Buenos Aires – In the completely non-food/wine related world, I’ve recently been dealing with the fun of Dell computer service overseas. It’s been a frustrating and time consuming process, and has basically resulted with no one being satisfied. Here are the two posts I made to the Dell Community Forums:
I recently renewed my warranties for both my XPS laptop and desktop. I told the warranty person that I was spending the next year or so overseas and wanted to make sure that I had international support. She assured me that it was included in the warranty package I’d purchased.
Sure enough a few weeks later, the motherboard on the desktop died. I spent a couple of hours “diagnosing” this using the online chat feature via my laptop. At the end, having determined I needed a new motherboard, the tech informed me that there was no such thing as Dell International support, that a new motherboard could only be sent to my registered home address, and that the return slip would only be issued with domestic ground service. I arranged to have someone then fedex the motherboard to me in Argentina where I currently am (and where Dell does have offices), at a cost of $200. But, true to his word, the return slip is domestic ground service only.
A call to the warranty department yielded “we just sell the packages, it’s not our responsibility to police the tech department”. E-mails to customer service have gone unanswered for over two weeks. Same with getting any kind of customer service response via phone – “I’ll get back to you” apparently means, “please hang up and don’t bother us again.”
Needless to say, it looks like all “international support” means is that Dell will accept an online chat or phone call, not provide anything further. Nor would I say that I’m happy with Dell service at this point.
Followed up about a week later by:
First, obviously no one from Dell responded to this, but that’s not a surprise given my recent experiences. I started dealing with Dell not only because of quality products, but because of quality service. I’ve watched over the last few years as rapid growth and outsourcing have lowered the quality of the latter to the point where it’s a waste of time to even try to interact with Dell representatives. A true shame, because the product quality is as good or better than it ever was.
I finally got through to a person in the warranty department who did not just hang up or tell me someone would call me back. I spent 25 minutes on the phone with her, but got nowhere, essentially reaching the point where she understood what I wanted (either a refund on the costs of the repair and some sort of resolution to providing international service, or, a refund on the extended warranty since it was a waste of time). However, she informed me that she couldn’t do it. On to her supervisor.
The supervisor spent about fifteen minutes on the phone with me, and we only got as far as I could get the refund on the warranty, that I should register my international address with them (why?), although there is indeed no international support for Argentina (her claim that there is no Dell office in Argentina is nonsense, I know where it is, and it’s not far from my home), but that customer service would have to issue the refund. She transfered me…
Customer service informed me that all of the above was nonsense, that there is indeed international service in Argentina, though, they (customer service) have no power over the technical support department, and if tech support wants to claim there’s no service here, there’s nothing to be done. She informed me that she couldn’t issue the refund either, I had to go back to the warranty department. She did, however, put me through to the international shipping department to arrange a pickup of the old part.
They, however, refused to do so, once again claiming that Argentina is an uncovered part of the world and that not only is there no Dell office here, but that the international carriers that Dell uses don’t exist here (umm, that’d be DHL and/or Fedex, both of which do exist here). He then hung up on me.
I didn’t bother to call the warranty department back. I called American Express, told them I was disputing the charge, and not to accept any further charges from Dell on my account.
Needless to say, Dell has lost me as a customer.
Who knows? Maybe someone from Dell USA or Dell Argentina reads this blog and will respond. Somehow I doubt it.