If you read an earlier post, “Heros or Zeros”, then you’ll know what I mean when I say that Dell customer service is less than zero.
I signed up for “in-home service” as part of my warranty package when I purchased a Dell computer for my home office.
I’ve learned what an oxymoron that phrase is at Dell.
My wife and I have spent 8-10 hours helping Dell’s phone reps “diagnose” the problem. That included going to the internet to download a system disk that wasn’t shipped with the computer as it should have been. Even with help from a computer consultant, the download was nightmarish.
We were repeatedly informed that no in-home service could be done until we had worked through the Dell procedures by phone.
Now the hard drive is, despite closely following instructions, fried. Recently a start-up screen Dell-supplied diagnostic reported an “Error 7″ which means, according to my computer consultant, there is more corrupt space than uncorrupt space on the drive. Now the computer won’t boot at all. We get a black screen that says “Can’t boot because of an NDLRT (or somesuch) problem.”
Still, the tech wants to run more “diagnostics.” I’m doubtful we can do ANYTHING on a computer that won’t boot.
So today I spent 40 minutes on the phone today, displacing a scheduled call, talking with a Dell employee and supervisor to arrange for them to call my friend Nick, a computer consultant, at his cell phone at a particular time to attempt to run the “mandatory diagnostic” on my demon-possessed computer that has never run correctly from day one.
At the appointed time, Dell called…my wife. Not Nick. Clueless. Unaware. Nick called THEM five times, to the number supplied, with the correct case number, and ended up leaving a message.
An aside: Let me be clear about language challenges. I don’t care what country a customer service rep or tech lives in, nor what primary language he or she speaks. If he or she knows their stuff and can communicate clearly, I’m copacetic. But Dell, and any company, owes it to customers to make sure that those representatives speak English well enough to be comprehensible. And that hasn’t been the case in our experience for the past three weeks.
The superivsor apologized for my “many problems and frustrations” and said that once the final diagnostics had been run, a technician would visit my home with “whatever parts were required to fix the problems.”
The dilemma is that we can’t jump through enough hoops nor spend enough time to satisfy Dell’s ridiculous requirements.
I feel cheated. The extra money for in-home service represents no convenience as positioned by the salesperson at Dell. Simple math tells me that I would have saved money, based on the value of my time, to throw the computer away and buy a new one.
Which reminds me: I’ve purchased five Dell computers in the past three years. Not likely ever again.
I just can’t justify doing business with a company that has customer service less than zero.