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Posted January 8, 2006 8:00 AM | Permalink
I remember reading your Dell page months ago and found it interesting. So much so that, now that I'm in the market for a replacement computer, I went back to read it again.
Since 1984 and all through the evolution, I've been fairly PC and MS savvy, although I wouldn't go so far as to consider myself an expert. Still, I've always looked at the specs when selecting a computer; RAM, drive capacity, processor, etc. It never occurred to me that there was also a 'hardiness' factor. Given the use that I put my unit through, it does sound like the 'small-business' line is a factor that I should keep in mind, no matter which brand name I'm considering.
Also, given my regard for your capability, I'm inclined to give serious consideration to Dell for the first time. Thank you for posting that page.
(I know, it also rants about the lack of tech support, but they're ALL guilty of that. Frankly, any company that offers to charge, upfront, for tech support that MIGHT be needed has already acknowledged that they're selling junk and I'm probably just as well off fixing it on my own.)
Mike from Dallas |
Apr 9, 2007
I wonder if Dell customer support via Instant Messenger even has human beings responding to customers. After reading this actual transcript of such a support session, you will too.
Bob Grommes |
Apr 26, 2007
Dell Hell is exactly right. How does a large company run out of processors on a standard ordered laptop? I have worked in manufacturing and if you use many of the same components each day, common sense is to keep it in stock! I too experience the runaround with the customer service reps and managers and when I ask to speak with higher level manager, I was told I would get a call back. Do they think I am a complete idiot? This was unacceptable and ask to be transferred, but they stated no can do because of policy.
I only ordered from Dell because of family recommendations and that my brother-in-law's company orders millions of dollars of equipment from them each day. Would I be treated differently if I spent that kind of money with Dell? Guess they don't care about the home-user consumer. They only tried to offer me free next day delivery (they did know when that would actually be) and $75.00 credit towards my next purchase. Why would I put myself thru that Dell Hell again? Hope others have better experience with Dell.
Jun 7, 2007
I have never bought anything from Dell personally, but a couple of friends buy computers from them. So, when a 70 year old friend who has never owned a computer asked for my help buying one I suggested Dell.
An incredible experience followed. I buy a LOT of things mail order -- one or two items a week. And, I’ve been mail ordering since long before the public internet was imagined. Only once before (in the 1950s) have I had such a godawful experience. There were so many phone calls and people I spoke to I’m unwilling to recount the entire experience. In summary, after saying the computer would not be shipped for about a week, they delayed the delivery twice. Once for another week. They did not contact him or me about this delay. When it didn’t arrive I contacted them and was promised it was built boxed and would ship the next day -- the next day they delayed it again for 4 more weeks, and later cancelled the order.
I sent multiple emails to the sales person who never returned them. I then left phone mail messages for her that were not returned. I, not the purchaser, got a recorded message from them which, by the time I reached the phone, ended with the words ‘Call this number or your order will be canceled, ###-###-####.’ I, and the purchaser, called the number about 5 times. Upon connection music plays – no one says anything and usually nothing other than the music happens. Once, I was routed into a phone mail box that was full and not accepting messages.
I probably called Dell 15-20 times and the purchaser called several times. I spoke to customer support many times -- they simply stone-walled me. They repeated a trillion times they were sorry, but never did anything to solve or change anything. The purchaser and I were told on at least three occasions, by entirely different people, not to worry the order would not be canceled. Two hours after the last such assurance I received my FIRST email from them since the original order. It stated the order had been canceled – this was about the third week of waiting and calling. Since then all attempts to get the order reinstated have failed. They will only offer a different deal with lesser equipment at a higher price. The circus of phone call handoffs and bizarre encounters would fill a book.
Jun 11, 2007
I need serious help. I bought a Dell Inspiron 5150 back nearly 2 months ago now and have yet to get a working machine. From the very beginning I've had serious issues with it and have been making phone calls and sending emails and am getting absolutely nowhere and so frustrated that I just want to return this computer and buy one from HP. I can't take this aggravation anymore and have lost around 20 customers and roughly $45,000 in annual business since these problems began. I can't take it anymore and have got to have resolution immediately or I might as well shut my doors for good. If I lose anymore customers I'm out of business.
I removed your personal details, etc. -- it's foolish to put detailed contact and contract info on any blog, even your own. Haven't you ever heard of identity theft?
Besides: I don't believe anyone is dumb enough to let a single computer failure destroy their business when you could have purchased 45 computers at your local Office Depot for that much money, and surely at least 13 of them would have worked fine and kept your business running. -rc
Jamie Lockard |
Jun 13, 2007
The Dell Computer Purchase Chronicles
Situation: I live in Toronto. My brother (who lives in Montreal) wants to buy a new computer for our mother (who lives in Calgary). He asked me to arrange a suitable PC configuration and delivery/installation for my mother. I told him “Easy – I’ll just order it from Dell and assemble everything when I go out for a visit to Calgary in two weeks' time, on Wednesday 19 July 2006.
Wednesday 05 July 2006 – I go online to Dell.ca to assemble and save a custom-built computer. Problem is, once I saved it, I can no longer get back into the Dell system to look at it again and to share the configuration with family for approval. I tried several Dell password resets but this did not work. So much for the website route.
Thursday, 06 July 2006 – I decide to call Dell and speak with a human (who can also answer a few questions and choices that I had had the day before when online). I speak with Prakash in Delhi, who helps me assemble a new 5150 computer configuration. I ask him to email me the configuration a.s.a.p. so that I can share it with my brother for approval. Before hanging up, Prakash explains that he will be off work until Sunday so when I am ready to place the order please let him know then. But Prakash’s email never arrives. Maybe he wrote down my email address incorrectly? I called Prakash’s telephone number a couple times to leave a message that I am still waiting for his email, and to remind him to send it or call me. By Monday morning, I have still heard nothing back from Prakash and Dell.
Monday, 10 July 2006. Morning: Not sure if and when I am going to hear from Prakash, and concerned about the shrinking time available before I visit Caglary, I visit Dell.ca again and try building a computer online. I created a new online identity and account to do it, built a computer configuration and even mailed it to my brother for review via the Dell site! Problem was when I then tried to email the configuration to myself – the Dell site explained that the email forwarding feature of the site was no longer working. So I logged out and tried again later, but by this time the Dell site had lost or forgotten my password again and wouldn’t let me access the configuration. Password resets did not work either. Man, so much for self-service!!!!
Monday, 10 July 2006. Late Morning: Fresh off another Dell web site failure, I decided to call Dell and try my hand with a human being again. I spoke with Marcel, who assembled a 1100 computer for me and was friendly enough but did introduce some options that I did not fully understand, and so I had some suspicions that I wasn’t getting the best deal possible. For example, Dell offers several printers at differing prices but there is no information on the site to help me figure out which one is best for me. Hard to decide a printer on the fly on the phone too. I asked Marcel to email me the configuration quote, which he did later that afternoon.
Monday, 10 July 2006: Afternoon: Decided to go back online and see what happens when I plug in all the same items ordered from Marcel into the Dell.ca website. Surprise! It’s cheaper and there are more options available! Owing to my previous two negative experiences with configuring PCs online at Dell, I decide to make one last call to a Dell service person.
Monday, 10 July 2006: I call Mr. A. Wong, who does an excellent job advising and configuring a 3100 Dell. He sends me the PC configuration and quote number. I share this with my brother and we agree to purchase. I call Mr Wong and purchase the computer online.
We never did get receive invoice or statement that I actually bought a computer from Dell. This becomes problematic later on when we try to track down the computer and figure out when –or even if- it will be delivered. The Dell and Purolator track your computer feature doesn’t accept quote numbers – just purchase numbers. Did I just purchase a computer from Dell? I’m not sure anymore –there’s no evidence I can show that I did!
Meanwhile, I started to receive telephone calls from Dell people – referring to order numbers I never knew. Which service person is calling me? Whenever I called back, I had to leave messages. Messages which were never returned. Frustrating!
Repeated telephone calls and email messages to Mr Wong were not returned for a full week. Apparently he had had a family situation and was off work during this time.
I called Dell to find out the status of my order delivery. They didn’t appear to have a record of it. Because I didn’t have a purchase order or anything else to offer except my name, we wasted a lot of time tracking me and my computer purchase order down.
I fly to Calgary 19 July 2006 to see mother and configure her new computer. Computer doesn’t arrive on Thursday. Doesn’t arrive on Friday. We’re calling and calling Dell and Purolator to find out where the hell our computer is. Seems it’s somewhere across the border and should be delivered soon. Soon? By late Friday afternoon we are starting to panic since there will be no delivery on Saturday or Sunday, and I’m flying back to Toronto on Sunday.
We resolve to cancel the order outright if it does not arrive by 5 pm Friday – what’s the point since my mother sure can’t configure the thing herself and transfer all her programs and files over.
Computer arrives at 3:30 pm on Friday afternoon. Big sigh of relief. Part of the reason it was late was because the Dell phone order taker WROTE DOWN AN INCORRECT MAILING ADDRESS. Had we ever seen a copy of the purchase order this error would have been corrected immediately.
Man oh Man! Putting together the computer and transferring the files took nearly no time at all. Clearly the biggest hassles are the ordering and delivery stages!!!
Here are some other suggestions:
Dell is an American, not Canadian, company. When will Dell realize that some of the programs and offers pre-installed on their computers apply only to U.S. residents? e.g., Musicmatch Plus.
Default installations: AOL online – apparently there is no way to avoid receiving a Dell computer with all that AOL crap pre-installed.
On the Dell website, when choosing among printer models, the link “Help me Choose” opens up a new window but there is not information on the different Dell printer models. How to choose the right printer?
On the Dell website, it does not seem possible to order extra ink cartridges at the same time as the printer and other accessories. Thanks to radio buttons, there can be one choice only: colour or b/w ink cartridge.
Disappointed to learn that the extra money spent on a digital monitor has no value for current system configuration. $$$ wasted – this could have been explained to me by phone order taker.
On the positive side, the computer has largely worked well since it was bought/delivered.
Jun 18, 2007
I have the same problems with Dell. I have bought three Dell laptops; however, the current one is less than a year old but already the battery was defective and had to be replaced. Now the internal microphone has to be replaced.
Chatting on-line with Dell guys, they say they would pick up the laptop and will return only after 10-15 days. They don't care about how I will be without a laptop on which my consulting business depends on. They wouldn't give me the name of phone number of one of their executives; keep saying that even if I go to the Corporate, it will be redirected back and will end up at the same place - them!!
I asked them to have the laptop fixed on-site since I have been loyal customer. But the reps., keep repeating the same text like parrots.
Any idea on how others handled the problem of without a laptop for two weeks?
Jun 28, 2007
Dell customer support nightmare!
I ordered a Dell desktop in Spain on the 7th of August with several additions and without the monitor as I had already bought a 24" screen for home use 2 months ago. First thing they do is request I fax or email a copy of my phone bill to verify that the address really belongs to me!!! What an intrusion of privacy...and I am already a customer. Anyway, delay notification on August 11, seems to be rather common. I check in the status and on Monday I get a picking list description, monitor included....
Quickly call customer support but it seems: nothing can be done, the order is placed and 'the mechanism is already working and can't be stopped'. The monitor is not yet shipped so I tell them, PLEASE! do not send it, I don't want it. No, I have to receive it first before I can return it.... what a waste.
Anyway, Sat. August 18, I receive the invoice per mail, monitor is still included but no extra RAM, no TV card, not the cable-free keyboard and mouse. Standard configuration all individualizations ignored...Funny, my original order was considerably more expensive than what they are invoicing me for...
Monday Aug 20 on the phone with customer support. Nothing can be done, I have to take this desktop the way it is. I can return the monitor but pay for the shipping costs, which will be higher than the cost of the monitor, so I better just keep it. I protest and to compensate they will send me the keyboard and mouse for free. I tell them I don't want this, reply is that I can always cancel the order, a take it or leave it situation. The guy's called Osama and doesn't let me talk or explain and only says no no no, so I request to speak with his manager, he doesn't want to but I insist.
Guy called Adil says to be the manager, I explain, basically you are sending me the basic configuration in your offer, not taking into account the additional ordered extras but including the monitor. He promises to call back but doesn't, so I call a few more times but never get him on the phone again.
August 21, trying to talk to Adil one more time, no use, a girl gets on the phone, Fatia or Fatima, says Adil's offer is as follows: you can buy the additional components from them (how nice) and return the monitor. So I ask how much will this be, who will install the components, what about the returning of the monitor, who pays for the shipping, no concrete answers, this is customer support, not sales, but I can call sales if I want. I request them to send me by email all the details, if someone opens the PC will the warranty still be valid? etc. Just to make sure they understand what I want I write to customer support via the Dell online form to customer support, no answer no acknowledgment of reception. Yes, I mean the same link that is at the bottom of this page....
August 22, nothing in the mail, no calls from Dell. I'm pretty scared now so I call them, try Osama again; the no no no guy: I want to cancel the order. OK fine, all I need to do is reject the order.... sounds too easy.
Just to make sure I print out Dell's only communication piece I have with the delay notification and all their numbers. On this document I write that I want to cancel the order, fax it to several numbers I could find and also send it to their offices in France. I also call VISA to explain what is happening and that I don't want this payment to go through, they tell me that they will send me documents to initiate a dispute with Dell. I seriously hope I have not been scammed and nothing more is to happen.
Conclusion: this is the first time I have problems with an online supplier, it is also the greatest customer support nightmare I have ever had. I feel very disappointed and will never ever buy anything from Dell again. I have been a Dell customer since 1993, bought my first PC from them (486SX), since then I bought my father a desktop, my mother a laptop and 2 huge 24" screens.
Aug 25, 2007
That's actually funny. When I started reading your Dell article I briefly wondered if you had purchased a 5100 or 5150 and in the end you wrote it was a 5150. Those two models had known heat issues for years. It used to be that at least in Canada they'd replace your heatsink without question even out of warranty when you called in with that model and a heat issue. Now they've sent out letters to everyone letting them know about this heat issue and offering a free cleaning of the system before any parts can be replaced. I believe owners in the U.S. have a class action suit going on about those two models and heat issues.
And I also feel the need to mention that if you have any presales/specs questions on a system not related to prices, call tech support, not sales. Tech support does not get a cut of the price for selling you the higher end specs and therefore are not only more knowledgeable but also more likely to be honest with you.
Sep 10, 2007
Dell Hell hits a New Low—Tech CALLS back multiple times to HARASS ME!
8-30 Bharat , Rep ID 01127405, calls me wrong name, corrected 5 times, after 3rd time correcting request another tech-- refuses to pass call—ignores request 5 times—finally give up and deal with him, finally offers replacement…
9-4 Bharat calls back—no additional information on order assures me will be in by Saturday, states that order is in place and replacement will be here within 15 days promised.
9-8 Bharat calls back—becomes argumentative with myself—give phone 2 husband—he argues with husband and tells him I am lying-- that the computer works correctly—they are just being nice by replacing it, still no information on order and is dismissive of our statements. Still no order in 4 second replacement…
9-12 Replacement order in—doesn’t have all features of original—at least $360 less than the cost of my original (talk about adding insult to injury)—When I request take over time and time again Bharat ignores request—keeps tells me to be silent, threatens me--- and then begins harassment by calling back continually after told not to on at least 3 occasions.
I once was a Die Hard Dell Fan---No longer.
This is not the first rude tech I have dealt with…but the problem with most of the techs is that they just don’t listen to what you say the problem is--- and wear you down till you just get frustrated and hang up…usually they don’t even make a case number—
So now, a year and five months later, 13 confirmed case numbers, defective 1st laptop, defective replacement unit, 2 defective AC adapters (one of them probably was ok, it was the motherboard that was defective), 1 defective Bluetooth, repairs to replacement (replaced with a second defective motherboard) unit don’t repair the unit (Still getting the a/c message and display still won’t resume)… Countless hours on the phone, countless hours restoring computer (their favorite fix—seems that after the first few times they’d figure it isn’t going to help, but, they won’t do anything till you’ve suffered enough backing up everything and then reinstalling it again). And now, a replacement order that doesn’t match the original specs and from a model line I specifically stated I didn’t want I am trying to find any justice. Supposedly got a call from the Executive office—of course, they called while I was at the post office sending my second letter to their corporate offices and she didn’t bother to call my cell number given on the recording….she gives me an invalid extension and I am hopping mad.
Sep 13, 2007
(Read the article that everyone's commenting on.)