Dell Enterprise Guarantee Service is Now a Clown Automotive

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As common readers know, I’ve been a long-time fan of Dell’s high-end laptops. I’ve bought 4 or 5 XPS 15 fashions and have been principally joyful. The final time round, I made a decision to go much more upscale and buy an expensive Dell Precision 5540 workstation, with all of the bells and whistles. A part of that buy is the expectation of enterprise grade assist. After the corridor of mirrors of the final two weeks, I want I hadn’t. If I needed to put in writing a script for a sit-com ship up of customer support, I might in all probability have fallen wanting the fact. Right here’s how issues have unfolded.

The Preliminary “Easy Sufficient” Downside: A Lifeless Laptop computer

My Dell Precision 5540 (a high-end, premium-priced, cellular workstation) signaled its misery one morning when it complained about battery standing, although it was plugged in to a Dell charger. That was sort of scary, however unplugging and re-plugging the charger didn’t assist. Neither did utilizing any of Dell’s revealed reset choices after the pc lastly died. I suspected that given a fully-charged battery, it’d nonetheless run, however the battery isn’t detachable, and that possibility would solely assist for just a few hours, so I opened a bother ticket with Dell.

Dell Guarantee Service: Or Not

Buying a Precision household product comes with a 3-year on-site {hardware} guarantee. On this case, my guarantee is nice by July. Superior. I opened a bother ticket on Might 16, and crammed out all the small print. Blissfully, Dell didn’t try to make me clarify the state of affairs repeatedly. They immediately flagged the state of affairs as a Guarantee Restore. I suppose one benefit of enterprise class service is that they hope you’ve at the least tried just a few issues earlier than you file a ticket.

The first sign of trouble was that Dell had canceled the service order due to a problem with their database.

The primary signal of bother was that Dell had canceled my service order as a result of an issue with their database. If solely they made {hardware} and software program!

Up to now, so good. A pleasant individual named Royce picked up the ticket and defined that they’d order a brand new motherboard and the bits vital to put in it, whereas scheduling a restore individual to come back to our workplace to service the laptop computer. I might have been completely joyful to drive to a restore facility (I dwell in the course of Silicon Valley, so near any variety of tech corporations and repair places). However apparently, as a part of the way in which Dell contracts out to Unisys (no, they by no means talked about who they contract with, however when Unisys began exhibiting up on my CallerID…) there isn’t any there, there. So they arrive to your workplace (effectively, in principle they do, since I’ve no proof of it to date).

Yes, I was on hand with the computer set up on a work bench for the appointments. For those of you who remember I started to feel like Charlie Brown not kicking the football

Sure, I used to be readily available with the pc arrange on a piece bench for the appointments on Might 19 and Might 24 (first couple of many). For these of you who bear in mind Peanuts, I began to really feel like Charlie Brown not kicking the soccer.

Then the service ticket appeared to get caught. After noticing this, Royce was variety sufficient to start out a brand new ticket. Based on the Dell Assist web site, the error was brought on by “information migration.” Okay, that made me really feel significantly better. I may solely hope that my information had migrated to a greater, more-responsive, place.

I'm still not entirely sure what to make of this one

I’m nonetheless not totally certain what to make of this one. There’s a little bit of a time journey side to viewing Dell’s Service web page, as occasions which might be speculated to be logs change retroactively.

Nevertheless, my information was apparently simply consigned to a distinct purgatory. However joyful in its new dwelling, my assist request enthusiastically resulted in scheduling a service name for between 1am and midday on the nineteenth. Now, perhaps you run a comfort market or a resort, however we’re not open earlier than daybreak. In any occasion, it didn’t matter, as nobody confirmed up. This was the primary of many semi-wasted mornings for me.

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These Pleasant RoboCalls

At this level, I began receiving every day robocalls explaining that as a result of gamma rays or excessive gasoline costs or one thing, that the service that was scheduled to occur that day could be delayed. Truthfully, I don’t get any a part of this. They’ve my electronic mail, and may textual content me, and have more-or-less no excuse for bailing on the appointment within the first place, however they bug me with a robocall. And naturally, I’ve to really reply, because it is perhaps the tech calling to verify a time. I don’t assume they’ve a clue how precise clients view this expertise.

To be clear: I get that there are shortages of technicians and parts. That might be a cause for a protracted lead time. It isn’t an excuse for making guarantees time and again with no capability to honor them.

I’ve an inbox full of those promising messages confirming appointments that by no means occurred.

Oh, Yay, an Precise Appointment

A lot of you would possibly write off the previous as a kind of ugly preambles that precedes a service name. Honest sufficient. After escalating my state of affairs by Royce, he acquired me a scheduled name with Unisys. Now, doubters amongst you would possibly surprise about the truth that I obtained the notification of appointment at 8:32am on Might 25 (9 days after the preliminary ticket), asking me to verify {that a} time between 8am and 12pm on the twenty fifth could be okay. I confirmed in about 20 minutes. I’d had different plans for the morning, however determined to remain within the workplace and ensure I may oversee the restore.

That is certainly one of many confirmations I obtained for service appointments with technicians that by no means confirmed and telephone numbers that by no means answered.

Okay, I can hear you saying now, “Sucker!” Sure I used to be, nobody confirmed up. After I known as the telephone quantity I used to be given for the tech, it resulted in about 80 rings earlier than I gave up. For anybody who nonetheless remembers, visions of Charlie Brown and the soccer began to loom massive.

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Now they’ve Gone Off the Rails

Nicely, since nobody confirmed up, and the tech they assigned apparently both doesn’t exist or to date has by no means answered their telephone, I clicked on the “Reschedule Your Appointment” hyperlink. A lot to my shock, it supplied to let me reschedule the preliminary Might 19 date, which was by no means even near taking place (based mostly on the robocalls explaining to me that they’d made a horrible mistake and really didn’t have anybody out there to restore a pc on that day.) To skip forward, that re-schedule didn’t work both.

After as soon as once more escalating, I acquired an appointment for Might 26, which I confirmed. That morning a friendly-sounding robotic known as to remind me that I ought to be out there from 1pm to 5pm. Okay, I’d cleared my schedule. Then they known as to say that 2pm to five:30pm was the up to date window. Lastly, within the early afternoon crew robotic known as to clarify that as a result of “useful resource points” Dell’s techs wouldn’t have the ability to make it in any respect, and that they (both the calling robots or Dell, I wasn’t certain) had been sorry. I may nearly hear the refrain of “sucker!” within the background after I’d modified my plans for yet one more day.

So then Might twenty seventh dawns. A brand new day. I’ve been promised by one other pleasant robotic caller and customer support person who I’m actually, actually, vital. Nice. In actuality I acquired a textual content round 8am asking to verify an appointment with no date or time. I clicked on the hyperlink and solely acquired choices to reschedule for Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday. Now, Monday was a vacation for lots of people, however because of this, it truly wasn’t a nasty day for me to clear my calendar. So I opted for that. It had the gloriously quick assist window of 9am to 6pm, so I wouldn’t be going very far. No, that didn’t occur both, and no, nobody known as.

OMG, Now They Can’t Even Discover the Rails

At this level it’s not doable for me to have any thought when Dell will restore my Precision laptop computer. After a barrage of calls on the twenty seventh, leading to nothing, I figured the fallback could be to the “Re-Schedule” possibility I’d chosen for Might thirtieth. However when on the twenty eighth, after I occurred to examine the ticket standing on Dell’s website, it looks like they began over with a brand new service order quantity and a brand new “we’ll order the elements for you and can hopefully get them to a tech for a restore go to someday between midnight and midday on June 1.” I can solely think about that is some imaginary sport Dell performs with themselves in order that they’ll declare they reply to tickets earlier than their clients throw their laptops by their TV units. Bully for them in gaming their assist metrics. Presumably it’s less-expensive than delivering high quality assist.

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What’s Subsequent?

Dell now seems to have started over. Perhaps the motherboard they ordered two weeks ago has gathered too much dust or the previous tech has retired

Dell now appears to have began over. Maybe the motherboard they ordered two weeks in the past has gathered an excessive amount of mud or the earlier tech has retired?

I wasn’t initially planning any sort of an article on this restore. I assumed, like some other small enterprise proprietor would, that I’d merely report the laptop computer lifeless, and both drive it in for service or have it serviced. However after over two weeks of time-consuming, annoying, run-arounds, it’s clearly a narrative. For starters, I’d like to know if my expertise is exclusive. So be at liberty to chip in along with your feedback on both Dell or different corporations small-business assist. As well as, the ultimate chapter hasn’t been written so stay-tuned for when and whether or not my laptop computer is introduced again to life.

Whether or not or not it’s, I’ve misplaced over two weeks of use of my laptop computer, and been lied to about non-existent service appointments which have value me at the least two days of “being out there” when apparently there was truly no plan to have anybody truly present up, and no plan to have them let me know. Clown Automotive is beginning to appear a bit unfair to clowns, since they at the least know what they’re doing.

Thankfully, I occur to have a Thinkpad Yoga that’s fairly candy, and may Distant Desktop into a pair good desktop machines for heavy lifting. But when I used to be actually counting on my Precision for my day-to-day enterprise, I’d be in a deep gap.

Sadly, that is solely Half 1 of the saga. After two weeks of wasted effort and time, the subsequent section can be June 1 the place I’ve (as soon as once more) been requested to surrender a morning ready for a Dell tech. That’ll be a small worth to pay in the event that they present up. Keep tuned.

Much more sadly, this problem isn’t distinctive to Dell. Reaching out to a few of my associates within the pc business that they had loads of horror tales about Dell, Lenovo, and Apple. HP appeared to flee unscathed. I don’t know if that’s as a result of they’re much less in style or just higher at customer support, however I’m considering of discovering out.

It Doesn’t Have To Be This Method!

It’d be tempting to conclude that trendy economics merely don’t permit for high quality assist. If that’s true, then we should always simply write issues off as throw-away, and depart it at that. However the reality is that corporations who truly care about their relationship with their clients could make nice assist occur. I may present many examples in clothes and shopper electronics, however my total favourite instance is LiquidWeb.

LiquidWeb is a superb instance of what’s doable by way of buyer delight, and that it takes cash to pay for it. I’ve had a server hosted there for a decade offering quite a lot of providers. I like having my very own Linux server as a result of I’m a geek, however I like having another person handle it as a result of I’m a mostly-retired geek. LiquidWeb assist is rarely quite a lot of minutes away, and they’re all actually good. Even “first-level” assist techs are nice, they usually can shortly escalate to a second tier who’re on a stage with the techs who keep the server farms for main cloud suppliers.

The flip aspect is that LiquidWeb servers aren’t low cost. However I’m more than pleased to pay. It’s an amazing demonstration of how pay-for-quality service can work. That brings me again to Dell. In equity, I didn’t spend but extra money on premium next-day service, so I don’t count on that. However I did spend a number of thousand {dollars} on an expert workstation that gives on-site guarantee restore. Nevertheless, Dell doesn’t appear to really feel that they should do a lot to maintain up with their promise.

Authentic characteristic picture by Oliver Gouldthorpe, Flickr

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