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Annoyed Emma

Dude, I'm Regretting a Dell!

Posted on 2008.10.24 at 21:49
What follows is an e-mail I just sent to Dell customer service. I'm really looking forward to receiving this computer, but the next time I buy a Dell, it's going to be used and on the secondary market.


I understand the normal policy and procedure, and it is unsatisfactory to me. I need this issue escalated to the level of someone with the authority to override that policy/procedure.

On 10/21 I made an online debit card purchase of a Dell Studio 1735 laptop, and a case for it. The order numbers are 502983053 and 502983186, and the Dell Purchase ID is 2001466461197.

When, after three days, the money still had yet to be withdrawn from my account, I called to inquire as to the status of my order, I was told that Dell's policy/procedure is not to withdraw the funds until the item is shipped, which is approximately two weeks away.

This is not satisfactory to me. I understand that it pleases many of your customers, but it essentially freezes my primary bank account for two weeks, as I must make sure that no transaction pass through that account that would draw its balance below the purchase price.

I need that money withdrawn, or, failing that, a debit authorization hold placed on those funds, to insure that funds will remain available for this purchase.

I have repeatedly called your Customer Care Center for US Consumer Care, Home Segment, in Mohali, India. This would not be my first choice. I would naturally assume that, as a US Consumer buying from a US company, I would be able to reach a call center in the US, staffed by agents who are empowered to (A) act on behalf of your customers, and (B) escalate to someone in a position of authority if there is a matter that is beyond their own authority.

Instead, I spoke to agents like "Pawan" (ID # 124817) and "supervisor" "Shane," (ID #106233) who refused to answer questions, refused to escalate calls -- in short refused to do anything other than read from a script that they "would not be able" (Read: "REFUSE") to help me. "Pawan" was especially delightful, with his customer-service oriented response that, "We do this for you, and you're complaining about it. If you don't like it, cancel the order!"

This is appallingly bad customer service, and I know, having been a professional in the field for the last 20 years or more.

I have never bought direct from Dell before. At this point, as great as your products are, I will never buy from Dell again, and I will be loudly advising all my friends nad all my readers to avoid your company like the plague. Your customer service operation is nothing less than disgusting.

How hard could it possibly be to get you to just take my money?



rupert_talley at 2008-10-25 03:59 (UTC) (Link)
I feel for you. Ugh. I have a Dell and will not purchase another unless the price was really really good. I can get a discount for being a teacher, plus all of our district's computers are Dell. Overall the computer is fine, but when you need help; it's a pain. I even ended a call due to the poor quality of English of my "helper." I thought I was being smart and got a 5 year warranty which expires in January. Therefore, I've had to put up with them. Hubby was a telemarketer for longer than we both care to acknowledge. The scripts they follow crack me up because once they have to use their brains to deal with the issue they can't do it. Like you said, they look at that script and try to make the square peg fit into the round hole. Good luck!
sgt_majorette at 2008-10-25 08:55 (UTC) (Link)
"You must call back after some time and speak to my supervisor..."

That's Adobe, similar drama. I hear that due to the economic crisis, some companies will be bringing their call centers back to the US. Possibly that would explain the scurrying and shouting in the background, and the panic-stricken note in "Kitty's" voice.

That, or there was an earthquake, and Miss Kitty could not join the evacuation until she was finished with me.
(Anonymous) at 2008-10-27 19:12 (UTC) (Link)

I feel your pain

We see people in similar circumstances in our business (seriously as in sitting on the blasted money and saying "can't they just put a debit hold or something?") and the unfortunate thing is that Dell gets away with so much for the same reason other oversized holders of market share do.
Customers who by IBM/Lenovo like their machines a lot but still complain about the customer support and pay more (this board isn't the place for a merits of systems discussion eh?) but how many options do you really have unless you have a custom system (built by yourself or others) and if you want a laptop custom is not really an option.
Chin up and all that.
P.S. I'm finishing your next real letter currently was just checking for updates on your blog first. So smile :-)
j_on_lj at 2008-10-29 05:54 (UTC) (Link)
A few years back, I decided that money did grow on trees and bought a pre-Duo XPS laptop for some disgusting amount.

Their policy was obviously different then, as $2,100 very quickly was added to a credit card balance, well before assembly and shipping.

The assembly was delayed several times as the newfangled video card I wanted installed into it - and which was quite available as an option on their order page for this laptop - "wouldn't fit" into the laptop. I didn't learn this until much later in the process when I reached someone who could actually read the build notes from the assemblers back to me.

It was delayed many times, and took over three months to get, during which there were: calls from India; calls back to India via a phone tree that failed miserably, dumping every call in the earlier days of VOIP; after canceling the order, calls from an American supervisor who not only had the authority to make order changes, but *offered* to ugrade what he could, leading to several years of premium support and a tricked out laptop with a different video card.

That "last ditch" call from the American supervisor worked because of the support of that dude who was good at his job (and happened to be in the US and reachable).

It appears their ability to shine during such troublesome situations has resulted in enough success to cause a flushing of that ability.

However, the problematic build also meant I was dealing without $2,000 for three months without anything to show for it other than a guy who was becoming my short-term best buddy. A lot of people wouldn't handle that well, which might explain the policy change.

It's too bad; no other PC laptop maker has their hardware together that much. It's probably why the four, active, family PC laptops (between work and play) and two PC desktops happen to be Dells of various ages. Even the old shit that I've decommissioned still works if it's a Dell, whereas other equipment has all shit itself long ago.
(Anonymous) at 2008-10-31 08:42 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, goddammit.

The very day after I type the above, my hideously expensive (IMO) laptop has, without being touched for two days, developed a thin, purple, straight line traversing from top to bottom in the right-hand side of the screen.

Dude! I got Delled!
j_on_lj at 2008-10-31 08:42 (UTC) (Link)
HEY! I'm not anonymous, either!
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