Dell Hard Sells Soft Product

At The Consumerist, we’re always happy to bring a shaft of sunshine into our reader’s lives. After reading about the Dell discount offers we posted about, WebKatz went ahead and got news PCs, including the fancy schmancy XPS desktop.

His letter reveals what happens when you have a “Customer Relations Rep” call whose motive is more insidious and ulterior then calling to see how everything’s going.

Upselling only works if the customer is in fact satisfied with the product to begin with.

“Your whatzit doesn’t work.”
“Well, have you considered getting two whatzits?”

    “Thanks to the Consumerist pointing out Dell’s discount offers, my wife and I got mew PCs from them about 3 weeks ago. My XPS desktop has an issue where the CD player won’t read my Photoshop CS2 install disk.

    All of my other machines (3 at home and 1 at work) read it just fine. So I called Dell and they informed me that it was obviously my fault and that I should get a new install disk from Adobe. Alrighty then. I made a bit of a stink and told them that this wasn’t acceptable. They were very sorry to hear that and again informed me that it was obviously my fault and that I should get a new install disk from Adobe. Okay, I gave up.

    Two days later a Dell Customer Relations Rep calls me up and asks how I like my new machine. Of course I gave her the whole story about the CD drive and my disappointment with how Dell handled it.

    “Oh, that’s too bad.”

    “So, what can you do about it?”

    “Well, have you reviewed your warranty information?

    “No, it’s a new machine.”

    “Well it looks like you only purchased the 1-year on-site warranty.”

    “Yes, what does that have to do with my CD?”

    “Have you considered buying an extended warranty.”


    “So what are you going to do for support after your current warranty runs out?”

    “Hmmmm… nothing.”


    “No, because 1) I’m having a warranty issue now and you people won’t fix it so why would I want to purchase more of the same fine service from you? 2) If anything is going to go wrong, it’s going to do it in the first 90 days. You know if. I know it. That’s why you sell extended warranties – because you’ll probably never have to do any repair work they’re pure profit.”

    “Okay, fine. Goodbye.”

This happened to us, too after we bought a Dell XPS laptop. A few days later a rep called to “check in” and we soon found ourselves answering questions about how many servers we would like to buy. Bad Dell, bad. Trust erosion.

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