Dell Hell: The end?

My column reporting on my visit to Dell headquarters and my interview with Michael Dell just went up on Business Week. It’ll be in this week’s issue. Hell, it’s even the lead online.

businessweekdell21.jpg

After giving Dell hell two years ago, I may well be accused of throwing them a wet kiss now. It’s a positive piece. But it’s hard not to praise them when they ended up doing everything I was pushing in my open letter to Michael Dell. I’m not saying that I caused that, just that we ended up agreeing and they ended up seeing the value in listening to and ceding control to customers. They reached out to bloggers; they blogged; they found ways to listen to and follow the advice of their customers. They joined the conversation. That’s all we asked.

The column — and Dell’s executives — acknowledge the company’s ongoing problems — the complaints I still hear in comments and emails to this day. But still, I come away concluding that it’s a big deal that a company that was vilified as the worst at blogs, social media, and customer relations in the broad sense is now, one could argue, the best at this. The company’s executives wouldn’t acknowledge this, but I wonder whether falling so far is just what set them up to be so bold in the blogosphere.

In my first draft of the piece, I wondered whether Dell had even become a Cluetrain company. I had to abbreviate that to being “bloggish” because it just took up too much space to explain the Cluetrain. But as you read the column, note Dell’s compliance with the manifesto’s first three theses:

1. Markets are conversations.
2. Markets consist of human beings, not demographic sectors.
3. Conversations among human beings sound human. They are conducted in a human voice.

I don’t know whether this is the end of my saga of Dell Hell: the story come full circle. As I say in the column, I thought that end came three months after this began, when I returned my Dell. But it turns out that was the start of the real story.

* * *

I found another story here, a media story, which I come to at the end of the column:

Dell and its customers are collaborating on new forms of content and marketing, but note that they are doing this without the help of media and marketing companies.

Dell realized that engaging in the conversation wasn’t just a way to stop blogging customers like me from harming the brand. We, the customers, bring them great value besides our money: We alert them to problem. We will tell them what products we want. We share our knowledge about their products. We help fellow customers solve problems. We will sell their products. But this happens only if you have a decent product and service and only if you listen to us.

Once that relationship is established, it replaces the less-efficient, the shallower relationship bought through media. Bob Garfield wrote about this in his second chaos scenario piece: Marketers’ overall spending on advertising and media may actually decrease. So I believe this is a cautionary tale for the media industry.

* * *

Here’s video of my interview with Michael Dell. I’ll warn you: It’s not exactly scintillating. Dell is cautious — not surprising because he’s a CEO and also not surprising, I assume, because he was talking to me. I’ll say that I didn’t do a great job in the interview; I couldn’t figure out how to engage him on blogs.

* * *

Something else that didn’t make the story — because it’s of more interest to us bloggers than to a Business Week audience, I decided — was the question of Michael Dell’s relationship with blogs. Does he read them? Every one of his executives insist that he not only reads them but that he will send them links to posts at all hours of the day and night. Their insistence was so consistent that I wondered whether this wasn’t on the Jarvis interview briefing sheet I saw on one employee’s Dell screen.

So will Dell blog? Not likely. He has been known to submit a comment in response to an idea on IdeaStorm, where customers tell him what to do. But blog? The execs fairly shuddered at the idea. I’m not sure why. I guess Dell just isn’t a bloggy kind of guy.

* * *

I spent a very full day at Dell’s headquarters near Austin and also got a tour of their factory. I got lots of fascinating business intelligence and crammed as much of that into the column as I possibly could. I’ll probably blog more of it later. The execs I met at the company — heads of customer service, marketing, ecommerce, PR, and blogging outreach — were gracious and generous sharing their experiences and views with me. In other words: They didn’t seem to hold a grudge.

: LATER: This report about me collaborating on a Dell book is utterly untrue. I have no idea where it came from and have asked that it be corrected. I find it particularly damaging that this should be ‘reported’ on the eve of my column’s publication. I may well write about Dell in a book but not in collaboration with Dell.

: LATER STILL: Steve Baker of Business Week suggested I post the original draft. Here it is. The story was submitted at 1,600 words. It ran at about 1,100 words. Some trims always help. A few hurt. It’s still not what Jay Rosen asks for but I have more in my notebook and will be using that later.

  • Kelly

    My only suggestion for the video interview would be “clean the lens.” :)

  • http://www.verbeat.org/blogs/bereteando tiago

    amazing! now I know that’s been around two years I’ve been away from your blog, don’t ask why. just finally added the Buzz Machine to my reader a couple of weeks ago. :)

    I have to say that if you were a mass media journalist doing this piece, I would probably frown at it. but I think you’ve built enough respect to be just read as a honest, trustable person. and thus being, Dell Hell it’s another case for the blogosphere.

    cheers! :D

  • http://forward-moving.com/blog Paull Young

    I definitely echo your sentiments about all the Dell team seeming to be on board and on message with social media changing their culture and business.

    I didn’t talk with the execs, but just three days ago I interviewed five members of their social media/digital communications team for my podcast – the people ‘at the coalface’ so to speak.

    The conversation was insightful, and while it was a pretty soft interview (I’m impressed by what they’ve achieved) I couldn’t help but notice how much they were believers in what they are trying to do.

    If anybody wants to have a listen it’s a 40 minute podcast titled ‘Social Media in Action at Dell’ and you can get it from this link:

    http://www.forward-moving.com/blog/2007/10/15/forward-podcast-33-social-media-in-action-at-dell/

  • http://www.millergroup.net sonya

    I forsee more and more companies reaching out to th blogosphere as blogging continues to receive more media attention and validity.

  • http://marginalizingmorons.blogspot.com/ CaptiousNut

    Jeff,

    As I told you way back in your Dell screeds, Michael Dell has been a CUSTOMER SERVICE PIONEER since the get-go.

    Hey Mr. Dell,

    Will you send me a computer already? I buy your products, I recommend your products, I own your stock, I read your book, and I defended you (your record) against these buffoons!

  • Pingback: SmartChristian.com » Blog Archive »

  • http://www.geekonomics.us Geekonomics

    I’ve talked to Dell before, a few people on the top and even the man himself. But I walk away with a totally different impression that you got :p

  • http://www.pressthink.org Jay Rosen

    I thought your piece was going to be about 5-6 pages. You know, like a cover story.

    I guess Business Week readers are too busy. Anyway, it was interesting but I wanted much more depth.

  • http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/2007/02/25/social-media-saga-continues-as-company-advances-towards-dell-swell/ Jeremiah Owyang

    Wow Jeff, this story has come a long way. You’ve certainly exercised your right as a consumer, and should be recognized for being responsible in thanking a company who finally listened to you and others and made a differences.

    I’ve been tracking the Dell Hell to Swell saga on my blog, it deserves to be remembered!

    http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/2007/02/25/social-media-saga-continues-as-company-advances-towards-dell-swell/

  • Eric Gauvin

    I see a clear and powerful advertising message: Del is the company bloggers (as represented by Jeff Jarvis, himself) used to hate, but now love. Dell Wins.

    (The Business Week article completely reminds me of one of those articles with the light gray label “Advertisment” hidden at the top of the page.)

    I can’t believe there isn’t a flood of protest from the “blogosphere” that your whole experience with Dell has culminated in an ad for Dell.

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    Eric,

    I’m being honest. What, you expect me to hold the grudge? I’m telling you what I see. If they actually start to listen to what the blogopshere advises, you’re saying the blogosphere should still spit on them because the blogosphere is permanently spiteful (and childish)?

  • Pingback: Links for 2007-10-19 « ideas Revolutionary

  • O-Shift

    Follow up with Dell and find out how the blog conversation is working. Dell is producing Linux desktops after getting thousands of requests to do so on their blog. But far more people asked for the option then bought them. What should Dell make of that?

    I don’t like manifestos. They try to make things too neat and assume results can be engineered. They can’t and your package of concepts haven’t proved themselves out.

  • Pingback: tech news blog » Linkpost | 10.19.2007

  • http://MichaelDell Bonnie Lamb

    I am soooo disappointed in this company that I will not stop until I either receive satisfaction or turn this company into mush. No wonder Apple and others pasted you by. It has been a nightmare! We were promised satisfaction if we had problems only to led down the perverbial stupid path of belief in a company that is supposed to be top rate. Well, not so fast. The so called ‘support’ sucks. From Matt to Claudia, to rude Brian, (at the store where we bought it) to Mr. Alverado…who ever that is, and countless other phone calls no satisfaction! I will be blogging every person who will listen including any and all media that will go for it. I will stop until the one of the two afore mentioned conditions are met. Gee, such a good company in the past is now defunct. By the way, have a sufficiently great day!

  • http://parableman.net Jeremy Pierce

    Dell gave me a new computer last spring when I complained about my computer problems on my blog (and I don’t think I really said anything that bad about Dell themselves). This was a four-year-old machine that had had its motherboard, hard drive, screen, case, and pretty much every other part you could think of replaced several times each. I kept renewing the complete care warranty because it was cheaper than buying a new computer, and then I finally reached their limit, and it was about to expire within a few months. But when I blogged about the problems, even though my contract was about up, they simply gave me a new computer. I was shocked.

    You can see the story here.
    I suppose you might have played a role in bringing to the point of doing things like that, so thanks.

  • Joe Lowe

    Hi Jeff:

    You mention in your article that Dell is having ‘conversations’ with their customers. I beg to differ. One need only take a look through the ‘Inspiron Notebook Delay’ thread at Direct2Dell to see how poorly they’re still communicating with customers. The intent may be there, but the execution still has a long way to go. People ask them questions, valid respectfully asked questions, and get nothing but dead air in response. Perhaps they’d have better results if they all wrote articles for Business Week.

  • http://blogspotting.net steve baker

    Jeff, Nice story. But I find this sentence just a bit disingenous:
    “In June, 2005, I unwittingly unleashed a blog storm around the computer company.”
    I would say that when a blogger like you (or any other blogger for that matter) posts a heading that such and such a company sucks, you’re fully aware that it could unleash a blog storm. It might not. It might turn out bigger than you hoped or expected. But I would guess that of many things you were in June ’05, unwitting was not one of them.

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    Steve,
    Fair to say today, knowing what we know now about blogstorms. But two years ago, I had no idea what would or could happen. Keep in mind that I didn’t write about computers and gadgets. I wrote about media and politics. We also saw no evidence that Dell was listening. So I was just blowing off steam to my friends and maybe warning a few of them. There was no thought that this would become a cause celebre. As I told the people at Round Rock, if I had known it would become so notorious, I might have been a little more selective in my language.

  • http://www.joelle.de/blog/joe Blog Oh Joe

    Dell should promote Ubuntu computers more in Germany. ;)

  • Pingback: Blogcosm

  • Pingback: links for 2007-10-20 « The social media revolution (in 15 minutes)

  • Pingback: Basic Thinking Blog | dem Dell seine Hell

  • Pingback: Grounded In Reality » Blog Archive » Dell Learns to Listen

  • Pingback: » Zero’s to Hero’s? sixtysecondview: Sixty second interviews from pr, media and politics

  • Pingback: The Zone Read » Blog Archive » links for 2007-10-19

  • Pingback: links for 2007-10-23

  • dimwittnott

    Hav you ever stopped to think that maybe Dell is responding to bloggers but everyone else is still getting the same old crap? Dell responds as needed in the most cost effective way for any problem, and when you blog, it costs them money. Therefore, they spend some face time to hush jarvis. Why don’t you order another machine under another name and then try to return it. Bet you will have something to blog about then. PS, did they buy your ticket to Austin?

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    How dare you? Business Week bought my ticket to Austin. My story says the problems continue. Have the balls to stand behind your name when you make accusations like this. Coward.

  • dimwittnott

    That was a question, not accusation….. Also, you did not respond to the first question. Do you think there is any possibility that that Dell PR may be focusing on appeasing those that make the most noise? Think about it, they have a team dedicated to track down and resolve problems that people complain about on the internet. They have folks trolling the blogs, but nobody seems to be able to return calls. They spend valuable executive time on you. But the complaints still fill the internet, SEC inquiry is still under way, BBBs get flooded with complaints, NY lawsuit still out there, DFS is apparently still scamming people.. no correction from Dell on many fronts. They fire an entire site in Oregon because they won a lawsuit about getting scammed on their pay, sending them home in their PJs for good measure just to add insult to injury. Trust me, this was no accident. They are not making a real effort to change, only to accommodate. Dell reacts, that is what they are best at. I cannot post my name because I am a coward, its true. I know first hand what Dell can and will do to people that make waves. I was sad that you did not ask about these things.

  • Eric Gauvin

    Yes. It’s a huge win for Dell even though not much has really changed. I’m sure the marketing/communications department at Dell poured a glass of Champaign when the Business Week article came out. It’s clearly excellent PR if not an outright advertisement.

    The problem I have with this is that Jeff Jarvis has built his reputation as a fierce advocate for the consumer, yet he can’t see how that reputation is now being used by Dell.

    One of the comments above is from a PR firm (GCI), which apparently had some part in this PR for Dell:

    “Over the past week, Dell has been the topic of many conversations in the blogosphere, spurred by a Forrester Groundswell Award and BusinessWeek article discussing the company’s transformation from digital bystander to leader. In reading these posts, I am incredibly proud of the GCI team that helped make this happen. (NOTE: Dell is a GCI client)”

  • Mohsen Soroush

    I’m going through my own Dell customer service hell now. After purchasing a wireless PDA on Dell on-line and not receiving it by the DHL service that Dell uses to ship, I asked for full refund over the phone. Dell customer representative acknowledged the issue and told me that it will take 7-10 business days to apply the credit back to my credit card. At present, it’s been over 35 days since I initially asked for the refund. I call or e-mail Dell every week and every time the representative asks me to wait for 5-7 business days to see the refund. It’s a classic, but I’m running out of patience on this one.

  • Pingback: Links for 2007-10-26 « ideas Revolutionary

  • Pingback: Join the Conversation! - Podcast :: Social Media in Action at Dell

  • angry student

    I know this conversation has been going on for a while and it’s a bit late to join but i just wanted to add my two cents. I am a college student and not a professional.

    I had a dell, it’s dead now.

    Their customer service is crap. I suffered every time i tried to call them. I can appreciate the time and effort they are putting into joining the conversation but i can’t help but think it’s all useless, they do not pay any more attention to me now than they did before.

    I put up a comment on their direct2dell blog, stating my pain, and they never put it up and till date, they still haven’t acknowledged it. Do they not know the power of the blog???? Actually they do, cause they responded to Jarvis. I am angry enough to put that post up to make it the first thing that shows up on technorati when you search dell. It seems they only respond when you scream loud enough, maybe i will, after finals.

    Dell may be joining the conversation but they aren’t listening to me.

  • Pingback: "RichardAtDell is at Third Tuesday" from Pro PR

  • http://candoor.blogspot.com/2007/11/whatcha-gonna-do-when-they-come-for-you.html candoor

    My experience with Dell has been mixed, leaning toward the side of unsatisfactory more often than not – especially when dealing with sales and support. Recently I experienced what appears to be a bait-and-switch tactic when i ordered a scratch and dent laptop on their outlet side… i received an email acknowledging the order and six days later pat of the order arrived, but no laptop. When I called, they could not find my order, yet they delivered part of it. They switched me to Dell sales and tried to sell me a new laptop for a few hundred more, playing the used car salesman game of “Hold while i talk to my manager.” When I responded to their email and posted my experience on their website, they deleted my post on a technicality (I put my support ticket number in it so they could actually help me if they wanted to), but responded to me in email with an apology and a promise to call. After two weeks, Dell is still no call no show for me.

    I’d rather deal with being ignored than being played with apologies and promises that they forget they made, just like they forget where they put the laptops they advertise on their outlet site, but can remember the peripherals (though they got the address wrong).

    They seem disorganized at best and demonstrate poor communications skills. Possibly even use tactics that cross the line into fraud, or at least misleading sales tactics. After purchasing many dozens of Dell business systems and machines over the years for the hospital where I am performance improvement director, Dell has a long way to go if they want my trust back.

  • Dell-ete It

    I have to respectfully disagree. From misleading sales practices to costly tech support to an inflexible approach to dealing with problems, Dell is still the same old company.

    After swearing to swear off Dell when I bought my second Dimension desktop, I recently caved and bought a monitor from them because I needed a flat panel that I knew would be compatible with my two-year-old Dell PC. I picked a model and called Dell customer service, who promptly convinced me to upgrade for just ten bucks more. I asked them if this upgraded model would be compatible with my current system, and they said yes…Turns out it’s not.

    Because I was moving shortly, I kept the monitor in its original packaging, thinking that I could always return it during the 90-day warranty period if something came up. To my surprise, when I unpacked the monitor and realized that it was indeed NOT compatible with my system, I was told that they had a 21-day return limit, which had now passed about two weeks ago, and I would have to return the product at my own considerable expense and wait for a refund. They were unwilling to do a simple exchange in which they would send me a different product in return for the current mistake. Since I work from home and am on the computer all day, the lag between returning the monitor and receiving a new one would be detrimental to my business. Given that I bought the monitor on DELL’s recommendation for satisfactory compatibility, I thought this was quite unfair and told them so, but they wouldn’t budge.

    I’m going to sell this monitor and buy another (non-Dell) from Amazon. Dell has lost me as a customer, and judging from other posts, mine isn’t even the worst example of the stuff they’ve pulled on people. I would urge anyone to consider other manufacturers instead of Dell, and if you MUST buy from them, beware of misleading customer service reps who just want to make a sale and strict short return periods (not even a third as long as the already short warranty). In other words, never order one early for Christmas or a birthday, in preparation for a move, or any other such circumstance because if they send you the wrong product, too bad for you.

  • Dude

    Dell, two words: “Silicon Graphics”
    http://aarone.org/2007/05/29/michael-dell-in-2001/

    “Time to close the company, liquidate the assets and return the money to the shareholders”:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/16/technology/16apple.html

    How ya like them Apples there Jeff and by extension Dell.

  • Pingback: Negative Feedback on Blogs - Article in CW Bulletin | Strictly Free Thoughts

  • Pingback: Lowe Rivet Advertising and Interactive Agency » Blog Archive » Book review – Join the Conversation (Joseph Jaffe)

  • Pingback: Customer Service, the Itnernet and Transparency | Verizon FiOS Sucks

  • Pingback: Things that made us go “huh?” in 2007 «

  • Pingback: Things that made us go "huh?" in 2007 PR events in 2007 | Valley PR Blog

  • Artvar

    The originally purchased laptop broke; on 11/29/07 tech-support call was made and it was resolved to sending a replacement.

    10 days I waited patiently. On 12/10/07 I logged into my Dell’s account and discovered that replacement laptop about to be send is quite different from original, e.g.:

    1. Processor is Intel T7250 instead of T7300 originally (2 MB Level 2 Cache instead of 4 MB)

    2. RAM is 2GB instead of 4GB originally

    I spend approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes on the phone with different levels of tech-support and customer care representatives kicking me back and forth. Instead of trying to resolve the issue they have been trying to convince me that it’s ok to get inferior laptop as a replacement. After much arguing I was promised the issue will be looked into and I will be contacted in 24 hours.

    After waiting over 24 hours and seeing on the website that nothing is being changed, I contacted customer care again. Another hour or so on the phone.

    Chain of representatives I’ve spoken to: Ryan, Sherwin, Mervin, Shane; some of them claim to be ‘managers’; each time I had to explain again and again that 2 GB is less than 4, and that the difference in performance between 7300 and 7250 processors is significant.

    Finally, I gave up explaining/arguing and asked to escalate the issue. Case # was assigned and I was promised that someone will contact me within 48 hours.

    On 12/15/07 some lady called. She obviously did not bother getting familiar with the case before calling me, and was technically quite inept; I had to explain again the difference in the original laptop and the replacement. I asked to escalate the case to the next level.

    On December 16th I left for a weeklong vacation. To my bewilderment when I returned back nothing has been done.

    On December 26, 2007 I had the online chat, and was promised that the proper replacement will be processed.

    Today is January 2nd, and no one in Dell bothered to provide me with any information whatsoever on the status of my case. No new order on my Dell’s account online.

    I was a loyal Dell’s customer for about 10 years. I bought numerous Dell’s desktops and laptops not only for myself, my family and my relatives, but also for friends, buddies and acquaintances. Being a tech-support person myself I am always being asked what computer to buy, and over these years I was always advising to buy Dell.

    Not anymore

  • John Beckman

    Dell has some of the worst customer service I have ever seen. Honestly, they should go to LL Bean and try to learn something about how to treat customers.

    I have been trying to order a new Dell for WEEKS. I am actually a RETURN customer: the new Dell would replace my several-years-old Dell at home, and I work on a Dell at work. But they have treated me miserably.

    Customer care reps who say they are response for my “case” don’t return calls. Dell makes it all but impossible to submit a problem on their “unresolved” issues page. NO ONE will give you the info to get in touch with Dell HQ; when I asked for contact info for Ronald Garriques, the woman simply hung up on me. Impressive approach to accountability, eh? (if anyone does have Mr. Garriques email, I’d love to have it — send it to me at john.beckman@nyu.edu)

    I think these guys have turned me into a Mac user. I am planning to go buy one today and then sort out the compatibility issues

    Don’t buy from Dell — they do not deserve anyone’s business

  • Pingback: The power of social media | Ellen Roseman

  • Don Ward

    Just heard about this website after weeks of problems with Dell. Here is my letter of today to Michael Dell. Suggestions anyone as to how to get some service from Dell?

    Case # 182899333

    Dear Michael Dell:

    My Inspiron 6000 is a mess and the support I receive from half-way around the world is worse.

    I returned home from an extended trip and had received no return phone messages or e-mails to resolve a severe problem I have been dealing with for weeks.

    I have a “Next Day” warranty for my laptop computer that your company is not honoring.

    I reported the persistent problem described in the above Case # and asked for someone to come to my home; after several unsuccessful sessions on the phone to resolve the problem.

    Briefly stated, the system freezes frequently and has to be restarted. I have not added hardware or software. All the diagnosis shows no problem with the hard drive.

    While the so-called “Technical Support” has stopped responding, they have repeatedly sent me promotionals to buy another Dell computer, while this one is still under warranty.

    Please arrange for someone to come to my home and either fix my Inspiron 6000, replace it with one that works, or refund the purchase price, since Dell is not able to honor your contract.

    Sincerely,

    Don Ward

  • Pingback: When Samsung Attacks! - GigaOM

  • Pingback: Bloggers are not low level journalists, says Dell | The Wire | Press Gazette

  • cfinger

    I have an Inspiron 1705 with the UXGA 17″ widescreen that, about after a year and a half, developed 4 verticle lines of differing colors on the screen. A call to Dell customer service and 70 minutes on hold resolved nothing but to tell me my warranty expired. I emailed Dell support on 12/2 with my problem. Much back and forth ensued, all fairly polite but little progress was made. On 12/26, Dell agreed to replace the screen on my laptop, and I was told to expect a box from DHL in 2 – 3 days. After three more emails the box arrived on 1/21. I called for pickup on Thursday, 1/24, and it was returned, repaired, on Monday, 1/28. Cost = $O. During the time Dell had my laptop, I received automated phone calls keeping me informed of the status of my laptop, and email updates to boot. While it took 2 months of back and forth (all by email), Dell stood behind their product and took care of my problem, when they could have blown me off. Perfect? No, but I will now consider them when replacing my warhorse HP desktop. Like anything else, experiences vary. Sure, 2 months is a long time to debate a problem, but I was polite and persistent, and my laptop looks great again.

  • M. Messier

    ’we didn’t have the capability inside the company to get the products to market on time, much less designed correctly.” Direct From Dell page 50 Ibid. exhibit 99

    “We can’t deny that the defect occurred in the production process of the batteries, “ said Tokyo-based Sony’s spokesman Yoshikaza Ochiai. “But the defect was somehow affected by Dell’s system environment.” docket 101 exhibit 108 “Sony has since claimed that a combination of design and production flaws account for the problem.” The Great Battery Recall of 2006, by David Garrett, October 30, 2006 exhibit 8

    “And even though the people at Sony kept coming back with the right answers to our questions, no one really knew how lithium would hold up.“ page 55 Ibid. Direct From Dell (emphasis added) exhibit 99

  • Dave Starr

    I’ve had numerous friends over the years who owned Dell computers and had excellent experiences with the products and the customer service. Theirs was such a unanimous perception of Dell that I took to recommending Dell to friends.

    Last month I came to the point of needing a new desktop and I didn’t really shop around much. I built my Dell online and ordered it. It arrived about a week later and I set it up.

    The first disappointing failure was that my Netgear wireless router didn’t work properly. I spent my entire evening on the phone (mostly on HOLD) with Dell over that and finally with Netgear, who said there was nothing wrong with my wireless router. I hard-wired my broadband connection and began working with other features of my new computer, conceding that I’d deal with the router later. I decided to test the DVD burner next. It didn’t work and I couldn’t bring myself to call again that night.

    I spent my entire evening the following night on the phone with Dell to sort out the DVD issue. The tech took control of my machine and after 3 hours he had managed to make the problem more complicated. At that point I asked to speak with someone who could arrange for a return authorization. I was given a “direct phone number” in case my call was lost and they transferred me. I sat on hold for almost an hour before a voice announced that I should call later and disconnected me. The “direct phone number” took me to an automated phonebot that wouldn’t give me any choices remotely similar to my issue.

    My third evening on the phone began with the mandatory 30-45 minute hold period. When a live voice finally answered, he told me to call the number I had been given the night before. When I explained that it didn’t get me through to a customer care person he promised to transfer me to someone who could help. I was disconnected again after about 25 minutes. I called the main number back and again sat on hold. When that call was finally answered I was told that I’d have to call back the following day to talk with a customer service rep who could offer a return auth. The rep then suggested that I let them send me a new computer that he promised would work right. He also assured me that I would receive an email and a follow-up call to confirm that I was being taken care of. None of these things happened.

    Ten days after that phone call I braved the elements again and called Dell. Following the hold drill, my rep reported that the promised replacement computer had not been approved. I asked why no one had seen fit to deliver that news to me via email or phone call and I was answered with an eerie silence. On that call I finally got through to someone who could authorize my return. That person emailed me shipping labels and proudly announced that I’d be issued a credit for my purchase 30 days AFTER they received the broken computer.

    I got up on Saturday and was about to pack up my computer but the more I thought about it the more mad I got. Finally I sat down and began uninstalling everything I could. Then I reinstalled the operating system. I began putting the other applications back on and when the DVD burning software (provided by Dell) began booting I found a problem. When asked to select my operating system, Vista wasn’t on the list of choices. I tried selecting XP. That didn’t work. I went through each choice with the same results. I went to the store and purchased new software and installed that. I can now burn a DVD. I’ve since exercised all of the other features the computer offers and all seems to be working properly.

    I made the potentially disadvantageous decision at that point to just keep the beast and hope for the best. I simply couldn’t bring myself to (1) start over with my hunt for a system, (2) tollerate another phone call to Dell Hell and (3) I honestly have strong doubts (based on my experiences) that Dell would honor their promise to give me my refund without at least a few marathon sessions on hold with their phone system.

    I’ve sold my Dell stocks now and I sincerely apologize to everyone who’s been a victim of their practices while I benefitted from the company’s stock values.

    • Tracy

      YOu should contact your consumer affairs or go online consumer affairs and make a complaint because that is what did and I got a new computer because all the trouble I had and consumer affairs hslped with that they stilll are. Or we should all start a petition. Please reapond to me by my email if you like rogers7138@yahoo.com because I’m taking them to court and will address your issue if you want it is up to you.

  • Pingback: massklusive.com | dialog.digital: Blog » Blog Archiv » Kunden-Kritik und ihre Chancen

  • Lee

    Well, your story states that it looks like a wet kiss going to Dell. Wonder what they slipped you in return.

    I loved Dell for a year. Then 11 days ago, my touch pad quit responding.

    No problem, I’m a small in home business covered under a current warranty.

    Well, in house business warranty got me 11 days of tech talk on the phone with 19 different people and still no working machine.

    So far they have managed to wipe out my drivers, my files, and finally shut down my DVD.

    When to the internet to find answers and instead found all these same issues from many other people as well as the NY AG fraud case.

    Going out tonight to buy a replacement for this trash and it won’t be a Dell.

    I can’t even repeat what I hope happens to Dell and the the people that pitch it as a “good” company.

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    Lee,
    How should I put this?
    Fuck you.
    How dare you question my integrity? You who don’t have the balls to give your name. Go suck on your Dell powercord.

  • Lee

    Lee is my name. And my address was clearly available.

    Please explain why Dell won’t repair anything.

    Do you really expect me to sit by and listen to you expound the glories of a company that is screwing its customers by the thousands?

    When a company is in the sights of attorney Generals for fraud regarding its treatment of customers, something is seriously wrong. Dell, the darling of the computer industry is now rated as one of the worse; something is seriously wrong. You smoose it up with the pres. of Dell and the rest of us can’t even get a phone number for an office within the USA for and English speaking service tech., there is something seriously wrong.

    Help me out here.

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    I should hlep you after you insult me? I should say fuck you again. But I’ll help you: Got o the Dell blog and contact Lionel Menchaca.

  • Lee

    We got off on the wrong foot, Jeff.

    I have dealt with too many people that tell me such and such is the latest, greatest of an item and later find they have complete collection courtesy of the home office.

    I have been burnt so bad this time by Dell that frankly NOTHING will ever make me recommend the company to anyone.

    Even the computer tech that finally got my Dell running, yesterday, won’t recommend Dell.

    Dell is a major employer in my city and isn’t even listed in the local phone book except for the same toll free numbers that go to India.

    But thank you for the reference. I will contact this Menchaca person.

    Lee

    • Tracy

      I totally agree with you that I why I’m taking them to court
      We should start a petition!

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    Lee,
    Thank you for that. Too often, people assume a tone in comments and when it comes to questioning my ethics and motives, I will respond as I did. Thanks for saying this.

  • Pingback: Scout Labs » Blog Archive » The ROI of Good Will

  • Pingback: Sociología para novatos » Blog Archive » Internet, los medios y la información

  • Pingback: Scout Labs » Blog Archive » Kill ‘em with kindness

  • Pingback: JMW Kommunikation » Blog Archive » Digitala och analoga konversationsstrategier

  • Pingback: Social Media Marketing Mistakes And How to Avoid Them (1 of 6)

  • Pingback: Member-to-Member

  • Donna

    Heck, I can’t get past the financing group at Dell to even buy a computer because I have a security alert on my credit bureau. Apparently that is reason for an immediate decline for financing. Dell Financial Services has some of the worst customer service I’ve ever experienced. I’m wondering if I should re-think my decision to by Dell products at all. Does anyone out there have the name & address of the person in charge of the Dell Financial Group?

  • Pingback: Marketing as customer service…thoughts from Switzerland

  • Pingback: Valley PR Blog » Blog Archive » Stories we remember about 2007

  • Pingback: Belgian Chocolates Online: Chocolaty Sweet Tale of How Poor Service Really Hurts Business| Zoli’s Blog

  • Suzy

    Maybe Michael Dell is secretly working for Steve Jobs and shorting his own Dell stock?

    Today is July 15, 2008 and the iPhone 3G came out over the weekend. Since the lines were crazy on Friday, I waited until Monday to go to the Mac store to get a cable connection for the my Dell monitor so I can use it with my MacBook. Why? because last Monday, July 7, 2008, I packed up my brand new, quad-core Dell computer and sent it UPS to Austin overnight.

    I won’t bother detailing my Dell-Hell for 4 days because it’s all been said before. The wait times, the run-around, the non-working phone numbers, the . . . OH, the hell with it. I’ve already lost 1 month of work product. How are they going to reimburse me for that?

    Maybe I’m the only one to see the end of the Dell computer line here . . . PEOPLE WERE WAITING HOURS IN LINE TO BUY A PRODUCT . . . the iPhone 3G.

    . . . as opposed to waiting on line, on hold, until the 21 day MYSTERY window comes and goes.

  • Pingback: Did The Energizer Bunny Think We Wouldn’t Talk About This? « Can someone please explain…?

  • Pingback: Meilensteine des Social Media-Marketing | massklusive.com | dialog.digital: Blog

  • Cristiana Quinn

    They have come a long way only with regard to your issue. I bought a Dell notebook from Dell direct and as soon as the warranty was up, the problems started. LCD screen went, the power cord burned out (twice), the battery died and the comms port blew. Dell support simply bounces you around and when you ask for a manager they disconnect you (not a random thing, it happened to me three times). The warranty cost rakes you over the coals and the products seem designed to require costly repairs after the first 12 months. Either way, I guess Dell figures their revenue stream is in that area and not selling product. The parts alone on my computer would cost more than a new notebook. I even contacted executives via e-mail and got two scripted calls from India telling me how I could spend $700 to fix my 18 month old notebook. Thanks, but no thanks. If you want a lemon, buy a Dell. If you want useless customer support reading from scripts in India, buy a Dell. If you want a computer that works and is worth your hard earned money, buy another brand.

  • Don

    After debating, I ended up a purchasing a brand new laptop for my mother’s retirement. Unfortunately, 30 days in the system could no longer find the hard drive. It was sent off to Dell, replaced with a new motherboard and returned. Guess what message appeared when it was fired up…that’s right – can’t find the motherboard. Dell may have learned to listen, but they evidently have not learned how to quality test their products before they leave their factory. As I write this, I have been on hold with the customer service line for 32 minutes and 24 seconds. I want my money back and the cost of the call.

  • Pingback: Social Media Summary - 10/27/2008 - Undercurrents

  • Pingback: Dell mit eigenem Facebook-Portal

  • nancy morin

    DELL SUCKS BIG TIME…THEY OUTSOURCED ALL THEIR CUSTOMER SERVICE TO INDIA AND NONE OF THEM HAVE ANY AUTHORITY WHATSOEVER TO BE ABLE TO HELP YOU. I HATE DELL AND I PERSONALLY AM THRILLED THAT HEWLETT PACKARD HAS SURPASSED THEM IN SALES…YAY!

  • Mark Bigaouette

    I have had a lot of problems will my expensive Dell Inspiron lap-top.
    The on-site tech they just sent out told me the computer has always had the wrong driver installed for the video card. He could not get the correct one from dell support either, and left. So here I am the computer
    still isn’t working correctly. I have called Dell support like a 100 times.
    does anyone at Dell care ?????????????????????????

  • Troy Brennan / Louis Sbarra

    Hey guys- I purchased my Dell (Inspiron 1420) Laptop in 11/07. My issues started about 2 or 3 months afterwards and I have been having issues ever since. I have called Dell Tech Support SO MANY TIMES. And I have lots of this documented via emails. I have even written Michael Dell a personal letter. Weeks after mailing that letter to Mr. Dell, a guy with Corporate Tech Support Called and attempted to correct my laptop. His name is -
    Avinash
    Rep ID 0186804
    Senior Support Resolver
    Dell | Consumer Resolution Center

    With No luck – and then “The Mr. Avinash” vanishes! Making no correction.

    TO MAKE A LONG STORY SHORT ! I have stop calling. Why should I keep calling and wasting my time and energy. I figured if they couldn’t fix the problem after one year then they are not going to. I realized that Dell sells LEMONs and don’t care !

    SO now I make every effort to inform everyone what I think of DELL and THIER SERVICE. OR Lack of that is… Which S _ _ K s !

  • Wile E Coyote

    See how he stutters. He doesnt know what to say. Yes I am laying everyone off in Canada the U.S. and Ireland. Great. Micheal move to India or the Philipines since you seem to like them so much. No offence but those tech support from India and the Philipines are morons. In the Canadian and U.S. offices I got polite accurate help. Now I buy HP! They dont just close all the U.S. and Canadian offices with really good support. Hp and others know that we would like the chance to talk to someone in Canada or U.S. They will evolve into a broke company. Well I dont care what he has to say. Yes we make mistakes but dont want to fix them. What a jerk. Not the biggest mistake is having all manufacturing and tech support overseas. Nice. The guy is an idiot. Well just brand the computer made in India and serviced in the Philipines and India when the want to pick up the phone. Frees him up to play golf. Yes solving problems buy saying yes even though customers want tech support from someone in Canada or the U.S. we will have tech support in India and the Philipines. I wont buy Dell. I actively boycott Dell and tell everyone dont buy their junk.

  • The Guy

    Also remember this he makes all sorts of excuses doesnt appreciate when people lose jobs. Whatever, if your dad called he would have his own tech dude. Come on. You arent even close to best. Not even in the top 10. Cheap crap they build the computers out of. All the suport is overseas, and they computers whether notebook or desktop have a high rate of failure. I had a tech tell me one time (from the U.S. office) that they were downsizing he heard in late 2006. I thought maybe but they had these plans a long time before. Micheal makes excuses and doesnt provide answers. No sorry for killing all sorts of U.S. jobs….(Where he lives) Its not an issue moron,…..lets not sugar coat it. Its a problem.

  • Pingback: Transformative Change at Dell - digitalfrost

  • Pingback: ION Digital » Blog Archive » Dell’s Facebook (Pages) Strategy

  • N2ittive2

    Dell Hell – Reborn & Burning!!!!!!

    I purchased one of those expensive XPS one’s from the Dell outlet for just a little under the regular price of the new computer on February 18, 2009. Dell has a policy that every computer delivery should be signed for before it will be delivered. Well, mine wasn’t. It was dropped (literally) on my front porch and two days later after discovering that that box was actually out there, my storm door handle was lodged in the box because the delivery service (FedEX) contracted by Dell dropped the box, broke my storm door handle, and ripped one side of the box handle to the point there was no grip there.
    Surprisingly enough, I have been in contact with Dell’s technical and customer care support and the circle has been vicious. I’ve had a Dell technician at my home because the problem could not be resolved via phone technical support. When the technician got here and replaced the computer part in the system, he determined that the newly shipped part from Dell was worse than the one he took out of the computer. Then to top all of that, when the wireless key board and the wireless mouse would not sync, a phone technician from Dell told the technician in my home to restore the computer back to factory settings and, (the keyboard did not work and was obviously needed to perform this action) that he should go and ask one of my neighbors , at 9pm EST, to borrow a keyboard.
    Customer Care at Dell informed me that I could get an exchange but I would have to wait until some other customer orders a computer with the exact same specifications of the one I ordered and, when that customer returns the computer to the outlet, they would then ship it to me. I am a tax preparer and in the height of tax season, self-employed and this kind of BS from Dell has cost me money. I finally got fed up and asked for a refund and I WILL take my business somewhere else.
    Between myself, friends and family members, we have purchased many, many, computers for many years and were proud Dell owners. I still have two in my business and was going to add a third.
    I’ve had about 6 case numbers for this computer since February 20th. Now I have to have my money tied up until the computer is returned or wait for another one which would be well after the 21-day return period.
    Oh, here’s something else new…The USP guy dropped off a return ticket from Dell for the computer (my box was damaged so I could not use the one the computer was shipped in, and Dell’s return department would not furnish an additional box for me to return their defective item), and told me that I would have to pay $10.50 to have them come back to pick up the box.
    Dell’s committment to customer satisfaction is in a deep ressession.

    • Cathy

      To everyone including myself that is having problems with DELL please go to the attorney general website and file a claim against DELL before April 13, 2009. 34 states have a settlement against DELL for 1.5 million.
      This have got to be the worse experience I have ever had. I really do not know how this company stays in business. They took my money and still do not have a laptop that works. Do you think DELL cares??? Please the only thing they can do well is say
      I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this matter caused!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  • Pingback: ¿Es ‘bueno que hablen de uno aunque sea mal’? | Evento Blog España

  • Pingback: MONITOREO 2 « FLEON

  • Shelly

    I wish the Dell company only bad in the next few years, I hope quarter by quarter sales go down and down since they crapped all over their own employees destroying many families while the sales people and managers made Dell money. What do these employees get in return ??? NOTHING

  • Pingback: Talk Amoungst Yourselves: Better Customer Service & Support (And Some Other Benefits, Too) « colaboratorie mutopo

  • Pingback: Icma2002.Com » Blog Archive » Craigslist Founder Calls Social-Media Participation Patriotic

  • John V.

    Sorry Jeff, but despite all your bluster you really come off like a complete shill for Dell. Either that or they have you completely bullshited.

    I’m just gong through my own Dell Hell with a LEMON LAPTOP that had to go in for repairs 2 days after purchase.

    After it got it back, there were still problems and the machine was scratched up and damaged by the repair hacks in Malaysia. So back it went. I also insisted that they replace the case on it.

    Now a few days after it’s second trip to Malaysia… the webcam doesn’t work and the new case they replaced was scratched up too. So, after a couple of hours of pointless and unproductive tech support, the guys in India want me to send it to Malaysia yet again!!!

    In all, this machine has been in the repair shop 75% of the time in the 3 months I’ve owned it.

    Eventually some Indian guy offers to send a refurbished machine. I tell him to get fucked. I’ve only had this machine in my possession for a week or two total. I didn’t pay for a refurbished machine and I expect a new machine. Actually, I want my money back so I can get a Macbook instead.

    Tomorrow they are supposed to call back and resolve the matter.

    I wish I knew how bad they’ve gotten. I see that there stock has lost 75% of it’s value in 5 years. I can see why… I sincerely hope that they go out of business.

  • Pingback: Smart Social Media and PR Integration from Dell | Social Media Strategy | Online PR | Proactive Report | Sally Falkow

  • Pingback: Is co-creation good or bad? Ask United. « The Co-Creation Effect

  • Pingback: Journalists’ lessons from socially engaged business | STL Social Media Guy

  • Pingback: Is co-creation good or bad? Ask United. | The Co-Creation Effect

  • Tracy

    If this is about buying a computer or labtop from Dell than I would say that my dell is from hell because when I first got it, it only worked for 31 days that one issue so I had to get a new harddrive and put it in myself which I think they should send someone to come fix my labtop and put the hard drive in for me but any rate even that it stopped working again and I called them and they said for 2 hours on the phone trying to push this button and this button and finally it did work but few weeks later it stopped working so finally for another 2 hours on the phone I finally got a supervisor and they said that to mail my labtop their techinical repair shop to fix it well I waited 4 weeks to finally labtop back but it still wasn’t fixed again I had to put the hard drive in myself and wondering why could they have done that why they the repair had machine? Any rate so put hard dirve worked for a few days and again it totally stop working so I called again to techinical support and I said I want someone to come here and fix my labtop and even that technician couldn’t even with repairing all parts so they did give me a new labtop but sometimes this labtop doesn’t always work for example when I tried to get wireless it almost didn’t work because the Internet company technician that it could be my labtop that the reason I almost couldn’t go wireless because of the network card in the labtop wasn’t working properly so there you have my story about my situation about dell and you know when I finished paying this off I’m getting another computer and if I do it not going to be dell. So I warn others don’t get a dell!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Tracy

    All I need to say we need to start a petition against Dell and actually if they solve my problem with interest rate on finincial part I’m taking them civil court

  • Pingback: Dell lærer å lytte | DellDirekte - Dell Norges offisielle blogg

  • Pingback: user agent » Blog Archive » Measuring the Value of Good Will

  • Pingback: Doc Searls Weblog · Amazon Purgatory

  • Pingback: Complain: Tell Them What You Really Think | Money Life Cafe

  • Pingback: The Birth of Olympic Price Watch « @rtstrategy

  • Pingback: Terry Heaton’s PoMo Blog » Blog Archive » Businesses are beginning to listen

  • Pingback: Ant's Eye View > 4 things Nestlé should have done (better)

  • Pingback: What the heck is co-creation? | The Co-Creation Effect

  • patty

    i ordered a dell. after about a month it finally arrived. it barely works.it takes about an hour to read 2 e mails. ni am 61 and disabled. not able to deal with this crap. i paid for 3 years mcafee and dell charged my credit card but didn’ install. i have a computer expert out twice and the cannot fix all the problems . i have called dell several times about the numerous problems and all i get is i am sorry you are not happy with a computer thar does’nt work. after payin almost a thousand dollars i expect to at least be able to read a couple of e mails with out taking all day.

  • Pingback: Power Friending- Social Media Strategy-10 Best Practices | Power Friending

  • TJ Davies

    Dell Customer Service still no better, years after the promised improvements…my near decade of Dell ownership shows it’s actually gotten worse.

    I’ve bought 4 systems from Dell, in just under a decade, and I will say, luckily, I don’t have to contact them often, but when I do, it’s a multi-day, multi-phone number, multi-transfer, hours-sucking marathon…often without a resolution.

    Most recent example (July/Aug 2010): I need a new set of recovery discs for my “old” (2002) system. We’ll skip the 3+ hours in 5 calls (plus 7 transfers) to tech support that have lead to this conclusion. I need to order discs.

    Ordering them only takes 3 calls to 3 numbers within Dell (+ 1 transfer). My order is placed. Over the next month, my order is delayed SIX times. So I call to find out what’s what.

    Six different Dell numbers later, I’m told that Dell doesn’t have the discs I ordered, and they never did. They placed an order for a product they don’t have, and don’t know when they’ll have. I’m told to cancel the order and place a new one.

    Three more calls (1 more Dell number) later, and I”m told that I can “request” the item (which is not the same as ordering, apparently, but the rep can’t define the difference), and I’m guided to a website to place the request. The rep can’t explain how requests are handled.

    Today’s 9 calls took 1 hour, 18 minutes, and I have no idea if I can get what I need, as I’m now waiting for some response from “requests.”

    Quite a few of my clients feel they’ll be able to upgrade their systems this year. I’m strongly recommending they look past Dell for their purchases.

    Needless to say I won’t be ordering from them again – the competitive price doesn’t make up for the time & frustration after purchase.

    I wish LL Bean ran Dell.

    • https://twitter.com/DellCares Lorna At Dell

      Contact @DellCares via Twitter, or on Facebook at:
      http://apps.facebook.com/dellfeedback/. We LOVE to help our customers with any concerns they may be experiencing.

  • https://twitter.com/DellCares Lorna At Dell

    Sorry to read about your customer experience. Please contact me at Lorna_McNamara@Dell.com and provide your email address and service tag #. We “may” be able to locate the recovery CD’s for a system from 2002. I would like the opportunity to try.
    Thank you for your patience. I look forward to hearing from you.

  • Pingback: The Birth of Olympic Price Watch | RT Strategy | Kelowna Marketing Consultancy | Agency - Firm - Social Media - Web Design - Online Marketing

  • Pingback: Lawsuits & Lemonade: There Really Is No Such Thing As Bad PR

  • Pingback: Study: 82% Of U.S. Consumers Bail On Brands After Bad Customer Service | BJD Productions Blog

  • Pingback: Study: 82% Of U.S. Consumers Bail On Brands After Bad Customer Service | JetLib News

    • http://www.bing.com/ Rayshelon

      I actually found this more enerttnaiing than James Joyce.

  • Pingback: Study: 82% Of U.S. Consumers Bail On Brands After Bad Customer Service | High Tech Toys

  • Pingback: Study: 82% Of U.S. Consumers Bail On Brands After Bad Customer Service

  • Pingback: Tech Revenge » Study: 82% Of U.S. Consumers Bail On Brands After Bad Customer Service

  • Pingback: Skewering Social CRM? | Constellation Research

  • Pingback: Innovation in Print Media « « Julie BoydJulie Boyd

  • Pingback: Le réveil du 8e continent | mirandole

  • Pingback: Dell: From Hell to IdeaStorm « The Post-Ad Age

  • Pingback: Il était une fois… les moteurs de recherche - Le Blog de LunaWeb

  • Pingback: allisonmparks

  • Pingback: Dell Will Let You Know How Integrated You Are - PRNewser

  • http://www.pcrepairmiddlesbrough.co.uk Paul W

    Well it is a case that more people voice problems than they do praise. I worked for an international consulting company that turned their back on Dell (20 billion a year company) and went with IBM for procuring new equipment, IBM being my company’s arch enemy. It wasn’t long before Dell rectified the problems we had and we went back after a couple of years. Their machines have had problems but some of them have also been the most reliable I have ever used, in general, I cannot fault them for quality, depsite some blips along the way you would expect with any company.

    The interview was very interesting. It wasn’t at all bad. I do think they listen to customers and I do think they produce machines that are reasonable. Michael Dell was insightful, perhaps also very lucky in taking his company forward on the internet. I just wish their reps weren’t quite so annoying when they call me!

  • http://www.brooksglycerin8.com brooksglycerin8

    [...]one of our {visitors|guests} {recently|lately|not too long ago|just lately|a short while ago|not long ago} {recommended|suggested|advised|encouraged|proposed} the following website[...]

  • Twyla Borey

    Of course, what a great site and educational posts, I’ll add backlink bookmark this site? Regards, Reader.

  • Pingback: Dear Verizon, | Fast Fails | The Best Fail Channels

  • Matt

    This is a summation of the incompetent customer service I received from #Dell Computers, UK.

    Background and situation:
    I ordered a refurbished laptop from @DellOutletUK on the 15th of January, 2012 at around 4pm UK time.

    Sometime later on the same evening of ordering, I noticed a better deal for a different Dell refurbished laptop on the @DixonsOnline website.

    This laptop had a newer 2nd generation i3 processor, 1GIG more RAM, a better webcam, and, a better screen. Not only this, but with the discount code working at the time, this laptop would have worked out £20 cheap than the @DellOutletUK #Dell laptop.

    As per my basic human and consumer rights, I wished to cancel the order with @DellOutletUK. Surprisingly, #Dell Customer Service phone lines only operate between 9am-6pm on weekdays, only. So I called first thing the next morning, on the day of the 16th January, at 9am.

    Amazingly, baring in mind #Dell is a leading IT company, simple tasks like cancelling orders are turned into complex, convoluted and drawn out procedures.

    I was issued a Cancellation Number code and told they would ‘confirm’ the cancellation by the afternoon of the same day (their official terms are 12/24 hours.) To add to this, you can only cancel an order if the status is not flagged as ‘Shipped’, which mine WAS NOT. I believe there are also added complications if you wish to cancel a custom built machine, which again, this was not, it was an off-the-shelve #laptop.

    I graciously recorded the Cancellation Number and thought it’s no big deal, I can wait until tomorrow to purchase the better value laptop, it will probably still be there by then.

    By mid-afternoon the next day, the 17th of Jan, I had had absolutely no contact from anyone at @DellUK, so it was left to me to contact them. I sent a number of emails, and received one back confirming that it was in process and should be confirmed soon. Baring in mind this was now well over the 24 hours of their official confirmation time terms.

    By this point I was feeling powerless to anything. I had done all the right things: called and requested the cancel; backed it up with emails; I had been polite, courteous, trusting and patient.

    Fast-forward to the end of the day of the 17th Jan; 2 WHOLE WORKING DAYS after asking for my order to be cancelled, at 6pm UK, I received an email that my laptop has now been shipped along with a tracking number. To my absolute dismay.

    Remember that their phone lines close at 6pm, and there would be little point in sending emails at this point. So, I tried the Dell Live Chat system to try and get some answers, this system closes at 8pm UK time.

    The assistant who was assigned to me could only tell me the Live Chat system only acts to help with people who want to make orders, so I asked to speak to his supervisor, whom he put me through to. The supervisor seemed to have little to no experience in how to deal with and treat customers and proceeded to fob me off in a rather patronising tone with vague promises that all is well and I should ignore the ‘item Shipped’ notice. His advice was proven to be totally wrong and wreckless.

    I have uploaded the transcript of this Live Chat session so you can witness the lacklustre attempts of customer care and service given by #Dell’s member of staff. Please view the transcript PDF here: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10868058/Print_nGenera_Customer_Interaction_Management_Customer_Client.pdf

    Sometime during in this whole debacle, the deal on the better value laptop I wanted to buy had now expired. Thanks to #Dell’s incompetence, I had now missed out.

    By this point I felt extremely upset and let down. Lied to and cheated. #Dell had cost me money, time, stress and a number of actual, physical, migraines.

    I turned to twitter and publicly expressed my miss-treatment. One of their ‘social media’ agents, @StephenJatDell, a nice fellow, was quick to respond and act, picked up my tweet and offered to investigate. This was late in the evening of the 17th of Jan.

    The next day,18th Jan, I received 2 phone calls from a very nice sounding Indian gent who informed me he was calling from the aforementioned social media team, and queried me about my issues.

    By this point, #Dell had stressed me out so much that I spoke to this very nice man in a raised voice, my frustration was overflowing and the poor guy was the unfortunate receiver of this release. I didn’t abuse him or anything bad, but I am not proud of speaking to him with an angry energy which was only due to the ludicrous service I had so far received via #Dell’s internal infrastructure and policies.

    19th Jan, I received a phone call at the last of that day 6pm only to be informed that my laptop had now, somehow, been physically tracked down in the postal system, and apprehended!!!!! AMAZING.

    Am I now a happy #Dell customer? What do you think?

    Perhaps #Dell considered this a result! Only by the letter of the law!

    I am a first time #Dell customer. #Dell had the opportunity to embrace me as a new customer, perhaps a new customer for life. And now? I am an ex, never-to-be-again customer, who will never recommend them to anyone, not only that, but one who is taking the time to write a lengthy and detailed account of my experience on twitter to make aware what other potential new #Dell customers will be letting themselves in for. This will be syndicated in as many blogs and Internet platforms as I can get it on to.

    I don’t know, but I thought customer service was about making customers happy, earning their trust and a lengthy relationship. Not to #Dell. Instead of giving me the option of a discount or other ‘sweetener’ by means of an apology for their incompetence, they choose to just haul the laptop out of the postal system and throw my money and any future custom back in my face. That is not amazing customer care and relation, it’s not even great, or good… it’s absolute borderline legal bare minimum. That’s disgustingly, fundamentally WRONG.

    Now my bank account will be refunded in 5 working days… so that’s yet another 5 days I will have to wait before ordering my new laptop.

    Thanks #Dell, thanks for absolutely nothing but stress and disappointment. You should be ashamed of your faceless, soulless, totally unsociable, barely human, amoral attitude to building personable customer relationships. I can only hope that some good comes of this account and all the above points are addressed, but I won’t be holding my breath.

    (This document is publicly available on Google Docs, and anyone is welcome and encouraged to publish this on other websites: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1LPIY1HO5b_cOpodW2JVra7NfPNu-AkR5u31tEP7TO0A/edit )

    Thank you.

  • Pingback: Il fanstastico mondo DELL social business « Marketiria

  • Pingback: Study: 82% Leave After Bad Customer Service « Snap!

  • Pingback: A l i c e // P o d e n z a n a

  • Pingback: Oceniam mię i Klout strumieniami leje się | Social Daddy

  • Pingback: Macht, Ohnmacht und Unsinn von Shitstorms | Patrick Schneider

  • Pingback: Dell: We’re Private Now, And We Don’t Have to Give a Shit | Daily Pundit

  • Pingback: Dell s-ar putea sa ofere customer service prin Google+ Hangouts | Blogul Matildei