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Company takes shady Indian call support and battering the beleaguered customer to new levels

Laptop magazine has unearthed a rather large steaming mess of hustlery and hucksterism in a series of support calls to Dell, Inc. (DELL).  Dell, the world's second largest computer retailer has been in midst of a big round of layoffs and outsourcing, as it has struggled with
"sluggish" profit growth
.

Mark Spoonauer, editor and chief of Laptop, spent hours 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 Laptop's 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.

Dell comments:

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. (AAPL) 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.

Source: Laptop



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RE: shocker
By frobizzle on 8/16/2012 8:38:08 AM , Rating: 5
While you may think Apple support is better, they will still give their customers baldfaced lies if they think it is something that might tarnish their reputation. As an example, just look at their handling of various virus issues on their products.

This is not conjecture or speculation, this is historical facts.


RE: shocker
By TakinYourPoints on 8/16/2012 12:16:53 PM , Rating: 2
When did they deny or not solve malware issues? They addressed those problems completely, but they didn't give official solutions until the patches were nailed down. The alternative would be a half-baked stop-gap solution beforehand (ie - hunting around for problems case by case and entering Terminal commands), and that may have caused even more issues (and thus more technical support problems) for some customers.


RE: shocker
RE: shocker
By TakinYourPoints on 8/16/2012 11:00:44 PM , Rating: 2
Nope, sorry. Common knowledge, once an official fix that they could support was completed, it was out. What, do you think they were in denial and then just released a fix the day that it was released because there was just too much pressure?


RE: shocker
By Pirks on 8/17/2012 2:17:31 AM , Rating: 1
frobitch the anti-apple troll strikes again! hahaha
you're just wasting your time takin, frobitch is one of the dumbest idiots I've seen on DT, his head is damaged beyond repair. I know this, been dealing with him for a long time. just ignore this troll

he's similar to motoman, same religious zealot who you can flood in arguments and he'd still sing lalala while plugging his ears, afraid that someone will burst his stupid bubble


RE: shocker
By frobizzle on 8/17/2012 7:57:00 AM , Rating: 2
So how are things at the trailer park these days, Jirks?

Are you still trying to comprehend complex math concepts like why 2+2=4?


RE: shocker
By Pirks on 8/17/2012 1:20:55 PM , Rating: 2
Doin' cool here bro, been playin' with Win8 RTM on my SSD equipped high end Vaio and also enjoyoing crapdroid on my brand new Galaxy Note.

Ya still preaching anti-Apple religious BS as usual? ;) Well, good luck with that, lamo. Hehehe ;)


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