What's Happened to Customer Support?

Well, I had intended to write about passwords this week – and in a way I am – but not like I had originally intended. After an hour plus ordeal on the phone with Dell – I hereby resolve NEVER to buy another Dell computer and will tell you why.

Let me start by saying that I have four Dell computers – three PC’s and one laptop. My most recent purchase a Studio XPS was an ordeal in itself – that lasted over a month – about which I wasn’t happy at all, but putting that aside, let me continue with my most recent encounter with Dell. On trying to load my printer software into my new computer, I ran into a wall and received a screen message that said that the ‘Administrator’ would have to do this. Before I continue – let me say I didn’t have any trouble installing any of the other software programs.

That being said – you should know that I didn’t set any Administrator password in my computer – so where did this come from? After multiple attempts to install the HP program – I called Dell Customer ‘Support’.   After being transferred three times I finally got to the ‘software person’ who informed me ‘my problem’ was a ‘software issue’ and that since I hadn’t purchased a ‘Software Warranty’ they could help but it would cost $$$$. Did you know Dell had two different types of warranties? I didn’t – news to me. Yes, I purchased a warranty… for 3 years in fact – but apparently it only covers ‘hardware’. I then asked to speak to a supervisor. After speaking with a ‘supervisor’ and again explaining my situation about the Administrator ‘wall’ – I was left with the same answer – “no pay – no fix”. What a disappointment in Dell and their customer support.  And must confess, I was a little more than angry after having spent quite a sum purchasing the computer  and what I thought was a warranty for everything.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do about this issue – yet. After all, I need a printer for this computer. You can be sure of one thing – you won’t find me buying Dell again.  My last purchase was not only an ordeal during purchasing but also trying to get support after the purchase.

I guess what I’m trying to say here is that it’s sad how companies let their customer support decline. I felt all the people I talked to didn’t care one way or the other whether or not my new computer was working satisfactorily and if I was a happy customer that would return. I would have been happy if they would have just offered me a link I could go visit to get information on how to solve my dilemma – after all, computers don’t come with Operating Manuals.

Now – for those of you out there who are planning on buying a computer in the near future*- I say ask questions!

  • If I buy a ‘warranty’ – exactly what does it cover?
  • What does the hardware warranty include? Labor?  Parts?
  • Is the software included in the warranty or do I need a separate warranty for that?
  • Do you offer service in home – or do I have to take or ship it somewhere? If so, where? And who pays for the shipping?
  • Can my warranty be cancelled?  If the answer is yes, what constitutes this?
  • Can my warranty be transferred if I sell my computer?  Is there a set procedure.
  • If I have a problem with my new computer (hardware and/or software), will you fix it for free? and for how long?

The best defense is being an informed consumer – this is true for any purchase – so bottom line is that I hope that the problem I’ve encountered with the purchase of my last Dell computer will serve as a lesson for some of you and help you out there avoid the same problem.

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