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I'm In Dell Hell
By -

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 ** (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 ** 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 **. 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'm 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 ** from India! I was back overseas. ** apparently was told that I wanted to return the computer. ** 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 online 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. **.” 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 feedback 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?

 

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Dell Tech Support is a DISASTER!
By -

ROUND ROCK, TEXAS -- I am writing because right now I am about as mad as I've ever been. Why? Because in January of this year my husband and I decided to use some of our overage money to purchase a pair of laptops for school. I bought two Dell Studio 1536 Laptops. That's when my nightmare began. Three days later the monitor quit on mine. There was also a problem that if you actually put it on your LAP, you got an electrical shock if it touched bare skin. We called tech support and they sent a box and shipped it back to them. About a month later I got it back. The screen worked, it still shocked you. Needing the laptop for school, I decided to work around the issue.

Unfortunately, this wasn't the end. Soon The computer was getting so hot that it was needing to be turned of frequently to prevent damage. Also, the AC cord overheated to the point that I actually burned my thumb and forefinger when I tried to pick it up one day. We called Tech Support. They sent a box and shipped it back to them. Two weeks later we got it back. The AC cord was the same. Two days after it arrived I was typing and the Z key FELL OFF!!! We called tech support. They shipped us a new AC cord. 2 months ago... Suddenly the computer starts randomly shutting off all by itself. We call tech support.

They sent a box and shipped it back to them. We waited... and waited... and waited. They had said 2 weeks, so at 2 weeks and three days we called. "Where's the laptop?" It's been placed on "billable hold". Apparently there was "water damage" to it. Water damage? Excuse me? I don't allow liquid near my laptop. Also, why wasn't I contacted? They had my name, address, phone number and the email account that I leave open 24/7. "ooops. Sorry. It must have been missed." So now they want $160 to FIX the computer, or $200 to ship it back to me.

The photos they sent to prove the water damage are so blurred that when I took them to a tech I know he wasn't able to say what the damage was, or even what part of the laptop he was looking at! I agreed to pay the $160 on the condition that the computer returned in perfect condition, needing no additional repair. It arrived today. I put it on my lap. I'm wearing shorts. I got zapped. Again. Also, there's one minor problem. See, the laptop came with a fingerprint scanner. It's a nifty little tool that lets you save your passwords and log into the computer and websites using a quick swipe of your fingerprint. What's the problem? It's MISSING!!! GONE!!!

Once again I call tech support. They're sending a box. It's going back. Again. They are going to look at it and see if they can fix the shock (which they haven't managed to fix in the THREE times they've had it) and see if they can find a fingerprint reader around there somewhere. They've replaced that technology with "facial recognition software". If they can't fix it they will replace the system with another system. This sounds OK, until they describe the "new" system. They will replace it with a "reconditioned" system (read piece of junk they couldn't fix properly for someone else) and my ORIGINAL warranty will remain the same, no new time on the new system!

When my Compaq broke they replaced it with a new system that came with a NEW warranty. So, if the "new" laptop breaks, I'm still only covered until January on a system that has spent three out of eight months with them. I have never once called and spent less than half an hour on hold. Usually I wind up shuttled around from department to department while they try to find someone who knows what's going on, and be sure to write your service tag # down, because it's written on the bottom of the computer and no where else, and they want it every time, even when they have the computer and you don't.

As time passes, they will recite to you their complete notes on every repair they have done, taking up more time, even if you've already told them the same information. So the reason I'm writing is that I know some of you may be in the market for a new computer or laptop or work with computers and talk to customers or friends about them. I am writing to warn you all that Dell makes a shoddy product in a laptop, doesn't properly stand behind their product and if you have problems, your new Dell laptop will be a never ending nightmare of shipping it back and forth with little resolution.

I will NEVER buy another Dell product, even so much as a mouse or keyboard. I strongly recommend you avoid them as well! If you do buy a Dell, get an attorney on retainer right away. You may need one to get your computer fixed properly!

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Bait & Switch Sales Tactics
By -

I purchased a Dell Computer System via a phone conversation with a Dell Sales Rep. named ** and was told that I would have 6 months of no interest and no payments and that prior to the end of the 6 months period, I could pay off my original balance with my MasterCard. I also ordered a wireless mouse which I have never received. Shortly after receiving my computer, I received an invoice indicating accrued interest and a payment due. I was not alarmed as I had been confirmed as NO INTEREST and NO PAYMENTS for 6 months. On my next couple of invoices, I was accessed late fees as well as interest.

I have called numerous times to resolve this with no cooperation. I finally made a large payment and did pay off my entire purchase balance prior to the 6 months. I completed my purchase according to my agreement with ** and verified the terms with her several times. Now Dell says that I owe more money and I refuse to pay it as it is only bogus late fees and interest on the late fees. Has anyone else experienced this?

Most of the people that I talk with are in India, Kuwait, the Philippines or some other foreign country, and I can never talk with anyone who understands and no one can find ** to verify what I was told or even allow me to review or hear my original conversation as I know it was recorded for training purposes. BAD DELL - BAIT AND SWITCH!!!!!! Some of these data is new and may be helpful to me in resolving my situation, but I do not place much faith in it or Dell. I have sent numerous emails, faxes, and made numerous calls to Dell including the Dell Financial in Austin, Texas.

It appears they all have a 1 track mind, 1 track answers and cannot think or resolve issues by themselves. They all treat me the same, like I am a bum not paying my bills, and have even been called that by one of their employees. I am steadfast in that I do not owe the money, as it is only bogus charges derived from the late fees and interest assessed as a result of their changing our agreement after the purchase was made.

Dell tells me to call Dell Financial and Dell Financial tells me to call Dell or the Pentagroup Financial Collection Agency (which is also a part of Dell.) They in turn say they cannot do nothing unless Dell says so and Dell says it is out of their hands as it is now in collections, etc. It is a vicious circle and I am caught in the middle. I do not owe the money, will not be paying it, and may take my case to a small claims court if the charges are not removed and my credit file cleared.

I am a 63 years old Vietnam Combat Wounded Purple Heart Veteran, retired after 32 years in the Marine Corps, and retired 18 year Federal Employee and do not appreciate this type of service or insinuations. I am honest and would not try to get something that I had not agreed to.

All I can say is if Dell wants to pursue this, then I will let the world know of their deceptive practices with all the resources within my power, friends, websites, blogs, etc. I paid 100% of my purchase within my allotted time and do not owe them any more and will not be purchasing any more Dells in my lifetime!!!!! Again, thanks for your reply and data. HOW about a CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT on DECEPTIVE SALES and COLLECTIONS PRACTICES?????

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Customer Service from Hell!
By -

ROUND ROCK, TEXAS -- Where do I start, as I sit here on the phone with Dell? I have had 4 Dell computers and when I had a repair issue, I called technical support. They sent the box to my address (in Georgia) and I shipped the computer back. Since this was an easy fix, I called 3 weeks later and they said it left Dell 13 days ago! When they looked into it further, they said that DHL couldn't deliver it to my address. Why you ask? Because... they delivered it to the address I lived at when I bought the computer (in TEXAS!)

Well that really made me angry because Dell assigns you a new customer number every time you order a computer--and I have asked them NUMEROUS times to make sure all my computers and customer numbers have my current address--but it was like I was asking them to create a book! So the girl I was on the phone with said she would fill out a logistics ticket with the correct address so it could be shipped here. So she called DHL and told them to hold it until they received the ticket. OK, fine, it would be delivered within the week. Now I tell her this would not have happened if she would update my address.

She agreed to do it and sent me an email with the Case number. 9 days go by (today) and I call Dell, (so far I have talked with 9 people and have been on the phone almost 3 hours!) I talk to one person who asks for my info, looks into it, puts me on hold, and then tells me they need to transfer me... I find out the computer is still in Texas at DHL and my address was NOT updated on my file, and no one sent DHL this damn logistics ticket!

I get a couple more people and then I demand to talk to a supervisor! Angelo tells me they are very busy and they would tell me the same thing that he would, so why don't I talk to him! That really pisses me off now and I tell him I want to talk to one anyway. And he said that I will probably be on hold for a while. I SAY FINE!!! So then I get a supervisor who listens to my story and puts me on hold on and off for over an hour--then my phone dies while I am on hold.

So I call back and ask to speak to Heather who works in Customer care and is a supervisor of Angelo. OMG! The lady had to talk to her supervisor to see if she could transfer me. Her supervisor says "no", she will email Angelo to tell his supervisor to call me! Now I am tired and no further along than when I started! I asked why she did not call and she said quote "it is not protocol to call each other in the company, the proper way to contact each other was through email!" WHAT DO I SAY TO THIS???

So, I call DHL and they said the computer is in Texas and yes they see they picked it up in Georgia, and yes it is the same person (ME)--but they cannot do anything I have to call Dell. So, I call Dell again--don't even try to find this Heather person and I start over with someone new. This is the 9th person I have talked with and he finds out that HEATHER did not send the logistics ticket, my phone number wasn't updated, and he calls DHL who says they are sending the computer back to DELL! So this 9th person says he will check with so and so and see if he can still have it shipped to me.

In the meantime, I find this site and start typing! OK this is not over--but 9th person can't find anyone to help--so he will try to send out a logistics ticket (even though it takes at least 48 hrs and then 24 hrs for DHL to act on it) anyway, and see if it makes it before it gets sent back to Dell! BUT if it reaches Dell, he will make sure it gets shipped to the Georgia address. I ask him--does anyone at Dell care that this happens to people? Does anyone care there is no follow through? What can I do about this? I ask him to call Heather and he repeats that he can only email.

I tell him who I work for and asked him if he ever heard of the company and he says "YES"! (think Texas, rich, well-known). €”I told him that if we treated our customers that way, we would not have any and it would never be tolerated. (I think he feels I am telling him this to get him to help me). So €“my 9th person says--he then says he will take care of this and not to worry, he will call on Monday. By this time, I am exhausted, my shoulder hurts, I have gone through 3 cordless phones and I can't even say--at least it was taken care of! NO! The saga with Dell continues... I AM NOT BUYING ANOTHER DELL!!!

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Dell Corporate
By -

POCATELLO, IDAHO -- Final Step January 18: I received a call from Dell Corporate office who put me in touch with one of their corporate technicians who assisted me with the issues of Vista and wireless along with showing me locations on the internet to correct problems if they arise again. I can honestly state Dell is willing to go the extra mile and help out an individual as that is what happened to me today. The frustration of buying a computer and having it not work along with other issues that occurred was truly frustrating, but the corporate help in stepping in and taking part was not something I expected.

The system has been operating successfully for several hours as of this posting with zero issues. If you purchase a Dell, there may be issues, but if you have my success, Dell will find a solution - it just may take some frustration along the way until you get to the right person.

January 17 - Let me tell you the issues and frustration with the XPS420. The original computer delivered 1-5-08 was determined to have serious issues and another computer was sent. The original service tag was 26TYCF1. The new computer arrived today with basically the same issues of not connecting.

Steps I have taken: 1. Original computer arrived 1-5-08. Verified router had up to date drivers. Verified other pc's could connect wireless from the same location using XP and not Vista. Was sent external wireless connectors for the Vista system by customer service to try which would only work sporadically - if the system went to sleep mode it would be necessary to uninstall the external router and reinstall before it would work. Hard drive was reformatted through a hard line connection with technical support.

Spent 7 hours on the telephone with technical support using a cell telephone as I did not have a home telephone at the time. Internal diagnostic showed there was a problem at 98 percent that could not be corrected. Technician sent to replace the internal wireless only to have the system truly crash and fail -- technician told the tech service the computer needed to be replaced. New system ordered but told could not be changed to XP.

  1. Changed wireless router to Arris and obtained a home telephone line. Connected the two older computers to the system - one direct and one wireless. 3. New system arrived 1-17-08. No connection - verified with the wireless company that it was not their problem - diagnostic showed media service was an issue - diagnostic indicated it was a problem in the XPS420 and not the router.

  2. Called Dell Technical support and spoke with a technician. He was able to trouble shoot the system and get it running correctly by shutting off, disabling and reinstalling a variety of things in the computer. When this was completed it seemed to be functioning, but updates were obtained on systems installed by Dell and would require restarting the computer in order for the safety to take effect. When I restarted the computer I did not have internet service again. I recalled Dell Technical support and obtained an idiot with a mouth who would not listen to the problem or take the steps the last tech had when the system was repaired and working.

As I spoke with the tech - the system came on line for about twenty (20) minutes with an internet connection before failing again and showing local access only. This tech felt it was not the computer, but the router even when the trouble shooting showed the media system kept disabling itself.

  1. I asked for a supervisor and was placed on hold. I was on hold for 35 minutes when the tech came on the line and stated; he could not get my phone connected to the supervisor.

I have an XPS 420 Vista system that does not function. I have purchased a 4 year warranty package including in-home service and I cannot get satisfaction. I truly believe the problem is the Vista system. The service individual who came to the house felt it was the Vista system. I have proven that it is not the router using basic checks, such as: the other Dell computers can connect wireless, this system will connect when settings are changed in it, the router service has been called and verified their system is working correctly, and the other technician was able to get this system functioning. The problem is it failed once the system was rebooted.

I have spent close to 11 hours on the telephone with Dell Technical service and learned that you have quite a few who do not know what they are doing. I kept being placed on hold for up to 10 minutes in some cases while they went to talk with a supervisor.

I finally got a return call from the supervisor and was basically told to send the computer back. I was told to call customer service. After spending an additional 45 minutes on the telephone with Customer Service, they will send me the labels to ship the system and components back. I was told if I want an XP system, I will have to reorder including the peripherals. It truly is a waste to not just change the tower and keep my funds rather than sending everything back which will be processed as used and requiring me to order another computer.

SO - I did get my money back, but I still do not have a functioning computer.

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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 1.5 yrs 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 (Ukrainian 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 ~1 yr) 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 hard drive, 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 customizing it... With that out of my system - to Dell's DIScredit.

I used to work for a company that handled outsourced phone support for a ton of companies - AT&T Worldnet, AOL, Compuserve, UPS, and a handful of airlines, and unsolved mysteries phone-in tips, just to name a few. I was a floor supervisor and it disgusted 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. SOOO... 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 Pentium 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 shiny 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.

He has me go through a slew of steps; removing and reinserting the bios battery (nearly impossible due to its placement among other parts). Using a jumper to short the bios and cause it to reset. Reseating the RAM and graphics(?!) card. Then boot to the utility partition, and reinstall Windows. Voila! 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 detaching the monitor cable a few times, the vga to digital adapter literally just fell apart, so I have to give the male MY 21" Sony flat panel 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 30 min 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 gibberish 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 reinstall 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 *splat* 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. Lo 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 heels, 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 24-48 hrs, 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 10 mins 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 reseat 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 1 gig 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 3 hrs 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 crimson 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 30 mins. 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, misordered 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 influx of foreign workers - never mind 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.

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Dell Service and Support
By -

Here's the letter I sent to Dell:

I'm a Computer Science professor at a large Midwestern university. I have been recommending Dell computers to my students for years. In fact, I own two Dell laptops and a Dell desktop, and I recommended the Dell computer that my daughter bought last year. I would like to start this letter from a quote of the first sentence of your “About Dell” web page: “Dell listens to customers…” Right.

My experiences with Dell service in the last three years have finally put me over the edge, and I now actively recommend that my friends, my family, and my students avoid Dell. Your service people don't understand vernacular English (one of your techs insisted that I should "boot" from a blank floppy disk, for example). They are compelled to follow a script that often has nothing whatsoever to with the problem at hand, akin to my physician recommending a brain scan if I were complaining of an ingrown toenail.

Then there was your inability or unwillingness to sell me a replacement fan and power supply when mine died. It's not that the part wasn't available; when you wouldn't supply it, I found it out on the web. You should have helped me keep that computer going, rather than just cavalierly assuming that I should replace a computer that was adequate for my purposes.

And another thing... your failure to support the software that is factory-installed on your new computers is huge mistake. Now, I understand how you might not want to support the software a year down the road. But when factory-installed Norton products (unrequested, by the way) were wrecking havoc with all of the software on my daughter's new computer, all within a month of purchase, you should have been responsible for resolving the issue. I did finally diagnose the problem (after investing many hours of time) and remove Norton, and now all is well. But a customer without my computer experience would have had a dickens of a time stabilizing that computer.

Even your hardware is less reliable these days. I've replaced the video card in a five-year-old desktop three times. Each time, I chose a top-of-the-line video card. Each time the card failed in a little over a year. I bought different brands each time, so we can't blame a particular brand of card. The only thing those video cards had in common was the Dell computer in which they were installed. That leads me to believe there are some electrical issues in the computer itself.

In my dealings with Dell over the last three years or so, I have almost never gotten an effective diagnosis, much less resolution, to any of my problems. Instead, I've replaced parts such as under-warranty network cards and video cards at my own expense, because it was easier than spending ineffectual hours on the phone with your tech support folks.

You want to know why your company is struggling? Because your service stinks and your hardware seems to be heading that direction as well. Your reputation has suffered mightily over the last couple of years. Forget servers and AMD chips and all of the other tactics you've been pursuing. Deliver a great product at a reasonable price, with acceptable service, and you'd do fine. Just like you did fine just a few short years ago. All I can say is that I'm glad I didn't buy your stock a few years ago, when I was considering it.

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Dell. Horrible Product and Worst Support
By -

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA -- I purchased a Dell Inspirion e1705 less than a month ago. In large part the decision to make my first Dell computer purchase was based on Dell's reputation of having high quality products and a good customer support department. Based on a recent technical problem with my computer, however, I have virtually no faith in either Dell's product quality or the premise that when technical problems do arise Dell's customer support staff has either the technical know how or desire to work out an effective solution for their customer.

As difficult as it soon may seem to believe, none of details in this report have been exaggerated in any way (I hope I wrote the names and ID number down correctly). Therefore, if you are in the market for a new computer, and Dell is on your short list of options, I strongly recommend being cautious in believing in Dell's claim to a 'persistent focus on delivering the best possible customer service'. Read below and learn from my hardship. As I stated above, I purchased a Dell Inspirion e1705 less than a month ago along with a 1 yr In-Home Extended Warranty. Dell's claim on this computer was that it is a great all-around computer.

I was even told by the Dell manager I worked with (**) that the e1705 was a very strong gaming computer (although I was disappointed to find out later it did not have guts strong enough to play Call of Duty II, one of the most popular PC games in the market today). Of course I was also surprised to find out that he did not know what multi-monitor workspace (extending the computer to two monitors concurrently) was and had to ask someone to verify the e1705 has this capability (it does).

Lastly, ** sold me on an in-home warranty program. His claim was that it was very worthwhile since it meant that if repairs were necessary within the warranty period I would not need to mail my computer in to their service department and that my repairs would be done by a certified service technician. Two days ago I wanted to take my laptop into my living room to work. I unplugging my computer and after moving I opened the computer to see the message, 'Preparing to Standby'. The computer froze on this screen for about 10 minutes before I finally powdered down the computer. Immediately after I powered the computer back up.

During boot up a text error message appeared. The message read 'c:\windows\system32\config\system'. I am by no means a highly knowledgeable computer user and after a few attempts at rebooting only to find the same error, this error seemed both unfamiliar and serious. Since it was after 10 pm I decided to call the service department. My first interaction with a Dell CSR - Time: 10:30, Service Rep Name: **, Service Rep Number: **, Service Rep Location: Calcutta.

Result: I was on the phone with this CSR for over two hours. For the first 45 minutes he tried to diagnose the problem. During our interaction, however, there would be periods of 5-10 minutes when he did not speak, requiring me to ask if he was still there. Although I am confident that he was trying to find a solution, the fact remains that during those times I did not know if he was still on the phone or if we had become disconnected. Although his demeanor was pleasant when we did talk, I did not get the sense that was particularly strong at his job or that he was interested in finding a solution.

After trying about three methods to solve the problem, he told me that my hard drive was corrupt and that Dell would send me a new one that I would need to install. At this point I was not only angry that my three-week old computer was seemingly broken and that it looked like I would lose all of my files, but that I would need to install the new hard drive. Even if ** was correct that the hard drive replacement was simple to do, I felt cheated since I had an in-home service technician warranty, the operative words being "in-home" and "service technician". At this point I asked to be given to a manager. The time was 11:30.

Although ** tried to tell me none were available I told him I would wait as long as necessary to speak to a manager. After about 25 minutes, I finally spoke to a manager. My second interaction with a Dell CSR - Time: 12:10, Service Rep Name: **, Service Rep Number: ** Service, Rep Location: Calcutta.

Result: The manager also had a generally pleasant demeanor. He also tried a few different solutions. ** seemed much more well-informed, but his proposed solutions also came up short. In fact, at around 1:45 am he had me try a new solution that required a computer check that took about 45 minutes. He said that he would call back at this time even though I asked to remain on the line, he insisted that they call back (certainly to save money, a point that I will bring up later). Oddly, I was pleased that at around 2:30 he did call back.

The news was not good. He claimed that based on the error and the result to the diagnostic check, my computer was broken, my files were lost and he also said that he could have a hard drive sent out to me for me to replace on my own. After considerable complaint by me he tried one last check. Although this last check seemed simple (I forget what it was) he said that now he thought it was a software problem and that for a fee I could be helped by the software support department. I wondered at the time how he was now so confident and if he was just giving me the run around.

At my request ** said that he would send a hard drive to my home so that if software department failed to solve my problem I make my fix as quickly as possible (I can only assume the hard drive is on its way). Once again I was not happy, but being that this is a new computer and that there may have been a glimmer of hope in getting my work back I decided to accept the transfer and fee (and that the fee was guaranteed if they did not fix the problem it would be reimbursed). Third Interaction with a Dell CSR - Time: 3:15 am, Service Rep Name: **,
Service Rep Number: ** Service Rep Location: The Philippines.

Result: This was by far my shortest conversation, partially because by this time I had been on the phone for five hours and partially because I had come to accept the computer that held the files that I used to run my two business was shot. ** tried a few diagnostic fixes. None worked. I saw the same exact error message I had seen all night. She then said, definitively, that it was a hardware problem and that she could send me to the hardware department. I said no, that I had already worked with them for over four hours with no success.

She said that she was sorry and that if a rep did not call in four to five days to process my refund for the service contract ($250 by the way) I should call in. I was dumbfounded. Not only did I get the hardware department telling me it was definitely the software and the software department telling me it was the hardware, but I was left with an in-home service agreement that forces me to tinker with the guts of a laptop (I've never even seen the inside of a laptop) for a three-week old computer that was supposed to be 'a great reliable computer' and as a blow, I needed to call back to ensure my refund was done appropriately.

To say the least I was angry, disenchanted with Dell, and completely regretting I did not buy a different product. The Kicker - Time 9:00 am, Service Rep Name: **, Service Rep Number: My Social Security Number
Service Rep Location: Southern California and the Internet Result: I had little hope left and I was still reeling that my computer was busted and that I was without a computer for three days, not counting the time it would take to get recover old files from my old computer, set up my programs, business network... I decided for as little hope as there seemed to be I would check the Internet myself for a solution. I went to a library with my laptop in hand.

Doing a general google search on the term 'c:\windows\system32\config\system' (the error message I had seen so often the night before) I found many, many hits. I opened up a few recommended solutions. Within the first two pages I found a solution that, while somewhat complex, worked. My computer booted up and I was able to quickly save all of my files on disk. I swear on all that is good, what three Dell service technicians could not fix in five hours and they claimed was a problem that would certainly result in the loss of my files I was able to find a solution that at least for the time being got me back to my files.

I have no idea if my computer is fully functional. As I said, I have fairly basic computer skills. So far I have not seen any glitches, yet I feel very suspicious that the underlying problem that caused this error in the first place is still lurking. Who knows when this time bomb will go off again. When it or something else does go wrong, and I feel safe in saying it probably will one day, I have little to no confidence it will be recoverable and I will lose precious work. In the end I feel cheated. My In-Home service warranty for which I paid extra money requires me to do the service myself (as opposed to the promised service technician).

My great all-around computer that could play PC games as well as support my two home businesses is not strong enough to play one of the most popular games on the market nor make it to its one month-old birthday without a significant error. I have a ticking time bomb of a platform and I have no idea when it will go off again.
When I called the service department I felt that everyone had only a partial interest in solving the problem.

Although everyone was kind and personable, none seemed terribly knowledgeable. This assumption is somewhat supported by the fact that I eventually found the solutions off the web on page one of the google search using the exact language of the error. Allowing myself a moment of informed speculation (I managed analysis for Capital One'€™s operations including call centers).

I sense Dell knew it would be less expensive for them to send me a part and make me responsible for fixing this problem than work with me to really find a solution and bear the phone/CSR costs (even though doing so would result in me losing my data and use of my computer for many days). And although small, my backspace button squeaks. Petty until you need to write a complaint letter on planet feedback and hit it a few hundred times.
So my final word to Dell. I am a highly educated (MBA from Berkeley) 33-year old male.

I don't know the exact number, but if I had to wager a guess I would say that I will make dozens of computer purchases in my life, whether they be for personal use, family use or for by businesses. I have many friends who will be told this experience and I will continue to tell as many people as possible until I feel the experience has been remedied. I granted you an opportunity to show me the quality of your product, to make me a loyal Dell customer. So far you have fallen well short. However, you still have the opportunity make right, but at this point in time you need to do go above and beyond a simple fix to restore the faith I once had in your company. Regards.

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Advertisement
Worst Customer Service (or lack thereof) In The World!
By -

HYATTSVILLE, MARYLAND -- Dell Computers officially has the worst customer service I have ever experienced! And the irony is the biggest reason I chose to purchase a Dell computer was because of their reputation for having outstanding customer service.

In January of last year I purchased a Dell Dimension 8400 valued at over $3,000. I only paid about $2,300 after rebates. I was initially happy with the system. Then after a while problems started to happen. I called Dell for numerous problems that I won't go into detail about on here because it will stray from this topic.

I called Dell MANY MANY times since I've gotten the system. I am far from a racist but something is very fishy with Dell. They seem to hire nothing but foreigner who barely speak a lick of English and haven't the slightest clue what they are talking about. Their words are so scripted that it would be plainly obvious to even the most challenged person that they are simply divulging answers from a manual sitting in front of them.

Every time I call Dell about a problem (that I spell out in detail by the way) I am always given a resolution to a completely different problem. Earlier this week I contacted Dell online and told them that my computer was malfunctioning in some area that it caused my Verizon DSL to constantly and uncommandedly force me to completely close-out of the program. This always happens with my photo editing programs as well. Imagine my disdain when after already wasting well over 20-minutes with this person, the cust. svc. rep. provided me with a link to some sort of 3rd rate anti-virus free trial software!!! I asked what the h*** did that have to do with my issue at hand? I have Norton Anti-Virus, the #1 anti-virus program on the market. Why was she giving me a link to this when I was telling her my computer had some sort of software glitch??? The last 10 times that I have contact Dell I have ended the chat session without a resolution, except for when I had to call them to get my $50 rebate for renewing my Tech Support warranty because Dell claimed they never got the rebate submittal! I demanded that they pay me my $50 which they did and they also gave me a $30 courtesy credit.

Other than that, Dell's customer service is non-existent. I have given up completely on trying to contact Dell via telephone. Other than the fact that you have to go through a million different menu options just to get routed to the right people (which is nearly impossible because the phone system is NOT user-friendly), its taken me over an hour on many occasions just to troubleshoot with a tech only to have my situation unresolved. When I chat online or on the phone, after going through all the B.S. just to talk to someone, I always end up having to be redirected to another Dell division because Dell claims that since I own a Media Center PC, I can only talk to special Media Center technicians.

Every time I have an issue or conflict with my computer, after spending over $300 in warranties over the last year and three months, Dell always tells me I have a software problem and transfer me to some service that I have to PAY FOR to so much as even get advice on the issue. So let me get this straight Dell...I already paid $300+ for this warranty that's supposed to cover most issues that may arise, and now you expect me to pay up to $100 a call in additional money for tech support that should be included??? Never again, never again.

My advice, contact the Better Business Bureau. Its the only way to get through to Dell. I contacted the BBB twice. I am actually dealing with Dell's corporate division now after a complaint I had to file a few weeks ago because I wasn't getting anywhere via phone or online chat. If you contact the BBB, there is a good change you'll actually be able to talk to an English-speaking American who knows what they are talking about and is knowledgeable and isn't reading bogus solutions to you from a standardized manual.

I will never buy another Dell product again!

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Dell Technical Support - as told by a naive customer
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METRO ATLANTA, GEORGIA -- I have owned seven previous Dell computers, and have seen the company descend from the mountain top to live in the gutter. My latest purchase was a Dell XPS 400. From the moment it came through the door, it suffered from Blue Screen of Death Syndrome. I called tech support and found that the accents in India have actually improved over the past few years, but the results were the same as the terrible service they have provided since exporting the tech support positions overseas. Windows provided information on what had provoked the BSOD but as far as I could tell the Dell techs never utilized the information.

They concluded the graphics card driver was corrupt, that the memory sticks were defective, that AOL Online software had provoked the trouble, etc. I had many, many interactions with different techs, none of whom seemed to be able to do more than read scripts. The final straw was when new memory sticks arrived and I seated them, turned on the computer and found an immediate BSOD. Somewhere along the way, though Dell does not make it evident, I had found that there was a 21-day "send it back for a refund" policy at Dell, though they go to extremes not to advertise the fact.

I called customer care and told them to take it back. They immediately switched me to a person whose role was obviously to persuade me not to do so. They offered to send a new machine. I might have taken them up on this, but I insisted I did not want any of the half-baked "free" software installed, especially as there were indications that AOL was at fault. Being a very flexible company in recent years, they told me they could not do this - they could only exactly duplicate the existing order.

I next asked if the 21 return policy clock would restart on delivery of the new machine, as by now I was 17 days into "ownership" and it was clear I would not have time to send a replacement back. They bobbed, they weaved, they told me I would never have the same problem with the next machine, and after ten minutes of evasion told me the clock would not restart. I still told them I would agree if they could restart the clock. Once again, being a very flexible unbureaucratic operation these days, they said they could not, and I said take it back.

Rather than agree they put a manager on the line who still tried to persuade me not to send it back, but eventually the deed was done - and more fun began. UPS came by to pick up the computer the next morning. I got shipping confirmation numbers, an acknowledgment from Dell, and a statement that my refund would come in 7-14 business days. I then got a confirmation from Dell that the computer had been received - and I started counting the days. In the meantime I got a call from India, asking if the box had been picked up. Incensed by this point I suggested that the agent should know because Dell had sent email confirming.

She next asked for the tracking numbers which in retrospect I should not have given her. I replied she should also knew that as Dell had emailed me the information. I gave her the numbers and pressed her as to who she was and why she was calling. She told me her manager had assigned her especially to expedite my return and that she would be my representative and keep me informed via email. Smelling a rat, I asked how soon the return would be credited and she said 10-15 business days. I discussed the subtleties of the meaning of "expedite" and pointed out her schedule was actually a delay, not an expediting.

I think this flustered her and she thanked me very much for the explanation and said goodbye. Before she got away, I asked her name, employee ID and phone number. As is usually the case, when I tried to reach her no one could find her, the number did not work, and I never received email. Yesterday the 13th business day was coming to an end with no contact from Dell and no refund, so I called customer care and was sure Heaven had smiled on me because I got a "born in the USA," located in the USA customer care rep. I explained the problem and lo and behold he found the machine was not logged as being back.

After holding for a half hour or so he came back on and told me he had discovered the machine had indeed come back on the date indicated in the Dell email but it had gone straight to the lab and had been there the whole time as they tried to find out what was wrong. I don't know if they succeeded, but may God protect anyone who buys the machine as a refurb because Dell certainly won't. My new friend told me he would make sure the refund cycle would start the next day.

Having smelled many evasions, lies, and rats while talking to Dell on the phone I asked if the refund would complete the next day, as that would be the allotted 14th business day. He said no, and after evading the issue said it would be 7-14 more business days because the machine had been snagged by the lab, probably due to my "personal" Indian expediter. I pointed out I did not care about Dell's internal process, bureaucracy, etc., only their commitment to finish in 7-14 business days. He told me that he understood, and he gave me the number for the Credit Card Verification office that would make this happened.

As a result of our new "born in the USA" friendship, he gave me his email address **, told me he read email every 15 minutes and told me to use a particular phrase (** you asked me to contact you) as the subject as his email filter would immediately alert him to customers he felt compelled to give special help. He committed to calling me immediately to help if I emailed him indicating the refund train had jumped the tracks. Feel free to email ** if you need help! So I called the number he gave me, and Satan stepped in. Someone in India with a very bad accent answered.

It was not Credit Card Verification, and I could not tell exactly what it was, but the person transferred me to a number - which turned out to be Customer Care in India. They had no idea of what had transpired so I said goodbye and mailed off an email to my "born in the USA" friend. Fifteen minutes, and hour, and two hours went by with no response. I sent a second email. No response. This morning (the next day) I sent a third email - no response. So with heavy heart I called customer care and felt a slight rise in spirits when another "born in the USA" person answered.

I got to the root of the problem, he went away for a while, confirmed everything and said he had gotten the refund process started. Knowing what the answer would be I asked how long this would take - and he said "10-15 business days". Since this is a very simple paperwork issue, I asked if, given the situation, he could not expedite this (of course that might have caused even more delay). Again, the great flexibility of the current Dell bureaucracy caused him to say the process did not allow for this, no matter what the Dell commitment might say.

I asked for the name of someone farther up the Dell ladder of the worthy to whom I could voice my opinions and he said policy would not permit him to give me another name. Having been defeated he asked very enthusiastically if there was anything else he could do for me. I told him that Dell should take pity on any prospective purchaser of the machine as a refurb and should crush it instead. He assured me that he would put this request into the records of the machine and would make sure this happened. I am certain he will.

He then, by the book as had all the other great folks who had helped me resolve my problem, thanked me for being a Dell customer. He also told me I would promptly receive an email from him verifying the contact and giving me a means to contact a special representative, if in 14 business days I have not received the refund. True to form, 8 hours later I have not received that email. I can tell the Dell course on avoiding follow-through on commitments is being taught very effectively.

Overall I saw a tremendous number of evasions, broken commitments. and promises to contact me from a company which used to be the best on the planet which has now succumbed to incompetence, bureaucratic sclerosis, and absolute contempt for the customer. For those of you who do in the future purchase Dell equipment, may luck and heaven be with you, for if there is a significant problem you will probably be left to wander in the lower circles of Dante's Inferno. Maybe you will find Michael Dell there as well.

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