Caveat Emptor-let the buyer beware. In a world of technology, large corporations, telecommunications, the sales and service process has broken down dramatically. We, as consumers are thrown into an endless maze of artificial intelligence, voice mails, E-mails, rude and unqualified service and sales personnel. Not to mention, inept people skills, integrity, and the incompetent managers who oversees these people. What ever happened to the motto "The Customer Comes First", what ever happened to building bridges, relationships, and customer retention? Has this paradigm shifted to include looking at the bottom line first, and walking all over the customer, with minute warranties that's not even worth the paper it's written on?
The focus of this editorial is not to focus on the issues with the original system but to look at Dell's customer service, quality control and fraudulent business practices.
For weeks I have attempted to have a representative in the USA contact me in regards to resolution on issues with a brand new xps 8300 system; as I have had a grueling experience with the Dell representatives in India. The requests I made were repeatedly denied! Needless to say I was finally offered a new replacement system. I made it very clear that after incurring tech fees approaching $637.00 and an unprecedented amount of time; that I needed Dell to match the exact system which included a 1.5 Tb RAID one hard drive or one superior to that.
Ignoring my request I was offered a 1Tb Raid one hard drive which I refused. I was then offered a 2Tb hard drive which I was under the impression was RAID one. I also asked if Dell would upgrade the video card and extend the warranty for an extra year. Dell refused to extend the warranty but would upgrade the video card! I was a little perplexed by this decision as a warranty cost nothing out of Dell's pocket as this a perceived value, and would only cost Dell if the product needed replacing or repair. In other words, Dell does not have enough confidence in their product to extend the warranty by one year! This is a poor commentary on behalf of Dell.
I asked when I can expect the system as the original order took approximately 3-4 weeks to produce. Surprisingly I received it in a matter of days. Incidentally I received a comment on a post I made from a lady in one of the South American countries that has been waiting 3 months!
I hired my tech to come out to setup and transfer the data from one computer to the other. My tech wanted to inspect the system before proceeding. He immediately pointed out that the hard drives were not of the same performance and that this was not a RAID one hard drive, which I was under the impression I was getting.
However I was shocked and mortified with what was discovered with further inspection! My tech pointed out that this was not a new system but had been used. He pointed out that in all the years of being in IT he has never seen a system that was supposed to be new have the dust and grime that this one had. Here is a brief summary of the precursory inspection:
1) Screws were lose on the video card support.
2) Dust/caked on dirt was on the video card stabilizer
3) Dust/caked on dirt on the CPU fan
4) Dust/caked on dirt on the side case fan
5) Dust all over the video card
6) Dust all over the mother board panel cover
7) Dust/caked on dirt between front panel and drive bays
To mention a few!
This is no longer a misunderstanding of a hard drive issue but a testimony to Dell's quality control, service, and fraudulent business practices! In a nutshell this is how the Dell Corporation views you as a consumer!
In retrospect this clarifies for me why 1) the refusal of extending the warranty 1 year, 2)they would graciously upgrade the video card, 3) the rapid delivery of the system when others in South America are waiting 3 months - this system was used or had used parts!
Dell computer boasts in their credo: "Dell. Purely You.", and Dell Values - Vision Statement:
"Dell is committed to being a good neighbor in the communities we call home. We must continue to grow responsibly - protecting our natural resources and practicing sustainability in all its forms - and improve the communities where we live and work through our financial and volunteer efforts."
But I was more concerned if maybe the case of fraud committed against me (noun: deceit, trickery, sharp practice, or breach of confidence, perpetrated for profit or to gain some unfair or dishonest advantage) was an isolated incident.
In researching the Dell Corporation this appears to be the standard of care, and is not an isolated incident. I will list a few law suits which support my claims (but I would encourage you to do your own research after all I am deemed a disgruntled customer - these are a matter of public record):
In March 2007 an article titled "Computer Giant Faces Consumer Lawsuit Consumers Allege They Didn't Get the Tech Support They Paid For" appeared on an ABC News website. "Part of the suit claims that though Dell gave the impression of an "award-winning service" available to consumers "24 hours a day, seven days a week", consumers faced "nightmarish obstacles" to get help and technical service for their computers. New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said that New York had received 700 complaints about Dell — more than the number of complaints for any other related subject.
In May 2007, Andrew Cuomo filed a lawsuit against Dell for "false advertising and deceptive business practices, including offering misleading financing, and failing to honor rebates, warranties and service contracts".  Dell spokesman Bob Pearson portrayed the lawsuit as based on only a small portion of Dell's customers and as in no way reflecting the way the company treats its customers. Dell's hardware-warranty contract says that customers must troubleshoot over the phone — including possibly opening the computer — before Dell will send a technical service provider to replace a part. On May 27, 2008, State Supreme Court Justice Joseph Teresi required Dell to clarify its financing and warranty criteria, saying the computer maker engaged in fraud, false advertising, deceptive business and abusive debt-collection practices. Parties have filed more than 1,000 additional complaints with the attorney general's office since the initial filing of the lawsuit in May 2007.
In 2005, complaints about Dell more than doubled to 1,533, after earnings grew 52% that year.
In 2006, Dell acknowledged that it had problems with customer service. Issues included call transfers of more than 45% of calls and long wait times. Dell's blog detailed the response: "We're spending more than a $100 million — and a lot of blood, sweat and tears of talented people — to fix this." Later in the year, the company increased its spending on customer service to $150 million. Despite significant investment in this space, Dell continues to face public scrutiny with even the company's own website littered with complaints regarding the issue escalation process.
This list goes on and on!
After posting my first editorial Dell Computer - Fraud or Fiction, I witnessed a miracle, so I thought! I finally received a call from Donna Moore Senior Operations Analyst/ Executive Support Representative at Dell Inc. She appeared to be a pleasant lady and I have no ill feelings towards her personally.
The conversation started off well and I was informed that our conversation may be recorded which in itself sets one up for a potential hostile environment. With my best efforts after having already invested anywhere from 70 - 80 hours, with multiple issues and a whole lot of frustration I tried to be as calm and professional as possible
I stated many times in our conversation that my issue was less so about the initial computer problem but about the deception, fraud and quality control issues with Dell. I explained my professional background which included many years in sales and now medicine and the importance of service and doing the right thing to make a customer whole.
The first few minutes of the conversation went well she tried the sales technique of empathizing with me and agreed that I shouldn't have to have gone through all the time, frustration ... and that my expectations as a consumer were not unrealistic! (Really) She went on to say that a new computer shouldn't look like that and claims it was made on March 15th and is a new system (acknowledging poor QA and admitting to having 5 pictures) ... "States that technology changes so fast and we have issues that we run into...If we can't provide the customer with same technology ... we do upgrade the customer or should upgrade the customer to the next available technology and back into another system as soon as possible"!!
The conversation was not going the way she had expected and continued to divert from my concerns of fraud, service, and quality control to components, hard drives, services etc... making excuses for Dell. It was obvious that her agenda was not to make me whole and have a satisfied customer but just pacify me and further frustrate me. She obviously wanted to sweep this under the carpet by getting the computer back and having Dell's quality team go over it.
Summarizing she asked me what I wanted? She had mentioned earlier that Dell should upgrade to the next available technology which I would assume is the Alienware line. Well, after that suggestion the conversation deteriorated rapidly.
She tried to use the analogy of buying one model of car and then trying to get a luxury car in its place. So, let's go with Donna's car analogy since she brought it up. There is such a thing called the "Lemon Law" in which a victim is entitled to a new car, reimbursement of repair fees and also legal fees! So buy her own analogy my request should be valid! After all she did say that my expectations were not unrealistic!
After an hour on the phone it was clear that Dell was not going to step up to the plate and make things right by evening out the economies of scale. Their solution was to reimburse me for the computer after I have already incurred approximately $637.00 of tech fees, approximately 80 hours of frustration, not to mention having down time to get a new computer and then paying a tech more monies to come out and set up another system. I stated to her that she had me over a barrel and no matter what I was stuck and would lose quite a bit of money in dealing with Dell.
I proposed that she send me back my money I keep the computer I have and deal with it as is and she can have the fraudulent system back (which would leave us at par). She stated she would not do that either. So, frustrated with the deception I reminded her that Dell has my money I have their computers and I would be contacting the local TV consumer complaints departments and have them look into the fraudulent claims.
I hung up on her and contacted KCRA 3 talked with a very nice lady named Margaret, I gave her full disclosure on my conversation with Donna Moore at Dell. I provided her pictures, documentation and contact information for KCRA 3 to investigate. I also forwarded the information to the attorney General's office and Federal Trade Commission as well.
Dell Computers have a huge number of angry customers and is mind numbing to read the complaints of unhappy consumers on their Facebook page! I feel that a third party should document their findings on this system and hold Dell Inc. accountable for their quality control and deceptive business practices. Below is a consumer's comment on a previous post I made!
1. Written by targetworker on March 31, 2012 from bellevue, washington, US
"Yes 90% of what I hear about DELL is how wrong they treat their buyers. Eventually DELL's luster will become dull and lifeless. It's like the architect business, they do a wonderful job of building fancy buildings but don't follow up with proper cleaning philosophies...that's why beautiful buildings end up looking like garbage 6 years later. I was going to buy a DELL but after researching their lack of support, I went with Apple. Apple is no glory story but I narrowed it down to a viable purchase.
Comments on Dell Computer - Fraud and Fiction
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