Dell Customer Support :(

Hi Guys,

I just wanted to give people my experience and feedback and warning to Dells poor customer support. To warn fellow humans of the horrible and disgusting customer service Dell has been offering me over the last 3 or so months.

I purchased my Alienware m18X off the Dell website in late July this year after extensive research and extensive discussions with the Dell sales team. Mistake number 1, I spoke to a sales rep about how the laptop connects multiple hard drives and he told me there is a bay for each hard disk. That was lie number 1, there are no bays for the hard disks just a cheap flimsy ribbon cable laying in thin air no brackets holding the hard disk in place making sure it does not move. Is this really the build quality you would expect from a laptop which starts at $3000 dollars and goes all the way up to well over $5000?

Finally my laptop arrived mid August and I was very upset about the above mentioned HDD issues. I finally set up the laptop, did a little bit of web browsing bragging about my new sweet laptop. Come on what's the point of such a cool laptop if you cant brag a little? ;) Anyway, after a few hours I put the laptop away and come back to it the next day. Hmm thats strange I say, I'm connected to the net via WIFI, and windows network diagnostics says there is nothing wrong with my connection. So why cant I load any web pages? I reset the modem bigpond supplied still same problem. I check my ps3, iphone, HP notebook, yep all working. So I ring customer support and they spend forever arguing with me its my network not the laptop even though I explained 1000 times it cant be my network, if it was why are my other devices fine? Then finally when I request a technician to come out they change their tune and say oh that's not necessary I can tap into your computer and run some tests from here. They do that, and a while later everything seems fine. Laptop worked ok for a few days, than all of a sudden again same issue so I ring tech support again we repeat the same process. Rinse and repeat this process multiple times over the period of say a month. Than one day I have had enough, I contact support and request a technician to come out. Oh no sir that is not unnecessary it wont be your card, it will be your network or the way you have set up windows. Maybe your firewall is causing the issue. I say ok you wont repair the laptop, then give me a refund. Again like before all of a sudden their attitude changes, fine I will book you in but it wont be the wireless card huff and puff. Pretty poor and rude customer support already no? It gets WAY WORSE!

After the first technician came out a whole host of other issues reared their ugly head. From the laptop constantly switching off, might I add that corrupted 2 of my HDDs and me loosing 2 years worth of my programming course and thus failing it because I was unable to submit a assignment. Also having issues with the numpad and multimedia back lighting. The main keyboard lights up fine, but the others do not at all. Also having issues with the DX profiles constantly switching even though I'm not touching the button. This is especially annoying because if your playing a game, the messages cause you to get booted to your desktop. Also had a weird message come up a few times when I boot the laptop sometimes it says error please connect the charger that came with your laptop, your battery requires xxxx and this charger only supplies xxxx. Even though I AM using the charger which came with the laptop.

Multiple times now I have phoned technical support, and multiple times I have had a technician out to have a look at the laptop. Each time the issue was resolved when I hang up the phone, or the technician assured it would be fixed, but hours later the laptop was back to its usual story. So I said enough is enough I want a refund. First the response was oh ok I will submit a request and the finance team will respond within 24 hours. 4 DAYS later I ring and ask what's happening you were suppose to ring me 3 days ago. Oh yea sorry about that the finance team declined your request you need to send it in for 1 more repair than they will agree to the refund if that still does not repair it. Fine I say, they book the laptop in for yesterday and surprise surprise the service technician did not show up. No one bothered to call me to inform me they could not attend. I phoned very upset as my mother had to cancel my 23rd surprise birthday party at a VERY expensive restaurant. It was either cancel it, or wait till Thursday as Dell said they were the only days they could do. So I phoned Sunday lunch time and asked again why no phone call? Oh sorry sir the parts to repair your laptop are still stuck in customs that's why we couldn't come out. Ok that is fair enough I say, but why did you not call me? I stayed home all day, canceling a very expensive birthday party so you could come. Oh I'm sorry sir but the parts are not in. That does not answer my question, why did you not call? Every time dell agents say they will call back they don't. Is picking up the phone that hard? Oh sorry sir but the parts are not available. I say ok I want this escalated to the finance team and I will ring back tomorrow arvo.

Today I phoned and asked what was the result of the escalation to the finance team yesterday, and I was told oh sorry sir there was no escalation to the finance team. Who said they were doing that? Palm to face and a deep sigh. I explain the conversation I had yesterday, they say oh ok well the finance team wont be able to get back to us till Wednesday since it's so late. That's fine I say, I also want to speak to your supervisor. Ok he responds one moment. Comes back with the usual hes in a meeting he wont be able to talk today. Ok I say I'll call tomorrow early in the morning that way even if hes in a meeting he can call me back once it's finished. Ok sir. Than not even a hour later I get a email informing me that the finance team and supervisor had declined the refund again. What the? Didn't they just tell me that both parties were unavailable? So they lied to me on the phone just to get me off?
And their reason for the decline? "the wireless card is not considered a major fault". Seriously? The internet does not work, the laptop I paid over $4000 dollars for does not work as advertised and that is not a major fault?

Anyway, just thought I should let people know this is how Dell treat their valued loyal customers! As for me, well I'm waiting till the department of fair trading gives me their verdict. Once that is completed, if necessarily I will be taking legal action. Basic line is I paid over $4000 dollars for a laptop that is not, and rarely has been, functioning properly.

Moral of the story? If you get a dodgy system from Dell, your up the very famous creek. Which is actually quite frequent, I goggled Alienware M18X wireless issues today and found oh my lord so many pages of people complaining about the same issues as me. Too bad I did not see these before I purchased the laptop, it certainly would of changed my mind!
Oh well hopefully I have saved someone else from making the mistake I did.

And best yet, today was my birthday. My present, spending hours on the phone with tech support. Happy Birthday Nicholas, from Dell.
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  1. Oh, need to update the list. Last night I got a alienware FX error and suddenly a BSOD. Memory dump and laptop reset. Great, so now not only do I have a $4500 dollar laptop with a faulty wireless card, constantly keeps switching off, backlighting on the num pad and multimedia pad sometimes wont light up, DX profiles keep switching even though I'm not touching the DX button, but I now also have faulty RAM or motherboard.

    Now they don't want to send out a technician either, they told fair trading they are only willing to do a repair in house so they expect me to go for a 2+ hour drive to solve their poor reliability. Since they don't provide a courier service for my area, well that's their excuse. I call bull especially since ASUS, HP, Toshiba have all had no issues organizing couriers for me.
    Very, VERY disappointed!

    Just heard back from fair trading today they advised me to take this to the consumer trade and tenancy tribunal. So I'll be doing that tomorrow morning.
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