Buyer Beware TV series reports on Dell

Discussion in 'Dell' started by Hidalgo, Mar 3, 2004.

  1. Hidalgo

    Irene Guest

    I don't doubt your experience but that is not a reference that can be looked
    up and/or verified.
    Irene, Mar 5, 2004
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  2. Hidalgo

    Nick W Guest

    Somehow I don't think anyone would have wasted their time in asking us lowly
    techs what cause all the problems we fix.
    Hell, if they had, it would have been done by a company looking to promote
    their own product over someone else's - "Look - our system crashes less"...

    Ask your nearest (experienced) tech. They'll vouch for it. As will I.


    Nick W, Mar 5, 2004
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  3. Hidalgo

    Irene Guest

    Very entertaining, but it still doesn't support the statement made. I'd be
    the first to admit that many computer owners(including myself) on occasion
    ask dumb questions and are, at times, the source of the problem. But that
    does not provide proof that the poor tech support at Dell(or any other
    tech support for that matter) results because 80% + of the problems that
    generate calls to Dell Tech Support are caused by the user.
    And that is the comment that was made.

    We haven't initiated all that many inquires to Dell Tech Support(although
    the total number of calls was substantially more because we had to make
    repeated calls to get a few of the issues resolved). As best I can remember,
    only one would fit the description being discussed; and yes, I felt very

    Irene, Mar 5, 2004
  4. Hidalgo

    Rod Speed Guest

    Thats life.

    Rod Speed, Mar 5, 2004
  5. Irene;
    Again I have no verifiable stats and my experience seems to differ
    with the others.
    I would say about 90-95% of the issues are I have dealt with are
    software related.
    more than half of those were preventable by performing routine
    maintenance such as Disk Cleanup, anti virus firewall etc.

    The other 5-10% is hardware issues.
    Some of the hardware is resolved by updated drivers and BIOS
    necessitated by other hardware or software changes. While these are
    caused by the user, they are not normally caused by negligence or
    The other hardware issues are hardware failure.
    Again some hardware failure was preventable by the user by doing such
    simple things as checking and cleaning fans as well as clearing out
    dust, UPS etc.

    The bottom line is users can solve/prevent the vast majority of their
    own issues just by learning a little about their own machine.
    If users solve their own issues, it would be nice if tech support
    could increase the quality for the truly needy issues with a savings
    for all.

    Jupiter Jones
    Check the following link for some great problem solving newsgroups.

    Jupiter Jones, Mar 5, 2004
  6. FWIW, I've been sort of active in one of the Microsoft newsgroups, and I
    read through all the posts even if I'm not participating. I would say
    Jupiter Jones' statistics are accurate.


    Rocket J. Squirrel, Mar 5, 2004
  7. Hidalgo

    Justin Thyme Guest

    I've worked in a number of support roles over the last 15 years - some have
    been as retailer's in-house support, some as repair agent for manufacturers,
    and some as an independent repairer. Only one place kept accurate
    statistics of the different types of jobs - of the jobs that got booked in,
    only ~5% were warranty jobs, ~10% were for out-of-warranty repairs and
    upgrades, and the remainder (~85%) were software related - ie, something
    that the user had done.
    In my most recent technical job, although we didn't keep statistics, my
    gut-feel would be a similar rate. In addition to the booked jobs, we also
    took a very large number of telephone support calls, the vast majority of
    which were user-related rather than equipment related. The simple fact is,
    the equipment that is being sold is very reliable. It costs money to have
    support staff. Customers by and large refuse to pay for servicing within the
    warranty period, even when the problem is their own fault. Staff to provide
    good support are expensive, and profit margins in the equipment is slim.
    Consequently they keep the number of support staff to a bare minimum, or
    like some companies end up employing monkeys or outsourcing to 3rd world
    countries. If the same amount of money that is currently spent by
    manufacturers and retailers to provide support and servicing was able to be
    spent dealing only with faults that were genuinely caused by faults in the
    equipment, then the level of service would be significantly better. When a
    car dealer sells a car, they don't have to teach the buyer how to drive a
    car, however a computer purchaser who doesn't know how to use his computer,
    tends to expect the vendor to provide them with training - under the guise
    of product support "because we spent $1500 with you".
    At one store I worked with we manufactured our own machines with two
    ranges - one range was made with the highest quality components we could
    source, and had a 3 year warranty - we had a warranty rate of <1% of
    machines requiring warranty service (ie, hardware failure) in that 3 year
    period. Our lower end was built to be more price competitive, and had a
    warranty rate of about 10% of machines requiring warranty service in the 1
    year warranty. The higher end machines cost about 25% more than the cheap
    machines. The cheap machines outsold the higher cost machines by about 20:1.
    Conclusion - when purchasing a computer, price is of more concern than
    Consumers have no-one to blame but themselves when they complain of the
    level of service they receive - because the majority of them shop primarily
    on price, manufacturers and retailers have trimmed margins to be able to
    provide products cheaper than their competition. The money is just not
    there for them to provide the level of service the customer expects. In
    reality the normal level of service on computers is far better than that
    provided on other equipment - eg it's nothing unusual to have to wait weeks
    or even months for a repair to a TV or stereo. When you get your car
    repaired, you usually have to make a booking several days ahead. Everywhere
    I've worked we've had target turnarounds of not more than 3 days (unless
    waiting on parts), yet customer complaints of turnaround time were not
    uncommon. More than once I've been at the receiving end of physical
    violence where a customer has turned up un-announced and has lost their
    temper because i haven't been able to fix their computer immediately. I've
    had cases where I have been able to start almost immediately on a repair -
    customer has turned up within an hour and has become violent because it
    isn't finished. I have lost count of the number of times myself or fellow
    staff members have been on the receiving end of physical violence, and that
    number pails into insignificance against the number of verbal tirades. I
    have seen several people who were excellent technicians leave the field
    because they can't handle the abuse they received from customers. The
    expected level of service just doesn't exist in any other field, yet it is
    demanded in the computer field.
    Justin Thyme, Mar 5, 2004
  8. Hidalgo

    Hunter1 Guest

    I'd have to say that 80% of probs are caused by the users
    would be fairly accurate, but anyone claiming that is a
    reason for poor tech support obviously can't do their job
    properly, where I work I'd say the 80% figure is
    conservative, yet the guys don't suddenly get blank stares
    if a user has caused the problem, they fix it regardless (as
    any even halfway decent techy would).

    Now with Dell, Indian call centre??? Or are you corporate
    and hence back onto a working call centre after they caved
    in to all the complaints from corporate customers over the
    total lack of quality in relation to the Indian call centre?
    After dealing with the HP Indian call centre I'm really not
    surprised. They have no bloody idea at all.
    Hunter1, Mar 5, 2004
  9. Hidalgo

    Captain Kirk Guest

    She probably had nothing to do with the web version of her report.
    Captain Kirk, Mar 5, 2004
  10. Hidalgo

    Phred Guest

    I didn't mean "decent", I said "damn decent". ;-)
    [ And referring to box, VDU, and PRN in the deal.]
    I'm missing your point here, Rod.
    Yeah. That's why I said "there has been".
    But plenty still find it convenient and preferable to buy from someone
    like Dell. And I wasn't really meaning the hardware junkies, more the
    many folk who've moved on from their Osborne 486s etc. to a second or
    later system. They don't need so much in the way of support because
    they now already know most of the basics of how to drive the things
    (and now often have PC savvy friends to help out too). I'm assuming
    their remaining needs are now largely restricted to explicit hardware
    breakdowns under warranty; and "user upgrades" to the system. And the
    latter are hardly the reponsibility of the original supplier (unless
    such upgrades are obtained though them of course).
    I didn't mean to imply that Dell isn't making a good product, in fact
    most folk I know who've bought one are perfectly happy with what they
    got. And experience around here with the corporate Optiplex line has
    also been very satisfactory.

    However, I did see one contributor here claiming that while a mob he
    worked for made one line of my "reliable quality" products (and seems
    they were too) they also made a line of cheaper crap quality products
    (and were apparently successful with that objective too :).

    Cheers, Phred.
    Phred, Mar 5, 2004
  11. Hidalgo

    Irene Guest

    It seems to me that one of the "regulars" of this group made the comment
    that when statement like that are made, a back up reference should be
    included or the comments not be posted.
    Of course that was relative to an anti-Dell post, not a pro-Dell post. >g<

    Irene, Mar 5, 2004
  12. Hidalgo

    Rod Speed Guest

    You'll burn if you blaspheme, boy.
    I was too.
    Property values are affected by all sorts of complicated issues.
    You cant really compare them with the cost of manufactured goods.
    Maybe. I think its a shrinking percentage of the market
    with most buying packaged systems or getting a system
    assembled for them from components and a smaller and
    smaller percentage using operations like Dell anymore.
    Most of those dont bother with Dell, they just
    buy something down the local Retravision etc.

    And discover the downsides with those later.
    Dunno, I bet that the absolute vast bulk
    of calls to Dell are still for that sort of thing.

    Not hardware failures at all, the system has got into a mess.
    Dunno, its less than clear how many choose
    to buy from Dell who dont have those available.
    I doubt thats what most of the calls to Dell are about tho.
    Sure, I just meant that when there is some problem,
    its normally because its got thru the 'design' process,
    not because they didnt try to eliminate that.
    Rod Speed, Mar 5, 2004
  13. Hidalgo

    Rod Speed Guest

    More fool you.

    There are plenty of areas where the cost of a
    proper survey cant be justified, or where the last
    thing an operation like Dell would do after paying
    for that would be to release the details publicly so
    they are available to their competitors at no cost.

    Its useful to see comments on that sort
    of thing even if a reference isnt possible.
    Irrelevant to that general question of not
    posting unless a reference can be provided.
    Rod Speed, Mar 5, 2004
  14. Hidalgo

    Rod Speed Guest

    Or the buyers can readily quantify the price and cant the reliability, anyway.

    And thats not just a problem with PCs, its true in spades of normal
    domestic appliances. Plenty would pay that much more for something
    that is provably that much more reliable, but they dont have the data
    from an operation they trust to be able to make that choice.

    Even the manufacturer often doesnt when the goods are being
    flogged and its too early to tell which are the duds yet too.
    Yes, but that last is essentially unquantifiable by the customer.
    Those fixing cars see the same problem.

    So do GPs.
    Rod Speed, Mar 5, 2004
  15. Hidalgo

    Irene Guest

    Of course that was relative to an
    On this we disagree too. The same folks that want anti-Dell statistics
    backed up by reference do not place the same requirement on pro Dell
    statistics. The old saying "what is good for the goose is good for the
    gander" seems to come to mind.
    Additionally, did you not see the ">g<" following that comment?

    So let's agree to disagree. You can order your next computer from Dell, and
    my husband and I will order our next computer from the same local company
    that provided us with our first none Dell computer in nearly 10 years.

    Irene, Mar 5, 2004
  16. Hidalgo

    Rod Speed Guest

    Your problem.
    So if they are being mindlessly silly, you will be too eh ?

    Pretty mature.
    Not relevant to what I was commenting on.
    No thanks, I'll keep pointing out how silly your demand
    was and how silly the 'rationalisation' for it is now.
    No thanks.
    I assemble them myself and couldnt care
    less what you do PC purchase wise.

    Rod Speed, Mar 5, 2004
  17. Hidalgo

    Irene Guest

    At least now I understand your position and you call me "silly"

    You enter into a discussion in a news group that has absolutely no relevance
    to you, computer purchase wise, since by your own admission, you "roll you

    As some one else here says-----PLONK.

    Irene, Mar 5, 2004
  18. Hidalgo

    Justin Thyme Guest

    And they do - but that 80% of user related problems tie up resources that
    could otherwise be used giving better service on the 20% of equipment
    See above - caused by the 80%. If they were only handling the 20%
    legitimate problems, but still spent the same on support, they could employ
    a fewer number of people who were better skilled. Instead they have to
    employ a large number of people with low skill, just to handle the volume.
    HP actually do still have people with a clue - its called level 3 support.
    when you call you get level 1 support, they are the monkeys who are there to
    sort the wheat from the chaff. Once they determine the complexity of the
    problem you get moved up the ladder. At level 3 you speak to an Australian,
    but it's damned hard to get to that level.
    Justin Thyme, Mar 5, 2004
  19. Hidalgo

    Rod Speed Guest

    And that level of complete support is MUCH more expensive to
    do because you need a different level of monkey to do it well.

    When the margins on the hardware cant pay for that
    anymore, you've got one hell of an unsolvable problem.
    They could indeed.
    More strictly they have no option on the low skill
    with the margins they get on the hardware sales.
    And its all gotta be paid for somehow.
    Rod Speed, Mar 5, 2004
  20. Hidalgo

    Jim Jones Guest

    It doesnt have the remotest relevance to what was being
    discussed, your completely silly demands for references.
    Coz thats what you are, you stupid cow.
    What I do doesnt have any relevance what so ever
    to what was being discussed, your stupid demands
    for references and your stupid demand that nothing
    ever be stated unless there is a reference to 'back it up'
    Fat lot of good that will do you, you stupid clown.
    Jim Jones, Mar 5, 2004
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