Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Easy as Dell!? %$#@%&!

If you check back to my November 9th entry you will find this throwaway line, "So I cancelled the order from Dell".

To refresh your memory, I had ordered a memory card and a video card from Dell for my daughter's computer. The video card was back ordered so I cancelled it and bought one from Best Buy. Although the actual cancelling of the order was less than simple, I didn't think much of it at the time but following events brought it to mind. So let me start at the beginning.

I called Dell to cancel the order and was immediately reminded that Dell had transferred their customer service for non-business customers to India. Because of complaints of bad service, business customers are still being handled in the USA but us lowly personal computer owners apparently don't require stellar customer service. Anyway, the person on the other end spoke English, although with a thick Indian accent. I told him that I wanted to cancel part of the order, specifically the video card because it was backordered. He told me to wait and after a few minutes he came back to tell me that the memory card had already shipped, which I knew since I had already installed it in my daughter's computer. I again explained that it was just the video card that I wanted to cancel. He again put me on hold. Eventually he came back and told me that he had sent an email to the people in the US that would cancel my order and everything should be fine. So, let me get this straight Mr. Dell, you transfer American jobs to India and then don't even give these people the tools to do their job? He has to cancel my order via email? What kind of madness is this?

Flash to ten days later, and sure enough the video card arrives at my house. I call Dell again and again I get someone in India. I explain the situation and he seems to understand the issue. He puts me on hold. A few minutes later he comes back on and tells me that he is waiting for a response from the return center so I can get a return authorization number. Although he didn't state "email" I strongly suspected he was waiting for one. A few more minutes and I got my return authorization number. UPS picked up the box without any trouble.

This whole thing could have been avoided if (a) Dell's web site gave accurate information about the length of time you need to wait for back ordered items or (b) the people in the service center were given the proper tools and the proper training to do their jobs!


Helen said...

That will teach you to cancel orders ! ;)

I have very in-depth life-meaning conversations with Raja (or Krishna) as to why I don't want to subscribe to an American Life (Insurance). He doesn't seem to understand the meaning of the word 'No'. He's a great believer in this American Life. And why not, it must have made a vast difference to his life.
Personally, I have had very good service from India with Credit Management - the advice was to pay off the debt immediately unlike banks here that would offer you several loans with hidden interest charges.
Personal debt in the UK and US is astronomical (to the tune of £30,000 - £40,000 probably higher in the US) and still on a steep rise.

Tom P. said...

Follow up: Dell still hasn't credited my account. I called and got another clueless Indian who assured me that they would look into it and get back to me. Customer service? Sorry, you must want another company. Anyway, I called my credit card company and disputed the charge. No way I'm letting them steal my money. You can be sure that I will never buy another thing from Dell.

Helen said...

Anything that would prop the dollar up from it's downward slide would help.

One would think New York with it's Irish connections would have Ireland the place for NY companies/customers to place it's off shored Customer Support apart from strengthening the euro. But the Irish seem to be on to other things.
Canary Wharf in London (extension of the Old City within it's square mile) appears to be full of Irish IT developers.
Some companies here are reported to be starting to provide Customer Service on the luck of the draw. Customer Service locations are randomly selected from a list at the time the customer places the call.