Miriam (tinuviel) wrote in bad_service,

Dell fail or Stop while you are ahead

My boyfriend has a Dell laptop with a warranty that gives him the option of getting the laptop repaired at home by an engineer that will come to his door. Now, shortly before his warranty ran out, his laptop stopped booting properly and the screen staid black no matter what he did. Good thing he paid for that expensive warranty, right? So, he calls up Dell... and spends two hours on the phone with them getting transferred from one person to the next until he was speaking to a manager. He later said he had no clue why they kept transferring him, as he did the "check if it isn't anything obvious that can be solved over the phone" part fairly early on and felt as if they should just transfer him to whoever schedules the engineers to arrange a date. In the end they told him they would call back within the next two days... and didn't. On day three boyfriend calls them and asks them what happens only for them to tell him that they must have the wrong phone number. They quoted a phone number at him that was never associated with him or our house. Ah, well, happens. He gives them the correct phone number, they give him an extra 7 days on his warranty to make sure that it won't run out while they are trying to get organised, the promise to call on the Monday to arrange an appointment for the evening.

On Monday the phone at home rings (although they were told to call his mobile between 8.00 am and 6.30 pm). Luckily I was at home to answer it. The conversation went about like this:

Tech: Is this the owner of the number *telephone number*?
Me: Yes.
Tech: I am calling because of *partner's name*'s laptop...
Me: Ah! Yes! You are from Dell! I am afraid he is at work right now.
Tech: When will he be home? 5? 6?
Me: He will be back at 6.30.
Tech: 6.30?! Not at 6?? I don't know *mumble mumble* Who are you anyway? His wife?!
Me: *baffled* I am his long term girlfriend.
Tech: Oh. (He sounded like he had just realised he had been talking to the 11 year old daughter of the house)
Me: ...
Tech: Well, where is the laptop? With him?
Me: No, it is at home.
Tech: At home?! NOT with him?!
Me: ... *???* No, it is at home with me. At *address*, which is the address that Dell should have.
Tech: Yes, we do. I guess I better call him personally.
Me: Ookaay.
Tech: Sorry for bothering you Ma'am *click*

I hung up feeling a bit offended by his general demeanour and tone, as well as really confused as to where his problem was. There was never any mention of repairing the laptop at my partner's work place and I would be very surprised if they even had the address for it. I also didn't see why who I was came into it and me being only the girlfriend was a problem.

Anyway, I tell my partner that Dell called and that he should expect a phone call from them soon. He waits, and waits, and waits. Tries to call Dell in his lunch break, but can't get through to them. The original call was at around 10 in the morning, his lunch break finishes at 2 in the afternoon. In the end he manages to get through to someone at 4. The lady is apparently very nice and gives him an appointment for 6, so he takes some time off to be able to be at home by 6. I don't know why he didn't ask for a later appointment, but I think he was so glad to finally have any time given to him that he didn't want to argue.

At 6 my boyfriend is home and the laptop is ready waiting for the Tech. And waiting. And waiting. At 6.45 we get a phone call. The tech! I ask him why he is 45 minutes late and when he will get there. He goes into a long spiel how he actually meant between 5 and 8 and the appointment at 6 doesn't really mean anything and in his 6 years working in the business he would plenty of time say 6, but only turn up between 7 and 8. I am a bit surprised at this, because I had assumed from his earlier reaction during our 10 o'clock phone conversation that his last call would be at 6. I interrupt him as he starts listing reasons why he could theoretically be late (never mentioning why he is actually running late, or why he couldn't call us at 6 to let us know he would be late) and ask him when he will be here. He says half an hour. Okay. I thank him and hang up as he starts again on the topic of me being unreasonable for expecting him to be somewhere before 7 the earliest when the appointment was for 6.

He actually turns up quarter of an hour later and installs the new motherboard my boyfriend's laptop needs. It would have been nice if he had also installed the driver for the graphics card, but that we can at least do ourselves. Within ten minutes to quarter of an hour he is back out of the door. About ten minutes after that the phone rings and Dell asks if the laptop has been repaired to my partner's satisfaction. My boyfriend says yes, it has been, but that he was very displeased with the attitude of the engineer. He then hands the phone onto me, as I was the person who actually talked to the Tech. I explain my grievances with the time mix up, his general attitude towards me, that he never called my partner when he said he would and that I didn't feel like I was being unreasonable for expecting someone to turn up at 6 or at least call at 6 to tell us he would be late when the original appointment was for 6. If he was actually going to turn up at some point between 5 and 8, we needed to be told so, as there would have been no one in at 5 and we would have presumably given up on him by 7 and left for our evening engagement. The gentleman was extremely apologetic, promised me the problem would be dealt with and assured me this would be the first and last time something like this would happen. Feeling understood and thinking that may be Dell was not so bad after all, I thank him very much for taking the time to listen to me and he thanks me for my feed back and we hang up.

Just as I tell my boyfriend that may be we had just dealt with one bad apple in the lot, the phone rings again. Again Dell asking how our experience was and if the laptop was repaired. My boyfriend tells him that we had just been called by Dell, but the gentleman wants to hear about our experience anyway, so my boyfriend tells him again that the repair went fine, but that the engineer needed a refreshment course in customer service. This time the other person starts trying to justify the engineer's attitude and keeps going on and on until I hear my usually exceptionally calm and cool headed boyfriend raise his voice at him to tell him that in his line of work (accountant), if he ran 45 minutes late to meet a client, without having called, he would presumably find himself fired by the time he came back. Apparently the person on the other line was absolutely shocked to hear this. My boyfriend hangs up in the end, fuming and I wonder why on earth they didn't just stop calling why they were ahead and had happy customers.

TL;DR: Dell has a wrong number that has never had anything to do with us, then the engineer cops an attitude while he is calling a number that he isn't meant to call during the day time, never gets in touch with the person he was actually meant to call, then calls us 45 minutes after the appointment time to tell us he will be there in 30 minutes and gets offended when I suggest that he is running late. Dell proceed to call to ask how things went, we tell them and they apologise. Dell then calls AGAIN to ask the same thing and this time give us a string of reasons why the engineer might have been late and might not have been able to call and might have felt so stressed after a long day that he didn't get around to apologising... only to be really shocked to find out that in other professions punctuality or at least telling the customer what is going on is considered incredibly important.

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