This is True
bullet  Dell Hell

A Few Reader Horror Stories
Updates: A Happy Ending?
Conclusion -- and Lessons Learned

I've recommended Dell computers for many years. But my confidence in them was shaken when I got a new laptop in Fall 2004, and I ended up in "Dell Hell". As you might expect, I run my computers pretty hard since I work 10-14 hours/day, seven days a week to bring you True and other stuff, so I get a new one every three years or so. This time I decided to switch to a full-time laptop; I gave my desktop to my new assistant and ordered up a new Dell Inspiron laptop.

By Popular Demand -- Michael Dell's Address:

Michael Dell
Dell Computer Inc.
One Dell Way
Round Rock TX 78682

NOTE: Dell also has a escalation procedure for "Unresolved Customer Service Issues". They require that you have already gone through the customer support process (and thus have a "Case" or "Reference" number, and your original order number (which I suppose means you can't use this process for used computers). And get this: they promise a reply within 1 business day! It's hard to find on their site, but here's Direct Access to Dell Escalation.

After finally getting it all set up the way I wanted, all was well for a few days until I came into the office, pushed the power button to get started ...and nothing happened. It was the Tuesday before I was to leave the country -- early the next Monday. "No problem," I thought: the one time I needed service Dell was there for me, and I did pay extra to upgrade my service contract on the laptop.

After spending the requisite hold time and doing everything the tech asked me to, including taking the computer half-way apart, he declared what was obvious to me from the start: a tech would have to come out to fix it. I told him time was short as I was leaving the country. He assured me the tech would call by noon the next day and make an appointment to come out. I was relieved; I canceled a few appointments so I could be home, but by 3:00 or so the next afternoon it was pretty obvious that no one would call. I got back on the phone and back into the hold queue. I was finally told there was no way a tech could get to my house that day -- and there never was a chance of it. I asked to talk to a supervisor; I needed to get the thing fixed! The customer service rep promised a supervisor would call back the same day. My wife was dubious: call customer service, she said. I did ...and was told there was an "issue" with the motherboard of my computer; replacements were not available. Uh oh. I again asked for a supervisor, and was again told I could expect a return call the same day.

Good for them: both supervisors actually called back that evening. But a funny thing had happened in the meantime: a courier arrived with replacement parts. "Huh?" the first supervisor said: his system didn't show that any parts had ever been shipped to me! Great system you have there, guys. "What's in the box?" he asked. Hell, I don't know. I opened up the box and tried to describe each part to him, but one thing became apparent: no motherboard. He told me that the first tech had given me an "unrealistic expectation" by saying that a tech would arrive the next day. I emphasized that I needed it fixed by the weekend since I was leaving the country.

When the second supervisor called and I told him the story, he declared I was absolutely not given an "unrealistic expectation", I should have had a tech the next day ...except that there was this "issue" with the motherboards. Great: does that mean I have a lemon? Oh no, he assured me; it's just that replacement motherboards were late coming from the overseas factory. He said it was unlikely that I'd get my computer fixed before I left on my trip, and apologized. *sigh* I at least got the number of the actual tech that would be coming out. (Addendum: very shortly after this Dell retired the model number system I had, even though it was only a few months old. My guess: it really is a problem model; why else would they dump it so fast?)

Because of the out-of-stock motherboard issue, I ended up having to do my overseas travel with my old, slow, backup laptop. When I got back the motherboard was here waiting, so I called the local tech. He said sorry, but while I was out of the country my service ticket had expired and I'd have to call the service company back to reactivate it. After three days of voice mail jail with them, I gritted my teeth and called Dell again, wading through their menus and waiting on hold. The customer service rep said yes, the ticket was expired. Could they just reactivate it? Nope! Their solution: start all over with tech support. No, I said, I'm just not going to go through all of that again. Surely a supervisor can simply get the old one reactivated, or at least copy the notes over to a new ticket. A supervisor will call you back "today", I was told. That was November 3. No supervisor ever called.

In the True sent to subscribers on November 5 I told this story -- and then the phone calls started. One from a Dell exec who happens to be a True reader, and another from a Dell exec who got a copy of the issue forwarded from a relative who's a reader. What they did is discussed in the update section below, but first some of the horror stories readers told me after reading mine.

Reader Horror Stories

You can no doubt find a horror story for every manufacturer. The question becomes, then, does Dell have more than its share? Which is to say, is their customer and technical support worse than "average"? Some of my readers definitely think so! But then, my problem is with Dell, so readers who could really relate to my story surely responded more. Dell's response to that is in the Update section below.

As for who's better, the top two companies mentioned by readers as far as quality laptops and superior service were IBM and Apple Macintosh.

Now, for just a few of the horror stories from True's readers:

Spare Parts, Anyone?The replacement parts Dell sent me in an attempt to fix my laptop.

"Almost enough to build a whole computer." Once I convinced Dell support that my computer really was broken and a tech had to come out, Dell shipped me the parts they thought the tech might need. I have no idea what all of this is, but I've been able to identify: a motherboard, an LCD display, a modem, a WiFi card, a display card, a power supply and cord, a front escutcheon, the keyboard surround, RAM, driver CDs and (as you can see) much more -- all from the stack of boxes behind the actual laptop in question. When I finally got the attention of Dell executives and they saw what I was sent, one remarked that I had "almost enough to build a whole computer." Well yeah, but would it work?

  • My Dell Hell began when I purchased a Dell laptop. I am very computer literate so I don't often contact Tech Support. However, upon receiving this Dell I could not get dial up networking to work -- it became clear to me that the modem was dead. I called and they gave me pretty much what they gave you -- checking and rechecking things I had done already, etc. and then said I should send back my computer for "repair". I said this is a brand new out of the box computer and I don't want it repaired, I want it replaced. They said they could not do that. They agreed to send me a new modem (I told them I would be happy with a card modem which would replace the defective internal modem) and I could install it. That they did -- within a few days I got the card modem but in the meantime I found I did not like the laptop at all, for various reasons, and I contacted them and told them I was returning the Dell for a full refund. In addition I was returning the Dell Modem they sent me. They agreed to this and I was credited with my full refund for the Dell Laptop. Within 6 months I was notified that I owed them $70.00 for the modem they sent me. I explained that I returned it and they seemed to accept this. This went on for over 2 years -- every few months I would get a bill for the modem, I would call and explain and they said they would take care of it. Well after two years I got a letter from a collection company saying that my account was turned over to them for collection. I also wrote and explained to them but that was useless. Since then (going on 4 years total) I have received an average of 3 calls a week from the collection agency, innumerable letters and messages left on my machine and I have even recontacted Dell to trying to resolve this. They said it was now "out of their hands". Well, needless to say, I will no longer do any business with Dell, for myself personally or any customers. I recently got a letter from the collection company offering to let me 'settle' the dispute for $40.00. I declined. DELL HELL to be sure. --Marie, Oregon

  • I can sympathize with your Dell experience. My company purchased a Dell laptop, which began exhibiting problems with its LAN connection fairly early on in its time with us. We sent it back to Dell under our mail-in-repair service contract, and received it back soon thereafter. While the LAN connection had been repaired (through a motherboard replacement), the battery would no longer charge properly. This set off a chain of events that included multiple additional shipments to Dell, the introduction of new problems, a replacement battery, and numerous calls to both technical support and customer service. The most incredible part was when a senior customer service representative told us that our problems were due to the fact that we bought a laptop that was not designed for everyday use, and if we had bought a more expensive model, our everyday use would not have caused such problems. My boss and I looked at each other and asked the representative to repeat himself, which he did. We weren't even sure how to react to that. We finally did get a replacement laptop (which we'd been requesting since the first faulty repair), and it had problems with its screen. In the end, we are now the not-so-proud owner of a Dell laptop which we have relegated to use by a part-time intern, and six Sonys, which have generally performed well and which have been backed by much more responsive customer service on those few occasions when assistance was required. Admittedly, the Sonys cost significantly more than the Dell, but it's sometimes true that you get what you pay for. --Jeff, Washington, DC (but currently in Switzerland)

  • You haven't even begun to delve into Dell Hell yet, but now that you've reversed your credit card charges you will surely suffer the 7th level of Dell Hell when Dell Finance (or whatever they're actually called these days) get their tentacles on you. My father found out about that level of Dell Hell a couple of years ago, when he ordered a computer and monitor and then he decided he didn't actually need them (a different story) and had them shipped back to Dell. So far, so good, right? They got all of their merchandise back and I think he only had to pay shipping. Well, it seems that the folks from Dell and Dell Support don't actually communicate much with Dell Finance and it seems that the slime at Dell Finance doesn't actually trust the folks at Dell Corporate or Dell Support. The slime at Dell Finance kept insisting that my father pay for the computer that he sent back, the same computer that Dell would agree had in fact been returned to them completely intact. To make a long, ghastly story short, the North Carolina Attorney General's office needed to be involved, a registered letter to Michael Dell was returned from the Corporate address marked "unknown" but, eventually -- after many, many months and a ruined credit rating (my father's) -- Dell finally stopped calling and writing letters to him. --Tom, Wisconsin

  • If you think Dell support in the US is exciting, you should try Europe. At least (I believe that) they haven't outsourced European support to India, but there are still language problems. When I bought my new desktop in Paris a couple of years ago, I specifically asked if I could get support in English. I've lived in Europe 12 years, and I am not going to go hungry in either French or German, but for tech support I think I'll do better explaining things in my native language. I was assured that English would be no problem. The first time I had a problem, however, I called the support line, got an English speaking operator who assured me that I could speak to an English speaking technician. The technician who came on the line, however, told me in French that he didn't speak English, and if I wanted English support I should call the UK. I called Dell again, went through the same loop again, and decided to try their web site. I had no intention of paying European international call rates during normal business hours to be put on hold in the UK. I went to their French web site, and there was even an option to view the site in English. I submitted my problem, and got a quick response in French saying that I must submit my problem in French. I tried submitting my problem to the US and UK sites, and was told that since I bought my Dell in Paris I would have to submit my problems to the French web site because the other sites had no information about my computer in their database. --Rodney, France

  • I order lots of Dell computers here at my job at [a large corporation]. They are truly a nightmare to deal with. Last Christmas Eve my boss and I spent two hours on the phone with one of their reps (in India) trying to convince him that, among other things, Wisconsin is a state, not a city. I once had to call them to change the ship-to address on a system I ordered for a customer. I was informed by Dell that I could not change the address since the package had not been sent yet. I was told I could only change it once the package was en route. They offered to email me when they shipped the package. I still haven't received that email. We order perhaps six or seven a month. Every time we order, they assign us a brand-new customer number, even though we use the same information every time we order. This creates a nightmare when we need to contact them about an order. We were told that we should order through our "special" representative. But every time we do that, it costs more. --Beth, New York

  • Earlier this year, when I was home between deployments, a friend who has a Dell asked me for help because when he has a problem with his video card, the person he ended up with, wherever they have now out-sourced their technical support to, had him disconnect all the ribbon cables inside the machine, remove the processor and the RAM, and then, two-and-a-half hours into his call (most of which was spent on hold), they were disconnected. I put everything back together for him, and the video problem was still there, so I pulled the video card out, simply reseated it in the AGP slot, started the machine back up and PRESTO! It was fixed. Never again do I intend to say anything favorable about Dell. But even this was better than the support that Gateway provides.... --Terry, undisclosed location at sea, U.S. Navy

Updates

In my first discussion of this issue in True, I mentioned that DellHell.com was already registered ...to Dell (no site there, though). That wasn't meant to imply I'm interested in starting a web site like that. This page will be plenty.

As noted in the Horror Stories section above, you can certainly find horror stories about every manufacturer; no one gets it 100 percent right 100 percent of the time. The problem is, you shouldn't have to have a newsletter with a six-figure audience to get attention. It worked for me, but not everyone has such a resource.

So yes, first of all, publishing my mini-rant in This is True did get some attention from Dell. Two Dell execs called and apologized profusely, and I gave one the other's name so they could coordinate their efforts. Dell says they try very hard to satisfy customers with problems that haven't been solved by tech support. The hard part is finding out who is having problems. They said they actually have employees who surf online forums looking for horror stories, and then contact the person and help them. And, apparently, they have the authority to actually help. Tip to Dell: if you want to get horror stories, how about activating a site at DellHell.com to solicit them? Yeah, some will be from cranks who will never be satisfied, but maybe you'll find out that you've sic'd a collection agency on someone who returned every part you sent to them!

Related Links

I asked one of the execs what people who don't have a six-figure circulation newsletter should do when they're not getting help on a big problem. The reply: Dell is working on a better process to help escalate the biggest problems to someone with authority to intervene -- but it doesn't exist yet. Kudos to them for being honest about that, but it's sad they got too large too fast to have that in place already. I asked him if he could fix some of the worst problems shown on this page, and he agreed to look into them personally.

As for me, he promised to replace my computer and "do what it took to make me happy". Is it because I have a large publication, or because someone with authority heard me scream? My guess: a little of both. I've shipped back the bad system and his assistant walked the order for a replacement through the system. The replacement system is far, far better than the old one, and has led me to a number of Lessons Learned that you can use to help you next time you order a system.

Conclusion(?) -- and Lessons Learned

The last letter writer in the "Horror Stories" section was astounded by what a "senior" Dell rep told him: "our problems were due to the fact that we bought a laptop that was not designed for everyday use, and if we had bought a more expensive model, our everyday use would not have caused such problems." One would think that any decent computer would be fine being run 24x7, but perhaps for truly heavy use it's good advice. Dell has three lines of laptops: the Inspiron, which is essentially the consumer model, the Latitude, which is for business use (and the model line Dell employees is issued), and the Precision, which are scientific workstation level machines.

Dell agreed to take back my Inspiron 5150 even though it was past the 21-day return period by the time they heard me screaming. I replaced it with the same model their employees use: the Latitude D600.

OK, the specific lessons learned:

  • If you only need light use from your computer, perhaps the Inspiron is enough. But if you, like me, use your computer hard for long periods of time, and/or lug it around a lot on travel, perhaps the adage "you get what you pay for" applies. My lesson learned: I must move away from the consumer models, which are designed for individuals who are extremely price-conscious. The surprising part: the more-industrial-strength Latitude line really isn't all that much more money for a similar configuration, but I've heard from many that they're significantly more rugged -- something Dell told me, too. Now that I have one I must agree: the Latitude is clearly more solidly built. It's also smaller, significantly quieter, and runs cooler than the Inspiron it replaced.

  • As a concession (see "promised to do what it took to make me happy", above), Dell upgraded my service contract to "Business Premium", meaning that if I call in I start with "Level 2" tech support -- more senior, and more knowledgeable, techs. It's a $327 add-on for my system, but may be worth it for those who truly depend on their computer, as I do. I will not be satisfied with "basic" service contracts in the future.

  • When it comes to Dell, be sure to go in via the "small business" route rather than the "home user" door -- the "made-for-home" machines are slanted toward being the lowest-cost machines possible for price-conscious consumers. If that's how you want to be treated, fine. But my business depends on quality computers, and (like most businesses) I'm willing to pay a little more for better reliability and better service. Accepting crappy treatment is false economy.

  • After reading this page a Dell employee (and long time True reader) passed along some helpful advice, responding to my note that I bought the Inspiron 5150 when it was quite new, and that it was discontinued very shortly after. She wrote: "It's been my experience that our systems are either so solid they are still working years after their warranty, or are so bad they disappear quickly. It occurred to me that you might be a good person to pass on a tip that was given to me by a veteran tech at Dell: Never buy a product when it first comes out. Wait a month, then check the Dell Outlet. If you see too many of them available, the system is not a bargain at any price." Good advice.

Meanwhile, what should you do if you have a terrible, ongoing problem with a Dell computer? Well, if you have a gigantic-circulation online newsletter, you saw what worked for me. Since few have that option, my realistic suggestion is: first, be sure you have really exhausted the regular chain of complaint -- tech support and customer service. If that doesn't work, keep complaining. Go to the top: write a clear summary of the problem and send it to the corporate headquarters, addressing Michael Dell himself. Will he read your letter? Heck no. But he has people to read -- and act on -- such complaints. If you can finally get your complaint heard by the right person, they will quite likely help you.

That, at least, is what I've been assured by more than one senior Dell executive, and I think they're telling the truth. The same sort of procedure will probably be reasonably effective with any company which respects its customers -- IBM, HP, Apple, and most of the others. But I wouldn't hold my breath when dealing with the bottom-feeding companies that only sell through discount stores....

The Bottom Line

My feeling, after all of this? No, I will not be buying Dell again. Especially after seeing the ongoing horror stories that people have told in their comments to this --

Comments on this story? This page no longer accepts them -- READ the final comment for the reasons why -- and for suggestions on what to do next.

36 Comments on This Entry

All comments on this site are reviewed prior to being published. Spammers: don't waste your time. The posting criteria are simple: if a comment is worth visitors' time to read, it's approved. If not, it's not.


Posted by Reena, Los Altos CA on November 20, 2008:

I am in DellHell for the past nearly 2 weeks due to a laptop XPS 1330 which is only 1 year old. I am still in warranty and cannot get service...here is the email I sent to the Chief DellHell last week. I have shipped my Dell to them 3 days ago and they still cannot tell me what's going on!! I am beginning to think my Dell is lost for good. Email to Michael Dell follows:

Dear Michael Dell:

I am a small business owner and run a consulting business. Last year Nov 2007 I made the mistake of buying a Dell. I am not a super-power user. I use basic office apps on it.

Here is my experience -
--In less than 1 year the laptop slows down and starts crashing (I do all system maintenance stuff all the time and I do not load crap on my machine
--On Sunday Nov 9 it crashes completely and cannot be revived. I am on the phone with Dell support for 2 hours. They tell me i am not under warranty - LIES! I correct them that I am under warranty until NOv 2009. They agree.
--They ask me to run various checks which I cannot because this less than 1 year old thing called a laptop cannot be revived. Tech support tells me it's a hardware issue!
--They are going to have a local tech call me to fix it,
-- 1 day goes by no call
-- 2nd day no call from any tech.
-- I call Dell support to ask for help. They assume me a tech will call within the hour
-- NOone calls me
-- I call Dell and scream. They give me the phone number for local Tech (BankTech) to call myself...now I am on my own
-- I call BankTech - I have been given the wrong phone number.
-- I find the correct number and call BankTech myself. They assure me a tech will call me within the hour. No one calls.
-- I call them back. Thye assume me a tech will call within the hour. No one calls me.
-- I call BankTech again. They assure me someone will call ASAP. A tech calls me and says he's been assigned to the job and can come over now
-- Tech from BankTech shows up 1/2 hour later and tells me he's never worked on XPS 1330 before but was just assigned to the job because the right tech was not avaialable. But he assures me he can fix it! Ha!
-- He spends 1/2 hour on it and cannot unscrew the cover to get to the motherboard...He asks me if I have a small screwdriver!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
--He then told me he needs to go to local drug store to buy a screwdriver!!!!!! And he spent next 1/2 hour securing one.
--Then he tinkered around with my laptop for anohter 1/2 hour with no results. He then called Dell and they told him I would need to ship laptop back to them. He spent probably about anohter 20 min on the phone with them and they said they are sending me a box and that I would ahve my fixed laptop back in max 3-5 days and that it could even be less...
--It's 2 days later and I do not even have a BOX!!
--I just spent another hour with your tech support on chat and they told me the reason I do not have a box is because there was problem with the dispatch! bit now they fixed it and I will be getting a box by Monday -- they promised!! Wow wish I could believe them

Meanwhile a friend called and told me I should really move to a Mac and that if I ever had such an issue I could walk into an APPLE store and simply exchange my laptop WOW!

What I want you to know is that I will NEVER buy a Dell every again.

---

Well, #1, I don't care if you buy a Dell again or not, since this isn't Dell, and we have no financial interest in Dell, as certainly anyone should be able to see easily. And #2, I doubt very many people will bother to read your tirade since, even though you have a legit issue with their contract tech, you're up in arms because Dell has had your computer for THREE WHOLE DAYS? That's not "Dell Hell", that's a minor inconvenience. -rc

Posted by Amanda - Illinois on November 20, 2008:

My mom who lives on a fixed income purchased 3 dell computers on Sept 13, 2008. 2 laptops for my daughters and one desktop for herself. The desktop has been returned twice after much hollering they finally agreed to take it back, but would not credit her until they had received it, we are still waiting for the credit. 35 days from the purchase date the 2 refurbished laptops with a 1 year warranty began acting up. After hours of hold time no resolution to the problem, the keyboards stick and are not covered under the basic warranty. I told the customer service people I wanted to speak to an english speaking supervior American. I was informed if I wanted to do that I would have to buy the upgraded warranty for $140.00 for 1 year. Needless to say my blood pressure shot through the roof and I am sending the laptops back and have asked my mom not to make any more payments on these 2 items. I decided to try and call Dell corporate offices direct but it seems every number that is listed goes to their outsourcing to India or wherever they are my american made product is not in any way supported by american people. After having owned not 1 but 3 Dell computers I will never purchase another one again. I have contacted the Attorney Gernerals office in Illinois and have filed a complaint on behalf of my mom, where this will go I have no idea but I know where Dell can go. Should anyone have a phone number to contact their corporate office could you please tell me where to find it.

---

Dell computers are not "American made". You demand the lowest possible price, and are then surprised you can't get high-dollar support? Again, while frustrating, this is hardly a case of "Dell Hell". -rc

Posted by Nicole from BC, Canada on November 22, 2008:

So almost couple of years ago, my boyfriend bought a Dell XPS 750 desktop computer from Dell. It cost him about 3k, had a custom case and all that jazz.

About 5 months into his warranty, his memory cards stopped registering. He ended up fixing them by taking them out and resetting them. Not a huge deal, but he managed to figure it out on his own without having to call tech support.

Then almost a year later, after we'd started dating, we were playing Black and White 2 on his computer one night when the screen froze. Nothing happened. He tried rebooting his computer, and it was basically dead. The screen went black and wouldn't switch back on. There were a couple of lights somewhere on his computer or monitor that stayed on, I can't remember which.

Anyways this time he called tech support, and they said his 1 year warranty had expired and there wasn't anything they could do for him. Then they said that the problem could be with his motherboard or graphics card, and he'd have to get them from Dell because his computer was custom made. I've seen this complaint on Cranky Customer and I have to agree about what a pain in the ass it is, even though yes I know it was a custom computer and we probably should've expected it anyways.

The bill would've been between $500 - $700 for those two parts alone, plus labor and shipping and all that. Totally not worth it. So my boyfriend talked to a local techie and ended up replacing most of his computer parts with non-Dell parts. He found out today his motherboard is fried and that's having to been replaced.

He found out when he got his computer fixed by the local techie the first time, that everything had been so customized and fitted for Dell that unless he went to Dell specifically to get his repairs, he wasn't going to be able to get his parts anywhere else.

So what's up with his computer now? He got a new tower and pretty much everything from his original 3k Dell desktop has been replaced. His old custom metal case is my current computer chair. He basically had to buy a new computer because of his decision not to go back to Dell, but if he had, who knows how long it would've been until it had another major meltdown? Two things within a year and a half is hard to excuse, especially for 3k.

Some of the fault may have been my boyfriend's, but Dell could've given better service. If nothing else, my boyfriend swears he'll never go back to Dell, and he'll not be getting a customized computer... at least not as customized as Dell had made his.

On topic, thank you for this article posting, especially the "conclusion" and "lessons learned" sections. Those were very helpful and I will be sure to pass them on to my boyfriend.

Posted by Gerd, Germany on November 24, 2008:

I was in Dell hell for 2 months, having bought a laptop with an incredible amount of issues, some fixable (in theory), some not. I was ignored completely first (NBD support my ass) then I mailed the EMEA boss, then I landed in the known Dell escalation and procrastination hell and at the end they had to admit that they couldn't fix the crackling sound issue so many people suffer from on pretty much all current Dell laptops. I got my money back.

Other customers are still believing that Dell is working on a fix (they don't, believe me) and swallow the lies and unacceptable workarounds as a sign of activity. They *want* to believe that Dell still deserves the reputation from the old days. The real bad thing is: Dell can count on the laziness ("uh I don't want to return it"), the ignorance ("I don't listen to music on my laptop") and the stupidity of most of their customers and other companies learn that they can get away with the ugliest tricks and worst customer treatment as well. Satisfying customers was yesterday, today satisfying stockholders is all that counts and in order to to achieve that, they will all inevitably come to the point where that is only possible by making products and services so bad that the dumb majority of customers doesn't complain too loud. Dell is well beyond that point.

Posted by Erica, San Francisco on November 24, 2008:

I just recently purchased a Dell computer desk top. Thinking this was a good idea, since I had bought a lap top a few years back and had no problems. Well. I was wrong because I never had to call customer service. I have had to call Dell over a dozen times since receiving my computer (which was a month late). Not once have I spoken to someone I can understand, and when I try to talk to a manager to get my problem fixed they're on the phone. Apparently, they do not have a "call back" option. The operators sound like fricken robots! You can tell they have obviously been told to read specific lines (and all those do, is piss me off further). "I am sorry for your inconvenience ma'am." "I have read the specifications and there is nothing we can do to help you with this problem." All I want to do is return my god damn computer because YOUR CUSTOMER SERVICE SUCKS!!! I just wasted an hour of my time. Calling 3 times because I was disconnected once and the first girl couldn't help me. What ever happened to "the customer is right"? They think because they use "nice" voices, that they can just shrug us off like that?! It's complete BS!!

Posted by Dan Hertford North Carolina on November 25, 2008:

In September 2008 I purchased a Dell XPS 420 fully loaded for $5,000. One of the main features I ordered was an internal Blu-Ray Writer to use to backup thousands of photos. I was very upset to see the computer arrive with a Blu-Ray reader rather than a writer. I called Dell several times to resolve the problem and all they offered was for me to send the computer back. Since I had invested many hours in uploading thousands of files to the new computer I casked them to just send me the writer and I would install it. After several agonizing calls I finally got them to agree to send the part if I paid another $300. I agreed. Work and other priorities kept me from installing the drive until last week and I found that the replacement was also just a reader. Several more calls to Dell. Back and forth between Tech Support and Customer Care and still no fix to a very simple problem. Send me the part I ordered and I will return the wrong part that was shipped. With no resolution via phone I sent the following to their customer care department.

Problem Description:

I have spent several hours on the phone with Dell and no satisfaction. I ordered a computer with a Blu-Ray Writer and was sent a Blu_Ray Reader. After several hours on the phone with Leslie Orantes she agreed to send me a Blu-Ray Writer if I paid an additional $300 which I did. The drive she sent me was another Blu-Ray Reader. My latest call to Jenny in Tech support did not result in any solution. She sent me to Customer Care who sent me back to Tech Support.

I am sick and tired of your ineptitude. I want the internal Blu-Ray Writer I paid for shipped to my house. I do not want to spend any more time on the phone with someone who cannot fix a very simple problem.

Here is their first reply:

Dear Dan,

Thank you for contacting Dell Online Customer Care.

Your request to replace the Blu-Ray Writer on your order number 457669384 has been received. Your order is now beyond our 21 day replacement period and I am unable to process a replacement. The 21 day replacement period is in line with industry standards, provides ample time for a customer to initiate a replacement, and is offered to our customers as a courtesy versus an "All sales final" policy.

To place an order for this item, please contact our sales department at: Toll free phone 1-800-289-3355.

Sincerely,

Mandeep Kalha
Rep ID 106201
Dell Online Customer Care

Here is my next reply trying to explain in further detail:

Maybe you do not understand the entire situation. I purchased my computer from you with a Blu-Ray writer requested in the original order. YOU made the mistake and did not include the writer in the $5,000+ order. Then YOU admitted the mistake and agreed to send a Blu-Ray Writer to me if I agreed to pay an additional $300+ for it. I agreed. Then YOU made another mistake and sent me another Blu-Ray Reader in error. I have not made any mistakes other than not having the time to install the component until now. Migrating data and components to a new computer is a big job and it takes time. YOU have made two mistakes on my order and YOU are responsible for correcting the mistakes. I do not feel that referencing a 21 day replacement policy applies to a transaction where YOU made all the mistakes. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE to make this transaction right. If you cannot resolve this, please refer me to a manager who has the authority to do what is right.

Here is their next reply:

Dear Dan,

Thank you for contacting Dell Online Customer Care.

I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this matter caused. I would like to inform you, that the original order number $$$$$$$$$ and the 2nd order number $$$$$$$ for the Blu-Ray Writer are outside the 21 days from invoice date return period.

Also, I would like to inform you that exchanges at Dell are issued for like to like items within the first 21 days from the date of invoice.

If I initiate an exchange for this product, this will mean that you will receive the same product as replacement. Since you have mentioned that you want a different item, exchange would not be an option available. Also, my manager would provide the same information.

To place an order for this item, please contact our sales department at: Toll free phone 1-800-289-3355.

Sincerely,

Mandeep Kalha
Rep ID 106201
Dell Online Customer Care
http://support.dell.com

Here is my next reply sent on November 25th 2008

Like I said already, this is your mistake and your responsibility to fix it. Please forward this e-mail to your manager or your manager's manager for reply. I am not asking for a simple return, I am asking you to fix a problem that you caused. I will pursue this until I get a favorable resolution.

Dan

I will update this post as the issue progresses. I am retired and have plenty of time to fight this issue to resolution. But it is no fun in Dell Hell!

Posted by JoAnne Charlotte, NC on November 29, 2008:

I purchased a Dell XPS M1530 July 11, 2008. On the day it arrived July 15, 2008 I had a problem with the computer and called Dell. A representative connected directly to my computer to update software and to correct the problem. He then talked to me regarding accessories for this computer telling me that Dell had on sale a digital TV tuner that would turn my notebook into a television on sale for $65.99 would I be interested. I said yes. When the TV tuner arrived I was not able to install the tuner and called Dell, they told me I did not purchase Tech support and would have to pay additionally for someone to install this TV tuner. I asked for a manager to return my call and was told someone would return my call. Several weeks later still no call, I called Again in September and was basically told the same thing. Again no call. I put the tuner to the side and in when I had a computer tech person at my home asked if he would try to install this "Digital Tuner" He looked at it and told me it was not compatible with my XPS M1530 and it WAS NOT A DIGITAL TUNER it was analog! It would not work after February even if it work with my new Dell notebook computer. My issue with Dell is that they suggested and sold to me a TV tuner for my notebook computer (A DELL) that was supposed to be both compatible to my computer and Digital. Why would Dell sales and technical people who you should be able to trust for product knowledge sell something that they fully know will not be useable after 2/2009 (less than 6 months) to customers saying they are Digital Tuners? I had just spent over $1000 on a top of the line computer why would they market obsolete product to consumer like me that trust they are being told the truth and depend on Dell for technical advise, product compatibility and honestly? They misrepresented this TV tuner as Digital and neglected to tell me it would be unusable after Feb 2009. Although I am upset over this misrepresentation I am even more upset over the chain of events that follow the sale of this TV tuner. The facts are as follows. Dell Computers sold me a product that was not compatible with my computer (this model was recommended from Dell and was sold to me as a compatible Digital TV tuner specifically for my XPS M 1530. I called within the 21 day period and was told by Dell that I purchased the product and not tech support and that if I would have to install or pay to have someone to install this product. I requested and was told by Dell that someone would be returning my call. I was not given a case number nor did I realize I needed on the 1st call. I do however have names, dates time of call and phone records to substantiate my calls. The main issue I have is the treatment I received (Customer service today) when I finally realized they sold me the wrong product and an obsolete product after I paid a computer technician to install the tuner. I called Dell, I spoke to a total of 14 people in a 3 hour period being scuffled between sales and customer support. I was told there were no supervisors to speak to and I was disconnect 4 times (I believe on purpose) and had to call back a total of 6 times, I have the names of most of the representatives I spoke to, the time of the calls and phone records to show each time they terminated my call and I called back. I have exhausted ever opportunity to resolve this issue with Dell and after 4 months of trying with no success have lost all faith in Dell and they have lost all future business they would have received from me and my family. I was told there are no supervisors to speak to, there was a language barrier as I believe this call center is in India and they have no desire to resolve any issue with American citizens. They refused to give me a name, phone number, email address or physical address to communicate to any other department manager or executive from Dell. In plain English, which they apparently lack the ability to understand Dell sales person Emmanuel I Balmes was either not knowledgeable enough to recommend and sell products compatible with Dell Notebook XPS M1530 or Dell purposely sold me a product they apparently had abundant stock of and wanted to dump on unsuspecting customers knowing that it would be obsolete in Feb 2009 and misrepresent it to be a digital TV tuner that "would make my XPS M1530 able to be a digital TV. I welcome anyone from Dell that has the ability to resolve this issue, verify my claim, phone records and explain to me why customer service can hang up 4 times on a customer (if I was not disconnected on purpose 4 times then they must have serious issues with customer service phone line) , transfer 13 times and lie to customers treating with great disrespect. In my opinion if the call center was manned with Americans or in this country we would have not come to this extent of disrespect. It is clear to me that another country (India) cares nothing about American consumer issues or cares to resolve them and has no problem lying about or misrepresenting a product just to sell obsolete stock to unsuspecting American consumers.

Posted by Gina NJ on November 30, 2008:

DELL'S CUSTOMER SERVICE FAILS MISERABLY !!!!
by Stormbringer - Nov 30th, 2008 @ 10:23am
Dell's customer service is decrepid and not effective at all. I have been on the phone going on 4 hrs now being hung up on 4 times in that timeframe. I am very disgusted they are atrocious. I cannot even get them to change my billing and shipping address they misspelled the street name (the service rep even spelled it back to me correctly and wrote it down wrong ?) and now they say the only way to change that is to cancel the order and reorder? HELLO? can I get them for Christmas? As it stands right now I ordered them on 11/28/08 and will not receive them until 12/15 or thereabouts if I cancel the order will I get them in a timely manner. Change the order and have it not even be the same and quoted in someone else's blog this company is a nightmare all the way around I should have known better than to order from these guys they are terrible... Cust serv reps cannot even transfer phonecalls properly or is it the PBX exchange or is it just them routing a call that looks as though it was disconnected. 4 times hung up on if I can get one person not to buy from Dell as a result of this blog I have done my part. To go thru this kind of BS for the last few hrs is madness. You will not get any more money from me Dell You are the last company I would buy from. Bring tech support back to the USA pay your people well and get people that can spell words not just read off of a sales pitch card give your people the ability to change mistake you've made in your business and not have the customer suffer from your mistakes. It was clearly a mistake on your reps part and I have to pay for that mistake? I think not, spend a $150 million and not even get your customer service issues corrected - it has gotten worse read blogs on Dell's very own web site and you will see many many more comments and concerns just like the one I am posting here. Let the Dell nightmare be over they are run worse than this country is right now.

Posted by Peggy, Mississippi on December 1, 2008:

I have owned Dells in the past and have been pleased. However, my most recent Dell purchase has changed my mind. The recent Dell sales catalog offered a free Magellan GPS with the purchase of a particular system. When I ordered the system through the Dell online site, I typed in the name of the system in the Dell search. I then ordered that system. I did not receive the GPS with my order. Dell now says that I was not eligible for the promotion. Although I specifically searched for this system on the Dell site, my system supposedly isn't the same that is in the sale catalog. I have talked to several Dell representatives in the last few days. Most of them have passed me on to yet another outsourced Dell rep. None of them have taken care of the problem. They state matter of factly that I can't have the GPS and don't seem to care about their customer base. I am forced to feel that this free GPS offer was a scam.

Posted by joleen Oklahoma on December 3, 2008:

I ordered simple ink cartridges in sept, they never arrived but the bill did. I bought some locally and then I spent more than two hours calling the customer service number on the bill, dealing with voice prompting to only be disconnected eight times. Today when I got another bill including over $34.00 worth of late charges (on a 120.00 bill) I called for another hour, got disconnected, so I called some other number on the back of the invoice and was transfered around the world to someone who said they were in india told me "its too late"....?? Too late for what I said? I requested a delivery conformation, because apparently it wasnt too late, as the indian told me the package had been delivered and it was too late to file a claim and there were no records....????? I called the C.S. number for another hour again today and then gave up. I would never buy anything from them again, I am very angry that Dell treats customer service as an after thought. I guess I will be doomed to Dell Collections.

Posted by Jerry, Kansas City on December 4, 2008:

I have purchased 6 Dell computers over the past 3 years. While I've had problems in the past, Dell technical support was previously able to resolve those issues, albeit with some pain involved. However, my recent experience has been substantially worse. The laptop freezes during or right after booting up. The hard drive has been replaced and the operating system has been reloaded twice. After spending an enormous amount of time on the phone with technical support, which can produce all sorts of horror stories hearing about their inability to track information, the problem is still unresolved. I'm on hold trying to reach another Dell technician, but no one seems to have any authority to do anything to resolve the issue. The technicians read from a script trying to reassure me that they can resolve the problem, but they can't. When they can't, they lack the authority to replace it.

Posted by Patricia Jackson, Ms on December 4, 2008:

I don't think I will deal with Dell anymore myself. For years I have purchased Dell products. November 2007 purchased my new XPS system, received $100 gift card from Dell. In May 2008, ordered my son a laptop for graduation (college bound), it was a hassle dealing with Dell, and got the laptop, and it would freeze up, my son called Tech support and they have him taking it apart. HELLO, we just got the laptop, it should not have problems. This went on for a few days...called Dell, they give me the run around, I tell them I want it replaced, the lady I am dealing with, says she will be out of the office for a few days, but she will contact me when she is back. Then I am told that my time has expired for returning it, HELLO, I called as soon as I got the laptop, the lady was the one out of the office and kept wasting my time...mind you, we had the laptop less than 2 weeks, they went by the order date which was back in May. Anyway, finally got it replaced.

Okay, I still have this $100 gift card, Wish I had of already used it, but forgot. Ordered my son a printer (another hassle with Dell, but ordered it anyway, zip code was incorrect) and I had to pick it up from UPS, but hey, got the invoice and bill (but not the printer.
Then I am thinking, gotta use that $100 gift card, would love a laptop...WRONG!!! Searched for Deals on Dell, find one comparable to what I want...specs. Went online to order, get a discount for employee, get a discount for sale item and discount for using my preferred dell card.

Only problem is, I have it all set online, it will not take both my gift card and my DP card..so I have to call DELL, BIG MISTAKE. Talked to Greg, he said no way was I getting the EPP discount, and also the DP discount..I said yes I am, I have it all on my screen, he said we don't have that deal currently. I said Yes you do, and I was directed to purchase this because of this deal. He asked for my print screens, I sent it, well he has computer screen problems, gives me his supervisors email address, I send to her. (mind you I have been on the phone for about 45 minutes now).

All this time I have this laptop in my dell acct online, with all my specs and discounts.
After being put on hold all this time, they ask me to back out of the screen and go back into it, I did (stupid me), and the discount for using my dell card went away...Yep, they took it away, even though I had proof. Greg said he would upgrade this or that for all my trouble, then comes back on the phone, says well he could not do this but would upgrade the video card.

By this time I have been on the phone for over an hour and half. He gives me the specs, said that is what I can do for you to make up for your time and not getting the discount for using my dell preferred card. Well my office has closed about 30 minutes earlier, and I had to get out of the building or be locked in for the night.

I get home, I have an email confirmation for my order (all along I am thinking I was screwed by dell, but heck, got a few add ons, but was not that big of a deal).
I noticed on my dell confirmation, that my zip code was entered wrong by the dell rep...they had to key in my order, because when they had me to back out of the screen, I lost my information (except my print screens I had done)...so the shipping zip was wrong. Emailed Greg, he said out of his control to call this other number. So I call, the guy says they will need to cancel that order, and place it again, I said okay, he said shipping date changed, order number changed also.

So here I am 3 weeks later, waiting on my new laptop that I have gone through all this headache for??? it's not here, I call dell, no record of my order...but they can surely order me another one, oh wait, they found my order, but it was cancelled...who cancelled it, oh they don't know, but it was cancelled the day I ordered it. Yes I said by Dell but it was reordered, because Dell entered the ZIP wrong. Well the order was cancelled again after that for some odd reason.

Well I am pissed by now, I emailed Greg at Dell the guy that originally placed my order, and ultimately screwed me out of my discounts.. he has not returned my call or email, I called his associate, she took my information, said Greg is on the phone with customer, but he will contact me. Yea right. She said she could send me to a Sales Rep and they could find me a deal close to what I ordered before.

HELLO, IT WAS ALL DELLS FAULT...if anything dell should be kissing my butt.
All I want now, is to get credit for my gift card...take it off my credit card, and let me stop dealing with dell all together, and try using another source for my computer needs...
I am so tired of dell crap...and it's their fault, not mine.

Posted by rori, new york on December 5, 2008:

Welcome to my Dell Hell...Studio laptop owners take notice!

Back in August I purchased 3 brand new Studio desktops for each of my 3 children, two of which were going off to college in the fall.

Within 2 days of receiving the 3 laptops, my one daughter began to have problems. The touchpad went out. Within the next hour, the mouse became very slow. Soon the keypad slowed down to an almost hault. At that moment she called Dell tech support. She spent 9 hours on the phone with tech support. They convinced her she had gotten some ferocious virus from the internet which had chewed through her hard drive and she was step by step instructed to clear the whole hard drive. Then she had to reinstall all the drivers, windows etc. back onto her brand new computer. The tech never told her how long it would take. When all was said and done the computer still had the same problem. I took the computer back to Staples where I had purchased it. They were uphalled at what she had been instructed to do and offered to send her a new computer.

At that point I was not angry. Well, I was upset with what Dell Tech had her waste 9 hours of her unpaid time. However, I understand that we just got a bad computer and that can happen!

Two days later, my other daughter began to experience the same problems with her Studio. I decided to call Dell tech support and give them another chance. After about 2 hours of attempted repairs to the computer, the tech decided the computer needed to have the whole hard drive cleared. Well I was not about to go down that road again so I returned to Staples who gave me a brand new studio.

Dell was supposedly informed of my issues and was to call me. I'm still waiting since August. Well I guess I figured I was unlucky to receive by a fluke 2 bad computers!

All was fine until November 30. My daughter, now off at college, who had had the first bad conpter and received a brand new one, began to have the same problems with her present computer. This time she was in a panic because on her semester finals begin next week and she has several papers due that are on the computer.

I immediately called Staples at 8 AM Monday morning and they said they would take care of it. Staples was in contact with Dell and reassured me the problem would be fixed by noon. I gave them a noon deadline because at the worst I could drive 3 hours to my daughters school and bring her one of our laptops from home.

Needless to say my daughter was not contacted until 3 pm by Dell Tech support. By four pm the tech had managed to freeze up her computer totally! At this point she is told she will need to mail her computer back to Dell. And due to an error in their system, it will take 10 days just to get her the box to mail the computer back to Dell. They suggested that she use the school's library to do her work in the meantime. Those Dell people need to haul their a**** to the library and learn how to make better computers!

So called my Staples, b****** them out for having me wait until 4 pm to fix the problem. At this point I wanted another computer, not a Dell, waiting for me at the Staples near my daughter's University. I drove 4 hours in a snow storm, to her school and got her a brand new replacement HP laptop to use. So far so good. Still waiting to hear from Dell.

All I know is that 3 bad computer in a row is not a fluke. THey made a bad product and don't want to recall it.

I replaced one bad Dell so far. My goal is now to get rid of the other 2 I have before they go out and leave my college daughters high and dry without a computer. I have lost all faith in Dell.

My "issue" was escalated according to Dell. They were to email me a copy of my complaint, (One of many since August) I have had no email from them yet! They must have computer issues with their Dells too!

Posted by Paul Ratliff on December 5, 2008:

Doing a search for Michael Dell's email and I came across this site. I said to myself "self, let me say my 2 cents worth as well. If anything it will allow me to vent." Purchased a Brand new XPS 420 with all the belss and whistle. The machine came in at 7:30 (CSD). I could not wait to play with my new machine. Then karma happened. I turned on the machine answered the questions up front I got to the start page and then I relized that it is 10:00pm. I get up everymorning at 4:40 am for work to pay for my BRAND NEW DELL COMPUTER. As soon as I came home from work my BRAND NEW DELL XPS 420 was humming so loud that I thought someone was cleaning my house with a vaccum. I followed the poper procedure and called the 1-800-number. Of course I could barely understand them. So to give you a time line. In less than 24 hours my BRAND NEW COMPUTER was broke. The outsourced tech support said to me what can you expect from a electronic device it's electronic. Completly threw me off my game. Trying to explain that there was no post beep codes, the monitor is not receiving any signal threw the video card was a nightmare. Thinking this isn't 2 months or even 6 months it is again less than 24hrs I was going to be treated like I was Dell himself. How wrong I was. The outsourced lady wanted to sell me a warranty plan for a year so I could bypass talking to India. I find this alarming becuase of the fact they moved those jobs out of America so they could save on paying a American to do the job. Here is the flip side of the coin. Give Dell even more money and we will have you talk to a American. That way you do not have to wait 10 to 15 minutes to get technical support. After 45 minutes of explaining my problem she still didn't get the message. GIVE ME A NEW COMPUTER. I broke down and spent the $149.00 for a year of support just so I can get off the phone and get my problem resolved.

Now onto the tech side. I called in gave the tech my information, he pulled everything up, saw that I haven't had my computer under 24hrs and he said to me " I am going to transfer you to CUSTOMER CARE it should be called "Customer Hell"

CUSTOMER CARE said that there will be a 15% re-stocking fee if I cancel the order. I have to tell you my friends it took every ounce of me to stay calm. (My daughter was in the room). If anything it showed my daughter not to buy a Dell computer. -BTW- I was talking to someone out of the United States again. So I went threw the same spill again which now is the 3rd time I get hung up on. I call back and got humg up again. So I called the number that I payed $149.00 dollars for and a American answered the phone told him the problem and said I hope I am being recoreded for training purposes. (you can't make this stuff up). Here is the cause. Bad video card is what they said. Will see. Since it is a bad video card could you imagine if they sold listening cards too. If both cards went bad they could neither hear or see you so who would care

I have a Uncle that is a IT purchaser that buy's millions of dollars a year of Dell Computer. He will bring this up at his next team meeting of all the problems everyone is having. When I say everyone I sent him a link to this web site to distribute at the agency so all his purchasers can see and hear what they are going to get into if you buy a DELL.

Posted by Rob DeFreese on December 6, 2008:

I purchased a Dell Studio 17 back in August after nightmares in actually getting the order entered which finally took place 9/15/08 the order was canceled and re-entered and that was done approx 5 times moving my ship date further and further out. Mind you I purchased this laptop via my companies computer program. So I finally get the laptop 10/7/08 only to spend the next 5 days updating and setup up the system as just about every program required an update of sorts. Now here is where it all goes to hell.

By the fifth day the speakers are back, Dell Datasafe will not work, lojac will not work, there were 2 hard drive errors, the media key barely worked etc. So I contact Dell support and they want to send someone out to fix it. Not an option with me as it is brand new and has not even been used yet other than updates. So after sending a half a day with tech support and being on the phone with them until 2:43am when I had to be up for work at 5:00am they decided to ship a return label and an a exchange. Great...NOT what took place after that was the exchange was entered 9/24/08 and not disclosed to me that the return label was part of the exchange I did not receive either until 10/7/08 which Dell pushed me beyond the 21 days which is not even mention in the policy under our corporate link.

This was after orders being canceled and re-enter and never contacting me to let me know or give me the option to cancel out my order and go elsewhere I now receive my second laptop only to find that has just about the same defects as the first and more. I contacted Dell 12/2/08 and proceded in Dell Hell. I was on the phone for over an hour being dumped into voicemail system not even someone voicemail box and being blidly tranferred from Rep to Rep Dept to Dept at one point I was placed on hold for over 30 minutes before anyone got back to me. I would hear hold music for a while and hear some touch tones as if someone was trying to transfer me again and follow by a few seconds of silence and that back to hold music.

This pattern repeated itself a few times during my 30 plus minutes of hold. Out of an hours or so phone call I spent anywhere from 4-6 minutes on hold not including the 30 plus whooper only to be told when I requested a supervisor that he was in a meeting and would call me back in 25 hours which I advised not acceptable and wanted a call by the end of the day being they caused me to miss a meeting which I told the third rep I did not have that much time due to my appt but they did not care and off I went to dept and on hold. When I adivse the rep of wanted a call by the end of the is became patronizing and more unhelpful. While the day ended no call 24 hours went by no call. So Dell manged to added more days beyond the 21 days..not my fault nor was the delays from day one!

I advised the last rep the reason of wanting a callback sooner as I would be return to work on that Thursday and don't you know they waited until Thursday to call knowing I would not be home. I received such a run around in trying to get a return label sent so I could return the second laptop as at this I am not willing to work with Dell and waste more time. I advised I wanted a full refund as well, which I was told sorry past 21 day. I have made mention that the cause for going beyond the 21 days is Dells fault not mine. I had the original laptop packed up and ready to as well as the second defective one. The second arrived 12/1/08 so from Aug/Sept/Oct/Nov to Dec to order a laptop, receiev a laptop and return a laptop has taken almost three months to do and now they advised me I can send back the second one which is defective as long as I pay to ship it back and pay a 15% restocking fee.

There is no way in hell I am paying a time dime for something they did to me. If anyone has any ideas or can help I would appreciate it. I have already file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and Consumer Affairs and I have reviewed the case file on Dell violating FTC policy which in my case they did the same by not advising of the delay and/or asking my consent to delay shipping or to cancel and receieve a prompt refund which violated FTC 16 C.F.R. 435.1(b)(3) and 435.1(b)(1) and FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 45(a)(1). I went from being a customer to a victim due to Dell and their poor support, customer service and game play at the customers expense!

Posted by Kate, MN on December 6, 2008:

Two suggestions to anyone with Dell issues: One, try online messaging support. It allows you to do other things while the tech is messing with your computer via the remote system. They also now e-mail you with all the information about your service call, and allow you to reply to the e-mail so that you can get help from the same person, who already knows the situation, if there are further issues.

Second suggestion, if it gets bad enough, start throwing around the magic words: Better Business Bureau. Ask to speak to a supervisor and use the words again. Be prepared to back up your threat: that is, be sure that you know the people, names (if applicable), number of times and specific dates, as well as any unfulfilled promises (i.e. someone was supposed to call). The BBB website asks for this information, as well as your requested resolution (i.e. computer fixed, goll-darn-it!) and will contact the company on your behalf. If the company does not attempt to resolve the issue, or is deemed to have made a poor attempt, the BBB notates this on their own website. I was once contacted by a company 15 months after my initial complaint and was given approximately $70 in free product (initial complaint was $15 of incorrect order).

---

I find it unlikely that Dell employees will be intimidated by the mention of an antiquated and toothless private bureaucratic organization like the BBB when they're not afraid of customers complaining to their states' attorneys general, but have at it. -rc

Posted by Brooke, Hawaii on December 9, 2008:

In addition to requesting that this computer have the slim and light LED screen, I also was adamant about the lightweight AC adapter. The new unit I received had the heavyweight 90W AC adapter. I have to lug this computer around in grad school and the one you sent me weighs in at a whopping 5.5 lbs compared to the 4.5 lbs of the first one.

On and on it goes and I haven't even gotten into the years of headaches and hours on hold. That's just a glimpse of my personal DELL HELL story. DON'T BUY A DELL UNLESS YOU REALLY LIKE INCOMPETENCE!!! NEVER AGAIN.

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Just to be clear regarding your use of "you", we are decidedly NOT Dell Computer Inc., which is evident by looking at the domain you're on, and the title of this site. -rc

Posted by Thornwell, South Carolina on December 9, 2008:

My mother, who was diagnosed with Vascular Demensia in January of this year, was determined to speed up my 5 year old Dell desk top computer. I tried to explain to her that there was no real way to speed it up, but she was seceretly determined to do whatever it took to make that computer FAST. Eventually she got a hold of Dell customer service and bought two 256MB memory modules which she tried rather successfully to hide from me. (if anyone has, or has had, a loved one suffering from Demensia, then you know this story line all too well) I eventually discovered her purchase in September. I called Dell Customer Service to request a return authorization for the two packs of memory. The rep was very polite in explaining to me that since "...the purchase had exceeded Dell's 21 day return policy..." he was unable to authorize the return. I tried to be very calm in re-explaining to him my mothers condition, to which he responded in thick Indian accent "...I understand your situation, sir, but it is Dell's policy not to accept returns after 21 days..." I pressed further to speak with his supervisor and was told that the supervisor would tell me the same thing he had already told me twice before. I still asked, politely, to speak with his Supervisor. He then got nasty in his tone, repeated Dell's return policy and hung up. I called back and spoke with someone else who apologized for what had happened, but, again repeated Dell's return policy and stating there was nothing he could do.

I'm not talking about an expensive peice of hardware, but $160.00 worth of unopened memory. I am sure that my mother was told about the 21 day return policy in an accent she most likely struggled to understand. However, she could not recall that ever being said to her. I'm actually surprised she remembered the conversation at all!

I decided to call Dell Financial where, although easier to understand Texan, were not much help either. The intial suggestion was to keep calling back to Customer Service until the matter was resolved. I asked to speak to a supervisor where I was finally told that if I had the packing slip from the shippment, I could send back the memory and that eventually my mothers account would be credited. Now, I don't know about you, but I'm not all that keen on depending upon a recieving clerk at a large DC to actully carry through with the return and crediting of an account.

I intend on sending my complaint along with a letter from my mother's Neurologist to someone in Round Rock, Texas (any suggestions?) in hopes of getting this resolved.

Posted by Mary, Iowa on December 12, 2008:

I've had "DELL HELL" all day today. On one of the news channells last night, they stated that if you called Dell for service/tech support and requested an English/that you can understand person it was going to cost a $12.95 charge. Wanting to know from the horses mouth so to speak I called Dell numerous times trying to get an answer to that info. Total run around from of course people with such a heavy dialect I could not hardly communicate with them. Asked repeatedly fo a supervisor, politely mind you but persistently. Asked for their name and # then immediately said they would find a supervisor who magically wasn't busy anymore.

Needless to say, put on hold for long long time, then transferred to a busy signal which hung up. I have no intention of ever purchasing another product from Dell.

Got a Corporate # from information in Austin, Texas. Surprise, just relayed back to the same old #'s, customer care (giggling at that joke) and same run around.

Mind you, I don't expect Dell how to run their business but if they are going to outsource to other countries, it should not be our problem that some of their CS & IT people are not proficient enough in their English that we can understand them. It's a joke and a bad one at that.

My husband just bought me a new Dell 19" flat screen moniter. I am looking for a laptop also. Dell? NOT!!!!

Incidently, never ever got my rebate when I purchased my unit, many years ago. Tried calling and emails. Gave up.

Posted by Sheila - Las Vegas on December 16, 2008:

Like so many who have come before, I am once again in Dell Hell. My year-old Dell PC crashed and burned, and I had to reinstall Windows. In the three weeks since then, my computer freezes when idle for more than an hour or so, requiring constant rebooting by hitting the Off button.

Apparently, paying for three years' on-site service is meaningless. Last night's two-hour phone marathon with the Indian tech rep - who I couldn't understand or even hear with the speaker phone on and the receiver to my ear - had him taking over my computer. During this session, I saw him actually Google one of the ancillary issues. But this cracker jack "tech" rep was looking at a search result that dealt with XP. My computer is running Vista! At the end of the session, it seemed as if the computer might have been fixed, but how could I tell, since it wasn't idling?

I left the computer on, went to bed, and awoke to the same frozen screensaver. Called Mumbai again. Asked for immediate escalation. Ha! First contact couldn't bother to read the notes, asked for the whole timeline to be repeated. I refused and again requested escalation. Sure, to the First-Line Supervisor. He couldn't read either, but he understood me shouting "Escalate." So on hold again for an interminable period of time to Mr. Second-Line Supervisor. I knew he must be, because he had an American name. He told me that they cannot route to the U.S., that I could not have a tech sent to my house, and finally, that I would hear from a Senior Supervisor, but it would take 48 hours. Forty-eight hours?????????????

I have been, until now, a loyal and exclusive Dell customer. And stockholder. I even bought a Dell flat-screen TV (and went through Dell Hell with that, too, until a burglary ended that problem). I don't like change. But I have learned to live without Toyota, without EBay, without Black & Decker, Bose and a number of other companies that I dealt with exclusively, but who do not value the customer who keeps them in business. Finally, I came to the realization that I do not have to be treated like dirt. If I pay good money for a product, I deserve to have the company stand behind that product, without me having to first endure torture, spend hours of my time, cajole, wheedle, beg, cry, and endlessly complain.

I will never buy another Dell computer. Like I've done with those other companies, I truly mean it.

Oh, was it Mary? who wrote about the $12.95 for a U.S. tech support call? No, Mary, it's Dell's soon-to-be new policy for all new computer owners. That will be $12.95 a month for the privilege of talking - and being able to understand - an American.

Posted by Joe, Texas on December 17, 2008:

THE BATTERY FROM HELL EXPERIENCE

Yesterday evening I called Dell to place an order for a laptop battery. When I called I was placed on hold for over 23 minutes. When the rep came on they first of all would not listen to me and put me through the question loop. After going through that I was told I needed a new battery. To order a new battery I had to be transferred to another department. When he transferred me he sent me to a non-working number at which time the message told me that I would have to call back and it hung me up. When I called back and held for another 25 minutes or so then I received a woman. I told her that I needed to order a new battery and she told me that she would take my order. After providing all of the information the lady told me that she was unable to sell a battery in TX and that she would have to transfer me to another rep. I was on hold for 5 minutes waiting for that rep. That rep came on and took my order, processed it and told me because of all my wait that she would email me a copy of the order and that she would insure that it would go out tomorrow 12-17 and be here within 3-5 business days, I felt relieved. 12-17 came and I received no email. I went on line to see my order and I could not even pull it up. My balance on my Dell preferred account was reduced by the $131+ that she told me about last night. Then I called Dell. I was placed on hold and transferred 4 times to a total of 1hour and 40 minutes. I was told that the order was placed on hold because of Dell Preferred, they told me that they did not place a hold on the account. SO after all that I had to call back again. This time I found out that the hold was removed after a 20 minute hold but it will not be shipped until the 22nd to be delivered here by the 28th. I told her that I was promised that it would go out today, she agreed but again refused to OKAY that shipment as promised. I asked to talk with a Supervisor and I was told that none were available and that I would have to call back within 14 minutes. I called back within 20 minutes and after a 23 minute hold period the lady that answered need all ofg my information including my order number before she would even consider transferring me. After I provided the information she informed me that nothing will be done for my problem and that no supervisor was available and that I could continue to call today and maybe sometime a supervisor would be available. She also told me that the supervisor could not call me back because they were an inbound call center only. That is not true because I was told earlier that a supervisor could call me back but it may take 2-3 days. So who is telling the customer, Me, the truth? I still do not have my issued taken care of and the worst part is that they don't even care.

Thanks

Posted by Judith, Washington State on December 18, 2008:

I am currently on hold with Dell (I have been on hold for 40 minutes now), waiting to be transferred to my fourth Dell associate. I paid $49 for technical support that I ended up not using. While waiting on hold for technical support, I figured out the problem myself. I requested a refund for the $49 since I did not use technical support. I was told that the refund would show up within 7-10 business days. This is day 11 (or 12, if I count the first day's 6:30 a.m. conversation with Dell).

I have purchased 6 or 7 Dell computers in the past. We currently have two Dell desktops and 1 Dell laptop. Last month, the hard drive on one of the Dell desktops crashed. I spent many hours on the phone with Dell technicians. I have to say that the two technicians from India that helped me install the new hard drive that I bought from Dell (less expensive than buying a new computer) were very helpful. However, trying to get the new hard drive (sent to the wrong address the first time), was an experience in Dell Hell...many hours on hold, many disconnected calls. Like other writers, I will never buy another Dell product. UPDATE: Dell customer service rep. just told me that the order for my $49 refund had somehow been cancelled--this is why I hadn't received it. He is re-placing the order for the $49 credit and I should have it in 2 weeks. We'll see...

Posted by Peter Hudson, NY on December 19, 2008:

On December 5th, I placed an order for a laptop as a Christmas present for my daughter. At that time the estimated ship time was 12/19/08. On 12/14 I signed back into www.dell.com to check on the status and was surprised to find that my order had been cancelled. After a 35 minute voice mail and call center "hell", I found out that Dell Financial had cancelled the order as they had not verified my identity (even though the day before I had received a letter from Dell Financial offering me congratulations on opening my account and giving me account billing info such as account number and first billing date).

After being told to call Dell Financial by your Customer Service Rep (CSR), I did and they verified my identity and resubmitted my order. Even after the delay, when I asked when the laptop would be shipped I was again told it would be the 19th of December.

Today, the 19th, I logged back onto your website and found that the new estimated ship time was January 23rd 2009, 28 days AFTER Christmas. I called your Customer Service department and got anything BUT Customer Service.

First, after waiting for approx. 10 minutes and having to repeat myself to the automated attendant several times I was able to speak with Prabh, #146238. He did listen patiently as I explained my displeasure but then all he did was read from his script expressing his deepest regrets that due to unforeseen delay in parts that Dell could do nothing but give me a 1/23/09 estimated date but (oh good news) it might be earlier. I asked if earlier he meant by Christmas and he reread his script. I asked him what parts were being waited on and he said there were three. I offered my solution - upgrade those three parts at no cost and send the laptop overnight. He again read the script and then repeatedly used the phrase "to be honest with you" which got not only repetitive but annoying as I surely expect nothing but the truth, ie honesty, when dealing with someone else, and I asked him to stop using that phrase, to stop reading his script, to stop using his Customer Service manual, to think outside of the box and to offer me his solution. Imagine the frustration when he again said that 1/23/09 was the date.

I asked him again to think of a solution and he said he could think "of a thousand or more but I am not authorized to do them". I then asked who was and was told his manager was. I asked to be connected. After being put on hold, Prabh came back and said his manager was speaking with someone else and I said I would wait and to put me back on hold. Prabh said he couldn't do that and I would have to call back in 15 to 30 minutes. Wow, good customer service. Make the customer call back, go thru the prompts again, wait and HOPE that the manager was available.

I went back online and found another "Support" number. I called, went thru the frustration of the prompts and the automated attendant not 'hearing' properly and Ileana (spelling may be wrong and I didn't get her number) picked me up off of hold about five minutes later. She then asked me the same information the automated attendant did (the duplication is annoying from a customer perspective) and then said she would transfer me to someone who could help. But that's what the automated attendant said so why did I get Ilena. No matter, I waited.

Nick, #122727, was the lucky CSR who got this now increasingly aggravated, upset and highly disgruntled and agitated customer. I again went thru my litany and asked if he could offer me a solution. Again, I got the script about delayed parts, shipping dates etc... (but at least no assurances of honesty). I asked to speak to his manager and after a period on hold Kevin, #113855, picked up.

For the fourth time this morning I explained to him the original order of the 5th, the cancellation by Dell and the reinstatement on the 14th, the current unacceptable shipping estimate and asked for his solution. I wasn't surprised that I got "the script" again. (I will say this for your training department - they have everyone on the same page - literally!). I asked for a solution and he couldn't give me one. I offered mine - substitute upgraded parts at no cost, build it and ship it, overnight if necessary, in order to get by Christmas. He apologized that he wasn't authorized to do that as no manual entries/changes were allowed but said I could do it myself by cancelling the order and then replacing it with the upgraded parts. But there were two downsides - one of which he verbalized, one which I did. Kevin explained that Dell is fulfilling orders in the order that they were received and that by cancelling and replacing the order, the new order would be put at the end of the building queue. I relayed my frustration that Dell/Dell Financial had already "lost" me 9 days by cancelling my 12/5 order and reinstating it on 12/14. The other issue was by replacing the order with the three upgraded parts would mean that I would be paying for the upgrades. My solution was for Dell to upgrade for the aggravation I am being put through.

Again, Kevin read from the script so I asked for his Manager/Supervisor. He said he was the manager and that there was no one above him who could help. I then asked for Michael Dell's number as I assumed that Kevin must report directly to him since he had no manager for me to speak to. The speech again about no manager.

I hung up and Googled Dell Complaints and got this link. I sure hope that someone will assist me and offer an acceptable solution. I have ordered four or five Dells in the past and have been a loyal customer. However, this experience has been one of the most frustrating Customer Service experiences of my life.

I look forward to a speedy reply by email to the address on record.

Thank you for your efforts in resolving this issue.

---

Considering this site is obviously not related to Dell in any way, apparently isn't monitored by anyone at Dell, and Dell clearly doesn't give a rat's ass about the issues people complain about here, the odds of your getting any sort of reply is approximately nil. -rc

Posted by barbara/kingston,ny 12401 on December 20, 2008:

i purchased a new inspirion 1525 in oct of this year.i was not happy at all with the home vista program.i called dell to see about putting windows xp into the laptop.the gentlemen instructed i would need the drivers and utilites dwonloaded which he did to my desktop,not the laptop.he then said i could purchase the xp which i did for over $200.00.was told that i would be called back once the xp arrived.well no one called so i called the online tech support,this person who spoke broken english,who i kept having to repeat my questiosn to,instructed me to put the xp disc into the desktop,well i was trusting him to know his job.he said as it dwonloaded he would call me back in 45 mins.2 hours later still no call.i had again to call back got someone else and was told that the the xp installed on my laptop wiped out my entire already installed on my desktop out,everything was lost.for 5 hours i was on the phone with dell to the point of tears.
they never told me that it would wipe out everything i had,and the man said the disc should have gone in the laptop not my desktop.i was devastated.i am unable to download anything back into my laptop,it is at this point unusable and i am not savvy enough to somehow work with it.so now i have several thousands of dollars of unusable dell equipment,i am beside myself.
the systems were only for home use and some of my nursing work.i keep getting on line support from people who don't speak good english,i keep getting the run around.
so now i am going to send everything back to dell,all of it,one big box for mr dell to deal with and i will refuse to pay any more money on my acct.
so much for using dell,believing in dell and its products.
barbara c.nickerson

Posted by Mark B. , Arizona on December 20, 2008:

I bought the complete Dell system, a Inspiron E1750,
wireless keyboard & mouse, and laser printer.
And have had TONS of problems with all of it.
I have talked to tech support in India so many times, thay almost know me by my voice. I have had two on-site tech supportpeople to my home to work on the issues.
The last one left because he could not fix my computer
because Dell could not provide him with a driver for my
video card. Many tech people have said they would call
back - ha ha ! and here I am the computer still does
not work right. It is a lemon !!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by William, Missouri on December 21, 2008:

I purchased a Dell Inspiron 530 on Jan. 14, 2008 and received shipment on Jan. 18, 2008. I have had my share of problems with this computer during the year, however, Dell tech support is not much to brag about. I'm not very well computer literate, but I know more than most of the Dell techs. In Nov. of 2008, I began having more problems with my computer. I contacted tech support (of course, it's in the Phillipines or India) and began the usual all day phone calls in order to get the problem fixed. The tech did a remote connect with my computer and attempted to fix the problems I had. Upon completion of his work, the tech assured me that the problems were fixed. Once he hung up, I worked on my computer a bit and it immediately "froze" up and wouldn't work at all! Now I had to go back through the same process again. Next, I discovered that I had a new problem in addition to the problems I already had. Is this the kind of tech support Dell tells you about when you buy from them? Not quite! I consider Dell to be quite the con artists and use fraudulent tactics to make the sale. Their tech support is next to nothing! Then when you ask to have your case upgraded to the highest level of tech support (while still under warranty), they transfer you to a North American staff that requires you to buy a new warranty with them or they won't help you. What does the warranty I have now mean? Apparantly NOTHING!!!!

When I ask them about my current warranty, they say that it is no longer valid after the 3rd of Jan. 2009. I tell them that I didn't receive my computer until the 18th of Jan. 2008 and my warranty should go until that date. No one at Dell will change that for me, even after admitting that their records show that I received the computer on the 18th of Jan. 2008. I'll will NEVER buy another DELL COMPUTER again!!!! I will let everyone I know and anyone else that wants to listen to me what a rip off Dell is to buy. I am considering contacting the consumer affairs dept. with the Attorney General's office in Missouri to lodge a complaint. As far as I can find out, there is no way to contact the corporate headquarters by phone for any relief in this matter. What a mess. And all I wanted was for my computer to be fixed back to what what it was made to do. That tells me that all Dell wants to do is get your money and then ship out crap! A 14 year old kid can go into a convenience store and steal a candy bar and get 5 years in jail. A corporation such as Dell can screw thousands of customers and not even get a slap on the wrist. Maybe enough of us can get together and form a class action suit or some other way to get their attention. Any suggestions?

---

I think a class action suit would be an excellent start. -rc

Posted by ANGELA - LAS VEGAS NV on December 23, 2008:

As a new customer to Dell I purchased a computer thru Dell online. I ordered the computer on 12/02/2008 with an estimated shipping date for 12/11/2008. The shipping date was changed from 12/11/08 to 12/29/08 to 12/20/08 then 12/29/08. I was assured my purchased was shipped on 12/20 and promised to recieve it on 12/23rd. I began calling Dell's customer service department at 3:34pm on the 23rd. I have been hung up on 4 3-4 times, I have been lied to. The service has been terrible absolutely terrilbe and I still don't have my product no will answers any questions each time i request a manager i am hung up on. I ask if it is possible to cancel my order and get a refund if it's not recieved by Christmas. I was advised a refund of my money would take about 31 days to process. This is absolutely ridiculous. I will never purchase another Dell product in my life. The service is absolutely horrible. As I am typing this letter, this is my 10 call to the company and I have yet to have my questions answered and I have yet to speak with a manager which is how I open every call once I am finally greeted.

Posted by Kelli, Texas on December 24, 2008:

I will NEVER purchase a Dell again! I was charged twice, and when Dell recognized their error, they still have not refunded the money. It has been since December 10, 2008 and it appears I will have to go through the attorney general to get the funds back. Today is Christmas eve. Merry Christmas, DELL!

Posted by Abdul USA on December 25, 2008:

THIS IS ALL CRAP, 95% PEOPLE WHO CALL TECH SUPPORT DONT KNOW THE ESCAPE KEY (WHICH IS THE FIRST KEY ON THE KEYBOARD) AND SAY THAT DELL IS HELL, YOU GUYS DONT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT COMPUTER AND PEOPLE AT TECH SUPPORT TRY TO HELP YOU IN ALL ASPECTS AND STILL YOU GUYS ARE NOT HAPPY, DELL DOES A FAIR BUSINESS AND TRY BEST TO HELP CUSTOMERS, DELL COMPUTERS ARE THE BEST IN THE MARKET AND SUPPORT IS EXCELLENT, MY FRIEND HAS DELL COMPUTER FOR 9 YEARS AND DONT HAVE A SINGLE PROBLEM, I PERSONALLY HAVE A DELL LAPTOP AND ITS WORKING GREAT FOR 4 YEARS NOW, 75% CUSTOMERS WHO CALL DELL ARE STUPID AND HAVE STUPID ISSUES. WHEN YOU PURCHASE A CAR AND IF YOU HAVE ANY PROBLEM AND YOU GO TO A REPAIR SHOP WILL THE MANUFACTURER REPLACE WHOLE CAR OR RESOLVE THE PROBLEM, SAME WAY WHEN U CALL TECH SUPPORT THEY WILL RESOLVE ISSUES AND IF YOU DONT WANT TO TROUBLESHOOT WHAT A PHONE TECH CAN DO? ANOTHER CONCERN,CUSTOMER PUT THEIR DATA ON COMPUTER AGREE I MYSELF GOT VERY IMP DATA ON MY SYSTEM IF SOMETHING HAPPENS TO IT HOW CAN U PUT BLAME ON COMPUTER MANUFACTURER, ITS OWNERS RESPOSIBILITY TO SAVE DATA OR COMPUTER MANUFACTURERER'S ? MOST OF CUSTOMERS DO NOT READ THE CONTACT TERMS AND CONDITION THEY ASSUME THING AND CALL SUPPORT. CUSTOMER PURCHASE 3RD PARTY PRODUCT/SOFTWARES AND EXPECT DELL TO SUPPORT THEM, DELL IS A WONDERFULL COMPANY AND HAS GOT GREAT PRODUCTS AND AWESOME SUPPORT IF YOU HAVE PROBLEMS THAT MEANS THAT THERE IS A PROBLEM FROM YOUR END AS WELL. DELL IS THE BEST !!!!! ABDUL USA

---

There's only one thing dumber than people who think that Dell can't do anything right because of their own problems with the equipment or their support: someone who thinks they can't do anything wrong because their computer has worked OK so far. Well, maybe one thing's even dumber than that: screaming it at the top of their lungs (or the text equivalent: ALL CAPS), complete with bad spellings, bad grammar, and idiotic abbreviations like "U" for "you". -rc

Posted by John - Greensboro, NC on December 26, 2008:

I have had the most frustrating day. We received the computer in time for Christmas but Dell sent with wrong operating system. I ordered 64bit Vista Home Premium and I received a 32bit version. I have tried for 5 hours today to resolve this. Now I am trying to get an RMA number and the guy in returns asked why I would want a 64bit Vista as in his words, it has compatibility issues. Well Dell sells 64bit Vista computers so that is a crazy response. I can't believe this. Any chance a qualified Dell Rep will contact me?

Posted by Susan Louisiana on December 30, 2008:

I recently heard a news flash, a quick one if you know what I mean. It left me wondering if I actually heard what I thought I heard, Lo and Behold I got home from work and called DELL to confirm what I thought I heard and they verified THIS!! UNBELIEVABLE to say the least, NEW RULE, when anyone calls DELL for tech support and asks to speak with someone they can better understand the English language from, they will now be charged 12.95. This charge will only be enforced when asking for someone who fluently can speak ENGLISH! CALL THEM YOURSELF AND ASK, I DID AND THEY CONFIRMED IT!! I don't think I need say more..

Posted by Mike, California on December 30, 2008:

I bought my Studio 540 model with an ATI Radeon HD 3450 video card to set up in my home theater for watching some DVD's and netflix in Dolby Digital surround sound through the HDMI port on the video card, as it was designed. My monitor is my 56" 1080P HDTV and my speakers are high end speakers hooked up to a $1200 Denon amplifier that works perfectly with every other component I have hooked into it. At first the computer had no sound at all. After 2 hours with a tech he updated a couple drivers and switched the HDMI output in the control panel and I had sound. I thought things were fine until over the next few days I found out the sound would be distorted (really bad) intermittently. After another week or a little more (I am buying a house and work long hours, so I was short on time) I spend another 2+ hours on the phone getting new drivers and disassembling my computer. I end up having to pry out the video card to reseat it because the tech never told me about another screw that needed to be removed to remove the card, so the frame of my computer got bent up, and still no resolution. They dispatch a new ATI Radeon card at this point, and the next day I call Dell to tell them I want to return my computer or get a new one since I had to pry on my computer and had no trust for the techs. I was told since I was past the 21 days I was out of luck on a return. I told them I recieved the computer less than 21 days prior, to which they responded the shipping date from Dell, not the day I recieve it, is when the 21 days starts. That really made me mad, and at that point all customer care would say is they understood my frustration but could not help me. So at this point I still have distorted sound and no Dolby Digital output, which was a key reason I ordered the computer, to hook up in my home theater.

The next week a tech came out and installed the new card, and we had the same exact problem. He calls the tech support line (with my cell phone, burning my minutes) and after over a half hour on hold they agreee to ship a new power supply (mine had a bad connector), motherboard, and sound card (I ordered a sound blaster audigy upgrade, which doesn't work in concert with the output through the video card as the sales person told me, but I wanted it any way since I paid for it and it wasn't there). The tech then tells me he is about positive it is a driver issue, so while I awaited his return I did research and updated the ATI Catalyst software and downloaded the Realtek ATI driver. I now had Dolby Digital, but intermittent distorted sound still.

The next week the tech shows up, and they sent the wrong power supply, no sound card, and the motherboard. He uses my phone again, and after 45 minutes is told they are really dispatching the correct parts this time, including the sound card. I didn't boot up the computer for a couple days after he left (the parts were supposed to arrive that day, but I got an automated call that they were delayed) and when I go to boot up the power light is orange and it never boots up. Great, a dead power supply! This was really galling because I was trying to print out documents my realtor sent me for the house I am buying, and then I had to drive across town to work to use my work computer to print out the documents. The tech showed up the next week and replaced the power supply and motherboard (still no sound card, but I really didn't care at that point), and it was OK for a five minute test we did.

Of course, less han a week after I get major distortion again. I call the morons in tech support, and they ping pong me around until I complain to a superviser that they tell me they need to re-install my operating system. I ask them about my hundreds of albums of music, thousands of photos, and hours of home movies on the hard drive. They tell me that will all be lost, and I should buy a portable hard drive to back it up. I tell them I am not spending more money and more time, as I had already wasted a good 15 hours of my life because they sent me a defective product. They then tell me it is a software compatability issue and offer to transfer me to Dell on call, which is a pay service. I told them to connect me to another supervisor, who told me the same crap, and I told him to transfer me to Dell on call, but I would not pay a penny, since my computer never worked right. He said they could help me best and come up with a solution, and I wouldn't have to pay. After a half hour of hold the I was told for $69 they would gladly fix the problem, which really pissed me off as I told the guy the tech support people said I wouldn't be charged. Well, after getting transferred back to a Tech support supervosor, and 3 hours gone, they agree to replace the computer and escalate it to someone when I demanded they send out a tech to transfer my data. The "escalation" person said he couldn't send someone out to transfer my files, so I guess I will end up buying an external hard drive to back up my songs and family photos and videos. Considering Dell's crappy products that is a good investment anyway, I guess.

I am somewhat happy I am getting my computer replaced, but am worried that Dell doesn't know how to configure the drivers for the systems they send out. I will test out a DVD and online movie prior to loading anything on the new computer, and if there are issues with the sound I don't know what I will do at that point, as they refuse to refund me my money for their lemon computer. They tell me I have a software compatability issue, but this computer never worked from the start with Dell's factory configuration, which leeas me to believe thhy don't know how to configure the software from the factory, and the techs have no clue how to fix the issue either. At least I found some drivers (not on the Dell website) that gave me Dolby Digital, unlike the stereo output the Dell italled drivers gave me. I will keep my fingers crossed that the new machine actually works.

Posted by Jim - Pollock Pines, CA on December 30, 2008:

I do not know what happened internally at DELL to my order.

I ordered a Sony TV on 12/16/2008 (in the p.m.) over the phone with DELL. The listed price of the TV was $1099. At that time I gave the person the number on the coupon that I was sent by DELL for being a valued customer and was valid through 12/17/2008 for 20% off most monitors, TVs, and desktop & laptop accessories.

The person confirmed the coupon was valid and then quoted a price with the coupon and tax of $949 (+-) and said I would be receiving an e-mail with confirmation.

On 12/19/2008, I received the confirmation and it showed the price charged to my American Express was $1186.

I believe DELL should honor both their coupons and quotes.

Posted by Heather,Illinois on December 31, 2008:

Ooh my, My story is probably minuscule compared to the rest but it is mine. I called Dell in June 2007 an ordered an Inspiron 1501, then new, delivered a couple weeks later. OH happy joy, it was my first one. I followed the instructions to the letter and got to work. As I said my problems are small in comparison to others but hey, it has been a chore. Anyway, within 30 day of getting my new computer I had an issue. Should have been simple. My touchpad was not working correctly. So, I called, don't ya just love those India tech's,(now, I know just about all of them by name and ID#.) This tech had me wipe the computer back to factory settings and reinstall everything, I did. 2 weeks later it did the same thing. Called again. Went through the try this, do that, finally got it working again.

Needless to say I am still dealing with this issue now(12-31-2008). My problem goes from monthly to daily. The touchpad comes and goes at its whim, working one moment to not in seconds. Some say hardware, some say driver, some say software. I say I don't care fix it. I have case # after case #, names, extensions, you name it, I got it. Except for the one thing that I truly want....it fixed.

IN the past 2 weeks I have reset to factory settings 6 times. Contacted Tech support and Managers so many times I am surprised that they do not say HI Heather, same problem again. I can honestly say that I have learned the ins and outs of this computer so well that I have even gotten some of the "Techs" lost. I can fix this computer in anyway one can think of except for this touchpad. To which I am convinced that is a hardware problem. Period. I have even proved to them that this issue genuine. I have showed them that even though the driver info "says" it is working, It is in fact not. I can also say that the last tech I spoke to even had me back the computer up to the previous 24 hr. time period to fix the problem! I was not able to stop myself form laughing at him. He said, "I am positive this will fix the problem." Well, of coarse it will. Slap a bandaid on a cut it is still going to bleed, it'll just take a little longer to see the blood again. Needless to say 23 hrs. later touchpad gone again. He was positive. And oh yes the "Someone will call you back" Please. Give me a break. I have a log in my head of the numbers from these people, I call so often. The thing that really gets me is that I paid alot for this computer($1800.00) to some that may not be very much, for me that is alot. I make less than $10,000.00 a year and have 4 children (5 if you count my husband). The way that my situation has been handled is outrageous. But, I am tenacious, I will not let this go. Again tonite I made my call, it dropped out again, even though it says it is working and they slapped a bandaid on it, we'll call you back in 2 days. right. In 21 hrs I will be calling again. but not tech support. Corp. I am done. One of 3 things are going to happen tomorrow: 1)servicing the computer at their cost. 2)Replace the computer with a new one. 3) get my money back in full.

And by the way I am very grateful for finding this site and for the opportunity to get ahold of the mysterious Mr. Dell.

Posted by Barbara S Corning, NY on December 31, 2008:

I have been fooled by Dell once again. The last time I had a prob. someone from Michael Dell's office did contact me (Connie Muegge) and take care of my problem. This time I have spoken to 4 Dell Rep.'s and have been told their is nothing they can do for an Xbox system that has been used 5 times and now does not work.

I ordered it early. I inquired when ordering it, if I should wait till closer to Xmas and was told no by the Rep. that Dell would stand behind it if something was wrong with it even if it was after the 21 day period.

Well here I am with a 700.00 game system that does not work and no one willing to help me with this problem. I contacted Dell Financial and told them I will not pay 1 penny on my account until this matter is resolved. They stated "We will continue to add late charges and turn it over to collection." At this point "I DO NOT CARE!"

I have been a loyal Dell customer for over 5 yrs and have referred everyone I know to Dell. Not anymore. 5 days old and they can't help. What it is Dell can help with?

Posted by Someone, USA on January 1, 2009:

Although I find many of these scenarios to be a fault of Dell's, some of these are just ridiculous. For the consumers that have decided they are going to send their unit back to dell and not pay on their account, you are morons. Sending your computer in a box to some dell address you find online is the equivalent of throwing it out the window. Furthermore, you apparently plan on throwing your credit out the window by not paying on your account. Dell offers north american support for $149 per year on top of your existing warranty. Yes, you have to pay extra to speak with their highest level technicians, get over it. The cost is only $99 per year if you sign up when purchasing your machine initially. I recommend you get their "your tech team" service and save youself a whole bunch of frustration. I have had my fair share of dell hell incidents and your tech team is the only thing that has done me right. Even so, some of you people just need to use common sense, crying about talking to Indians who "don't speak english" will get you nothing but being more upset.

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This commenter has good timing: I was thinking of turning off comments on this entry anyway, since in the merely 40 days that I turned comments ON for this entry, I've had 2-3 lengthy diatribes per day posted (some so terrible I just rolled my eyes and deleted it. (Tip for such posters: get over yourselves and stop whining in huge, long, ALL CAPS paragraphs, and state facts, and maybe someone will listen to you!)

Bottom line: I can't spend my time reading over such garbage, especially when half of you are posting to ask me how to contact Dell. Hello? What brought you to this page in the first place?! It's showing on the page in a big box! You want people to read your whiny gripes, but you can't bother to read the page to get the information you're looking for? Please. And the next person that looks up my phone number to call me to ask for help will get the privilege of being hung up on. I am not Dell, and I cannot help you get satisfaction from Dell. Use your brain, and maybe some patience.

Now, to those who have been patient and do have real unanswered problems that Dell isn't helping you with, you have my sympathy. But I still can't help you. Keep pushing on Dell; if you live in a big city, try getting your local TV station "Consumer Advocate" reporter to help (or maybe you have one in your local newspaper -- remember those?) And keep pushing. Try the escalation procedure detailed on this page. Keep notes of everyone you talk to and everything they say. Include names, dates, times, anything you can get. If you have the capability to record phone calls (and it's legal in your state), record the calls. It is indeed frustrating, but keep your cool and keep pushing for reasonable accommodation. And again, don't call me: I'm not Dell, have never worked for Dell, and don't know anyone there who can help you. -rc