Wednesday, March 07, 2007


I’m sure that most of you have encountered customer service that has run-a-muck. My recent experience has been no different.

My poor lil notebook/laptop computer took a turn for the worse. You see, it recently came down with a very nasty virus that two different anti-virus companies have been unable to detect and deliver a deadly blow [to said virus]. It has been advised to me to just reinstall Windows and begin anew. Come to find out, because problems do not enjoy solitude, my CD/DVD combo drive had also entered the world of defunctness.

Enter the phone call to DELL customer service [keep in mind that DELL does everything in its power to discourage phone calls unless you have a very large banking account from which they can feed the hunger of their 3rd world customer service agents]. I began my inquiry about being able to purchase a new CD/DVD drive so that I could fix the aforementioned problem. Now each and every time that I have dealt with DELL [via phone, online chat or email] there has always been at least one problem or another [usually because the left hand in Dallas, never knows what the right hand in New Delhi is doing. To keep the story short, let’s just say that the customer service rep hung up on me without even trying to say “Good-bye” or “Thanks for choosing DELL” or “Have a nice life, moron.”.

Two days later a package arrived for me in the mail from DELL. Inside were two color ink cartridges and two black ink cartridges…no explanation about why I was receiving such a gift from DELL. Speculate how you will. The problem is, I tossed their printer in the trash after my first dealings with having to order ink from directly from DELL. Besides, it was a cheap piece of plastic anyway and too costly to maintain [because of the ink]. So now I am stuck with four cartridges of ink and no printer to use them with. An additional two days later, I received an invoice from DELL for the ink [which has a retail value of $114.00]. The part that I eventually ordered from DELL was only $68.00.

Why couldn’t they just send me a replacement CD/DVD drive instead if they felt bad about my experience with their customer service agent? That is an unsolved mystery.


Papa J said...

Maybe you could tell them that your Dell server is dying and they'll send you a new laptop.

Oh yea...honest in all our dealings. Good thing we have standards to help keep us honest.

The Dally Llama said...

Weird. When my hard drive crashed, they were awesome in getting me a replacement quickly. As to the invoice, just send the crap back to them and ignore the invoices. Unless they have personal information on you, I don't think they can do anything about it anyway, and sometimes they just give up when people call their bluff. They were sending me notices to send back the broken hard drive, sending me invoices, and such for the new one unless I returned the broken one. I refused to send the broken hard drive back b/c some day I want to pay a fortune to get all my Africa pictures off it, and if I send the broken piece of trash back to them, they're gone forever. They sent a few notices and eventually gave up.

So maybe you want to give that a try.

P.S. this is not legal advice.

carblemarble said...

At one point my internet was not working, there was a problem with something in the hardware/inner workings of the (DELL) computer (per a computer techy) and I was to call and order a replacement. Simple enough. However, they didn't believe me that I just needed a simple piece, no... They told me, with that wonderful accent, 'You need a new motherboard'. What? "No," I say, "I need 'X'". The response??? "You need a new motherboard". Such a discussion ensues for about 20 minutes. Until I explain to the DELL REP how the workings of this computer are and that said motherboard would have no effect in fixing the problem. Once again 'you need a new motherboard'. I hang up (after over an hour because they FORCE you to go through their solution process of a millioon questions). That night I go to bed and at 2:30 in the AM! I get a call. Who from? You've already guessed it! "yes, mama, this is (a name I can't pronounce) from DELL, I believe my service rep gave you some incorrect information earlier today. I would like to tell you that you indeed do NOT need a new mother board. Part X will fix it." silence... "mama?" Me? 'Ya, I know, I went to --------- store and bought it this evening and fixed it myself. Oh, and by the way, I don't know what time it is in INDIA BUT WHERE I LIVE IT'S 2: AM!! Never call me back at this time again". click.
Now every time something may be wrong with a compituer, I have determined that I may indeed 'need a new motherboard'.

~cari~ said...

Now I know why I never bought a Dell.

Mammy said...

I find carblemarble's comments interesting because I called Dell a few years ago and was also told I needed a new mother board. Now, I'm not so computer literate but I knew that the rep hadn't asked enough questions and got enough information to make that determination. It's been long enough ago that I can't remember exactly what the screen said. It gave me 2 choices but I was afraid if I chose one of the choices, all of my hard work on the computer would be gone forever. Of course, getting a new mother board was just too premature so I chose the option anyway. I don't know exactly what happened but I ended up getting in my system, backing everything up and then we reformatted the hard drive. The computer works fine today and I never bought a new mother board. Oh, and I also got a rep who I could barely understand as well.

I guess I should cut Dell some slack, they aren't the only ones with this type of customer service!

On a good note - I did recently deal with Canon and had a great experience with them.

Lyle said...

Papa j- If only...if only.

Dally- hopefully I will not see a bill for your services. To DELL's credit, if your computer is under warranty, they can come through with flying colors. My friend recently spilled juice on her laptop keyboard and that same day they had a technician out at her house who replaced the keyboard without any added expense.

Carble- what, you no speak a duh Inglush? The fact that they called you up in the middle of the night is too funny.

Cari- It's a love hate relationship for most people.

mammy- six months ago I did have to replace the motherboard fro my laptop because the $0.25 piece where the power cord plugs into the computer broke. I recall saying something to the customer service rep something to the effect that DELL needed to fire their engineers if they couldn't come up with a better design....that is a another story altogether.

Queen Scarlett said...

DUDE you need to get a MAC! So sorry about the lame dell da dum dumbs.... so worth it to switch... it's loverly. (SWITCH...SWITCH... vista is ridiculously priced...not to mention all the upgrades and crap you'll be in for...and the constant disappointment.)

Elizabeth said...

I HATE having to call customer service. For anything.

Lyle said...

I ought to clarify that it was not an invoice demanding payment. It was more of statement indicating that 4 ink cartridges had been shipped to my house.

Bek said...


I haven't commented here forever, but I read... Dell, blah. We are having to replace our hard drive (again) and are moving over to a mac (Queen will be happy). More than twice they have had a hard drive crash and I have pictures stuck on the drive (like you Dally...and I don't want to get rid of it b/c I want to try to get the pictures off of it some day...).

Ironically, after the first time this happened (the pictures were of my son's adoption day and his first family...all gone...) we went on a family vacation w/ Derek's parents and some of their friends. One of those friends was Michael Dell. As I sat across from him at dinner one night and his bratty kids were tormenting my kids I just kept thinking to myself "I hate you, I hate your product, WHY ARE YOU HERE!!!". He is a nice enough guy, I just wanted to tell him that his computers stink... booo on Dell.

Also, the CS stuff coming from India is very frustrating. I am all for a world market, but when you can hardly understand them and then they answer the phone in a very heavy accent "Welcome to Dell, this is Brandon" you want to say "we both know your name isn't Brandon...... "

Queen Scarlett said...

You should totally call Mr. Michael Dell and be like... choose... fix your computers or do something about your kids...cuz you're not doing either very well. ;-)

AND... the CS story you shared is HILARIOUS!

ps. YAY for you and a new MAC!

mayday said...

I have to agree with queen scarlett, you should get a MAC. I have never had a Dell, so I don't understand your pain. I will try very hard though. I have had crappy customer service elsewhere.

Lyle said...

To add insult to my injury, they just sent me the wrong part.

compulsive writer said...

Two words:

Mac Intosh!

(And I'm sorry. The fact that they sent you the wrong part is just so apropos.)

Anonymous said...

Dear Dell Customer,

I read your post and am sorry to hear about the issues you have had with the Dell customer service. If you would like to provide additional information please contact me at the email address below.

Dell’s goal is to deliver to the customer the best product and customer experience, and I apologize if your experience has been less than satisfactory.

Dell Customer Advocate

The Dally Llama said...

Dear Debbie, the Dell Customer Advocate,

Let's see you put your money where your mouth is. If I had a quarter for every time I've heard customer service people peddle crap like that, I wouldn't need to worry about customer service, because I would be able to simply buy a new computer(probably a Mac), and not worry about fixing the old one.

So I'm calling B.S. unless you get one of your tech nerds out to get Lyle's computer up and running within the next few days, and do it for free.

The clock is running.


The Dally Llama
Lifetime cynic.

Lyle said...

Total money spent on a $800.00 laptop in 2 1/2 years to keep it running....$619.00!!!

Thanks DELL

Anonymous said...

Dear Lyle,
I would like to research this issue for you. Please forward any information you have regarding this matter to
Thank you,
Dell Customer Advocate