09 April 2009
THE CONTINUED FAILURE OF CORPORATE AMERICA
WITH CUSTOMER SERVICE
I am writing this blog while I wait on the phone with the Dell Corporation on the other side. I've spent six weeks trying to garner support with problems on my new Dell Notebook computer with Dell Technical Support and while I am in the midst of this nightmare, it strikes me that this is one of the exact reasons so many companies within the United States are failing.
Corporate America has abused it customers for far too long. They care more about the bottom line and stock prices, that they cut every corner in order to increase profits and in turn deliver the worst customer service to its consumers. The American Auto Industry is feeling the affects of building sub-standard vehicles and then treating their clientele like crap when they bring their cars in for service. When a person spends fifteen, twenty, thirty, forty and even fifty thousand dollars on a car and two years later it sounds like it's falling apart, they deserve better for their money.
Too many of our American Companies have been shipping jobs over seas in hopes of improving their profit margins without a care to what they were doing to the American people they sell their products too. We are the largest group of purchasers produced by any company in the world, yet one hundred percent of the companies that produce those American products manufacture them outside of the United States. Then when you need help because something is not right with the product or the support, your call on is taken care of outside of this country by a person in another country.
The Dell Corporation has support mostly in Indonesia and while it is excellent support; these American Companies market their products to us, but they are made and supported by people outside of this country. That would not be a bad thing because investing in developing countries is wonderful for them and for the United States; but not when here in the United States we have the worst unemployment since the Great Depression. When a company invest in the people they market their products too, those people turn around and support the company they work for and get paid by.
Again we see how the American Corporation driven by greed and disgust where they care solely for their bottom lines as apposed to the people who built their companies so strong. Six weeks ago I bought a new Dell Notebook computer from Bestbuy stores. The new system had everything I wanted and while there was a very comparable HP notebook with all the same features for fifty dollars less than mine, the Dell offered a six hour batter life, which for the presentations that a software project manager must do, I paid the extra money for the vast battery life.
I immediately spent the next two my old computer onto the new one. I spent days importing everything onto the new system and ensuring that everything was perfect while I persisted with my new contract assignment. It wasn't three days into my new system that I ran into problems. The next day the same issues, so I called Bestbuy and explained I didn't have time to waist with their technical support, I just wanted to replace this notebook with another one from the store. They really didn't want too, but the store manager understood my predicament and agreed to do so. I exchanged the systems and stayed up all night installing applications and transferring data again.
Two days later I continue to experience the same problem the other notebook had. I called Bestbuy support and all they would do is to take the notebook away from me for days to weeks with no real ability to determine what was causing the problems. Because I needed this system to be operational, I tried calling Dell Technical Support only to be told by the Indonesian support personnel that I didn't have support on this system and that I could obtain support by paying for it. It didn't matter that I had just purchased the computer and they refused to get me a manager.
After days of working all day only to come home and spending hours wasting away trying to get support from online at (www.support.dell.com) and by calling Dell Support only to be told how I had no support on this computer and that support doesn't transfer with second hand purchases. It took me over a week to understand that the Indonesian support personnel don't know major retailers inside the United States, so here they are thinking I bought this computer from a friend, or worst stole it from the company I use to work at. I start calling the third party software manufacturer (Trend Micro) because they developed the software Trend Micro Internet Security 2009 that was preinstalled by Dell and is why the computer cost me fifty dollars more than the comparable HP notebook that I convinced my roommate to buy for himself.
The crutched of the problem is that Trend Micro Internet Security forces all internet traffic on the computer to go through their proxy software (TMProxy.exe). The proxy software is conflicting with the wireless drivers that are necessary to run the Dell notebooks wireless services. Because of the conflict, the system will crash if I am using any wireless network at all, but everything will work fine if I run on a wired network like in my office.
Trend Micro kept saying this was a Dell issue and at first refused to even talk with me saying, you are the first to bring this situation to our attention (even though I have the crash dump files and the Vista logs showing the crashes). It took me two weeks and finally yelling at them before they would even support the issue, but after a week, they walked me into formatting my hard drive without my prior consent or knowledge and because they did, it cost me weeks work and edits on my manuscript that were not backed up. Now, they won't take my calls nor will Trend Micro give me to a manager in their organization so that I may complain about their hideous support.
At this point and time I've had my problem for four weeks and I'm angry, upset and tired. I can't get support from Bestbuy, Dell or Trend Micro and these are three examples of American companies selling their products to Americans, yet their support is all over-seas. They won't escalate a call to management and all hide their corporate offices information because they don't want any customer calling their President's Offices with complaints like, I can't get support! All the while they want to yell themselves and go to the American Government like General Motors and Chrysler has done demanding billions in hand outs when they themselves have caused their own problems.
Every American Corporation should post to the own web sites phone numbers, addresses and email addresses for all of their top executives. This way when a person like me has an issue and cannot get appropriate customer service or technical support; the customer has a phone number and email address to escalate the situation. If they truly wish to improve their customer support, they will publish this information for disgruntled customers to escalate any issue when the normal means are not sufficient, but I can guarantee you not one of these three companies or any other corporation in the United States will take such drastic position, because they know they will be inundated with calls and emails due to such horrific services that are rendered by their own company.
I finally called back to Dell and when I was told I had to pay for support again, I yelled and threw one hell of a fit and finally they gave me to a manager. The first manager hung up on me, because how dare I be angry and excited after four weeks of hell trying to get support on a growing issue. I called back and called back and called back until finally one manager realized that I actually should be given support and what a huge mistake the Dell Corporation was making by denying me again and again. He transferred the support from the Bestbuy stores to me personally and apologized for their error and then placed me into a true Hell.
I thought for a brief moment that once I got to technical support I would get somewhere and my problems would be resolved; boy was I kidding myself. Two weeks now I have been transferred from one department to another to another and even another. Ninety-five percent of those transfers were blind transfer and I would have to tell my story all over again and again and again. Please while you are in this process of deceptive attempts at support, you the customer should never get upset, because that will only get you hung up on time and time again by those who don't care to hear your rants or raves.
When I did get to hardware support they pointed the finger at software support and blind transferred me over to them. Software support would point the finger at hardware support and at times both of them would say I had to go to Trend Micro because it is their product and therefore their problem, not that of the Dell Corporation. Trend Micro was pointing their finger at Dell saying it was obviously their problem and all the while I am not aloud to get angry, ask for escalation to a manager or dare don't even think of getting to someone in the Corporate Offices for any of the three companies, because that just gets you hung up on.
After two weeks of this exact process, I blow up and yell and rant and rave over such deplorable support, but it still doesn't get me to anyone at Dell Corporate, Trend Micro Corporate or even Bestbuy's Corporate Offices. These companies wonder why the American people have a problem supporting them in troubled times like these, and yet six weeks I've been trying to get help with their products and software and I can't get anyone at any of the companies to help.
When Corporate American pulls their head out of their asses long enough to see by not hiring American employees, there are no incentives for the American people to buy their products. When the bottom line and corporate profits are more important than the customer or the employee; companies like Dell, Trend Micro and Bestbuy will continue to see their revenues shrink and rightfully so.
We the American Public are angry at being told consumerism is a bad thing, but buy our products. We are tired of supporting a company that treats us, the customer, like crap and as if we don't matter. We are tired of the companies we are bailing out by the billions, bringing job after job over-seas while receiving tax benefits, discounts and all the while we can't feed our families because there are no jobs here within our boarders. Corporate America, you want our support and our money to keep you going; then you need to start caring as much about us as you want us to care about you. That means create a support environment that actually supports its customers. When a customer asks for an escalation, then get the manager or even the corporate officer that is necessary to deal with the problem. It means accepting accountability for the customer and the fact that they just bought your products and services and therefore deserves to be treated with respect (even if they may not give it to you). With many of our largest companies filing for bankruptcy every day, each and every company needs to thank each of their customers and employees for making them survive. The Dell Corporation, Trend Micro and Bestbuy needs to be aware that they are only one customer away from bankruptcy or salvation and it is their customers and their employees that make each day they remain in business possible.
I still don't have a resolution to my notebook issue and at this point in time, I personally won't ever buy from Dell, Bestbuy or Tren Micro ever again. I've been treated horribly and every time at Dell I ask to speak with their Corporate Office, I'm told No and I don't have a number, but you can send them a letter. It exemplifies the horrendous support and customer service that has gotten so many American Companies in the bad shape that they now find themselves.and they sit in their board rooms wondering why?
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