Dell Customer Support Strikes Yet Again

from the how-did-they-ever-get-a-good-reputation dept

As anyone who reads Techdirt regularly knows, I will never buy another Dell computer again. After being a happy customer with them since 1993, they absolutely screwed me over when my brand new laptop’s screen died on me in early 2000. After spending many hours on hold and having to talk to many different people (each of which told me they couldn’t help me – and one of whom told me that I was just like a “little child” asking for candy) – it took lots of arguing and nearly 2 months before my laptop was fixed. I’m now shopping for a new laptop, and while Dell seems to have good prices, I won’t go near them. As if to remind me why I hate them, it seems they’ve pissed off yet another columnist (back in January they angered another one as well). From the comments the Dell spokesperson made, I get the feeling that Dell doesn’t get it. Customer support does matter.

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Comments on “Dell Customer Support Strikes Yet Again”

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Austin Shau (user link) says:

Dell, Compaq, HP, Gateway...

…this is why I build my own systems.

I often find that tech-support/help from knowledgeable friends is much more helpful. Getting replacement parts is different, however…

I personally had a good interaction with a Dell rep over a broken mouse, but it only happened after I had made 4 calls, waited around 20 to 30 minutes for each call to go through, and then hung up after I got no response.

PC World continually gives Dell Outstanding/Good ratings on their customer service.

PC World also continually has Dell fold-out ads as the back cover of *every* one of their issues (that I own, at least). Hmm…

xdroop (user link) says:

what ya pay for

This is precisely what happens when theshort-sighted, price-fixating public votes with their wallet instead of their brains. Since price is the only visible differentiator, companies have to hold the line on all costs, and support is an easy one to nickel and dime. Result? Penny-ante support.

And companies can’t pour more money into support — for one, it would raise the prices of their offerings, and for two if you advertise that you are spending more money on customer support there will be the perception that your product requires more customer support than that of your (now cheaper) rivals. Any company looking to do the right thing here gets screwed both by their competition and by the public.

You get what you pay for.

But to be fair to Dell, I have had a L400 laptop for the past six months and have no complaints about it that customer support would be in a position to help me with. And my team is happy with Dell’s (canadian) support services — every time there has been a problem, we effectively just pick up the phone and say “It is broken, make it go” and the Dell tech comes by and does just that. We are happy with Dell, and will probably buy more when these ones are done.

msykes says:

Re: Re: Companies

It’s a real shame there are no companies that are consistently good out there. Be it Dell or Apple, I hear reports of people with good experiences and bad ones… it seems more random than anything. Use computers long enough, you’re bound to get the shaft!

On the other hand I’ve been using GTE/Verizon for 3 years now, and every time I’ve called them they’ve been extremely friendly to me! I’m as shocked as you are, but I’m definitely sticking with them…


Gary says:

Dell support

I’ve been in the tech industry for 13 years. There was a day several years ago that if a monitor was bad a quick call to dell and a new one was on it’s way. Yesterday I spent 2 hours on the phone with dell support. The monitor was making a loud squealing noise (the kind just before it blows up). The very obiviously foreign woman read her cue cards and took me thru a barrage of “diagnostics”. The first of which was to blow away my display adapter driver. Finally she had me move the entire unit to somewhere with nothing electrical around it. I suggested I take it outside? THEN she agreed that the monitor was bad. I gave her the serial number from the monitor, and one is on it’s way? She hastily ended the phone call and I asked her about the display drivers that she told me to blow away. She wanted to know how long I have been prompted for display drivers…DUH I told her YOU were the one that told me to blow away the drivers. She told me that they were on the recovery CD and to fix it myself. I told her I didn’t have access to that CD at the moment. She told me to get them from the Internet. Have a great day. THEN she has called back TWICE to tell me she has taken down the wrong serial number. I went to Best Buy and bought a cheap no name monitor and threw the Dell in the trash. My questions have been answered as to why the “E” in dell is falling backwards…

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