Dell learns a lesson

Dell has changed its policy on blogs.

Shankar Gupta at Mediapost just did good reporting following up on my Dell hell saga (ironically, on the same day I got the refund for my laptop):

Dell Computers, which came under fire this summer from blogger Jeff Jarvis, says it has new procedures for dealing with the blogosphere. The company’s public relations department monitors blogs, looking for commentaries and complaints–and, starting about a month ago, began forwarding complaints with personally identifiable information to the customer service department so that representatives can contact dissatisfied consumers directly, said Dell spokeswoman Jennifer Davis. The move appears to have been triggered by a series of “Dell Hell” posts penned by Jarvis about his problems with a Dell computer. Jarvis first wrote about the topic in June, and continued posting updates through the summer.

“Obviously, Mr. Jarvis’ experience could’ve been handled better,” Davis said.

As for other bloggers, Davis said that ideally, when customer service receives forwarded complaints from bloggers, representatives will approach them directly to diffuse the problem. “That’s certainly what they’re supposed to do,” she said. “I can’t comment that it happens 100 percent of the time, but that certainly is what the process is designed for.” Jarvis, on his blog, said Dell contacted him only after he wrote a letter directly to Michael George, Dell’s chief marketing officer.

Well, Dell, that’s a start. I made a few other suggestions in my letter to Mr. Dell. Speaking of which, here’s the kicker on Shankar’s story:

Davis also said that Dell is “looking at the best way to respond” to Jarvis’ last complaint, the “open letter” of Aug. 17. “What we want to do first and foremost is to make sure we’re addressing his specific issue, and making sure that the system is working to his satisfaction,” Davis said. “We’ll also be glad to talk with him about the broader issues–we have not outreached as of yet, but we’re looking at the best way to do so.”

Email works.

  • GCW

    Cheese-d*ck responses like this have got to piss you off:

    > “Obviously, Mr. Jarvis’ experience could’ve been handled better,” Davis said.

    It’s like passive-voice squared. If he’s speaking like that, it’s obvious that they’re still missing something. Nobody is taking responsibility for what you went through, or for making a change.

  • Angelos

    Of COURSE they’re still missing something.

    “…when customer service receives forwarded complaints from bloggers, representatives will approach them directly to diffuse the problem.”

    That says it all.

    This is about PR, keeping the bloggers quiet. It has nothing to do with improving product and service so that the bloggers (and a million other dissatisfied customers) have nothing to complain about in the first place.

    Dell will keep building cheap computers using garbage parts. They will keep breaking. Any efforts Dell makes will be in the PR side of the equation, not the customer service side.

  • Jim Napier

    I have been living with my DELLCRAP computer for way too long. I wish I had a MAC which I had previously. I now have so much history on the DELLCRAP that any atempt to move to MAC strikes fear in the deepest depths of my being. So I struggle on with all the lock-ups, shut-downs, etc. I gave up on any meaningfull help from DELLHELL long ago. The coporate clap-trap , of defuse the problem(s), which actually means shut up, indicates an institutional culture of arrogance and disdain for the hands that feed them–their customers. Ive seen this many times “This would be a great business if it where not for those da*nd customers”

  • “Obviously, Mr. Jarvis’ experience could’ve been handled better”

    Wow. Honestly, how might it have been handled *worse*? Any reaction short of “we’re horrified at how this was handled, this is not the way Dell wants to treat its customers” just doesn’t cut it.


  • I wouldn’t be surprised if companies start creating positions (maybe even an entire department) for “online customer relations.” You can’t make a post about Movable Type without Anil Dash from SixApart descending from on high to offer a sage response. The same goes for Kevin Marks from Technorati. In fact… I might as well say “hi” to both of them, because they’ll invariably be reading this! Imagine if Dell had such a person, who could have responded to you back when you started having problems… they could have saved themselves from a lot of negative publicity.

  • And the moral of this story is: If you have a big enough pulpit, you can bully an image-conscious company into doing what you want.

    Or am I missing something? Was there something useful accomplished here?

  • Don’t for a minute think that this “Jeff Jarvis” thing was a one-time deal for the blogosphere. Jeff Jarvis set the standard. Jeff Jarvis made the mother of all online brand threats. The snowball effect for all industries and products hereafter is yet to come. People: complaining is now as easy as a “cut and paste” into a blog template. (We’re not advocating doing it, though.) But, PR and web teams: man your battle stations! Making a “Jeff Jarvis” is unfortunately going to become the next online fad. (We hope Jeff wanted to be remembered for this.) His BuzzMachine is at full-throttle.

  • Hmmmm…you think if I start blogging about how my refurb’d Dell laptop I bought less than 3 years ago has gotten increasingly worse about locking up when moved or touched, which was a problem when I got it but I couldn’t get the outsourced Dell helpdesk people to understand (partially because I speak English and they didn’t), they might give me a discount on a new one? :P

  • whodat

    “And the moral of this story is: If you have a big enough pulpit, you can bully an image-conscious company into doing what you want.”

    Really? Or is it that we as consumers have to wait until we get that pulpit and possibly damage their image and sales before they do their jobs right? Who is the bully? I don’t think Jeff went looking for it and if they had responded appropriately we would not have seen all those posts. On the contrary, he would have written about their excellent service.

    Yes–you’re missing a lot.

  • I like Dell’s comment “diffuse the problem”. I understand diffuse to mean “To extend over a wide area” how does that help an individual suffering at their hands?
    Well done Jeff. You give inspiration to all of us. Maybe you can help with promoting bloggers who are having a bad time with companies eg Orange, NTL spring to mind. Here in the UK

  • Great stuff Jeff. It’s just so simple: “Talk to me and let’s fix this.” But instead they worry about Communication Channels and Strategy Talking Points.

    A simple conversation can solve so many problems, but they keep forgetting the Cluetrain is passing them by…

  • It probably took them a week of meetings between “PR” and “Marketing” goons to deliver this message of “everyone can relax, Dell are in now back in control and waiting to solve your problems”.

    I’m afraid the strategy of PR finding and forwarding complaints onto customer service is going to fail. There is no visability, no direct open conversation between Dell employees and the market.

    How are they going to lead us to believe they are interested in what the consumer market has to say? All I see is a very un-cluetrain-ed company clutching at damge control straws

  • Welll done Dell!

    Now, if anyone else is dissatisfied with them, all you have to do is shout to the treetops about how bad they are. Maybe a googlebomb would get a quicker response.

    Obviously its good that they’re finally attending Jeff’s issues. But it would be nice if that was because he’s a customer, rather than because he’s the noisiest customer. Expect DELLHELL blogs to increase rapidly over the next few months.

  • Is it too much to hope that others will follow suit without a gigantic storm like Jarvis’s hitting first? Oh, like Norton say? It probably IS too much to hope.

  • “we have not outreached as of yet, but we’re looking at the best way to do so.”

    That’s the lede, Jeff – why did you bury it? It’s very odd that I can sit in my office and comment directly – to you and the world – and Dell can’t figure out how to “outreach” to you. Presumably after having jargonized and marketfocused their message stream.

    One person from Dell – C-level or otherwise – posting a comment on any of your posts could have solved the whole thing. Assuming their was good followup on it. What’s sad is that there are at least 20 people inside of Dell who know that, and couldn’t get it done.

  • Deen W

    Mr. Jarvis’ comments were refreshing and, if Dell really “gets it” there is hope. I own 5 Dell PCs, bought over the last 5 or 6 years. And I have one at work. Over the last 6 years the quality of the hardware, the support material that comes in the PC boxes and the verbal and online support have deteriorated past the point of no return. My first Dell had a printed manual, plus original disks and printed manuals for the quality retail components (I.e. motherboard, video card, etc.) in the PC – Fantastic! Now Dell’s have NO original disks or printed manuals. And instead of quality motherboards, vidoe cards, etc, I get intentionally crippled “Dell OEM Customised” junk (check out the Nvidia 6800 GTO card fiasco). Instead of phone support from someone who know what a molex plug is, I get a foreigner who responds from a scripted flow chart, repeating the suggestions on Dell’s website.

    No More. I recently went into a Fry’s to look at memory for an upgrade and asked some questions about PC construction. Seven or eight salesmen and customers were around. Finally, I announced to the world at large that I had bought my last Dell and that I would build my next PC. Astonishment overcame me by the unanimous flurry of nodding heads, grins and “That’s for sure” comments. I was not alone.

    And build I shall.


  • So is “jarvis’ going to be an adverb? As in: ‘Man, I sure got jarvised by the IRS this quarter’ or “I’d say Dell got jarvised alright. They’ll think twice before trying that again’ et al. Not sure I’d want to go down in history like that.

  • whodat

    “Expect DELLHELL blogs to increase rapidly over the next few months.”
    There’s a simple way to prevent that. Cut it off at the pass. Respond to the customer in a timely, thorough matter. Or better yet, make a product that doesn’t have so many faults.

    It’s funny how all these companies think they have to say the PC thing to appease people and/or cover their booties. All it really does is infuriate the customer more. Makes me wanna go watch “Office Space”

  • Deen — laptops are a little harder to build yourself, but if I went back to a desk console, I would definitely build it myself.

  • Brandall

    It is unfortunate that Jeff had to blogflog Dell to get their attention. Well run companies will hear the shouts and try to fix the underlying issues that left Jeff in DellHell. Having resolved large server/storage issues with Michael Dell and his execs over the years, this is a company that still listens. However, the larger the customer base, the more difficult the escalation/feedback mechanisms become and the complaint levels become filtered as they rise through the organization ranks. This is a fact of life that separates good management from bad management.

    It is also increasingly difficult for customer service centers with online help, e-mail help, phone help, remote assistance, etc. to measure the success or failure of their marketed support commitments. Every company is trying to get their customers away from verbal communications to be handled by an interactive voice response, 48 hour e-mail response, knowledge bases, etc. All of these non-verbal methods just hide the unresolved problems even more because written words cannot convey individual frustration as well as the human voice. Jeff’s blogs are an exception because he offered constructive corrective actions, not just complaints and knows how to make use of media channels and connections.

    At least Dell answers their phones, maintains multiple technical chat boards, will escalate a call to a manager and behold, quickly acknowledge e-mails sent to their CEO. Try working with Veritas (#1 global backup company) and Symantec (#1 global anti-virus company) who just merged two of the worst customer support centers into one even bigger mess. Their Gold Corporate Support for anti-virus chat board has only 8 out of 100’s of posting requests for help answered since August 8th. Their call wait time for Gold Corporate Customers is over one hour, they won’t do call back appointments, they refuse to escalate complaints and they do not post nor will give out a complaint hotline phone number or e-mail address.

    Thanks Jeff for trying to improve a company I’ve admired, but clearly can get lost in the woods.

  • Speaking of DellHell blogs . . .this story and the traction this medium has provided is inspiring. I thought I would share a video documentary for those wondering whether Dell has a handle on customer service. Please visit and stay tuned for a succession of clips documenting my experience.

  • One more note, comments are welcome at

  • tonynoboloney

    Although I own a Dell, I really do not have a pony in this race. All I know (from being in business a very long time) is that it is very easy to complain about a company or product and do lasting damage. If this was Jeff’s intent I am sure he is accomplishing this. There is a rule of sales referred to as the ” rule of 10″ which states loosely “satisfy your customer and you will have (A) customer for life, dissatisfy a customer and you will have 10 dissatisfied customers”, this referring to the number of people the average consumer will tell about a negative experience. In Jeffs case this site, and blogs in general have increased this law exponentially. Kind of like cutting open a feather pillow and letting the feathers loose in the wind, then trying to get them all back in, Dell probably will not be able to do this. I’m not saying that Dell does not have problems with their service or hardware but I am wondering (good or bad) what effect Jeff and other sites will have on the marketplace for all types of goods and services. Wendy’s resturants reported a definite decline in sales over the phony finger in the chile story. With a wide audience comes big responsibility. I do not question jeffs honesty or integrety, but can the same be said of all blog sites? The boggesphere has the potential to be a powerhouse in the 21st century, to do great good or great harm.

  • Jeepster

    I got hired by Convergys in Orlando, FL, shortly after Convergys got the account to hand Dell’s tech support. When I started, it was expected that we knew how to troubleshoot a problem, and that we would perform the reasonable steps necessary to find the problem and fix it. Over the course of two years, we became more and more ‘scripted down’ as to what we could do; when I finally got disgusted enough to walk out, there was almost nothing we could do to get a replacement part for a customer that did not involve formatting the hard drive and reinstalling windows, no matter how inappropriate a step it was.

    The root of the problem was this: call centers are not paid to fix your problem, they are paid to take calls. Fixing problems takes time; giving the customer a plausible excuse or something to download (while off the phone, natch) was much faster. Spend too long on a call (over 15 minutes was considered too long), and a ‘floor manager’ would come to your station and tell you to wrap up the call, no matter what the problem was. Problem resolution rates had no bearing on raises or promotions, only how many calls you took and how *few* parts or service calls you sent out. Environments like that only drive away good techs, and until they start paying call centers for *resolving* problems instead of blowing the customer off, Dell support will not improve one iota, PR moves like responding on blogs notwithstanding.

  • Hi Jeff-

    We appreciate your thoughts and those of your–is it blahgers?? We are having meetings about meetings and scheduling meetings to discuss when we should have some meetings about how we should go about deciding what avenue we should take for our course of action we have been meeting about. We’ll be in touch soon.

    P.S.: Add a 17″ monitor today on our new package at no cost!!!

    Dell Rep


  • Syl

    I just hope this ego-boosting DellHell solution doesn’t cost me more when I’m ready to get my FIFTH Dell computer. :)

    I’ve never had one spec of trouble with Dell and I’ve been dealing with them since 1994. I always reach a person when I need one. And my problems have always been resolved in a timely manner. Any hardware replacements I’ve needed have been in my hands within a couple of days.

    But then I only call them for hardware issues. Software issues I don’t consider to be a Dell problem. So nobody’s ever suggested I re-format/re-install my OS, something I’ve never had to do in all my years of computing.

    It can be annoying following all the steps they give you on their checklists, but once you give in and go with the flow, the problem is usually identified.

    But, who knows, maybe the situation isn’t the same for laptops. All my Dells are desktops.

  • Jeff: Don’t know whether you’ll read this comment, but I wanted to let you know that Dell isn’t the only company that is clueless when it comes to knowing what to do with the blogosphere.

    After reading Starbucks series of ads touting its progressive employee relations philosophy and specifically its “generous” health plan, I contacted the company saying I wanted to write a positive post about the ad & the policy. I asked if the company could provide me w. a jpg of the ad to use in my post. After days of delay I recieved this response fr. their public affairs staff:

    “I …check[ed] with the appropriate people to see if we could authorize use of the ad…unfortunately, we are not able to share a jpeg of the ad with you.”

    To which I replied:

    “Pls. tell whoever refused my request that reluctantly I’ll be including this information in my blog post. Your company should really try to develop a more cooperative relationship with bloggers. We’re free publicity after all & we do have some reach.”

    You can read more about the saga at the post in question by clicking the link attached to this comment.

    I think we should all post about such incidents until companies stop giving us the cold shoulder. And tell the company you’re doing it & give them a chance to reply (fat chance they would–but give ’em a chance anyway).

  • Hey Jeff,
    It’s really heart-warming to see this happen. In my eyes, Dell and Microsoft have always been the epitome of horrible service and support. As bloggers keep gaining power, it’s the proper course of action to use that power to right the wrongs.

    Good luck,

  • >And the moral of this story is: If you have a big enough pulpit, you can bully an image-conscious company into doing what you want.

    >Or am I missing something? Was there something useful accomplished here?

    I think the accomplishment here is that we learned it DOES require a BIG PULPIT to get Dell’s attention for what should be a customer service issue. Like many problems, this would have been a non-issue if their customer service had helped Mr. Jarvis. Waiting for PR to respond is like closing the proverbial barn door after your horses are long gone.

  • Let me add Google to the list of crappy companies.

    The NY TIMES did an article on the new evil empire today. (MS is now one of the good guys.)

    Here are some thoughts on Google from an entrepreneur’s perspective

  • Looks like Dell have ‘fired’ you as a customer, Jeff. Any thoughts on this latest trend in corporate customer service?

  • It’s gratifying to see that a corporate behemoth finally decided to respond SOMEHOW. But for those of us who have been blogging about Dell’s abysmal customer service for months now, and posting the stories of others that could make you cry in frustration, how will we be dealt with? Will Dell pay attention to us, or is our Technorati ranking the only factor that matters?

    Would LOVE to hear from Dell on that one.

  • For Brandall – these are about a year old so may be a bit out of date – at least you can get the corporate email addressing scheme from them! :->

    John W. Thompson, Chairman and CEO,

    John Schwarz, President and COO,

    Janice Chaffin, Chief Marketing Officer,

    Robert A. Clyde Vice-President, Chief Technology Officer

    Art Courville, Senior Vice President and General Counsel,

    Stephen G. Cullen Senior Vice President, Security Products and Solutions,

    Mark E. Egan Chief Information Officer, Vice President of Information Technology,

    Donald E. Frischmann Senior Vice President, Communications and Brand Management

    Gail Hamilton, Executive Vice President and General Manager Global Services and Support,

    Thomas W. Kendra, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales

    Steven Messick, Vice President, Americas Sales

    Greg Myers, Senior Vice President of Finance, Chief Financial Officer,

    Giuseppe Verrini, Vice President Sales, Marketing and Services Europe, Middle East and Africa

  • re: “diffuse”

    I’d be willing to bet Shankar Gupta is at fault. He was most likely quoting her from a phone call. She probably said “defuse,” but it’s dififcult to discern that orally.

  • remy charmoz

    Dell makes it seems as though this were a new phenomenon. I ended up writing to the Corporate oficers after over a year of futile telephone conversations with the finance groupin India, and the totally segregated customer service group in the US, neither one having a clue what the other was doing. As yours, my letter calmly explained the facts, and calmly laid out thec consequences if Dell did not fess up to its incompetence, and lack of service. I received a full refund within a week, but I am still so frustrated that I will never again go near the product.

  • Bill F.

    I will never buy another Dell again! I recommended them to a neighbor of mine( an elderly gentleman) who has computer experience, and the problems for him began almost immediately. after the India runaround and NUMEROUS and I do mean numerous phone calls he finally got a technician who knew what he was doing to come fix the machine. The irony is that he paid extra for the in home service and Dell had the nerve to try to get him to take apart and diagnose the machine for them. I can understand asking a few questions, but to ask the customer to dis-assemble the machine for you is way, way too much! I too have seen the quality of Dell machines and their horrendous customer support decline even further in the last few years. One would think that someone as intelligent as Michael Dell would have the foresight to head off these types of problems, but I guess even he is blinded by profits. This might work for the short term, but the public will not be fooled for long. Unless Dell wises up I forsee a rapid decline in business and their stock price in the future.

  • Stephaine

    I have had nothing but problems with my Dell desktop and with the billing system they have. To top everything off everytime I call them I get transfered to another line where the person can not help me and are very hard to understand. I bought my computer on thier easy pay program but that is where the easy ended. The entire system I bought cost about $1500 in Decenber of 2002. Since that time I have made a total of $1530 in payments. I expected some interst to be added to it but what I have is rediculous!! My current balance with them after almost 3 years is $2004.36. Any one know how I can get this to end?? I used to recomend Dell to everyone I knew for the first few months anyway. Now I tell everyone I know to stay away and buy anything else as long as it’s not a Dell. I’d also like to know how to get some attention from this company on getting my billing issues stopped istead of them just calling me when my bill is due. no matter what time of day it is or what holiday it is. I got a call on the 4th of July at 8am. I was furious. I made my payment asked them (just to verify) when my next bill was due. I was told Aug. 8th. I then received another phone call on Aug 16th telling me I was past due and demanding another payment. I told them when they’d get it and I got a phone call every other day after that. I finally had to get ugly with them and tell them that I said I would pay it on Aug 3rd and it was not Aug 3rd yet. Mind you this is 5 days before I was told my next payment was due. I then didn’t make the payment until Aug 5th just to see if they would call again. At the rate they charge interest I am going to be with them for another 20 years trying to pay this off unless I can get ahold of someone that can help me. Any ideas from you guys would be very helpful!!!

  • Kimberly Ng

    Let just stop buying dell and put them out of business, I sure as hell won’t miss them. I despised dell products and their service.

  • Well, I got so peed-off that I wrote an Ode to Michael Dell, with 16 poems, and sent them, one by one to the HP CEO Fiorini. Each time I heard from someone at Dell about 5 days later, but never got any satisfaction.

    This week I decided not to waste them, so began putting them on a new blog:
    where they will remain for all eternity. Those who want to post or mail them out can do so, just by drediting them to me. Permission granted.
    Howard E. Morseburg

  • Rick

    I have a Inspiron 9100, I have had trouble with it since I received it one year ago this month. It has been back to Dell for new hardware which did not take care of the problem. Dell now tells me it’s a software problem and they washed there hans of it. So they can sell a computer with faulty software and say, (to bad so sad). They will not answer my e-mails and will terminate my attempt of a live chat. There answer is to call there tech support, unfortunatly I only speak english!!

  • men
  • I am simply amazed at the position large corporations have taken in today’s market. With mass communicaton being as easy as a few keystrokes and mouse clicks, I’d think they would want to leverage that to increase customer satifaction at a reduced cost. Obviously not.

    I won’t go into a lengthy post concerning how I got here, suffice to say I’ve worked in the computing services field for many years, but have only recently been exposed to Dell’s “Customer Service” woes. In the last 3 years I’ve had a mutitude of friends and family members come to me for help with their Dell. After the first few months I got to the point of not even calling Dell as it was far easier for me to just fix the PC myself. I empathize with each and every one of you, which leads me to the reason for this posting.

    About 6 months ago I was in a position where I had to call Dell for a friend’s business. By the end of the call I was so frustrated I decided to create a web community to help each other with problems they had encountered with Dell’s support. It took a while because I had little knowledge of reliable web hosts, blog and forum software as well as very little free time. Anyway, I’ve finally published the forum in a VERY basic installation and its open to the public. If you decide to visit, please leave suggestions concerning where you’d like to see the site grow. I did have to make it mandatory to sign-up, but that was only because I tried this a few months ago and… well, just read the news at the top of the forum.

    I expect this to never generate any revenue, so please no flames about me trying to “cash in.” As a matter of fact I was approached about 1 month after purchasing the domain by a company wanting to buy it. No, it wasn’t Dell. My only motivation was to help spare others what most of you have already been exposed to.

    For now, play nice and please try to limit yourselves to constructive posts.

  • I thought the URL would show in my post, obviously it didn’t. My mistake for not posting it directly. To err is human and all that…


  • Hi, I recently set up a Dell complaint forum.
    I think it would be helpful to other customers if you can post your complaint/opinion in the forum.
    The Website is


  • Pingback: Gavin’s Blog » On Dell - Audigy 2 issue()

  • Mike Dean

    After several years of good experience with Dell products, we recently ordered a laptop and desktop. Incidentally, on hearing this, our UPS guy told us of his ongoing problems with a Dell Inspiron 6000 and said he was on his 3rd replacement. When the desktop arrived, we pulled it out of the box and noticed a sound like a screw rolling around inside the CPU. Uncertain whether I should open up the case to check it out, I instead called Dell and was subjected to an hour and a half of being transferred from one heavily-accented representative to another. When I requested that I be allowed to speak to a supervisor, the third representative simply disconnected me, which meant I had to start the whole process all over again. Since we had purchased the on-site warranty for next day service, we managed to find a rep we could understand who would schedule a tech to come out. This was on Monday, September 19th. The”next day” service finally showed up on Thursday, September 22.

    Since it’s impossible to reach anyone at Dell headquarters by phone, I will be writing to them advising that after purchasing two Dell laptops and seven Dell desktops, there will be no future purchases from us. I will not be a customer of a firm that employs customer service and technical support personnel who are unable to communicate clearly in English.

  • Denice

    Bought the inspiron XPS gen 2 for my son for college. Within 90 days the system would freeze. Countless days, phone calls and “tech” support, replacing the hard drive and runnning every test at least twice, they decided to have it sent in where they replaced the system board and video card. Now you can’t play games on it and the tech has left me worse than when I called. It has now been 4 weeks and the computer for college has been a total waste. If I could I would return it and will never purchase a Dell again and recommend any one even considering a Dell to not purshase one.

  • A group of military personel deployed overseas, including
    myself wanted to order the new Dell XPS M170 Notebook computer. To our
    surprise and dissappointment, WE COULDN’T! Dell DOES NOT ship to to
    military APO addresses! We think it’s just a damn shame that Dell doesn’t
    support their military. I guess when a company gets as big as Dell,
    military customers don’t matter! To make matters worse, we had found a
    30% discount coupon code, which really had us excited. That is, untill we
    found out their policy towards military shipping. So, shame on Dell,
    for their lack of support for the men and women of the U.S. military!

  • Duuu!!!

  • Janice D

    As for Dell financing, check the interest rates. If you make minimum payments you will pay for your machine for 30 years. As for service, neither technical support in India nor Dell financing in the Phillipines is able to make any sense. How insulting is this for Americans purchasing American made products. I have a broken 13 month old $1500 inspiron laptop which broke under the extra weight of the machine (the LCD screen broke). I paid $800, owe $700 and they want $800 to fix the LCD screen, without even seeing the machine. I have to ask why I would continue to pay for a laptop which doesn’t work and I can’t afford to fix, even if anyone wanted to try – which Dell doesn’t. I can find a name or address for anyone at Dell to write to. HELP

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  • Hollie

    I am a support tech, and just wanted to let anyone know that has a Dell, it’s not just one model of the inspiron has the system board failure!! I have had many customers with that same “unknown” power issue. Listen everyone… If the power light comes on when you plug it in and you turn the laptop over and push the battery test button (the green lights light up), then its the system board.. Not the power supply or the battery!!!! Dell is a complete POS. I have yet to have a good dependable Dell laptop come my way. I recommend HP!! Remember, computers are like cars.. You pay for what you get! Just like cars too, you always want to get that extended warranty.. I’m sure no one wants a car with a one year warranty?? Remember how much your paying for your laptop! Is it worth throwing away in one year?????

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  • Hah. It’s funny with Dell though because they have such great ideas about everything.. but keep swinging from one extreme to another. I guess a changing company is one that will stick around…

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  • To Dell:
    I am a Hurrican Katrina victime and would like to tell you how disgusted I am with you people. My home was totally destroyed by the hurricane and the proceeding flood. I had replacement insurance on my computer and you refuse to honor it because I can’t actually produce the computer. Well if I could I would. Most of my possesions were totally ruined, mired in mud, falling ceilings, insulation, etc. I could hardly find anything, especially a small laptop that was probably crushed by the falling ceiling or whatever happened in that house. Beside the hurricane, it looked like a tornado had gone on inside of the house. You people ought to be ashamed of yourselves for not replacing peoples computers. You have thousands of computers that you didn’t sell that you are probably going to donate to schools or wherever, but in the US’s worse natural disaster ever you can’t find compassion for the Hurricane survivors and give them back at least one of the things they lost. My friends and family are just as disgusted as I am. You need to rethink your position. Afterall what is replacement insurance for.
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  • Jose

    I recently bought a laptop from dell and from my experience I can for sure say I will never do business with them again. It seemed like a very good deal when that offer of no interest financing until January 2007 came up. I was not even going to finance it but it seemed like a good deal. During the process of application a message came up saying that there was a problem with the server and I would be contacted later. I got an email saying I was approved. Great! After my first bill I find out I was getting financial charges. I called the Dell Financial Services and for my surprise, I was told that I was not approved for the no interest offer. The Supervisor tried to convince me that I had been informed during the process that I was not approved. I told her I was never told that and she talks to me repeating the same thing over and over, as if I was stupid. This is for me false advertisement. I have a very good credit score, way above average. Again, I wasn’t even going to finance it. I just paid it off, but dell lost another client. I will never do business with this company again, and as I have been reading around, many people won’t.

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  • paul

    Ill never recommend to anyone to buy or lease a computer from Dell.
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  • Well no one from customer support contacts me. And I’ve written and written and written. I have a 15 month old Inspiron notebook and one month out of warranty the LCD screen breaks – Dell asked for $1,000 to send someone to my home to pick it up (I still owe $800 on $1500), and then I find out there is no replacement LCD screen, and a very sarcastic Margaret * from “Executive Support” in a phone conversation berates me for not having the smarts to purchase the extended warranty because I should have expected this, and then tells me it’s Friday at 4:30 and she has better things to do then ruin her day with me on the
    Wanna buy a Dell? Wanna be in Hell? And the Indian technical support don’t speak English, and why should anyone need to contact India?

    [* NOTE: The dell person referred to asked to have her name removed. I have done so.]

  • Whatever Dell is doing is seems to be too little too late for me. I have been complaining about my malfunctioning motherboard for several months now. It began malfunctioning within 6 months of purchase, while I was told during my telelphone purachase that I would have a 6 months warranty when my board malfunctioned after 90 days Dell told me I had only a 90 day warranty and would be responsible for the repairs myself. I was able to baby the computer along this far but it will not last much longer and I purchased it less than a year ago. I have an Inspiron 1150 laptop that has trouble seeing the power supply forcing it to work off the battery until it is drained. I found out through research on the internet that this is a common problem, but when I talk to Dell’s customer service they deny that it is a known problem and claim I am the first complaint they’ve had regarding a problem of this sort.
    February 7, 2006 I ordered a new motherboard at the direction of Dell’s tech support, two days later the order was cancelled by Dell due to an internal error. They had already charged $307 to my debit account when the order was cancelled, now I had to place a new order for which they placed a new charge of $307 against my debit account. They promised me free tech support to guide me through exchanging the motherboards when I made the purchase, they promised me this more than once. But yesterday February 10, 2006 after I received the new motherboard I was in for a couple surprises. One the box the motherboard came in said refurbished although I had paid for a virgin motherboard. The second and most distressing was when they totally refused the free tech support they promised me. I spoke with support technician Anurag who told me my warranty was expired. I explained to him I knew my warranty was expired otherwise I would not have spent $307 on a new motherboard and reiterated that I was promised FREE tech support to guide me through the exchange process. He just kept insisting that not only was my only option at this point was to pay them for tech support but that they would not guide me throuh the replacement. Although I’ve never worked on a laptop I’m not a newby to computers or their inner working, I build most of my PC’s.
    It was obvious I had been had so I called Dell’s customer support team about returning the board but the person I spoke with, Jenny, told me I needed tech support despite the fact that I kept telling her I had already spoke with tech support. She kept insisting that my warranty had expired and I could not return anything. I kept trying to explain that this was a recently purchased product but she kept responding with the same answers.
    I called back later and reached a different customer support agent, she was much more helpful. She gave me a return authorization number and instructions on how to return the board. They promised me they would not charge a restocking fee, wasn’t that so nice of them? I have decided to send the computer to a third party computer tech who claims to be familiar with this issue and should be able to fix the problem for a fraction of the cost Dell will charge me. Problem is I cannot send my computer for repair until I am refunded my money from Dell. Right now they owe me $307 for a motherboard never sent, $307 for the motherboard I am sending back to them and $70 for a power supply that was sold to me that I do not need.
    I am clearly at the end of my ropes with Dell, I cannot stand the thought of having to ever deal with them again but I suspect I will have to call them several times to make sure they credit my money back.

  • Randy Butler

    Another third world help center failure. I have a newly purchased XPS 600 and have spent 5.5 hours on the phone and under 10 minutes with a person. Invariably when they find out my XP OS is not working and that a techician started me on the reinstall process (and then disconnected me) – which wiped out all my applications and they will not reinstall with the newly installed XP – they disconnect me. There is no way to get it done even if you will pay to ship and pay for service. A Dell computer is total turn-key, once sold they wash their hands of support. I have filed a BBB complaint.

  • Terri

    So, we’ve had multiple issues with Dell products we’ve purchase also, although the more we’ve spent on a Dell product and the more warranty we purchased, the better the service; and I’m wondering if other users can tell me which competitors are better. Especially for a Networking Printer used to print many brochures and color charts, simular to a Dell 3000 cn. Someone recommended a HP Color LaserJet 3600N, any comments…?
    Thank you!

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  • murdock

    oh my god … what a piece of junk .. dell inspiron … so slow at everything .. stupid blue polo mint going round … side bar fault… driver blocked … the thing can t do anything without … needs a patch … can someone tell me how to get my money back for this stupid .. blue polo mint going round and round ..

  • murdock

    and round and round …. and yes you could grow a beard while waiting for this totaly lacking piece of junk to do anything. its like a box of worms on barbiturates. no thats an insult to worms on barbs , they would at least serve a purpose … I could put em on a hook and go fishing !

  • I was recently interviewed in Entrepreneur magazine where my dotcom sub-company was mentioned by name and city/state, and shortly after publication somebody went to Dell and applied for a credit account using my subsidiary company name, my name from the article and publicly available business address and phone number (found on my site and in Superpages/phone book) to order several thousand dollars worth of gear, which was shipped to a third party unknown to me in Wisconsin. Dell then sent me a bill. I called them immediately to inform them it was a fraud, tell them to send police to the address, and ask how they could allow somebody to setup an account under my dotcom-name (not even my corp business name), and not bother to check for a social security number, employer ID, call to verify or anything. Now they are sending past due notices and two threatening calls to pay up or they will “ruin my business credit.” Stupidly, they setup the account under a dotcom business name, which has no business entity (no employer ID, bank account, credit card, etc.). Basically it seems that anybody can setup an account with Dell (DFS) with any publicly available business info from a phone book and website, open an account, and then Dell goes after the company not the culprit when it’s obviously fraud. They claim they were given personal data, which is impossible since the dotcom is not a business entity and my SSN was not used as Pres of the parent co of the dotcom. They refused to listen to the explanation on the two collection calls, and from the original call to report the fraud they gave me a case number but never followed up and the collection calls had no interest in the report/case number. This is gross negligence on Dell’s part for not verifying the company was actually the actual company applying for credit, asking for a SSN or employer tax ID, etc; all they had was a street address, name of company Pres. and phone, easily obtained for ANY company in the Internet age. They never called to authorize or confirm the account or the order, but now they find it way to call to harass and make collection threats. What they don’t know is that I run a 26 year old P.R. firm which can develop millions of dollars worth of negative publicity for them over this, as well as call for a class action lawsuit based on “gross negligence” in supporting the spread o business identity theft. I’ve also reported this to the NY State Attorney General’s office and am not proceeding with Illinois, Texas, and the BBB (their credit company uses two locales in both IL and TX). I am Christopher Simmons, and I authorized this notice! Look for notices about this during the week of Aug. 14-21 in Google News from my news network; it won’t be pretty for Dell.Sadly, I was a happy small business customer under my proper corp. name, and have purchased web servers, a dozen LCD displays, service contracts, software licenses, and never had seriously issues. Now, they’ve lost my business forever, and I’m using the power of my network to spread the word about their incompetence. Now I know, first hand, what Dell Hell is all about.

  • That’s Dell for you.

  • Never liked Dell, then bought a second hand Dell notebook, older model. Gosh. I’m impressed. Thought I might give them a spin with a newer model, only to learn, they’re not offering support, and there have been problems. Still, I am impressed in retrospect

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  • DellSuxBig

    Dell sucks. We are one of Dell’s largest PC purchasers. Every unit we get needs a new hard drive, mother board, etc within the first few months of purchase. We have over 10k new laptopsPCs. They are all substandard. I have a two year old top of the line M4500 with two new motherboards, a new hard drive needing yet another and now the keyboard hops all over. The cooling system is the worst in the industry. The CPU literally cooks inside the frame as the it draws hot air from under the computer through the frame out. What genius built this? I hear Apple runs like a charm on Win 7. Dell’s systems can’t work their way out of a wet paper bag. They used to be kings in laptops now they are a has been. Avoid Dell at all costs.

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