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Dell's horrible customer service

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Dell's horrible customer service

  • I was a good customer of Dell, I think... having bought over a dozen computers off them over the years, and never once utilized their tech support since I can fix most common problems on my own.

    Last week, I bought a laptop from Dell -- but there was a glitch with the order, which I was told has to do with the credit card I used, even though that's the same card I had always used to buy from Dell and there is no problem with using the card with any other online merchants.

    I've heard horror stories from people about Dell's customer service, and today I had the privilege of experiencing it first hand. It was mind numbingly BAD.

    I found out today, 5 days after I placed the order (by checking the order status online, without any notifications from Dell), that the laptop I bought had been canceled. I called Dell Customer Support and after 1 hour of being on hold and talking to various departments, five transfers including having my call dropped twice, I was finally transferred back to the department I first called -- Customer Service, and was told by Monish, a "senior customer service rep" who refused to let me speak to his supervisor, that there was nothing he could do for me to either reinstate my order because the laptop was refurbished and had been returned to inventory, or, to reinstate the promotion coupon or give me another one so I could place another order for the same price as my canceled order.

    I am puzzled. Does Dell not understand that I do not need to buy PC from them? Once I hung up the phone from Dell, I bought a Toshiba laptop from The order was confirmed and the same credit card was processed in seconds, and within three hours the laptop is being shipped to me via free 1-day UPS ground shipping from New Jersey.

    So I guess Dell can say goodbye to me as a loyal customer. I could be wrong, but very few good businesses survive for the long run by continuously providing sub par customer service.

  • Hello,

    Well said.

    One of the best I have seen as of late. Yes

    I like my Toshiba laptop also. Geeked

    Mis Dos Centavos,

    Gadfly at large

    Helping Dell Customers here since 1998

    My systems ...
    Dimension XPS D266 - Now retired
    Toshiba Tecra M1
    Dimension 4300 - Received DOA as a gift. Reinstalled XP and still working great
    Dimension 9150 - Pent D 3.2GHz, 4GB dual-channel 533 DDR2 Windows 7 Pro, Firefox 3.6.14
      Congrats to Jimmie Johnson #48 - FIVE time Nascar Sprint Cup Champ !!!!  


  • I'm sorry to hear about your story, I too had problems with Dell.  I was researching a computer to buy-before I spend $2500 I like to know what I am getting.  I tried to email Dell, and picked Pre-Sales/Sales for the email subject.  I got a auto reply email back saying they don't physically answer emails that have Pre-Sale/Sales on the subject line.  How is that for irony?  They did link me to FAQ's though.  I eventually found the answers I needed right here in the forums from other Dell users, but wow, you can't ask a question about a computer you want to buy?  The email didn't suggest I email somewhere else either, and the live chat thing did not work, which I stated in my email.  I'm sure I could have possibly called somewhere and asked, but why should I have to work to spend my money?

    I almost wish I was as strong as you were though, I still ordered my comp-I had already fallen in love with the XPS 730x, but I did only buy the 1 year customer service/warrenty!  I figured even if I have to fix/pay for fixes myself, what's the point in giving Dell more money for that when they didn't even consider my pre-sale question important?

    Hope your Toshiba works out for you,


  • Its unfortunate that Dell's customer service is so bad.  Over the last 3 years I've purchased two Dell computers (an XPS M170 and XPS 720) and for the most part I've been very happy with them.  However, both computers have had minor problems that required me to deal with customer service and every time I spoke with them it was the same story.  45 minutes on hold, atleast 1 dropped call every time, and very unhelpful customer service reps.  Because of this, when I needed a new laptop over the summer I didn't even consider Dell this time. I ordered a Macbook Pro and have no regrets.   

  • Welcome to my world.  I was promised that a new WLAN card would be sent out with the tech guy when he came to fix my monitor.  Dell didn't mention it or send the part to him.  Imagine that.  When I called back one week ago to find out why and to let them know my computer was doing the crash dump thing again (which they told me to call and let them know) they (once again) wanted me to reformat my computer back to factory status.  It took me two hours on the phone with them to do this the first time.  I refused to do it and they promised a tech would be sent back out with the WLAN card.  But guess what...when I ask why it was crash dumping, they aren't allowed to disclose that information.  I will call them back tomorrow to find out why the tech guy hasn't called to schedule a visit.  And imagine this, our warranty runs out in a few days.  Do ya think they are waiting for it to do just that?  This will be the last Dell we buy.  We have a desktop and a laptop.  The customer service is awful.  Full of false promises!  If my issue isn't resolved tomorrow, I will be calling the appropriate gov. agencies.  This is getting ridiculous. 

  • I can’t agree more with the post which says that Dell is full of failed promises.  When I bought my £1300 (= $2000 at that time) laptop just over a year ago I was assured of a full grantee and customer service and a top notch product.

     Within few months the keyboard went bust, and was eventually replaced. Three weeks ago the back up system/ hard drive developed a fault and I have been talking to Dell’s Hardware and Software departments who kept transferring me to one another. When the hard drive problem became very serious Dell offered to replace it but will not co-operate in transferring the data form my old disk to the new one or offer support. I have asked for the old hard drive to be left with me for a couple of days so that to ensure that all my data and software is successfully copied  into the new disk and my personal data is completely erased from the old disk?. The Answer is an unjustified NO. Can I pay a deposit and send to Dell my old disk later by post. “No”- with no justification. They asked for £270 pound (circa $350) if I want to keep my old faulty hard disk- which is almost the price of a new (and perhaps a better) laptop!. Taking the matter to the Technical Supervisor – a certain Mr Aron who refused to give his full name- was a nightmare. The gentleman quotes from contracts like a Dictaphone , does not give logical explanation or reasoning, even does not LISTEN, leave alone showing sympathy or understanding.

    With staff like Mr Aron I am sure that I am not the only disappointed Dell customer. But it's probably unfair to put the balme on an individual. Would I be recommending Dell for business colleagues or to friends? Take a guess

  • While a failed hard drive is unfortunate, it is not unheard of. $350 to keep the disk IS ridiculously high. But, other than that.....

    No major computer maker that I am aware of has any type of assistance for transfer of data. Warranties cover hardware only. That is why backup programs such as Acronis True Image and Norton Ghost are gaining in popularity. People are learning to keep full system backups for these very circumstances.

    You can avoid Dell,  but I am certain other makers have similar policies.

    On to the problem at hand.....

    Does the old hard drive still start Windows? If so, begin copying key files to a flash drive, external hard drive, or cd / dvd. Even if the old hard drive is no longer able to start Windows, often if you put it in a USB enclosure you will be able to transfer or delete files when plugged in to another machine.

    Good luck.

    Community Member Since 2003

  • I am so glad to know I am not alone in getting lousy customer service. Two Dells we bought died within 3 years and this old one has been a bundle of trouble. The DVD burner has never worked right. Sales told me I could not add another internal hard drive--only one up to 40GB maybe. Someone on this forum gave me much better advice and I had a 250GB extra hard drive added and it works just fine.

    I keep getting Dell catalogs and tried to get them stopped via email so I wouldn't have to wait on the phone. There is NO way to email customer wervice or discontinue mailings by email. I was given several different numbers to call about this. NONE of the automated attendant's questions applied to my question. People wre rude--and I got that way too in frustratin. They kept wanting my order number. That has nothing to do with getting off a mailing list. I emailed several other companies to have catalogs stopped and all had a wau to write via email and most have already answered!

    With all the troulbe I have had, I will probably never buy another Dell and even if I did, I can look on line. Why do they waste so much paper sending out catalogs anyway. I will write to Mr. Dell and see if he can stop the mailings. I don't know any other way to do it. Very bad company policy to keep giving people a run around on the phone when I was promised there would be no wait!

  • i agree with you its my first time with dell but i don't feel that i will return as its 20 days sice i made my payment and expected date of delivery is after another 25 days that is 45 days for delivery a NEW WORLD RECORD I THINK

  • I was trying to purchase a monitor from them, but the shipping was delayed by like 3 weeks.  Calling in and trying to cancel my order was quite possibly one of the hardest things I have ever attempted to do.  No one spoke English well, they kept hanging up on me, and they were generally rude.  To top it off, they confirmed my order had been canceled, and then it shipped!  Now I am stuck with a product backed by subpar (to say the least) customer service!  Dell has lost a customer for life and has gained an anti-Dell spokesperson that will militantly try to dissuade anyone I know from ever considering purchasing a Dell product.

  • It has been weeks since I emailed the supervisor of support as per his request if I had the WLAN card error show up again.  Of course, I haven't heard back from him.  I have no clue as to what is going on with Dell.  It seems they need to be reported to the BBB.  I tried contacting the main headquarters, but it was impossible to find any contact information for Dell.  I give up.  I see no point in sitting on the phone for hours getting a runaround from them. This will be the last Dell product to come into my home.  I also will not recommend Dell to anyone.

  • I can't believe for such a well-known brand as Dell that their customer service can be so poor!!!! I ordered a laptop from them which I wasn't happy with and rang them the same day to request an exchange or refund which I was told was possible. Someone rang me back later on to arrange collection but I missed the call, so I rang back and was transferred to the agent who sold the laptop to me (Neeraj B). I was amazed at the conversation which  followed. This guy just point-blank told me that I couldn't return the laptop and I was stuck with it. This guy had a full blown argument with me on the phone and asked me what were they supposed to do with the laptop if I sent it back. Then he offered to give me 10% off and a carry bag. I then asked to speak to his supervisor which he initially refused to let me do, then suddenly this other guy comes on the phone who I do not believe was his supervisor and also told me that I couldn't return the laptop and it was my responsibility then offered me the same 10% off and a carry bag.

    This guy wouldn't even allow me to speak and kept shouting at me and being really aggressive and bullish. I eventually just hung up the phone and decided to ring back and speak to someone else because I know that the terms and cons stated that I have 7 days in which to return a product. I eventually spoke to a manager who organised a collection.  I emailed Dell stating that I wanted to make an official complaint about this NEERAJ (who referred to himself as Dean when I ordered the laptop initially) and his so-called supervisor, but to date I have heard nothing from them. After all of my calls to Dell I still haven't spoken to anyone in the UK. All their calls seem to go to some place in India and there definitely doesn't seem to be any higher authority that complaints and the like can be taken to. I will NEVER buy any DELL product again and if I could advertise this guy's name (NEERAJ) over the web I would advise everyone to stay away from buying anything from him. They are con artists interested only in the commission that they receive.

  • Looks like its happening to us all over the world, even over here in Australia.

    Today, I sent Dell CEO, Mr Dell, the following email. Reading, your postings after I sent the email, and also from reading feedback on other blog sites, it would appear that I am not over reacting. What surprises me, is that these comments are through Dells own forum, so I am equally surprised not to see a response from Dell to quell these issues and turn the poor customer experience into something more positive.

    Dear Sir, As an Australian Customer, I am absolutely appalled with the customer service that Dell has provided to me. I chose Dell, because I thought I was getting a superior and reliable brand - I believed this from past comments, however, I will never know as I have cancelled my order.

    I cancelled my order because the delivery was double the time that I had anticipated. This is when my troubles began. The customer service is the most unprofessional and worst I have experienced. Dell Customer Service Representatives are rude, they are unhelpful, and I still don't know if I receive my refund of AUD $548.99. I have been hung up on, I have been refused the right to speak with a supervisor - your customer service representatives refuse to provide confirmation of my cancellation. I have decided that after lodging a formal complaint with you, I will be lodging a formal complaint in my state, with Consumer Affairs Victoria, as I firmly believe that Dell are refusing to refund my money for a product that has not left your warehouse, and that I have not received.

    I am frustrated that I have taken this amount of time to try and resolve the problem, however, in an economic and global climate as today, it really does not surprise me that international corporations, such as Dell deserve to fail, because they are not focusing on their customer service. I really hope that I get my refund so that I can buy my mother the computer that I wanted to as a surprise. Unfortunately, it was not to be Dell based on your poor customer service. Please Sir, I have researched this online, and this is not a one off - it really is appalling.

    Thank you for your time.

  • Thanks for your post.  I too have been a Dell Customer for some time.  Quite loyal to them in fact.  However, my recent experience with Dell Customer Support has been the catalyst for my MAC conversion.   I ordered a netbook to take on a trip to London.   As the date of the trip drew near, I realized that the netbook might not arrive on time so I called Dell Customer Service to ask if there was a way the delivery date could be bumped up. 

    I called the 800 number and reached an operator to whom I explained my predicament.  He sent me to a rep in India where I once again explained my concern.  The rep in India had no idea what I was asking.  He just kept reading an answer from a script that did not even match my question.  We kept going around in circles.  Finally, I became so frustrated I ended the call.  I thought I would just blow it off,  but I was so angry with the lack of human connection and not getting my question answered that I called back. 

    Again, I received an operator.  I said that I wanted to log a complaint.  He said he would transfer me.  I said "Don't send me to India.  They only know how to read  scripts there." He promised he would not connect me to India.  I reiterated that I DID NOT want to be connected to India.  He promised again that he would not connect me to India and then promptly connected me to India.   I guess lying has become a standard communication policy for corporations. 

    This time I was connected to a female.  She was sweet but again understood nothing.  I told her my complaint.  She began reading a script.  I guess Dell even scripts "We're Sorry".  I interrupted her mid-stream and asked her to tell me what she understood about my complaint.  She said "You are angry we are using scripts" and then continued to pummel me with her script, assuming I guess, that if she read faster she would silence me.  Unfortunately, her attempts were futile.  I once again interfered with her monologue.  I asked her why I was angry that she was using scripts.  She of course had absolutely no idea because she hasn't been trained in actual Customer Service.  I hung up and called Apple. 

    Then I tried to cancel my netbook order from Dell.  I chatted to a sales rep online to find out how to cancel my order.  He told me I needed to call customer service in India. I told him that Customer Service was the reason I was canceling my order and asked him if there was another way to cancel my order.  He told me I could email Customer Service in India.  Truly unbelievable.

    I have no idea what Dell is doing.  Do they really  think they can take the human relationship out of the sale? Based on some of the posts I have been reading Dell is losing ground with customers.  I only hope more and more disgruntled people stop buying Dell so that there bottom line is impacted.  God knows they could care less about user experience.



  • Hello,

    I am glad that other people are having the same problems I am with Dell Customer "Support".

    I have been very happy with my Dell computers over the years.  Happy enough to run the risk of having to use their support, but only if absolutely necessary.  They are a nightmare.  They do read from scripts, sometimes in such poor English I cannot understand them. Nor do they understand me.  They know not the first thing about computers.  I am no expert, but I can still run rings around them as far as computer savvy goes.

    I purchased a Dell XPS 420 from them about a year and a half ago.  I financed through Dell and got the 'no payments for one year' option.  I spent £1500 on a beautiful desktop that has has the odd hiccough here and there.  For one phone call to tech support and one call only, I got a call centre in Canada and the tech was delightful.  He was knowedgable and more importantly recognised that I also had some computer knowledge and didn't treat me like I was stupid.  That was the one and only time I got a solution to a problem I didn't have to work out for myself with  help from a tech forum.

    It went downhill from there.  I called again with a different issue. On their advice I reformatted when I really didn't have to and spent months sorting stuff that didn't work out afterwards. I then tried to buy a laptop from them several months ago (yeah, I know, but I DO like the computers!).  This time, the trouble was the financing.  They would not finance me for half of what they did a year previously and then would NOT tell me why.  The tech was reading off a script again and his attitude was like 'that's all you're going to get so just send us the balance'.  He also asked me what I was going to give him for a rating on the survey I would receive post purchase, and when I said 'poor' he became annoyed and told me that he was going to lose his job if I gave him that rating.  Imagine!!

    I was also left without the 'one year no payment' option.  I was not happy with their offer and their general demeanor and I  tried to get someone from management on the phone. The tech refused.  I then told them that I wanted the laptop, but didn't NEED the laptop and promptly cancelled the order. 

    They called me the next day wanting to know why I hadn't sent in the deposit, and then the day after that as well.  I sent a letter of complaint that was replied to with a promise of a phone call to resolve the issue.  It's been three months and I am still waiting.

    You know, my phone company recently relocated their call centre to Scotland from India.  I have had some issues with the service as well but they took care of it promptly, easily and without reading off scripts. Moreover, I could undertstand them and they could understand me. I really really wish Dell would do the same.

    I wonder how long it will take to make Dell realise they MUST do something about this.  Poor customer service, particularly in this economic climate can do serious damage to business.