Experienced customer service wranglers will tell you that if you’re going to buy products from Dell, buy them as a small business owner, since they get better customer support. I’d hate to see what kind of support reader Benjamin would be getting for his Vostro notebook computer if he weren’t a small business owner, then.
I have a Dell Vostro 3450 that I purchased for my small business. Last week, I updated to the a10 bios, and after a reboot, I was prompted with a power warning saying, I don’t have the appropriate power supply plugged in and my battery might not charge. I am using the charger that was shipped with my machine.
I contacted Dell via customer chat hoping they would send me a replacement power supply and it wasn’t another problem. I was told by the agent that they would dispatch a tech to provide a new power supply and replace the system board in the laptop.
This sounded like overkill to me and tried to get them to just send me a power supply and I would let them know if that worked. They insisted on replacing the board so I let them do it.
Last Tuesday 2/28/12 my tech arrived to my work place. I provided him a place to work and off he went replacing my system board. When he was done I picked my laptop up put it back in my bag and when I came home and started using it I noticed that the keyboard was not secured properly. I chatted with support again and was told this was a user replaceable part and I could repair it. “Fine” I said and with the instructions, I attempted to snap the keyboard back into place.
It would not securely attach to the chassis via the keyboard retainers per the instructions. I removed the keyboard and found that the keyboard retainers had been damaged.
I chatted with support again and informed them that the machine was damaged and tech figured out that now the entire palm rest assembly needs to be replaced.
I requested a call back from a manager as I was pretty upset at the shoddy work and spoke with “W” Dell ID [redacted]. He assured me that they were making a dispatch to correct the problem. I wanted W. to offer something to help rectify the situation, namely a small warranty extension as my laptop has a new system board (probably refurbished) and am worried this machine would fail again after such an unskilled tech worked on it. I was told I must contact customer service to have that arranged.
I asked if he could transfer me to customer support and explain the situation on my behalf (a warm transfer) this request was refused and I was told that I must hang up with him and place the call, dealing with dells horrific IVR and waiting on hold.
He stated that he was chatting with a customer care specialist about my issue and I asked that she would contact me to discuss the matter. He said she was at home and “does not have access to the database” so she would be unable to call me. I asked if customer support was open and he lied and told me they were.
I considered this a very dirty trick to try and get me off the phone as this was at 9:45 PM CST and I was assuming they were closed. After a few more minutes “W.” finally admitted that they were closed and I asked for a call back in the morning from the customer service rep he was chatting with. He said that would not be possible and I would have to call in the morning claiming “They cannot make outbound calls.”
Fast forward to today when my computer is supposed to finally be back in working order and I receive a call back from a tech who says my part hasn’t been shipped yet. According to FedEx’s website it hasn’t even been picked up yet, as of 9PM CST on the 2nd business day of my “Next business day” service contract.
I chat with dell again and they tell me that it is out of their hands at this point. So now my damaged laptop will most likely not be repaired until Monday at the earliest and dell is not concerned at all.
The office of Michael Dell himself intervened after previous readers’ own Dell Hell situations: if the part doesn’t show up soon and solve all of this poor computer’s problems, maybe he’d like to hear about it. You can send him a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.