How bad is Dell Computer Corporation?

by Fabrizio Coccetti, last update 25 March '03

Summary

 

 

Dell Computer Corporation is extremely disappointing.

In February 2003, I ordered an expensive (more than $2500) Dell Latitude C840, CPU 2.4 GHz,  Resolution 1600x1200, 512MB RAM.
The system shipped on Feb 18, 2003. It arrived on Feb 20, 2003.
The laptop arrived with a broken hardware (read below for more details) and was unsuitable for use.
I contacted Dell, they offered me a replacement, it was supposed to ship on Feb 26.
My bank account was charged on Feb 18, even if the laptop was useless.
Besides I paid the price Dell was charging in February.
After several complains, a replacement was sent to me on March 16, and arrived March 17.
This replacement had some serious problems with the disk controller, as you can read in the letter I sent to Dell.

Taking hardware out of the two Dell Latitudes I could make myself a laptop that works fine.
I consider this ridiculous, especially if you consider that I also paid  for the "Next Business Day Parts and Labor On-Site", for three years.

I strongly suggest anyone buying from Dell to test his laptop using a benchmark program, apparently they do not test their hardware.

Details

 

 

Below I report the e-mails I sent to/received from Dell Support.   I cannot report the telephone calls, but they were the worst part. really sad.
To give an  indication of how much time I wasted in order to get a working Dell Laptop:

Mon, 24 Feb 2003 sent to Dell Support

***********************************************
Problem Description: The package did not have any damage.
The wireless card (truemobile mini-pci 1150) does not work. I tried to
install the new drivers from your web site and reinstall winXP, but the
card does not detect any signal. I checked settings with another dell
laptop (I work for SLAC and we have a lot of Latitudes) with the same card,
but NO HOPE. My TAG number is: 1GR4F21
**********************************************


Tue 25 Feb 2003 received from Dell Support (First Answer)

Dear Fabrizio,

Thank you for contacting Dell Online Customer Care.

Please be advised that Dell Customer Service does not have access
to tools or expertise to assist the customers with technical
questions. With this in mind, I have forwarded your request to
the correct department and you will receive a reply to your request
shortly.

Once again, I apologize and truly regret any inconvenience or
frustration this matter may have caused. We value you as our
customer and your satisfaction is very important to us.

In the future, please visit the following URL for technical requests:

http://premiersupport.dell.com/support/support.asp?cmdact=2100.100

We value you as a Dell customer and your satisfaction is important
to us. In our efforts to improve the services we provide, you
may receive a survey requesting your feedback pertaining to the
level of customer service you received by e-mail. Please take
a moment of your time to let us know how we're doing as we also
value your feedback.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please do not
hesitate to contact us at www.dell.com/public-ecare.

Thank you for choosing Dell and have a great day.

Respectfully,


Tue 25 Feb 2003 received from Dell Support (Second Answer)

Dear Fabrizio Coccetti,

Thank you for contacting Dell eSupport and Services (ESS). We
appreciate the opportunity to assist you. I apologize for your
trouble and I assure you it is our hope that you have a positive
experience with our company.

Please get in touch with our wireless device que.


Our troubleshooting on Wireless products is limited to online
guides. If you require further troubleshooting, please contact
phone support at 800-822-8965 for specialist portables wireless
support.

Following is the procedure to reach Wireless queue:

Select 3 for technical support

3 - support for Dell hardware

We assure you our best support all the time.

Thank you for choosing Dell.

Respectfully,


Wed, 5 Mar 2003 sent to Dell Support

***********************************************
Problem Description: Service TAG: xxxxxxx
Costumer Number: xxxxxxxx
On Feb 26 your phone support told me that you were going to replace my
laptop (which shipped on Feb 18 but with bad hardware) 'probably' on the
following day, shipping overnight. I have been waiting for a week. Please
consider that you charged my bank account on Feb 18, and I am still waiting
for a working laptop. I am a professional networker, I ordered a Dell
latitude because I did not want to have problems, but I am wasting too much
time with your company.
On Feb/26 I phoned twice your service (20 min on hold, each time), and had
to get a mini-pci-wireless card from another dell and replace mine to prove
that the motherboard had problems.
On Feb/25 I had tried to phone your support. After a 20 minute on hold, a
voice had said something like "bad weather in Kansas, we have to close
before the proper time, please call tomorrow".
I am bit frustrated with your service.
***********************************************


Wed, 5 Mar 2003 received from Dell Support

Dear Fabrizio,

Thank you for contacting Dell Online Customer Care.

The estimated ship date for the replacement order number 253474481,
your system order is 03-06-03. Unfortunately, customer care does
not have the ability to modify or cancel orders. If you would
like to sign up for our order watch E-mail notification please
visit www.dell.com/public-ecare and select order status.

I apologize for any delay or inconvenience this issue may have
caused.

We value you as a Dell customer and your satisfaction is important
to us. In our efforts to improve the services we provide, you
may receive a survey requesting your feedback pertaining to the
level of customer service you received via e-mail. Please take
a moment of your time to let us know how we're doing as we also
value your feedback.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please do not
hesitate to contact us at www.dell.com/public-ecare.

Have a nice day and thank you for choosing Dell.

Respectfully,


Mon, 10 Mar 2003 sent to Dell Support

Today it is March, 10.
Your phone service told me (on Feb 26) that a replacement for my laptop
was to ship overnight.
Your e-mail told me March 6.
I think I have been waiting enough.
On your web site the estimate shipping date for may laptop is still
March 6, as you wrote in your e-mail.
Unfortunately March 6 was four days ago.

At the moment my laptop is NOT working, it has never worked, as Dell
sent me a bad one. I am a professional networker, I spend all my day
with a laptop, and I have still to use my old ASUS L8400, which never
had problems.
I paid for a new Latitude, but I am still waiting to be able to use it.

Besides, I paid for a 'Next Business Day Parts and Labor On-Site
Response" for three years. I hope that, when I will need a replacement
for a part, you will be aware that next business day does not means 2
weeks.

I decided to get a Latitude because it should have worked out of the box
(or Dell should be fast in solving my problems). Next time I will try
IBM. Do I have the possibility to return my useless Dell laptop and get
the money back?


Tue, 11 Mar 2003 received from Dell Support

Dear Fabrizio,

Thank you for contacting Dell Online Customer Care.

Please accept my sincerest apologies for the delays you are experiencing
with your order. I assure you that this is not typical of the
quality experience Dell is capable of providing. I trust that
our future service opportunities will result in nothing less
than your complete satisfaction. The delays you are experiencing
in getting your Dell system built are not normal and are not
indicative of the usual length of time necessary in manufacturing.
Upon occasion, vendor related delays might hinder the normally
rapid manufacturing process. Dell is unfortunately dependent
upon other vendors for components used in manufacturing or service
repairs. If those parts are unavailable, we cannot build the
affected configurations involving those parts.

However, I have submitted a request in this regard for the order
to be expedited. I will provide you with an update for the orders
estimated time of arrival.

I apologize for any delay or inconvenience this issue may have
caused.

Thank you for choosing Dell!

Have a wonderful day!

Respectfully,


Wed, 12 Mar 2003 received from Dell Support

Dear Fabrizio,

Thank you for contacting Dell Online Customer Care.

The estimated ship date for the replacement order number 293897071,
your system order is 03-19-03. Unfortunately, customer care does
not have the ability to modify or cancel orders. If you would
like to sign up for our order watch E-mail notification please
visit www.dell.com/public-ecare and select order status.

I apologize for any delay or inconvenience this issue may have
caused.

We value you as a Dell customer and your satisfaction is important
to us.

Thank you for choosing Dell!

Have a wonderful day!

Respectfully,


Wed, 12 Mar 2003 sent to Dell Support

I really hope the machine will not ship later than March 19, as you
said. Even if it will ship before, I am not happy all.
I am keeping track of this story on a web page, so other customers can
learn how bad is Dell service. I have been waiting a month, after I paid
(Feb 18), to get a working Dell Latitude.
http://www.fc8.net/dell.html
I have three questions, I hope you will answer:
1. Why should I believe that Dell will really ship my laptop on
03-19-03? Last time you told me the ship date was 03-06-03, and before
Dell phone support had told me 02-26-03.
2. I looked at my "order status page" on the web. I found that the order
number 253474481 (02-26-03) has been cancelled, and there is a new order
293897071. Can you explain to my why the previous order was cancelled? I
have been waiting a month and I would like to know the reason.
3. I believe the price for my laptop has decreased in march. Dell fixed
the price for me in February. I think Dell should consider giving me
back some money.


Thu, 13 Mar 2003 received from Dell Support

Dear Fabrizio,

Thank you for contacting Dell Online Customer Care.

The estimated ship date for the replacement order number 293897071,
your system order is 03-19-03. Unfortunately, customer care does
not have the ability to modify or cancel orders. If you would
like to sign up for our order watch E-mail notification please
visit www.dell.com/public-ecare and select order status.

I apologize for any delay or inconvenience this issue may have
caused.

We value you as a Dell customer and your satisfaction is important
to us.

Thank you for choosing Dell!

Have a wonderful day!

Respectfully


Thu, 13 Mar 2003 sent to Dell Support

It is the second time you send me the same identical answer.
Can you or somebody answer to the three questions I sent on my e-mail?
1. Why should I believe that Dell will really ship my laptop on
03-19-03? Last time you told me the ship date was 03-06-03, and before
Dell phone support had told me 02-26-03.
2. I looked at my "order status page" on the web. I found that the order
number 253474481 (02-26-03) has been cancelled, and there is a new order
293897071. Can you explain to my why the previous order was cancelled? I
have been waiting a month and I would like to know the reason.
3. I believe the price for my laptop has decreased in march. Dell fixed
the price for me in February. I think Dell should consider giving me
back some money.


Thu, 13 Mar 2003 received from Dell Support

Dear Fabrizio,

Thank you for contacting Dell Online Customer Care.

Dell is a mail order company and cannot guarantee any specific
ship dates, we are only allowed to give estimated ship dates.
We now estimate your order to be shipped out to you either before
or by 03-19-03. .

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

While we don't have a price protection policy or a price guarantee
policy, as a courtesy to our customers, you may contact Dell's
customer service within 30 calendar days from the invoice date
and request a rebate. This is not a stated policy but rather
an offshoot of our stated "30 day Total Satisfaction Guarantee"
which can be found at the following URL:
http://www.dell.com/us/en/gen/misc/policy_010_policy.htm

Rebates are not created automatically. You must contact customer
service and request it within 30 calendar days from invoice date.
It is evaluated on a component-by-component basis. The evaluation
team will compare their latest price sheet made between the date
of purchase and the date the rebate was requested. They compare
exact part numbers on your invoice to exact part numbers on their
price sheet. If the comparison results in a net amount of $50
or more, you will be refunded this amount via the same method
that you paid for the system.

If you are creating a quote via the Dell Store on our web site
to see if the parts listed on your invoice have decreased in
price, please go to "PRINT/FAX VIEW" and compare the part numbers
listed on your invoice to the part numbers listed on our web
site. Make sure all part numbers listed on the internet are exactly
the same as the part number listed on your invoice. If they are
not the same, it could be either a totally different part or
it could be a promotional. Different parts and promotional items
do not apply to rebates.

We value you as a Dell customer and your satisfaction is important
to us.

Thank you for choosing Dell!

Have a wonderful day!

Respectfully,


Tue, 18 Mar 2003 received from Dell Support,
note that I received the order on the previous day (March 17)!!

Dear Fabrizio ,

Thank you for contacting Dell Online Customer Care.

Your order shipped via FedEx on 03-18-03. Your tracking number
is: 752880407300.

http://www.fedex.com
800-238-5355

We supply a packing slip with every shipment so customers can
inventory the system and check for order accuracy. It is their
responsibility to make sure that they have received everything
within the ?Thirty Day Policy? from the invoice date, as we cannot
provide any missing items after the initial 30-day period.

Tracking results of the shipment at the carriers website reflect
that the replacement order is delivered.

I apologize for any delay or inconvenience this issue may have
caused.

We value you as a Dell customer and your satisfaction is important
to us.

Thank you for choosing Dell!

Have a wonderful day!

Respectfully,


Tue, 25 Mar 2003 sent to Dell Support

Dear Sir,

> Your order shipped via FedEx on 03-18-03. Your tracking number
> is: 752880407300.

interesting, I received it on the 17th; a day before it was sent :-)

Today I sent back the bad hardware I received from Dell.
Be aware that even the replacement had problems (the throughput of the
disks was slow), but I took hardware out of the the two laptop and made
one that works well.
I am attaching a complain in pdf format, replay to me if you prefer a
fax.


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