I know. A story about problems with Dell and customer support aren't new. I know about Jeff Jarvis, his experience and the "been there, done that" feel of another blogger writing about Dell issues. But coming back from a trip and finding my recently repaired Dell desktop failing to boot as has been the case on several other occasions -- I've had it.
I wasn't going to do this, but I feel that I need to share my personal Dell Hell story. And the reason isn't because I hate Dell. It's because I like them. It's because I'd like to buy another one (I've bought 6 in 10 years). But I won't - because I've been through Dell Hell too . . . and I can't get anyone there to listen.
I feel kind of left out. I know that I'm a few years late for the Jeff Jarvis version of Dell Hell, and everyone seems to feel that they've cleaned up their act. They have customer service people on twitter! They have a crowsourcing site that everyone loves! But they have at least one loyal customer in Kentucky who is just shouting into the wind. So I decided that I will put them to the test - and take my story to the internet.
I am typing this on a Latitude 4700 that I bought at the end of 2005. Yes, it's a little dated now, but still not a bad machine. BUT . . . my hard drive crashed last summer - all data unrecoverable. Of course, no backups (which is MY fault, not Dell's). They sent me a replacement, I installed it, it works. BUT . . . my speakers started crackling. All the time. I figured it was the speakers, and replaced them. But the new ones crackled too. So, over the next couple of months I spent literally 8-10 hours on the phone with customer service, trying everything INCLUDING reinstalling Windows XP (which, as you know, is a MONSTER P.I.A.)
I was in the middle of working through the next round of solutions with my customer service rep, and she decided that my next step was to live-chat. So I tried . . . except that I couldn't; my warranty expired. Just then.
So I called. Talked to the rudest customer service agent you could imagine. Her name is Rosalyn, ID 133976. She thought that it was perfectly OK to stop serving me in the middle of a months-long fix process, and wouldn't let me speak to her supervisor.
So I wrote to Dell's customer service, who sent me a form letter informing me that I needed to talk to tech support.
I sent another note to customer service, explaining that tech support wouldn't talk to me. Got another form letter back.
I tweeted about it a couple of times, and a friend offered to contact @RichardAtDell. [Side note: I work in social media, and everyone I know, knows RichardAtDell and thinks he's a prince. So I'm not blaming him]. No response.
So I gave up, until now. Dell, are you out there listening? Do you really think that it's OK to leave a long-time loyal customer hanging like you did with me? If so, just do nothing. I've gotten used to it. And my next computer will be a Mac.