Dell Computer Corporation Complaint - Dell, Me and the Black Hole of Calcutta
TEXAS -- Two months after receiving my system, the remote speaker unit, which houses the left and right rear speakers, failed. In other words, there was no 5.1 surround sound. The first time I called Dell I assumed I would be sent a replacement part. I'm an experienced software/hardware engineer, and before calling Dell I spent more than an hour running tests.
Because at the time I did not have a broadband connection on that PC, the representative was unable to do a remote diagnosis.
I waited a day and called back twice. I spoke to a representative with a thick Indian accent. I described the problem and recounted all the tests I had performed. Unfortunately the language barrier made it difficult for us to understand each other. Nevertheless, he insisted that I go through the same testing routine I had already performed. He told me to repeat the tests and then call back the next day.
Before hanging up I insisted that Dell send me a replacement speaker unit but the representative turned me down. The next day I called Dell and spoke to a different representative with a better command of English (but a poor knowledge of PCs). Well, guess what? He insisted that I repeat the same tests. He put me on hold for ten minutes. When he returned, he added a new twist; he instructed me to uninstall my Bluetooth software. I told him that the speakers had nothing to do with Bluetooth, but he insisted that it was a Bluetooth problem. Of course, it wasn't.
I ignored his instructions but pretended that I had uninstalled Bluetooth. He had me unplug and plug several cables, but my speakers were still dead. After 15 more minutes of listening to him thumb through some pages, I became exasperated and ended the call.
A week later I again called Dell. The rep's English was so bad that we constantly had to repeat almost everything we said to each other. After studying the history of my problem he insisted that I repeat the tests. I refused and told him it was a waste of time, but he would not proceed until I did the tests again.
After pretending to do the tests, he had me turn off the PC and disconnect every cable. While cursing him under my breath I complied. Ah, the speakers began to work. I was pleased and thought I finally had surround sound. The representative did tell me to disconnect and reconnect all the speaker wires once a week. I ended the call by thanking him profusely. But after 15 minutes, the speakers died, along with any hope I had of resolving the problem.
The next day I insisted on speaking to a supervisor, who gave me some mumbo-jumbo about why Dell could not send me a new speaker unit. I became furious and threatened to complain to the state attorney general's offices in Texas and California.
Perhaps it was my anger more than my threats that finally got results. Two days later a complete set of new speakers arrived at my home. They've been working well ever since.
NOTE: I plan to build my next PC from scratch.