General discussion


Dell, Gateway, HP fail customer service

By Dr Dij ·
While much has been made of 'Dell H*ll' I found it interesting that the top 3 PC makers all had REAL BAD ratings for customer service, even worse than Dell.

sources: list bad revus via epinions but provides a sometimes skewed rating. seems better: they have a numeric 6 month and lifetime rating.

company 6month #revu lifetime #revus
Dell 3.83 143 4.4 961
Gateway 1.67 6 2.25 132
HP .83 3 4.03 54

Note that the average store is 7, they are all well below, and I have found some camera retailers for example above 7 and closer to 8 or 9, with some scam sites closer to zero, about HP's rating.

IBM had a lifetime rating of 10, but only 37 revu's and one in last 6 months; and they are supposed to be getting out of PC biz.

Horror stories abound if you read the individual dissatisfied revus: bad packing, terminally late shipments, changes in price and items on order by vendor without asking after order in; phone transfer and holds in order of hours and hours, lying to about availability etc.

Yet apparently SOME biz customers have better luck, vendors appear to pay more attention to them. (tho not all biz revus are good).

My questions:
why are computer vendors like this?
are there any alternatives for buyers?
are only the ticked off people filing revu's?
do we now have to buy from smaller companies that have better service?
how can the large companies get away with this?
will they try and fudge over by paying off ratings sites?
or spamming them with 'good' reviews?

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -

not suprised....

by Jaqui In reply to Dell, Gateway, HP fail cu ...

since I've had problems dealing with all of them, for end user systems.

I have made it my practice, almost policy, to buy from small local merchants and avoid name brand equipment.
the little guy is much more aware of the importance of customer service it seems, and why not help local economy buy supporting local businesses?
they grow, they hire locally.
big guys grow they just get more obnoxious.

Collapse -

by antuck In reply to Dell, Gateway, HP fail cu ...

My questions:
why are computer vendors like this? My guess is because they sell the computer for $300 to $500, your getting what you pay for. A regular customer is only going to buy a new computer every couple years maybe and they buy one at a time. Buss will buy several at a time so you have to give them better support.

are there any alternatives for buyers? Yes, your local computer store. Although it is hard convincing people to spend a little more on a better computer vs the $300 Dell. People don't realize in electronics the saying "what you pay for is what get" is very true.

are only the ticked off people filing revu's?Probably. Not very offten do people put as much into praising someone as they do complaining.

do we now have to buy from smaller companies that have better service? I think you do get better service from a smaller company. Generally you'll get a person that really knows what they are doing vs someone reading a script.

how can the large companies get away with this?They sell inexpensive computers. Most people buy due to the price. Not by what the computer does.

will they try and fudge over by paying off ratings sites? Possibly but I would think the review sites would pass on that. If word got out they were being paid off, the site would no longer be used.

or spamming them with 'good' reviews? this would be more what I would expect. How would anyone really know if they were being spammed in thinking it was a good review.

Collapse -


by Jaqui In reply to

not here.
dell, hp, compaq, gateway, mdg all start at a grand here.
the small local stores are the guys at the 300 mark.

Collapse -

by antuck In reply to cheap?!?!?

Seriously you can't get one of the cheap inexpensive $300 Dells? In all reality your not missing anything. But I am surprised to hear that. Here in the US it is just the opposite, dell,hp,compaq you can get starting at $300. For me to build a system I usually tell people it's about a grand. The cheapest I think I qouted was around $600. But it was a $600 system.

Collapse -

a *cheap* system? $600?

by jck In reply to

I can build a basic machine with a 17" CRT for $400, but you get basic stuff...60GB HD, 256MB SDRAM, CD-RW, floppy, case w/300W PS, shared memory video card, on-board stereo sound.

Most of the cost in the basic machine is the monitor and the motherboard/CPU. single 256MB chip is like $30-40? case is $35? CD-RW is $25? floppy $12? HD $50? CRT $70? k/b/mouse/speaker combo $35?

I can't understand even why Dell's base job is $299 after rebate...when they get parts in quantities of 250K units, they get such a discount they should be building boxes for $200.

Oh well...s'ok. I'll keep building my own and getting what I want without getting my wallet raped.

Collapse -

Not my experience.

by TonytheTiger In reply to Dell, Gateway, HP fail cu ...

At home, they for some reason forgot to put the power supply with a new laptop I ordered. A phone call and it was there the next morning.

At work we had a drive die in a raid on a poweredge 4400 server. I called it in, they had me run though the array manager, and said that the drive was bad and they would ship a replacement. Since this was the Friday before a Monday Holiday, I expected it would arrive on Tuesday. I was wrong. The drive arrived less than 3 hours after I hung up from support!

The only thing I didn't like was the broken english the support guy spoke. Took several tries before I could understand him.

Collapse -

basic service?

by Dr Dij In reply to Not my experience.

did you need to buy the extra service option at home or was it the basic service?

Collapse -

The Reason

by jthttk In reply to Dell, Gateway, HP fail cu ...

The reason these companies get this kind of response is they take people off the streets and give them a week or two training to use their incredible database of fixes and expect them to fix your computer (I know first hand).
Then they force these people to make quotas and response times and all kinds of ridiculus demands that they have to be thinking of instead of focusing on your problem.

I suggest the little to mid-size guys that are making a go of it. Call their help desk before you buy, tell them you are testing their service. Quiz them and see if you like what you hear.
If you buy from one of the big guys, find a home town guy that will work with you for service. I'm one of those guys! Of course you could find him/her first and ask for buying advice.

how can the large companies get away with this?
well, you get what you pay for, and they all offer extra services for an extra price.

will they try and fudge over by paying off ratings sites? or spamming them with 'good' reviews?
If they do you State Attorney would like to know!

Good Luck

Collapse -

Support Experience

by DMambo In reply to Dell, Gateway, HP fail cu ...

I have had good experience with HP (server) support at work. I have spoken to native-english speakers, and if they didn't know thier stuff, I've been passed up the food chain.

Dell, on the other hand, has had my business account call transferred off-shore. I usually feel like I know more than the tech, and the language barrier is huge. Even their contracted on-site support has been manned with idiots. I've actually taken the part and sent the on-site support guy packing. Undoubtedly a low-bid contract.

So, I've really only responded to support surveys when I've been unhappy. Seems to me that with only 100-150 reviews in 6-months, it'd be pretty easy to "posi-spam".

Collapse -

Gateway - HORRIBLE 'Customer Service'

by qbsrox In reply to Dell, Gateway, HP fail cu ...

I am so angry with Gateway and their 'customer service' that I'm not even sure I can write this and make sense :-) I've been a loyal Gateway consumer for years, I own 5 computers...all Gateway, and have purchased several for clients over the past 6-7 years.

I purchased a RAID 1 mirrored system in May of 2004 and so far it has 'eaten' 14 monitors, 6 hard drives, 3 video cards, memory boards, motherboard, processor, and just about anything else you can think of. I have reloaded the system more times than I can count and have lost a TON of time and money, every 2-3 months something else went down. This is (well, was supposed to be) a business computer; and they had NO problem delivering it to me within 7 days of initial purchase.

Almost two months ago is when it went down yet again, and I had just finished reloading everything in the prior 3 weeks. They FINALLY decide to replace it....then the 'real fun' began!

Somehow, they can't seem to find parts, or get the proper system actually delivered to me; the service order has not been processed twice, the shipping date has been delayed week after week because they 'don't have things in stock' .... so here I sit with still no desktop computer to work from. I've started a BBB complaint, and followed up with it and I'm 'working' with their 'Executive Response Team' ... what a joke this entire experience has been. I am sure that if I had sent them over $3K, I would have had a system within a week, like I originally did. However almost 2 months later, they can't manage to find parts!

They did manage to send me a system 2 weeks ago, that was remanufactured, broken, and didn't have half of the specs that it was supposed to...and no monitor of course. They didn't even bother to send RMA paperwork! Since then, they have managed to call almost daily and send 'BILLS!' threatening to charge me if I don't return this and that; yet no paperwork to return 'this and that' and no working system.

I have asked for a refund so I can go purchase a working system and get my business back up to running normally......they conveniently ignore that request as well. I have 2 bulging folders of correspondence trying to get this resolved, but they got my $3K+ 14 months ago and are in no rush to make this right.

I would love to hear some feedback, places to post to possibly get some assistance in getting this situation resolved. If I were Gateway, I would be totally embarrassed to continue to give out the kind of excuses they have shelled out to me; it's a real shame.

Thanks for listening!

Related Discussions

Related Forums