Dealing with Dell

I’m not sure whether to share this tip with you, dear readers. My fear is that if widely known it will become ineffective.

Some years ago, I purchased a Dell computer via the Internet. However due to a complication with the method by which I wanted to pay for the computer, the process was not straightforward and bogged down dealing with Customer Service wonks. In frustration I emailed the wonk and BCC’d Michael Dell at Dell dot com using every possible combination of email address. Within less then 24 hours a senior Customer services manager was on the case and it all moved forward smoothly.

I mentioned this to several friends, and as bad-luck would have it, they too had to resort to the BCC Mike tip. In each case their problems were swiftly resolved. I have just had to invoke it on behalf of a client, and the problem was resolved within two hours.

Now, I don’t imagine for one moment that Mike Dell has a publicly accessible email address, but clearly someone is monitoring the system for enraged customers. I chose to BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) Mike so that the recipient would not know what I had done, and therefore would not of their own account leap, into action. They must have been chased by the Watchers Of The SMTP Gateway.

It is a shame to have to resort to this bit of underhand subterfuge, because most of my dealings with Dell have been very good. I worked for a company who made hundreds of purchases from Dell with no problem at all, and I have many friends and relatives who have bought from Dell with no trouble, and I am generally very happy to recommend Dell as a supplier. It just seems to break down as soon as you need to actually involve a human in the loop by making a purchase that is not quite standard.


On the off-chance that Michael Dell reads this – (a) well done mate for having someone keep your people on their toes, and (b) please make it easier to purchase Dell kit with Linux or Windows XP on – all models, not just selected models that you allow to be downgraded to XP. (See my earlier rant about Vista). Oh and by the way Mike, you should know that your call center in India is encouraging people to load illegal copies of XP – that was their advice when I asked about getting an Inspirion 1720 with XP, “borrow an XP disk then just wipe it and load XP yourself” – which wouldn’t have worked anyway as XP doesn’t have the correct OEM SATA drivers. OK, I do know how to slipstream the correct drivers to an XP disk, but that’s not the point.

/end rant

~ by @mmonyte on January 31, 2008.

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