Paradox (paradox3a) wrote in bad_service,

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Dell Computers

Or, should I say, HELL computers.  I've been dealing with Dell for years (since the late 90s), and until recently, have always recommended them.  I've purchased several personal systems from them, and have set up two offices with their products.  I've been working with hardware for about 15 years, and I know what each component is, what it does, and what it's not supposed to do.

This is literally the worst customer service experience I've ever had, and I'm completely appalled.  I'm going to go chronologically here, to keep some order (my head is just reeling right now).

Late on December 17th (or, into the wee hours of the 18th), my computer started making a loud grinding noise.  I instantly checked the optical drives, wondering if a CD or DVD was wonky - both drives were empty.  I popped the case cover, had a listen, and determined that the fan inside the power supply was seemingly ready to crap.  It was making a horrendous racket.  I shut the system down, unplugged it, and went to bed.  It was late, I was tired, and didn't feel like being put on hold for an hour by Dell Tech Support.  I made a mental note to call them in the morning.  The system was still under warranty for another year, and I'd paid for the 'next business day, on-site' plan.  That means that if any of my parts crap out, someone comes to my house the next day to replace/fix them.

Dec. 18: Called Dell Tech Support, and got to speak to a 'technician' who, I'm sure, had less tech support training than my cat.  I told her my power supply fan was faulty - it was making a grinding noise.  I needed her to requisition a new power supply, and dispatch a tech to do the replacement. 

I then went through 48 minutes of sheer hell.  She got me to disconnect the optical drives, remove the battery from the motherboard, disconnect hard drives, and do all other manner of interesting shit that had absolutely nothing to do with the problem itself (and, she wouldn't create a requisition or dispatch until I jumped through hoops).  At one point, I told her I couldn't get one of the power connectors off (for the CPU fan?), and I didn't want to force it, because I didn't want to screw up the motherboard by snapping anything off.  I also told her my fingers were bleeding from trying to force it.  She kept telling me I had to disconnect that particular connector, and wouldn't take no for an answer (bleeding on a motherboard isn't good for the parts, lady).

After I'd removed the battery (I confirmed twice that she really wanted me to do this - and yes, she did), she got me to reboot, and to tell her any error messages that were displayed - I told her it was giving me a 'low battery' error message, and she said that made no sense.  It did make sense, because she told me to pop the battery, and I was sitting there with the damn thing in my hand.  By this time, I realized I was dealing with someone who had the intellectual level of a sponge mop, and I told her to just do the requisition.  She gave me a requisition number, then told me she was sending me a new motherboard, new CPU fan, new battery.....

I needed a new power supply.  I was going to argue, but decided against it.  I knew the techie would call before coming out, I could tell him what I needed, and he could bring an extra power supply along with him.  She then confirmed my mailing address for the parts to be shipped.  This made me do a double-take; parts are usually always shipped to the tech company who's doing the contract work, not to the customer, so the red flag went up in my mind.  I asked again, just to be sure, that she was shipping the replacement parts to ME.  She confirmed that yes, indeed, she was doing exactly that - "I'm sending the parts to (insert my address here).  They're being sent by surface mail."

At this point, all I wanted to do was get her off the phone, because I thought I'd suffer an aneurysm if I had to talk to her any longer.  I wrote down the requisition and dispatch numbers, and hung up.  I was livid that I'd had to put up with over 45 minutes of stupid shit only to have her send a bunch of parts I didn't need, and mail them at the exact same time the post office is processing all the excess Christmas mail.

Dec. 19: The local contract techie calls me, I describe the problem to him, and he figures out in approximately five seconds (over the phone) that it is, indeed, the power supply fan that's grinding.  I told him I wasn't sure which parts Dell was sending, and to bring a power supply just in case.  He agreed.  I also told him that they were mailing the parts to me, and he and I both agreed that was weird.  He gave me his cell number, and told me to call him the moment the parts came in.

Dec. 20 and 21: Weekend.  No mail.  No parts.

Dec. 22-24: Mail, but no parts.

Dec. 25-26: Christmas and Boxing Day (in Canada) - no mail.

Dec. 27-28: Weekend.  No mail.

Dec. 29: No parts.

Dec. 30: Received a phone message from the local techie, checking up on the service call, wondering what was going on.  I still hadn't received any parts.

So much for 'next day' service.

Dec. 31: Flagged down my mail delivery lady, and asked her if she had any packages for me.  Nope, but lots of other mail.  She said she'd keep an eye out for the Dell box for me.

Jan. 1: New Year's Day. No mail.

Jan. 2: Mail, no parts.  I'm getting incredibly pissed all over again.

Jan. 3-4: Weekend.

Jan. 5, 6, 7: I was out of town, and couldn't check the mail.  I had my cellphone and laptop with me, and full internet access.  I gave my neighbor the key to my mailbox, and told him that if the parts came in to CALL ME!  No call, no parts.  I got back home on the evening of the 7th, checked my house phone messages - the local techies had phoned on the 6th, letting me know THEY had received my parts (they didn't say when, so this was the first I'd heard that the parts had been sent to them).  They left a callback number so I could schedule an appointment.  I then listened to the next message, sent by the techies on the 7th, telling me that the service call needed to be scheduled ASAP, or Dell was going to cancel the service order.  I called, but it was after hours, they were closed, and I made a note to call them first thing this morning.

Jan. 8 (today): I called the techies, and was informed that since the service call had 'gone on for so long' and hadn't been resolved, that Dell had CANCELLED the requisition, and ordered that the parts be sent back by courier; the contractor had returned them by Purolator an hour before I phoned.

I was fucking speechless.

I had been told by Dell that the parts would be shipped to ME, and I'd spent all that time checking my damn mail, waiting for them.  I then found out the contractor had received the parts somewhere around the 19th of December, but they never told me that!  They called me on December 30th, checking up on the service call, but did NOT tell me they had the parts!  I was left to believe that I was still going to receive them in the mail.

I'd saved the message that had been left on the 30th, and replayed it - at no time did the techie tell me he had the parts.  He literally left his name, number, company name, and told me he was 'just checking to see what was going on'.  That's it.  This was the SAME techie I'd talked to on December 19, who'd been told that the parts were supposed to have been shipped to ME.  He knew I was waiting for them.

And now that I FINALLY found out HE had the parts (in a message left on January 6), they'd already sent them back.


I was then told that I needed to phone Dell Tech Support again, and get them to send another requisition.  The same 'Dell Tech Support' that made me want to gouge my eyes out with a spoon last time.

Once the requisition was made, the parts would be sent out again, blah blah blah.....

I'm now sitting here, pissed as hell, shaking and sick to my stomach over all this, listening to my power supply fan whine and grind, knowing that it's going to be at least a few more days before anything is done about it, and I still have to phone Dell again, and listen to some idiotic bullshit just to get them to issue another dispatch and send more parts (I'm afraid to make that call, for fear that I'll flip out on the phone).

I feel like crying, but I'm too angry to even do that.
Tags: tech support
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