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Carigon
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Customer service and a Safety Capture... the ongoing saga

I apologize in advance if this is the improper place within the forums to post about this, but considering that I did not specifically see a customer service area or complaints subforum, I decided that this was as close as I could get to the proper place to set up a small soap box and take issue for the way that my situation has been handled by Dell.  If this is in the incorrect location, I would greatly appreciate a moderator taking the time to shift it to the proper place, not only to free up this area for those that have more appropriate concerns, but also so that this can come to the attention of the powers that need to see it.

As November of 2009 came about, I noticed that my computer was starting to have some issues.  Apparently randomly, though, as i discovered as the issue progressed, that randomness was... well not random, my computer began to shut down.  Now I had had a similar issue in the past, in fact, the computer that I was using at the time was a replacement for a computer purchased through the dell outlet that had suffered similar issues, issues that could not be resolved, despite numerous trips out by technicians to fix it.  So following the procedures from those visits, I looked towards the things that i knew could cause such failures; my power supply, my ram, my processor.  In attempting to discern the issue I downloaded a small program to determine the internal temperature of my pc, including case temp and processor temperature. 

I discovered in this that my computer internal case temperature was above 80C and my processor was around 93C, obviously far too hot, dangerous even and this was the cause of my shutdowns as the safety features of my processor kicked in to prevent catastrophic failure.  I contacted Dell about this issue, speaking to several techs who all told me that there was nothing that they could do, as the original machine (the refurbished machine) was out of warranty.  Eventually I did speak to a very helpful and knowledgeable tech named Vladimir, who, after actually allowing me to fully explain the issue, including core temperature, determined that my machine was subject to a safety capture exchange.  The H2O unit which cooled my overclocked processor had a very small leak, missed by me initially, as the leak was slow enough to not actively drip and for each slow droplet to get covered with a very thin layer of dust.  Yay!  problem solved, new computer on the way, supposedly in 7-15 business days.  The approval came through on November 17th, 2009.  A few days later I logged onto my dell account to discover that the computer that was being sent to me was a brand new alienware, a huge upgrade!  I presume the reason behind this sizable upgrade was due to the fact that whatever unit i was sent was required by dell policy to at least match the specs of my old computer, including a liquid cooling unit, and, these days, that only comes on their top of the line units.  Even better!

As time progressed and the 15 business days came and went my computer continued to be listed on my order status page as "In progress" with no shift towards a projected shipping date or estimated time of arrival.  During this period I contacted Dell on several occasions to stay up to date on when the PC was going to be shipped, and I was constantly reassured that the computer would, in fact, be arriving on time and that there was no reason to worry.  Several days after 15 business days had passed, I was informed by a representative that every rep I had spoken to previously was actually incorrect, and, because the new computer was an Alienware, the ship date for a replacement was actually 30 days (not business but 30 days raw) not 7 to 15 business days.  Ok.

On December 11th I call and am assigned to the Dell XPS Escalation team, under the care of one of their reps, who, out of respect for him and the desire to not have this deleted, shall go nameless.  I was contacted by him the next day and told that he would take care of me and call me in the next 48 hours.  I did no hear from him again until January 13th (plus or minus a day, despite attempts to get a hold of him). On December 15th I log onto my account to discover that the original order had been canceled.  I call Dell and the representative that I speak to has no answers.  The next day I call and they assure me that there was an issue with the old order (one of the parts had an improper number associated with it and the system was, in fact, incompatible with my current system) and that a new one had already been processed and was on the way.  Later that day, I check back and discover that the new order had come through.  Again, Hooray!  The only difference between this order and the last was that this one lacked a wireless internet card, which, legitimately, I do not have in my broken system.

Time passes again, and no new information is given to me.  Just like the previous order, the order never seems to move from "in progress" to give me an estimated shipping date.  I contact dell repeatedly in desperate search for more information.  At this point, deadlines for my work have passed, I've been unable to complete work, as files and projects that I've been working on have been entombed on my old hard drive (I'm a 3d Animator by training).  During this time I have been calling to get a hold of Rommel and trying to speak to anyone who might have knowledge of what is going on, but the Dell internal structure is such that the only way to get a hold of anyone in any department is by email.  There appears to be no direct lines to any of the relevant departments other than technical support and someone who can check your order status, neither of which are services that are particularly relevant to what I need to know at this point.

On January 13th a complaint is filed against Dell through the Better Business Bureau, not an aggressive act, or one with intended malice in any way, but filed in order to get the attention of someone, anyone, within the company to the frustrations that I am experiencing.  The next day I receive a call from both my Escalation Department representative and also from a representative of the complaints department.  The latter has no new information, the former is calling me to reassure me that, despite not contacting me for a month+ that he has been working diligently.  He's sent out some emails over the month.  He assures me that the computer meant to replace mine is actually constructed right now, and is sitting in their manufacturing department, waiting and that, hopefully soon, it should be sent out, though he has no idea why it hasn't been shipped (At this point I had also been assured that the machine was constructed several times, including once (twice??) regarding the original order, not the second one that I was subject to now).  He also informed me that he would call me again within a couple days.  Several days pass and I don't hear from him, so I call the direct number (which I only got on the last conversation) and left a message asking for him to call me.  30 minutes later I am called by my representative, saying that there was no new update but that he would call me January 22nd, 2009, and, at that point, I could get another update on the situation and he offered to let me speak to his manager, something I immediately took him up on.  I did not receive a call from him on that day, and I decided to leave a message with them again, since that appeared to work on the last occasion.  I did not hear from them.  I have left a message with the Escalation department each business day since then (with 2 exceptions due to other obligations requiring me to not be near a phone) and still have NOT heard back from anyone.

This morning, on a whim, I go back to the order page to see if that information had been updated, despite me not hearing back from anyone.  To my absolute horror, I discover that the order which was placed; the SECOND order which had been placed; had too been canceled.  At this, having little faith in my representative at this point, I call the customer care department and informed that the entire process has been restarted for a third time.  There is no estimation in terms of when I might receive a new system.  There is no guarantee of a ship date.  For what seems to be the millionth time I am informed that I need to call back within 48 hours to see what progress might have been made.

I've left a message with my Escalation Representative, asking for information regarding this situation, but, at this point, I have little hope that I will get any sort of response.

I have been a loyal Dell customer for well over a decade, am the primary source of advice for my social group, my family, and many of those that I work with as regards computer hardware, and I have always been the first to recommend Dell as a company, but this entire situation this over 2 and a half months of waiting for a safety recall, is utterly unacceptable.

I apologize for the wall of text that I just created, but I think that it is important for me 1) to have another avenue for contacting someone, ANYONE, regarding my current situation, and 2) that others might have an appreciation for how this unique situation was handled (read: Poorly)

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