1 Nickel

The worst customer service of my life, and no way to complain about it.

My name is Justin, I live in England.  Nearly three years ago I orderd a Dell XPS 600, and I took out three years on site business working day service.  I have been a Dell customer for 5 years, always been very happy with the products, but I will never again buy Dell.

During the time I have had my XPS 600 I have only needed to call and engineer out twice untill now.  Both of those previous calls were delt with promptly and professionally.  Three weeks ago I made my current call, and the way this call has been delt with has put me off ever investing in the Dell badge again.

I started this call as I had a couple of niggles that I wanted to get sorted before the warrenty ran out.  I had dual HD's run in raid-0 and dual GFX cards run in SLI.  One of the cards was knackered and I had to remove it from the computer for it to work, and one of the previous engineers reformatted my computer without doing the raid-0.  So this call was simply to replace a GFX card, and reformat the computer.  I thought this would be simple enough right?  Oh how wrong could i be......



To detail exactly what has happened:

Tuesday 28th Oct - Call dell to report problem, engineer booked for friday 31st.

Friday 31st October - Took day of work to wait for engineer, Engineer comesd out, but was issued with incorrect GFX card, so nothing gets done.  Engineer says someone will be with me the following monday (3rd nov)

Monday 3rd Nov - I take another day off work to wait for an engineer, but no-one turns up.  I call Dell that afternoon only to find out no visit was planned at all (getting a little miffed by now).  Dell support says service company will call me to arrange visit.  They wanted me to take ANOTHER day off work, (do they live in the real world!!?) but after getting a bit ratty with him he tells me he can infact send an engineer out after hours (after telling me there was NO WAY for an engineer to go out after working hours).

Tuesday 4th Nov - Service company call to arrange visit for the Thursday after working hours.

Thursday 6th Nov - Engineer visits after working hours, but does not have the USB floppy drive he needs, after about an hour on the phone with Tech support he is told "no problem, XP Pro does not need a floppy to boot you can do it off the CD".  So he goes ahead with reformatting my two drives, setting up the raid-0 and then installing windows, but, windows wont install, dont know why, it just kept cycling through the same part of the install.  Engineer runs out of time and has to leave.  My computer is reformatted and unusable.  (getting slightly annoyed now).  Engineer said that someone would be out the next day to fix it (fri 7th)

Friday 7th Nov - No engineer arrives, again I call dell and they aren't aware of an engineer being booked, (getting quite pissed off with this bullshit), so he books an engineer in for monday, again after working hours.  Later that night somome from Dell calls, he introduced himself as a manager and he asked me if i was happy my call had been resolved, I told him the situation upto this point, he appologised and promissed me "if your computer is not fixed on monday we will compensate you in a way that will make you more than happy".  This makes me feel a bit better  so I chill for the weekend (Without use of my now formatted and unsuable computer)

Monday 10th Nov - Engineer calls at 9am asking if it is ok for him to come round!  I was in the car to work and asked him to come after hours, he said he would check and call back, this he did and an evening visit was arranged.  When he came out he was a different engineer to the guy who came for the first two visits.  And he seemed to know little of the two failed visits and what was wrong.  So unsurprisingly he spent a couple of hours learning the same as the previous engineer.  He leaves without having resolved anything.  (to say by this point I was unsatisfied with Dell would be a major understatement).

Tuesday 11th Nov - I call Dell to report on the engineers failure, and this time he wont send an engineer out, he said that the issue is being elevated to another team who will call me the following day (12th Nov) to discuss "COMPENSATION".  I also speak to 'somone else' from dell responding to my comments on my customer survey, they appologse for the situation and again say someone will talk to me about "COMPENSATION"

Wednesday 12th Nov - I talk to someone who has no record of any COMPENSATION!?! and instead he wants me to fix my computer (so glad I paid for engineer service!)  but i am at work and ofc cannot fix my computer.  So he promises to call back when i get home.  This he does, and he guides me through the steps of installing windows.  This is not a short process and when it looks like it is installing ok he says he will call me back tomorrow to help me install drivers.  The install gets to the point where it automatically reboots the computer and when it restarts it goes straight into a blue error screen. I restart the computer and it again goes straight into the blue error screen, this happens every time i try to start the computer.  Its late so i leave calling Dell to the next day.

Thursday 13th Nov - When i get in from work I speak to Dell technical services who guide me through running a diagnostic on my system.  This is do taking several hours.  It showed there was a problem with one of  the hard drives, so he says they need to send another engineer out to replace my hard drives.  This time he says it is not possible to send an engineer out after working hours, he was incredably blunt about this, I told him I had already taken two days off work for failed engineer visits and two visits had already been planned aftert working hours, but he flatly ignored this and said no, an engineer cannot be sent out after hours (i'm so angry and this point that I just about ready to blow)  So with no other option than to bend over and take one from this guy I agree to a during working hours visit on monday 17th.

Monday 17th Nov - TODAY - I could not take any more time off work so my girlfriend stayed home (took a day off work) to wait for the engineer.  He calls me at half 9 to tell me he will be with me between 10-12.  At 11ish he calls to say he is lost, i missed that call, a few minutes later someone from Dell calls saying the engineer is lost, the address she gave me was all correct apart from the post code, which was from my old house where I bought the computer nearly three years ago.  She says she will check with the engineer and call me back.  This she does just to inform me that the engineer does not have time to come today so she will arrange a visit for tomorrow...................

Monday 17th Nov - PART 2 - Dell call me back to arrange another visit.  I say that after taking three days off work (two of which the engineer failed to turn up) I definately cannot take any more time off.  Again I am told flatly no, engineers cannot come out after working hours.  This is probably the worst customer service I have ever received, so I have stayed home today for yet another engineer to fail to show, and Dell's response "thats not our problem".  Well it is Dell's problem, they sent the engineer to the wrong address (have had three successful visits to my current address), and yet they dont feel compelled to give me another out of hours "good will" visit?!? (I passed angry a while ago).  Several calls later, and several "if you are going to be offensive I will have to end this call" comments, always sure to enrage an already angry customer (I did swear (who wouldn't) but nothing personal at the guy, just venting frustration at the situation). Eventually I manage to push for an out of hours visit.

I dont know if this will be read by anyone that cares, I hope it does.  Because for me, someone that have loved his Dells and has always been an advocate of your company, I now would warn any of my friends away from using your company.  Good product, shockingly bad service.  The sheer amout I have been messed around in amazing.  Every time I call up even giving my case number it seems I have to try to resolve the whole issue all over again.  My biggest gripes are below:

1 - Dont go 'promising compensation' just as a damn gag to shut someone up, on three separate occasions I have had someone from DELL tell me that I will get some form of compensation, that one of them refered to as "to make you more than happy" and this seems to have just been a tactic to stop me complaining. 

2 - The level of communication between your engineers is very poor, three separate visits from 2 different engineers and it seems little that had been learnt6 form the first one got to the second. 

3 - The gentleman I spoke to on Thursday has probably made me angriest of all, after the amount your company has pissed me around over the past three weeks the least you can bloody do is send out an out of hours engineer.  He flatly said no.  Do you realise that when you work with domestic customers its you cannot expect them to take an infinite amount of time off work to wait for your engineers who someetimes turn up, and sometimes dont.

I have never been this dissapointed/angry/upset/frustated/seething with a company before over a product.  I doubt I will ever touch another Dell product again, good equipment, shockingly bad customer service.  I just wish there was one person at Dell that actually gave a damn about me not just passing me on and pissing me off.  To the best that I can tell, there is no way to complain to Dell, not on the web site, not when I asked.  I guess Dell was happy to pack their customer service off to India for the massive discount and dont give a damn that such terrable customer service is going on.  Dell, such a shame....

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22 Replies
1 Nickel

Re: The worst customer service of my life, and no way to complain about it.

I have to agree.  The way they serve their customers has really gone downhill. 

My motherboard died a couple of months ago so support sent me a replacement.  I sent the old one back as instructed using the info provided by them. 

Over a month and a half later I get a message from them asking when I will be returning the old motherboard.  I tried calling them but their customer service department was closed so I tried using the support chat.  After being transferred to someone I was told would be able to handle my problem I was told that the issue would be sent to the cognizant department for resolution.  I was also told that I should call customer service and let them know of my problem.  Why I have no idea as I thought that they would take care of it.

I tried calling Dell and after being transfered  six times to people who I was told would be able to help me I finally ended up being put on hold listening to a recording of where to get information and if I would like to buy something. I hung up.  What a waste of my time.

Yesterday I received a call from Dell and I just happened to be near the phone to pick up and talk to the Dell rep.  After our discussion he told me that he would clear everything up and that the matter would be resovled.

Today I checked my anwering machine and yes there was a Dell rep asking if I had returned the item.  so much for dell resolving the matter.  This is it for me.  Dell has lost me as a customer.


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1 Copper

Re: The worst customer service of my life, and no way to complain about it.

WORST is an UNDERstatement!  I just cancelled two computer orders after being hung up on three times by Dell reps in India.  In this economy, the only thing that can give an edge to companies is showing their customers that they care.  Well, Dell, I'm out of here.  I can find another laptop and be helped by people who are also contributing tax dollars for the common cause.

I remember when Dell customer service was hailed as the best.  Now I can only think of words that I can't put in print here.

I don't think there will be any government bail-out money for computer companies, so the only recourse is to spread the word, Consumers!  If every one of us who's been pooped on by Dell customer service encourages just five friends to NOT buy a Dell, maybe then they'll listen.  If you happen to know a government procurement officer who has some authority on systems, please encourage them to also pick a different supplier.


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1 Copper

Re: The worst customer service of my life, and no way to complain about it.

WOW...I have to say after reading these I am feeling a little better about my situation.  I placed an order for and XPS back on 11/11 and it has not been delayed 3 times.  According to the email I received today it will not ship until 12/11. 

Of course, after the second delay I tried everything I could to find out what was the delay.  I emailed customer service twice, with no answer and then called several times.  I was finally able to get a hold of a CSR after being transferred multiple times.  She placed me on hold 3 separate times only to tell me she has no idea why it is being delayed.  According to everything she could see, all the parts were available. 

Then to top it off I ordered a media extender the same day I ordered the computer.  It showed up at the house the very next day.  This weekend it went on sale for half off.  I called customer service and told them about it and was told I would have to return the unopened one I have at the house and order a new one in order to get the lower price.  So I did and it is now been delayed and is not expected to ship until 12/11 as well. 

I have been a long time fan of Dell and didn't even consider another brand when I was ready to replace my Dell I bought several years ago.  Now I am seriously considering if I should cancel it all together and just get something else for Christmas since I doubt the XPS will make it by then. 

What a shame this company has become! 

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1 Copper

Re: The worst customer service of my life, and no way to complain about it.


They have become shameful...and everytime I open a news article claiming that India is so superior as a workforce I think of what Dell has become, which is a joke.

I ordered a Mini 9 on sale for $299 during the after-Thanksgiving sale on the 26th. Mind you, I'm a law student, living on loans and financial aid, but I wanted to replace my HP, which was one of the first to have Vista installed.  Aside from the obvious problems, a member of HP's tech support acknowledged that it probably wasn't installed correctly, but I struggled with it for two years, often sending it back to be serviced. When it gave me problems again this past October I recalled the very high quality Inspiron I'd purchased from Dell in 2002 and decided to go back to them. I figured a computer with Linux or XP had to be a step up.

Well, the computer OS I received was a Linux and I ran into many problems with that, getting on the internet or getting it to recognize my MP3 player or even a Dell printer. At the time of purchase I knew that Linux was not easily compatible with things, but supposedly there was a hotline at Dell to troubleshoot problems with Linux and according to a sales rep even with Linux the Mini was supposed to recognize the Dell printer.  So I went ahead and bought it.

So when I got the Mini I started encountering troubles. I actually called my phone company/DSL provider first, and they gave me a Linux number that had been disconnected.  From there I went to Dell tech support, who said they did not service Linux.  They said this even of the printer that is a Dell and was supposed to be immediately recognized by the Mini. By the third time I'd spoken with them someone gave me the number that was supposed to provide support for Linux, and this being a Saturday, they were closed. I went to the Linux/Ubuntu community page and frankly couldn't understand what they were suggesting I do about these problems.  So I waited until Monday, dialed the number, and it's a recorded message. The only thing it says is that Dell DOES NOT service Linux, and to go to the Ubuntu page.

So I chatted with tech support and asked if I could upgrade to XP, and said that I was perfectly willing to pay MORE to send it back and have it done. Tech support said of course I could do it, by myself. I asked, but could THEY do it? They kicked me over to customer service, who tried to send me back to tech support, back and forth, each department saying "I am so sorry for x, but refer this to y, who will be able to provide you assistance," whether in chat or email form (always signed with an Indian surname).  So I called customer service one more time and said I wanted to return it or again I repeated the request to send it back to get XP on it. She said that it could be sent back to have XP installed on it, but promptly sent me to returns, and a rep read a statement including a "re-stocking fee" of $42. And this person, the only one who was fluent in English, took the time to state that it was my decision which was the cause for the return. I acknowledged this was true but I said what sales was promising (the printer & phone help) isn't there. She said, "it doesn't matter." 

As a footnote, when I received the Mini (all of 5 days earlier) I began typing out an outline for an upcoming final and saved it on Open Office. The plug for the electrical outlet stopped taking electricity and I'd already used up the four hours of battery life. So the computer powered down and my outline was...gone.

FedEx picked up the Mini at 7pm the next day. That was 12 days ago. I only hope I will see this "refund." I can barely afford the $42 in fees and $36 in sales taxes that I'm going to have to eat, for nothing. The incredible thing is that I was trying to come up with a solution other than sending the netbook back. But from the way the plug behaved, maybe I'm better off, even with this old half working HP. I will never buy from Dell again. I thought highly of them -- once. 

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1 Copper

Re: The worst customer service of my life, and no way to complain about it.

Wow, I wish I had read all these posts before letting my daughter order her Inspiron 1525 with money she had earned and saved herself. Our nightmare began less than 2 weeks after purchase, with the system crashing and having to be rebooted every time a new program was installed and run. So much for the DVD recording capabilities, as every time we tried to burn a new DVD, the system would lock up and we would lose our recording. The letter "T" on the keyboard quit working, as well, the same problem my husband's Inspiron 6400 began having.

Since the system was less than 2 weeks old, we called Dell Customer (Dis)Service. We were switched back and forth between customer service, tech support no less than 10 times, hung up on twice, and even sent to one department after it had closed. Oh well, Dell is paying my toll call per minute, to India no doubt. After giving up for the night, we tried again to call, with the same results, "Sorry, we can't help you...we can't exchange...can only refund..." Different story with each new rep, who were probably all sitting in the same room with each other.

So, after several frustrating attempts at resolving this matter, I called my credit card company, explaining what had happened, and asked them to put the charge in dispute. Maybe if this company who decided to sell our country out to the Indians doesn't get paid for its shoddy computers, it will take notice. I find it insulting that on the 'on hold recording', Dell states that if you want to "pay up" for good service, you can get a "North American service technician--usually within 2 minutes." Why should we have to pay more for someone who can speak English and not hang up on you when you ask for a resolution to your problem. Our business and our family have other choices, which we will excercise!

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1 Copper

Re: The worst customer service of my life, and no way to complain about it.

I have to agree. I bought my son an XPS 1730 laptop at the end of November last year. The one year warranty has just expired. He had not tried to play a DVD using the Media Direct software before. It generates an error that the DVD is the wrong region code. We cannot even find anything to tell us what region code it thinks it is. They want to charge me $49 to help me get this software to work. I have purchased 2 laptops over the last 2 years and the one for my son cost over $3700 before we were done. I tried tech support, sales and customer service and none of them would extend the warranty to cover this issue. So over $49 they will lose a good customer. What a way to run a business!

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5 Rhenium

Re: The worst customer service of my life, and no way to complain about it.

Hate to break it to you guys, but no PC maker has tech support in the USA anymore.

Every company outsources to India.

The computers themselves are made in China or whereever.

Gateway claims that they haven't outsourced their tech support. I have no firsthand knowledge.


If you think HP is better, try Googling on them. If you think IBM is btter, try Googling on them. Each and every one of them has problems. Oh, if you think paying 2x the money for an Apple is better, try Googling on them.

It is the luck of the draw.


{knock wood}, all 4 of my Dell PCs have been great. The last two laptops I bought from dfsdirectsales.com, which is Dell's returned from corporate lease division, have been excellent values. Of course, none of my PCs run Vista. Maybe that's why my luck has been so good. 😉


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1 Copper

Re: The worst customer service of my life, and no way to complain about it.

Reading these posts, I should consider myself lucky. At least my computer works. Of course, I've only had it one month.

My customer service story is that I ordered an upgraded keyboard. Nothing fancy, just one to go with the TV card I had added. Dell shipped me the basic keyboard. I notified them two days after receiving the package. Took them 3 days to reply and ask for some basic information they already knew. I was traveling for work and then it was Christmas so it took me 2 weeks to get back to them.

That's when they tell me that 21 days have passed and they cannot replace my keyboard. I say I don't want you to replace my keyboard - I want you to ship the one I paid for.

So far, they're not budging. They have m y money and my keyboard.

Any tips on how to get resolved?

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1 Copper

Re: The worst customer service of my life, and no way to complain about it.

Hello guys I am from india and I own an XPS laptop . If anybody out there have any impression that since all the services are being outsourced to india, Indians are getting a better deal - think again. Or never mind I will tell you what is happening to me and you will undestand yourselves.

 The Dell engg. came for the installation service - I told him in clear terms that i had a problem with my hard disk that it is showing variable free space at all times. (For eg. it will show the free space in c drive now as 10 Gb and then after 10 mins of stand by  it will show some 5 Gb free). He told he will get it fixed and he left. Never to be seen or heard from since.

I was away with my work and did not use the laptop much after that since i was using my office laptop. So I did not call up dell.

After 5 months i came back and checked my laptop only to find that it was over heating. I called up dell on a friday in oct'08 .My battery was also up at that point. So first the dell support person asked me to run the diagnostics and he then told that the diagnostics is gonna take atleast 1 and half hours and so please call back after that. So i called dell after that and then this 2nd technician, he told me to run the diagnosics again and call back again after it is run.

  This happened three times and i got fed up and had an argument with him, after  which he took down the error codes. He then fixed next thursday as the day for the engineers visit, and told, he will sent the parts as well one day before (wednesday) directly to my address. So I had to take leave from work for two days since both the services would not be possible on weekends or during after hours. And as of magic the dell technician called me up on wednesday morning and told me that the parts are already sent and thati should recieve them that day. And to my utter disappointment and annoyance nothing would come. So I again called up dell in the evening and what he said was that he would not know what happened !!!!! (to the parts he sent me).

Thursday : Dell engineer who was supposed to visit me rings up and when i asked him it turned out that he had no idea as well about what happened to the parts. So he cancelled his appointment with me as well. Again called up dell. I was told that the parts will be delivered on friday. ( Why in the name of lord did that idiot then tell me that i will recieve the parts on thursday - does all the dell reps think that they are the only ones who work for a living) 

Friday : I recieved the parts. I called up Dell and he says there is no way an engineer can come that day or satuday and the earliest would be monday. I said OK .

Monday : Dell engineer comes and replace the battery Heat sink and Motherboard. In the process he breaks a connection cable between motherboard and the wifi switch. He apologises and he said he will get the part sent to me and will come and replace it. He says it will take a month for his record to be submitted and so please wait that long. He even took photos of the broken part and mentioned it in the service report he made.

  But as I suspected he would do nothing of any sorts to replace that cable. And after one month after  the motherboard was replaced my fingerprint reader would not work and my speakers also would not work. The heating problem was back and the hard disk problem which they promised me was because of the motherboard defect was also back.

  Again called dell. I told all my problems. And this is the best part . He told me that " There could be a problem with the motherboard". And when I told him that it was replaced a month before all he could say was that " Yah, but there could be some problem in the way the motherboard was replaced". That is how much trust the dell has in their engineers. Man how the did this company come to be known for the aftersales service that it gave.

After that he sent an engg to check my laptop and he found that there were troubles with my system. He reported the problems and then also the dell manager would not accept that there was a problem with my harddisk and he again said it was my motherboard. Then i agreed and they replaced my motherboard, heat sink again togrther with the dvd drive and speakers.

Now for the icing on the cake. The new speakers worked fine for the evening and next day onwards started givinig static and nothing else. And the heating problem was there as much as it was earlier. Then the harddisk - No change at all. All that the dell manager when again contacted would say to the dell engg who came was that it could be the restore files. ( I was having loss of memory space in 5-100Gbs). I would like to ask if anyone has ever seen a system restore file that is so big. This shows how much the dell manager knew about hardisks and also about windows system  restore. This was one week before.

Now when i called them up again . They asking for the laptop to be sent back to them and that they want to run tests in their workshop. guys what should i do ??

I have an XPS 1530 with an nvidia graphics card and have the complete cover warranty which will run out in another month...

NB: All DELL has to say about the situation is to "xtend the warranty"..


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