The rise and fall of Dell


This blog has been silent for a while. But no longer!

Customer support stories are always predictably full of irritation and annoyance: let me tell you mine.

So, I admit, I got caught up in the netbook craze. It just seems so cool to just chill in bed or on the couch with a light 300€, 10 inch laptop. Checking e-mail, updating twitter, watching some ripped tv-shows (personal usage only of course). So when at the end of April, Dell had a promotion on it’s Mini 10, I jumped at the chance to own one. After all, I had heard great things about it on Buzz Out Loud and ironically Macbreak Weekly. So ahead I went and ordered one.

Less than a week later, my Mini is delivered and I get to tinkering. First annoyance: despite expressly checking off the Norton Security box when ordering, I still find a 30-day trial on this thing. No biggie, easily gotten rid of. After installing a few apps (CCleaner, VLC, Firefox, etc) and going through Windows update I put the thing on standby. Less than an hour later I come back to it, wake it up and up pops a bluescreen. Again, BSODs on Windows XP when coming out of Standby sometimes just happen. It’s an older OS that isn’t as crash-poof as Vista or 7. Reboot: no result. After rebooting a dozen times, in and out of safemode, I pop up the diagnostics and get a bunch of disc errors. Seems like a call to Dell support was in order.

This support call went really well, and soon I was calling the delivery company to pick up my Dell for repair. Problem is, repair and transport are in Germany, and nobody on call that day spoke Dutch. Instead I’m forced to explain my situation in English to a barely bilingual person. I get my things in order and the following week they send me my RMA-box and pick it up again.

I wait a day, a week and another week. Finally I call customer service, where they assure me that the delays have been adressed and my Mini should arrive next week. As of today that week has just officially ended: no netbook.

Naturally, I call again. The customer service guy says he has no new information for me and gives me the direct number of the repair company (outsourcing: always a bad sign). I call in, where in the two week interval they seem to have learned Dutch. After waiting for 5 minutes I’m told to hang up while they sort out my case, after which they’ll call me back. Rather surprisingly, I got the call only 10 minutes later where I’m told that the blame lies with Dell. Apparently repair has been requesting parts for Mini’s since May 18th, but Dell has of yet refused or been unable to provide them. I was told that I was not alone and that I probably would get my netbook in two weeks, enough time to get the replacement parts, install them, and send me the machine.

As off now I’m continuing the waiting game.

If I had known how long this was going to take, I would have cracked the machine (in the process voiding my warranty) and installed the hard drive myself. Instead, I trusted someone else (Dell) to fix my problem for me, which was the big mistake. Never let someone else do what you know you can do yourself.

As of now Dell is on my Sh*tlist, joining the likes of Sony, ECI and PerfectSystems. Never again will I buy anything off them anymore. No more laptops, no desktops, nada. They have officially lost a customer.

One comment

  1. Lindsey

    i realize you had a horrible experience, and that sucks, but know that not every experience is a bad one. i have a mini 12 and had issues with the wireless card. i sent mine in tuesday of last week and got it back today (should have been yesterday, but fedex had issues finding my address). i know that doesn’t make anything better really…i just don’t want you to write off dell based on one poor experience. good luck!