I don’t tend to bitch about companies I don’t like (because I really don’t hate any company, except for DHL delivery). However, I’m going to make an exception today for a special piece of crap I feel that I need to address. Dell. Yes, Dell. I love their hardware- they make fantastic products. Products good enough that I would buy one INSTEAD of another MacBook (yes folks, this is true). Because they support open source. Because Ubuntu runs without extra drivers. Because the price was right. But something isn’t right. And in case you’re blind, illiterate, or just plain stupid, you probably know what I’m getting at by the title. Yes, Dell’s customer service. But I have good reasons for my anger and hatred toward the service. Let me tell you all a story, and then spend a few extra paragraphs complaining. Because hey, I know you all love reading it.
So, in case any of you are unaware (and I hope this doesn’t make my credibility shot, since I am an award winning writer), I’m a high school student. One thing people don’t understand about high school, is that it mirrors that of an uncontrollable zoo of crazy kids, smart kids, pot heads, and overly popular morons. So much so, that setting down a backpack with a laptop in it (protected by a case, mind you) is a bad idea. See, one of my fellow students (who’s name will be left anonymous) decided that having a bag on the chair adjacent to his seat was an annoyance. So what does he do? He throws it on the ground, unaware that a barely two month old laptop is snug between notebooks and binders. And, it breaks. The aluminum and plastic device cracks, bends, and becomes useless. And I become enraged. He’s paying for the damages (bless his soul), and it all looks as simple as calling Dell and having them ship out a box to have it repaired.
Wrong. So wrong. Instead, Dell figured it would be better to keep me on the phone, transferring me department to department for a straight week. And when that wasn’t enough, they decided to have me pay just to ship the damned thing out. How much you ask? Oh, just 200 bucks. But this wasn’t the end. It successfully took them another week to realize that I had paid, and send the box out. And a day after the box had reached their offices, they put the thing on billable hold. Three days later, the money gets pushed through so that they can replace the following. A motherboard, a keyboard, a trackpad, AND the casing.
But this hasn’t been enough for Dell. They kept it on billable hold despite money going in, they notified me three times a day, through phone and then another three times (no joke) through email. Instead of wasting their time letting me know that they are going to take it off billable hold, maybe they should just do it. Instead of wasting my time telling me they’re working on it, maybe they should just get it done. Isn’t it enough that they’re getting 480 dollars out of me to do it (I paid less for the laptop)?
So, what exactly have I learned from this experience? Well, a couple of things. One, don’t trust your stuff when it’s not literally in your hands. Two, never bring a laptop to school that is considerably fragile (although this goes for a lot of things). And three, avoid Dell costumer service if at all possible. Because honestly, having a Mac, and dealing with AppleCare, was great. I hated having a product that was essentially defective, but Apple took care of me and got things done as fast as they could. They made it as inexpensive as possible, and they did it all with a smile. Considering everybody is always trying to copy Apple’s products, you wonder why nobody has attempted to copy the customer support experience. It’s really about time. You know, before I have to write another 700+ word article complaining about a company’s costumer service.
Thanks for listening to my rant. If you made it this far, you are a saint. If you scrolled to the bottom, hey, at least you wanted to see if there was some kind of happy ending. Sorry to disappoint you, but there isn’t. Only Dell is happy, because they made some money off of my misfortune.