I've been a computer technician and trainer for over 20 years. I've consulted 100s of individuals and small businesses in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area for as long. A majority of my consulting centers around purchasing computers for both home and businesses.
I used to build computers until the profit margins dropped so low that it was to my advantage to recommend reliable commercial computer brands instead of building them. Since then, I have been personally responsible for the sale of over 600 Dell desktops, notebooks, servers, and assorted accessories and parts for Dell machines. Plus, I have never requested to be a reseller for any brand, including Dell, or take a commission or kick-back for computer sales.
Because my clients rely on my expertise and guidance for such purchases, it is imperative that I only recommend companies whose products are solid and reliable, but most of all, have a great customer service department. Up until recently, Dell was my pick for both. That was until now.
Because of Dell's outsourcing antics, and refusal to have anyone from the corporate office be bothered with customers (you can't reach anyone in Round Rock, TX - you only get to talk to someone, or should I say be put on hold indefinitely, from India), I have started losing customers because I was the schmuck who recommended Dell to begin with.
Dell products are still OK. But when my clients can go to a local retail store and purchase an HP or Sony or Acer or Compaq or (pick a brand), for about the same price as a Dell, and those products now tend to be built as well as Dells, but have much better customer service and the customer doesn't have to speak to someone in another country, the question arises, "why buy a Dell?"
My latest mind-numbing, we can only think by our policy, because we here in India have no brains of our own, and time consuming episode, is one of several where I've had to step in for my customer and spend my literally hours trying to fix the problem. This one deals with a crashed hard drive for a Dimension 4600C the original drive was a Maxtor Apollo 40Gb PATA drive with special physical dimensions (width and length were standard to a 3.5 drive, but the height was only about half an inch tall, where most 3.5 drives are almost three-quarters of an inch tall).
My client called Dell with her Service Tag number (which allows Dell to lookup all the parts on a machine), but was told that they no longer carried that drive, but she could get the next size up, which would be a 250Gb drive (some jump, huh). Since my client was frantic that she needed to get the computer back up and running as quickly as possible, she said yesto the new replacement drive. Then there was a squabble over the shipping, as Dell's website had a free shipping special going, yet obviously, the sales rep in India did not have access to this website or email promo which my client had access to. This took several more hours as my client was sent to several different people (all of whom obviously had no brains of their own), was finally given to a supervisor who reluctantly gave her the free shipping.
From what I gather, there we four different screw-ups on that order, and was supposed to be delivered within 2 to 3 business days. The package took over a week, was delivered to a neighbor's house (you know the one where the neighbors were on vacation for 2 weeks). A neighbor to the ones on vacation was picking up the mail and deliveries and placing them inside the house, not knowing that the package was not even being shipped to that address.
My client received her hard drive once the family returned from vacation, and contacted me. I was out of town for at least a week from when she notified me (not knowing that the package had been delivered originally to the wrong house and assuming she had just received it).
Once I got with her and opened the package, I realized two things first, the drive was a Seagate Barracuda 250Gb, 7.2 k, 8Mb drive (nice drive), but it was a SATA drive and a Dell Dimension 4600C not only has no SATA controller, but can't even handle a SATA drive even if we chose to put a SATA controller on it. Secondly, the drive would not physically fit in the Dimension 4600C's cabinet since it was a standard size 3.5 drive.
Then I looked at the price of the drive that Dell sold her this was around May of 2008 their price for the Seagate SATA-300, 250Gb, 7.2k, 8Mb drive was $130! Most retailers were selling the same identical drive for between $60 and $75 so where did they get the price of $130? Because the sales person needed the extra commission? Oh, and get this it was refurbished! For $130!
Since Dell has a 21 day return policy (and of course, once a policy has been written, no one is to use common sense to over step the bounds of any all-knowing Dell policy. Which means, my client now has a really nice hard drive, for which she paid 200% over and above the normal retail price, it won't fit in her machine, and it won't work with her machine even if did fit, and Dell India won't try to keep her as a customer.
would highly recommend that if you or anyone you know has been through similar issues like this, and have wasted hours of time (a) trying to understand the broken the English spoken by a Dell Customer Service rep, (b) have experienced the total disregard to common sense by a Dell Customer Service rep, (c) been told that according to our policy... we can't use our brains, (d) have spent hours of your own time trying to correct a problem brought on by either shotty parts, poor customer service, (e) experiment the famed Dell telephone run-a-round (dial 5 for this, then dial 7 for that, let me transfer you to someone who can act like they care, because I dont want to spend my time talking to you or trying to deal with your problem any longer- click dial tone (f) been told that there is nothing that can be done about this we're sorry, have a nice day, or any one of other 200 bullet points that could be added here, here's what we should all do:
Send an invoice for you time to the accounts payable department of Dell, listing part numbers, Service tag numbers, any employee ID or call-back ref number, include the total hours you spent on your problem, including sitting on hold with someone from India, (if like me, and half the time India is having problems with their systems, and you have to call back, consider the time you have to wait before calling back more of your time spent). Make sure you give yourself a per-hour rate like $125/hour, total it up and mail it to Dell at their corporate offices in Round Rock, TX (see address above).
If enough of us do this, they'll start to get the hint that this concept of outsourcing is not working for them. Another thing you can do is to buy one share of Dell stock you're now a stockholder and can request to be a speaker at the next stockholders meeting again, let them know that this outsourcing isn't working for them. Remind them, as did one of my clients, that not only are they proving to be anti-American by outsourcing instead of hiring US companies and US citizens (and not US companies which act as the middle-man and facilitate outsourcing for Dell to other countries that's just a political way for Dell to make it look like they don't hire anyone outside of the US a sneaky trick several US companies pull).
And, just to sum up what is in store for Dell if they don't change their ways soon, take into consideration this story - one of my long time clients, after I convinced them to go with Dell instead of custom built clone machines for their business, received 20 workstations, 5 printers, and one server from Dell had a question about hooking up one of the printers called customer service got someone in India told them to connect them with sales department because they were about to send all machines back to Dell because they didn't want to have to deal with a customer server department in another country Dell lost a $35,000 sale because the client did not want to deal with having to speak to someone in India, or Pakistan, or Tijuana, or the Philippines.
Hey Dell - - - - Wake Up!
U.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on DELL