27th June 2009
Mr. Michael S. Dell, Chairman and CEO
One Dell Way
Round Rock, TX 78682-2222
Dear Mr. Dell,
I write to inform you of an experience I had with Dell Customer Service, make a suggestion, and to tender you a bill for my time.
My Dell Inspiron 1720 recently turned up as “Operating System Corrupt.” I couldn’t even turn it on. After seven hours on and off the phone with Dell Customer Service, my computer was restored. Stripped of every single configuration, but nonetheless restored. Good enough.
As I reconfigured the computer to my own preferences, it became clear that there was a problem with the Normal setting in Word. I called Dell again. This time, despite assurances to the contrary when I purchased every warranty possible, I was required to open a case and pay for service.
It took two days and four technicians doing the same operations over and over again to no result to finally be connected with a supervisor (who knew more). Her name was Amy. She reinstalled Microsoft Office and restored the proper Normal setting. I again spent hours reconfiguring my computer and reinstalling all the programs that the reinstall had disabled.
Thinking everything was now swell with my computer, I went back to work. No such luck. I couldn’t convert a Word document to a PDF file, a function I use all the time. I called Dell again, having called in late to work because my “contract” was set to expire. Three more people later, all of whom did the same things over and over again to no avail, I lost my temper, and demanded to speak to a more qualified technician.
Finally, I was sent to Customer Resolution. Irfan heard my story, had read the notes and refunded my money. Still, I’d spent hours by this point, hours wherein I could have been earning my livelihood, but instead was stuck on hold, or on mute, in Dell Connect Hell. Irfan asked me if someone from Premium Support could call me the next day. We settled on two windows of time which did not conflict with my patient schedule. The first window went by. Nothing. At 5:30, as promised, the beginning of the second window, Anto called my home office.
It took him less than 50 minutes to find and resolve the problem which had nothing to do with Microsoft Office. It was instead a security setting that was causing all the problems. He solved the problem with elegance, a sense of humor, and he even called me back to tell me he’d changed the start-up, and if I wanted it changed back, he’d coach me. So everything is now swell with my computer, and I remained dismayed with Dell.
From the moment I discovered Operating System Corrupt till the final readjustment, I have spent 14 hours on hold with Dell. 14 hours! I’ll be glad to give you a full day to fix a damaged computer, but I’m enclosing a bill for 6 hours of clinical time that I had to forgo because of Dell.
The thing that was the most frustrating was that person after person did the identical diagnostics over and over again despite the fact that I could reliably tell them that they hadn’t worked before. I reached the limit of each tech’s knowledge and instead of having a place of more experience to send me “upstairs,” they simply referred to others on their shifts who did THE SAME THINGS again and again!
Mr. Dell, not only was it frustrating, it put me in mind of AA’s definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again (in the same way) and expecting a different result. There were no different results to be had.
I’d like to suggest that you consider putting in place a secondary tier of techs who are more experienced than the frontline techs, a place where those valiant first response people can kick the problem upstairs to a wiser person rather than frustrating your customers like crazy.
Your system wasted my time repeatedly. That time cost me money. I’ll look forward to Dell’s remittance in the post.
Yours most sincerely,
Rev. Dr. Susan Corso
Rev. Dr. Susan Corso