For a solid week — since last Tuesday, 11/22 — I have been trying to have Dell repair my notebook computer which is covered under “next day on-site repair”. Tuesday I spent the half-hour in queue and went through the fairly useless fault isolation procedure. The Indian technician diagnosed a dead motherboard.
Wednesday, a local technician arrived at the office and replaced the motherboard. The notebook still didn’t work. The local tech called Dell India for more parts. They hung up on him. He said he’d follow-up and come back Monday (after the holiday). He didn’t.
I called Dell India yesterday. The first time (after the 30-minutes on hold) the woman hung up when I suggested she should contact the Dell technician if she wanted more details on what parts to send for replacement. The second woman (after another 30 minutes on hold) said she couldn’t dispatch unless I went through the fault isolation steps with her. She suggested that I mail the computer to a depot for service. I insisted that she have a service tech returned. She pacified me by giving me a new case number and promising that her supervisor would call me. He didn’t.
Dell’s schemes to not deliver the paid-for next-day on-site service is screaming for consumer legal action. I’ll happily sign on.
I have added updates as they’ve occurred since the original posting
11/22 6:40 am – Initial call. Reached “Susan” ID # 01110963. Issued Case # 117699979 Dispatch # 065295171 at approximately 7:30 am
8:00 am – I receive email from “Susan” with dispatch confirmation. The email says I can reply to it to add/update the call.
5:55 pm – I send reply email asking what time tomorrow the technician will arrive. – No response.
11/23 8:15 am – Jerry from Dell calls and arranges to come to the office between 1 and 2.
1:10 pm – Jerry from Dell computer came on site. Replaced mother board. Computer did not work properly. Jerry phoned Dell India and explained the situation. Jerry told Dell India that they needed to replace all boards/memory. Manju, ID #41419, demanded to be taken off speaker phone while talking with Jerry. According to Jerry, Manju hung up on him. We told Jerry that we wanted him to return on Monday when we were back from Thanksgiving holiday.
5:50 pm – Jerry leaves me voicemail saying that he tried two more times to get help from Dell India and had not reached anyone. He said he was reporting the problem to his company and would keep trying.
11/25 8:46 am – I send email asking for status. No response.
11/28 2:00 pm – Dell’s automatic status line reports that Dispatch # 65295171 was entered on 11/22 and that the technician should be out the next day. There’s no updates on the automated system.
2:56 pm – I reach “Anna” ID 452109. She looks up the call and sees that the SF tech says the computer is still dead. She also shows a Dell India entry saying that the problem had been fixed. I explain that the notebook is still dead and ask that the serviceman return. I mention that Jerry told us that the whole system would have to be replaced. She asks more questions, and I suggest that she call the Dell tech since my information is second hand. She hangs up.
3:31 pm – I reach “Monica” ID 110893. She looks up the call (there’s no evidence of my talk with Anna). Monica says she cannot help unless I am in front of the computer and go through diagnostics with her again. I tell her that the computer is at an office location and not in front of me. It’s there waiting for the Dell tech who promised to return to fix it. Monica insists that she cannot help without me in front of the computer. I respond that I have already done the fault isolation. I said that I was insisting that she have the tech return to complete the initial dispatch. She says she cannot do that. I ask that she escalate the call. She gives me case number 117699979 and says she’ll have her supervisor phone me in 10 minutes. I receive no call.
11/29 3:18 pm – I reach Anna Lynn, ID 459729. She creates case #118255565 and transfers me to her supervisor. Another 10 minutes or so on hold before Butu, ID #111714, picks up. He offers to make a new dispatch for a mother board and memory. I make the mistake of mentioning that the NUM lock key flashes for 5 seconds before the machine powers itself off. I go back on hold while he looks up that symptom. (How STUPID can I be??) He comes back and says he cannot find a for-sure cause for the lights, but it may be the display or the motherboard. He now wants me to mail the machine into a depot for diagnostics. “No,” I respond. I paid for onsite service. Then he wants to send me a customer-installable memory kit, no motherboard. My answer: “No, you offered to send a technician out with both.” Back on hold. I receive email with New Dispatch #065531943 by Team JGE008 on yesterday’s case number of 117699979. Butu assures me the parts and technician will arrive tomorrow and he’ll phone me back tomorrow to verify.
4:05 pm – Manju from Dell Canada (caller ID of 800 289-3355 calls to ask if everything is okay. I assure him that everything is not okay. He asks haven’t I just spoken to a Dell technician. I tell him that I have spoken to a Dell technician, but no service has been delivered. He says he’ll check back with me tomorrow.
11/30 10:47 am – I have heard nothing from Dell. I reply to the confirmation email from yesterday asking for status.
11:24 am – “George” from Dell Canada (caller ID of 800 289-3355) calls to ask me how I am doing. I reply that I am not doing very well since I have heard nothing from Dell. He looks into his system and says that the local technician has received the parts. George asks me if I have heard from the technician. I tell him that I have not. George says that he’ll call the technician right away.
2:19 pm – Jerry the local Dell technician calls. He’s found out that the motherboard and memory have been shipped to Massachusetts. Weigh bills #31169826282 and #88566934584. He says he’s been told that it will take 5 days for him to get these parts.
2:26 pm– I send reply email to the Dell address from yesterday. I ask them to make good on their warranty. I suggest that they ship a complete laptop replacement to me. Jerry or I can swap the disk drive and send the old unit back to them.
3:25 pm– I called the direct extention Butu gave me yesterday for himself (blogged in a private post). Voicemail comes on and says that the representative is not available, please leave a message. Then a voice comes on saying I cannot leave a message because the voicemail box is full.
12/1 8:22 am – I send another status inquiry to the email address. All these messages to Dell are sent via the REPLY function to keep the codes in the subject line.
8:27 am – I called the direct extention Butu game me again. This time the message says it’s a non-working number (I tried two times.) The number, previously kept private, is 800 624-9896 x 728425. The recording refers me to 512 338-4400. That’s Dell’s main, toll switchboard. I called it and asked to speak to a person. I hung up after five minutes on music hold where I was told that all representatives are helping other customers.
10:03 am – Sandra of QualXServ (Dell’s contract technicians) calls from 978-8489000. She tells me that I’ll be getting a call tomorrow from a technician to install the parts that will be shipped. I do not agree with this is okay, and she says she’ll have her supvervisor call me.
10:11 am – Paul O’Gibbin of QualXServ calls. Good conversation, but parts are still supposed to arrive in SF tomorrow for installation. New Dell dispatch number #65597895. QaulXServ work order #WF120(d??)10340. The parts are supposed to ship via DHL weigh bills #31170291563 and #88570598885. Private post with status check phone number.
10:30 am – File complaint with Myra at 7 on Your Side. Private post with numbers.
12/2 – Jerry the local tech left voicemail on my cellphone AND phoned the office about 10 am. He had parts (another motherboard and memory chips), and came by about 11 am to install them. The computer still does not book. The screen is blank, but when an external monitor is hooked up, the machine starts to boot and freezes when the Dell logo appears (this is before
Windows gets a chance to boot.) Jerry talks to India and they say they’ll send him a new plastic base, power supply, and something else. But, they won’t send him the video card he asks for. He says he’ll come back on Monday. Jerry explains everything to the people in the office AND also calls me on my cell.
12/5 – Jerry the local tech called again about 10:15 this morning and came to the office about a half hour later. He replaced the power supply, heat sink fan, and plastic bottom. The system boots and looks okay. Computer back to life at 12:08 pm. That’s 13 days and about 5 days after my repair call was logged and given a dispatch number by Dell India.