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My next computer won’t be a Dell

I’m in the middle of a very unpleasant experience with Dell, and I’m tired of this shit.

My issue with Dell stems from the fact that I have a Next Business Day service contract with Dell and what exactly that means. If you visit Dell’s website, you will find "Next Business Day Service" defined literally. Contact Dell on Monday before 5m and you will get a service tech out on Tuesday. That detail is on Dell’s website in any number of places.

But if you ask Dell tech support, "Next Business Day" means that they’ll send a part to the tech and he’ll contact you the day after he recieves the part.


There are a couple serious problems with that statement. I’ll start with the obvious. First, what their tech support describes as "Next Business Day Service" is the ordinary service I would have expected with a service contract. That was an option when I bought my laptop, but I chose to pay extra for faster service.  Second, when I bought my laptop from Dell I checked and "Next Business Day Service" meant just that. I paid extra in order to guarantee that I would have as little downtime as possible. I know what the contract said when I signed it. "Next Business Day Service" meant exactly that.

Leaving aside my issues with Dell, here’s the larger issue. Dell say one thing on their website and have their tech support say another. At the very least this is duplicitous, but I think it would be more accurate to simply call it lying to their customers. I wonder if it rises to the level of fraud?

Now I did eventually get the service specified in my contract, but only after 6 emails demanding they honor the terms on their website and after it was escalated to executive customer service. So it is possible to get Dell to live up to their side of the deal. But it’s too much effort, so I’m going elsewhere for my next computer.

BTW, I’ve had this laptop for 4 years now and I can say with reasonable certainty that Dell have not been honoring the warranty for at least the last year. It probably goes further back, but I cannot find emails to support it. About a year ago I killed my keyboard again (I go through them every 8 months or so) and requested a replacement from Dell. They mailed me one and told me to install it myself. HAHAHAHA Um, no. I have the service contract so I _don’t_ have to do this myself, not to mention the fact I don’t have any experience with repairing laptops.

Has anyone else caught Dell trying to cheat them?

P.S. Now I understand why there are so many Google search results for dell sucks. I thought they were just malcontents. My apologies.

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miztrniceguy December 5, 2010 um 7:06 pm

Bought my wife a Dell laptop with NBD. Mobo failed after 8 months. I called about midnight to tech support, the next morning the overnighted a mobo and a tech dude showed up and installed it the next morning. Been about 3 yrs since with no issues. It is a workhorse as she is on it all day every day. We got our monies worth. Maybe helps that it was not a consumer model but a business one.

RobynB December 5, 2010 um 9:37 pm

Ah, that totally sucks. I don’t blame you for being frustrated.

Zigwalski December 5, 2010 um 11:10 pm

I was going to buy a Dell laptop at one point. I ordered it online but changed my mind and tried to cancel it. This was on a Friday night that I ordered it and tried to cancel it on Saturday.

The immediately moved my order to being assembled. I tried to cancel it for the next six days while it was being assembled with a bunch of guys from India constantly telling me that I could not cancel it. There was absolutely no one I could talk to who actually worked for Dell. It was just phone operators that had no access to anyone at Dell itself.

I eventually found out Michael Dell’s email address and wrote him and the next day, they canceled my order.

I have placed orders online with other companies before and have always been able to cancel something before it was shipped. Dell has hidden behind walls to keep the consumer from being able to do anything.


DELL-Chris M December 6, 2010 um 1:39 pm

I am a Dell Community Liaison. If the service is setup before 5pm Monday through Thursday, then the part should get to the technician the next day. He would then contact you to setup a time to come out. But, if the part is on backlog, he cannot come out since he doesn’t have part. So, we and you are at the mercy of the manufacturer to get the parts.
DELL-Chris M

Nate the great December 6, 2010 um 5:25 pm

That’s not what your tech support said in their emails!

Cabbage December 6, 2010 um 6:23 pm

You guys used to rock. Too bad you outsource all your support now. The support I had before was awesome. Now I can’t even understand who I am talking to and it just plain sucks. Don’t feel too bad though – you vendors are all the same now, which is why I build my own again.

DELL-Chris M December 6, 2010 um 1:57 pm

As to why we sent the keyboard directly to you, I am not sure in your case. But, many customers with onsite service ask us to send the parts out directly to them so they can do the work. Those customers want to do the work themselves for all but the most difficult projects.

Zigwalski December 6, 2010 um 3:59 pm

I have found talking to Dell Reps that they do a lot of talking to customers about what company policy is and not much about what is right thing to do in the situation for a customer. Mostly it is set up for what benefits Dell first.

Cabbage December 6, 2010 um 5:39 pm

The hardware is fine, but blame it on outsourcing the support to India. Trust me on that one.

Nate the great December 6, 2010 um 5:57 pm

I’d say the hardware is adequate, and the cheap stuff is a ripoff. you can get a better value elsewhere.

Cabbage December 6, 2010 um 6:07 pm

Then get it elsewhere, just make sure you get it from someone who doesn’t outsource their support or you are screwed even with good hardware.

Cabbage December 6, 2010 um 6:14 pm

One more thing: you pay a lower price at Dell than you would from some botique vendor who has better support. You could build it yourself or go with a more expensive vendor, its just a matter of what you want. Be realistic though – computers are a common item – the markup is very small. Dell makes all their money on advertisements included with the "free software" you get when you purchase the bloatware. The truth is, you could get a Gateway or HP but they are even worse.

Cabbage December 6, 2010 um 6:19 pm

In comparison to what? Tell me the better value because I’m interested. The only better value is building it yourself and dealing with the manufacturer’s warranty, that is, if you have the time and money to deal with all that shipping. As far as hardware quality goes, you won’t find anything different in other major brands unless you pay more.

Sam January 8, 2013 um 11:06 am

I have had a booked service call under my 5Year NBD onsite warranty, it has been 4 Working Days – 6 Days and no technicians have turned up.

It seems Dell’s service has not improved. I have an email clearly stating that their service call was booked for the 3rd of January 2013. I waited all day on that Thursday and nobody turned up, no phone call, no nothing. Chased Dell up three times that day and I was reassured that an engineer was on their way, that I am the last call on their list; however an engineer will definitely be with me but NOTHING.

The next day I got a call from a company who calls on behalf of Dell telling me that they can only book an engineer visit for the following week, I asked what the problem was, to which I get told "the engineer has family problems". It amazes me that Dell in the UK relies on one person, whom like all of us has family problems?!

I get blackmailed by their same contractors; that I have to agree to them coming next week or they would not come at all. I disagreed with this and said I would take this up with Dell directly as this is clearly not only against the NBD on site warranty, but also against our sales contract and verbal and email contract as set out and explained by their employees.

When I call Dell directly they tell me that their contractor says that I had been swearing and abusing their technicians, hence they cancelled the call out. – Completely fabricated I ask Dell to request the call recordings which clearly show the complete opposite – me getting blackmailed by them into saving themselves of their contract with Dell.

What annoys me the most about this is that me, the customer is treated like dirt, I am battered from contractor to Dell, back and forth, nobody is responsible for honouring the sales contract and employees are out to cover their own backs.

Broken promises, broken contracts and overall poor customer service, this summarises Dell.

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