Last year, we experimented with a new type of service. Lionel blogged about it back in April It was provided to about 30,000 customers in the New York City area. The idea was to provide a more personalized support experience to them by designating a team of highly skilled technicians they could call anytime. It was very successful, running about 90% customer satisfaction, as the technicians are more familiar with their circumstances, require fewer explanations and are able to solve a broad-range of issues beyond just the basic warranty.
This week we are launching the new premium warranty service called “Your Tech Team” modeled on our experiment. The new service will be an option for customers in the United States who purchase a system directly from Dell—it’s not available to customers who buy from retail. The service will cover all Dell-branded devices under warranty in your house-hold, gets you rapid access to specialists, allows you to schedule calls with your favorite technicians, and if you desire, can provide technical support options well-beyond what is covered under your warranty without needing to transfer you to a different group.
Your Tech Team costs $99 and provides hardware warranty support for your new system and all other systems in your household (that are still under warranty). Other technical support options, like performance tuning, wireless network set-up and anti-virus support are available for a fee but can be purchased while you are on the call with your favorite technician.
At this point, households are determined by billing address. This means if your daughter is away at college, but you bought her an Inspiron and it is still under warranty, she can call Your Tech Team directly. If her system is out of warranty, you would need to purchase an extended warranty for her system before she is covered
Finally, there is one other piece of information you’ll want to know about Your Tech Team—the agents are based in North America. Now, I know this can be controversial for some people but we have 2 critical customer needs to meet that are in direct conflict with each other. First and foremost, customers want low prices. We see time and time again, that when we increase prices to cover certain costs we drop in sales. We also have a great deal of research that corroborates that PC decision making is largely influenced by price and customers expect low prices from Dell. On the other hand, we must balance that with many suggestions that we provide North American support. Dell’s philosophy is all about providing customer choice and this service is no exception, rather than adding cost to every system for something that many people aren’t interested in, we will make it optional.
Your Tech Team is not just about North American support, it is a different offering focused on your relationship with our technicians and ultimately it is about giving our customers the choice to prioritize what matters most to them.
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I'm glad there is an option to have North American tech support now but I'm not impressed with the pricing. $99 each year on top of the cost of an extended warranty would just about double the price of your notebook over 3 years. I can see paying a premium but how about I give you $20 a year to get through to North American tech support and do away with all the other frivolous things. I don't care about a dedicated team as I hardly ever use tech support unless I have a hardware issue. All I want is the option to speak with a tech I can understand when I do call.
The short of it is: INDIA IS CHEAP. Customers want cheap and complain
about shoddy service when all that happens is "they get what they pay
for". Fine. Pay the $99 to be sure you get a North American to
support you and your issues if you want. It cost more to live in North
America, so pay the $99 and don't complain about it.
Read more of my thoughts on this and other topics at Jack Picks!
If you want North American support and don't want to pay for more than just the regular warranty, buy a Latitude or Optiplex.
Besides, if you're buying a cheap notebook and the cheapest warranty, what do you expect?
It costs money to have North American based support, and if they're going to bother having it at all, they may as well make it so customers have a better experience with a different kind of offering. I can tell you that, in the past, I have worked with some fantastic techs based in India, and some terrible techs based in North America.
So stop whining. If you don't like it, don't buy it.
I think Alienware has a similar service, called Roswell.
Tough luck if you're not living in America then.
Alienware is owned by Dell now. Dell has done such a good job of letting Alienware alone that a good deal of people don't know Dell owns them. Dell is also smart enough to take from Alienware what they see will work for them. I'd like to see Dell have Alienware's Skinning program ship with systems. That would rock!.
Check out my review of Alienware's (Dell's :-D ) Skinning application powered by The Skins Factory!
I happen to talk to a customer . She has both Apple and DELL PC.
Apple have similiar program--$100, allow you spend upto 52 hours with a Tech in Apple Store within 1 year. I could tell she love it.
She told me that she is happy to pay the extra.
It's great to see DELL have similiar program. It is even better than those of our competitor's.
The techs in India are fantastic, and I had terrible experience with most of the North American technicians in the past. I don't see any reason for someone to pay extra to get awful service. Rather, Dell should charge extra to give Indian support to their customers. The only problem I face is the wait time which Dell should work upon.
The techs from India have been extremely polite and talented. Only time will tell how successful this "Tech Team" will be.
I don't mind paying extra for the North American support but I do mind getting overcharged in the process. I don't have enough systems under warranty or enough problems with them to justify $99 a year. I have no need for a dedicated team since i usually only call 2 times in a 3 year period. I wouldn't expect anyone to remember me without reading my account anyway, they handle too many calls. All I want is the ability to ensure that when I do call I get North American tech support at a fair price increase.
A three year warranty is $260 so the $99 per year add on more than doubles the price of the warranty. If someone is buying a $499 notebook with that service they end up spending more on the warranty than the system is worth. Even if they just get a standard 3 year warranty they are paying more than half the price of the system which is crazy.
The money from the warranty is mostly eaten up by the cost of parts if you have an issue, not paying for techs to answer the phone. There is no justification in the huge price increase.
I am tired of talking to techs that I cannot understand. I really do care how many times I have been transferred or how many times I have been given false information. This type of service promotes accountability. Time is money and having to explain issues over and over again to some broken spoken tech that just makes me question my sanity.
From what it says at www.dell.com/yourtechteam, you are paying for the American support and the ability to work with one specific tech through your problem. "Your Tech Team"... Having one person accountable for fixing your issue thats speaks english...
The household entitlement sounds nice if you have multiple Dell computers being able to talk to the same tech for all your Dell products.
I think this is a great idea. Being that alot of people like myself arent that technically inclined. When I have problem I end up having to go to a local tech store paying about $60-$70 for them to diagnose my problem and tell me how much they will charge me to fix it.
Example: Geek Squad. Outrages Prices but consumers end up purchasing them because they need it and consumers dont know what the tech does to the computer, he could very well be taking Data off the hard drive like I heard a while back.
Paying for a service of $99 per year isnt that much, not even $1/day!
I think that its a great service for myself, as well as many others, I have already purchased this service and i have already found myself to learning more about computers and being educated by my Tech Team about how to prevent future issues. I am very happy with this service so far. Its only been 1 day!
I think that this service is primarily for higher end systems. Consumers that purchase $500 systems are less likely to purchase Your Tech Team. You get what you pay for.
It's really rather simple: for what ammounts to small change on a daily basis, you have the securitry of knowing a tech here in the US is a short call away... and that this tech will know your system and do what they can to fix it. Yes, sometimes the "transfer roulette" with calling Dell is painful, but that is not something you blame on techs. That's a routing thing. Me, I'll pay the $99 a year to get my own pet tech/ tech queue who will know my system backwards and forwards and who are there to fix anything I can throw at them.
I am very frustrated with the service I received on my Inspiron 1720. I purchased it Nov 28, 2008. Since then I have reformatted it twice, lost my business email during the last reformat, and now rebuilt my profile in trying to fix an MS Word problem. I still have the MS Word problemn after 2 calls, a missed appointment, and a total of 4.5 hours on the phone. I have logged way too much time with the technicians. I want to talk to a supervisor or someone who can review my Dell On Call records and give me help. In the winter I talked to a supervisor overseas who listen to my issues. How can I get that access now. I will give you my Dell On Call number. Thanks!
To Elaine Garley and others like her: Take some responsibility to know your Dell product and the software on it just as you would your television, dvd player, microwave oven. Even my 10 year old's computer has been problem free for over a 18 months with very simple preventive steps performed monthly. Have virus protection, spyware protection, and keep your software updated. it simply is not all that difficult. And back up your data!!!!! Individuals who do not back up their data for months or even years are foolhardy.