I was involved in a call today with a Dell customer care representative (well at least what Dell considers customer care). Of course, it was an individual from half way around the world in India. I don't know when a company truly realizes the importance of personal customer service, but apparently it is still forthcoming from Dell.
My call was regarding a payment to my business account. This past billing cycle I will admit I was late, but I had went online and scheduled the payment along with my next billing amount due - both of which I scheduled a day before my actual due date on this cycle. I had the confirmation number and thought all was well, as I had not received any communication whatsoever from Dell, with the exception of my new bill amount due. I had posted the payment online approximately a week ago.
The phone call today was regarding this payment. After introducing himself - Alex, John, Joe, Michael, or Billy Bob....whatever he picked as his "U.S. name", informed me that I was delinquent on my last month's payment. I acknowledged that and informed him of the online payment that I had scheduled that coincided with my latest statement from Dell. This guy proceeds to tell me that my payment posted online was not guaranteed to post in a timely manner to avoid negative reporting on my credit report, but that I could cancel the online transaction that I had done, and he could schedule it for the same exact date (Feb. 15, 2013), and that he could guarantee the payment to be processed on time with no additional late fee or negative reporting.
OK!? so, what's the difference I asked. I place it in Dell's system for Feb. 15th, and I get possibly whacked with a late fee and negative reporting. He places it in Dell's system for Feb. 15th and no late fee or negative reporting.....BUT, there was a catch! After I cancelled my transaction online while on the phone with him (per his instructions), he proceeded to schedule the payment of the same amount on the same date that I had already scheduled it, BUT he then informed me there would be a $13.95 transaction fee. WHAT?! first you tell me that my payment scheduling won't work right, then you schedule a payment...to take money from me...and want me to pay you to take money from me. Keep in mind I'm having to struggle to understand this guy's "english" and his rapidly increasing rude attitude. But, his opening statement was that of "...this is a courtesy call...."....COURTESY...where is this "courtesy"???
I was becoming more confused on the reasoning of this transaction as to how if the payment is made for the same date, how is it not good if I do it, but good if he does it and charges me for it. It's not like this payment was posted today, and due today. This is regarding a scheduled payment that was scheduled over a week out when I posted it online! He could not explain why there was a difference. The more I questioned the more rude and direct he got. And, he could get away with that because after all, he had absolutely no connections to the United States or to me as a U.S. customer.
I asked to speak with a U.S. customer service representative. His answer...."...I cannot connect you to a U.S. representative because we have no way to do that...". Hmmm...seems as though Dell has no problem placing a U.S. based sales rep on the line whenever I've placed my orders in the past...apparently Dell does recognize the importance of the personal connecting touch when making the sale. But, after the sale is done and they have your money, the personal care is out the window.
I kept insisting to speak with a representative from the U.S. He finally stated that he could pass along a request to his supervisor and they could submit a request for a return phone call from Dell, and that I MIGHT....MIGHT.....MIGHT...receive a return call from a person in the U.S.
Well, with that I have this to say to Dell as a company. The next time my business is in the market for a new computer system or peripheral....I MIGHT....that is MIGHT...buy from Dell.
Dell needs to wake up and see the light. Good, personal, caring customer service at all levels - from sales to finance to tech support - is the key to the success of any business. You might want to consider contracting with an American company that can connect to your customers. I know I would be much happier right now, because I could be doing something productive in my office right now rather than having to voice my concerns in your forum here....BECAUSE THERE ALSO SEEMS TO BE NO PHONE NUIMBER THAT ANYONE CAN CALL TO SPEAK WITH SOMEONE WHO CARES!!!
I can appreciate your annoyance with trying to sort out problems with representatives based in India.
We have the same issue in Australia, whereby we can't contact an Aussie-based agent (as DELL refers to them).
I ended up speaking with an Indian guy last week regarding some issues with my 17R SE 7720. He was extremely polite, knew what he was doing from a tech standpoint, and ultimately resolved one of my technical issues (but avoided a couple of others). The call lasted for 52 minutes, and after I hung up the phone, I was literally exhausted.
Because I'm not a young bloke anymore, and I had to intensely concentrate to understand what he was saying, cope with his heavy accent, and repeat what I was saying sometimes 2 or 3 times. After the first few minutes of our conversation I was starting to feel like an idiot (and somewhat embarrassed) by constantly saying "I beg your pardon" or "could you repeat that" or "I'm sorry, I couldn't catch that" etc.
This is one of the inevitable problems which arise when you're communicating—at some technical depth—with a person whose first, or native language, is not English. Admittedly, his English was far better than my Hindi, but non-native English speakers learn a sort of global "generic" English which fails to include local country-specific idioms and phraseology.
Therefore, what should have been a 22-minute phone call extended to a 52-minute call.
Surely—as part of their alleged first-class customer service mission statement—DELL should provide customer care and tech service agents located in the customer's own country. Why does DELL send jobs off-shore (from the USA, Australia, or the UK) and deprive local workers of jobs in their call centres? Well, the answer of course is to increase their multi-billion dollar profits by paying peanuts for the call centre operatives. Why pay an Aussie call centre guy $25 per hour when you can pay the same guy in Mumbai $2.50 per hour?
And it should be noted by DELL that this is not racist or indicative of racism. It's purely representative of the inevitable language barriers that occur across national boundaries.
Not good enough DELL.