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Chris Falter .NET Design and Best Practices

I'm buying a laptop for my college-bound daughter (who is pitching in some summer earnings, God bless her!).  After I ordered the Dell Inspiron 1501, I discovered that it wasn't going to take the estimated 6 - 10 days to receive it, but 25 - 28 days.  Perhaps the delay wouldn't be a problem for some customers, but it is for us, because 3 weeks from today my daughter will be hundreds of miles away at college.  (Boo-hoo!  But the subject of watching my precious daughter leave home deserves its own post.)

So I called Dell last night at 9:45 EDT to change the shipping destination and to change one feature.  After waiting a lo-o-ong time, a helpful customer care representative chatted with me.   She said she needed to transfer me to another department.  After I expressed concern about being dropped into another queue, she promised she would transfer the call directly, and would stay on the line until someone picked up.

After listening to 15 minutes of hold music, I decided to hang up.

I called back in and wended the maze ("For technical support, dial 1.  For sales, dial 2.  To schedule a lobotomy to relieve your frustration, dial 3...").  When I got to the right place, the outgoing message said that they had been closed since 9:00pm EDT.

So I went to the Dell website for order inquiries and clicked on customer chat, but kept receiving the response that no one was available.  They didn't even have a queue for those waiting to chat about pending orders.

So I sent an email via their web form.  I got the automatic response, which said, "Our email agents normally respond to inquiries within 6 hours."

It has been 16 hours, and I still don't have a response.  Where's the Dell Dude when you need him?

Have you had any problems like this with Dell?  Leave a comment!

Posted on Tuesday, July 31, 2007 6:06 AM Technology and Society | Back to top


Comments on this post: I Knew Dell Support Was Bad, but Dell Sales ...?

# re: I Knew Dell Support Was Bad, but Dell Sales ...?
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They always say "3-4 weeks" or whatever, but I usually get my stuff from dell in under a week. they are really fast and really nice. Too bad that you're having a bad experience with them.
Left by Tim Hibbard on Jul 31, 2007 7:02 AM

# re: I Knew Dell Support Was Bad, but Dell Sales ...?
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Try calling the small business number. Tell them you meant to order through your personal consulting business (just make one up) and you want to cancel the old order and place a new one. You will get a rep faster, you will get your order faster, and your post-sales support will be better.
Left by Scott Kuhl on Jul 31, 2007 7:11 AM

# re: I Knew Dell Support Was Bad, but Dell Sales ...?
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I ordered my college bound daughter a Dell Laptop (Inspiron 1505) late in the 3rd week of June and had it by the 4th of July even though they said 4 weeks.

What I'd recommend is checking with the school if they have any special deals with Dell. A lot of different schools have special discounts for universites (they call it DellU), and at some of the bigger schools, Dell even hires some of the local students to handle the Dell At Home warantee. It cost me an extra $200 to purchase a 2 year at home service, but it is totally worth it, since I can't travel the 7 hours to fix her computer when she has issues (and most school networks are ripe with worms/hackers/etc, so it is bound o happen).

Also, sign up for Mozy.com and use their free backup service (2 gigs for free). Don't by the backup service that the school will push. My daughter's school tried to sell me an internet based backup for over $200 a year. Even unlimited Mozy.com is only $5/month.

Don
Left by Don Demsak on Jul 31, 2007 12:19 PM

# re: I Knew Dell Support Was Bad, but Dell Sales ...?
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Thanks for the comments everyone! Special thanks to Scott and Don, who have offered very useful advice.

Given the uncertainty, I decided to cancel the order and buy a Toshiba Satellite 15.4" Widescreen Notebook at the local Circuit City. It's an excellent value at $479 (plus a free [after rebates] package of Lexmark printer/copier/scanner, D-Link wireless router and Norton Internet Security), and of course Toshiba has a good reputation in the mobile computing business.

I have some experience in phone support (I spent my first 6 weeks at MS answering calls in the NT support group), so I'll just have to put on my troubleshooting hat if my daughter needs help.

Interesting footnote: *Over 2.5 days* after I emailed Dell Sales Support, I finally got an answer back. "Our email agents normally respond to inquiries within 6 hours." Right.
Left by Chris Falter on Aug 02, 2007 6:23 AM

# re: I Knew Dell Support Was Bad, but Dell Sales ...?
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Personally, I really can't understand what most PC companies are doing or why. They all know what MS support is like, based in India and difficult if not impossible to understand their support renders support to borderline useless. This is no slant on the Indian people or their culture as I respect their tenacity, devotion and personal achievements which far exceed my own. This is about companies like Microsoft who sell their products in the US, Canada, then seek out the lowest paid workers in the world as support even though they can't be clearly understood due to their native language having such strong dialects. Dell is their own worst enemy as they refuse to listen, refuse to sell what I want. Their customizing is so limited that there are many areas where there is no choice at all. They are too bent on including software and hardware that I don't want but have to pay for with the premise that it is free as it's "included". I don't want Norton or any other security software that they have but I don't have a choice. The same is true for the ISP as you get one of them regardless and I was about to swallow all the junk I didn't want to get what I did want but when I asked them if the Windows downgrade software was available which is available on a disk which you can buy for a small fee that allows you to downgrade from Vista to XP Pro or whatever, I got a No, this is not available and only comes with Vista. Fine, have a nice day, I'll spend my 2100 with Lenova as they DO offer downgrade software for Vista.
Left by Rod on Apr 19, 2008 6:52 AM

# re: I Knew Dell Support Was Bad, but Dell Sales ...?
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I purchased a new DELL Inspiron 1525 systemin Apr 2008. Today I have a problem, and on googling the net, i noticed that this is a design issues with Motherboard of Inspiron 1525 system.The issue is system says, "66% available, Plugged in, Not Charging". For the past month or so, my battery charges upto only 66%. When I googled internet and surfed dell community pages, it is clearly evident that this is a design issues with 1525. DELL is not attending to my calls to tech support, saying that the system is not under warranty. The Tech Support agent is very abusive and arrogant. I have recorded my telephonic chat with this agent. I want to forward this chat to Mr. DELL himself. Are there anyone out there with similar issues. Can we sue DELL? I hope Mr. DELL is watching.
Left by Renga on Jun 22, 2009 6:37 AM

# re: I Knew Dell Support Was Bad, but Dell Sales ...?
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I have filed a complaint against Dell with the BBB, with the attorney general and I am taking steps toward filing a lawsuit. And for those of you who think filing a lawsuit against Dell is impossible, you don't know ME! I HATE Dell with a passion, I got a inspiron 1521 from them in Dec. 2007, and the system worked ok(for the most part) until 2 WEEKS after my warranty expires. HOW IRONIC??? And I didn't have issues stemming from any careless actions on my part, my freaking TOUCHPAD just stopped working out of no where. So I took it to Best Buy, a computer tech, I tried uninstalling and reinstalling the touchpad software, to no avail. and I had to purchase a wireless mouse and it started working again in March after I reinstalled the software for the 100th time, and LITERALLY as soon as I restarted my laptop, I got a message from my battery saying that it was able to charge normally but is reaching the end of it's usable life...to my surprise about 2 weeks later(maybe less), I got a new message from my battery saying that it needed to be replaced, now the battery icon has nothing in it and it doesn't charge, it will come one if it's plugged in, but don't accidently knock the plug out because it shuts right off, because it's like it has no battery in it. What is the use of having a laptop if you can't unplug it?! Isn't it supposed to be portable? I have to sit at my desk and use it like a desktop. And the other issue is it keeps crashing! So frustrating! I have AV protection but this computer is malfunctioning so badly that it makes any protection on there obsolete.
Left by Najwa on Jul 27, 2009 5:20 AM

# Dell Support by iYogi
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I think , dell should fix the problem before selling it.
Left by miagale on Jul 21, 2010 5:37 AM

# re: I Knew Dell Support Was Bad, but Dell Sales ...?
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Dell Support
Left by Computer Technical Support on Aug 11, 2011 9:55 PM

# re: I Knew Dell Support Was Bad, but Dell Sales ...?
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Dell Support
Left by Jenny Jastin on Oct 13, 2011 12:40 AM

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