My husband and I have always been loyal Dell customers. When our keypad had problems, they sent out a technician to replace it—the service was fast and free of charge (perhaps because we had paid for several years of support services). Another time, when the computer was no longer under warranty, they sent us an operating system because the old one wasn’t functioning properly. So a couple weeks ago when the family computer wasn’t working and we needed a new one fast, we turned to Dell.
We ordered a laptop over the phone and it arrived at our doorstep in less than 48 hours, whoohoo and rah-rah-rah.
The computer did not work.
After hours on the phone troubleshooting with support tech, days spent waiting for the next new thing (an operating system, a new hard drive, etc…) to arrive, and politely asking them to let us return the non-working computer and send us a replacement and being told that that wasn’t an option—we could send in the old one but we’d have to wait 10-12 business days for them to replace the motherboard and then send it back to us—we decided we had had enough. We returned the computer according to the instructions that came in the box.
They informed us they could not take returns that weren’t authorized. The return label we used—the one that came with the computer—was not authorized.
According to the US Postal service, Fed Ex picked up the box a week ago. According to the tracking number, the box is still sitting in our town’s post office. Fed Ex reports that they have the computer, but, due to confidentiality, they can not release any information about its whereabouts…except to say it should arrive at its (unidentified) destination in three weeks because Fed Ex is the new Futile Express. Dell says they know nothing.
We filed a complaint through Dell. And with the Better Business Bureau. And opened an investigation through Fed Ex. We are in standby mode.
IF PURCHASING FROM DELL, PLEASE KNOW:
*If Dell sends, say, a computer with no operating system and a malfunctioning hard drive, the customer will be held hostage while Dell makes leisurely jabs at fixing the problem. Dell will not allow the customer to return the product nor will they make an exchange nor will they refund the money, even if the problem is their fault. (Those things can happen, but no sooner than 10-12 business days, and not without a barrage of emails—such as, I would wish for one last troubleshooting which will be sending a replacement hard drive with an operating system installed—that only succeed in making everything more confusing and slowing the snail-like process to a near halt.)
*Dell does not take responsibility for their mistakes. The general attitude is, If you bought a computer from us, it’s your own damn fault. In the meantime, the customer will be out the hard-earned money that was carefully saved for such a purchase, therefore preventing the purchase of another computer. Furthermore, because the customer no longer has a working computer, all home/school/work life will be thrown into Complete Computer Disarray.
*Dell does not allow customers to return non-working products until Dell has exhausted all possible solutions to their satisfaction and succeeded in elevating the customer’s blood pressure to record highs. Even then, a solution is not guaranteed. What is guaranteed is that the customer will suffer random bouts of blinding rage, altered vision, and ragged breathing.
*It is weirdly difficult to uncover Dell’s mailing address. After sifting through the web and finally locating the address, one will discover that the zip code is not a real zip code. Which will raise an important question: Is Dell actually of this earth?
*After calling customer service and pushing all the right buttons, expect to learn that the hours of operation listed on the website are not the real hours.
*When the customer service robot chirps metallically that the wait time is fifteen minutes, it is a bald-faced lie. Wait for no less than one and half hours before finally hanging up.
*When filing a complaint through Dell and Dell promises that someone will be in touch within one business day, it’s another lie. Of course. By now the customer’s expectations will have been lowered dramatically. Actually, expectations will have reached subterranean levels. If Dell plans to resolve the issue, they will need to come armed with a shovel.
*If a customer is so bold as to request that Dell send a new computer and fix the non-working one on their own time—BECAUSE THIS IS DELL’S PROBLEM, NOT THE CUSTOMER’S, AND THIS CUSTOMER IS AUDACIOUS ENOUGH TO WANT A COMPUTER THAT WORKS FOR CRYING OUT LOUD OH MY WORD I CAN NOT BREATHE—they will explain that they are unable to do so because the computers “need to be built,” and the ones that are built are “already claimed.” Of course, the customer will foolishly point out that a new one could be ordered that very minute and would arrive in 48 hours, but that is, apparently, not relevant. However, one must give Dell some credit: perhaps Dell is unable to understand the customer’s logic due to the customer’s slurred speech, an unfortunate side effect of repeatedly slamming one’s head against the wall.
*Always always always make a Dell purchase with a credit card because then at least there is the option of putting a hold on the purchase through the bank. Debit cards and Dell do not mix.
And that, my friend’s, is a PSA from yours truly. xo!!
Ps. Please send brown bags. To, you know, breathe into.
Pps. When we get our money back—if we get our money back, oh good grief I can not even GO there—we’ll be buying a computer NOT from Dell. So shoot us your recommendations. I’m all ears.