Wednesday, March 2, 2011

My BAD Experience with Dell Customer Service (Long)

I write product reviews on this blog all of the time.  So when I had customer service issues recently with Dell, I thought I should write a review about that as well.

February 24: Ordered a Dell Laptop online.
February 24: Received email shortly after order was placed that my order was placed on hold and that I needed to contact my credit card issuer for verification.
February 24: Contacted credit card company who just wanted to verify the purchase since it was over a certain dollar amount.
February 24: Contacted Dell to alert them that I verified the information with my credit card company.  Was put on hold.  After 10 minutes of trying to explain that the credit card company said they flagged the purchase and to re-charge the card (to a woman at an Indian call center who was having trouble understanding what I wanted and kept repeating, "You're order has been placed on hold."), I was transferred to another department.  When I spoke to another customer service rep, also from a Indian call center, she said that she would re-run the card.  She did.  She told me the transaction went through successfully.
February 24: Received an email from Dell that my order was on hold and needed verification.  5 Minutes later, I received an email saying that my transaction was processed and that the order would arrive on or around the estimated shipping date of March 2.
February 24: Received an email to tell me that my shipping information was updated and my estimated delivery date was now March 1.
February 25: My order arrived in TN at the FedEx Depot
February 26: Order departed TN
February 28: Arrived at FedEx Location: Grove City, OH
March 1: Departed FedEx Location: Grove City, OH
March 1: At local FedEx Facility: Pittsburgh, PA
March 1: On FedEx vehicle for delivery: Pittsburgh, PA

At this point, my husband & I were in the living room ad noticed the FedEx truck zoom past.  I decided to look up my FedEx tracking info and saw this:

March 1: Package Returned to Shipper, Pittsburgh, PA; Unable to deliver shipment.  Shipment Returned.  Shipper requested.

So my husband called FedEx who told him that the shipment had been flagged "Fraudulent" by Dell and was asked to be returned.

And that's when the fun began.  My husband called Dell at approx. 10a EST.  He was routed to an Indian Call Center.  He was told that the order required verification and because they did not receive verification, it was flagged as fraudulent.  He was put on hold for approx. 10 min.  Then, he was transferred and put on hold again.  After about 10 minutes, his called was disconnected.  He called back.  He was told the same thing and transferred.  He received another customer service rep who said that our case was flagged for help by a certain rep and that she would return our call.  After waiting over 30 minutes to return the call, I started calling.

I called customer service (keep in mind at no time during these calls did we speak to any customer service representatives within the US or even North America.).  I received the same information and was given a phone number and extension to contact this rep who was handling our case.  The rep then transferred me.  My call was disconnected.  I called the number and extension of the woman handling my case and received her voicemail.  I left a message, phone number, and order number.  After 30 minutes, I called again.  I received her voicemail.. AGAIN.  I left the same information.. AGAIN and the time of the call.  After 30 minutes, I called AGAIN.  I received her voice mail a third time.  I left all of the same information a THIRD time.  And then I started tweeting because I was frustrated.

A fellow tweeter gave me the US headquarters phone number.  I called it and was routed to an Indian call center.  I spoke to a customer service rep, where I gave all of the information AGAIN.  He said I would need to talk to this particular rep to resolve my issue.  I explained that we tried contacting this rep several times and never received a call back.  He put me on hold.  My call was disconnected.

I called again.  I gave all of my info AGAIN.  I was put on hold.  Then I was told that I needed to speak to the certain customer sales rep that is handling my case.  I requested to speak to a supervisor.  I was put on hold.  The supervisor told me there was nothing he could do, I had to speak to this other rep.  He put me on hold.  He came back on the phone and said she was on the other line and transferred me.  I got her voicemail.  I called back.  I asked to be transferred to a US call center.  I was told that was impossible.  I asked for a supervisor.  I got his voicemail which indicated he was out of town until sometime in April, 2010 (yes, a year old voicemail message - lovely.).  I called back.  I asked for a supervisor.  I received a supervisor who said that I needed to speak with billing.  I was transferred to billing and then disconnected.

I called back.  After being transferred to 2 different supervisors, I finally spoke with a gentlemen who told me the only resolution they could offer was to cancel my order and for me to re-order.  When I explained that the  error had been theirs and that I demanded some kind of compensation for 4 hrs on the phone and the inconvenience of having to re-order, (not to mention, I purchased the laptop during a 2 day sale and got it at the sale price at that time), he said all they could offer me was for me to re-order and then call customer service and explain what happened previously, referencing the first order number, so that they could upgrade my shipping to 'expedited'.  I asked for a refund.  He finally put in for a refund to have my card credited, which he told me would not happen until my shipment reached Dell.

I have personally purchased 3 laptops and a desktop machine from Dell.  I will NEVER EVER EVER EVER AGAIN purchase anything from these people.  Their customer service is deplorable.  Their unwillingness to admit their errors is ridiculous (especially when I have all of the email documentation to prove it).  Being on the phone for over 4 hrs with the only resolution being that there is no resolution speaks volumes of Dell's inadequate customer service.  I cannot believe this is the way Dell chooses to handle their customers.

After all of that, I went to and purchased a laptop from them.

Bye-Bye, Dell.  Don't expect I will give you any more of my business or refer you to any of the thousands of social media marketers I interact with daily.

And one more thing - Please make sure that your customer service reps can do more than recite a script in English over and over and over again.  It is not helpful when the customer and the rep are struggling to communicate with each other.  And if a customer asks to speak to a US CALL CENTER BECAUSE the communication is poor, that request should be honored.  I have no issues with other cultures.  But when a language barrier prevents me from receiving adequate customer service after I've spent a lot of money with your company, I get a tad peeved.



  1. I had a problem with Gateway years ago. Long story short, I was told my trade in desktop would get me $650 so I ordered a new pc for $900 and went to do my trade in at the trade in center where I was told I would get only $100. After contacting customer service via email, to no avail, I went online, found the name and email address for the director of marketing and wrote to him, explaining my problem and attaching the previous emails. The next day, literally, I got a call from his assistant who apologized and assured me that they'd send out a check for the $650 which they did. Maybe you should try contacting an executive for satisfaction on this. Good luck.

  2. Susie,

    Thanks! I will be writing a letter to Dell to alert them to the poor-quality of customer service they are offering. 'Glad to hear that Gateway resolved your issue!! :)

  3. Grrrrr - I am sooooo angry for you -- I totally understand your frustration and would not buy from Dell - Thanks for the heads up and glad you got yourself an HP instead. Best wishes with your NEW lappy and I see much happier blogging in your future :)

  4. I can think of few things that make me angrier than having to deal with someone in East Boomslangalangadingdong India when I'm trying to resolve an issue. It's SO frustrating when you can not get someone that both understands/comprehends/speaks English who is only following some pre-written script that is NO HELP at all. Outsourcing sucks!! I honestly don't know if I would have been able to remain cool/calm during the ordeal you had to go through, so HUGE KUDOS to you!

    I hope you get many, MANY years out of your non-Dell laptop!!!


  5. Because of my previous experience with Dell when I was student I am now the very proud owner of a Mac and Acer laptop. Both customer service and quality of product far exceed dell. My laptop was a student one and it had to have its battery replaced, monitor, key board ect. When I called Dell (Back when you still spoke to Americans when you called) he told me that student computers are built to last only 3 years and it was surprising mine hadn't melted... Uhh thanks Ii thought and went and bought myself a mac. My dell is currently a doorstop, I think the only use it is ever good for these days.

  6. i've had an HP for years and i love it. i hope you love your not-dell as much as i do.

  7. Sorry for the inconvenience faced. Contact @DellCares via Twitter, or on Facebook at: We LOVE to help our customers Tnx, Shylaja

  8. I had a nasty experience with Dell a few years ago and blogged about it. I was quickly contacted directly by a customer service rep. I find that blogging about them is the best way to get them to help (as evidenced by the comment from Shylaja above).

  9. Sorry for the troubles you've had. I have just one word to suggest--MACINTOSH! Been an Apple user for about 30 years and never had a problem. Great customer service, great products, worth paying a few extra dollars for.

  10. Please, Macs are not a "few" extra dollars. I've always hated Dell. Been lucky with HP so far, and this wouldn't have helped with your Dell in your case, but I got a US-based HP rep after speaking with a foreign rep just by saying my computer wouldn't start at all. The US rep actually walked me through completely tearing apart the guts of my computer to figure out what was wrong. I ended up having to return it, but still good customer service.

  11. The only thing the service reps in India or wherever want to do is sell you a program to make your PC faster, ward off the baddies, or extend a warranty, etc. They always say they have to put you on hold and talk to their supervisor and then come back and try to sell you something, rather than coming back with a solution to your problem. I've spent too many frustrating hours on the phone with people who don't understand you, whom we don't understand, and who could care less. I will not buy a Dell again.

  12. WOW......that's like, worst nightmare kind of stuff.

  13. sorry to hear about your experience. never fun. thanks too for sharing this info with the rest of us. have never used dell so i cant comment on their service - we used hp for a while in the states and their service was pretty good from what i can remember. hope dell sort things out. cheers

  14. After repeated problems with my most recent Dell, I returned to the Mac world and have been thrilled every day that I did it. I had been living in purgatory for the last 7-8 years and didn't even realize how much I missed my Mac. The last straw was Dell's "Customer Service." They should probably call it Dell Disservice.

  15. Glad you got out when you did. They were just giving you a preview of their support once you are an owner. They didn't offer me such a preview. I feel cheated. I would have had an opportunity to get out while I still could. Mine didn't work from the day I received it. I even bought the extra support for it. But, the support, as with their customer service was useless. It was sooo funny. They called to offer to sell me additional support and I started explaining how it hasn't worked since the day I received it and asked him if he knew how to fix it. The caller (from India) quickly ended the phone call. I wonder how many others he had called and gotten a similar response.

  16. ditto on the HP comment - I love my HP. I ordered it custom built from their site and had it in a week.

  17. A couple of years ago I had to call Dell for a customer service problem with my desktop. No help. At that time, I decided no more Dell computers for me. I have a Sony Vaio laptop and a MACbook. I took the MAC in for one repair and they replaced the screen for free. I love them and I am happy with both of them. When will companies learn that they are not doing us a favor by selling the product to us.

  18. Just another reason why I love my Mac. If I ever have a problem I know right where the store is and I can walk in and there are always at least 5 competent people there to help me.

  19. I have had problems with different companies call centers, too. When it comes to service and my $$, you either do well or I don't boycotting many companies... But, I have had two computers from ACER and had to deal with customer service; they were excellent. I shared your story on my FB page.

  20. Sorry to hear about your experience with Dell. I've had to deal with Dell because of work and it's almost as painful as a root canal without anesthesia. For my own personal use every computer and printer I have owned was made by HP and I've never had a problem that even warranted a call to customer service.

  21. Indeed a very good read! Very informative post with pretty good insight on all aspects of the topic! Will keep visiting in future too!

  22. Oh, knit purl gurl- I'm definitely in agreeance with you in regards to how bad Dell attention to detail is, quality of service and products, and lack of English the works have that work at Dell!

    Here is my story:
    After purchasing my laptop in Oct 2009, I called Dell in August 2010 for an issue I had with my laptop. The worker, Gerarrd Hill problem solved my issue at an exceptional level. He sold me a Dell package for 4 incidents/1 year of service from Dell Solutions. I purchased this package for $239. I called in Nov 2010, due to having more issues with my "warranty" laptop. The issue I was having apparently wasn't under warranty. Anyways, the worker could barely speak English, he was from India. He didn't not listen to me or try to understand the problem I was having with my laptop. He kept providing solutions that weren't solving my problem. Anyways, after his rude attitude and poor quality of service I did not use my incident package that I purchased for $239. I called back to Dell in the Spring 2011 for the same issue- no help. All the workers are from India, they can speak English but do not understand/can't translate what us Americans are telling them the problem is. Anyways, the problem with the laptop was not resolved. I called this summer, 2011, and requested a refund for the incident package that I purchased due to Dell not able to fulfill my requests and poor quality/attitude reflected service. During this call, I spoke to 7 different people all were from India! A few that I spoke with Shakir, Amip, Paunte... When I asked Amip a second time his name, due to my phone records/log I keep he shouted "A- M- I- P" at me. So after spending 2 hours and talking to 7 different people- I was transferred from Dell Online to Customer Care [twice] then to Dell Solutions back to Customer Care [twice]...then finally to Solution Center. Basically their response everytime was, "let me transfer you." The fifth guy that I spoke with, after reading my notes, came back and stated, "So tell me why you want to return your laptop that you purchased in October 2009?" Come on dude, give me a break! After I was transferred to the solution center, where I was promised I would receive my refund, I was on hold for 40 minutes while they had me waiting in a queue for his supervisor to refund my money. He disconnected me and never called me back after he asked/wrote down my email/phone number in case we ended up getting disconnected. Basically after the workers at Dell playing "hot potato" with me for 2 hours- I am over Dell service and products! My family has been life long supporters of Dell- well not anymore. What has seriously happened to Dell? They have unacceptable service, screaming attitude at the customers, and not able to fix the issues with their products. This show is over with the Dell boys. I well definitely keep note of the way I was treated. This is by far unacceptable Dell!

  23. Dell obviously stinks it when it comes to non-business accounts, but with business they do back flips. Their products are actually very good so long as you do not buy the very cheap ones, cheap means cheap... With Mac expensive does mean good, but not as good as the same money spent on a PC from Dell, HP, or Acer.

    I prefer for myself to buy used machines. The reason being that there are some older models (especially dells) that are still incredibly high performance by today's standards. However, I'm a bit techie. For non-techs I recommend that you spend a few extra bucks and stay away from the very low end models. Their XPS line of products for personal use used to guarantee an American support call. Don't know if that's still true. I really do despise the fact that big companies export this kind of work, but realize not only are there still gigantic tax breaks, but many Americans think themselves "too good" to work such "menial" jobs, even after a year of drawing unemployment. Food for thought.

  24. OMG......Here it is March 2012 and THEY ARE STILL DOING THE SAME THINGS!!! I purchased 2 laptops at the same time. They both arrived, one without WINDOWS loaded (which I paid for) and that's when the nightmare started.

    I have FINALLY been bumped up to an INDIAN supervisor and cannot not talk to anyone but him. I HATE THIS VILE MAN!!!(or is he a ROBOT?) Dell sent a tech to my home and replaced the hard drive...still would not work. They've had me on the phone for over 20 hours (they get paid, I don't) still won't work. I told the creepy supervisor to just replace the computer...and he actually told me that it was his decision whether or not to replace the machine and he has decided NOT TO.
    Want's it returned so they can look at it. Sent me a box without a shipping label.
    I own a business, and the thought of treating a customer this way is unthinkable.
    Rather than fool with them any longer I am giving up. Will go purchase an APPLE, and as my business computers are replaced will buy anything but DELL.

    Thanks for letting me vent.

  25. its not dell its hell. consumer rights mostly ignored when you ask for a fix or replacement. but it not happens everywhere. In February, I decided to invest in a dell laptop. Because of its colorful florescent finish, spec of the lap, it came with a price tag to match – nearly $7500. However, when I'm using it, I discovered it wasn’t good at all. battery backup decreases over time, adapter leaves big strike sound almost too hot to touch – while taking the issue to dell Indian support, it was really a death trap for me! the customer support wasn’t helpful. they exalt the case every time to somewhere in Bangalore. those craps won't listen to what customer says, rather they hang-up your time to have fun and give you hell finally. Bad dell customer service costs my money. hope they will die soon.


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