no dellI deliberately waited a couple of weeks after my dreadful experience trying to get my new Dell 5150 fixed, partly to calm down and partly to make sure the problem has in fact been fixed. This is a long and convoluted story but because it’s embarrassing, and not particularly amusing, I’m not going to tell it in detail. Suffice it to say that it involved:

  • Four courier trips by two different courier companies delivering parts between my house and the Dell Parts Depot
  • Four trips by me to a company called Solectron, located North ofToronto, to which Dell subcontracts technical service work
  • Six lengthy conversations with Dell India, which handles the diagnosis of technical problems for non-corporate customers
  • Thirty bewildering e-mail messages trying to get answers online, only to be told to RTFM, and then that Canadian non-corporate customers cannot get service by e-mail, and must instead phone Dell India
  • One infuriating conversation with Dell ‘Customer Care’, a total oxymoron, with a guy who spoke English with no accent but I have no idea where he was located (he refused to say)

The final diagnosis was that a defective $5 AC adapter shorted out not one, but two motherboards. Total cost to Dell for parts, delivery and labour: about $2,000, and even that is less than the value of my time spent trying to get the problem fixed. My computer was out of service for a week. IF I had been simply instructed to take the PC into Solectron and wait for them to check it out, I would have been in and out in 30 minutes and the cost would have been minimal.

Since I’m copying Dell on this (that is if I can actually find an address of someone in authority to send it to) rather than tell you all the things that they did wrong (and that, acting on their instruction, I did wrong), I’ll describe instead how Dell could dramatically improve their customer service processes.

But before I do, I want to be clear about something: The people working at the grassroots level at Dell and its outsourcers are all hard-working, polite people doing their best to do their job. All the fuck-ups (and they were legion) were directly caused by Dell management policies, and can only be rectified by Dell management.

OK. Here’s what Dell needs to do to change the ‘customer experience’ from ghastly, interminable nightmare to quick-and-bearable:

  1. Provide single-point-of-contact for each service issue. Solectron was wonderful — far more knowledgeable than those disembodied voices at the end of the telephone. The first time I phoned, or e-mailed, with a problem, Solectron should have handled the issue. Yeah, I know Dell doesn’t trust their outsourcer not to pad the bill, especially on warrantee work. That’s one of the problems with outsourcing.
  2. When you tell the customer to take/send in their computer, tell them to send it all in. I was told by Dell India to take everything out and just send in the shell. This is the lawyers talking, and more distrust of the outsourcer. This is just plain bad policy.
  3. If you’re going to use people in India to do diagnostics, for pete’s sake trust them. More than half of the very long time that these telephone conversations took was dead air — while the tech service people apologetically put me repeatedly on hold to get ‘permission’ to send me a $5 part, or to check with their boss that it was OK for me to take/send in my computer for warrantee service. It’s outrageous that customers have to wait on line while employees are treated like children and second-guessed by their superiors.
  4. Educate your people about the individual policies of your outsourcers. Solectron Canada has an in-by-10, out-by-5 same-day repair policy. The people at Dell didn’t know about it, and that cost me an extra day.
  5. Give your outsourcers a full supply of repair parts, and let them sell parts retail as well. When the outsourcers have to requisition parts from Dell and then wait for them to come in, that unnecessarily delays customer service. If Dell had the decency to provide loaners to customers who are without their machines more than 24 hours, this might not be so bad. But they don’t, so delays just add insult to injury.
  6. Just get rid of ‘Customer Care’, and provide a proper complaint department instead. The so-called Customer Care department has absolutely no authority to do anything for customers. Their sole job is to explain and apologize for Dell’s idiotic policies, including the five above. They are instructed never to give out their full names, and never to give out names, addresses or contact information of anyone higher up in Dell. In other words, these lackeys are paid to run interference, stonewall and prevent aggrieved customers, and customers who have ideas for improvement, from any contact with the people in Dell who could resolve or act on them. Staggering arrogance, disgraceful and classic corporatist contempt for customers. Every customer has the right to complain, in writing, about bad service or bad products. And in the process to copy the regulatory authorities so that if the complaints are frequent, the conduct of the company will be investigated.

Dell just reported record earnings last week. Michael Dell and his fellow executives each raked in over $3 million last year, excluding the huge value of their stock options. Meanwhile, according to Consumer Reports, about one laptop in four has a serious problem in its short shelflife — that’s about 100,000,000 units with at least one important defect. One in twelve has problems in the first month of ownership, and one in eight has a problem that makes the computer completely inoperable — that’s 25,000,000 people per year temporarily unable to do their job while the tech support people fiddle with defects in their employers’ products. Customer satisfaction ranks just around 50%, the second lowest ratings of any consumer products the magazine tracks. There is a large increase in complaints about offshored tech support in the past year.

The big seven produce about 200,000,000 new computers each year, which on average end up in landfill sites in four to five years (the fastest growing and one of the most toxic components of our garbage problem). The vast majority are made from shoddy materials in third world countries like China, Malaysia and Singapore, by workers who get paid a few dollars a day, using components that wreak environmental havoc from slipshod and reckless mining and refining techniques. Why bother making a quality product when it will be garbage so soon anyway? And if you work with Microsoft et al, you can guarantee that even if it isn’t technically obsolete by the time it falls apart, it will be unable to power the next bloated versions of the software by then anyway. I would have added a point 7 above — “build a high quality product” — but even I’m not that naive. My new AC adapter works fine, but still fits loosely in the slot at the back of the machine, and usually falls out when I lift up the machine to put it on my lap. If they built cars this sloppily we’d all be dead.

This is what happens when a company gets big, and is rewarded for ‘maximizing profit for shareholders’ instead of producing a quality product and providing quality service. It’s what happens when a company’s management becomes removed, and then isolated, from its customers. It’s what happens when an oligopoly of seven companies corners the market and offers essentially identical, mediocre, overpriced products. It’s what we get when we fail to hold corporations accountable and responsible for what they do. It’s what we get when we accept the corporatist propaganda that the unregulated ‘market’ will always produce the best possible solution and value for customers, and that government regulation is inherently bad.

We should know better. We should expect better. We deserve better.

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31 Responses to MY DELL STORY

  1. Craig Michael Patrick says:

    Dave,First, I applaud the amount of effort you clearly put into your blog. I’ve learned a great deal about information and communication from you. So bravo to your efforts, you’re VERY THOUGHTFULLY fulfilling the mandate of the internet here.Second, might I suggest 2 options for computer woes:- Purchasing a barebones computer system will help you with vendor lock-in. These systems also help when upgrading because you’re not at the mercy of proprietary components that only allow fulfillment in certain areas. The downside to this is that you have to learn a little bit more about the anatomy of your machine, but it’s difficult to argue that a craftsman shouldn’t know more about his tools.- Make the SWITCH. About 8 months ago, I moved my own operations (web design / print design) over to the Mac. Honestly, the worst BUSINESS move I’ve ever made. I’ve had to re-purchase all of my graphics programs. The Apple machines are much more expensive. On the other hand, I couldn’t be happier eliminating Micro$oft from my life, replacing them with a much more user-friendly Apple OS X.Again, thanks for the time you put into your blog. It’s a good thing.Craig

  2. Doug Alder says:

    DAve – I’ve heard bad things about Dell for many years and had bad experiences with their hardware at my last company. I will never again buy a computer from a major vendor but instead I’ll always buy a “white box” with quality components.

  3. Will Pate says:

    Dave, I’ve had terrible support with Dell too and I’ll never buy another one of their machines…but I feel I should comment on part of your post:They are instructed never to give out their full names, and never to give out names, addresses or contact information of anyone higher up in DellQuite often when dealing with the public, especially in tech support, you are dealing with mentally unbalanced people. They can pose a real danger to staff. Companies often have to get restraining orders against customers for giving death threats, flying across the continent to harass techical support people and their families, etc. This is a necessary security measure.No technical support staff should or will give out their full names. I’ve worked in tech support for years and this industry standard. For this reason, addresses are also dangerous.Dell should have given you the first name and telephone # of their supervisor, nothing more.

  4. I have never dealt with Dell as I build all my PCs myself with the parts I want and have only bought one notebook – a cheap lesser brand. But I do know that Dell doesn’t own a monopoly on poor service. Poor service is rampant everywhere. I totally despise shopping at Walmart because half of their checkouts are usually closed and the other half have a 20 minute backlog. The nearby Loblaws recently ‘expanded to better serve our customers’. Most of the expansion was to start selling childrens clothing, small pieces of furniture, small appliances and other stuff having little or no relation to my need to buy groceries so I can make myself dinner. But what irks me most is that part of the expansion was to install self serve checkouts. This is fine if it was another choice for the customer but instead really try to force you to use the self serve checkouts because half of their regular checkouts are, like Walmart, closed and the other half have lengthy lineups. So your choice is do it yourself or wait 20 minutes.The other day I had a service recall on my car so I had to take it into the GM dealer. I never go to the GM dealer because they are expensive and will desperately look for problems that may or may not exist. I was having a few problems with my A/C so I (stupidly) asked them to check it out since the car was there anyway. I explicitly asked them to take a look and give me a call to tell me how much it would cost to get fixed and then I would decide if I wanted them to fix it. It should have been apparent that cost was an important factor. So later I get a call telling me it would cost $55 to get it fixed. I said go ahead. Later when I go to pick up the car I get presented with a bill for about $145. I was shocked. Apparently there was an unmentioned $69 problem diagnosing fee. You’d think this is something they might want to mention to customers before hand. But no. I told them I wasn’t going to pay for it and they came back with the ‘guilt trip’of “how am I supposed to pay my mechanics?” They even tried to convince me that it actually does take an hour to plug the car into a computer and have the computer spit out that my Freon levels were low. After a 10 minute debate I finally got them to drop the $69 charge but it was only after I was openly accusing them of overcharging and misleading their customers in front of the other customers that they decided to drop the charge.In addition to the above I’ve got horror stories to tell about Rogers and Bank of Montreal. These problems go far beyond Dell and I suspect had you bought a Toshiba or IBM notebook things wouldn’t be dramatically different. Good customer service is going the way of the dodo bird. It is rare to find exceptional service these days but that is the world we live in.

  5. Good for you, David, to force the GM mechanics to drop the exoribdant and clearly fraudulant charge – it’s as Dave said before: we as consumers have to take responsibility for shitty products and support. By not fighting it, we’re complicit. We’ve got to start fighting, writing letters, and complaining loud, long and often. Unless everybody starts doing this every single time, nothing will change. I urge everybody to make a habit of making waves.

  6. Marijo says:

    You might enjoy the recent series of Get Fuzzy comics showing Rob stuck on the phone with “Dull Computers”. You can access “Get Fuzzy” throughhttp://www.comics.comThe series started on Monday, July 26.

  7. If I wanted to contact Michael Dell, I’d do a scatter broadcast to addresses like,, – you get the idea. At least one would get a hit – and then you’d have a valid address as the ones which weren’t valid would bounce.

  8. Jeff says:

    Well, Dave, your story makes it clear that Dell is miles ahead of Apple. Apple has a long an inglorious record of not just annoying or ignoring customers, but actively trying to screw them. That applies from the original Apple II+ debacle to today’s iTunes rip-off. The reason that companies like that get away with it is that consumers who don’t know what’s going on replace older former customers who DO at a high rate. I know from experience that the only way to end it is to make a big enough stink that they can’t ignore it and NEVER, EVER give them any more of your money.

  9. Indigo Ocean says:

    I add my voice to the cry of “rampant bad service” that is growing as the latest corporate idea for cost-savings. I also had to send in my Dell laptop within the first 6 months of owning it because it wouldn’t turn on. Since I got it back I have been unable to get my external CD-burner to operate. The company manufacturing the burner blames Dell and Dell blames the other company so there is on one to even service the problem. Despite this, Sprint PCS is my hands down favorite for the worst service policies of any company I have ever encountered. They are so bad I call them an “un-company” like the un-cola, 7-up. I will spare you the many incidents of awful operations I encountered in the year I had a contract with them, but let me give you one issue to elucidate the point.Once I was complaining to a co-worker about how awful they were and he didn’t believe me so I had him watch while I went to their website and tried to pay my bill. On three different pages of their website there were three different amounts of money showing as owed. He couldn’t understand how that was possible and checked himself, only to confirm. I decided to pay the highest amount. The next day he had the chance to listen in on the conversation I had with a Sprint PCS rep. who called, as a “courtesy,” to warn me that my phone was about to be turned off for non-payment of the bill. I explained that I had just payed the bill the day before. She said that there records showed another $50 or so still owing. Having had almost a year of grief with Sprint PCS I knew there was no point quibbling so I authorized a $50 payment through her. I stopped to thank her for the courtesy call that month, since every previous month when I paid whatever was owed as soon as it was owed the phone was turned off without any warning at all until I paid the subsequent bill.I can’t tell you how glad I was when I finally came to the end of that year. Of course, Sprint PCS managed to boggle my final bill also. I verified what my final bill was when I closed the account and was assured nothing more would be owed. So I paid that and called it a day. Then for 6 months each month I would get emails saying my bill was available for viewing on their website. But since they had closed my account I couldn’t sign back on to their website to find out if anything was actually owed. I figured they were so incompetent that I would continue to get those emails for the rest of my life whenever there billing cycle ended, even though I didn’t owe anything. Since phone service hold times with them regularly average close to an hour I wasn’t about to phone to confirm which it was. Finally I got a call from a collection agency saying I owed about $60. I paid it with a check by phone. The collection agent seemed surprised at how easy it was to get the full amount out of me. I explained that if Sprint had bothered to send me a bill, let me view my bill on their site, or call me themselves I would have paid them just as easily.And remember, this is just a small sampling of how bad they are. There is so much more I encountered in that one year. At one point I spoke on the phone with the assistant to the president of the company. He was very apologetic and did fix the issue I was calling about, but I would have needed to call him about 15 times to have had him address every problem I had with that service and its products. I am just relating their problem with bill payment, because to me that is the most telling. Any company that doesn’t know how to make it easy for customers to pay their bills is a company that shouldn’t stay in business long. Yet I watch their stock price continue to climb. What is wrong with this picture?

  10. Well it looks like the same problem is happening on the other side of the world, but with the same culprit. Here is Dina’s story: wish I had an answer, as I own 2 Dells. I’m seriously looking at getting a good local clone (from someone whose home address I know) and loading it with Linux, since most of my apps, like Firefox & OpenOffice are Linux compatible.

  11. Dave Pollard says:

    Craig: Good strategy, thanks.Will: Yup, I understand the process, I just think (a) it’s really sad that people can no longer give out their names to customers, and (b) Dell should at least have given me an address to write to, and the name of someone senior in the organization that I could “Attn:” in the letter (they did neither — basically they don’t want anyone sending them letters, and they are not interested in customers’ stories or ideas).Marijo: Heh…Thanks for the link. Everyone: Thanks for the stories and the commiseration. I’ve learned my lesson and I’ve now networked my Dell and my wife’s IBM through the wireless router to sync the hard drives daily, so if either of them goes down, we can carry on with the other one.

  12. Catnmus says:

    On the other hand, I had a wonderful experience with returning my HP 5110 all-in-one printer when I had a problem. I called the number, was connected to a real person pretty quickly (it may even have been the original ringing of the phone). She did step me through a few of the troubleshooting steps even though I’d already said that I tried everything mentioned on the website. But within 15 minutes she read from the script that “unfortunately it seems you have a hardware problem, but fortunately it is still covered by warranty. We’ll be mailing you a new printer of the same make and model, and just return your old one within 15 days in the same, postage paid box”. The box even contained a strip of tape to seal it up with after I put my old printer in it! Poof, just like that I was set. Go HP!

  13. Susanna says:

    Hi Dave. I feel your pain. I have a Dell Inspiron 7500 laptop. During the four years that I have owned this computer, the hinges that open and close the computer broke and had to be replaced three times; the keyboard broke and had to be replaced twice; the palm rest cracked had to be replaced once; the plastic on the back of the LCD panel cracked and had to be replaced twice; and the A/C adapter broke and had to be replaced once. Like you, I found that dealing with Dell Technical Support and Dell Customer Care was an absolute nightmare. After years of frustrating phone calls and failed attempts to get a supervisor on the phone, I decided to take legal action. I sent Dell a Demand Letter under the Massachusetts Consumer Protection statute. Within a week, I got a call from a woman in the “Executive Services” department who had a real name, a real phone number, and, most importantly, the authority to do something about my lemon of a laptop. She apologized profusely for all of my problems and has consistently worked with me to fix the computer — free of charge. In short, she has been wonderful to work with.I think the moral of the story is that once you get to a “higher up,” Dell is quite helpful. Unfortunately, I had to take legal action to get there. If Customer Care was half as helpful as this woman, I’d be a happy customer.

  14. Peter says:

    I found this while trying to figure out how to solve my own problem with a Dell computer. A new way to try and acheive customer satisfaction: not calling the company, but searching and posting on the web. In my case, and Dave’s piece confirms, I don’t think calling will do much good.I am a writer too and think maybe I’ll write something about Dell. But I don’t know about rants (I’m somewhat ignorant of the term “blog”); it seems you need more hard information and suggestions based on experience and knowledge.I have worked for big companies and specifically in customer satisfaction. Two things that struck me awkwardly about Dave’s column were “regulating” customer satisfaction and canning the whole computer-making phenomenon. I just bought an amazing desktop with 17″ LCD for under $800.You can’t ask for a whole lot more–the piece is fun and provocatve.

  15. Leiah says:

    Here is my Dell story, which is still an ongoing nightmare. When I received my brand new $2600. Dell laptop, it would not boot up properly upon its first startup. When it finally did boot up, it continued to give error messages. I also could not utilize my brand new Dell Jukebox with the system. I called technical support for assistance, thinking that, since I had paid for extended customer service, they would send a technician to me, just as they had for my last Dell system. This did not happen. Instead, I was given a technical support person who said that I was simply not bright enough to understand the system and I must be doing something wrong, and refused to send support.While shocked and dismayed by this treatment by a company I had formerly trusted, I thought that I may have done something wrong on startup, it wasn’t out of the question. Therefore, I paid a considerable sum to bring in an authorized Dell technician on my own dime.This technician told me, “No, you didn’t do anything wrong, it is a bad motherboard”. I paid him and sent him on his way and called Dell again, explaining to them that the Dell technician in my area stated that the system has a bad motherboard. This time, instead of a technician with a new motherboard being sent to my house, I was mailed a new hard drive!God, the frustration! My business is bleeding red ink all over my desk because I am sitting there with an old system that is totally crashed out, and a new system that is the ubiquitous paperweight! When I gave up in total frustration and requested an RA for this system, I was again given the runaround, being promised that I would receive a call from a Dell representative, which I never did. When I called technical service again (CASE NUMBER 71440215) I was told that there was nobody who could help me, that I would have to wait until next week and try to get someone during business hours to help me. That is presupposing I can find a Dell employee who speaks andreads English, which apparently seems to be a common problem with Dell employees. I asked for, and did receive, two Return Authorizations for the Dell Jukebox and for the computer. Now, Dell Financial is saying that they never received a release of financial responsibility from Dell on the computer. After WEEKS of run arounds, I now find that Dell is claiming that they never received the system back from me, even though I have provided both RA numbers and UPS tracking numbers showing that I returned the system.Two weeks ago, I provided all information to a Supervisor named Harish Tekawat (Supervisor Number 58546), case number 078455500. To this date, I am still receiving telephone calls from Dell Financial Services stating that the account is still open, and repeated e-mails to Harish Tekawat remain unanswered.I believe I have stated my difficulty clearly and concisely – does anyone out there have any ideas for someone at Dell who actually can take care of this problem? I am at my wits end!By the way – I went to my ex-husband and borrowed the money to buy a new MAC G4, and never have a minutes trouble with it. I had to “eat dirt” as he so succiently stated it, due to the fact that he was assured that I was insane for buying a Dell in the first place. So, not only am I mad, I am also Humiliated! But darned if he wasn’t right about both Dell and Mac!

  16. Anonymous says:

    I am one of the poor slobs who provides the on site tech support for Dell. Where do I begin? First Dells, policy is that we MUST if at all possible, run the service call on the same day that we receive the parts. Since most parts are overnighted the eu is usually not at home because they were told by Dell that a tech would contact them in about 2 – 5 days. Of course if the service is not run same day thats a ding against us. So after we conact the eu and make an appointment window ( usually a 2 -3 hour span) we show up on site with what the Dell tech believes is the right replacement part. I have been conducting an informal survey on my jobs. Approx 85% of the jobs where the problem is misdaiagnosed and the wrong part sent are calls generated by off-shore techs. Of course if the part doesn;t fix the problem we are suppossed to call Dell and try and get the right parts(s) sent. In this event we do NOT have a secret number or code that we use to get thru to them faster or to guarantee a person who’s native language is English. If we cannot get thru after 20 mins on hold we hang up and then call a rep from our company at Dell to order what we believe is the correct part. If we are unable to determine the correct part ( we are given NO test parts to swap and test with) then Dell is supposed to call the eu back for further troubleshooting ( which is how wrong part was sent the first time…huh?). We also do installations of new PCs bought from Dell. For some reason Dell neglects to inform the customers of the limits of out scope of work. We are not to install 3rd party software, install your DSL modem, hook up your Tivo or a myriad of other things. Now seeing that all of the above ( hold time with Dell by eu, misconceptions of service to be provided etc) will lead to a eu thats not exactly pleased …Dell sends out “satisfaction” surveys. The results of these are used to bludgeon our company about poor eu satisfaction…even though Dell is the cause. Remember I said that we MUST run calls on day parts are received? Well picture this senario. The parts come in for your service call. Because you were told by Dell it would be 2 – 5 days you are busy at work or another commitment. Maybe even on vacation. ( BTW telling Dell you are going to be out of town will NOT stop them from overnighting the parts) Dell requires us to return parts if we cannot establish an appointment window for service with in 3 days. Heres the best part, if I call you at 9:00 am and can’t reach you I go on and fill my day with customers I can reach. At 1600 you call me back in response to the message I left wanting to set an appointment for the next day. Guess what? I can’t do it. Because I am required to give priority to parts that come in and I can give same day service to that customer. The best I can do is to call you the next day AFTER I have called everyone else whose parts came in that morning. If you are out of town for 3 days the last message I leave on your machine is that I was unable to contact you and the parts have been returned. You need to call Dell to generate a new service order. It appears to me that the Dell service priority is to get a tech there the next day regardless of whether he has the right parts, or to be able to claim that they had a tech available but the eu wasn’t. I guess the corwn jewel in their warranty service is the “next day” service. A more realistic approach would be to at least give us a 2 day window to schedule appointments.Arrrrgh sometimes I just get so disgusted at all thisWookie_geek

  17. Dell says:

    Ok, first off…i am one of these lackeys you are refering too. I work for Dell’s Customer Care and i love my job. Just to respond to some of your comments.. we are not to give out our FULL names for security purposes.. OBVIOUSLY.. there are a lot of crazies out there.. we’ve had people come to our call center wanting to beat CC reps up because we couldn’t fix their issues which was more then likly their fault. Same as where we are’s all for security..Im not sure if u were in contact with Dell canada or Dell US. But they do have polices for a reason you know, that’s something people don’t understand. If we were to issue out new parts to everyone for every reason availible that would just be a stupid business move. We do our best to help out our customers, but sometimes there is only so much we can do. and i will agree, there are some stupid CC reps out there and Dell realizes this..that’s why they don’t last long. Anyways, it just iritate’s me that everyone focuses on the nevagive expirences with Dell’s Customer care, and never the possitive!

  18. ed says:

    AND YOU THINK YOU HAD A BAD TIME – as of Feb 20, 2005, 87 calls to Dell aka service/customer care, and 96 hours talking to some numb nut that can’t turn on a light switch, and $2500 poorer, SINCE Aug 17, 2004 I STILL don’t have the less than woderful Dim 4700 computer – it didn’t work out of the box, all the above happened, finally told “well we’re not going to do anything by some supervisor, but I could talk to customer care or tech support if I wanted to be transfered – so don’t you know I finally had “HAD IT” and called my state Attorney General who WILL TAKE THEM ON (he’s had 55 complaints since Jan 1, 2005, DELL “seen the light” I guess as they “settled”….but meanwhile, on my nickel I called corporate in Texas to make it REALLY clear that I would file in District Court if I had to make one more call…and got a fax number to make it clear “What I didn’t get”, What did work, and What the systems didn’t do based on their sales bull. As of this date, and a call from someone ABOVE the VP- Customer care….haha…that they would work with me to replace the system. I makeing it very clear that I would not accept a “refurbusied” system, something Dell is know to do. and that I would have one more conversation the BLAMO….time will tell but they have LOST annual orders (controlled by me as the boss of a substantial organization that updates as many as 30-40 systems a year) of more that 200 systems by another “company” I haapen to have influence. They may not miss the sales, but perhaps I’ll buy a few shares just to travel to the stockholders meeting so I can RAISE HELL….and meanwhile find out who are major “outside” stockholders….that’s how the market works….RIGHT?IT’S a matter of principal, not the 2000+ grand. After 45 years in business I just enjoy taking on the big guys that SCREW THE PUBLIS….next time I’ll tell ya all how much it coast AT&T in the 90’s when they couldn’t see the light….certainly was amused when I got the finals on who much the FCC finded them…..OH WELL

  19. Sean says:

    Ever since buying my first Dell computer in 1996, I have been getting a Dell about every 2 years. That’s not counting the ones that my friends and family bought based on my recommendation. All changed little over 2 years ago, very unfortunately. My new Dimension would self-power-off, self-reboot, or just become a zombie by itself. I couldn’t even start it; I’d hear the power supply fan noise, but nothing happened. If I persitently tried, it’d come back. Dell changed the motherboard, memory RAM’s, and it didn’t happen. The courteous tech support in India eventually change the powersupply and it all became OK, under warranty. Meanwhile, my warranty was near its time limit, and when I asked him what happens if this powersupply fails, he said I get 1 year warranty on the part. I was satisfied, until the same symptom began happening in about 5 months. So I called Dell; they said my warranty has expired. I patiently explained to this so-called customer service person and he asked me how I know if it’s the powersupply, but not my house power line. I told him that I’ve been living in this house for 5 years, used 3 different desktops (all Dell’s) and 2 IBM laptops, and no such thing ever happened. And all my electronics work fine, so why would it be my house power line? It didn’t matter; he said I have to prove that it’s their power supply causing the problem. How can any normal consumer prove that? Does everyone need to be electrician to get warranty from Dell? Even more interesting thing is, when I shared this story with my brother, he said his company has been having so many power supply issues with new Dell machines that they’ve decided to completely discontinue purchasing them. He said about 30% of them were failing within 6 months! What more need to be said? Dude, you’re screwed by Dell!

  20. Kimberly says:

    I ordered a refurbished Inspiron 1000 from Dell; it was on for 5 minutes and died. After 4 calls and 4 hours on hold (not all at one time), they said the problem was the power supply to the motherboard. Sounds like this is an ongoing problem with Dell computers. If the AC adapter has major problems, would it be worth my time and oney to buy a different brand power supply before I plug the replacement they are sending, in? Anyone have any experience in this?

  21. Anita Aurit says:

    Amen and Amen! I spent 5 months in “Dell Hell” regarding a faulty PDA. They kept sending me bad refurbs. I have documentation on this experience that has enough pages to rival the unabridged verison of War and Peace. When will they get it? Oh, and the letter to “Whoever is in Charge at Dell”? My numerous attempts never elicited the courtesy of a response from anyone.One final note. If you are in fact going to have Dell authorize the return of your device, don’t bother with Dell customer service. Call the DHL Dell division direct. They all are fluent English speakers and all reside in the good old US of A (meaning they understand how to actually do customer service in this country!)Another disgruntled Dell customer

  22. Mike Dawson says:

    Hmmm. Perhaps there’s a solution to this sort of poor service.And viruses.And Adware.And Spyware.Who was it that Consumer Reports listed as having the best customer service? What is it, two, three years in a row?

  23. ko says:

    Just to add to this. I have a job where we are not allowed to receive personal mail or packages at work. I got special permission when I bought my laptop to have the pacakge delivered at work, then immediately changed my address with Dell. The bills come to the right place, but not I am blasted with marketing crap at work from Dell (BTW — the place I work at deals with IBMs only). So I call their “customer care” for the second time to get my name off the list and I get the whole thing that they still reserve the right to send me stuff there. So I ask to talk to a supervisor. I get hung up on. I call back to not only finish my first call, but complain that I got hung up on, so I ask for a supervisor, and I get hung up on. I have left a message in the black hole of executive whatever to make you feel like you are being listened to, but expect to no response. To the person who works in customer care, I would love to say something positive about your group. But first, something positive has to happen!!!! Make THAT your challenge. Take it to your boss and your co-workers and understand the reason we complain about Dell’s crappy customer service is that we don’t have anything else to say about it. By the way, if the service was good, no one would gripe so much about the fact that the customer service people we talk to don’t understand either the language or the culture of our country.

  24. ko says:

    ok — sorry… it wasn’t obvious that the submit worked… so sorry about my multiple posts.

  25. Never Again with Dell says:

    Dell is a disaster these days.I had some problems, and it gets to the point where people from Dell simple DISCONNECT YOU, and ignore your emails and calls.It literally took me sending letters to managers for several months to get it resolved.Dell was good years ago, now its a disaster.Dell deserves to die as a company.

  26. TK says:

    Just a tip for some people that my come across this website for dealing with Dell.Make several contacts via phone, email and chat regarding your problems. When those avenues do not work. When talking on the phone record the conversations. I did and it saved me when I made actual contact further down the road. File a complaint with the Better Business Bureau AND your state Attorney Generals office (I filed mine with Colorado and they forwarded complaint to Texas were Dell is located and Texas filed also). I also filed complaints with the FTC.Write a letter to Dell corporate headquartersIf you have problems with their financial services they claim to be seperate from Dell. File seperate claims for this as well.Dealing with the India agents is WORTHLESS. After I wrote my letters and filed complaints I got a call from Dell Corporate and they took care of my problem immediately.If people don’t file complaints through the above places the issues will NEVER get addressed and Dell will continue to rip people off.

  27. G.Dodd says:

    As I type I have been on hold with Gateway for 50 minutes after being disconnected after a 45 minute hold. Dont look to government to fix the problem as they are part of the problem.

  28. Paul says:

    After several years, DELL are no better. They still give crap service and the agents in india sound like reading off a manual.I have been in IT for 6 years doing technical support for a large company. I wont bore you will the many phone calls i had to make for DELL machines. Bascially 90% of all tech support calls for the company i had to work for were made by DELL. The IBM servers and the HP servers never ever gave me any hassle at all.DELL needs a big kick up the arse. maybe a group of customers could file a class action against DELL. hmm ?

  29. Mark says:

    On 11/21/07 we order a portable DVD player from for my son, set to ship no later than 12/10/07. On 12/10/07, we receive an e-mail telling us that the player has been delayed, and that the new shipdate will be no later than 12/17/07. On 12/18/07 I receive an e-mail that the new ship date will be on or before 12/26/07 but I will need to confirm because they are required to ship within 30 days of the order by the FTC. I call and tell them that I am not happy about it, but will allow it. Today 12/24/07, I log on my account to check the order status and see that the order has been canceled. I contact customer service online, and am told the item was listed as a “defective item” yet when I go through the site, I see that it is still available to order through Dell.For those of you who like to creatively mess with people, here is some crucial information if you are having a hard time.Michael S Dell3400 Toro Canyon RdAustin, Texas 78746Now Dell’s phone number is unlisted, but there is also a business listed at that same address called “Renaissance Builders Incorporated”, and their phone number is (512) 347-7000. Here is a nice pic of the house too.,+Austin,+TX+78746,+USA&sa=X&oi=map&ct=image

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