Thinking of buying a Dell? Think again!

Discussion in 'Dell' started by Psychomation, Nov 10, 2003.

  1. Psychomation

    Tom Scales Guest

    Me too!
    Tom Scales, Nov 10, 2003
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  2. Psychomation

    Tom Scales Guest

    It's all about perspective.

    I manage the operations organization of a medium size company. My teams have
    about 500 customer services reps across the US.

    We're by far the largest in our industry, by about a factor of 15. Most
    competitors are mom and pop operations.

    I have clear, published metrics that show our service is superior to
    everyone else. Every measure.

    The problem?

    That's not our reputation. We have to be world-class in service, hugely
    superior to anyone else, because we spend every day with a target painted on
    us. So, I'm spending literally millions on technology improvements.

    Gotta do it.

    You see, most people misunderstand the difference between QUANTITY of
    complaints (a meaningless measure) and PERCENTAGE of complaints (a
    meaningful measure).

    Being 15 times larger than my next competitor, if I have 10 times the
    complaints, then, wow, I look terrible.

    But since I do 15 times the transactions, then my competitor has 50% more
    complaints -- per transaction.

    That's Dell's problem. They're so big that even though their complains are
    lower than most, by a true measure, the anecdotes are out of control.

    If their service was truly as bad as sometimes represented here, then there
    would be MILLIONS of posts every week from unhappy customers. Not hundreds,
    not thousands, MILLIONS.

    There are not, are there?.

    Before I get the 'apologist' term thrown at me (which I will), I too
    understand that Dell's service has slipped. Every company's service has
    slipped. The profit margins are razor thin, because we all want $400
    desktops and $700 laptops. For the current price/performance, there just
    isn't any money for quality service.

    That's why there ARE premium service plans. For those that desire better
    service, just pay for it.

    Tom Scales, Nov 11, 2003
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  3. Psychomation

    Caden Guest

    I think there are very few people unhappy Adobe customers. But then
    again there are probably very few paying Adobe customers. (ba da bum)
    Caden, Nov 11, 2003
  4. Psychomation

    PC Gladiator Guest

    So you actually think every Dell buyer knows what a newsgroup is or how to
    post to one? Reality check please...

    And nobody has answered a question I have posted previously, namely, "Why is
    off shore support good enough for Dell home buyers but NOT good enough for
    Dell's business buyers?" Our money is just as green yet the stacks of it
    aren't enough for Dell to care about.

    I have also offered an alternative approach for Dell if it wants to cut
    costs but not quality. They could reduce the warranty period to 3/4 of a
    year but offer QUALITY during that time frame. Unfortunately they have made
    a conscious decision that 1) their home buyers are not worth quality support
    and 2) cost cutting to the detriment of home buyers is an acceptable
    business approach.

    To be fair, it is not only Dell making these poor decisions. It is the
    usual sacrifice of longterm customer loyalty for short term bottom line
    improvement. All the management team will no doubt get large bonuses for
    cost cutting this year and be long gone when all the problems come home to
    roost in a few years.
    PC Gladiator, Nov 11, 2003
  5. Psychomation

    Tom Scales Guest

    Dell is the greatest, best, etc. nothing is their fault. They are perfect.
    Dell is right, everyone who is not happy with Dell is wrong!
    Tom Scales, Nov 11, 2003
  6. How much did you pay for support? How much does business support cost? Big
    Dell has not made that choice. The market has made it for them. Americans
    are notoriously indifferent to good service. Many people just won't pay
    extra for it. But you can pay for, and get, good service. Emphasis ... must
    pay for it. Would anyone care to comment on Dell's high-tier support option?
    What problems would come home to roost? You said it yourself. Dell's
    competitors are cutting service too. So what if you turn your nose up at
    poor Dell service, and buy a Compaq next time? Surely there's a Compaq owner
    out there who's unhappy with Compaq service, and will buy a Dell next time.

    The problem is that this is a low-margin business. And prices are being cut
    relentlessly. In 1998 I paid $1910 for a P2/300MHz/64MB/6GB system. In 2000
    I paid $1320 for a P3/800MHz/128MB/30GB box. In 2001 I paid $850 for a
    P4/1600MHz/256MB/40GB box. There's not much money in there for service. Add
    some more money in and you can get service.
    Lester Horwinkle, Nov 11, 2003
  7. Psychomation

    BD Guest

    While my Dell I8200 has been relatively trouble free, it's not even a year
    old yet...and obsolete.
    My next notebook may be from
    Check them out.
    BD, Nov 11, 2003
  8. Psychomation

    PC Gladiator Guest

    How much did you pay for support? How much does business support cost? Big
    Dell is building support costs into the PC for one year. If you want it
    longer then you pay more. But people ARE paying for it. Or do actually
    think it is free?

    REALLY?! The market asked Dell (and others) for substandard support? I
    should have known it couldn't have been Dell's (or others) decision since
    they are perfect in all ways. ;-)

    So Americans don't care if they get good service? Pardon my bluntness, but
    that's the stupidest thing I've heard in a very long time.


    "Dell's high-tier support option"??? I don't see this option for home
    buyers. Dell must be saving these very few knowledgeable tech support
    people for their business buyers. Home buyers get bad telephone connections
    to people in India with English as a second or third language.

    The percentage of home buyers making repeat purchases from Dell will surely
    fall. Why wouldn't they try somebody else if they know Dell's support is

    And Dell's costs have fallen just as much. There are NO options a home
    buyer can add except to extend the length of their substandard tech support
    or to jump to the front of the line for substandard support.
    PC Gladiator, Nov 11, 2003
  9. Psychomation

    Irene Guest

    I agree with you that the hardware and support provided by the "business
    computer" division is very good, probably excellent.

    I think you would have a very had time finding many posts to this group that
    says otherwise.

    But try reading a few of the comments about the support provided for
    "consumer PC's". There is a big difference and it has been getting worse by
    the month. Now you may have the experience to forgo Dell technical
    support(and based on the equipment you are using, you probably do), but, the
    majority of the people who buy home PC's do not, and depend on Dell for
    their support.
    Unlike you, they can't afford to stick with Dell if they can't get the
    dependable technical support that they require.
    Irene, Nov 11, 2003
  10. Psychomation

    Irene Guest

    "Why is
    That's so easy, and it should be obvious.

    1) The average consumer of home PC's will tolerate it. Some of the posts to
    this group should make that painfully obvious.

    2) If Dell provided that kind of garbage support to corporations for their
    business lines, they would not be able to keep their corporate customers,
    customers who buy dozens, hundreds, and even thousand of computers and
    servers from them.

    3) Lastly and most importantly, they can provide sorry off-shore support to
    their "home PC' market without adversely effecting their bottom line. At
    least, they have been able to do it so far. How long that can continue
    remains an open question.
    Irene, Nov 11, 2003
  11. Psychomation

    Psychomation Guest

    We just got the surprise charge yesterday and contacted AmEx (to make sure
    to get the procedure right) and then sent Dell the request/complaint. I
    will let the board know if and when Dell takes action. If they don't we
    should be covered by AmEx. They are pretty good about this kind of thing.

    Someone else here mentions HP. I had a great experience with HP once,
    reallly excellent. But I know that many have had bad ones. Of course Dell
    is not the only company having problems. What I think is not great though
    is that Dell made its name on excellent service. That service, even
    pre-sale was poor. After ordering ont he web, I needed to contact them and
    it was over 24 hours before I got somene to answer me. In fact, I think it
    was only after we cancelled by fax that I got an email from this sales
    person. Before then, I tried to call twice (during business hours) and she
    was out. I also sent two emails saying I urgently needed to make a change.

    For what it's worth, I built a slightly more powerful PC with a *way*
    better LCD screen for about the cost of the Dell we would have ordered.
    When I need to swap out a part, I won't have to go though long phone
    discussions about rebooting and reformating - which I did once with Dell
    service when a customer had a bad diskette reader! Our first Dell still
    works ok, although I'm checking on a problem that may be a bad NIC.

    There are happy and unhappy users of all brand names. I just posted because
    I think it's good to have the other side of "Dude you're getting a Dell"
    when Googling for references.
    Psychomation, Nov 11, 2003
  12. Psychomation

    Psychomation Guest

    And here is a post on that exact subject from another forum where I am
    working on getting the NIC problem solved.

    Dell was happy enough to charge me the day they shipped (a defective
    system) but when I insisted on returning it for credit, it took them
    two and a half months to post the credit. But this was about 6 years
    ago. Between the lazy accounting and the defective MoBo I took them
    off my list of vendors. I personally no longer purchase anything but
    build-your-own components these days."

    Gosh Michael, there are two of us now.
    Psychomation, Nov 11, 2003
  13. Psychomation

    Carol Guest

    1. File a complaint with
    2. Dispute the charge with your credit card company.
    3. If you find a good, reliable computer at a good price and with customer
    support based in the U.S. by techs who know what they're doing, please let
    us know.

    Carol, Nov 11, 2003
  14. Psychomation

    Carol Guest

    Please, please tell me which computer company sells a very good, reliable
    computer and gives good customer service and has tech support is based in
    the U.S. and doesn't have a million complaints about it.

    Carol, Nov 11, 2003
  15. Psychomation

    Tom Scales Guest

    I'll answer that specific question.

    Business buyers that want fast, onshore support BUY it. They pay more for

    You can too. No problem. Just sign up for Premier or Gold or whatever they
    call it these days.

    You get what you pay for.

    Tom Scales, Nov 11, 2003
  16. Your 2, 3, or 4 year "support" is for the cheap (some say "worthless")
    off-shore support.

    They have better support packages available. So do other vendors.

    But as I said, if you want better, you have to PAY MORE.
    Lester Horwinkle, Nov 11, 2003
  17. Psychomation

    PC Gladiator Guest

    You keep saying there is better support available to the home buyer but
    never provide any details. I cannot find any "better support" option other
    than more of the same substandard support. Where are you getting this?
    PC Gladiator, Nov 11, 2003
  18. Psychomation

    PC Gladiator Guest

    I don't see this option when configuring a home system online. Are you sure
    home buyers can purchase it? If so, how?
    PC Gladiator, Nov 11, 2003
  19. Psychomation

    Psychomation Guest

    Not familiar with it. I'll take a look.
    Hi Carol,

    It really requires very, very little now how to put together a good PC with
    parts as good as the major hardware companies use. They all use parts from
    Asia anyway, i.e., all parts come from the same place.

    The only tools and skills required to build a PC are a screwdriver and a
    sense of clockwise and counter clockwise. That latter can be acquired by
    trial and error. It may seem daunting to some, but those must have at least
    a nephew or child that can put the box together.

    Now a laptop is obviously totally different and we're all dependent on
    ratings of those big names. I've heard Dell is good and I've heard it's
    bad. I didn't have any trouble with my old HP laptop until the last days of
    the warranty. The battery went bad and I got someone on the phone who was
    bright enough to have a battery sent to me without reformatting the disk or
    reinstalling Windows. They didn't even wait to see if I sent the old
    defective one in.

    Unfortunately, small integrators (your strip mall guys, for example) aren't
    usually very good at service either and often make lousy PCs and/or go out
    of business before you need them. There are exceptions to this, but how to
    find the good ones? The logic is, let's go with a bigger company, a proven
    value and they'll be there when we need them. True, good logic. However,
    the service angle will often be very expensive time wise on the phone and

    Other than laptops, I am now going to continue building my own. My own
    began life as a 486 in 1994. Most everything has been upgraded since of
    course, but it's easy enough to do.
    Psychomation, Nov 11, 2003
  20. Psychomation

    S.Lewis Guest


    Wait a second. I want some of this action.

    Tom is really me, but with generally better responses. Does that merit at
    least $2.50?

    S.Lewis, Nov 11, 2003
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