Dell hell, indeed

Dell’s profit fell 28 percent.

  • Excluding one-time charges, profits were up 18%

  • Charges amounting to real money from a defective machine.

  • Richard Stanton

    I’m in Dell hell now. On Nov 22, 2005 I ordered a Dell note book to be paid for through my palpal account. dell then proceeded to attempt to draw funds from my account twice. They were denied on the 2nd attempt even though the first transaction was approved and the funds are ready to be acceped by dell. Thank God the 2nd try failed or I would have paid double. As of now the order is on hold. I have spent countless hours and disconnected calls trying to get dell to recognize their error without luck. I’m afraid to cancel the order as the funds have already been deducted from my paypal account and fear the funds will be lost. I have never had such terrible service. paypalhas even tried to intervine without success.

  • Jeff, feel free to move this one to the front page if need be. I can accept mail at the anonymous account provided. If anyone wants to converse about this experience over email, please post a comment and I will reply with my Hush account.

    December 1st 2005

    Below is my phone and chat log with Dell Support Today (10:30am). Just keep this in the back of your head, I’m an IT Manager for one of Chicago’s Museums. How do you suppose an end user would feel if they had a similar experience?

    11:03:56 AM System Welcome (name protected) …
    11:03:56 AM System Connecting to server. Please wait…
    11:03:56 AM System Thank you for using Dell Chat, a representative will be with you soon.
    11:07:37 AM System You are now being connected to an agent. Thank you for using Dell Chat
    11:07:37 AM System Connected with CU_Rep_Oliver
    11:07:55 AM CU_Rep_Oliver Welcome to Dell Sales Chat.My name is Oliver.I’ll be your personal sales agent for today.give me a moment to review your concern, please don’t go away.
    11:08:07 AM You driver should read drive…sorry
    11:10:19 AM CU_Rep_Oliver please call our spare parts dept for that at 18009153355-7269937
    11:11:39 AM You so spare parts will be able to tell me if the drive I’m looking to purchase is compatible with veritas?
    11:11:51 AM CU_Rep_Oliver are you still there,chris?
    11:11:54 AM CU_Rep_Oliver yes.
    11:12:13 AM You yes, im here, the connection is lagging
    11:13:01 AM You what is the 7269937 part of the number, is it the route thru the menu
    11:13:19 AM CU_Rep_Oliver Ok,would there be anything else that I can assist you regarding this,?
    11:13:32 AM CU_Rep_Oliver that’s the ext num.
    11:13:36 AM You did you not get my last message?
    11:13:41 AM You ahh ok
    11:14:10 AM You Nope, thats it….Thanks
    11:14:24 AM CU_Rep_Oliver Thank you for chatting with Dell Sales chat and Have a great day.
    11:14:28 AM System CU_Rep_Oliver has left this session!
    11:14:28 AM System The session has ended!

    [NOTES: Dell Spare Parts Number 1-800-915-3355 extension 7269937, note the extension didn’t work, Still had to press 4,2,3,3 then number asked me for my express service tag. So the rep lied about the number because I needed presales support, not tech support for existing customers.]

    After not providing my express tag that I don’t have since I don’t own the dell equipment YET, the menu told me to choose from options not pertaining to my situation. Pressing 0 transferred me to wifi tech support another 0 repeated the wifi menu, 3 0’s got me nowhere. After press 0 ten more times i was transferred to the tech support hold line, expected wait estimated at greater than 6 minutes. (Nice) So far 2 minutes in menu, and 6 minutes on hold!

    I see they treat their presales customers about as good as their current customers! :(
    Waited 10 more minutes before hanging up. Hung up redialed number, entered fruitless 7 digit extension and same menu options, this time I was immediately connected to someone only identifying herself as Abby, wanted my service tag number…I said I wanted presales, she said, “you have to purchase the part to get presales support.” I told her that I don’t want to buy the part unless I know if its compatible. She said, “what’s the model?”

    (Finally I’m getting somewhere) I said, Its a DLT Drive in a Dell Powervault 120T Server. First she asked, “Is that a type of CD Burner?” I said, NO!, then she asked again for the part and I repeated it, only to get a reply from her along the lines of “What model was the server?” I then repeated it again! (ARGH) Then she said “oh ok.” And asked, “do you have the part in front of you?” I said NO, I need to know if it is compatible before I purchase it! (DUH!) Then she asked, “what is your address so I can ship you the part?” I told her that I’m not buying a product before knowing if it is compatible with the software that I have.

    She said oh! And Put me on hold stating that she was looking up that information. When she came back 2 minutes later she told me, “that she needed to transfer me to the standard tech support line for that to be answered.”
    [And provided me with the number In case of disconnect.]

    When the call (800-624-9896 extension 7266955) was connected I had to choose option 3 simply because I didn’t need a gift card, nor did I have what ever option 2 provided. Then customer support picked up, so I proceeded to ask the same question that I asked the other lady. This new lady who didn’t provide her name said, “I’m sorry you reached the wrong place, let me transfer you.” (another female indian).

    After being transferred again to the tech support line, the voice activation system demanded my service tag, I spoke into the phone “Not applicable!” the voice activated system didn’t understand, I said, “operator” and the vas said “in order to transfer you I need the service tag number.” Again I said, “operator” at this point I was then transferred and presented with the PAY-TECH-Line recording.

    After listening to the message, I was dumped into the tech line telling me that I could get faster support by using the online web chat. (Hmmm, I feel as if I had tried that already) After waiting 10 minutes this recording came on telling me to call this number 888-242-0957 because if I don’t have a service tag, this support line can’t help me and to have my credit card information handy. (Hmm is it just me or is it standard practice to charge customers for a PRE-SALES QUESTION???) Total time on hold before hanging up, 18 minutes 45 seconds.

    I guess I will have to hunt down some English speaking Customer Service Executive. But for now, I will post this on any open blog!

  • Cliff


    #10 The hell with refunds due customers, gather more money to pay-off the media to spread the lie that Dell has great product support.
    #9 The customer does not know the technician’s home address. (Cannot come looking for the tech)
    #8 Kevin said, “Anytime we fail to execute is the biggest risk by far” Kevin B. Rollins, so lousy customer support must be part of executing a plan at Dell. Ugh, what did he say? Who or what are they executing, customers?
    #7 Hang up in the middle of a conversation and go on to an easier call, a variation of “ain’t my problem mon” or the old “fuck ‘em”.
    #6 To hell with the handicapped and disabled, they take too much time and cannot easily complain, besides we are Dell, we can do whatever we want.
    #5 Gee, I never heard of that problem before, you should go to or call 800-624-9896. Ha! ha! ha! Goodbye sucker!
    #4 Who are they going to contact and complain, Michael or Kevin? Good luck! More ha! ha! ha!
    #3 Ignore them, eventually they will just give up, the warranty will expire, they will go insane or die. Then mark it “problem solved!”
    #2 Shuffle calls and e-mails off to India for cheap money support; they will baffle, confuse, waste a lot of time and then give them a wonderful answer to the wrong question.
    #1 The dog ate my Dell Customer Support Manual.

    See blog: Dell Top Ten

    [email protected]


  • Interesting. I’ve never had a problem with Dell. Of course, all my machines are IBM.

  • Kelli A. Henry

    It must be that Dell considers Customer Service a low priority. Not only cannot you not get your customer service issues addressed (by someone who comprehends basic English), you cannot speak to a live customer service representative. The computer I ordered has seen more air travel than I have all year! “Dude, your not getting a Dell!” is the new catch phrase for Dell. I have never had a worse experience! If it ever arrives, it WILL be the LAST DELL I EVER BUY!. My company is planning on buying a large quantity of new computers for 2006 as we upgrade our entire facility. I’ll be sure to share my personal experience with them before the purchase!

  • I couldn’t read all the posts to your site. But, I, too, have lived in DELL HELL since I purchased a 300M laptop in June, 2005. Said laptop was taken off market within a month after my purchase. Without boring the hell out of everyone, to summarize, I have spent over $200 in “technical service fees” to DEll because my 3 yr warranty did not cover software. . . hah, hah, hah! My computer crashed 3 times, I had to reformat my hard drive twice, and spend money with Microsoft to get my machine in order. Nothing like spending 2 and 1/2 hrs plus each time, usually until 2 or 4 a.m., when their technicians seem to be available. Oh, my cd drive had to be returned shortly after I bought the machine, as was the machine, which oddly enough was not returned to me. Instead I got a refurbished machine, not the new one I had spent over $2,000 on for all the bells and whistles. DELL HELL INDEED!

  • td

    I too am a distisfied Dell customer.iT’S EXTREMELY DIFFICULT TO get customer support. which exists mainly on paper. It is laughable thay advertise world class support. The few times Ive been able to reach them I get foreigners with strange accents that can’t be understood. The service warranty has expired before I could get any meaningful support. Luckly there are suppoert groups out there who help for free much more than the vaunted and purported dell class service. Another USA disgrace.

  • Manfred

    One month ago (Aug.28, 2006), the warranty of my DELL Inspiron 6000 expired. Two weeks ago, the battery stopped working. Finding this unacceptable and being naive, i.e trusting in the DELL name, I thought that this must be an abberation and that DELL would agree with me that a battery death after such a short time must be a totally irregular. I phoned them requesting – being naive – that as a good will gesture they replace it for free. Nothing of the sort. Not only were they borderline rude, but the people with whom I spoke made it very clear that they were not in the “good will gesture ” business, but that I had been less than smart for having neglected to purchase an extended warranty.

  • John

    I purchased a B130 laptop and after a couple months I noticed that when I booted the machine up I’d occasionally get a white screen. It happend sporadically and if I restarted the machine it would work. It wasn’t a big enough deal for me to call tech support at the time. Well, it got progressively worse to the point when I decided to fire up Dell chat. I got a rep who had me do the basic troubleshooting with no avail and he offered to have the notebook shipped for repair. He said that it was an issue with the LCD panel and that it would be repaired or replaced. That seemed fair and I went ahead and agreed to that arrangement. I waited 4 days before the computer came back and the repair sheet in the box said that they updated the BIOS. No mention of LCD repair or malfuntion. I was a bit surprised to see that repair, but I figured that maybe it was a BIOS issue that affected the video driver or something. I turn on the machine and SURPRISE!… the white screen. I was livid. I again fired up Dell chat and got another tech who immediately wanted me to troubleshoot again; I asked for 2nd level support and got a friendly enough guy who apologized and again asked that the unit be shipped back for repair. I explained that the first time I shipped it back it wasn’t a huge inconvenience because school was not in session, but that now that school WAS in session being without a laptop was really crimping my style. He assured me it would be on an escalated repair schedule and I’d have it back asap. Sooooo… I send the laptop back again, and in 5 days I get it back, pull ou the repair sheet and it says the KEYBOARD was replaced! I couldn’t believe it, and promised myself at this point I would not take anything less than a replacment. I fire up Dell chat again and get a 2nd level manager immediately who wanted to have the laptop sent back again. I absolutley refused sayng that I’d sent it back twice already and have been promised repairs both times to no avail. He then suggested we try re-seating the LCD cable while I was on the phone with him. He emailed me a picture of what we were going to do and as I’m technically inclined it was not that big of a deal for me to do what was required. I made him know, however, that if this was the repair that needed to be done, I didn’t appreciate having to send the laptop back twice already. He had me fire up the machine after I reseated the cable and the machine turned on and things seemed to work. He gave me his email address and said he’d follow up with me the next day. I went to turn on the laptop the next morning and SURPRISE!…. white screen again. Long story short, after contacting support once again, they immediately agreed to send me a refurbished replacement (really not happy about this, but I only spent $600 originally for unit so I’m dealing with it), but it would take 5 days to ‘process’. Well 5 days has passed and I have not received a replacement. Contacted them tonight and they have no estimate of shipment of the replacement. UNBELIEVEABLE!!! I will never buy Dell again and am typing this post with my Lenovo z60m that I got via their outlet for the same price as I paid for the B130. Build quality and features are in a different league than Dell and I highly recommend Lenovo if you want a quality laptop.


  • TFM

    I have a Dell Inspiron B130 (Which cost me $869), and I have had serious problems with it since I got it. Not only to te power chord give out in less than a year, but every now and then I will be using it and the screen turns a pale orange/pink color. Everything dissapears and I cannot continue working until I’ve restarted my computer and everything I have been working on is lost. Dell Hell, indeed. It makes me so mad. Now, it seems Dell doesn’t even sell B130s anymore. My warranty is about to run out and I’m broke. I will never buy from dell again. Their customer service sucks, and you can’t understand them. RAWR! It angers me that Dell ay that they are the best, when truthfully, you could get a better computer at WALMART for a lesser price. Anyone else agree or know how to get a cheap but good laptop?

  • DarkfaderX

    I also purchased an Inspiron B130. Several months after I bought the machine i got the blue screen of death. I rebooted the computer and everything seemed to work out fine. Then i kept getting the screen until the computer was useless. The blue screen was there every time I tried booting up. Dell customer support told me to send it in for repairs. When i got it back it worked fine for two weeks. Then the blue screen came back again, making my computer worthless. Dell told me to send it back again. I sent it back and it took three weeks to get back. I thought that the problem would have been fixed for them to have it for a long time. I got my machine back, and it worked. When i unplugged the laptop it sayed “Battery 100% 5 minutes remaining”!!! When i called Dell again, they told me that they didn’t sell the computer anymore and it was not supported. I asked what i could do to get other help and they said to buy one of their newer computers! So I ended up buying some fancy expensive computer from Alienware for $15,000 with a ton of advanced features.

    Dell Sucks! Alienware is better!

  • Alienwareisbetter

    To DarkfaderX “Dell Owns Alienware” Do your research.