Dell & Ncr — extremely disenchanted with the company
A copy of Email to Dell and NCR:
Dear officers at Dell and NCR,
I write to express Dell and NCR's complete failure to provide their contracted, warranted service. While I am ordinarily willing to forgive minor delays in service, NCR's incompetent service and poor communication with Dell Support left me without a functional computer for more than two weeks beyond the warranted "next business day service" period. This cost me serious inconvenience, as I, like almost all of my fellow law students, rely heavily on my computer for my professional needs, and as it left me ill-prepared to meet job-application and other deadlines. NCR's technician also forced me to miss a day of my work in order to accommodate him. The contractor's incompetence reflects poorly on Dell, to the point where I, a happy Dell customer for five years, no longer have "confidence in Dell." Rather, I plan to circulate my experience in popular consumer forums, such as Consumer Affairs, IHateDell.net, and Complaints.com, as well as to bring it to the attention of my school's Information Systems Technology officers, who are responsible for the school's relationship with Dell.
Some time before my initial online chat with Dell's service respresentative on September 29, 2006, my computer began not to respond when I would press the start button. Eventually, it failed to turn on whatsoever, and I was left without a functioning computer.
CALL #1: I contacted Dell online on Friday, September 29 (using a friend's computer). In an online chat, I was advised that the source of the problem was probably a faulty motherboard. The representative told me that she would enter a service request (case #[protected]), which meant that Dell would send the new motherboard to a service technician, who would then contact me within the next business day to arrange an appointment for service. I provided my only current telephone number and email address.
CALL #2: On the late afternoon of Friday, October 6, I called Dell to inquire into the status of my warranted service. I was told that the part had arrived at 7:35am (EST) on October 4 - two business days earlier! The representative and I discovered that Dell's files contained an outdated telephone number for me - surprisingly, not the same number as the one I had given the representative on September 29, but a number that has been invalid for two years. The October 6 representative corrected the error and called the contractor. When she returned from hold, she told me that she had instructed the contractor to correct the error in their records and that she had "escalated" my service. I should be getting a call on Monday, October 9. No call came on Monday, October 9. I allowed an extra day for the holiday, but no call came on Tuesday, October 10.
CALL #3: At 6pm on October 10, I called Dell a second time. This representative called the contractor a second time, only to discover that they still had the wrong telephone number in their records! The representative again "escalated" the service request and (supposedly) talked to the manager with the contractor. The representative assured me that I should receive a call within the next two hours, or else I could call Dell again. No call came between 6 and 8pm on October 10, however.
CALL #4: I called Dell again. This representative called the contractor a THIRD time, only to discover that they STILL had the wrong telephone number in their records!! The representative "escalated" the service a third time, spoke with the contractor's manager, and assured me I should be hearing from the contractor first thing the next morning. As of 10am on Wednesday, October 11, I still had received no call.
CALL #5: I called Dell AGAIN, and the exasperated representative (none of these representatives were the same) finally gave me the contractor's direct phone number. I immediately called the contractor NCR. The first time, a surly receptionist transferred me back to Dell upon the mere mention that I was a Dell customer. The second time I called, the receptionist noted that NCR STILL had the WRONG contact number for me - despite the fact that (1) I gave Dell my correct contact number in the beginning, and (2) THREE Dell representatives supposedly called them to correct the information! The NCR receptionist told me she corrected the error, but she refused to allow me to contact a technician while she had me on the phone, citing rigid corporate "policy". She then HUNG UP ON ME.
Now that I had personal assurance from the contractor that the error had been fixed, I waited all day for a call. Still, no call came.
CALL #6: I called Dell yet again in the evening of Wednesday, October 11 - a week after I was due for my "next business day service". This representative (he identified himself as "Russ", but the confirmation email was signed "Matthew") decided to "re-boot" the entire service. He was very diligent in asking me for various forms of contact information, even asking for an alternate person's contact information who could relay a message to me from the technician. "Russ" assured me that the part would be shipped immediately, and that I would receive a call from the technician Thursday, Friday, or Monday at the latest.
On Friday, October 13 - exactly TWO WEEKS after my original service request - I received a call from the NCR technician while I was at work. I called him back immediately after work, but instead of scheduling an appointment then, he told me he would call me back on Monday. He did not. Instead, I called him on Monday. He told me I was "out of luck" for service that day, and that we would "shoot for Wednesday."
In the end, I stayed home from work for the morning of Tuesday, October 17. Again, he did not call me, so I called him at 11am. I informed him I had to leave for class at 1pm, and he told me he was on his way. At 12:10pm, I called again. He arrived at 12:30pm - essentially the "last minute" to provide service for me, three business days after he received the part from Dell and two and a half weeks after Dell opened the service case.
In sum, either Dell's representatives or NCR failed to use its best efforts to perform the warranted service. Five Dell representatives supposedly gave NCR my contact information - as I did personally - but NCR somehow failed to relay the correct information to its technicians (or subcontractor). Regardless, diligent contract performance would seem to require NCR to seek alternative contact information after it was unable to contact me using a disconnected phone number. The contractor failed to do so, and in doing so, ensured that DELL FAILED to provide the service DELL warranted to me. Also, while I am understand the exigencies of field technician work, the technician was lax in accommodating my schedule, especially in light of my thoroughly disgruntled status.
This experience is not what I expect from Dell or its contractors. Despite my prior satisfaction with Dell's products and Dell's past service, I am now extremely disenchanted with the company and will seriously consider other providers for my future computing needs.
Very truly yours,
Chevy Chase, MD 20815