Dear Dell

So this is a story of a different sort, kids. This is a terribly true story that I have been going through of late. I relay it not as a sort of crazed missive against the company of Dell but as yet another story, this one just happening to be true. I will give you the introduction, then you get the letter I mailed to Corporate, with my comments in italics.

Just shy of two months ago I ordered a new desktop computer. I like Dell’s stuff and have an account with them AND I wanted to get Windows 7. So after months of waffling about when and whether to get a computer I finally pulled the trigger and ordered it. The total was in the six hundreds with shipping and it would be a couple weeks ’til I got it. Okey doke.

So I ordered and waited and waited and it arrived. I was stoked. I worked the day out and then set it up and booted it for the first time that night. Alas, the computer would not fully boot. I contacted Dell Tech Support via chat and after some wrangling managed to get them to agree to send a tech out to fix the computer via replacing the hard drive. I was not in the mood to wait longer but whatever. So the tech comes and, after giving me a load of ‘tude about why the new compy wasn’t plugged in and crap, he swapped drives, booted it and bailed. It was the day before Thanksgiving and he was trying to get off work. Whatev. The compy booted further than last time but this time I got an error that I didn’t have enough memory. I rebooted and it was going along fine until in the background an error read that it could not partition the drive.

What?

I contact Dell AGAIN via chat and am enraged. This is crap. Utter crap. I could return it, get it fixed again, or replaced. Not good enough. I wanted more. This was ridiculous. So I pushed and pushed and, after getting disconnected from chat three times, and speaking to two underlings and two different managers, I found some hope. I talked them into upgrading my hard drive to 500 GB  from 320 and would get free shipping. I was not happy but this would do. They would try to get me the compy ASAP.

It was re-ordered Nov. 27. Today is Dec. 23. I am still a week out from MAYBE getting it due to a backorder. No one will do anything for me. I have tried everything. Even so far as to write the below letter. What is interesting is that the deeper you get into the customer service, the better English you get. And the more you chat with them, the more of their script you get. This is silly. I am about to make a second payment on a computer that I cannot use. That no effort has been made to ship a better compy that is on hand, or to do more for me has made me decide to not work with Dell after this order. They have a week to get me a new compy. Then I cancel it and return the one sitting on my floor and walk away.

Here is my letter.

Mr. Dell

I write this letter with the full appreciation and understanding that Michael Dell will not read this letter but with the hope that SOMEONE will read it and that they might be able to address the problems I have had. It isn’t so much that I expect that someone will be able to help me as that they will be able to help a future customer.

I have been a Dell customer for several years now, having purchased two computers, a printer, lots of ink, a monitor, and now a desktop PC. I was drawn to the company because of the strong commitment to customer service, quality product, and affordable prices. I had been happy with Dell for the time I have done exclusive business with you. The problems started with my Dell Mini 9 when the hard drive crashed on me. This happened in the first year I had it so it was replaced after a lot of time speaking to customer service. Things have been generally good though until recently.

I am writing you in regards to my most recent order with Dell, which has been an utter nightmare and is still unresolved.

I ordered a Dell Inspiron computer on November 10th of this year. When the computer arrived I booted it up for the first time and the computer would not get past the first screen when Windows is loading. I rebooted and it did the same. Upon contacting Dell I was told via Chat Session that the hard drive would be replaced by a technician immediately.

Within a few days a technician was sent out and the hard drive was replaced.

Unfortunately the tech left just as the computer was booting so he only saw that the computer loaded to the opening screens then would go no further, the messages on the computer alternating between it not having enough memory to the drive not being partitioned.

I booted and re-booted the computer but could get no further than those screens so again I contacted Dell Chat. I was furious at this time and had had enough. I wanted a new computer immediately.

After several hours of back and forth in the chat (I was dropped from two sessions during this time and had gotten no resolution via email requests) I finally got somewhere and was talked from ending all relations with Dell to letting Dell take care of the problem with a new system.

The people who finally aided me were very kind and very helpful and made sure they were doing the best by me. My problem is not with them.

My problem is with Dell.

A new system was re-ordered on Nov. 27th and I was told I would have it in ten to fifteen days. I was not happy about this, but I would hang in there. It seems silly to have to wait that long for a system that SHOULD have shipped ready. I have been waiting on this machine for weeks. I have made one payment on it already. I have contacted Dell since this re-order to be told last Sunday that the machine would be to me in five to seven days.

In seeing that the status of the computer is stalled at In Production, and with a ship status of N/A I have become worried. I called today and was called back and was told that the computer was STILL stalled due to parts not being available. I was told that it MAY be here by next week but MAY take a few days longer.

I appreciate that this is a busy time for Dell, I do. But this is ridiculous. Dell support has been very kind and understanding but there is a point where someone needs to be accountable and to make this right. It would seem that I have been waiting SO long that an offer would have been made to ship a better computer that is built to me for the same price I would pay for the other machine or heck, FREE for all my trouble.

I am not a rich man, not by any stretch, but when I was looking for something related to computers I trusted Dell with my hard earned money. I trusted them enough to recommend them to friends and loved ones. I have been a customer in good standing for several years now and have been completely loyal to Dell but my faith has been cracked and I am more than willing to look elsewhere for computers in the future. I hope others don’t have to go through the same things I have had to.

thank you

Chris Ringler

1.10.10 – And here is the update – finale – So after two months of waiting I got my computer from Dell and..it works. It works wonderfully. I love Win 7, and I like the system. My issue still is that over and over again I was given misinformation. Had I known it would take two months I woulda canceled the order. So Dell got what it wanted – to ship me a computer and get paid – but at the cost of several potential buyers. Everyone I work with has sworn off Dell because of this ordeal. Hell, one of the Dell managers told me to tell them how upset I was. Alas, as Dell Corporate Escalation called today I am sick, I am over it, and it was clear that they are too. So what did we learn?

– You can get your voice heard…sorta. Just don’t expect them to care and, unless you want to raise hell, you may not get a damn thing. It took me haranguing them for a while before they upgraded my hard drive and got me free shipping. But it happened.

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