Posts about Dell

Nya, nya, nya

Apple is now worth more than Dell.

Dell makes a lot more computers. But they are worth a lot less.

Apple makes better computers. And that is worth much more. Even Wall Street figured that out. MacDailyNews reports [via my son]:

On October 6, 1997, in response to the question of what he’d do if he was in charge of Apple Computer, Dell founder and then CEO Michael Dell stood before a crowd of several thousand IT executives and answered flippantly, “What would I do? I’d shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.”

A little more than a month later, on November 10, 1997, new Apple iCEO Steve Jobs responded, speaking in front of an image of Michael Dell’s bulls-eye covered face, “We’re coming after you, you’re in our sights.”

Today, after a little more than eight years of hard work, Apple Computer, Inc. passed Dell, Inc. in market value. That’s right, at market close Apple Computer ($72,132,428,843) is now worth more than Dell ($71,970,702,760).

I told you to sell.

Dell’s blog hell

Ed Moltzen reports on Dell and the bloggers, following up on Engadget’s report that the topic of unhappy customers with blogs came up during Dell’s Q&A with the press.

Michael Dell says complaints by bloggers about his company’s customer service are as bad as any other complaint. And don’t expect him to start blogging, either….

But what about bloggers, who have ravaged the company with bad customer service reviews for the past several months while Dell has done little or nothing publicly to counter all the negative publicity? Has he rethought how Dell views the blogosphere?

“We don’t want anyone to have a bad experience, whether they are a blogger or anyone else,” Dell responded….

But Dell himself seemed perplexed when asked whether he, Michael Dell, would actually start a blog (as have Sun President Jonathan Schwartz, Intel CEO Paul Otellini, who blogs internally behind a company firewall, and hundreds of employees of IBM and Microsoft.)

Dell shook his head and said he makes his views known to people inside his company “using a variety of different methods.”

So, too, do bloggers.

I emailed Ed and asked how aware of the blog belching Dell and company are. Ed replied that after a lot of talk about how satisfied Dell customers are…

I then reminded him that there is a vocal group of customers, bloggers, who have been criticizing Dell for months and asked him if that changed his thoughts, opinion or strategy in any way.

He answered with the quote I provided, and an extended explanation of what he’s doing to improve customer service.

My sense is that he wasn’t very familiar with the groundswell of complaints from the blogosphere.

Your friend inside

Brad Berens interviews Wired editor Chris Anderson about, among other things, Chris’ experience getting help from Microsoft with his XBox 360, comparing and contrasting the experience with my Dell hell. Chris emailed Microsoft bloggers asking for help and they put him in touch with the right people. Though Chris acknowledges that he might just get more attention because of his business card, it’s still an example of a new relationship companies can have with customers made possible by the individual relationships employee-bloggers have with customer-bloggers. This is what Chris Locke argued for in his book, Gozno Marketing: It’s about the people inside and outside the factory gates finding that they have shared interests.

: Speaking of Dell…. Inside Engadget’s incredible CES coverage is this from the media Q&A with Michael Dell et al:

The Jeff Jarvis factor: “We don’t want anyone to have a bad experience, whether they’re a blogger or anyone else. The broad body of evidence suggests that those experiences are rather anomolous, even though they’re completely unacceptable to us. What we found with Tech Connect is that a number of these problems — like rootkits — somebody has that problem, trying to solve it themselves over the phone, it’s just not gonna happen. But with a tool like Tech Connect, the guys can go in and fix it rather quickly. We’re also making an investment to improve service levels across the board. Adding new support sites. Edmonton, Ottawa, Oklahoma City. (And, no, Mike has no plans to blog himself.)

Compare and contrast Dell with Microsoft… Sun… the former Macromedia… and other, smarter tech companies, where personal relationships are possible. What would happen if somebody could actually find a friend in Dell? To this day, I get emails from fatally frustrated customers of Dell having nowhere to turn — and, unfortunately, there’s not a thing I can do for them, either. They need friends.


Of course, I found this image amusing. [via MrJake and White African]

Customers’ revenge

: 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.

Dell hell, indeed

Dell’s profit fell 28 percent.

Insert byte joke here

Business Week starts a blog about Apple… and the first post is about Dell. It’s been eight years since Michael Dell was asked after a speech at a Gartner conference in Orlando what he would do if he were in charge of Apple Computer. His answer: Shut the company down and give the money back to shareholders.

Now remember these were the days before the iMac, the iPod, and OS X. Apple was typically described with adjectives like “beleaguered” and phrases like “on the ropes.” Steve Jobs was only about two months into his time as “interim CEO” and had inherited a big stack of challenges from Gil Amelio.

What a difference eight years can make. That’s what I thought when I saw the news that Dell Computer had warned for the second quarter in a row that its revenue and earnings will fall short of expectations. Now that it’s approaching $60 billion in sales, its finding growth isn’t so easy.
As we are required by blog law to say at moments such as this: Heh

: Glad to see the Apple blog. Just one request: Add a blogroll to the many other good Apple blogs out there, each from a different perspective. Or add a feed of their headlines. Start here (where they should also add such a blogroll). And yes, I know, I’m a fine one to speak: What happened to my blogroll? I’m just disorganized, lazy, and overworked; I’ll get to it.

Dell hell: fell post bell. Yell: sell pell-mell!.

Well, well, do tell:

Many, many folks sent me news that Dell warned of a bad earnings surprise and that its stock crashed like my Dell laptop. No, I don’t take credit or blame. But I’m not surprised. What do you think is going to happen when a company’s products and service decline? So will sales! So will profit! So will marketshare! So will stock! Doesn’t take a computer to figure that out.

Quelle surprise.