When people shop for a computer system now days the main selling point of the computer is the company that they are buying from. Dell Computer is a large company and has advertised enough in both media and print that most people feel that they “know” them. We had received so many complaints about the buying experience at Dell computer that I thought were exaggerated that we decided to follow a customer to see what the “Dell” experience was really like. If you are a fan of the Dell company then you may want to turn away at this point because what follows is not pretty. We followed the customer through the entire process, from ordering to the nervous breakdown at the end and here’s what we found. This person is not a computer geek so is not familiar with programming, tech terminology, etc. All she knew was that she runs a business and needed to be able to do a lot of different types of stuff on the computer and it needed to have lots of memory.
The ordering experience was pretty easy, there is a walk-through menu on line and aside from the fact that every single page is trying to up-sell a product it was pretty straight forward. By buying on-line there was free shipping and it was supposed to come with everything that it needed. Of course, she included the extra memory, programs, printer, etc. So, her end total was a couple of thousand dollars. Still, for what she had ordered, it was a pretty good price. She had requested it be shipped quickly because she needed it for her business and that was “no problem.”
About two weeks after ordering the computer she received an email saying that the computer would not be shipped for a month. She was given no explanation for this. One can only assume that there had been a major malfunction in dell computer land and shipping was delayed globally.
After a month, the computer and it’s little accessories arrived, including a monitor that she had ordered on the upsell page and was recommended by dell computer.
We watched as she took everything out of the box and followed all of the directions painstakingly to put it together. Here’s what happened: The monitor that was shipped was the wrong one for the computer that was received. So, it did not work; The computer would not come on at all; The wireless keyboard, mouse, and printer didn’t connect properly to the computer so they wouldn’t work.
She called Dell computer and was put on hold for over an hour and got no assistance so we called a technician for her because she was very distraught at this point. The technician confirmed what we knew, but didn’t say, she had received a defective computer, the monitor indeed was the wrong one for the computer, and the wireless equipment was inappropriate for the computer (he had to guess on that one since the computer would not come on).
Calling Dell computer customer service is like trying to catch a hummingbird. We listened in as she was transferred from person to person who could not help her for an hour and a half. Finally she asked to speak to somebody about returning the computer. Well, then she got a response! Here’s what she was told if she wanted to return defective equipment to dell computer.
She would have to pay the shipping to have the defective equipment returned to the company. It didn’t matter that she had had the computer system for less than 24 hours and that she had done nothing but take it out of the box. If she returned the equipment without taking it to a certified dell technician and getting an authorization number, dell computer would not refund her money and would keep the computer. They would not send her another computer. (Like she wanted another one at this point anyway). And, there would be a 15% re-shelf fee charged for her returning the defective equipment. No, they did not offer assistance via phone to find out if the equipment was defective. They don’t have any way to do that and they wouldn’t if they did (She was told this by the technician).
After listening to the exchange we realized that the complaints of consumers regarding Dell computer were completely valid. This company is going to make money, either a lot if a customer gives up and keeps the defective equipment, or a little if the customer is stubborn enough to jump through the dell computer hoops to return defective equipment.
This company ranks below zero on our scale for quality, customer service, and honesty. Our advice, go through a local company that will provide you with the service you deserve, want, and pay for. Even though other computer system set ups may be a little more expensive, it will be well worth it to you when you get something that doesn’t work or need someone to answer a question in under two hours.