now we have a 3rd guy on the line, and he's been filled in, he says to give me the phone and he'll "walk me through installing windows." he tells me to turn off the computer. I do. then turn on and hit f2. I do, and am back at the bios screen I was looking at when handed the phone... he asks me if I can locate the arrow keys on my keyboard. "would I know what a bios screen was if I didn't know what @#*$(@ arrow keys are?!" I held my tongue. I just thought that. really loud.

he goes through the most obvious steps that I've already done at least 5 times each. he relents, mumbles, I give the phone back, and my dear beloved actually gets successfully transferred to customer care. .who quickly inform him that tech support needs to handle this. OK. he asks for a manager. the customer care lady tries to convince him otherwise, and that he should talk to tech support. because of his refusal, she asserts that she can't help him if he refuses to try to troubleshoot the issue with tech support. his eyes turned chrimson and fire licked out from his nostrils. in moments she was apologizing and said she would get a manager.

he waited on hold for over 30min. the music wasn't even that good. finally, an answer. wait a minute, are you a manager? this is TECH SUPPORT? he demands again to speak to a manager. he's transferred back to customer care where he informs them of this latest transaction and says he. will. speak. to. a. manager. NOW.

eventually, somebody comes on the line. he starts to go through the re-explaining and stops... the man says all the calls are recorded and archived as part of your account history and he's just listened to them, hence the 2nd long hold time. please, don't explain, he's already writing up the paperwork to have a new machine sent out to us right away! refurbished? no, brand new. promise? yes. with ALL the upgrades I ordered that came with this one? yes, I have the original order details right here.

says it'll be 7-10 days to assemble the new machine. this sounds promising as it indicates a real, new machine. we'll get a box, we put the old machine back in, flip on the airbill, and at no cost our lemon is gone and replaced.

so far, I don't see any activity denoting this on the "my account" page on dell's website. I was happy till I started reading this site, now I'm seriously worried. it sounded genuine. will the new machine come? will it WORK? to be continued...

seriously folks. this isn't a problem with Dell being a crappy company. I mean, it is, but it's just a symptom of a much greater one. I'm a highly trained, experienced professional in the IT industry. I've been more unemployed than not since the tech crash. I've watched friends lose jobs as call centers closed as they were outsourced to india and others. I've seen much more than tech support outsourced. they send out contracts to have software written - the quality of which has never disappointed my expectations - complete crap that somebody usually has to put in extra hours to fix, or just re-write, on salary with no overtime.

WHY are we paying people in another country to NOT do what we're paying them to do at the expense of our own economy and workforce? can anybody please explain? sure, they're cheap - but when it comes down to time, miss-ordered parts, hell - the long distance charges for the 100s of hours we sit on the phone with them overseas! can it *really* be cost effective? even if it is, is it SO much that it's worth *THE* #1 rated computer company only a few years ago is now the #1 complained about computer company?! I am a geek, not an economist. somebody explain this to me, please. then tell me how the economy is looking up, only half the large companies had lay-offs this year as last! and the government sees no reason to stem the in-flux of forign workers - nevermind the outflux of jobs. I don't get it.

I'm done. thank you if you read all that. it doesn't work to vent unless somebody hears you, or I'd write a letter to Dell Corp.

     
Replies
Don't Buy a Dell
By -

I cannot explain how aggravated, outraged and how sick to my stomach I am over the experiences I have had with Dell. I first purchased a computer on 8/27/04, this past summer. Around 10/26, my Dell Support Alert (which comes with the system) popped up a message to download Service Pack 2. Being a message alert from Dell, I did what I was told. Well, that just screwed up the entire computer....I could no longer access my start up task bar, the internet, any of my pictures, nothing...not a thing! So, the phone calls started, the first call was on the 26th of October and I spent over 4 1/2 hours on the phone with Technical Support. I have a 9 month old baby, I had to spend this time on the phone past 8pm, so I was up very late.

They told me that I needed to have my operating system re-installed and that someone would call me back with the resolution. He also told me that there had been other customers with the same problem all related to downloading the Service Pack 2. I waited, and waited for someone to call me back until two days after. I called back. After again explaining the situation to customer service, they transferred me back to Technical support. They tried to remove the Service Pack 2 from my system. That did not fix the problem They tried to tell me that I should have never downloaded the Service Pack 2 and this is a Microsoft issue and that I need to contact them. When I told them that I was asked to download the Service Pack 2 from the Dell Support Alerts that pop up on my screen every day, you will never believe what they told me.....they said that it is possible that I downloaded something from the internet and someone was posing as Dell. He told me that Dell does not send out support alerts!!!! I couldn't believe it. If that is not bad enough, he told me that I should have shut off the alerts so I didn't get them because they were not important. So, then why is that option installed on my computer? As a new buyer, how was I supposed to know. And how can they not take responsibility for something that has their name on it? And to tell me that it does not exist.....I am so outraged! Then nearly every other day, and I once waited a week to call back because I was so boiling mad, I would spend hours and hours trying to reinstall the operating system, they sent me new disks to reinstall my operating system, tried a system restore and so on.....nothing worked.

I went on to tell them that I wanted my money back (just the amount I paid toward financing the PC). The response was, "you must pay to ship the PC back to us and pay 15 percent of the cost of the PC for a restocking fee. After argument, I decided to try to have them fix the computer again. Nothing worked and I had already spent a few weeks or so just talking with technical support for hours, I mean hours at a time. Finally, I called customer service again and told them that I was planning on making a complaint to the Attorney General, and taking them to court. The man told me then that he would have replacement computer sent to me, this was on 11/18/04. He told me that I can expect my system in 3-5 business days....This was a Thursday, meaning the following Wednesday 11/24, I should have my computer. I waited until Monday November 29th, and still no PC. So, I called customer service again. They told me that the computer was sent and shipped on 11/18 and they gave me DHL's phone number and the tracking number of the package.

I called DHL, the tracking number they gave me was for the CD's they sent me a on 11/12/04 to have my operating system reinstalled. That same day I called customer service back and they tell me that the computer was never ordered and he wanted to know who I talked to. I told him the first name of the representative I talked to and again, I told them of the situation which I had to do every single time I called, I mean all 100 times I called, I told the story from the beginning, they asked me for the information, they couldn't look it up? Finally, I was told that the computer was ordered again and I would receive it within 3-5 business days again. So, ordered on 11/29, should be received by Monday December 6th. So, by Tuesday December 7th, I was looking for the PC. I called customer service again. They told me that the system will ship on or before December 14th. Finally, I received the computer two days later on the 9th.

So, this process goes on from 10/26/04 until I received a replacement system on 12/9/04. Now, I try to burn pictures and CD's because I have that capability, and I can't. The program does not recognize the disk in the drive, it keeps telling me to insert a writable disk in the drive. So I received the replacement computer nearly a month and a half later and after hours and hours and days and days spent on the phone. Four days later, I still am not able to do what I purchased this PC for! I am so frustrated. I called Dell again today 12/13/04. I spent over 57 minutes checking the drives, and reinstalling software to burn pictures and music. Once that did not work, the technical support representative told me that I needed to have my Operating System Reinstalled. I almost went through the roof. Since I did not get off the phone with him until quater to midnight, I have to wait till tomorrow to call Customer Service. I just want my money back and I want you to take this computer back. I called Customer Service the next day. I was very angry and unhappy.

The representative told me that I should box up all the computers and have them ready for pick up on the following day. He also stated that I would not be charged for the shipping or for the restocking of the PC's. He wanted my digital camera that was a free gift, I told him that it is now mine for all the aggravation you people have put me through, it was free and given to me for purchasing your coomputer, I don't think that you deserve it back for all the trouble, time and aggravation you have put me through. He said I would get a full refund, I could keep the camera, and the computers would be picked up the following day. Of course, more broken promises from Dell. No one came.....I still have these computers. I cannot call again, I cannot begin to tell you how angry I am and how excited I am to finally think this is resolved once again, and then, broken promises from Dell again.

     
Replies
I WILL NEVER BUY DELL AGAIN
By -

SPRING, TEXAS -- OK, to be honest, my first Dell was great, but lets talk about the E520, well this computer was purchased by my employer in 2006, the minute we got it we had nothing but problems with it, we eventually had to pay $200 to get it serviced as the warranty conveniently was out (sometimes you wonder if these electronics have an internal clock that sets these computers and printers to malfunction right after the warranty expires).

Well it seemed to run well for about 3 months, long story short, the business closed and I was given this POOR EXCUSE OF COMPUTER, ignorantly giving away my older computer for a newer, newer doesn't always mean better as you'll soon find out.

Now for my birthday my boyfriend bought me, you guessed it, a new DELL computer, so I thought well I'll restore the DELL E520 to the original settings and give it to my niece for school to write reports, etc... Certainly it should be good for that. Well doing the restore, theres a floppy disk failure, and this model doesn't have a floppy disk, so this process rendered the computer more useless than before, nothing works.

So being the loyal Dell consumer and purchaser of 2 Dell computers and having 1 bestowed upon me, I call DELL TECHNICAL SUPPORT. This was an experience of a lifetime, I thought I pushed English, but I guess not because I spoke to man who kept repeating g for jack, g for jack.... when trying to explain what he was saying by spelling the word.

I thought I had called American on Line, the customer service was identical, they don't speak English even though that's the option I chose, they are looking for any reason to hang up, and customer service is not what they are about, they want to tell you they can't help you for any reason and get off the phone. I can't even believe it, but believe this, if you buy a DELL, your ON YOUR OWN. I have contacted their customer service department, but come on who are we fooling, nothing substantial will happen. Been there done that, but won't be doing it again with DELL.

DELL DOES SUCK and I CHALLENGE THEM TO CHANGE MY MIND.

     
Replies
Dell Disappoints A Loyal Customer
By -

I recently (October 2008) needed to upgrade the storage capacity of my Dell 4600, which I'd purchased in 2003. I turned to Dell for two reasons: until now I'd received good service from them, having bought three systems from them over the years, so I felt I'd get good service now; and I trusted that they would know what I needed, as I am not a hardware guru, and so I would not have to worry about making mistakes. Unfortunately this was incorrect on both counts.

When I spoke with Dell sales, I said I wanted a 1 TB SATA drive. The representative said my system was not SATA compatible, and I would have to go with EIDE, and the largest available was 500 GB. I took her word for it, and as time was of the essence (I am a grad student, and had assignments due that required massive amounts of drive space and my original 120 GB drive was near capacity) I had the drive overnighted. The drive arrived the next day (the only thing that was to go well in this affair), but when I contacted tech support to have help walking through the installation, I found out that I needed an IDE cable, which did not come with the drive and was not available in my machine. This was my first surprise.

When I called Dell sales, they told me they'd be happy to sell me a cable, but it would be several days before I'd receive it. Upset that, if I'd been told about it, I could have purchased the cable at the same time as the drive and therefore would have had it then already, I opted to try to locate one locally. Little did I realize how rare IDE connectors had become... I had to go to a specialty store that was not open on weekends (I found out Friday, late). Once I had the cable, I contacted tech support again and began the installation... when I had the cover off, and was trying to locate the bay into which the drive would go, I discovered that my original drive was a SATA! I had never seen a SATA connection before, so did not realize what it was until the technician told me... that was when I began to feel REALLY upset. That began my adventure with Dell customer service.

The more I ruminated, that day, over Dell's mistakes, the first being told my system was not SATA capable, the second not even being told I needed additional parts to make my second-choice drive work, the more I felt they needed to make this right by offering me the SATA drive I'd originally wanted at the same cost as the one I'd been told was my only choice. I sent them a complaint to that effect, and waited... and waited... and waited. They then sent me a letter saying no. I complained to a supervisor, adding comments about how I have been a loyal Dell customer for years, and would like to continue to be (when I graduated I would probably be buying a new, high-end system). And waited, and waited... in the meantime my original drive began to make sounds, and I thought I might need to replace it; I also thought it was becoming less and less convenient to simply return the drive I'd mistakenly been told I needed (but which did work) - so I changed my proposal to this: I would buy a new 1 TB drive at the cost of the EIDE drive I'd bought, and Dell would ship it overnight at no additional charge. I felt this was equitable, especially since the cost of 1 TB drives continues to fall rapidly, and this was dragging out so long that the prices had fallen appreciably, making Dell's "discount" to me even less.

Dell didn't see it that way.

I just got off the phone with their "supervisory staff". He tried to tell me that there were no internal drives offered on my system's "upgrade path", so they would not sell me one (although if I wanted to buy one locally, I was welcome to). When I pointed out that, if his assertion was true, the sales staff that had sold me the internal EIDE drive was doubly wrong, he tried to tell me it had been an issue of availability at the time...

Basically, he was giving me rationalizations that made Dell's position for denying my request seem appropriate, and when I pushed to hear Dell's final position he finally said no. I clarified that Dell was denying a long term customer a discount that amounted to $20.00 at this time after having been given bad advice under urgent circumstances and then gone through a four-month run-around trying to resolve the matter, and he repeated no. He tried to add that Dell was noting my concerns, and would review the events to be able to provide better service in the future, but I interrupted him by replying that I had no interest in what Dell did in the future as I would not be doing business with a company that valued $20.00 over loyal customers.

The final summation is this... caveat emptor. If you have a Dell system, you need to learn its technical specifications yourself and do your homework before calling them. If you don't, and a mistake is made, even if it is Dell's, you can expect absolutely no contrition or even regret on their part. But they will be happy to sell you something else to make it right. Oh yes, and don't forget they'll ask "Is there anything else I can help you with today?"

     
Replies
Poor Customer Support
By -

YPSILANTI, MICHIGAN -- Referencing: Service Tag #3YFTT51
Service Code: 8612782021
Case #089615996
My anger and disappointment in Dell, Dell Technical Support and the overall attitude so far expressed by the Dell Company towards its customers now runs very, very deep. I am enraged by what is quite obviously a nonchalant attitude towards Dell customers.
After spending 4 1/2 hours on the telephone with technical support last night, January 6, 2005 from 6 PM to 10:30 PM, what I am left with is a new computer, less than 3 months old, that is still under warranty, is covered by a Platinum Service Agreement that covers me 24/7 including at-home service, that is right now absolutely useless as anything other than a large Solitaire screen. I have an e-mail that I have accessed from a friend's computer in my Inbox thanking me for contacting Technical Support and resolving the issue.
There are several problems with the above scenario:
(1) The original problem with my computer, no connectivity, is not resolved. After 4 ½ hours of cooperating with both service technicians that I talked with and performing each and every step that they requested me to do multiple times: (All at their request)
a. Restoring the system twice
b. Performing virus scans multiple times
c. Using the command menu to ping internally repeatedly with no response
d. Verifying on my children's lives that I did not have a wireless router or router hub installed, and that my workstation was a stand-alone unit connected to (1) DSL modem and that the phone lines were working
e. Using the command menu to ipconfig release and renew multiple times
f. Verifying both Broadband and LAN connections, set-ups and configurations at least 5 times in the Windows XP system operating software
g. Building new Broadband connections
h. Turning on and turning off firewalls multiple times
I. Turning off all items in the start-up menu
j. Erasing the Winsoc Hkeys completely in the Registry Editor
k. Verifying that yes, all the way through this 4 ½ hour saga that the LED on the back of the Ethernet card that came supplied with the machine was red, not green. (Hint, root cause here folks, bad Ethernet card!)
l. The only net result I am left with is a computer that still has no connectivity, and in fact now when starting up is very slow and slow in the operating system after performing all of the "fixes" that both technicians wanted me to try. It is now in worse shape than when I started with Dell Technical Support last night.
(2) It became very apparent that this was a problem beyond either of their abilities to resolve. Let me explain as a background, I have spent the last 25 years as technical support for industrial computers that control machinery, and as such, have a pretty good idea before I even walk into a problem what the root cause and solution really is. I just figured that since I had paid for 4 years worth of 24/7 technical support including at-home service and had a machine under complete warranty, I might as well use what I paid for.
(3) The first technician that I was talking to, "Gary", located in Panama City, Panama hung up on me and disconnected when I laid the phone down to, at his request, disconnect and reconnect an Ethernet cable. Despite taking my home phone number down, he did not call me back, as promised "in case we get disconnected". I wound up calling again and talking to "Wayne" somewhere.
(4) At the end of the total 4 ½ hours, "Wayne's" only solution was for me to sit with him on the phone on the floor of my home office and while talking to him, take a brand new computer apart to reseat the Ethernet card into a new slot. He informed me that he was "not willing" to send a service technician to my home as in his estimation this was not a problem that required one. THIS IS NOT A SERVICE TECHNICIAN'S DECISION TO MAKE WITH A CUSTOMER THAT HAS PAID FOR AT-HOME SERVICE 24/7 NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS. THE CUSTOMER HAS THE RIGHT TO REQUEST IT, ESPECIALLY ON A MACHINE THAT IS 90 DAYS OLD AND UNDER WARRANTY! I will freely admit that I had a problem with taking my machine apart while talking to "Wayne" on the phone. (a) My experience up to that point led me to the conclusion that the technicians were guessing and still had absolutely no clue as to what the real problem or root cause was, much less a solution. The second one "Wayne" freely admitted that what was going on with my machine was "not in the script" and he "didn't have a decision tree for it", leading me to the knowledge that this was a problem beyond their ability to resolve and understand. (b) Under no circumstances will I personally take the machine's case apart and begin to reseat cards with a machine still under warranty, that would be the job of a Dell-certified technician in my home on a service call that is covered by a price that I already paid at initial purchase (b) I don't have three hands, I was not born a genetic freak. (c) It had been since 6 PM and was now 10:30 PM, I was getting a little cranky with no dinner and bathroom breaks and (d) I will also freely admit that I was having an extremely difficult time understanding either tech. It was readily apparent that English was not their primary language and I kept having to ask both of them to slow down, enunciate and repeat themselves. After 25 years of working in heavy industry, my hearing is beginning to lose it's low, conversational tones and I have a hard enough time following someone whose primary language is English, much less someone to whom English is a secondary language and whose microphone is not properly physically placed near their mouth. I resent the fraudulent practice that Dell employs of having foreign service technicians adopt "American" names. As an American, working in an industry that is rapidly being harmed by the practice of outsourcing work off-shore to cheaper, foreign labor while supposedly "patriotic" American companies do great harm to the American people and the American economy, I find this practice treasonous and seditious.
(5) After telling "Wayne" that I was requesting a service call in my home, he informed me that "he was not willing" to do that, that his supervisor was busy and that if I didn't have any other questions, he thanked me for using Dell Technical Support and to feel free to call them again if I ever had any other issues with my machine. I informed him that I would be contacting Dell in the morning to continue to pursue this matter, again he thanked me and hung up.

The resolution to this problem is simple. I want a Dell-certified technician on a service call, which I have paid for with a 4 year 24/7 Nights and Weekends Service agreement including in-home service at my house tonight, Friday January 7, 2005 and I want the machine fixed. I doubt this will happen. I will continue to pursue this.
The e-mail sent to me this morning states that if I have further issues, to contact Dell Premier Support, I cannot, once I go to the Web Page, it asks me to log in, but since I have never been given a userid or password even though I am entitled to it, I cannot. I will post this to the "regular" Support Page as well in an effort to make some sort of human contact here on American soil.
My experience with Dell in the short 90 days that I have dealt with them has been horrid. I am making a recommendation to anyone that I know to not buy a Dell computer and not support it's predatory, malicious and fraudulent business practices.
Copies of this letter have gone to my Congressman and both of my Senators, as business conducted over the Internet crosses State lines and falls under Wire Fraud Protection acts.
As well, I have posted this letter to a total of 10 separate websites and message boards that deal exclusively with Dell complaints, in an effort to stop the next person from buying a Dell computer.
Kip R. Williams

     
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Outrageous Customer Support
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I simply do not know where to start because in my opinion, the way Dell has treated me over a very minor issue is inexcusable.

On Tuesday July 13, 2010, as I turned on my XPS 700 tower, the little button that you lift up on the front grill fell into the inside of the cabinet. That began an almost unbelievable saga of transfer after transfer as I attempted to get your company to send me a replacement part. I did not want them to send it to me free. I was out of warranty. I wanted the part sent to me. It takes about 2 minutes to take the old one off and replace the new one. Been there, done that.

With each transfer, it was like no one could read so I had to tell my story over and over again just to be transferred again. From technical support, to out of warranty support, to sales, back to technical support, to spare parts. On my stop in out of warranty service, I was told by XXXXX XXXXX that in order for Dell to help me, I would have to extend my warranty for a grand total of $160.00 and if I did not extend my warranty they would not be able to sell me the part.

So I was behind a rock and a hard place. The part itself is made completely out of plastic. It has a sleeve and a little paddle type stick. Total cost probably is about $3.00. I did not want a warranty. I only wanted to replace the little part. I did not want anyone to replace it for me. I just wanted the little part. Because it is so flimsy, it has broken before and I have replaced it before. Did not need $149.00 bill to have someone come to my house.

So you can imagine my surprise when I saw my bill today for this extended warranty. The total cost, that was never agreed to by me was now $247.00 not the $160 that XXX told me. What a rip-off. I know that Dell banks on the fact that I will never need their assistance to fix my computers. Most computers break at about 90 days anyway. Mine is 4 years old already. I am not a novice and do my own work on my computers.

I have been a fan of Dell products for many years, but over the past few years, I have detected that Dell has lost its focus on its customers. Dell has made it more and more difficult to get assistance. I am sure that being shifted around for four hours and talking to 8 different people has become the rule rather than the exception.

If this is the way you treat your loyal customers, just think about those who are first time buyers.

1

     
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Dell Is A Joke!!!
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ROUND ROCK, BUT REALLY.. INDIA, TEXAS -- I purchased a DELL Dimension computer and within the first 6 months, it crashed and would only start in "safe mode". This issue started when I was sent an automatic update which ended up being incompatible with my driver. It crashed the computer, corrupted the driver and the video card. When I called customer service (which is located in INDIA) I was told numerous times by different "Executive Support Revolver's" that the issue was due to a Virus that I was responsible for downloading and that it wasn't covered under my warranty. I was told that I would have to do a complete system restore and would loose all of my valuable programs I paid good money for, along with everything I had saved unless I paid them to help me remove my pictures and documents to an external hard drive. I just did not feel comfortable doing this, so I continued calling in hopes that I would get a service technician who actually knew what they wear doing and could help me.

A year had gone by with no such luck, but finally in my persistent attempts I reached a representative who finally figured out that it had been an automatic update sent to my computer and NOT a virus that had caused such a massive problem. I then spent a total of 3 days on the phone with this technician, for 3-4 hours a DAY, totaling now an average of 25 hours of my time spent resolving and troubleshooting in order to fix the problem. They then sent a technician to my home who replaced the video card and now my computer is working again.

However, in the YEAR that my computer was broken, I lost a year of my extended warranty that I PAID for and also in that time, my anti-virus program expired, leaving me to have to purchase a new $60 program. And good thing I didn't listen and trusted my instincts because if I had listened to them, I would have had to replace thousands of dollars worth of programs because of Dell's mistake.

I have been on the phone with supposed "supervisors" asking that they simply extend my warranty for the year that these issues have stolen off of my paid warranty but have been told that they can not do this.

I should have researched better before purchasing this piece of $%*T because I now see that I am NOT alone and my "little" problem pales in comparison to the MANY MANY MANY MANY MANY MAAAAAAANY other people who have had WAY WORSE experiences with DELL. I would not recommend a DELL to ANYONE and wish I would have gone with an APPLE!!!!!!!!!!!

This SCAM company should NOT be in business and more media attention should be brought to the public about how shady DELL is.

To see more of what I am talking about, Google "Dell Complaints" .

Where is DATELINE NBC and 20/20 when you need them!?!?

DON'T BUY A DELL unless you want to throw your money away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     
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Calcutta Tech Support/Customer Advocacy Program
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Edit 1/25/2007: Much to my surprise, Dell has decided to replace all of the RAM in my computer with new 512mb RAM modules.

Certainly, my postings in the Direct2Dell blog didn't hurt, but I can't tell how much they helped since I was already in contact with one of their new Customer Advocates.

I'm going to hope that everything goes OK with the repairs, but I will update this posting later if they don't.

(Initially posted by me on Direct2Dell blog)

Dell is now reading Bloggs and reaching out to customers to stop the wave of negative publicity.

"Today I was contacted by "john", a customer service advocate at Dell. I had seen his email address here and had written to him about ongoing issues that Calcutta Tech support had refused to correct. I have three issues:

1) intermittant RAM failure

2) The initial RAM configuration by Dell was wrong, resulting in double the upgrade costs when I eventually add RAM. I have 4 256mb modules instead of 2 512mb modules and 2 empty slots. I hadn't caught Dell's attempt to screw me until I pulled the cover while troubleshooting the RAM failures.

3) I bought a 2 year on-site service agreement covering parts and labor. Dell's best response to date has been to replace the defective module once I identify it - something I have spent hours on already. Note that I did not purchase a parts-only service contract. I asked John what would happen if I wasn't a geek, but a little old lady instead. We'll see how he responds. Personally, I think we should all quit doing Dell's work and start demanding a service call instead of parts-only service.

I wouldn't be so pissy, as I'm able to change out RAM, but after spending an hour on hold waiting on Calcutta tech support every time I've had to call, and/or have their phone reps drop the call, I've lost faith in Dell's service.

I've read the content and tone of other postings here, but have decided to give the customer advocacy program the benefit of the doubt. Whatever happens, I'll post it here. If it is more BS, I'll post it everywhere.

I found it interesting to see so many complaints when I googled "Dell Customer Advocate." That took me straight to Emily's comments above, I can't believe that Dell has its warranty customer's changing out motherboards. Incredible!

I note that it took about a week for John to send his initial reply asking me for a status. He cited the recent bad weather as the cause of the delay. We'll see how long it takes for John to respond this time. We'll also see if this posting mysteriously disappears, in which case, a copy of which will be posted to every blog I can find, in addition to the one I'll start.

Dell........ are you listening? Is the customer advocacy program your idea of damage control in response to public blog complaints?

We'll wait and see......"

     
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Dell sucks
By -

NORTH DAKOTA -- I have been in regular contact with dell support since the first week in Sept. when my computer crashed. I called the support number in the book. First of all, the guy could hardly speak English. I explained about the error message that I had and asked for help. It was determined that first the cd drive was broken and would have to be repaired. He said he would send the part out right away and the repair person would call me within 2 weeks . After 3 weeks and no phone call I again contacted dell. They had no record of my first phone call, and like a dumb person I didn't ask for a name or a contact number. So we started over. They overnited the part, and the local repair person called and set up the appt. to fix it. The local company was very professional and prompt and help full. he replaced the cd drive and left. Well guess what? tha computer wouldn't reboot, so off to the support dept. I went again. They suggested that we run diagonsics. I did that 3 times, emailing the results every time. so buy now we are into October. (after I went and bought a different computer so I could communicate with them. Then much to my surprise they decided that the motherboard needed to be replaced. OK they sent the part and my local(they have to go 200 miles round trip) repair person came asgain. Helpful, courtious,professional etc. He installed the motherboard and stayed there on the telephone(again the guy couldn't speak English hardly at all) with dell support to get the computer rebooted. Now they told us windows had crashed and had to be installed. My local tech was on the phone with them for over an hour. When the tech left it looked like we would be up and running. NO SUCH LUCK.
I started reinstalling all of the programe, printers, scanners etc that we had before it crashed.Most of the software I had no problem with. when I went to reinstall the printer and scanner(which connect via the usb port) the computer could't install the drivers nor could it find the printer port. More diagonstics. NOVEMBER comes. OK we need to upgrade the bios. First they email me the wrong BIOS update. No problem I'm smart enough to figure out what system I have. I go to downloads and find the proper one. No problem except it has to be downloaded to a floppy. I back up only on a cd. Drive 30 miles round trip to town to buy floppy. Come home download and reboot and upgrade bios. still cannot install printer. I tried several times. email current problem. dell says need to reinstall chipset drivers. I do so. still cannot install printer. I am asking for someone to repair the computer or give me my money back. This morning they email back and say reinstall bios and chipset drivers again. NO LUCK run diagonstics again. The computer goes to the diagonstic screen and as soon as you choose the proper one it goes straight to the windows start screen. Of corse I try several times. Email back they say chipset and bios for the third time. I try to go to the boot screen and now lo and behold now my keyboard nor do the mouse work at all. Iam PATIENTLY waiting for their next move. BUYER BEWARE!!!!

     
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Poor Quality, Poor Service
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HONOLULU, HAWAII -- I am a long time consumer and fan of Dell Computers going back 15 years and about 3-4 PCs and recommended 2-3 to others. I bought a Dell Dimension 4800 a little over a year ago back in February 2005. I extended my service contract to 2008. The first problem came up 1 month later with a replaced motherboard after my PC showed symptoms of a HD randomly seizing. At that time, tech support kept recommending I reformat the drive and reinstall everything from scratch. It took a LONG time to diagnose this problem. The 2nd problem occurred 2 weeks ago when the power supply started showing problems. They tech couldn't decide what to replace and decided to send a power supply and video card. I told them to send to parts to me, they send send it to the on site technician. The power supply is replaced, but the video card is the wrong part. They re-send the video card - 2 days later I get a box with the same wrong part. Its been 1 week without a working computer. I contact the same technician that I've been working with for the past week. They promise to call me back in 30 minutes to verify the right card is sent... no callback after 2.5 hours. Finally, I call another dell tech. They promise to send the right video card again - I tell them to send it to me to verify its the right part. Today I'm told they sent it to the technician again ! I go down to Costco and get a HP desktop.

I've worked with Dell Tech support for years and years and only now that I've noticed their impeccable and reliable service has gone so far downhill, I won't even count on a using the repaired Dell desktop for my primary tasks anymore. Not only that, the reliable Dell desktop showed a troubling trend which I can't rightfully recommend to anyone, anywhere, anytime. Its a very disappointing fact, but I guess life must go on and I guess I must as well. DO NOT invest in Dell Computers in either its product, service, or its stock until they can fix their house... and soon.

     
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