Dell tales

I’m getting scores of comments and now emails from people sharing their stories of Dell hell. It’s clear they believe they have nowhere else to turn. Wish I could help, but there’s nothing I can do.

: Steve Rubel has some free advice for Dell.

: LATER: Dwight Silverman respectfully disagrees with Steve.

  • Kimberly Ng

    Shoot! I am sure glad somebody decided to do something about Dell’s hell, about four years ago I bought a dell computer along with their extended warrantee, they said that if tech support over phone failed to help me then they will come out to my house, THAT IS A TOTAL LIED, tech support over the phone gave me a run around and so was dell, it a total waist of my money on dell and the extended warranty that I bought. Since then, I swear I will never ever buy another dell again, I talked to many of my friends and neighbors and those that bought a dell, complained of the exact same problems as mine, even though they had just bought it a couple of month ago, apparantly the problems still persist. There are a lot of unhappy customers out there than we know. I told everyone who would listen not to ever ever buy a dell from hell. I just bought an Emachine and I am a very happy customer.

  • Michael Minja

    I probably have had the most frustrating experience with dell in getting my laptop repaired.Though I purchased a three year service warranty ( which I was meant at a discount,but they declined it).

    The customer service reps had difficult time resolving my issue and most unresponsive when it came to returning my phone calls,plus they completely refused to have a service technician come and diagnose the problem.

    After four months of this constant back and forth,I just went ahead and purchased an Apple power book,which has been absolutely delightful.The Apple sales people at the apple store were totally helpful and at least I won’t have to worry about having my computer diagnosed over the phone.

    I am extremely disappointed with Dell and would NEVER recommend anyone that values good cutomer service to purchase their products,no matter how cheap they are…cause you get what you pay for.

  • Steve Newberger

    Last August, I went through my own version of Dell hell — problems with printer drivers, of all things, had me on the phone with India for eight hours (to be fair, some of those hours were spent equally awfully with HP printer support, definitely South Asia, probably next door).

    I bought another HP printer (no real choice, is there?), but went out and (PC guy forever!) replaced my 3-year old Dell with a Sony Vaio desktop. Here’s the punch line: The Sony was DOA! So, I picked up the phone to contact Sony Vaio support, and very very quickly was speaking to a support person, in FLORIDA! They replaced the machine immediately, and have had it for a year with absolutely no issues, just full featured competence. No more Dell hell for me!

  • Gregory Stewart

    I have several dell computers and they work great. The tech support when needed is excellent. I am not sure what has happened, but I think there service is primo.

  • Howard

    I just bought a Dell laptop (yes, possibly a bad move, after reading this website). So, I got a decent deal and I’m hoping to G-d that it works as expected. I plan to reformat the hard drive, dual boot Linux/XP, and to get rid of that 5 gig waste of space they put on.

    But to do that safely I’m going to need a CD containing the drivers, etc for the wireless, graphics, etc cards and I’d also like a hard copy of XP. So I call up the Dell customer sevice line, give them my order number, and ask for the CD. The price? $10. That’s ridiculous! The CD doesn’t contain any software *I didn’t already purchase from them*. I asked the customer service rep why the CD costs $10 and he said “Because that’s the price.” Greedy and Insane. I then asked to speak to his manager and he directed me to the automated service..which promptly disconnected me. Asshole.

    Now, even if the laptop works (I’m hoping it will!), I got such a sour experience from my first Dell customer service conversation that I a) probably won’t buy another Dell, b) won’t tell anyone else to buy a Dell, and c) won’t select Dell to supply me for my business needs.

    All because they wouldn’t send me a 30 cent CD. GREAT JOB DELL!

  • Mark Campbell

    I bought a Dell about a year ago. Never again! I was attracted by the price but you get what you pay for. All the Dell installed software was such a mess and missig so many required dll files that it froze constantly. Numerousl calls and emails to the “helpless” desk were of no use. Most of the time I knew more than the tech support people and I’m not a “techie.” I finally fixed it myself after days of “tinkering” and frustration.

    My son just went to college. Guess what I bought him? An HP man!

  • Don

    I just found this blog after a spending a day with dell fixing my laptop. I must say this is like the largest collection of computer nincompoops I’ve ever seen. I particularly like the one complaint of the “lady” saying her uber fast gaming laptop was too “hot” for the lap and really expected Dell to do anything about it. That other guy I read that expected his computer to be easiy servicable as a VCR or TV gave me one big horse laugh of the day. This is like the internet comics.

    Seriously now. If you have a machine that can do your taxes, play games, do your homework, be an encyclopedia, a communicator etc… and you expect it to be as easy to fix as a toaster or TV then frankly you are just expecting too damn much.

    I think the problem here is not how bad Dell is, but simply how much you people simply cannot understand about the computer itself your using, and it frustrates you. Is this Dell’s fault? No.

    There are simply some things you people have to accept. Some of the INSANE complaints I see are the equivalent of complaining that the engine of your car is too hot and you expect the manufacturer to do something about it. Or when you have a person with no eye hand coordination trying to drive the standard shift car he just bought and he calls up and complains to the manufacturer that the car is to “complicated”.

    You people are insane and the sad thing is you simply don’t know it.

    I feel sorry for the folks at Dell. If anything good comes out of this its hopefully better service, I do hope though you people will not be Dell’s downfall.

  • david urban

    i have the perfect solution for your problems with Dell (and this goes to HP/Compaq, Gateway, IBM, Panasonic, etc. owners) and that is BUY AN APPLE!!! They use the best hardware (as opposed to Dell’s 4th rate components), have the most innovative and secure OS (as opposed to Windoze and it’s virally insecure inoperative system), they are fun to use, and beautiful to look at. Dude, get an apple.

  • http://doctorbarnett.blogspot.com/ n8han

    Uhh… don’t get too excited about Apple support. Like any company, they’re very nice on the sales side and not as nice when you call back for support. The powerbook line is stable right now, so Jarvis and the rest of you are probably ok, but you’re lucky you didn’t buy the iMac G5 when it came out last year. Mine and lots of others’ overheated and smoked. (Yes, smoked!)

  • Jill MacMillan

    I am so glad to find that we are not the only ones having this hard a time with a dell computer. My husband and I bought a laptop for my son when he started college 3 years ago. We bought the dell because the college had a deal with dell and it came pre-loaded with the college’s programs. I will never buy another dell computer. His laptop has crashed so many times it has become something of a joke. This past year, his computer died in March. He went to the dell technician affiliated with the school who fixed it for about a week. Then he began dealing with dell on the phone. What a nightmare!!! He probably spent about 8 hours on the phone getting rerouted (often to somewhere he had already been) or disconnected. We had an extended warranty on the computer so they finally sent him a replacement computer. Unfortunately, it was a refurbished one that dies within about 5 minutes of turning it on. Another few hours of phone contact and he sent the replacement computer back and they sent him another refurbished computer. We got about 15 minutes out of this one. Another round of phone calls and they agreed to send a technician to the house. A very nice guy came and replaced everything except the chip. He left and in less than 5 minutes the computer was having exactly the same problem again. I realize the chip is the expensive piece of the computer but you would think they would get the hint and replace it. He’s now back in school for his senior year and desperately trying to get them to actually fix the computer this time. We;ll see how it goes. At this point I don’t ever plan on buying another dell computer and I am recommending to everyone I know to steer clear of dell. They are going to need to so something to improve their reputation.

  • Anti-Dellite

    Oh this blog is so wonderful! I recently came to the conclusion that Dell is the Wal-Mart of the computer world. However, until this blog, I couldn’t seem to find any corroborating evidence to that conclusion. So — thank you.

    I am not computer savvy in any sense of the word. I have the basics, web, e-mail, Word, etc. But I like those basics. I had my Dell for a year and it suddenly started to go haywire. Couldn’t do a thing on the web without weird stuff popping up all over the place, the computer would freeze after two minutes, etc. We all know how obnoxious a poorly functioning computer can be. So I called Dell. I am still astounded at not just the incompetence, but the utter inability of anyone I spoke with to THINK. Just think about the things I’m telling you before you put me through your circus routine of do-this, do-that. I won’t go through all the details. Let’s just say that this involved phone call after phone call after phone call (and a lot of waiting time.) This involved paying 40 bucks for each bit of irrelevant and unhelpful advice offered. This involved suffering through an unacceptable (to say the least) amount of bullshit. This involved conversations with small-minded, incapable-of-thought idiots who could do nothing (NOTHING!) outside of asking me their standard list of questions, having me go through their standard check-ups — again and again. I wanted to scream! (And, admittedly, I did, on several occasions.)

    After three weeks of this nonsense I realized — just by chance — that all my troubles began around the time that my anti-virus contract had expired. I contacted the anti-virus company, extended my contract, and — voila! Once again, a working computer. Now why couldn’t all those computer experts at Dell have THOUGHT to ask me about that? I initially bought the anti-virus contract through them when I purchased the computer! It was part of the deal! It’s on my invoice, it was right in front of their noses. But they would have had to turn their heads a bit to the left or to the right, and they are utterly incapable of doing anything of the sort. They have a list of questions to ask, and that’s what they stick with, even if you call them back 100 times with the same problem.

    Dell’s success has a lot to do with its reputation for outstanding customer service. The very thing that once made them is now going to break them. I will never buy another Dell. Ever.

  • Jim S

    A 400SC server’s motherboard I bought 18 months ago died. The warranty ended 6 months before. The E-Mail tech Johnny R gave incorrect instructions that didn’t work. Telephone sales wanted $187 to replace the motherboard. Everyone I contacted was overseas. Replacing the case, power supply and motherboard were cheaper. I threw the gutted 400SC in the trash. I had recommended buying Dell computers but no longer. I made a promise to myself never to buy another Dell product again. I may break my promise but it will be reluctantly.

  • http://www.gpariseau.com George Pariseau

    I am a marketing consultant for a home and small business IT support company, in the Southeastern Michigan area.

    Thanks to companies with poor technical support, we bill 6 figures a year and remain profitable by offering outstanding personal service, fixing the problem the first time, and operating efficiently. (total of 4 employees + me the consultant). We have been steadily growing over the past 2 years.

    We connect with each customer on a personal level, and are able to meet and exceed their needs. We fix computers right the first time, have pricing a 2 year old can understand, cut out all the corporate BS, and leave a lasting impression.

    I have not had any problems with Dell computers, but I do know that their service is horrid.

    And just so you know, we remove all the software that companies like Dell and Gateway put on their system, and replace it with software that works.

  • Carly

    Thanks for documenting your Dell hell for all the world to see. I think this company’s rude, arrogant, and deceptive customer service practices need to be exposed on an even grander scale.

    I’m not about to describe my extremely long and terrible experience with Dell. I’m still too bitter about and can’t promise that I would start to rant. I would just like to say that every company that provides shoddy customer service eventually gets what they deserve. For my part, I have made it a point to tell everyone I know about my Dell hell experience. I’ve probably cost Dell at least 20 sales. Not only does that mean Dell didn’t sell 20 pc’s, but it also means that Dell didn’t sell 20 warranties. I’ve also steered people away from the Dell jukebox. How are those sales going, Mr. Dell?

    By the way, I own a Mac. It cost me an extra $400 over a Dell and I don’t care. Piece of mind is priceless.

  • http://www.biblemysteries.com Mike Sanders

    Hubris!!!

    I am afraid that this is all a waste of time. I knew 4 years ago that something was deperately wrong when I recieved a top of the line Dell which didn’t have cables to run the printer which was ordered at the same time. After weeks of complaining and being told to go to a computer store to get the cable that “anyone would know about”, I realized that this was Not a company that would survive.

    I am old enough tp remember Pan Am, Braniff and all those companies that believed they were invincible.

    Dell will fail because they didn’t care, Michael got too rich too fast.

    Mike

  • Erin

    This is all in my opinion, but….

    I’ve been on the front lines (in a manner of speaking) for both Dell and HP. Here’s the thing.

    As soon as someone knows enough about computer workings to help you over the phone, he knows enough to get a better job. A job that pays him more. A job where people don’t curse at him. A job where 90 year old grandmothers who can’t see aren’t trying to use the laptop their grandkids bought them three holidays ago.

    If you want quality computer support, you’ll have to pay for it. That’s just all there is to it.

    Yes, Dell sucks. But they suck because to hold down their profitability they’ve had to send everything over to India and other countries. And i’m not saying that the technical support people over there are nessecarily to blame — it’s just that there’s no customer support-type issues oversight over there. They have to read their If-Then outline to you. They get *in trouble* if they don’t. I’m sure there are a percentage of them who don’t care. Maybe even a large percentage. But they have to do what they were trained to do, like they were trained to do it, to keep their jobs.

    If they knew enough about computers — we’re talking real knowledge here, not “reading the manuals once” type stuff — again, they’d know enough to get a better paying job elsewhere.

    I feel for Dell consumers, and I feel for the computer illiterate everywhere. It’s important to have basic computer education to get ahead nowdays. (Pay your dang school taxes people. I don’t care if you’re old and retired and don’t have kids. Schools need decent computers so that kids don’t get left out.)

    But if you thought that purchasing a few hundred bucks of warranty was going to get you a computer super genius at your beck and call, you were sorely mistaken. It’ll get you some potentially competant people, who might mean well…but it’s the luck of the draw.

    Going from Dell to Hp was like going from Walmart to Neiman Marcus, client-wise. It was much much better. Even then, we’d still get frustrated customers…and they’d always sign off with, “Fine B***ch — next time i’m buying a Dell!”

    To those people out there, i say, “Good luck!”

  • Dylan

    When my Dell laptop failed two years ago, here’s the email that finally got a response. I’ll never buy a Dell again.

    To Whom It May Concern:

    I am requesting a full refund for my Dell laptop purchased on 07/20/03 (order # 406859828). The product has been non-conforming for the last four months and the customer service I have been receiving is not in alignment with rights afforded by law to customers of your company. I am allowed under the UCC 2-711 to ‘cover’ and purchase a substitute product when the original is non-conforming. I am prepared to do so and request confirmation on the refund.

    I expect a phone call (xxxxx) ASAP to confirm that this full refund is being processed.

    A brief history of my experience will help you understand why it is better for both you and for me to terminate this relationship and allow me to purchase a product from another company.

    1) In accordance with my service contract, I worked with customer support to fix my problem. No solutions was found using usual software-related means.

    2) Dell support then sent me out a new keyboard to fix the problem. I installed the keyboard and the problem was not fixed.

    3) I was then requested to send in my laptop to Memphis, TN for service. DPS number – 0039310102. The service was performed on my laptop and I recieved the laptop 2 weeks later. However, the laptop was sent to an old address 400 miles from my new address. I had to travel the 400 miles to pick up my laptop. Additionally, the problem was STILL not fixed.

    4) I requested a system replacement to be sent to me immediately. I was told it would be delivered in 5-7 days. I accepted this solution under the premise that the 5-7 days was an acceptable delivery time.

    5) Seven days later, I called back requesting a status update. (Dispatch # – 039839517) I was told the system replacement status system was down for maintenance and I would be notified in 8 hours once the system was brought back up. Twelve hours later, I did not recieve an email from support person – Manjula_R_xxxx@dell.com. I attempted to send an email to this address and the email was not recognized.

    6) I called customer support again to request an update. At this point, they changed their estimated delivery time to 10 – 15 days. I would not have accepted this delivery time if I knew this was the case.

    7) I also sent an email to Dell and was told it would take 2 weeks to one month to process. Again, this is unacceptable and is not what I originally accepted.

    8) I called customer support to request a full refund. I was told that a manager would call me back in 30 minutes. Three hours passed and no manager called me back.

    9) I called customer support again and requested a transfer to a manager and was disconnected.

    10) I called customer support again and requested a name and email address for the customer support representative. They refused. I asked to be transferred to a manager and they told me that the managers were in a closed door meeting. The representative then said she would attempt to help me but I was disconnected.

    11) I called customer support again and talked with Gianncarlo_xxxx@dell.com. He informed me that a supervisor would get back to me in 48 hours!!! He also gave me his extension x17968. After hanging up with him, I called him back to confirm my phone number. The extension number was not recoginzed. Mr xxxx has contacted me via email and has been VERY helpful and professional unlike everyone else I have dealt with up to this point.

    However, I can not accept this service level. I am a customer who has been confronted with a non-performing product for nearly four months. I have tried to go down every avenue to get resolution to my issue and each avenue is a dead-end.

    Once again, I demand a full refund. Please call me at xxx to process this refund.

    The best and least costly solution for both you and me is for us to end this relationship. I can go buy a laptop from someplace else and you can go on doing your business with other people without dealing with the legal headaches that I will be forced to use.

    I am drafting a formal letter to the Washington State Attorney General and will be seeking legal recourse if the refund is not granted in a timely fashion.

    Thank you for your consideration in this very unfortunate matter,

    Dylan xxxx

    Customer # 032716493

  • Brandon

    Dell sucks. My wife bought one of their cheap laptops (against my better judgement) and in six months we have had to have techies come out twice to replace the entire monitor. Meanwhile, every night I sit there wirelessly surfing happily away on my Mac and the Dell loses the connection every few minutes.

    People who insist on using PCs are lemmings. People who insist on Dell PCs are dumber lemmings.

  • Helen

    I am the unfortunate owner of 3 Dell computers. I have owned Dell in the past so it made sense to upgrade my machines to Dell again. I did not know at the time that Dell isn’t the company it once was. My problems with the computers themselves eerily echo what others have already reported so I won’t go into them. But, I want to add my two cents about Dell Financial Services, which sucks too.

    Despite having gotten the computers to my house, they were incapable of getting a bill to my correct address so the calls from their collection agency started the first month I owned the computers. Even after I called Dell Financial and supposedly corrected the problem, the collection agency was relentless in calling early in the mornings and late at night and hassling me.

    The next month I again didn’t receive a bill. When I called to find out why I hadn’t received a bill again the address in the computer was wrong though I had corrected it. This happened two more times, with increasingly more anger on my part toward the collection agency who had me on some sort of auto call list they couldn’t seem to get me off and also toward Dell Financial. Finally someone there told me that the “system” had changed my address yet again to the wrong one for no apparent reason.

    I spent hours and hours on the phone. In the end, I did get them to waive the finance charges. I paid off the systems and am done with Dell computer. This account of what happened is tame, but believe me the real phone calls and encounters were awful–there is no customer service left at Dell apparently customer service wasn’t part of the outsourcing contract.

  • NALIN

    Say what you will about Apple, their customer care is superb. (And Consumer Reports agrees.) When my PowerBook had screen problems, they Fedexed me a box to send it in, which arrived Monday. I sent it in on Tuesday and got it back in perfect condition on Friday.

    As for Dell, my Dimension XPS is fine, but it sounds like a jumbo jet taking off the moment I do anything more than move the mouse… =( Why can’t Dell innovate and make computers enjoyable like Apple?

    Posted by Tim at June 21, 2005 10:18 PM

    Hi Tim,
    Well U Asked Y Cant Dell Innovate & Make Computers Enjoyable Like Apple, The Reason For That Is Costs All That They Care About Is There Bottom Line. 2 Make & Sell Innovative Products Like Apple U Have 2 Invest Money In R&D Then Buy The Latest & The Best Quality Components Available Not The Cheapest. & Then Tie It All 2gether & Ship It 2 There Customers, Even Good Quality Aftersales Service Costs Money. Have U Ever Heard Dell Make A Innovation Or A Invention In The PC Arena ? Well U Never Would Because According 2 There So Called Successful Strategy R&D Is A Waste Of Money. They Would Rather Spend Millions Of Dollars On Magazine Or Newspaper Adds.
    I Am Not Blaming U But Then Its The Unfortunate Fact That Good Quality PC’s R Also Available In The Market But Then They Cost Money But Unfortunately 80-90% Of The Time People Buy A System After Looking At The Mhz & The Sticker Price & the Discounts. Well I Have Been A Long Time Admirer & A Big User Of IBM Desktops & There Wonderful ThinkPad’s. I Would Like 2 Tell U They Do Cost A Bomb Compared 2 A Dell , Have Very Few Jazzy Features Compared 2 A Sony Vio But Then They R The Most Reliable & A Long Lasting Machine. I Would Say The Best In The Market. I Can Say All This With Confidence Cause I Manufacture i.e. Assemble No Brand Desktop & Laptops Courtesy Intel I Love Them 2 :-) & Yes I Have Opened & Studied The Innards Of Virtually All The Major Desktop & Laptops In The Market. Apple & IBM R The Best But They Fail In The Market jut Because They R Costly. I Was Very Sad When I Came 2 Know That IBM Was Being Sold 2 Lenvo I Hope They Maintain The IBM Quality & Reliability & Yes Not Excellent But Then Much Better Aftersales Service.

    Next Time U Want Something Reliable Consider An APPLE, IBM & Yes 2 A Limited Extent Even A Sony. But MAC & IBM R The Best After All They R The 1′s Who Invented The PC As V Know It 2day. Dell Just Know How 2 Buy Cheap & Screw Them 2gether That 2 With A Stopwatch In Hand.

    Bye Take Care,

    Nalin
    U Would B Surprised But I Am From India.

    PS : Dont Mind My First Capital Character That’s Just My Style Or My Online Handwriting U Could Say :-)

  • OwnedSevenDells

    And half the time I’m buying through-the-garden development machines for $3,000 – $6,000. So this last machine for $3,200, after a couple months I decided to turn on the MS Office software that came with it. Can’t find the CD. And can’t find the XP CD. I don’t really know if I got them. Maybe I put them someplace “special” or maybe they weren’t shipped. Well the nice thing about buying workstations is you get to talk to native English-speakers. So I figure a few minutes chat and I’ll have two replacement CDs. NOPE. It’s over 30 days and they have to charge me for two new licenses. I tried CSR lotto a couple times, but got the same answer. I patiently explained I’d bought $20,000 worth of Dells over the years (you can look it up:)). No joy. I don’t know what’s going on with that company but I don’t think it would have happened five years ago.

  • Smarter Than You

    “After three weeks of this nonsense I realized — just by chance — that all my troubles began around the time that my anti-virus contract had expired.”

    And it’s Dell’s fault? Blech!

    It’s funny listening to people talk about computers when it’s clear they don’t have a clue what they’re talking about. Then when something doesn’t work, they’re quick to blame everyone else but themselves.

  • http://DELLLemons Diana Menconi

    DELL makes lemons and now has the worst technical support. Sadly, I purchased a DELL laptop 2 years ago, an Inspiron, and from day one I have had the same problem: within about 20 mnutes it gets hot and shuts down…I have made repeated calls to DELL, in Manila, and maybe to India too. With a new mother board it still dies. The Customer Support is nonexistent and I have resigned myself to typing extremely fast and I will never. ever buy a DELL computer again. Oh, no, I can feel the heat, it is about 25 minutes that I have been on here and I can tell that I will lose my work again. Such a lemon!

  • http://www.jbfields3.com/jbf.htm J Fields

    Living and working out of a RV, when my rig was totalled in May 2003, so was my company. I had no home, a motorcycle for wheels, and needed to find work. Insurance covered pay-offs, but not the investments. A year later the pieces of my life are coming back together. Dell is the only creditor that presented a problem. Rightfully, they turned the account over to collections. However, I no sooner came to agreement on a plan with a Mrs. Zink to bring accounts current within a few weeks and made first payments than another collector called saying they were foreclosing and wanted payment in full, immediately.

    A server that now sells for less than $800 on Ebay, that brand-new sold for $1,600, is now the basis for a collections demand of over $4,000. You cannot believe the difficulties trying to talk to their acocunting offices trying to sort things out or dealing with address changes four times in six months.

  • http://www.jbfields3.com/jbf.htm J Fields

    …sorry, that was May 2004–last year.

    Back at work in a place where thousands of computers are procured and supported each year, it will be hard to suppress my inclination to repeat to others what I learn of Dell shortcomings. Although I will admit that my own support experiences were mostly favorable.

  • Alan Grahame

    I have never been and never will be a customer of Dell. But that doesn’t stop them sending me up to five catalogues at my office and two or more at home. I’ve asked them to stop, but they have ignored my requests. I will now report them to the mail preference service. Also, I’m going to send each catalogue back to them in separate and unstamped envelopes.

    Any other suggestions to stop their junk mail would be welcome.

  • J. Miller

    I bought a Dell notebook in 2001. During setup (right out of the box) a failure occurred. I asked for and rcvd a return authorization.
    I shipped the unit back.
    Fedex provided me a delivery slip.
    Dell lost the unit.
    Dell threatened me.
    I spent hours dealing with this on the phone and also providing cpies of paperwork to Dell.
    In an email (which I still keep) I asked for an apology.

    NEVER received an apology from ANYONE!

    Once a month they still send me bills for a returned unit which they finally found.

  • Tigger

    *YAWN*

    You’re all losers and whiners.

  • E.S. Blofeld

    I bought a Dell desktop while deployed to Bosnia with the Army in 2002. It took too long for them to ship it, but when it arrived it served well and then I took it home. After 2 years it began overheating and the HD began dying slow. A postmortem revealed the meltdown was my own fault due to not blowing out dust. There were also software/registry issues from poor antivirus protection. It was time to get a new computer anyway. I got all my files off OK. I never used Dell customer service, so I can’t judge them. IMHO, all “pay extra” warranties for anything are ripoffs.

    Overall, I feel I got good value from Dell as the PC operated trouble-free for 2 years. Dell also had a great discount and free shipping for deployed soldiers — a patriotic company that.

    I just bought a new PC and chose Alienware over Dell on price/performance. I haven’t used Alienware customer service, but otherwise it seems to me a great company. The PC is far superior to Dell’s in design & engineering.

  • John K. Evans

    I read about this site in Businessweek and all the frustration with Dell earlier this year came flooding back. I had purchased a Dell printer and had problems sharing it on a home network, sometimes it worked sometimes it didn’t. I had all the same bad experience others must have had: endless waits on calls, being connected to the wrong on-line help desk, learning that the printer help desk couldnt assist because I was connecting to a laptop, and the proverbial “is there anything else I can help you with” when they hadn’t helped at all in the first instance. Then the coup de grace, their solution to every problem they lack the technical competance to deal with, return and exchange which is a real hassle to arrange with UPS in my area. In the end there was nothing wrong with the printer and a quick call to my employer’s help desk provided a simple explanation about what to do. I had a similarly exasperating experience with a Dell desktop which froze everytime you shut it down. Again, Dell tech help was not competent to find a solution. Dell is fine if you dont have a problem.

  • Duke

    I bought a Dell 2 years ago, and choose the 3-5 days. all the sudden, my boss programmed a business trip for the delivery date, so i needed to change my delivery option to 1-3 business day. I wouldn’t call it a hell, but i was not a smooth step either. I first use the “Chat” support and they tell they couldn’t do it, and gave me a phone number. I spent at least 2 hours pressing numbers and listening automatic responses, at least 1 hour explaining my situation, or calling to other numbers (at least 3 other numbers), got disconnected more than once.

    Finally, a fine tech woman told me not to worry and i was going to get my pc on time, i received it 2 days before i expected it. I really recomend Dell machines to everyone i know, but i guess they should spend a little more in tech support.

  • http://NovellWebAccess A.J. Almaney

    I bought a lap top for my wife last Christmas. I paid it in full. Then I received a bill for $130. Since I did not know what the bill was for, I called Dell’s customer service. They referred me to the finance department. After explaining the situation to them, they told me that their system showed that I did not own Dell anything. But I kept receiving the same bill. I called again with the same result. The last time I called, I was on the phone with them for three hours but they could not find the bill on their system. In the meantime, Dell sent me a bill with an overdue finance charges of $26. I decided to pay the entire bill plus the finance charges thinking that they would keep adding finance charges if I did’not pay the bill. I was concerned that if I did not pay the bill, they would report me to a credit agency, thereby damaging our excellent credit rating. We have said good buy to Dell as we have decided not to buy anything from Dell again. I wonder what Emperor Michael Dell is doing while his Empire is losing customtomers by the thousands.

  • http://www.thelkaunch-pad.com Darrell Atkin

    Wow,

    I was beginning to think I was the only person who had insanely bad customer service from Dell. As a long-time and repeat customer, I had recently ordered via phone (from a knowledgeable and delightful sales rep) a high-powered home system and I was planning to attach a $200 credit from a rebate that I had never received from Dell from a previous purchase–but which was flagged on my account. First the rebate—I was sent to “escalation” in Dell finance and after 3 calls of about 90 minutes duration, I was finally sent to Customer Care. After 3 calls of about 3 hours duration (frequent hold placements, bad connections, failed conferencing, poor language skills, repetitive questions, etc.) and then after a promise to call me back because their “servers went down,” no contact. Finally, after about 1 hour on “Dell Chat” I was politely informed that I was no longer entitled to the $200 credit.

    But wait there’s more. After 3 weeks, my computer never arrived amidst Dell’s reversal of a financial promise–to apply a $200 credit to my next purchase. I was told (by the same person who denied the $200 credit) that I would have to go pick up the PC at a distant UPS center because that’s how I ordered it. I elected at that point to cancel my order. My agent, named Sukriti, then asked, “What best I can do for you is that I can offer you a 50$ coupon. Will that be fine with you?”

    No it wasn’t fine.

  • Alberto

    This is the message I published in the Dell Forum:

    I just bought a Dell Dimension 5100,and Dell sent me an Analog Monitor,instead of the Digital Monitor I paid for.
    This is not unusual in a company this size,I do not have a problem with that,”things” (and I have to watch my language,I was told by the Moderator) happen,as we say….

    Problem is,the Award Winning ( as Dell calls it ) customer service is non existent,it takes a half hour or more to contact the Customer care line (Try it out: 1800 847 4096 from Canada).
    I contacted Dell customer service yesterday and they referred me to Technical Care,but ,as they explained it was not their problem,they sent me back to Customer Service,and finally I ended up with still another person that supposedly was going to fix the problem.
    This person told me I had to pay ($ 25 + shipping) to return the monitor,when asked why I would pay for Dell’s mistakes,he said that that was the only way he could solve this problem!

    Now,my brother in law is the one who convinced me to buy Dell.He has bought 3 Dell computers in the past 5 years and they are just fine,and the few times he used Dell Tech service it was a very efficient and prompt service.
    The Sales Person we bought the computer from,over the phone, is Mr. …….,and ,in his voice mail he states he is very hard to reach and would not likely to be able to answer his mail box (!!!),so we are [DELETED] with him also,and he is probably to blame for this error,but that we can not be sure.

    After being on the phone for hours ,and totally frustrated,we are going to have to call again tomorrow,we still are at square one,with no solutions to a simple problem like this.

    As a new Dell customer,I am wondering why Dell calls their Customer Service an Award Winning service,have they really won an award of some kind?,and if this is correct,are they sure it is for Outstanding Customer Service? (or is it all a practical joke?)

    To add insult to injury,when you call Customer Service phone number,this lady is singing the virtues of the “award winning customer service” ,while you are waiting for hours on end to get somebody to just talk to you.

    Absurd?,yup,I would call it differently,but “somebody” from Dell is watching me……

    PS. I just got in contact with another CS person and they will take the monitor they sent to me,and will give us a refund,we refused to buy the right one from them as we do not trust them anymore.
    Regards

    Alberto

  • Beverly

    I went through Dell Hell also. I will never own another Dell. Last Weds I spent three hours on the phone, most on hold, and the rest yelling at the non service rep in Central America. They never would give me an American to speak to. They kept insisting on running a diagostic on a broken computer. After getting the run around my son finally got the computer turned on for their diagnostic. Guess what? They said I have a hardware problem– I knew that as I had taken my computer the Geek Squad and they had already diagnosed the problem. By the way my computer is only 6 months old. Best Buy’s Geek Squad said it was a bad motherboard. Stupid dell.

    I’m writing this on my other computer– a Mac. I need the PC for work. Do I stand any chance of getting my dell to work? Did I waste $2000? Do I have to sue them?

    Then I got an email from Dell saying that if I need to contact them about my broken computer that insead of calling I should — get this– e mail them! On a non-working computer!!

    i will never, ever buy another Dell and I now tell everyone about my Dell Hell.

  • http://www.computer-rescue.net Alan Scher

    I have a small computer repair business and because of DELL’s poor support, I am doing pretty good. Thanks, Dell

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  • Patricia Webber

    My Dell computer is just 15 months old. When I purchased it from D(h)ell I also purchased the extended warranty. At three months…my computer’s keyboard malfunctioned, after spending hours on the phone with D(hell) techies, they finally sent me a new keyboard. Since then….I have had three modems replaced, a hard drive, a mother board and the mouse!! At the present….my speakers aren’t working, but damned if I’m going to call D(h)ell right away again….I need a vacation!! Everytime I called to talk to a techinician….I was on hold anywhere from 15 min. to up to an hour, that was just to talk to a techie, then, when I finally got on the phone with a technician, the english they spoke was so broken, I could hardly understand them. They had me on the floor with screw drivers, taking my machine apart, unplugging wires, plugging wires back in, removing circuit boards…When my hard drive went, my photo shop program that was factory installed by d(h)ell was also lost, I had to buy a new program because D(h)ell never sent me the software for the program. They also tried to rook me into buying a new Windows XP program when my mother board went, the techie told me I would loose it when they replaced the mother board. When the actual technician came to the house and I told him the story, he just stood there scratching his head and asked me to repeat that again, he couldn’t believe it. He told me the windows xp program is stored on my hard drive not the mother board and that the D(h)ell techinicians on the phone didn’t know what they were talking about. I will keep on them about the malfunctioned speakers, but I am emotionally and physically drained after all this trauma to my computer. I had lost over 500 photos that were stored on my computer along with a mother load of other information that I will never get back…..so if you want a computer from Hell…..buy a Dell.

    Patricia Webber

  • Call me frustrated

    Wich I had seen this site before buying from Dell. Machine came without the promised software loaded. No software CD in box. No big deal, 1 year warranty, call Dell, right? Hah!!!! After a frustrating evening of electronic “chat” with a rep who cannot or will not say anything useful before simply cancelling the session, and useless e-mails that are replied to by computer (your e-mail is never seen by humans), I have come to the conclusion that my software will never come.

    I am scared silly to contemplate what will happen if my PC has any problems. Dell’s inaccessible service (fantasy service?) is going to be a problem. No more Dell machines for me.

  • Bimal Jayasundera

    Dear Mr. DELL

    I’m a poor father of a very brillent daughter who loves very much for computers. now she is 08 years old and showing ver good signs in the IT industry. Currently I do not have a good financial situation to buy a computer for her. I have a fantastic experince with DELL’s at my work place. also your singapore office gave me a brillient after sale service for one of the note books which the even the local dealer(soft logic)does not agreed to support in 2002 when I was attached to the IT department of my company. Please help me to have a computer.

    Bimal
    Father
    bimal@cicagri.com

  • cris reighard

    Has anyone experienced a “black out” with their Dell monitor?

    I bought a Dell Dimension desktop in July 2005. Last month the monitor starting blacking out while I was on internet (active) or doing email. First there is a moment of brightness, and then the screen goes black. If you turn off the monitor and wait, you can go back to the same place you left when it went black, but it will continue to go black in a couple of minutes.
    HELP desk just keeps emailing me with “try this”, try that”.

    Anyone had this monitor problem?

    cjr

  • John Crinon

    To George Pariseau-

    I highly doubt a company 2 years old is billing at 6 figures. And marketing consultant? That’s one of those job titles that should be relabeled “money milker w/ nothing to show for it”. No small company needs extraneous job positions like that. Come on.

  • http://bewaredellcomputers.blogspot.com linda

    man, I spent almost 4 grand and got a lemon….and yet my walmart compaq is a dream lol
    my story is here http://bewaredellcomputers.blogspot.com/

  • James Printer

    Touch wood, I have bought 8 Dells, and the only problem has been the boss’s, because he lifts it up by the screen.

    I also scratched mine, which made me sad but I’ll get over it.

  • http://www.troubleshootmouse.com Shanell Digeorgio

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