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Old 17th May 2007, 04:51 PM   #1
David Wallace
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Default Dell Faces Consumer Lawsuit Over Service Issues

Dell Hell: Computer Giant Faces ConsumerLawsuit via ABC News
Dell is the No. 2 computer seller in the United States, but now some say the technology giant is ripping off its customers. New York state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has filed a lawsuit against Dell, accusing the company of deceptive, fraudulent and illegal business practices.
I have experienced this "Dell Hell." A few years ago I had purchased a docking port along with a new laptop. I could not get it to function properly so called support. I believe I was connected to someone in India and as such, could not understand the person due to their Indian accent. I finally gave up and said, "to hell with the docking station." From then on I have never purchased any support that did not already come as standard. I'd rather hire a local computer tech who is much more competent and whom I can understand when they speak to me.

Other than their customer service however, I must say that Dell is the first choice for me when it comes to computer purchases.

Any other horror stories out there either with customer service, their products or both?

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Old 18th May 2007, 02:11 PM   #2
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I sympathize with your Indian chat experience, David. My Dad complains about the difficulty of understanding lots of different tech support people with various companies for similar reasons, often.

I am ambivalent about this and other recent "consumer protection" lawsuits being filed by the NY Attorney General, however. There may be good cause to define and correct the reasons for poor customer service complaints, but let's also consider a couple of other things, as we do.

1) 2007Q1 sales figures reported by Dell were 4,126,000 units. (Contrary to the ABC article's headline about being the "No. 2 computer seller", Dell posted the #1 numbers for 2007Q1, beating #2 HP by more than 500,000 units and #3 Gateway by nearly 3 million units, according to Gartner Group stats.) Out of those, NY consumers sent 700 complaints to the AG's office, including complaints about customer service and with regard to misinterpretations of the company's financing plans, among others. I don't know how many complaints were received by other AGs, nor do I know how many units were sold in NY, but that strikes me as a trickle of complaints, more than a flood.

2) Is it possible that people's expectations are out of line with reality? What is the definition of "customer support"? (I agree that the lady who waited 6 weeks for an "in-home" tech visit waited too long, but what was she guaranteed? 48 hours? No time-based guarantee?)

3) And to stoke the conspiracy theorists, why is the NY AG's office bringing all of these lawsuits, now? Is Gulianni running for president, or something?

Like David, my first choice as IT Director of a large law firm is Dell. We've never had any trouble with the hardware (don't get me started on the operating system, which causes pretty much every problem we've ever had) and they're tanks compared to similar offerings from other vendors at a price point that often shaves 20% or more off their competitors' units for more features. Plus, I like the way they build their cases.

We have never purchased any of their service plans, and we have never used the ones that get thrown in with the deal, because we've simply not had any problems with them. Software and operating systems are our problems, not Dell's.

I may even go so far as to suggest that David's problem with the docking station might not have anything to do with Dell hardware, but rather with the way the operating system integrated with it. If the laptop plugged into the docking station successfully, but then failed to communicate with it, that indicates a failure of the operating system, not the hardware (unless there was actually a physical problem with one of the pieces of hardware involved, in which case no phone support technician would have been able to troubleshoot it ... that requires bench-testing.) I am glad to note that your dissatisfaction with the support had to do with a language barrier, rather than with whatever the guy might have been saying.

So, IMVHO, while I do agree that a vendor who sells packages that include hardware and software should support the total product shipped, including being able to resolve software-oriented issues, I simply cannot bring myself to agree that an Attorney General for one state in one country should be initiating a lawsuit over complaints about the level of service a relatively few consumers have received.

My 2 cents.

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Old 19th May 2007, 08:23 AM   #3
Corey Bryant
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I have never needed to call. By the time we had problems with one Dell computer, it was way past the warranty.

A friend of mine from another forum did have to call once though and he said they were fantastic.

I think one of the largest problems is probably the people. A lot of people can barely turn on a computer. Since my personal website comes up quite often for website help, etc, I had one lady actually call me on our toll-free wanting computer help (setting up her email account on Windows Mail). You know it is going to be a problem when you say click on the program to run it and the response is left click or right click and then is that a double click on that clicker?

We just recently purchased two new systems - about $5,000 each. Fortunately they are 64-bit capable since it seems that Vista and Windows 2008 are probably the last two 32-bit operating systems.

With the amount of computers that Dell sells, of course you will find people who are unhappy in one way or another with the product. That's just the law of the consumer.

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Old 21st May 2007, 10:13 PM   #4
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Oh, man...easy for people who haven't had a dell dog say that it must be the people...I had a defective laptop and finally, after months of calls, emails, and then a botched repair attempt, I sit here with a new Dell laptop. Even if this one works out, I will never buy another Dell. The service was among the worst I've ever experienced and there are plenty of other choices out there.

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Old 13th June 2007, 11:40 AM   #5
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I've never owned a Dell, but my dad has had horrible experiences with Earthlink. I called them a few times on his behalf - connected to either India or the Philippines - and I about pulled my hair out. None of the people I talked to had any real computer or ISP expertise. They were all reading scripts that had nothing to do with his connection problems. I ended up finding a solution on the web.

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