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Dude , I’m getting Dell support!

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Monday August 21, 2006 )

After reading many of the horror stories on the web about Dell support, when I started having some problems with my notebook, I shuddered at the prospect of contacting them.

Prior to the Dell, I’ve always used Toshibas – very tough systems which I had operating in temperatures ranging from near freezing to 40 degrees celcius (around 105F) for extended periods. Still, the bang for buck appeared to be with Dell, so I opted for one this time around.

The pre-sales experience was great and Dell staff were very attentive, as you’d expect at that stage. The notebook arrived on time and was very well packed. Everything I ordered was included and I was up and running in no time.

Although the casing on the Dell notebook appeared to be a little less robust than the Toshiba, it survived the “freezing to frying” type test in sometimes dusty outback conditions quite well, so with my confidence raised in their durability, I also purchased some desktop units a few months later.

We’ve never had any major problems with the Dell systems; except my notebook has had some key cap troubles in recent times – and no, it’s not dust related; I carefully vacuum my keyboard a couple of times a week and the notebook has been operated in more civilized conditions for the last nine months :).

The first key that popped off I replaced without too much effort, but since then a couple more have decided to try and escape regularly and it’s becoming somewhat of a PITA. I guess they make this model with the average business user in mind, not for people who sit in front of the screen over 80 hours per week doing more than watching videos on YouTube :).

So, with great trepidation, I called the support line fully expecting to spend half an hour on hold and then be given the third degree on my claim.

I spent around 5 minutes on hold, briefly explained the problem and the Dell support officer said without hesitation, “sure sir, I’ll arrange to have someone on-site on Tuesday to replace the keyboard” – it was Sunday afternoon. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised.

Then this morning I received a follow up call from Dell asking if Tuesday was still fine for the keyboard to be replaced, the times that suited me and confirmation of my address.

The keyboard hasn’t been replaced as yet, so I’m not quite ready to start the Dell Support Fan club; but if my positive experience continues and is indicative of the *majority* of experiences customers have with Dell, then I’m a happy camper who will continue to buy their products – if the next keyboard holds up. Or maybe I just shouldn’t be so tight next time around and buy a more upscale model :).

By the way, I purchased a 3 year warranty with this system as I do with all my computers these days, regardless of brand. It’s always wise to get an extended warranty to cover the period you think you’ll be keeping the system for; even if it means missing out on a couple of bells and buzzers in order to stay within your budget. Always check the fine print of extended warranties to ensure you’re getting the coverage you need; e.g. on-site vs. return to base.

The main reason for writing this post is that often we are quick to publicly condemn companies but slow to praise. I’ll certainly have a whine when a mega-corp shafts me, but I also like to praise them when they do the right thing.

Am I alone in my positive (so far) Dell experience? Any other Dell owners out there who have found their support to be excellent? I’m sure this isn’t an isolated instance :).

Excuse me while I again stick another key back on – I’m very much looking forward to my new keyboard :).


Update – August 22. Well, the Dell Dude (agh, can’t remember his first name) arrived this afternoon as promised and replaced the keyboard. Nice guy, professional, but very friendly.

I now no longer fear having to type the letter “o”.

I can truthfully say that my experience with Dell support in this instance has been great, so kudos to Dell!


P.S. If you’re a Dell owner, you may want to check out this page about their battery recall for certain models. While it’s not the best thing to happen, Dell have approached the situation in a responsible fashion and from what I hear, they are shipping replacements out very rapidly after receiving registrations.


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