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Gotta Dell, Dude? Tell us about it

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September 21, 2005

Gotta Dell, Dude? Tell us about it

Peter Burrows

My colleague Louise Lee, who covers Dell Inc., is looking to hear from Dell customers about their experiences with Dell's customer service and product support. So if you've got a Dell and have had a recent experience, good or bad, we'd like to hear your story.

11:39 PM

Personal Computers

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I've ordered from dell MANY times - I switched from Palm after many years and ordered a Dell Axim online. That process went just fine - in a way. They said it would take 3 days it took one. In any case I then wanted to order a wireless SD card for it and called Dell to know if one I was going to buy on eBay would work. They said yes. I ordered the SD card didn't work. I couldn't return the eBay purchased SD card so I decided to return the Dell I purchased and upgrade to a Dell with built in wireless for WiFi and NOT just bluetooth. Returning it was CRAZY. A series of phone calls, on holds, questions, no answers, answers, no questions.

However, regarding desktops - I've ordered what 10, 15 over the years and the process has been fine.

Also if you are an "enterprise" customer you get better support than the "Consumer" support which they outsource to another country so you get the scripted, fake nice, formal english. The support with someone from Texas, North Carolina or wherever in the US is MUCH better.

Dell's got a great online tool, but in some ways they could make the phone part much better and easier to navigate.

Ramon Ray,

Posted by: Ramon Ray at September 22, 2005 07:42 AM

Wow, I don't even know where to start. I'll give the basic summary of the Hell I went through, and if you want more details, let me know.

I ordered a new battery from Dell for a laptop that was a year old and suffering with low uptime. The salesguy told me the battery would last for 8 hours. I knew he was wrong, but I should have taken this as a cue that something bad was going to happen. I went ahead and ordered the battery thinking that even if it gave me just 2 hours, it would be more time then I was getting now (40 minutes or so). The battery came in, and my uptime went to .... 50 minutes.

So I began one morning by calling Dell. I got through to an operator in about 5 mins, which isn't bad. As she worked on my problem though, she accidently hung up on me. Ok, mistakes happen. So I called back. After a -30- minute wait this time, I was told I was in the wrong queue. I'm not sure how that could happen, but it did. 2 hours later, I had been transferred 2 more times, everytime to the wrong queue. I demanded a manager. He tries to get me to the right queue but couldn't get through. He promised me a call.

When it didn't come, I called Dell back around 3:30 that day. Once again I was sent to the wrong queue 3 times. On the 3rd time, the guy said, "Oh, not only are you in the wrong queue, but the right queue is closed." I asked for a manager. He told me the main call center had been shut down, and I was just "unlucky" enough to not get routed to the back up center. Once again I was promised a call back. I never got it.

So - turns out - I figured something I was doing wrong. I was able ot get my battery life up. Then the laptop would just shut off at 33% charge. No warning, nothing, just -off-. So, I call Dell again. This time I got lucky. They sent me out a new battery and so far, it has been acting fine.

What boils me up is that I had to spend (almost) an entire day in "hell" as I was transferred back and forth, and -two- managers lied to me. I'm not a big business, but I've spent around 10k at Dell over the last year, and probably 30k over the last 5 years. Unfortunately, I do not think I'll be buying Dell again.

Posted by: Raymond Camden at September 22, 2005 01:38 PM

Bought Dell laptop in ISA. No adapter for Europe.So I ask send me a universal one. No! buy in Europe.Dell EUR says we have none; buy a EUR adapter. Poor service!

Posted by: Hans Kalff at September 22, 2005 02:23 PM

I got a Dell in February. The hard drive died in April - I was routed through at least 10 people during my service call (90% concluding and advising me that the hard drive failed because of "spyware" - please). The diagnosis was that the drive was defective - they did replace the drive but I also replaced the Dell - I got a Powerbook.

Posted by: rajesh at September 22, 2005 02:27 PM

I recently purchased a Dell 8600 Laptop just before they stopped that product line. Labeled as a desktop replacement, I was eager to have somewhat portable computer that I could trust. Everyone I know who purchased from Dell had no problems.

I received my computer fairly quickly with everything I asked for. The interesting thing about their system is that they won't send out parts of your system, like software, separately. They send it all at once. While one of the items I requested moved the shipping date back a little, it was nice to get everything in one package.

I've had my Dell 8600 for a little while now, and I'm very happy with it. It isn't nearly as portable as I'd like -- it's widescreen and a little thick -- but it's what I need. It's very powerful and I haven't had a single problem.

Posted by: Harrison at September 22, 2005 05:03 PM

I have been documenting poor Dell experiences for quite a while at

Posted by: michael horowitz at September 22, 2005 11:01 PM

We have a studio fro recording audio. A few months ago we bought a Dell Dimension 8400 to use as the primary audio production machine. We have had continual problems with it. At irregular intervals it begins introducing pops and clicks into the audio files. Not acceptable.

There are a few of us who could troubleshoot it but they were all working on client projects and so fixing the Dell fell to me.

We had called Dell to get some support but their idea was to selectively turn off services and see what the problem was. I basically started out doing that on my own to see what I could find out.

After a bit of troubleshooting, it became obvious that when the audio was distorted, the CPU utilization would be operating at 50-60%. This is a 3.2 GHz machine with 2 Gigs of Ram and SATA hard drives. It would be recording fine at 5-6% and then the system utilization would greatly increase. I tried two audio programs and couldn?? find a consistent pattern for the CPU utilization.

Finally after running Process Explorer from Sysinternals I found the problem.

It appears that the Dell Dimension 8400 with a GeForce 6800 graphics card can?? work together. Since I need the computer right away, I went out and bought an ATI based card and what do you know, no more high utilization.

Now I have to call Dell and see what they will do to resolve the situation.

Posted by: Peter Hoven at September 23, 2005 02:20 AM

I must be unusual. I've owned 8 Dells, both lap and desk, and have yet to have a hardware or operational issue. The 3 calls placed to Tech were answered quickly (I call early Sunday mornings)and, as it turned out, the conflicts were with the hardware I was trying to install and not with any of the Dell components. As with any computer - BACKUP, BACKUP, BACKUP.

Posted by: Hulka at September 23, 2005 03:18 PM

I'm so excited! We ordered 4 18gb SCSI hard drives from Dell and they came today...after a nightmare of 3+ months of trying to get them. At one point I even asked them if they really did sell hardware or was this just a malicious rumor?

I work as a systems librarian for a small, private college. I needed to upgrade our server (a Dell, which I must admit has been trouble free...good thing too!) and needed new hard drives before I could do so. I called Dell for a quote. I never received it. I called them back a week later and was told 'oh someone dropped the ball, but we'll take care of it'. I received the quote. However, it included taxes. I called them (just getting to speak to a real human there is a treat!) and was told to fax our tax exempt certificate to them. I did so along w/ a PO to purchase the hard drives. A month later, I call for an update. Our order has been placed on hold w/ no explanation why. No phone calls, no emails, nada!!! I was told they'd correct the problem and get back to me. And so on, and so on, and so on. This has been such a nightmare that although I personally have 2 Dell computers at home, and have the server here at work, I will NEVER purchase from them again. I could have built the d*mn thing myself in the time it took for them to get this problem corrected. Oh and everytime I spoke to one of them about it, I was told 'we're a team here at Dell'. I told them time and again, you're team has let me down! It took my boss contacting a supervisor to expedite our purchase. Even then it still took a couple of weeks to get the problem resolved. We were told there was a back order. Never, ever again.

Posted by: Brenda Kerwin at September 23, 2005 03:21 PM

I called Dell Tech Support on Friday, September 9, 2005. It was one of the most irritating experiences of my life and I will NEVER EVER buy another thing from Dell as long as I live. First there was the frustration of their "if you want x, press 1" routing system, then their loooonnngg hold time. Then I got a tech with an accent I had a hard time understanding, plus I'm hearing-impaired. The man began rattling off his "how-can-I-help-you" spiel and I tried to interrupt him to tell him I'm hearing-impaired and to please speak slowly. He said "My name is (unintelligible), thank you for calling Dell, have a nice day" and hung up. I had to go through the whole horrid routing system again. This time I got a tech who said he'd talk slowly for me, but he told me to do something to the computer that I didn't understand. I asked him to repeat what he wanted me to do, and he said, "My name is Steven, thank you for calling Dell, have a nice day" and hung up again!!!!

By this time I've been on the phone for over an hour trying to get help. I'm nearly in tears. This time I get a woman who tells me that before she can help me I have to buy a service plan because she can't find me in the computer. Frustrated, I let her put 105$ on my credit card. Then another long hold with another tech who disconnects me!

I'm in tears by this time. Fortunately I get a very nice man with a lovely British accent who apologizes profusely and takes great pains to help me. Unfortunately he can't, but tells me he'll get me a refund for the $105 he says I shouldn't have been forced to pay in the first place. He transfers me to refunds.

I get a horribly rude woman who acts impatient when I explain my hearing problem and talks to me in almost baby-talk tones. She says it will be a month before I get my refund. I can't believe it and say I want my refund NOW. She snaps "You will get your refund in 30 days, thank you for calling Dell, HAVE A NICE DAY!" Her voice steadily rises until she's shouting the have a nice day part, and she hangs up on me.

I've been on the phone for THREE AND A HALF HOURS with these horrible people. I call back, in tears, and get a nice woman who is appalled by my story and explains that no, it doesn't take 30 days to get a refund. It will show up in a week. She apologizes even though none of this is her fault.

Now, I've worked customer service before, and I agree that people who curse or shout should be hung up on, but at no time did I do any of those things. With the two notable exceptions, the reps were rude, condescending, insulting, impatient jerks. Dell has the absolute worst customer "service" I've ever had the misfortune to encounter. Obviously customer satisfaction means nothing to them, but maybe the loss of business will. I certainly won't buy another product from Dell as long as I live and will make sure that any other prospective Dell customer I meet knows exactly what kind of treatment they'll get if they're foolish enough to give Dell their $

Posted by: Helaina Burton at September 23, 2005 07:23 PM

I bought a Dell Inspiron 4150 and have been very, very disappointed with both the customer service as well as the quality of the hardware. I buy a new laptop about every 2 years, but won't ever buy another Dell. Its the worst laptop I have ever owned. Specifics: CD-ROM latch stripped about 6 months after purchase, and falls out constantly. Keyboard letters have completely worn off, also within 6 months. The computer overheats, and shuts down, with no warning. And, the power cord was also defective, and became so hot I thought it would catch on fire. Their Dell online technical solution center, designed to troubleshoot these problems, is cumbersome and difficult to navigate. I can find solutions faster just using Google! The Dell customer service is horrible too, with endless annoying routing choices, painful wait times and delays, and once you finally connect to a 'person', I found them to not be helpful, or customer focused at all! I would have to say it is some of the worst customer 'service' I have ever experienced in terms of time and frustration, without any resolution. Dell used to be considered a quality brand, not anymore. They seem to be too focused on lowering their costs, but at the expense, alas, of building a quality, reliable system, and do not seem concerned about retaining their customers. I would imagine this decline of quality and service is finally showing up on their bottom line, with fewer repeat customers. Here is a bottom line that Dell might want to reconsider instead: If you want repeat customers, build quality systems and offer quality customer service. Cheaper is not better, it is just more annoying to the customer, with the constant breakdowns and the non-existent support.

Posted by: jocelyn turpin at September 24, 2005 12:48 AM

I bought several times from DELL, and my experience was each time VERY GOOD: very fast to answer, fast to quote, they called me back to confirm the delivery date, and I had no issue with both my PCs (Notebook/desktop) and my large flat TV set.

I would strongly recommend anyone to buy from DELL for an additional reason: when I want an upgrade on my PC, I just call them and they know exactly what I have and what I need...

Posted by: RUIZ Christophe at September 24, 2005 11:07 AM

I had a horrible experience. The short of it, and I won't let you know how many phone calls it took:

Ordered 2 laptops - at 7000m and 9300.

Received - after SIX WEEKS - two 9300's with one of them showing it was a 7000m

Took SIX MORE WEEKS to get a 7000m shipped to me and they did not enclose return slips for the extra 9300.

After 2 hours on the phone, got them to email me the shipping return authorization stuff.

Got billed for the extra 9300 and still showing its a 7000m on their invoice.


Posted by: Spaceman Spiff at September 24, 2005 05:03 PM

I haven't had any bad service from Dell in years; this story is the one that I'll always remember though, anytime I think of bad service...

The audio wouldn't work after a fresh factory OS reinstall on a freshly replaced motherboard, and they insisted it was the OS. After I left, the laptop spent 12 weeks in Dell's hand while they tried to find the problem. It never got fixed.

Posted by: Richard at September 24, 2005 09:58 PM

I recently purchased a dell laptop and a canon digital camera from dell. It's just 3 months and I am ready to trade the laptop for half the price and switch to IBM. First, the product is horrible and there is not much of technical support available. As I myself is a computer engineer, I do understand the missings in the system. But I couldn't connect to anyone in technical support who could help me beyond the standard questions or problem solving chart that they have. It appears that most of the technical support guys were just out of school with little or no knowledge.

I also had a very very frustating exp. regarding my purchase of my canon camera. I placed the order online and when I went to check the status the next day, I couldn't find any order against me. So I called Dell and had a rep. enter an order for me over the phone. Surprisingly, I found myself having 2 camera's with me as both the orders went through. Of course, I was charged twice as well. After 20 min. of explanations to one of the cust. rep. I finally managed to get an RA for one of the camera's and return address, where to ship the camera. My shipment returned back saying the address was incorrect and when I contacted dell again they took 1 week to investigate and gave me a new address. I just returned it, bearing all the shipping charges and vowed never to buy anything from Dell again.

As per me, the customer service went bad in last few years. I purchased a dell machine 5 years ago and had wonderful experience. Then again, 2.5 years ago I purchased a laptop and things were great with the support as the harddisk of my machine went bad and they promptly replaced it. I was impressed with the technical support team. However, now I am not at all satisfied and have heard similar things from many of my friends. In fact, my company is now moving away from Dell to IBM and I am very happy about this move. I find dealing with IBM great.

Posted by: Ashish at September 24, 2005 11:28 PM

I'm in Europe and I bought a Dell Dimension XPS Gen 5 in August.

I am mightily impressed with Dell's product ordering system here. From customizing my system on Dell's website, to my first contact with Dell's sales office here in Amsterdam, to tracking my order online at the factory in Ireland, right through to seeing the delivery progress on the carrier's website, I have no complaints at all.

Indeed, I find it really impressive that Dell has organized their online ordering system to work so seamlessly in different languages in different countries. Very good indeed.

Everything arrived when Dell said it would, in good order.

If I ever need to call customer support, I'll expect great service notwithstanding all the horror stories!

Posted by: Neville Hobson at September 25, 2005 10:50 AM

You can add me to your list of very unsatisfied customers. As it stands now after 2 1/2 years of trying to clear my credit report of THEIR accounting mistake, I have been unable to reverse this error. I, too, wrote letters to the CEO after spending countless hours and energy with their, and I use this term loosely, "customer service." It seems they can only read from a script and not understand or care to solve the problem at hand. My credt reports shows a delinquent account with a $0 balance. THIS IS INTERESTING SINCE I DO NOT OWN A DELL PRODUCT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After this experience, I will NEVER be involved with a company that cares so little for it customers.

Posted by: marie cassidy at September 25, 2005 03:54 PM

I had the worst experience with Dell and plan to never purchase anything from Dell again. I bought a laptop for business school. When it came to me, it was very blurry. As I had purchased the 2-year full-coverage warranty, a technician came to my apartment to see what was wrong. The first time, we missed each other, and instead of following up with me, the trouble ticket was closed, and I had to call the service line again, wait in a long queue again, and be put on hold while another trouble ticket was opened. Each call always took on average 20 minutes. The first time the technician visited, he looked at my computer and thought the problem might be the motherboard. But he didn't have a replacement motherboard. So I had to call services again, set up another trouble ticket, and order a replacement motherboard. By the time the technician was able to come again with the motherboard, 2 weeks had passed. When he took my laptop apart, he discovered the videocard was in pieces. Needless to say, he was unable to fix my computer, and due to the delay, I was beyond the 30-day period to return the laptop. Therefore, I had to go through the services hassle over and over, making futile attempts to fix individual broken components in the laptop, until a month later, when Dell finally decided to give me a "new" laptop. It took 4 weeks to arrive because the service person I spoke with accidentally didn't place the order, and it wasn't until I called back to inquire about the delay 2 weeks later that they actually put in the order. When I got the "new" laptop, it was refurbished, and the hard drive crashed within 1 week. Dell had me call on the phone, wasting hours, to reinstall the operating system, even though the tech people at school had reinstalled it for me. Dell would not believe that they had reinstalled it for me and needed me to do it with them on the phone before they would take me to the next step in the process. Then they ordered a new hard drive, which took a week to arrive. When I installed the new hard drive, it crashed as well. At this point, I was so frustrated with Dell, I wanted to return the laptop. I had already been 4 months without a working laptop during business school. Dell put me through to their "exceptions" group, and after taking 30 mins. to explain the situation, I was told I would hear an answer about whether I could return the laptop within a week. I NEVER heard back, despite repeated calls. I put in a 2nd request and waited another week. Still never heard back. At this point, I told my stepfather the problem, and his company uses Dell, so he could talk to his Dell sales rep about the problem. This sales rep was able to get me a completely new laptop. This connection is the ONLY reason I have a working laptop from Dell now. Lessons learned: 1) It's useless to buy a full-coverage warranty from Dell because they will make you jump through incredible hoops to get any value out of it, including being on the phone with them for hours, during the times when their technical service office is open, only. 2) Their customer service is terrible - they can even tell you personally that they will respond to you without doing so. 3) Unless you know a company sales rep, you are screwed.

Posted by: Angela Shue at September 25, 2005 04:24 PM

my dell kept crashing. i kept calling. after 6 weeks and i have the extended warranty i decided to call the sales dept. a nice person there put me through to nashville where the person took care of my problems. after 6 weeks. ill never buy anything made by dell again.

Posted by: william weaver at September 25, 2005 04:46 PM

I bought a Dell desktop and one big reason was that the company was always rated high for performance and customer service in Consumer Reports. I set it up, only to be greeted by words along the lines of "Can't Find Disk."

I shipped it back.

After receiving and setting up the replacement I (luckily) discovered that the Windows Help files didn't work. I would click on "Help and Support" and nothing would happen.

This really didn't seem like a big deal, but I did need to get Help to work. I began with a couple of emails back and forth to customer support, which brought some frustratingly unhelpful canned responses about what Help and Support is and where to find it, etc.

So I tried the phone. At first, there was difficulty explaining my problem, particularly because there was a lot of English-as-a-Second Language-type issues. But also perhaps because my problem was too simple and I was seen as someone unable to understand something as basic as "Help."

Anyway, they soon had me uninstalling and reinstalling Windows on this new machine. This had no effect and I was becoming extremely uncomfortable with the whole thing.

Luckily, I was still within the return period (barely) at this point. When I told them to just forget it, I'm sending it back, all of a sudden it was like, I think I can help you, what if I said I would connect you with an expert? I'm thinking, what are you, the janitor?

So I shipped the second one back and bought an HP, which has worked great for a year now.

Posted by: Pocket at September 25, 2005 05:15 PM

Two bits to add:

1) A podcast on Dell's woes

2) Dell shuts down their customer support forum

Posted by: Christopher Carfi at September 25, 2005 11:36 PM

I work in a data recovery lab. We get a lot of cases where the Dell computer had a failing hard drive, and the support line mis-diagnosed the problem as a virus or spyware. More often than not, the client is led down the "restore disk" path, which results in their drive being reformatted and their data being lost. When the same symptoms reappear, only then does the technician diagnose a faulty hard drive, but by this time the client's data has already gone missing. We are usually able to recover the data even in cases like this.

Posted by: Chris Jones at September 26, 2005 11:00 AM

DELL Products & Service - UK Experience

DELL Customer Care, Service & Support: Score 000/100!

Purchased System which included DELL GPD20C (Mitsubishi HL6945) Monitor at a cost of some 1,314 GBP in February 1994. Within an eighteen month subsequent period had two replacement Monitors shipped due to total failure, shortly thereafter the third Monitor failed - all assumed identical fault/failure. NONE of the Monitors shipped, including the original were new; ALL were used/repaired units! Monitor has remained in the box ever since - over the years, numerous e-mails/faxes/snail-mail have been directed to DELL UK & USA Headquarters for attention, also to Mitsubishi who deny having experienced any problems whatsoever with the particular chassis/Monitor build. All just ??ilge?from my experience, I have had three Monitors and all having been previously repaired!

Have got absolutely NOWHERE in my efforts to attain a just outcome with DELL.

The moral, just like the majority of other sector dominant Companies, there is always another “sucker” around the corner. Think carefully about purchasing DELL!


Still on Dell’s case! Have repeatedly faxed DELL Texas HQ, which generated ‘ phoned communication from DELL Ireland, even received a letter from Janeann Dempsey from their ‘Executive Support Team’ …sent more letters etc., but there remains apathy of conscience to any responsibilities to the customer, where the passage of time should not negate liability. The FACTS are they NEVER supplied a NEW working Monitor from purchase, simply shipping older, repaired replacements …Model IDs & Serial Numbers are proof!

Anyone who would like to contact me about their issues with DELL products, then please feel free to e-mail

Posted by: Paul Faulkner at September 27, 2005 08:43 AM

After several months with my Dell, it started making a noise - like a grinding - and it began to act unusally. For instance, I would double click on a folder and fifteen seconds later the window would open. It used to open immediately. So, I figured I better contact Dell before my one year warranty was up. The first time I contacted them was by phone, but after a couple hours, I ended the call out of frustration. After that, I used the chat feature. That eliminated some of the repeating, but I spent hours and got nowhere. My last chat session ended like this:

Dell: Are you satisfied with the level of service provided today by me ?

Me: No.

Dell: Thank you for your feedback.

Thank you for choosing Dell Hardware warranty Support.

It was a pleasure serving you.

If you feel that the question have been answered kindly go ahead and end this chat.

Even though I responded that I was unsatisfied, nothing was done to ammend that. I am disgusted with Dell and it's complete lack of care for its customers. They have lost a future customer.

Posted by: Katie Cloyd at September 27, 2005 08:26 PM

I am filled with utter amazement at the absolutely and incredibly poor customer care received by me from Dell the last few days. To say it is poor service is being kind. To say that Dell should be put out of business or at the least investigated by the US Attorney general is a safer statement.

I purchased a laptop from Dell last December, and purchased a service warrantee. I have spent the last three business days on the phone for hours on end trying to get my computer order for repair in line, with the only result being an absence from my work and incredible frustration over your company's incompetence. your one day service guarantee is not holding up to any scrutiny, your employees cannot speak understandable English, and I have no faith that my computer will ever be fixed. I have been transgferred to "supervisors" who put me on hold for over an hour, told when the part will ship, that the part is backordered, that there never wan an order placed, that my order was halted by a supervisor. You name it, I have heard it all in just three business days. Menawhile, my next day service guarantee ticks away.

My next correspondence was to the Texas Atty General's office- next will be to the Texas newspapers and the BBB from about Dell's corporate issues.

Mandy Candler

Is anyone there at Dell?????????????????????????????????

Posted by: Mandy Candler at September 28, 2005 12:41 PM

I feel Dell's foundational problem is their internal employment policies. Dell has successfully debilitated its own workforce and undermined morale, to create trunover. There is no such thing as a career at Dell, and layoffs in the U.S. by the thousands over the years while those jobs were given to very cheap foreign labor has ruined Dell's core competency. There are so many loose ends in Dell, because of demoralization of the workforce, the incentive to excel has been long ago replaced with a mere need to survive. The results -- just read the other comments.

Posted by: bob at September 30, 2005 10:29 PM

I just purchased an Inspiron 6000, and the hard drive died on the first day! I contacted DELL, and they agreed to send a replacement drive, plus system software. What I received was a clearly-marked refurbished drive! I called DELL, and to make a *very* long story short, they agreed to a $100 rebate, rather than have me return the whole computer (but it took me several hours battling with Dell, and the leverage of my credit card company to get that concession).

Despite the monetary compensation, the whole episode left me with bad feelings about DELL and their customer support. I've learned, and won't just automatically choose a DELL brand when I replace my home office computer next year. I'm going to seek out some technician's brand opinions first. DELL is going to be my *last* choice, not my first.

Posted by: Sandy Ormerod at October 1, 2005 01:31 PM

It took 4 hours and a day in hell to order a Dell for one of my neighbors.

I tried to call and place an order for $600.00 Dell Gift Card. I was hung up on. So it seems, no one wants to waste their time on this because they don't get anything for it. I tried ordering on the web and the page wasn't working. I had no recourse BUT the phone. As a "FAVOR" one of the reps said, "he didn't mind."

Lastly, I'm sick and tired of talking to Offshore people. It is so difficult to understand them. On top of that, the phone systems often times interrupt or cut off the person speaking. Add that to an accent, plus a wait time equal to waiting in hell and I'm amazed anyone wants to buy from Dell. Mike oughtta try it out himself and be disconnected and transferred into multiple WRONG ques or better yet, spend half a day trying to speak to the right person to answer a simple question or order just a little computer or better yet -- a gift card. Sheeez.

I've had it with them. Number one rule, Mike, don't tick off your customers.

Posted by: Diana at October 6, 2005 04:27 PM

I was completely ripped off by Dell Computer! I ordered (3) 380 series computers and the claim was that you could receive a free 17" monitor with this package. I needed the 19 inch monitors but wanted to take advantage of the promotion. I ordered the equipment and immediately emailed support when I found that I could not find this selection on the web. After going back and forth, over and over a friendly customer support rep verified that I had pretty much paid full price for the 19" monitors and was due the (3) 17” monitors. He said I would receive an email with the shipping info. Well I suppose they rethought things afterward and decided that I only deserve 100.00 for my troubles. I purchased those particular computers because of that promotion so I feel completely ripped off.

I will keep you updated to see if they will do the right thing

Best Wishes,


Posted by: Dave Keller at October 7, 2005 10:34 PM

I ordered a laptop from Dell on 9/13. My order has been delayed 4 times now; if it ever ships, it will be 5 weeks after the order was placed. I have been told, alternately, that the delay was in parts to the case, then a week later it was the display, then 2 weeks later, it was the hard drive. Last week they promised to call me every day with order updates, and have not yet come through on that promise. I have spent hours trying to get the order filled or expedited. Everyone has been polite, but waiting over a month is very, very frustrating.

Last night I received a call telling my my order would be shipping in one or two days. This morning my email held a one-more-week delay notification.

Their representative today told me that Inspiron orders have a 21 day build cycle, yet if I go to their site and get ready to place an order for a new laptop, shipping is estimated at 7 days from today.

I have purchase 5-6 computers from Dell, only Dell over the last maybe 10 years, and have NEVER been this frustrated. I have always spoken highly of their delivery, service and technical support. I am losing faith.

Frustratedly yours,


Posted by: John at October 12, 2005 12:24 PM

I'd just like to point out - people that have really bad experiences go write up about it. People that are satisfied are rarely compelled to go write about it. I think it's fair to say *most* people go through without a hitch, despite the seemingly endless amount of dissatisfied people.

I've ordered 4 computers from Dell and never had a hitch. On one of them, a Windows update caused my Dimension 2400 desktop to not boot. The tech support answered fast, spoke real English, and basically told me to reinstall the operating system. He thought it would wipe all of my files, but it didn't - it just replaced the core OS files. My documents and such were fine.

Anyway - I'm happy with them. :)

Posted by: Allen at October 12, 2005 07:53 PM

It's been two years I am using a DELL inspiron 8500 laptop. I am satisfied from its performance and from their support. I had a problem with the sensor that check's if my screen is open or not so I called them.

I was taken into each step to disassemble the broken part and the next day a new part was sent to me. I am satisfied until now hope to avoid bad surprises!

Posted by: Emile at October 14, 2005 03:43 PM

I'm currently writing this on a Dell - ordering it was okay, although I was refused details about the system, which I thought was kind-of weird. After a year, I found out my system actually DOES support S-ATA harddisks, despite being told otherwise. The PC itself has been working properly, and it was delivered around the estimated date. (Although... Working properly, that's the hardware. I probably messed up the software a few times, and fixing it again. Then again, I'm not the average computer user, heh.)

Since then, I've helped a computer newbie order a Dell, which seems to have gone flawless as well.

From what I understood, Dell here in Europe has had a time where support was really bad - just like where Dell USA is at right now, if I can believe everything I've read here. I believe Dell's European support is okay again now, after hearing more recent experiences from people.

Posted by: Tim at October 14, 2005 04:02 PM

I purchased a Dell PC in 2002, and I was a happy camper until October, when lo and behold, the hard drive failed, taking with it all my photos which I was unable to save to disc because there was a ...big surprise....problem with the burner. I call Dell, knowing that the extended service agreement I purchased expired in...big surprise again...June, 2005. They sold me another system, with no speakers, and a defective keyboard. Forget about how much money I had to pay a data recovery service to pull all my pictures off a hard drive that failed and not because of anything I had done wrong. Needless to say they replace the keyboard, with a refurbished one! The nerve of these people to charge me an additional $1400. for a system they are adverstising for $800, and then to add insult to injury they send me a refurbished keyboard. I have learned a very expensive lesson. I will backup all my photos on an external drive, and I will hound these animals till the day I die for them to reduce the bill and make good on their product. Wish me luck!!!

Posted by: Maria at November 2, 2005 11:03 AM

I must be an aboration. I've owned 6 Dell systems - 3 desk and 3 lap. The laps were the Insp. 5000, 5150 and the 8600. I have put them all through mucho abuse. Kids, co-workers, etc. With the exception of the 5000, which I learned 2 months after it's death had been dropped on the floor, the performance of the Dells has been flawless. So without wanting to appear to be a Dell toadie, I'd like to venture some opinions:

1. Most people are clueless as to simple PC knowledge. Whether it's being able to set low battery alarms or running a CHKDSK for corrupted file removal, most civillians can't perform the simplest of PC tasks themselves.

2. Most problems are those of SOFTWARE and not the PC's guts. Don't blame Dell because that latest gamer you installed has screwed up your graphics.

3. Most people treat their PCs like they do their cars, i.e., they put gas in it, turn the key and drive..."Oh, you mean I have to do routine maintainence?" Yes. You should do the following once a week:

- Defrag


- Registry clean

- Tracking cookie and AdAware removal

- Virus scans


In my humble, non-expert opinion, performing these tasks on a weekly basis would solve 75% of the PC problems most people have. But will people learn or take the time to do them? NO!

I have learned all of this from one of the most PC illiterate people on the planet - my wife. I had the honor of trying to fix a slloowww as molasses DEll Latitude that she had abused for over 2 years. Suffice it to say, it was a mess. After 8 hours of cleaning, scanning and removing it runs like a kitten.

Over and out.

Posted by: Biff at November 2, 2005 02:34 PM

I currently own two Dells - a 3 1/2 year old Dimension 8200 and a 2 year old Inspiron 1100.

Both computers have been excellent. I have not had any problems with either of them. I did try to order a new battery under warranty for the laptop but customer service would never respond to my inquiries. The laptop, while nothing special in design, is functional and has withstood a hell of a beating. I only wish their laptops were thinner, about 1" like the IBM's and Gateways.

I also extended the life of both systems by doing complete reformat, install of a full retail versions of Windows XP Pro. It made both computers extremely fast once again.

I think for a combined $1600 for both computers I've got a heck of a deal.

Posted by: Wes at November 2, 2005 03:20 PM

Amen to you Biff! Kudos on your observation of the abilities of the general PC buyer!

Posted by: Candyman at November 11, 2005 01:34 PM

Its really bad..I worked for Dell before and I never did it.

Too sad and bad

Posted by: Anonymous at November 23, 2005 09:55 AM

Dell is the WORSE for customer help or satisfaction. I have been helping my mother for over a year with her desktop and each time we have to try at least and I mean at least 5 phone calls with switching between departments and hang-ups! Then do do a random check and state your problem is software not hardware so the warranty is not covering the issue so i will now switch you to the paid service techs who hang up on you. If that is not the worst part they then have the stomach to ask you if there is anything elsa they can help you with! HA! Never Again!!!!

Posted by: Florida at November 27, 2005 05:16 PM

Still no fix on day 10 for my notebook with next-day, on-site service. How do they charge for upgraded warranty and not deliver??

I last saw a tech on day 2 when the parts shipped to him didn't fix the problem. He called Dell India and they hung up on him. Lots of calls to Dell, case numbers, etc. since then, but no parts and no fix. Gory details at .

Posted by: Ozdachs at December 1, 2005 04:33 AM

I ordered on, for a

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