Folks, it's my intention that this will be the last post on this topic.
I've been enjoying a quiet "behind the scenes" discussion with representatives of Dell recently. The conversation centered on how my perception of the onsite, next business day contract I purchased differs from the actual words of the contract. The conversation also examined how that perception has colored my view of Dell's technical service. Although my posts were just meant to just chronicle my journey through the land of Dell service, I guess they struck a nerve somewhere in Round Rock, TX. Here's a snippet from a message that was part of that interesting exchange and a rather heavily edited section of my reply.
Snipped from a message from a Dell representative
The majority of the confusion seems to have stemmed from a misunderstanding of the service contracts and I'd like to clear that up. A Next Business Day service contract for onsite repair means if you contact Dell to troubleshoot the system and find that parts replacement is needed, and a technician is required to replace the part, we will overnight the parts and the technician will be there next business day,...
A highly edited snippet of my overly lengthy, rather pedantic and wordy response
I agree that this is a problem for Dell. In my short, 30 year experience in the industry, the phrases "next business day" and "onsite" have always meant that someone who could fix the problem and all of the necessary tools and parts for the repair would show up onsite the very next business day. Silly me. I thought that a "onsite" "next business day" support contract from Dell would live up to that well established pattern.
This pattern, and the resulting industry expectation, was set long before Dell existed as a company and is still adhered to by other IT suppliers. I've gotten this type of support from others as recently as the end of 2006. One of my machines had a problem with the keys stttttticking. A superhero from that other supplier put down that the attack of wild t's and unruly l's. I'm sure that I was saved from an awful fate.
It is clear that my expectation of Dell and what the company did were not "aligned" as a former colleague at Digital Equipment Corporation used to say. Although I've not conducted a lengthy, formal survey, the messages I've received as a result of my posts leads me to the conclusion that Dell is likely to face a similar strong negative reaction from others. If I scan the net for this type of negative reaction, examples such as this type of reaction can be found. I'm pretty sure that I could find other examples if I spent much time looking for them.
Do you think my response was too severe? If given the chance, what would you tell Dell's service organization?
Don't know what this is about?
Some newcomers to Virtually Speaking are likely to be puzzled by this post. If you fall into that category and haven't had the painful experience of reading the previous posts, here's where you can find them.