: I got a great hoot out of this: My Dell Hell saga is now the subject of a white paper by three UK PR, marketing, and monitoring firms. It’s a PDF, even.
I’m not sure I understand their methodology but they profess to find a new measure for an “issue influence index” and they say that Buzzmachine is influential in impressions of Dell customer support. They say that through their calculations regarding searches on Dell customer service…
a) Jeff Jarvis’s Buzzmachine is the key online source for those who have a negative perception of Dell’s customer service;
b) Its influence is enhanced by support from a closely allied group of bloggers;
c) Dell’s own influence on the topic of its poor customer service is weak; …
e) Taken all in all, Jeff Jarvis’s Buzzmachine is the eleventh most influential voice on Dell’s customer service in general….
That’s a lot of fun, but I don’t buy it. I don’t think I influenced a thing. I do think that I happened to be a magnet for an apparently unlimited number of unhappy and frustrated Dell customers who were already there with lots of pent-up anger (and the parade doesn’t end; I still get emails and comments and links from Dell victims every day, though there’s really nothing I can do for them).
I was merely a leading indicator of the problems that had built up in Dell’s customer base with its unreliable products and unsatisfying service. I could have put my story out there and no one could have responded. Instead, hundreds responded. When you saw that, folks, you should have sold your Dell stock. Fast.
: See also Thomas Hawk’s story of his complaints against a New York camera story that mushroomed with stories online — some of which referred to my Dell Hell — and attacks against the store’s site and phones, apparently by fellow bloggers. Hawk doesn’t endorse that. Neither do I. Nonetheless, every customer-facing service and brand has to learn: We have more friends than you do.
: And while we’re on the topic of pissed off consumers getting their revenge… Nick Denton launches his newest blog, Consumerist, for shoppers with bad attitudes. It…
…hates paying for shoddy products, inhumane customer support, and half-assed service….
The Consumerist will highlight the persistent, shameless boners of modern consumerism — and the latest hot deals, discounts, and freebies around.
Join us. You’ll tell us when you’ve been royally screwed by yet another company, and we’ll channel your rage. Together we will storm the revolving doors of faceless corporations to call them naughty words for genitals, and they will begin to fear us.
The Consumerist. Capitalism is broken. We’ll help you fix it.
: LATER: When you click on this link, you will see how it is a perfect circle, jerk.