Dell Tells Customers They've "Won" the Right to Purchase $317 Warranty
August 15, 2012 5:35 PM
comment(s) - last by
Company takes shady Indian call support and battering the beleaguered customer to new levels
magazine has unearthed a rather large steaming mess of hustlery and hucksterism in a series of support calls to Dell, Inc. (
). Dell, the world's second largest computer retailer has been in midst of a big round of
layoffs and outsourcing
, as it has
"sluggish" profit growth
Mark Spoonauer, editor and chief of
being willing sucked into a nightmarish vortex of Dell support calls, which the company insists are unusual and a series of "misunderstandings". The calls began when inquiring about issues with a Dell laptop.
First the Dell representatives in India tried to pitch a $239 USD warranty "discounted" to $199 USD or a one-time payment of $129 USD to solve the firmware issue. Dell would later acknowledge that the issues should have been covered by the hardware warranty, blaming the sales attempt on a "misunderstanding".
On a second call Mr. Spoonauer inquired about using Dell DataSafe to back up his computer, at which point a second Dell rep in India informed him that software questions were not allowed under hardware warranty and customers without warranties could not ask questions. The service rep's manager "Raj" then again pitched the software warranty, bafflingly unveiling a second pitch -- that he could support those kinds of questions if the caller bought an affiliated hard drive at their local electronics store.
But the real kicker came in the third call when the service rep Sherma interjected in a discussion over poor battery life in a recently purchased device with an exciting announcement. Describes Mr. Spoonauer, "In a surprised tone, told us that we had won a daily drawing to purchase a four-year extended hardware warranty for our laptop for $317.
"You may already be a winner!" Dell tries its best Publishers Clearing House impression in
latest investigation [Image Source: Ticker Times]
When Sherma's excitement was met with caller apathy he went into panic mode, attempting a harder sell. Only three customers win the drawing a day, he informed. And the normal price was $512 USD.
Daily drawings are not a regular practice nor encouraged tactic in technical support and we have used your feedback to reinforce this with our teams. Their only priority is to resolve our customers’ issues.
As much as Apple, Inc. (
) is criticized for its
belligerent legal tactics
, customer support is one major perk of the computer makers' products. After all, Apple is one of the few companies to offer in-store support covered by warranty, and better yet to offer
U.S.-located tech support
. Dell, apparently opts for quite a different approach, though its products are, of course,
significantly cheaper than Apple's
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
8/15/2012 6:00:32 PM
That fact makes me sad. My first computer was a Dell, back in 1998. Best service, support, and overall computer purchasing experience I ever had. As a result of future interaction with Dell (and other companies, really), I ended up building my own.
8/15/2012 7:21:38 PM
The sad part is that I used to tell my family to buy Dell products for a while (a long long time ago). They stopped getting my support when they did the proprietary junk and I could no longer do the tech support on them. The products seemed to go down hill. MY biggest gripe (with most toasters pretending to be Ferraris was the supper underpowered power supplies that would have the PC's crash when used as they advertised.
Try explaining to your brother-in-law that they put a yugo engine in a Corvette frame. You get the knucklehead saying but it worked fine before it crashed, you must have done something to it. (on the positive side after a while I did lose him as a customer. LOL)
"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
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