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Dealing with Customer Dis-service

By Zpunky ·
One of our accounting staff, Cindy, had to contact Dell Financial Services (DFS) because they sent us an invoice with 4 months of lease charges due on a leased server I?d returned last April. They were claiming we hadn?t returned the server; this in light of the invoice they?d sent in July charging us for a hard drive they said was not with that server when they received it. Cindy kept asking, ?So was there no hard drive or did you not receive the server?? The ?receivables rep? kept saying she didn?t have this information.

The rep did keep demanding a proof of delivery. Our shipper has sent us one that I will make available to Cindy. As the contact for all communications IT, I never received word from Dell that they did or did not receive the server, nor did I receive any word about a missing drive. We simply got invoices months later.

What was most astonishing was the more Cindy pressed for information and resolution, the more the Dell rep refused to provide information saying, ?I?m just Account Receivable, you have to talk to Customer Service.? Getting no where fast, Cindy asked for the Customer Service number. Cindy hung up and immediately called Customer Service (now here?s the kicker), Cindy recognized the voice of the Customer Service rep, who asked for our account number. When Cindy gave it to her, the rep paused, stuttered and said, ?Oh, I just spoke with you. After you hung up I talked to my supervisor and we found that you are supposed to get credit for the missing hard drive.?

First, there was not enough time for the rep to check on anything between phone calls, and then there was the rep?s prior claim that she was only Accounts Receivable.

Cindy got through the issue of the lease billings for the returned server and before hanging up asked for a confirmation number. The rep responded, ?We don?t provide confirmation numbers for these kinds of transaction.?

I cannot see the logic in treating a customer this way. We're not a big company, but we spent about $100,000 on our leases over the past three years. Do they really think we'll do that again after treating us this way?

Dealing with DFS over the past 10 months is probably the most frustrating customer service experience I?ve had in my 15 years of working in IT. Is this just my experience with DFS, or is this SOP dealing with these large computer manufacturers?

Besides walking with your wallet, how do you handle this kind of behavior from your vendor? What is the consensus out there?

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Sadly, Dell's CS used to be famous, now it's imfamous.

by Locrian_Lyric In reply to Dealing with Customer Dis ...

Walking with the wallet is always a good option, but raising all kinds of Caine is even better.

When you have a CS dept like that, the folks are pushed to give you the brush off.

This trick requires an initial investment of time, but gets VERY QUICK RESULTS after that.

Get someone to call them on a daily basis, send letters to higher ups, including the board. make a website, detail your adventures, and include links to the site on all your correspondence.

The point is to make it MORE COSTLY for them to ignore you than to support you.

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Dell has gone down hill

by jmgarvin In reply to Dealing with Customer Dis ...

They've have issues for a few years now. The worst part is they try their hardest to just get rid of you.

I've been transferred to nowhere, hung up on, placed on hold for over 2 hours, all the trick to just remove the customers will to fight. However, when I have nothing better to do, I'll spend my time getting what I need.

Dell has killed all good will towards them...I've noticed a lot of companies migrating to IBM, HP, and Toshiba, rather than deal with Dell's worthless CSRs.

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Consider a VAR or outsourced service/support

by NickNielsen In reply to Dealing with Customer Dis ...

The business models for the VAR and the support provider both rely on customer service for their success. To achieve success, their customer service reputations must be exemplary.

There are additional costs for taking this route, but those costs can be offset in other areas. With a VAR, the initial cost for the PCs may be higher because of the third party. With outsourced support, you pay directly for the PCs, with the service provider doing the installation. If possible, choose a VAR or support provider who is a warranty provider for your PCs/servers of choice. The offsets are usually in the speed of response and equipment repair/replacement.

Caveat: I have worked for VARs in the past and am currently employed with a support service provider.

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Dell CS does suck

by wanttocancel In reply to Dealing with Customer Dis ...

I had to call them on the behalf of a client whose computer I was repairing. It wouldn't boot and the self-check that Dell implemented within the hardware returned a code which research on their website showed was defective hard drive (which I suspected). Well, the computer was still under warranty and I called, got one rep that agreed with me about the failing hard drive and said they could send a replacement part. I spoke to the customer and asked if that's the way he/she wanted to go. He/she agreed and I called Dell CS back. After giving the second rep my case number the CS agent wanted to argue with me about the cause of the system not booting even though the first rep said it was probably a defective hard drive. I had to basically be mean to the CS to push him into sending me the hard drive, something I didn't want to do. They finally sent it but I shouldn't have fought that hard.

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Different Dell Support Experience

by jon_saxon In reply to Dealing with Customer Dis ...

I have had a very different experience with Dell Enterprise Gold support. I am VERY satisfied with Dell Enterprise Gold support. They offer service nearly at the same level as I used to get from IBM and HP mid-range support (for which we paid a lot more money).

But, if you are talking about Dell support for home or small business, I have found that to be every bit a problem as you are describing but HP and IBM/Lenovo home/small business support is even worse than Dell.

From my persective, Dell and HP and IBM/Lenovo are providing practically NO support for the home market. Essentially, they are "offering" support services that they have no intention of fullfilling.

I have had to call and argue with reps for hours to get parts and information (often totally wrong). To counter this problem I usually initiate at least one call and two on-line chats hoping I will get one helpful rep. More often than not I just hang up after getting the run-around from two or three people and try to resolve the problem on my own.

Recently, I had an experience with an HP rep that convinced me to never by an HP computer again. After installing some Vista upgrades the keyboard and mouse on an HP laptop stopped working. I started an on-line chat (from another PC) and the customer rep instantly told me it was a known hardware bug and that I would have to mail the system in for repair.

They were so obviously wrong that I kept pressing. The rep continued to offer the same response and said there was no information available that she could send me. After pressing for a bit longer she eventually said I could try removing any failed devices in device manager and rebooting and that might fix the problem. Of course, that fixed the problem. But if I hadn't pressed I would have shipped the PC back to HP support for several weeks for absolutely no reason. This would have crippled this small company as they don't have a spare computer.

Dell, IBM, Lenovo and HP are making so little off the home systems that they obviously can't afford to provide support to home and small business users. But, they can't admit that or it would send customers fleeing to other vendors.

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Enterprise Gold Support? Do you pay more?

by Tink! In reply to Different Dell Support Ex ...

That sounds like something you'd pay extra for. Most companies have different levels of service plans you can purchase. I believe that most of the negative experiences are probably from the average consumer who doesn't pay for extra service/support. But that's just my opinion based on what I've heard. Could be some of those on the higher plans have bad experiences too.

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We Do Have Gold Support

by Zpunky In reply to Enterprise Gold Support? ...

I just posted to the original response. That's why I'm so shocked, we do have Gold support and it did cost a lot more, but apparently, this doesn't matter to Dell Financial Services. They still treat me like CRAP. I've had to use Gold Support frequently (not a good thing) but they are friendly and responsive at least. It's trying to return the leased systems and get new ones that they've made impossible.

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I agree on the lack of service on the home/sb front

by wanttocancel In reply to Different Dell Support Ex ...

I guess it comes down to price. How can Dell, HP, Lenovo, etc. afford to build and sell desktops and laptops under $600? Offer little to no customer service.

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Not cheap systems

by Zpunky In reply to I agree on the lack of se ...

Our systems, with our bulk purchase and business discount were about $1,200 a piece (36 systems)including the Gold Support we purchased. I've responded to a few of the previous responses already, so more details there. But basically, this was nto a small or cheap transaction with Dell, and it was their Financial Services arm, at a time when we are poised to spend $55K on new systems that this happened.

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That IS cheap

by Oz_Media In reply to Not cheap systems

Actually 1200 a piece is pretty cheap for a business desktop. For a consumer product it is not, but for properly configured and tested business systems, that's a good price.

for example, a company IO was with wanted new workstations. At the time we had a good running deal with a Compaq dealer in Toronto, free freight to Vancouver and business class machines. NOT Presarios and other retail crap that is passed off as a workstation.

The Compaw Deskpro EN (at that time) was a hard core business machine, they cost nearly $1500.00 EA, with CDROM optional, integrated basic chipsets for audio and video etc. Not great SPEC hardware for retail sales. But they were well tested and custom BIOS was written to ensure it all worked efficiently with major business apps, had hardware standardization, ensuring the same hardware is available for 5 years (which matched the onsite warranty terms) etc.

I COULD have bought Dell's for less. BUT, weak warranty, weak customer service and weak hardware, in an untested system with no standardization. It just wasn't worth saving the money on.

'You get what you pay for'. There's a reason that saying has rung true for so many years now.

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