My little rant about Dell

Please indulge me while I engage in a small rant about Dell Computers.

I recently had to place an order with them.  I received an order acknowledgement email, and that was it.  For all intents and purposes my order “disappeared” after that point, and was never “Confirmed”.  I waited five days and finally decided I’d better try to get in touch with Dell, because I’d ordered with a 25% discount coupon which had since expired, so placing a new order would cost me more money.  I couldn’t contact customer service, because I hadn’t yet been given a customer number or order number, and one or both were required to even get to the customer service email/chat/phone page on the Dell site.  I couldn’t contact sales about “an order already placed” for the same reasons.  I finally was able to live chat with “Rajesh” in the pre-sales department, who of course couldn’t help me, although he did assign me a customer number so I could contact customer service.  I then talked to “Poonam” in customer service via live chat, who could tell me that my order was “on hold”, but could not specify the reason.  He told me to phone customer service during “regular business hours”, which didn’t include the weekends.  Today, I called customer service.  After going through an excrutiating menu, I finally spoke to someone in customer service and I had the most horrible time understanding his heavy Indian accent.  I think I might do okay speaking to him in person, and I love accents, and I love India and their culture, but this guy was extremely difficult to decipher.  I told him my email address included the words “cynicaldog”, and he spelled it back to me: s - i -n - a….

After half an hour or so, the customer service guy can’t help me, so he transfers me to someone he assures me can help.  After being on transfer hold for about five minutes, the line goes dead and I get a dial tone.

I have a temper tantrum for a few minutes, then call back and start the entire process over again.  This time, I thankfully get someone named Jose, with a Mexican accent.  I’m not sure if he was actually in Mexico, or just happened to have a Mexican accent and was in the US (or even in India, I guess), but he was delightful to speak to.  I could understand him!  Mexican accents, I’m comfortable with.  He could have spoken to me entirely in Spanish and he would have been easier to understand than the Indian guy.  Jose fixed my problem, which he described as, “at first there was a problem with your order but now there isn’t”, and now I think everything is fine.

Dear Dell (if you happen to read this), I have nothing against people in India wanting jobs, although I do have something against you for outsourcing.  Nevertheless, give your workers training to help them eliminate their heavy accents, you cheapskates.  The workers end up taking abuse (not from me, but from other frustrated customers) because they’re hard to understand, and it’s not their fault—it’s Dell’s fault.  Also, if there’s a problem with an order, send an effin’ email to the customer, you boneheads.  I had this EXACT same thing happen with Dell six years ago with two different orders, and it also took a number of phone calls to resolve.  At that time, I ended up ordering from Gateway because Dell just didn’t seem to want my money!  Both Flippy and I now have Dell desktop computers and monitors which we bought two years ago, and we love them, but we have no love for the company at all.  We also feel no loyalty whatsoever.  I wish Gateway was still a major force like they were so many years ago.

One humourous thing to arise from all this was the “psychology-speak” the customer service reps used.  During my two live chat sessions, the guys repeatedly used phrases like, “I understand how frustrated you must feel”, “I understand that this is an inconvenience for you”. and, “I’m sorry this is taking your valuable time”.  They must have had “appease the customer macros” built into their keyboards. 

Posted by Leigh-Ann on 12/04 at 08:57 PM

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  1. Hah! Maybe the psychospeak windows pop up at 97 second intervals, an interval that has been calculated to be the most efficacious amount of time for defusing a pissed-off person armed with a gun and a credit card.

    Posted by Diana  on  12/05  at  09:21 AM
  2. You are not the first person I have heard complaining in regards to Dell’s customer service.  Friends of ours just bought a Dell computer and I shudder to think of what they may have in store for them.

    Posted by Coll  on  12/06  at  02:24 PM
  3. Dear Leigh-Ann,

    I just read your blog post regarding your Dell customer experience. I want to apologize for any negative interaction you may have encountered.  I am also very interested in researching the issue you had when placing the order online.  Please email me directly with your order number so I may further research the issue.  I look forward to your email.  Thank you and have a great day!

    Best Regards,
    Dell Customer Advocate

    Posted by Marie-Dell Customer Advocate  on  12/06  at  02:49 PM
  4. Coll, neither Flippy nor I have had any technical problems with our computers and monitors.  Actually, that’s not true—my monitor arrived with a non-working speaker output, but I was sent a replacement immediately along with a shipping label to return the faulty one.  I don’t recall having problems with the return, although I was frustrated at how long it took me to convince them that the problem was in the monitor and not in my ability (or lack thereof) to read instructions.  Because Flippy had the identical monitor, we were able to mix and match until we sourced the problem, and I think tech support had trouble understanding that. 

    I’ll admit that when we buy electronics, we buy them with the idea, “if it breaks, we’ll replace it rather than repair it.”  When I’ve paid for extended warranties in the past, it seems there’s always some reason why the warranty doesn’t cover the problem I might need it for.  With computers, I’m pretty capable of making repairs, so I just go with the standard warranty and cross my fingers.  Hopefully your friends won’t have any technical problems, because if you take customer service out the equation, the Dell equipment is quite good for the price.

    Posted by Leigh-Ann  on  12/06  at  05:10 PM
  5. I have nothing against people in India making a living, but I am really tired of talking to them when I have a problem, and it isn’t just Dell, it seems like it’s every company I need to contact lately. In one of my rare fits of frustration a few weeks ago, after several hours on the phone and not being able to understand someone named “Kevin”, oh sure Kevin, I screamed, DOES ANYONE THERE SPEAK ENGLISH??? I finally got someone I could understand.

    Posted by jan  on  12/08  at  09:13 PM
  6. That’s funny, Jan—I didn’t have anyone pretend to be anything but Indian.  I dealt with “Sneha”, and “Rajesh”, and “Poonam”, so maybe they figure it’s best to be open and not try to hide anything.

    Flippy was researching some Dell stuff for me today and found some interesting observations.  If you contact Dell presales or financial, you talk to Americans, but if you want customer service or tech support, you get outsourced employees.  In other words, they catch you with the native speakers and then once they have your money, they cut you loose.

    Posted by Leigh-Ann  on  12/09  at  06:02 AM
  7. Wow, I’ve just had my first and last experience dealing with Dell. My daugther called in our under warranty Laptop repair issue and said the word “dropped” and no one would listen after that.  It’s an Inspiron 6000, the sound never worked right, the keys started to fall off randomly and then the LCD screen went. She’s 16, she knocked it once and felt responsible and was honest with them. Now they say the motherboard needs to be repaired and we have to pay $798. I flipped and guess what ... the price changed to $490 plus taxes.  This is an under warrantly machine. I offered them $200 to fix the LCD since I knew her words couldn’t be erased AND we would buy the 3 year, $209 accident insurance and they wouldn’t budge. I told them I deal with alot of computers and have purchasing power, and the flipside of my offer if they wouldn’t take it, was tons of bad publicity and never buying their products again. They wouldn’t budge again. So you know, I feel much more comfortable giving the probably $400 repair money to a local businessman and making sure I tell everyone that Dell products aren’t worth the hassle of the guaranteed repair needs.

    Posted by Lynn  on  12/23  at  09:57 AM
  8. Oh, and one more bit of bile. I have spent more than 2 hours on the phone over this and that doesn’t count the hour and 45 minutes my daughter spent on the phone initially. I just decided this morning that those wasted hours fighting with them aren’t worth it!

    Posted by Lynn  on  12/23  at  09:59 AM
  9. Dell Inspiron B130 battery problem and service problem-
    I have had several problems with Dell Service. The Inspiron B130 is my daughter’s ‘college’ laptop, and college is 6,000 miles away. Within 3 months of purchase the battery would lasted only 10 minutes with a full charge.  The B130 would also die (not turn on even under wall power) at times. I emailed Dell for help and did not receive an answer for 5 days.  Then they only answered one of my questions. Now nothing.  (In the mean time the dying problem seemed to vanish.)  She says the battery now lasts only 5 minutes.
    Just had another problem with a customer trying to use Dell service (2 in a week). I do computer service at nights and on weekends. I have previously recommended Dells to customers and I bought this laptop from Dell for my daughter. I don’t think I can still recommend them.  Actually Dell’s poor customer service has been a benefit to my ‘night job’ repairing computers.  People prefer paying me to fix their computer, than to deal with Dell.  My daughter’s problem has me feeling pretty helpless, though.  Up to recently I thought their hardware was pretty good.  I guess that has gone down hill too.

    Posted by Jim McCandless  on  12/23  at  11:39 PM
  10. I’m sorry for all your problems, but I love that I’m getting so many new people here to post about their poor experiences with Dell.  Dell is obviously reading blogs, so I think it’s good to remind them of their customer service issues.  Thanks for stopping by, and I do hope everyone will eventually have computers that work, and won’t have to pay and arm and a leg for repairs.

    Posted by Leigh-Ann  on  12/28  at  04:33 AM
  11. Hi Leigh-Ann and friends,

    I just read some of your comments regarding your Dell experiences.  Please email me directly at if I can provide any assistance.  Just reference Leigh-Ann’s blog and I will be more than happy to help.  Thanks for the feedback and have a great day!

    Best Regards,
    Dell Customer Advocate

    Posted by Marie - Dell Customer Advocate  on  12/28  at  04:25 PM
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