Dell supposedly has improved their customer service. I’ve seen countless blogs mentioning their new and improved customer service infrastructure and fawning articles in business magazines about how Michael Dell is getting back to the basics. Well, for this gal, that’s just lip service as far as I can tell.
My husband ordered a massively expensive laptop for a new engineer in his firm. This machine was built to be so powerful that it could probably easily run small countries. It had more computing ability than 15 Big Blue machines. All in all, an incredibly complex, expensive machine and a powerful tool to use.
As the day quickly approached that the new engineer was to start work, my husband phoned Dell to ask where the computer was. It was 4 days overdue at that point. It turns out that Dell had canceled the order. Why had they canceled the order? Because there was a part out of stock. When my husband asked who they had notified about the cancellation, Dell told him that no one had been notified. The order for this $10,000plus machine had simply been canceled.
The sheer idiocy of canceling a custom order with high profit margins is beyond ludicrous for a company struggling to regain the title of number one PC seller in the world. Not informing the customer that they canceled the order is criminally bad customer service.
Needing the machine, my husband put in the entire order again. He was promised he would have the machine 3 days before the new engineer was due to arrive. The date the new computer was due came and went. My husband called Dell. They promised to overnight it to him. The next day came and went with no computer. Again, a phone call to Dell but this time, he got only an answering machine. Multiple calls and emails later, he had extracted a new verbal promise of overnight shipping and Dell would throw in a 15″ monitor for free. The next day, no machine. When Chris finally got a hold of a real person, he found out that whoops, the new order had been put on the “slow track” rather than receiving the priority service he had been promised.
The new engineer started without a computer. He was not able to work any billable hours without the computer and thus sat, as an expensive highly paid asset, underutilized. The Dell laptop finally came almost a month after it was ordered and four days into the new engineer’s tenure. Dell paid for overnight shipping, the free monitor and a few other minor goodies, undoubtedly negating all the profit on the custom built laptop.
To add insult to injury, Chris didn’t even get an apology on the Seth Godin Scale of better than 1. He got a slightly mumbled half apology from “Ygnacio” at Dell after the first delay and nothing after that. It was beyond disapointing – it was downright pathetic. If I were an investor in this company (and thank goodness I’m not!), I would pull all my money out. And, I’d pull it out fast.