This is going to be a long one…
A couple of weeks ago, I noticed that there was a thin dark horizontal line on my Dell Axim x30. Because it was so thin, it wasn’t that much of annoyance, but it was definitely something wrong with the screen. It only was seen when the backlight came on. When the backlight went off, the line disappeared, even though I could still see what was on the screen. Obviously it was something wrong electronically with the screen, so I called up DELL support.
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
I called our normal support number, but there was no option for Axims, so I chose the laptop option and was on hold for a couple of minutes. A woman answered and when I explained my problem, she said that I had to call a different number. I did so, and was on hold for over 20 minutes. I finally spoke with someone who was helpful, but also asked some stupid questions. I’m sure it was just a checklist of things she was asking, but it is still annoying. She asked me if I had done a soft reset on the device. Of course I had. She asked if I had done a hard reset. Why would I do that? I’d loose everything, and how would a hard reset resolve a bad screen? Thankfully she didn’t insist that I do it. She arranged for a replacement.
Friday, January 13, 2006
Two days latter I had I had the replacement. I took the replacement home for the weekend, backed up my old one, and restored it to my new one.
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Everything seemed to be fine, so I packaged up the original one and shipped it back to Dell.
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Then the next day at lunch I went out for a lunch and expected to be able to listen to some music. Of course that was the only thing I hadn’t tested on my replacement Axim, and the headphone jack was bad. I tried my headphones, and two different sets of speakers, and it would crackle in and out.
Friday, January 20, 2006
I called back and tried to arrange for my replacement to be replaced. The person acknowledged that they had received the original one, but he said the replacement Axim still hadn’t been switched over to my name, so there was nothing they could do. I complained, and the person said they’d send off an email to that department, but there was still nothing they could do for me at that time.
Monday, January 23, 2006
I called back and spoke to a tech named Janine. She said the same thing to me. She said that it still wasn’t in my name, and until it was there was nothing that she could do to help me. I explained (as politely as I could) that there was a problem with their support system if there wasn’t anything she could do. I asked to speak to a supervisor, and so she put me on hold. A second-level technician named Rob came on the line. I explained that I didn’t need second-level support and that I wanted to give a complaint to a supervisor, and he said the supervisor was busy and that he could help me as much as the supervisor. Well, he was useless. He said that sometimes the switchover can take a day; sometimes it can take 6 days. He said again that there was nothing he could do about it, and that I’d just have to call back again.
Friday, January 27, 2006
I called and spoke to a tech named Barry. I explained the situation. He figured there was a problem, and put me through to Vicky in customer care. She told me what my service tag was supposed to be. They kept saying that I claim to have a different service tag. Hello! I have the thing in front of me. The tag you say I have and the tag I have are not the same!! Deal with it! You messed up! (I didn’t really say that, but I sure did want to scream that at them). Vicky was very helpful, and after 30 minutes or so she said that I should talk to tech support again and they could arrange for a replacement. I explained I wanted a new one, and not a refurbished one, as I didn’t want to go through this again. She agreed, and said the tech could arrange this. This seemed odd to me, but whatever. Unfortunately, I went back into the regular queue on the support line, and so had to be on hold for a while more. I then spoke with a tech named Mark. He kept putting me on hold while he worked with a different person in customer care trying to figure out how to handle my problem. He said that Vicky shouldn’t have said what she said as their policy is to send our refurbished items. At the end of the conversion, Mark said he could arrange to send me out another Axim, but it would most likely be refurbished. If I was insisting on getting a new one, then I’d have to talk to Eric, an escalation specialist. Eric was on another call, but would call me back in 15-20 minutes, tops.
2 hours later Eric called. He wasn’t rude, but he also was not very pleasant. He barely apologized, didn’t acknowledge flaws in their system, and said the terms of the support “contract” were for a refurbished unit. That part really annoyed me. It was as if he was trying to tell me I was breaking a contact. Well, I think they broke the contract by sending me a cruddy product. If I was going to insist on getting a new one, then he’d have to send it to someone else. I said not to bother, and we arranged for a replacement, that I’m supposed to have on Monday. If it doesn’t work, I will not be a happy camper!
I’ll report back when I get the replacement…
So, here are the problems/complaints I have about Dell support:
- The wrong replacement unit was sent to me
- Returns take too long to get switched over
- I had 2 different phone calls that were over an hour. I spent over 3 hours on the phone so far.
- The tech support people seem intent on dealing with things that only fit their area. They are of no help if you are kind of in limbo like I was
- I was not able to speak with a supervisor/manager when I requested it
- No one seemed particularly pleasant. I understand that they deal with complaints all the time, but when he are in the service business, you have to be pleasant. An unpleasant technician only adds to the frustration
Of course I would have loved to have a new Axim. They don’t make the x30 anymore, so I would have received a new model. But ultimately all I want is a model that works. I don’t want to waste 3 hours on the phone again. I don’t want the hassle of moving data from one Axim to another. I want Dell to tell their techs to stop saying, “There’s nothing I can do.” As an end user, I can’t do anything. As the manufacturer, you better believe there is something they can do!
We have probably a dozen Dell servers at work, and 60 workstations, and we’ve never had a problem like this. Generally I think Dell makes fantastic products, has good service, and I’d recommend them to anyone. But after experiences like this, I sure will hesitate a bit more before recommending them to someone else.