Tone-deaf to customer complaints, Dell opens yet another call center in India

Tone-deaf to customer complaints, Dell opens yet another call center in India

Summary: Today comes news that Dell is opening their fourth customer call center in India.My first reaction is a visceral one.


michaeldell.jpgToday comes news that Dell is opening their fourth customer call center in India.

My first reaction is a visceral one. Dell's customer service problems with relation to their India call center operations are legion. They've been afflicted with these issues for years. Among the complaints: unempowered reps, customer service agents that read from scripts, inconsistency of service quality between one agent and the next, unfamiliarity with Dell products, and language difficulties.

I have this problem with a U.S.-based company taking American dollars from American consumers, and the first time those consumers have a problem, shunting their calls to an outsourced service center that takes jobs from some of those same Americans.

One would have suspected that by now, Dell would have heard the complaints and either halted the growth or scaled back on offshored customer service. Yet with this announcement of yet another low-cost phone center,  they are proving they are a combination of tone-deaf, arrogant or care more about their stock price than their customers.

Topic: Dell

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  • What do you expect?

    What does anyone expect in North America anyway? Everything is about greed, and the annual push for retirement investment has made us all complicit through stock / fund ownership. Yes, Dell is concerned about their stock price, but so is your fund manager. And when your investment goes up, I'm pretty sure you don't ask how many Americans paid for that 7-8% gain.
    • The pension fund organizations aren't innocent.

      I was surprised when I first read that pension funds were among the investors pushing companies to massive layoffs in order to increase the stock price.
      (The increase will be temporary.)

      By now, I expect it.
      Anton Philidor
  • Tone-deaf, but good business...for them

    Remember when [b]all[/b] Dell customers were directed to India in the beginning of 2004, I believe. After some of their rather large business customers threated to take their business elsewhere, Dell brought back their support. They figured out that the loss of revenue would be more than the cost savings.

    Consumers are a different breed. They have long been sold on Dell. 7 or 8 years ago and before, when they were acquiring marketshare, it was well earned. Their support (along with Gateway's at the time) was excellent. Now, their commercials remind customers what a "good deal" Dell computers are, and they are apparently still buying it.

    I believe it costs Dell more to satify a consumer with a local support person in 20 min than it does to go around and around with someone in India for hours on end...and people are still buying their computers. By the way, the Dell out-of-box experience is not what it used to be either.

    It has been proven that Dell does respond to market pressure, but they will remain tone-deaf to support complaints as long as consumers keep buying in to Dell's advertising.
    • Dell's reasoning typical but incorrect

      Dell's reasoning is typical of a lot of corporations these days. Customer support services cost me $X thousand per year. That's money spent of after-sales service, it doesn't help me sell product.

      Of course, this argument is flawed. People re-buy Dell's because they were an excellent product. However, if you bought a Dell today and got crappy service every time you called, would you think twice about buying a Dell again? Probably. You may still buy a Dell but it would take more to convince you. In other words, Dell will have to spend more either on marketing or in making a better product to convince you to re-but a Dell.

      So the question is, how much will this extra marketing or 'making a better product' cost?

      And that's the million dollar question. If it costs more than what Dell saved in cutting customer support services than Dell's making a mistake, but if it costs more than I guess its good business sense. But as I said above, Dell and other corporations don't make it this far. They're still on the old-school approach of treating customer support services as an after-sales cost centre.
  • Consumers make that decision.

    Buy product Dell for $600 with poor support.

    Buy product Alienware for $2000 with great support.

    Care to guess which one consumers pick???
    • Oh come on now

      People that are in the market for what Alienware has to offer won't consider a $600 Dell, and people in the market for cheapass computers won't consider the Alienware. You can also get a Dell for $5000. So would you rather have a $2000 Alienware with great support or a $5000 Dell with poor support? You have heard of Alienware because they do a good job of targeting a market that companies such as Dell have ignored until recently.

      I'm not siding one way or the other, but you should at least compare relevant configurations with comparable target markets.
      • no doubt, comparing a civic with a hummer don't go off road with a $13k civic, but that $50k hummer can - at the expense of gas consumption.

        Much like a gamer getting a dell with an X300, vs. an alienware with a 7800GTX, at the expense of power consumption.

        Well at least it was a good laugh.
    • re: Consumers make that decision.

      I bought the alienware because of Dell's business practices. In the long run it will cost me much less.
  • Outsourcing?

    I don't know about everyone else, but maybe it is time to become "tone deaf" to their commercials!

    I was an avid DELL supporter, having convinced several of my family and friends to buy Dell over the years, but one session of "so called" support was enough to convince me to stear everybody away from DELL!

    The machines are still above average as far as quality is concerned, but attempting to explain to someone in India the sequence of events leading up to a PC problem, is downright impossible!!

    Nothing gets resolved and usual email followups are clearly of the "standard form" kind.

    I will just have to return to Gateway, that is unless they are outsourcing too.
    • They are, big time

      Save your money and buy a white box from a reputable local dealer.
  • I see a benefit - pay Me to fix your Dell

    Buy locally and have local support by ENGLISH speaking technicians.
  • I think its a good deal for America

    Why would you want to pay $65 to tighten nuts, bolts in America. Why do you want to pay $20 an hour for someone in America to answer the phone.

    There are excellent educational institues in America. Shouldnt Americans make use of them. Study and get better jobs in engineering, bio-technology and earn more and have better standard of living.

    However what I see happening is Americans complaining about $10, $15, $20 jobs and it is immigrants studying in America and get higher paid jobs.

    I see it as a great opportunity for America to buy clothes, furniture, toys, customer support etc. It entails a higher standard of living to Americans.
    • Dell is always a bad deal for the USA.

      You pay $20 per hour to someone in America, so you get someone other than a poor indian that can't speak english and can hardly read the script they are given. (I guess you call that support?)
      So you think sending $20per hour jobs overseas to Indians that can't provide even a 100th of the support being paid less than a dollar an hour is a good thing for the USA. Let me guess you must be a republican? No one else is that bad at math!
      I don't know where you hang out but I don't hear any complaints about $20 per hour jobs, maybe you need cut out the drugs and pay a visit to the real world.
      Dell is not American and deserves to be out of business. If they love india so much they should move there. Then we can slap a tarif on their crappy computers and keep them out of the USA.
    • re:I think its a good deal for America

      Very circular logic
  • No more Dells for Me.

    I own 5 Dell machines with the last one being purchased last summer. The last machine I purchased had a drive problem and after explaining everything to one of Dell's Indians a number of times and being told each time that I had to pay for extended support (already purchased a 2 year warranty). After several days of dealing with this foreign idiot, I told her to close the ticket as she wasn't capable of fixing anything.

    She had the nerve to tell me that she had "fixed" my problem and thanked me for using Dell support. NEVER again will I purchase their equipment knowing how bad their support is. I have been providing technical support for over 30 years and I have NEVER encountered any support group that is that clueless and useless.

    Needless to say, I won't be recommending a Dell system to anyone in the future.
  • Is Dell REALLY listening to customers?

    This frustrated Dell XPS owner has been dealing with Dell's CS techs in India for nearly 3 mos and my computer still doesn't work! The techs & their managers have been unable to solve the problem over the phone. Every component in my tower has been replaced at least once & system still under warranty. Dell's subcontractors drive & install each replacement component, then they troubleshoot with the India CS tech/mgr, with great difficulty! Would suggest that Dell require more language classes for their overseas employees and offer a true customer support/care center in the states for issues such as mine. No one at Dell can resolve my issues & they don't know who to transfer me to.
  • Simple Solution

    A simple (but still a work-a-round) solution would be to purchase from the Business side of Dell instead of the Consumer Division. You DO NOT have to own a business to purchase through the business division of Dell. You will then get service that is at least a little better than India.
  • We can always vote with our feet

    One of the wonderful things about living in a free market society is that we are able to "vote with our feet". While I cannot blame Dell for looking for cost cutting measures, as I cannot blame American Express for their cost cutting measures these are two companies that I will not purchase from because the quality of their customer service has declined dramatically. If we do not like how a company does business then simply do not support the company.
    Remember the little girl that changed the Tuna business for ever by simply boycotting their products until they were Dolphin safe. One little girl taught all of us how to "vote with our feet". If you don't like the way a company does business don't purchase their services or products.

      Christ, I didn't realize they put links to 3 year old blogs on this site. I wrote a superlative 5 paragraph reply for nought. I guess it's like the old - check to see if it's plugged in troubleshooting tip. Check the date before you post a reply. Trust me if I had known this site existed 3 years ago ... then (back then) you would have loved my reply!!!! - just for kicks, here is a sample. It ended with "Oh by golly! It's too damn cold here. I think I'm going back to New Delhi".
  • RE: Tone-deaf to customer complaints, Dell opens yet another call center in India

    Dell are tone-deaf to the needs of their customers and treat you on the basis that 1 unhappy customer will not make any difference to a company their size.

    I had to make 10 phone clals before a laptop was delivered and 7 subseqiuent clals have all been ignored. If that is not rude I don't know what is.