2 Bronze

Horrible Customer Service - Tips so yours isn't as painful

Not sure where else to post this, since I can't find a way to leave a poor review for Dell.

I ordered a Dell XPS 15 9500 a month and a half ago. It arrived defective (broken key cap and screen glitch) so I spent two days on the phone with Dell Customer Service agents, getting passed back and forth between departments like a volleyball (over a dozen times, often speaking to the same department twice). Everyone said there was another department I needed to speak to, and everybody wanted to transfer me. Half the transfers disconnected and I had to restart the process each time. Finally, a bro in Customer Care said "this isn't the right department, but you've been passed around so many times I'm going to override and help you anyway." Ordered a new laptop for me, I returned the old one in the mail.

The new one finally arrived (over a month after the order placed) and I saw that the warranty from my original defective laptop had not been transferred to the new order. Thinking it would be a quick fix, I still spent over 3 hours on the phone with Dell today doing the same thing: every representative told me they needed to transfer me to a different department. Finally someone spoke to their supervisor and fixed it for me--literally five minutes of work.


1. If you call you will first you speak to an automated machine voice, who asks for your Order Info and tries to help. If you say "I would like to speak to a representative," you can bypass this unhelpful step and speak with someone.

2. This puts you in touch with an operator, who has to transfer you to the right department. In my experience, they wouldn't really listen to my question, just a few words like "XPS" or "new order" or "warranty issue" and wrongly transfer me. So be as clear as you can about the issue, ask what department they are transferring you to, and ask for the direct # in case you get disconnected. Don't be afraid to ask why that's the right dept/what they handle.

3. If every department tries to transfer you to someone else, keep a list of the depts you've spoken to so you don't waste your time at the same place twice. Ask what exactly the department handles and write down the #.

4. Ask the representative to write notes in your file regarding the issue so you don't have to explain the whole story to every new person you speak to.

I understand why Dell has to organize their customer service, but that doesn't stop the current structure from being an unhelpful, unnavigable nightmare for me as a customer, which means it is a poor customer service system. I know the chances Dell sees this and does anything about it are zero, so to the fellow users, here are some of the phone #s I gathered if it helps (I am located in the US). Feel free to add to/correct this list! Unsure why operators gave me different #s for the same dept sometimes.

Technical Support: 1-800-624-9896 OR 1-800-822-8965 (technical issues for products. This one ended up fixing my warranty issue)

Dell Customer Care: 1-800-456-3355 OR 1-800-624-9897 (first stop for new order issues)

Out of Warranty Dept: 877-409-3272 (paid support for hardware or software that is out of warranty)

Out of Warranty Repair Dept: 1-800-288-4410 (not sure the difference)

XPS Department: 1-800-232-8544 (for hardware issues with XPS laptop. the phone operators are hardware technicians)

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2 Bronze

Re: Horrible Customer Service - Tips so yours isn't as painful

Thank you for this.  I also have been calling support for most of the 7 months I've had my laptop.  I'm sure they are trying to run me around until my warranty expires so they don't have to fix my issue.  I've never bought a laptop that was so useless straight out of the box.  I thought paying more than double for an American brand Dell direct from their website would mean I got a quality laptop.  Nope-- I'm sticking to ASUS from now on.  It at least works perfectly the first 12 months and you can afford to buy a new one once they get slow, unlike Dell which has Blue Screen immediate shutdowns 6 times in the first 7 months (a problem I never had with ASUS).  These consumer reports and magazines must get tons of money from Dell to write the reviews that they do.

Buy American means nothing, because you will still be sent to a phone bank in India or Mexico who is given a script of what they're able to say or do for you.  They will spend hours and hours installing drivers and restarting your laptop until the problem goes away temporarily.  Then the issue will return a few weeks later, and you'll restart the process again every few months until your warranty expires and they don't have to help you any more.

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2 Bronze

Re: Horrible Customer Service - Tips so yours isn't as painful

Good tips.  If you are still under the major warranty coverage, and paid for the computer with a credit card or debit card you still control the transaction should Dell not want to provide the support you expect.

Basic contract law states you can assign rights but not responsibilities.  This means that if they want to point the finger at Windows, you simply remind them that you are a customer of Dell, and that who they selected to provide the operating system is their business, and not yours.  If they will not provide a replacement, contact your financial institution, and explain that you believe you bought a possible remanufactured item or one that was faulty, and unworkable.  It is a known fact that Dell is having problems with Bios, and also with their customer support bloatware.   This solution has worked for me several times - without fail.  Due to legal background, and being handicapped, I have also told the computer manufacturer to come pick up the item. 


You are not obligated or required - in any legal sense - to waste time sending screen shots, etc.

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