Dell - why do they have to be so rude?

  Toreador 09:58 24 Feb 2004

I've recently organised buying a PC for my parents, and ordered a Dell, which duly arrived last week. So they turned it on, and got a screen asking them to accept the "EULA End User Software Licence Agreement" which they had been sent. Only they hadn't been sent one, and being more cautious about such things than I am, tried to contact Dell to get a copy. They emailed last week (they currently have one of those Amstrad emailers), got a 'we will reply within 24 hours' automated message, and heard nothing more (that was 5 days ago).

So they phoned customer support this morning and eventually got through to someone, who asked for the tag number. My dad didn't know what this was, was told quite abruptly that it was a label on the back of the PC. And no, she wouldn't hold for 30 seconds while he went upstairs to get the number. So he'd have to phone back and wait in a queue for another 45 minutes before he could proceed.

So why couldn't Dell have been polite, helpful, and responsive? If someone has to accept an EULA, it's reasonable to expect them to have seen a copy isn't it? And why should they know what a tag number was, they've never owned a PC before? And what on earth is the problem with holding for a few seconds? The result would be a satisfied customer. Instead, they have a customer who is seriously considering returning the PC for a refund and buying elsewhere instead.

  Jester2K 10:13 24 Feb 2004

Not really Dell being rude - just someone who - got out of bed the wrong side / lost a fiver & found a penny / having a bad day / football team lost last night / girlfriend or boyfriend said No / bored / stressed / underpaid / overworked or even just paid rude....

Can't see Dell having a page in the training manual instructing the staff to behave like this. Write to Dell Customer Services and complain but really its the individual to blame -not Dell / Epson / Canon / Evesham etc etc

  jerichobob 10:20 24 Feb 2004

It's, unfortunately, the only way that these companies are going to learn. We have to start returning goods if the service is abysmal, even if the goods are working perfectly. And we have to tell the supplier in writing why this is the case. We also have to let all of our friends and family, fellow forum members, and work colleagues, and anyone else we can think of, know why.

For too long people have been prepared to put up with poor service because the price was right, or they didn't want to kick up a fuss, or any number of other pathetic reasons. We should receive good service as a matter of course. We should not be surprised when we do actually speak to a human being in our mother tongue in a pleasant and polite fashion, and actually receive the help or support that we require. Companies have to recognise that there is a groundswell of opinion forming that will start to undermine their sales volume, and ultimately their profits, if the present standards are not dramatically improved.

Now, would someone please lend me some step ladders so that I can get down of this high horse.


  Sir Radfordin 10:50 24 Feb 2004

It is a while since I rang Dell Customer Service but when I did you were always told you needed to have the tag number to hand (I'm sure that its location was also included in the documentation) and that it was helpful to call from a phone next to the computer.

I'm also fairly sure that the EULA was on screen but since your only choice is to accept it or reject and send the computer back then there seems little point in questioning it.

As Jester2k points out it was a human that answered the phone and not Dell. We all have bad days and get things wrong.

  Toreador 10:50 24 Feb 2004

Dell have to take responsibility for the people they employ. After all they provide them with training (or do they?).

  Jester2K 10:55 24 Feb 2004

True but they can't control every single employees every move.

All the training in the world doesn't help if you are ill at work / hungover / in a bad mood etc.

Take it up with Dell but lay the blame on the individual - not the company. You'll get a better response.

  Toreador 10:59 24 Feb 2004

The EULA may well be on screen, in which case it would have taken a few seconds or so to tell them. And the documentation that was 'included' was not a paper copy, but an email document. Since the email was in HTML format not plain text, it exceeded the maximum size allowed on my parents' amstrad emailer, so they cannot read it. And of course their request for a paper copy has been ignored.

Dell should remember that not everybody is familiar with computers, many people are afraid of them. Something which is obvious when you know it is far from obvious to a newby.

  Sir Radfordin 11:16 24 Feb 2004

you make valid points and "we" can only agree that Dell didn't do the best thing in the situation.

Not for the first time do I wonder if companies are right to sell computers to anyone. With no disrespect to your parents if users strugle with getting the machine set up in the first place one has to wonder how they will get on in the weeks and months to come.

In my view Dell aren't great for the first time buyer - they are much more a business hardware supplier.

I can't see us going anywhere with this thread. We all accept the person you parents spoke to didn't (on their say so) deal with the problems properly. That is one person and not Dell. None of us can do anything to change that. You can write to Dell (as suggested) and see what response they give. At the end of the day you have a choice either to continue with the PC or send it back. No-one here can make that choice for you.

  Toreador 11:31 24 Feb 2004

Fair enough, I've let off steam now, I'll go quietly!
As far as how they'll cope in coming weeks is concerned - the problem is just getting started. Once they've done that, the amount of help available online is immense. And also, they'll realise that it's all rather simple after all, and nothing to be frightened of.

  Sir Radfordin 11:42 24 Feb 2004

Your right, it is ratehr simple, and the thing to remember is it is very hard to break computers - if all else fails you can just do a system restore. Dell systems are easy to get back on their feet.

You may want to recommend your parents do something like the ECDL which will give them a good grounding in IT.

  Jester2K 12:34 24 Feb 2004

and tell them about this website....

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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