Dell Computer Corporation Complaint - Dell Customer Service Outrage
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK -- I feel like a citizen who's become so disillusioned that he decides to change political parties.
I've been a Dell customer for several years now. Last August, I bought an Inspiron 8500 laptop. By May, the laptop's video card had gone bad and I was told to return the laptop to Dell for repair. I was given an address to which to send my laptop (and an accompanying code by which my issue should have been recognized). A little more than a week after returning my laptop to Dell, I phoned to follow up on its status. I should have been suspicious when the customer service rep had trouble pulling up my name in association with my machine. Ultimately, she told me, however, that my laptop would be returned to me on Friday. I double-checked my address with her and waited.
Friday came and went with nothing delivered to me. On Monday I phoned Dell again. After several hours of being transferred, put on hold, and dropped, it finally became clear that the address I had been given was the "Returns" address, NOT the "Repairs" address. (Who knew!) My laptop--with 9 months of class notes and other irreplaceable data--had been REFURBISHED and RE-SOLD. Imagine my surprise! I would truly have thought that Dell's service people would have referenced my account and seen notes (I assume notes were taken and input) relating the fact that the machine was only to be repaired.
Dell apologized and the representative told me she'd call me back "shortly" to give me the details of the machine that Dell would send to replace my system, considering that this was Dell's error. She did not call me back.
On Tuesday, I spent another approximately 4 hours on the phone with various clueless Dell representatives. I was at one point told that Dell would replace my machine (which I had bought brand new and was still paying for) with a refurbished machine. I WAS OUTRAGED! I asked the representative if he would accept that if he were me. He, by the way, said no.
I demanded to speak with a manager. First I was told that the manager was busy with another customer, and then I was told that the representative was experiencing difficulties with his phone system and could not forward my call. I asked for the manager's direct line. I was told that the representative did not know it. I asked for an address to which to send a letter. I was told that the representative did not have one. I was asked if I'd like to have someone call me back. Laughable--considering that the last representative that promised to phone me back had still not phoned me, more than 24 hours later.
In the end, Dell agreed to send me a later model, new machine, but that the machine's warranty would pick up where my old machine's had left off, i.e. I would effectively have only one month to be able to return it for free servicing. I am still arguing that Dell should give me the same warranty that my old machine had and that the clock should be reset so that I have one year in which to have this new machine returned to Dell for any necessary servicing. This machine could easily be a lemon that I'd be stuck with. Dell has thus far refused, even though a year's warranty costs less than $200. You would think that they would offer that to me, considering that I have lost almost a year's data due to their bungling. Not to mention that the company should have the confidence to stand by its own products.
Dell seems like it has become a decentralized nightmare. Not having a brick-and-mortar shop into which I can walk and complain, I feel nearly powerless to get things resolved. Some of the customer service reps I spoke to were in India and others were in Panama. The left hand did not have a clue what the right hand was doing. And many of the service reps I spoke with were just foolish. At one point, a rep asked how he should refer to me, though he had asked me my name three times. I wanted to scream!
At this point, I will not buy another Dell machine and I will advise others likewise. I have never had such poor customer service in my almost 40 years. Certainly Dell professionals know that it only takes one event like this to ruin a customer relationship. Until about June 15th, I was prepared to continue being a loyal Dell customer. No more.
I will scream this from the highest mountain top and will send a letter to Michael Dell, though I don't imagine much attention will be paid. I can only believe that he doesn't know the depths to which his baby has sunk in terms of customer service.