While there are companies out there that are applauded for their customer service, I find more often than not that they are great when you have the time to work with them and play their games. However, it seems that when you fall into a category that isn’t on support’s scripts you are pretty much screwed. (You can skip to paragraph 4 if you wish to skip the background information regarding myself, and my use of my computer)
To provide some background, lets start with a little bit about myself. I am currently a sophomore in the college of engineering at my university. For those of you familiar with this discipline, you may know that it is often required for engineering students to provide their own laptops to complete tasks ranging anywhere from programming, to 3D modeling, to even word processing. When I was accepted to the college, my parents went laptop shopping and chose to purchase a fully loaded Dell XPS 15z which was a top of the line PC at the time. Even to this day, it can hold its own with other medium to high end laptops (excluding gaming laptops). It was meant to last me 4 years, so my parents spent nearly $3,000 to ensure that I had a computer that would be everything I needed till I had my first real job and could afford a new one.
As a college student in the 21st century, I rely on my computer for just about everything having to do with school. Nearly all of my homework is online, and almost all tasks and projects must be completed using student versions of the same professional software that is used in the industry. Knowing this before college started my freshmen year, I was glad (at the time) that I had gotten a Dell. As far as I knew, their computers were reliable, powerful, and pretty durable. Well, as I’m sure you all know from the context of this post already, that my assumptions of Dell were wrong.
Here is a list of everything that as gone wrong with this computer:
- Failing heatsink/fan (3 months after owning)
- 2nd failing heatsing/fan (12 – 14 months after owning)
- Failing LCD screen (20 months after owning)
The above issues individually weren’t that bad, I understand that things fail on computers. I however don’t understand why a 3,000 dollar laptop has 3 failing parts within the first 2 years of ownership. In comparison, my girlfriends $300 HP has been owned just as long, but has had 0 problems. The first two faulty parts were fixed pretty quickly, after the repairs were done I was left a satisfied customer. It wasn’t until the 3rd failing part that my faith in Dell as a company started to waiver.
The Dell technician (who is outsourced to World Wide Tech Services) came to repair my LCD screen, he arrived on time and everything started out fine. It wasn’t until the 30 minute mark that I started to worry. I heard banging, saw part of my palm rest broken, and parts laying unorganized all over our desk. I should have intervened and told him to stop and get another technician, but I didn’t want to be rude so I let him finish. Nearly 3 and a half hours later, I come to find that my computer is now broken and wont even turn on. Usually, this wouldn’t be a problem but, I had a program that I was working on that I had not gotten a chance to properly back up through the cloud recently that I now had no access to. The Dell technician called the technical support line, which tried to tell him to tell me to send it to the service depot. I declined, knowing fully that if that happened there would be no telling what would happen to my computer, when I would get it back, and who would see the data on my computer if they took it.
After I declined they dispatched, more parts to fix the problem and another technician came to my home a few days later. After fully opening up the laptop and getting all the parts out of the way, the technician (this one actually knew what he as doing) found that he was given the wrong parts to fix the issue. This is when I about lost it. I called Dell customer care, explained my problems and asked them to work with me and meet me in the middle somewhere. I got pushed through 3 or 4 transfers and had to explain myself 3 different times. My final transfer got me to technical support and after explaining my story 3 previous times I was done trying to explain it to someone at the bottom of the chain. I asked to skip the formalities and speak to a manager (in a more rude way of course, I was little annoyed at this point). He told me he was going to put me on hold and he would get the manager.. I waited and no one ever came.
Luckily, the technician I had worked with me and my schedule and was able to get the computer fixed as fast as possible once he received the right parts. Yet, even though I have a fully functioning Dell right now… I will never go to Dell ever again. Through this entire process I tried contacting Dell through different call lines and even Facebook. All of these methods ended with talking to someone who had no problems solving abilities whatsoever. As a consumer, I understand that sometimes you have to think outside the box to solve a problem. I stressed continuously that if they had just sent me a replacement computer all these problems would have been fixed from the beginning. No one ever cared… you could tell that the support personnel in India didn’t care about the end user. They were just following the motions, going through the scripts, and doing the bare minimum.
I realize there are policies in place to make sure certain standards are kept, but when these procedures only achieve the most basic form of customer service you have problem. Dell, there is a serious disconnect between your executives, your support teams, you vision, and especially your customers. I don’t care that most of the world things you sell faulty computers, I just care that when you do sell them you treat your customers more than just a dollar you wipe your butt with. You turned someone who vouched for your company and could have given you thousands over their lifetime into someone who will steer everyone around them away from you.
You forgot the one most important thing about customer satisfaction. One happy customer rarely tells about the positives. One angry customer will tell several people, in which those people tell several other people. Taking a quick glance at you Facebook wall, I am not alone in this. If something does not change, you will fail. You are already losing pace in the already decline PC market share. Get your act together Dell. You may not be able to change my opinions but you may still be able to change the opinions of customers who have yet to deal with your support teams.