General discussion

Dell Service Nightmare

Dec 22, 2003 12:01AM PST

Here is a copy of an email that I sent to Michael Dell regarding the nightmares that we small, home-use customers continually go through. Think he'll respond? (yeah, right). Is anybody else having these hellish experiences?

Mr. Dell:

You can look at my customer number, xxxxxxxx, and see that I am just a common man, but a loyal Dell customer. In the last three months I have purchased a computer for my in-laws (order# xxxxxxxxx) and one for my parents (order# xxxxxxxxx) as well as my own in the last year. I have purchased cameras, and printers as well.

On 8/22 I went online to purchase an additional hard drive for storage. I did not know what I needed, so while I was online I called Dell customer support and asked for guidance. It turns out that I was mistakenly transferred to spare parts (?) and sold a refurbished hard drive (order# xxxxxxxxx), which has since crashed. I have lost ALL my pictures, (hundreds) as well as all of my son's digital film making and editing.

Now, to add to this frustration, I am told that I wasn't sold a new hard drive but a used one with only a ninety day war. I have had to talk to over 12 people so far on this and still have no resolution.

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Hard disks are not where you store what you can't lose.
Dec 22, 2003 12:07AM PST

I read this and see a lesson about backup. Sadly, companies like Dell, Gateway and all the rest do not tell you that hard disk contents are eraseable in milliseconds, and may outright fail.

Most only learn about backup after such a loss.


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Re:Hard disks are not where you store what you can't lose.
Dec 22, 2003 12:18AM PST

I agree and take full responsibility for that. However, the issue is being on the phone for over an hour, being transferred 12(that's twelve) times and still not getting satisfaction on an issue. I was sold a refurbished part, when I was looking online for a new one and not informed of such. Their customer service is a nightmare of Eastern Rim employees reading scripts with no authority or knowledge of how to resolve problems.

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It's becoming a larger issue (support.)
Dec 22, 2003 12:30AM PST

Support has always been a tough area. Some issues can be quickly and cheaply solved with script readers. The problem with many of these readers is that they don't own a Dell so they don't have any direct experience with the product.

This is not to say you don't have a beef with them. Try to focus on what issues they missed the boat on.


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Re:It's becoming a larger issue (support.)
Dec 22, 2003 2:20AM PST

It has become so bad that no matter what the issue with Dell, you are going to have a very hard time getting help on anything other than what you can do yourself or find with on-line support. Their support service assumes that all home users are novices or fairly ignorant and they take you through a litany of steps that have to be repeated evry time you are transferred (a minimum of four times, I'd say). If you know what the problem is and want to cut to the chase, good luck.

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The world has changed a lot.
Dec 22, 2003 2:42AM PST

Not long ago you didn't have 'the web' to find solutions to such issues. In fact, many don't have a way to search the web for solutions if the computer is down.

The issue is compounded by you have grandma to computer scientists that call in. Where do you start?

-> At the beginning.

This may rile some, but it is how you have to do mass support. Even I get flamed for starting with obvious responses and I get beat on for answers that no one can grasp. No one comes here with some pre-filled out questionaire and ranking, but the best thing is for people (here) is to tell more than less.

BACK TO YOUR ISSUE. While data loss is always upsetting, a new drive is just as likely to vanish as a Dell refurb. I didn't write about such, but must comment that Dell, Gateway and others call refurbs any unit that was sold and returned. They may do some testing, but most of the time its some unit with low hours that still is just fine. At least some 99.8% of the time. I rarely see a totally dead drive. Most of the time, a tool from the drive maker or just configuration issues makes them work. But it does happen...


At this point, SIMPLIFY what you ask for.

1. That drive you sold me is dead. Give me a new one.

2. That drive was not the right make/model or was a REFURB and was supposed to be new. Give me a new one.


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Re:The world has changed a lot.
Dec 22, 2003 3:03AM PST

Merry Christmas. Thanks for your input.

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