A Review of Dell’s Customer Service

Hi there dear readers! I hope you all had a fabulous new year. I’m terribly sorry to bring you such a long, boring update fresh after the holidays, but I’m hoping this will be helpful to anyone in the market for a new computer.

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Do you remember my post about Larry Laptop and all the trouble he was having? If not, you can read it here. In short, I bought a Dell Inspiron 3520 in December of 2012 and in less than a year, I had four faulty hard drives and also a motherboard replaced. They finally decided to give me a new computer in place of my old one because my laptop was still under warranty. I want to provide a timeline here of my recent experience as well as the way I was treated.

October 29: Called Dell with my latest problem (hard drive crashed). After much discussion, it was decided they would replace my laptop. I was asked if I wanted to upgrade for extra money or get a like for like replacement. After opting for the like for like replacement, I was told that they actually no longer make that type of laptop, so they’ll be upgrading me at no extra cost.

November 1: An empty Dell box was delivered to me. I was under the impression that they would be collecting my broken laptop on this day. I emailed the account manager in charge of my case to ask about the empty box and received no response.

November 4: Someone came to collect my broken computer which was supposed to be put in the empty box. Nobody informed me that this was how the collection would take place.

November 12: I emailed the original account manager to ask why my computer had not been delivered yet as the original invoice had an ETA of November 8. Account manager emailed me back to say she would look into the delay and report back to me when she had the details.

November 15: Still no follow up from account manager despite daily emails from myself asking about the status of my order. I finally called Dell and spoke to someone else, only to be told that the order had been cancelled. No reason given as to why. I was assigned a case number and told that I would be dealing with a woman named Maria from now on and that she would be looking into my case to determine why the order was cancelled and to see about reinstating the order.

November 18: Received a call from a man at Dell whose name I didn’t get. He informed me that they were incredibly sorry for the delay, but my computer will be with me within the week, along with some add-ons to ensure that I am a happy customer. He gave no details of the add-ons, but I didn’t care. I was happy to hear I would have my computer shortly.

November 19: Received an email from Maria that said: “I just would like to let you know that I am still trying to request to have this order rebook. Rest assured that I prioritize this issue now. I will get back to you again to for the status of the new order.” Meanwhile, I received a new order invoice from the original account manager on this same day. I sent a reply to the original account manager asking why there was a new order invoice from her, since I knew Maria was still working on it and I did not receive a response. I emailed Maria about this issue and about the man I spoke to the previous day.

November 20: Maria replied via email: “Sorry about that. I was not able to notice that there is a new replacement order that was processed. We have an estimated delivery date of 4/12/2013 for this order but I am now working with our Manufacturing team to see if they can speed up the order for you. I will get back to you again for further status.” Still no explanation for why the original order was cancelled and why a new order was placed with no apparent notification within Dell. Maria also had no record of the man who called me and that remains a mystery to this day.

November 21: I called Dell to try to speak with Maria about the status of my order and whether she was able to expedite it as she said she would try to do. I spoke to a very disrespectful man named Ken who said, among other things, that he could not connect me to Maria. I sent an email to the customer service complaint department about the rest of my experience with Ken:

Hello,

My name is Ashley Rayford. I currently have a case open with your company, reference number (Removed reference number for this blog post). Maria has been handling my case and she has been very kind throughout the process. However, today I called to get an update on my case and I spoke to a man named Ken. 
 
I explained my situation to Ken and how I have been told that my replacement computer order has been placed and Maria told me she would work on expediting my order so it could be with me as soon as possible (this was after someone whose name I don’t know called me Monday and told me that the computer would be with me THIS week…turns out that was false information). Ken explained to me that they’ve already put a request for expedition in and that there is now nothing further they can do. He said I will have to wait for my computer to be built in China and then wait 7-10 days longer once it is shipped from China before I will receive it. I was not happy with that information, naturally, since I’ve already been waiting for 3 weeks to receive a replacement laptop for a faulty one I had before. The original order was cancelled with no notification or reason provided by yourselves. To be told that I’ll have to wait 1-2 weeks longer for my computer (which I need for my job), does not make me happy. What made me even less happy was the way Ken spoke to me. Ken spoke to me in a tone of voice that I felt would have been more appropriately used with a child. When I told him that I didn’t appreciate being spoken to that way, he apologized, but did nothing to change his tone or his attitude. I asked Ken if I could speak to a manager, at which point he told me, quite rudely, “A manager won’t tell you anything different than I’m telling you.” I told him that I didn’t care, I wanted to speak to a manager. He said, “There’s not one here.” I said, “You mean to tell me that there’s nobody there higher than you that I can speak to?” He said, “No.” All of this was said in a rude tone of voice. I finally told Ken that he could have Maria call me back because I was done talking to him, goodbye, and I promptly hung up the phone.
 
I called back a few minutes later and spoke to someone named Mia. She told me that unfortunately the information Ken gave me is correct and there’s nothing further they can do, but that they’ll keep me updated on the process. She was very kind about it and she even explained things further to me by saying that when Maria told me she would try to expedite my order, she meant she would try to expedite the manufacturing process, not the shipping process, which I was unaware of. 
 
You’re a large company and I think it’s a shame that someone as rude as Ken is dealing with your customers. I also think that the way this entire situation has been handled is appalling. I will not be buying Dell products in future, although I will be using this replacement computer that is owed to me until it no longer works. I’ve already purchased a further 2 year warranty for this computer before I found out how appalling the customer service could be. I’ve had plenty of experience with your technical support team and they have always been lovely and helpful. I can’t say the same about everyone handling this situation. 
 
I am a very unsatisfied customer, I will be sharing this experience with family & friends, as well as blogging about it at my personal blog which receives a high volume of traffic. I sincerely hope to receive my computer in the new time frame that’s been given to me. I also hope that customer service representatives like Ken will be trained properly in future to not be rude to customers who are just trying to find solutions to their problems.
 
Thank you,
Ashley RayfordNovember 22: I received this very short email response from the customer service complaint department:

Dear Ashley,

Thank you for sending us this detailed experience when you called our hotline and spoke to Ken. I want to assure you that all measures will be taken to correct the behavior and retrain if really necessary. Please be assured that Maria will continue to be in touch with you about the progress of your order.

 Kind regards,

 Hazel Teodoro
Care Manager | Dell Customer Service, UK and Ireland  

Also on November 22, I received another email from the original account manager which contained yet another invoice for a new computer. This is the third order since the beginning, and still I received no explanation as to why. I emailed Maria to query this. I received no response from Maria this day.

November 25: I received a call from a man named Paolo from Dell on behalf of Maria who was out of the office. He explained to me that my replacement order was cancelled, yet again. For the first time since all of this started, he finally explained to me why the original order was cancelled. The first time it was cancelled because they didn’t have the correct parts. Then the reinstated replacement order was for the same computer, and again, they didn’t have the correct parts. Apparently the missing part was an LCD screen that’s on back order and they didn’t know how long it would take to arrive. So they cancelled the reinstated replacement order and placed another order on November 22 for an upgraded version. I was told that this new order would be shipping from the factory in China the next day, but that they wouldn’t be able to provide me with an ETA until it arrives with the courier in the UK. I asked Paolo to please make sure my new address is on file as we moved to a new house in the middle of all of this confusion. This was the third time I requested the address change to be noted and he assured me it was in the system. He said that they can’t note the address change until the package has arrived in the UK with the courier, but that they would notify the courier ASAP.

November 26: I received this email from Maria:

I am happy to inform you that the order has shipped out today and is now in transit to the carrier. Since the package will be coming from China, this would take within 7-10 business day before it gets delivered to you. You might receive the order by next week but will let you know if there’s progress.

I will track the order to ensure that your order is delivered and I will contact you to verify if it was delivered in good condition.

Thank you for choosing Dell and have a good day.

November 28: I received a call from someone at Dell informing me the order will be with me the following week, either December 3 or December 4.

December 2: I emailed Maria to confirm the address change again.

December 3: Maria emailed me and assured me she would provide the courier with my new address. Later in the day I received an email from UKMail saying that the package would be delivered the next day.

December 4: I received an email from UKMail saying there was an unexpected delay in my order and they are unable to provide me with an ETA at this time.

December 6: Emailed Maria asking for an update. No response.

December 9: Sent Maria another email, this time a rather angry email, asking for an update. No response. Called Dell and spoke to someone named Richard. Richard called UKMail while I waited on the line to find out what the delay is. UKMail did not have my change of address. They said they will have to change the label on the package to reflect the new address and that this will take 1-2 business days. I expressed my displeasure to Richard and he apologized and said he would stay on top of it until I receive the computer, but it will take 1-2 business days for them to change the label and then another 1-2 business days for me to receive the package. Richard also supplied me with a tracking number. When I logged onto the website to look at the tracking number, I could see that they attempted delivery at my old address on December 5, despite numerous reminders from myself for the address to be changed.

December 10: Laptop was delivered.

As you can see, it’s been a long and stressful process. I have never experienced such horrible customer service in my life. The original order was place on October 29 and I didn’t receive it until December 10. Meanwhile, they wasted no time picking up my old computer. The same time I placed the replacement order, I also ordered a further 2 year warranty for the computer. I was told by the original account manager that all I needed to do to get it transferred to my new computer is email her with the service tag once I received it. I’m currently in the process of trying to make that happen. I have had no confirmation as of yet that it’s been done.

Please remember that Dell’s customer service department is different than their technical support. The technical support team have always been extremely prompt and helpful. Not so with the customer service department. I know this was a long post, but I wanted to get this out there for anyone who may be thinking of buying a laptop and is unsure what brand to purchase. I won’t tell you not to buy a Dell, I can only tell you my experience and let you decide for yourself.

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