I was surprised by some of the comments about Dell after one reader’s complaint that the company forced her to pay extra to talk with an American call center. Maybe I shouldn’t have been.
Now along comes the story of one customer who spent so much time on “hold” with said call center that he’s ready to give up on Dell once and for all. And this time, it could cost the PC manufacturer more than the loss of a single customer. This one claims to command a budget of millions of dollars in IT spending.
It all started when he ordered a Dell Latitude E6410, paying $1,200 for the refurbished machine.
Just one problem: It didn’t work. Repeated attempts get get Dell to fix it were unsuccessful.
I’ll get right to the relevant part. He writes,
Dell, you really screwed up on this one. Not only is my company a decent spender, I make recommendations to Fortune 500 companies on a regular basis on the best way to allocate their I.T. expenditures. You cannot possibly expect me to recommend you to anyone in the future -this mistake may in fact cost you millions.
Could any of this have been avoided? Probably.
Call centers can be helpful, but sometimes, an email sent to an executive works better.
There’s talk on his blog of sending “executive carpet bombs,” which are complaints mass-mailed to executives and consumer reporters. While they can be effective, my experience is that they’re not as useful as targeted messages sent to one person. They also sometimes undermine the complaint-resolution process, which should always start at the front door (the website form) and not with an email to the CEO and several VPs.
But the story appears to have a happy ending. A Dell representative has already contacted the disgruntled customer and offered to fix his non-working computer. So Dell may save itself a few million dollars.
If only it showed the same level of concern for those of us buying one computer.
(Photo: cande scent/Flickr Creative Commons)