Dell media

I thought Louise Lee was writing about my Dell kerfluffle for Business Week online. Open the magazine today and find it there on page 13 with a mug of uncorrespondent Michael Dell.

There’s a possibility a piece about the saga will be in Media Guardian Monday; will link later.

For BizWeek readers, here are links about the tale.

I just spoke with the PR person at Dell. Running around today, so I’ll blog it later. Nothing earthshattering came of it.

: LATER: Hugh MacLeod on Dell:

The thing is, when you start turning your products into commodities, you start treating your customers like commodities.

  • james

    You’re pretty full of yerself there, Jeff

    Not that thats a bad thing.

  • http://buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    I’m having fun, thank you.

  • Jim S

    The commodities comment is spot on. Does anyone at Dell (or any of the other parties guilty of this one) realize how insulting it is to hear “Hello, this is Brian (or insert any American name you can think of). How may I help you?” in a Bombay Welsh accent you’ need a chain saw to cut?

  • m m

    “when you start turning your products into commodities, you start treating your customers like commodities.”

    huh? what company’s product is not a commodity? isn’t that the whole point of capitalism, the commodification of things to be sold?

  • silviu

    Man,

    At least somebody is taking on. I think that Dell stinks in customer support and in products. And when you compare apples to apples their products are not cheaper. On the contrary! Too bad the majority of the population does not know that. About 1 year ago I got myself an Inspiron 5100. This was one piece that Consumer Reports reported it as a CR Best Buy. The unit was overheating like crazy, it burned my finger tips. There were like 200 postings on Dell’s website about this issue and despite this the company did not want to recognize it. I was dealing also with a subpar customer support from India until I gave up and sent the unit back for a 15% restocking fee. I got myself an IBM and I am not regreting it. Good work, Jeff, keep on doing it!

  • John

    Hi Jeff, I just read the article and I just want to let you hear my 2cents. First of all, I’m 19 and I got my first computer when I was around 12. with 7 years of computer experience I can say that E-Mail Technical Support or E-Mail any kind of support is USELESS. When I find a new website and want to look into, I no longer care about e-mail contacts or supports, I always get their number and give them a call. If they don’t have a contact number, I won’t bother to have any further relations with the site. I also have a DELL computer, a laptop I bought for around $1600 with 4 year warranty. A few months back I accidently had made the laptop crash and I called DELL, spoke to the technician about 30mins and found out the problem was a burnt harddrive. 2 days later I got my replacement and called them again and they gave me step by step instructions on how to replace the old one. My experience with DELL has been great, not perfect due to the long call waitings and accents from the technicians. Hope you are happy with your IBM because I sure can’t afford one.

  • roger

    I was amazed to read that Dell has such customer support problems. I thought I was one of the unlucky one. In my case a recently purchased Dimension 4600C’s NIC had a terminal failure. After 15 hours (1/2 spent on ACD hold) the same simple conclusion was reached — the NIC card needed to be replaced. After being routed around multiple Asian based call centers (no one could seem to transfer to a US based agent) in frustration I tried to call Dell corporate headquarters. I was surprised to learn that there is no SVP of Customer Support and unlike other companies where you can actually speak to a human in customer support that might even care the never ending effort seemed to be to force you back into ACD purgatory (some management consultant must be very happy).

    I must have spent 25 hours in total getting the machine to work when you include all of the calls, diagnostics, on-site tech visits and reloading of my applications / data. It would have been easier to have been shipped another machine (one of the Dell techs said that they couldn’t be trusted) or just junk the box and buy something else. Today and I don’t look to be alone, I am sad to report that Dell’s post customer service experience is very lacking. Maybe the plan is to have me buy another Dell and throw away the old one. Maybe next time I will buy something else….

  • Randall Bretz

    Well, I have to add my comments about Dell. I was given a Dell PDA 18 months ago and was thrilled. Then the trouble began. I wanted a keyboard and it took over a half-hour on the phone to order it from someone in the far East. Had to spell Lincoln, for pete’s sake.

    Then I had problems so I called for help. People couldn’t understand me (I’m a former radio announcer), I was frustrated with the delay in conversation half-way around the world. I insisted on being transferred to the USA . . . that added to the delay.

    Finally, after several days of calling, I reached someone in Texas and was able to resolve my problem.

    Sold the PDA and will not buy another Dell anything.

  • Greg T

    To M M:

    No, that’s not “the point” of capitalism; commoditization can happen under socialism or communism, too. You could even argue that’s what centrally controlled economic systems are trying to achieve.

    The “point” of capitalism is individual choice: entreprenuerialism and investment decisions in pursuit of profit for sellers and best value decisions in pursuit of utility for buyers.

    Dell’s profits are in jeopardy when they disappoint their customers and prospective customers are afraid to buy from them. They’ll (perhaps) change when they get the message.

    That’s capitalism.

  • Mindy Schleger

    I am so happy to see that enough noise is being made about Dell’s poor customer service. In the 3 year plan I purchased, I did not receive a bit of help only more frustration. They transfer you, leave you on hold, hang up on you, have no person or supervisor that can be reached, on and on and they have the audacity of charging people hundreds for the opportunity to be treated like this with no recourse. I resent it when the help desk won’t even identify the country I am speaking to and tell me its against policy or imply it’s a security risk to give as if I’m going to fly to India.

  • gregory tatoian

    i’ve had a problem with my keyboard and mouse from dell since july 7th. dell tech support keeps sending me[4 times the wrong mouse]. i complain to them and they promise to escalate and correct but then they don’t call back so i start process over again. i faxed and wrote letters to dell hq but never got reply. i have yet to speak to an american at tech support or customer care. i went online with my case number[i have 7 now] but never got a reply back. no one at dell wants to deal with my problem. what good is my extended warranty when this is the service i get and lies!

  • gregory tatoian

    what a bunch of idiots at dell tech support and customer care. i keep asking them to help solve the problem but it’s a failure. i will never buy a dell product again .mike dell should try to call tech support wait 15 minutes to talk to someone and see what failures they are in solving the problem. customer care just says tech support has to solve but after 6 weeks it’s apparent that they are incompetent and hq doesn’t want to reply to me. by the way when you call to order something you get a clear speaking american but when you call tech support you get foreign countries. dell gets what it pays for cheap incompetent help. good going mike the your lousy support is showing up and dell doesn’t stand behind it’s warranties!

  • Even Steven

    I found this website too little, too late. I purchased a Dell Dimension E510. One week after purchase, I began getting the “cool” blue fatal error screen with the IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error message. After repeated calls to techincal support and being transferred around the world (India, El Salvador, Virgina), two weeks later Dell relented to provide a replacement computer after it was determined I needed a ne motherboard. . . on a brand bew computer!!!??? What ever happened to quality control?

    Unfortunately, Dell Tech supporters are nothing more than very polite foreigners getting paid crap money with no comprehension of Dell hardware and software issues. The best service I have gotten is through “Dell on call” disptaches to my house. These guys are contractors, not Dell employees, but at least they were able to rule out the problems that Dell technical support couldn’t figure out.

    It’s obvious that Dell places its emphasis nowadays on its corporate clients and not the individual consumer. Why should they? The consumer is a little fish in a big pond and the conventional wisdom is, “if we lose one customer, so what?” We have marketshare! They count on the familiarity of the PC and Microsoft Windows over people getting pissed off enough to move to Apple.

    Well, bigger companies than Dell have fallen due to greed and passiveness when dealing with their customer base.

    MacTel. . . here I come!!!!

  • Danna

    After spending the past week on the phone with 6 Dell Technicians whom sounded like they have lived their whole life in India plus today speaking for an hour to Netgear (same problem with heavy hard to understand accent): I have a POUNDING headache. I could somewhat deal with the accents if only the technicians were trained to do something besides read to me from a tech manual which never has problems outline that are real world or pertinent. I truly blame politicians. If it were less expensive to hire an person living in the United States (hopefully who spoke fairly clear English) then MAYBE tech support wouldn’t be so frustrating but most Politicians have only lined their own pockets at the public’s expense. Guess I don’t have much of a solution but a prayer that company’s like Dell, HP and Netgear, and on and on will lose so much revenue quickly from this poor business choice of outsourcing tech support that one day soon; I’ll call and maybe someone with a sense of my own Southern accent will help me!

  • Wynn Sorsby

    DELL SERVICE ABSOLUTELY STINKS! NOONE IN CUSTOMER SERVICE SEEMS TO BE ABLE TO HELP ME WITH A DROP DOWN MENU PROBLEM THAT I HAVE BEEN HAVING. I FINIALLY FIGURED OUT ON MY OWN THAT THE PROBLEM IS A STUCK KEY. I HAVE CONTACTED DELL MULTIPLE TIMES CONCERNING THIS ISSUE AND THEY HAVE DONE NOTHING BUT GIVE ME THE RUN AROUND. I’M FED UP! I HAVE AN INSPIRON 5100 AND THE ONLY PEOPLE I HAVE TALKED TO AT DELL ARE FROM ANOTHER PLANET. I CANNOT UNDERSTAND THEM. THE EMAIL SUPPORT STINKS TOO! EMAIL SUPPORT KEEPS SENDING ME QUESTIONS TO ANSWER AND MORE TESTS TO PERFORM. ALL I NEED IS A NEW KEY BOARD-I HAVE ON SITE WARRANTY BUT IT IS GOOD FOR ABSOLUTELY NOTHING AND I MEAN NOTHING. DON’T BUY A DELL UNLESS YOU WANT TO EXPERIENCE DELL HELL. I’M SURE THAT THEY ARE WAITING FOR ME TO SURRENDER AND GIVE UP—-THAT’S WHY THEY PUT U THROUGH HELL BEFORE REPAIRING YOUR COMPUTER. I HAVE ALWAYS GIVEN UP IN THE PAST BUT THIS TIME, I’M GOING TO MAKE THEM FIX IT. I’M FED UP WITH DELL FROM HELL.

  • Mitch Shanlney

    E1705
    There is supposed to be 3 LEDS (Power, Hard Drive and Battery) on the little circuit board under the rt hinge cover as part of the palm rest.
    I have been trying to explain to your monekys for 3 weeks. I’m DONE.
    There is a plastic bump instead of the middle LED (hard drive) FACTORY DEFECT.
    A replacement part was sent out with same problem. I have asked several time for this to be escalated.
    I have worked in the IT field from almost 20 years. I am compaq certified and have done warranty repir work for compaq.

    THIS IS REDICULOUS to put your customers thorugh this kind of BS. I have wasted hours on e-mails and phone calls just to get the machine fixed, and it’s brand NEW.

    I bought 2 laptops fully loaded and 24″ display. I am VERY UNHAPPY in how this is being handled, not only by your monkeys in India but also by your warranty provider Bantech. He even spent an hour on the phone trying to explain to India what the problem is.

    Someone PLEASE get a clue and get this fixed.

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