Technology, Testimonials

Dell: Inept Customer Service

So, a user has a laptop whose batteries are shot, and he needs a working battery before travelling next week.

I contacted Dell and requested an RMA for his laptop battery. After a day, they wrote back saying that laptop batteries are considered “consumable” and thus not covered after one year, even if the laptop is under a three year service contract. This is different from my experience with Best Buy, who replaced Yayoi’s Sony Vaio battery on the last day of her three year service contract.

So, I tried ordering from Dell. Originally I was going to get two batteries RMAed but since we have to pay for the batteries, I wasn’t sure if we still wanted two batteries. The Indian guy I was talking to offered to call back in an hour. Gosh, how nice. I never heard from him again.

So, I ordered a battery from Dell’s web site. Usually ships in 24 hours. Alright! I still have time for two-day shipping.

Dell e-mails me later that the battery will be shipped next week.

So, I call Dell, and the guy says he has no idea why it said it would take so long to ship, and that this is certainly odd. But he can e-mail shipping, and they’ll send him back a “blistering” e-mail, and that might “light a fire” and while he can not guarantee anything, he thinks this will work out, and I can call his boss back late tomorrow afternoon to make sure everything went well.

After thinking about it, I search around online, find a merchant with the appropriate item, new, 6 month warranty. Then I do a search for the merchant, and find some testimony from various web sites that this merchant is indeed reputable. I place the order, and even with overnight shipping the cost beats Dell by $5. Then I call the company, get an immediate answer, tell them my order number, and hear “Yes, this order will ship today.”

So, I write Dell back:


Thank you for attempting to assist us in this matter. However, I have managed to find a merchant who can verify their ability to ship this part in a timely fashion.

PLEASE CANCEL THIS ORDER. Thank you for your cooperation.


Dell is a very successful company. I guess they know how to cut costs without chasing all of their customers away.

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Categories: Technology, Testimonials

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