Dell Customer Service

It’s funny that this post follows a post in which I mentioned some of my blogging rules, particularly Rule 5 (Publish Sober). This post has nothing to do with alcohol, rather it is my emotional sobriety that is being tested at the moment. I’m writing this post during an epic service call.

This afternoon I received a Dell laptop in the mail that I ordered last week. I like Dell. I’ve recommended Dell. I’ve defended Dell. This is the third Dell I have owned personally, and my previous two Dell computers never gave me any problems.  I also never had any problems with Dell customer service or technicians. Notice the foreshadowing. Feel the impending conflict.

When I ordered my new laptop I upgraded the RAM from 4 GB to 6 GB. When it arrived today it contained 4 GB of RAM, and I was still charged for 6 GB. At 5:48pm I made my first call to Dell customer service. For the next 100 minutes I was transferred between departments like a hacky sack, occasionally being dropped for good measure. The customer service department would say it was something for technical support, then tech support would say it was a customer care issue, and then I’d end up somewhere I’d already been. The major problem was that my service tag said there was 6 GB of RAM in the computer. The situation was more aggravating because the same terrible song was being played every time I was put on hold and every new conversation started with the same greeting followed by an insincere apology when I described my problem.

Finally a brave soul in tech support decided to assign a case number to the problem; she confirmed that a mistake had been made and told customer care to make things right. Soon after I was transferred to customer care my call was dropped. Surprisingly I got a call back from the person I had been talking to (this was the fourth time my call was dropped, all the previous times I had given a call back number and heard nothing), and he assured me that a 4 GB module will be shipped to me. I need to replace one of the 2 GB modules with it and send the old one back.

Situation resolved. One hundred minutes later.

This leaves me wondering how I should rightly respond. The original mistake was made by Dell when they put the wrong modules in the computer. So they took 100 minutes of my time and 100 cell phone minutes–not to mention the time it will take me to replace the module and mail the other one back–to fix their mistake. In the end I got the impression they thought I was just trying to scam them for some free RAM. It seems to me that they should be able to account for the parts in their factories. Everything is bar coded and identified.

I still like my Dells, I just hope I never have another problem because customer service is not their strong point. Also, if you’ve ordered a Dell recently I recommend checking the components to make sure you got what you paid for.

I think I passed the emotional sobriety test, that was a pretty rational post considering the circumstances.

*****Edit: 10/19/2010 @ 12:30pm*****

Dell overnighted a 4 GB RAM module to me. It arrived in the morning, so I had my rightful 6 GB RAM before noon. After the initial hassle on the phone the problem was taken care of promptly.

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