Dad vs. Dell. The Ultimate Case of "Dell Hell"? Dell Tech Support Case Number #607307171
Special Thanks to Protein Wisdom for informing their thousands of readers about this blog post. Special Thanks to Erica Ogg of CNET News for informing their thousands of readers about this post. I have also faxed this information to numerous computer and technology magazines, news organizations, etc. Dell has now contacted me and I am waiting to see if they really make this "right" especially considering the time and energy just to get a proper response. If Dell makes this "right" I will certainly post this and to what extent they went to correct this.
**PLEASE NOTE: DELL HAS TAKEN CARE OF THEIR CUSTOMER IN THE END AND I AM VERY SATISFIED WITH WHAT THEY DID TO RESOLVE THIS AND KEEP THE CUSTOMER HAPPY**
Dad vs Dell - Close to a month, 37 different communications, a Certified letter to the CEO of Dell Computers, Inc, and 29 actual hours working directly with Dell Computers, Inc in my attempt to simply get my Dell laptop repaired or replaced. Why did I spend the extra money for the NEXT DAY (including nights and weekends) in-home repair warranty? Still unresolved!
Dell loves to sell their laptop warranty repair service at a very steep price. I bought the 5 year NEXT DAY including nights and weekends in home repair. "Next Day" "Including Nights and Weekends" "In Home Repair" Sounds great huh? My Dell Inspiron E1705 Laptop went AWAL on April 18 2008. It is May 4 2008 and I am still waiting for a phone call to schedule the "Next Day in-home repair" despite over 37 communications with Dell Computers, Inc. via chat, email, phone and even a certified letter to the chairman and CEO of Dell - Michael S. Dell.
This all comes at a horrible time for several reasons: 1) A large portion of my job in sales is completed on my personal Dell laptop 2) The rise in media and blog coverage over the upcoming Equal Parenting Bike Trek requires me to constantly update this event's homepage. 3) My wife and I just had a baby and I need a fast computer for uploading pictures and video for family members.
If you are in the market for a computer DO NOT BUY DELL. You may eventually become a victim of Dell Hell and spend countless hours communicating with Dell seeking a solution. Heck, I even gave them the option of sending me another laptop of equal or greater value.
Dell Technical Support Technicians will not give a crap about your problems and will recite the same solution. They will go over the same troubleshooting despite the fact that the problem was identified and is available to them via your case number. In several cases they even contradicted themselves as to what is wrong with your Dell laptop hardware, despite the faulty hardware already being identified and noted in the case notes.
Dell Technical Support Supervisors tell you over and over again that someone will call you and that your issue has been "escalated". I have talked with two by phone, four by chat, and one by email.
Dell CEO and Chairman Michael S. Dell's office will not even send a letter passing the problem off to a particular department. A Certified Letter to Michael S. Dell did not even generate a phone call or email by their incompetent technical support technicians. Clearly Dell Computers, Inc Chairman and CEO must not see a basic level of customer service as required for future growth...if he does I am still waiting.
I am now very close to a month of zero response from a in-home repair technician despite 37 (and counting) communications with Dell Computers, Inc. This has been a complete waste of over 29 hours of actual time communicating with Dell. Time is money! I figure they owe me at least $1,000 for the loss of my valuable time.
Can anyone suggest others ways to hopefully get this nightmare resolved? That is...other than a class-action lawsuit by the many customers who have been screwed by Dell Computers, Inc. with similar circumstances.
Below is an incomplete summary of the problem, troubleshooting and Dell Technical Support communications.
The ultimate boiling point came when a technician told me that my problem was different (over two weeks later) than what was diagnosed by a very lengthy session with a Dell Technical Support Supervisor. I knew what was wrong with my Dell Inspiron E1705 based on my own troubleshooting, but went through the motions for Dell Technical Support in my first few contacts with them.
Thus my solution matched the Dell Technical Support Supervisor's solution - I needed a new motherboard and video card. Over two weeks later a Dell Technical Support Technician tells me the problem is with my LCD screen, despite this being ruled out by two different Dell Supervisors. KEEP IN MIND THEY HAVE ALL NOTES ASSIGNED TO A CASE NUMBER AND THIS WAS AN "ESCALATED CASE" SO ALL HARDWARE PROBLEMS ARE CLEARLY IDENTIFIED IN THE CASE NOTES. DELL PULLED THIS SOLUTION OUT OF THIN AIR OVER TWO WEEKS LATER!!
Certified Letter to CEO and Chairman of Dell Computers, Inc Michael S. Dell
04/23/08 Certified Mail # xxx
Michael S. Dell
Chairman of the Board and CEO
Dell Computer, Inc.
1 Dell Way
Round Rock, TX 78682-0001
Dear Michael S. Dell:
This is my final attempt to find a solution through Dell Computers, Inc. for my Dell Inspiron E1705. The technical/warranty support problems for my Dell Inspiron E1705 has led me to vigorously seek other Dell customers with similar computer and support problems that create the closest thing to what it must feel like to be in hell.
Please note I have been a repeat customer of Dell and have purchased XPS Desktops, the Dell Inspiron E1705, a Dell Axim handheld and have referred many family members such as my father to also purchase a Dell. I think this may be my turning point towards Dell. I would like to resolve this through you immediately.
I have spent roughly 27 hours dealing DIRECTLY with Dell technical/warranty support via chat and phone. By my calculations this amounts to $1080 in value of the time I have wasted repeatedly dealing with Dell Technical/Customer Support and yet again having NOTHING resolved. I have been promised one thing after another to only find myself disappointed over and over again.
I am requesting that my Dell Laptop with the Service Tag #xxxxxxx be IMMEDIATELY repaired or allow me to have this unit replaced with something similar/better which would be agreed upon by ME.
I have found MANY Dell customers with the exact same problem that I am having. You can review my support notes via Service Tag #xxxxxxx or Case #: xxxxxxxxx.
I was promised that my Dell would be fixed by now. I was told that someone would call me regarding coming to my home to repair this laptop and no one has yet to do thisâ¦still waiting.
Each time I contact Dell Support/Warranty I get different answers from the technician. I am tired of the run around which now feels deliberate in nature. Not being able to use my computer has caused a tremendous amount of stress. Added to this stress is the wasted time and money dealing with Dell Support having them once again not resolve my problem.
I have attached an example of my latest Dell Support Chat Session notes and also a copy of what I have been leaving (my frustrations) in computer forums all across the Internet. There is ample evidence to suggest that there are many Dell customers who have the same problem with their video card/motherboard PLUS the same lousy customer service response to resolving my problem.
I hope this can be resolved immediately.
Forum Post and Brief Summary of Troubleshooting
Thank Goodness I Found This Post - Dell Inspiron E1705
The Dell Tech Supervisor was supposed to call me over an hour ago so I thought I would add my experience with this. Just spent the last 6-7 hours researching this problem and communicating back and forth on Dell Tech Chat Support which has been less than helpful...seemed at times I knew more than they did perhaps from Popey's post.
How it all started:
Using my Dell Inspiron E1705 to view a photo slide show. Screen flashed for a second and then went black but was still illuminated if you looked closely at it.
Tried the usual reboot a few times and nothing. The system start up appeared to go ok but you could see green/yellowish lines running down the screen. After the system was rebooted with drivers the screen went black as described above. Don't waste your time doing a system restore because this will not work to resolve this issue.
Got on to another laptop and researched this problem.
Utilized Dell Chat Tech support for several hours back and forth and what was most frustrating was that the chat sessions would end abruptly with out my case being resolved.
Dell will tell you that if you update your BIOS and complete a unistall/reinstall of the NVIDIA GE FORCE GO 7900GT that this will solve the problem. Based on hours of researching this online in numerous forums this NEVER resolves the issue.
The only way I could go online with the laptop was to turn off computer and to start it in SAFE MODE by pressing F8 repeatedly as you powered on the laptop. In SAFE MODE I was able to disable the video card which allowed me to go online with the laptop and I had all functions with the exception of the horrible screen resolution caused by disabling the video card.
I did an uninstall/reinstall of the 7900GT and as soon as the reinstall completed and the video card driver was installed the screen went black yet again. Dell Tech Support kept wanting to "flash" and update my BIOS which I kept telling them that I had the latest update on the BIOS which was A09 (06/27/07)
After MANY hours of Dell Tech Support via chat and all of the sudden abrupt chat disconnects where I had to start all over again explaining this, NOTHING WAS RESOLVED STILL.
So the Dell Tech Rep told me to run a special hardware/hard-drive diagnostic test. To run this you hold down the Fn key while you power up your piece of crap Dell Laptop. I was told that this would take 15-20 mins and that the Dell tech Rep's supervisor would call me on my phone to discuss this problem further...STILL waiting for the call. (they never did by the way) After the roughly 15-20 mins of running this test the test stated that everything seemed ok and that I had the option of running a more extensive test which would require another 20-30 mins to run. Since the Dell tech Supervisor had not followed through on what was promised I elected to run this more extensive test..still nothing wrong according to the test.
I told Dell from the start to send an engineer to my house to fix it and to bring a new video card and motherboard since it is integrated. So here I am still waiting for the phone call when I need my laptop urgently for work. They promised a call in 15-20 mins by the supervisor and they failed to deliver.
I am so glad that I found this post because the way popey described it in detail made me realize that this was a much bigger issue than a simple BOIS update or uninstall/reinstall of the video driver.
Based on all of these comments to this post it is VERY CLEAR that DELL has serious issues with this happening to not only XPS systems but also to INSPIRON laptops as well.
Can you say class action lawsuit against Dell?
Here I am still waiting for Dell to call as promised!!
Thank you again for such a detailed post.
Copy of a Dell Technical Support Chat Over A Week Later From Being Told I Would Have an In-Home Technician Call Me (Note this is just one of many communications with them!!)
You Will Just Love This...
System You are now being connected to an agent. Thank you for using Dell Chat
System Connected with Rahul_127805
Rahul_127805 Thank you for contacting Dell Technical Support. My name is Rahul and my rep ID number is 127805. How may I assist you today?
Rahul_127805 Hello, how are you?
ME A supervisor was supposed to contact his "higher-ups" to get a compatible video card and motherboard and get back to me on Monday...no call yet again!
Rahul_127805 I apologize for the inconvenience caused to you.
ME The frustrations have been BEYOND anything I have expected. I am planning on contacting PC World and PC Magazine with my frustrations and to blog about my horrible experience so far. Please report to higher ups and advise.
Rahul_127805 I apologize for the inconvenience caused to you, I will do my best to help you with your issue today.
Rahul_127805 As a consumer myself, I can certainly understand your frustration.
Rahul_127805 Please give me 2 to 3 minutes to pull up your account information.
Rahul_127805 Thank you for staying online. I appreciate your patience.
Rahul_127805 I reviewed the case and will send a technician to your place and replace the faulty parts on your computer.
ME ok the supervisor said that he needed approval form higher ups to find a compatible video card and motherboard
Rahul_127805 Don't worry about the part we will arrange the parts for you and send the technician as soon as it is available,.
Rahul_127805 let me check if the parts are available.
ME One minute...I have next day repair in home service including nights and weekends. I need this completed by Friday at the latest.
Rahul_127805 Iam looking for the parts.
Rahul_127805 let me check if the parts are available.
Rahul_127805 I have forwarded the information to the concerned department and one of the technician will follow up on this. We were not able to create a dispatch on this issue as one of the important part was back lodged.
ME They said they were going to find a different and compatible video card...you should have read this in the notes from the supervisor.
ME If this is the case and it is back logged Dell should send me a new computer despite being past 30 days
Rahul_127805 Don't worry about the part we will do our best to resolve this for you as soon as possible.
ME I know but I was told someone would be out to my house by now.
ME please understand that I keep getting promises and there is never any follow through. I was told by now that my dell would be fixed. You have told me nothing different from what the supervisor told me...I realize you are trying to help.
ME still there?
ME Are you still there?
ME This is not good customer service if no one responds. Are you there? It says this chat help session is still live.
ME are you there???
ME OK I have now been pushed to the edge. I will contact the Dell CEO.
Rahul_127805 Tools are been updated due to which there will be some delay in my responses.
Rahul_127805 I am sorry for delay in my responses.
Rahul_127805 You will get a call back on this issue.
ME they should just replace this instead of making me wait forever for the part to come in
Rahul_127805 We will surely send the technician with parts.
ME Please note to supervisor and technician I will need BOTH a new video card and a new motherboard.
Rahul_127805 Yes, you will these parts.
ME I need fixed by Friday at the latest. I have next day in home repair
Rahul_127805 I will include this in the supervisor comments.
ME ok. Thank you for being understanding as to how I am frustrated with this. Please tell supervisor that I am sending a certified letter to the CEO of Dell just in case if this is not handled immediately.
Rahul_127805 I will surely take care of this.
Rahul_127805 Is there anything else regarding your Dell system that you need help with?
Rahul_127805 Are you satisfied with the level of service provided to you on this chat today?
ME still unresolved!
Rahul_127805 Its been a pleasure assisting you today.
Thank you for choosing Dell Technical support. Have a Wonderful day ahead.
Seven days later I receive the email response below. The ultimate in Dell Hell to date. Keep in mind that within these seven days I have emailed, called, used the Dell Chat Technical Support numerous times AND sent a Certified letter to Dell Computers, Inc CEO and Chairman Michael S. Dell, etc.
Email from Dell Tech Support
Thank you for replying. I appreciate your patience and cooperation.
As I understand from the email you want to get the motherboard and video card replaced with the LCD. (no...I told them I was STILL waiting for these to be replaced after being told an in-home repair technician would call and repair)
The issue we are facing is not related to motherboard and video card and so motherboard and video card does not need to be replaced. (Read my case notes and stop wasting the customers time! You contradict numerous communications with and by Dell Technical Support, troubleshooting and diagnosis by a Dell Technical Support Supervisor for hours on the phone and my own troubleshooting)
The technician will surely come and replace the LCD on the system, for replacing the LCD please provide me with the shipping address and the contact number to create the dispatch. Please provide me with the information to proceed further
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to assist you. Your case number for this interaction is XXXXXX. Please keep this number for your records as it will help us keep the track of this issue.
If you require any further assistance, please feel free to visit our Online Technical Support Center at: http://support.dell.com.
Our 24x7 technical support center can also be reached at 1-800-624-9896. (Please have your Express Service Code handy when calling)
Thank you again for contacting Dell Technical Support.
Dell Rep ID 131846
Dell Technical Support
Timings: 10:00 A.M to 07:00 P.M CST
Weekly Offs: Sat/Sun.
So here I am close to a month later with no repair and the ultimate experience in horrible customer service by Dell Computers, Inc. Now I wonder why I ever bought a Dell and the 5 year NEXT DAY (including nights and weekends) in-home repair warranty?
Dad Vs. Dell - Who will win this "war" in the middle of Dell Hell?
Would you buy another Dell? I am not the only Dell customer who has experienced a level of customer service and warranty repair that could now be considered criminal in nature.
Do you also have a beef with Dell Computers, Inc? Make sure you leave your "Dell Hell" story in our comment section - no account is required to comment.
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