The on-site tech's thoughts on Dell's warranty performance

Discussion in 'Dell' started by Dan, Jul 15, 2006.

  1. Dan

    Dan Guest

    Hi, I figured I'd voice my opinion here because, even if I found an
    email address on Dell's website, there's a very good chance the
    message won't be sent to anyone who cares.

    Most surveys Dell performs primarily focus on the overall experience
    of the customer. This is fine and good, but Dell frequently misses
    the opinions and observations of those who work on the systems every
    day: the on-site technicians. Since techs don't have a survey of
    their own, I decided to create this one and voice my opinion of the
    whole on-site warranty system. It's both a mild rant as well as a
    (hopefully helpful) insight into the whole system for everyone else.

    The Dell surveys tend to mix the on-site tech's performance with the
    phone-tech's performance. This makes the phone-tech's scores rise and
    the on-site tech's scores fall. The phone tech put the customer
    through (possibly several hours of) diagnostics, whereas the on-site
    tech arrived and (hopefully) fixed the problem within a few minutes.

    The customer must understand that the on-site tech is a
    sub-contractor; he or she does NOT work directly for Dell, whereas
    the phone tech works directly for Dell. Showing lower on-site tech
    performance gives Dell leverage with their sub-contractor agreements
    (ie less pay). If you receive a survey from Dell, please ask which
    questions are concerning the on-site tech's performance, and which are
    related to your phone-tech experience. The latest Dell surveys
    usually have the first seven questions as the on-site tech's
    performance.


    I am a tech; I enjoy going to a site, fixing the computer, and moving
    on. I don't take it personally when the customer says they never want
    to see me again. With what my employer pays me, it's not worth going
    to more calls than I need to (my employer pays me half of the average
    annual salary in this region, enough for gas costs, food and half my
    rent). The only way I can make a living is by the personal networking
    created by going to Dell calls and helping the customer with other
    computer, software and networking issues.

    The problem with Dell warranty support is that __one out of every
    seven Dell desktop calls is a wrong part__. A warranty customer can
    almost roll a 6-sided dice and figure out if they're going to have to
    take a SECOND day off from work in order to get their computer working
    again (I only work 9-5 Monday through Friday; this job isn't worth
    the hassle of weekends or after-hours, and when I say 5pm I mean
    scheduled up to 4pm since I might have to wait on the phone an hour
    with Dell while they put me on hold 2-3 times getting parts approval
    from their supervisor and then creating the dispatch).

    Dell could cut their on-site tech phone-queue staff in HALF, and their
    parts shipping costs by 5-10% if they improved the wrong-parts ratio
    to about 1 in 10 (or hopefully 1 in 20). Most of my calls to Dell are
    because they only sent out a power supply for a no-POST issue on a
    desktop when both the motherboard AND PS were damaged (for the
    customer's information, the desktop-motherboard LED light is
    completely useless; bad PS's as well as bad mobo's can have a
    perfectly working motherboard LED light). Getting both parts
    delivered depends on the mood of the phone-tech, as well as the mood
    of his supervisor (phone-techs must get the permission of their
    supervisor in order to ship parts out...shipping out less parts makes
    the phone tech look good, but less parts shipped means a greater
    possibility of multiple service calls due to a wrong part). I
    frequently have to yell at them to send the correct parts (the
    phone-tech then escalates the issue and notifies Dell that I was a bad
    on-site tech....whatever).

    Half the time the phone tech sends inadequate desktop parts. The
    other half is at the warehouse end. Phone techs could invoice the
    correct parts, but then the wrong part is dispatched at the warehouse.
    This is verified in the invoices; the paperwork is good, and the part
    is wrong.

    The good side of Dell's warranty support? Almost all laptop calls are
    the correct parts; in my experience there's almost no DSP mistakes
    when it comes to laptop parts (but that's because there's so few parts
    in a laptop; the only major parts are the motherboard,
    bezels/plastics and the LCD...the rest Dell requires the customer to
    replace, like keyboards, AC adapters and hard drives). You (the
    customer) might've noticed that laptop warranties cost more than
    desktops. It's money well spent if your time is valuable.

    I hope this has helped someone make better decisions when dealing with
    Dell.
     
    Dan, Jul 15, 2006
    #1
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  2. Dan

    journey Guest

    It was an interesting read, thank you for posting. If you could
    concisely list how the customer can better work with Dell that would
    be useful, as I didn't quite get those points from your post.
     
    journey, Jul 15, 2006
    #2
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  3. Dan

    journey Guest

    P.S. -- what I also got from your post is that working as a Dell tech
    (or contractor) contains a similar amount of Dilbert material as most
    other jobs, including any of the corporate jobs that I have held.
     
    journey, Jul 15, 2006
    #3
  4. Dan

    Stubby Guest

    Why do you still work for them? I'm sure you could find a job, with
    benifits, that pays you a living wage, or else go into business for
    yourself full-time.

    --
    "A great war leaves the country with three armies - an army of cripples,
    an army of mourners, and an army of thieves."
    - German proverb

    "The true danger is when liberty is nibbled away, for expedients, and by
    parts."
    -- Edmund Burke, statesman and writer (1729-1797)

    "Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are
    conservative."
    -John Stuart Mill, 1806-1873, British philosopher
     
    Stubby, Jul 15, 2006
    #4
  5. DellBot ALERT!!!
     
    Administrator, Jul 15, 2006
    #5
  6. Dan

    Ben Myers Guest

    This is what happens when penny-pinching accountants manage the parts and
    logistics process.

    I had a similar experience with replacement of parts by IBM under warranty. I
    was the tech, fixing up one of the systems I had to resell, and I know darn well
    what I am doing. I called IBM and requested a replacement motherboard, because
    I had tested the motherboard independently of the power supply. The IBM phone
    tech sais that the first thing IBM always does is send out a replacement power
    supply. I objected, and told the tech the motherboard was dead, but to no
    avail. He insisted on sending out a new power supply, which arrived the next
    day. I plugged in the new power supply with predictable results, called back
    IBM, referring to their trouble ticket number. The IBM phone tech dispatched a
    replacement motherboard, which solved the problem, of course. The dead
    motherboard had to be returned to IBM in the usual pre-paid manner. I got to
    keep the power supply, because IBM does not want to pay the bucks to return a
    power supply.

    Now, think if this was a customer with an urgent situation, rather than me,
    fixing up a system in a non-urgent situation. Same as Dell, IBM would have one
    pissed off customer on its hands, all because the IBM "protocol" is to dispatch
    a power supply first, not the motherboard, and not BOTH motherboard and power
    supply.

    But then IBM came out ahead on this one, because I chose to do the repair
    myself, rather than waiting for the IBM on-site tech to arrive some day at some
    indefinite time. I came out ahead, because I wasted very little of my good
    time repairing the system.

    I have similar experiences with Dell's horrendous on-site techs, so I NEVER
    request an on-site tech, only the parts please. I can do it myself just as
    well, and not waste days waiting for on-site techs to show up... Ben Myers
     
    Ben Myers, Jul 15, 2006
    #6
  7. Dan

    journey Guest

    Oh cool, I am among good company then.
     
    journey, Jul 16, 2006
    #7
  8. Dan

    journey Guest

    When I need tech support from Dell, and I know what the problem is, I
    tell them I have already done A, B, C...

    The last time I talked to a gentleman in India, I had him saying yeah
    we know what the problem is, I will send a tech to fix it, but we have
    to go through these scripts before I can talk to a supervisor to have
    it sent out.
     
    journey, Jul 16, 2006
    #8
  9. Dan

    Guest Guest

    Does that have anything to do with the fact that you have to speak to an
    Indian to get your computer fixed?

    They may "technically" speak "English" but we all know it's really NOT
    English. How frustrating that is!!!

    "Tank u for collin dill... Ho me eye bee off serrrvis too u todee?
     
    Guest, Jul 16, 2006
    #9
  10. Dan

    Leythos Guest

    I like how when I call and get an India based call center they answer
    with "Hello, my name is Bob (or Chris or Bill or Dave...)". None of my
    Indian friends are named Bob or Chris or Bill or Dave, it's always
    something with many letters and not a name you would expect to hear in
    the USA. Some of my Indian friends get a kick out of the names the off-
    shore support teams are told to use... if you are nice to the person
    they will sometimes tell you their real name.
     
    Leythos, Jul 16, 2006
    #10
  11. Dan

    journey Guest

    That is a huge pet peeve of mine. The last time I called, at the very
    end, the person said "god bless". wtf .....
     
    journey, Jul 16, 2006
    #11
  12. Dan

    Dan Guest

    Hi, sorry forgot about this thread

    To be honest I was a little harsh about it in the first
    post...the pay is low, but the job flexibility is nice...some days
    (very few) I work late to keep my quota, and some days I can go home
    at 11 in the morning (sometimes still keeping the quota ;) ). It's a
    great job while going to school part-time.

    Back to being a little angry...the only thing that slows down my day
    (and pisses off afternoon customers) is when Dell screws up one too
    many times and drags out my day putting me on hold, spending an extra
    20-30 minutes at each site going through diagnostics and creating
    parts dispatches (it takes them about 10-15 minutes _just to create
    the dispatch_! What bureaucracy!) . I once had three of these in a
    row, starting with the first call in the morning.

    The jobs obtained for my own personal business is growing at 100%
    annually, so to be honest I probably won't be keeping it very long
    (but I have to watch out for taxes...the withholdings from employment
    aren't keeping up...the tax man doesn't like when you ignore him every
    quarter). I also keep it for the benefits (even though I pay a chunk,
    it's still much lower than if I bought them directly). The fact that
    I almost never have to deal with rush hour traffic is a dream.
     
    Dan, Jul 23, 2006
    #12
  13. Dan

    Dan Guest

    Yea...it's the usual. You bust your butt and then your company makes
    a new impossible goal at the same pay rate. They then whines until
    kingdom come that "you techs aren't reaching the goals we need"

    The on-site company demands that we properly execute and close Dell
    calls 397 times out of every 400 calls performed, otherwise they are
    fined by Dell (we perform 80 calls per month, 20 per week...so approx
    every 6 weeks we can make one single mistake :p).

    They're also fined by Dell _the full cost of the part_ (example: $800
    for a laptop motherboard) if the parts for calls aren't returned
    within one week...basically we have one week to schedule and complete
    the call or else we are forced to leave the customer in the dust.
    You're basically on the clock to get him out there and fix your
    computer. It's not a wise idea to call Dell, get a tech, then go on
    vacation for a week or two :p
     
    Dan, Jul 23, 2006
    #13
  14. Dan

    Steve W. Guest

    80 calls a week... Where do I sign up. As a CSR for Gtech (lottery
    equipment) we had a minimum call level of 6 a day. Average was 10 hour
    days with 500 miles driving. This included training the agents,
    remove/install equipment with TV mounts and A-Boards and satellite dish
    installs. Coverage area was from the PA border of NY to the Canada
    border. From Schenectady to Rochester. For fines how about this one. 100
    bucks every 15 minutes they cannot sell an online ticket? The clock
    started 1-2 hours from the time they called the center. Calls were to be
    answered within 24 hours for normal service calls. Total of three
    guys on each day to cover that area from 6am-11pm.
     
    Steve W., Jul 23, 2006
    #14
  15.  
    Dan Sgambelluri, Jul 23, 2006
    #15
  16. I would rather call the tech guy Bob or Steve than a name that I can
    not pronounce.
     
    Dan Sgambelluri, Jul 23, 2006
    #16
  17. Somehow my text joined with the quote.
    Here is what I said.

    North Americans do not speak Proper English anyways
     
    Dan Sgambelluri, Jul 24, 2006
    #17
  18. Dan

    Dan Guest

    The European joke is that most Americans are still working on their
    first language.
     
    Dan, Jul 24, 2006
    #18
  19. Dan

    Ben Myers Guest

    Remind me not to ever go to work as a CSR for GTech or whomever services Dells
    in my neighborhood, just in case I ever think I am desperate enough. Man, you
    talk about sweatshop customer service jobs! ... Ben Myers
     
    Ben Myers, Jul 24, 2006
    #19
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