So I’ve been complaining lately about various tech support blunders by various big name companies. Lately Dell has taken first place as a company with terrible customer support.
One of my end users broke his laptop. While the machine is still under warranty for failures in components, it’s not under warranty for accidental damages. Such as the heavy object he dropped on his laptop!
So I called Dell to arrange an out of warranty repair. We’re shelling out the dough to get this fixed.
First call to Dell appears to be promising, the Dell rep took all my info, explained the cost (remember I said COST here, there’s more later!), and took out company credit card info to pay for the repairs.
She explained that it would be $199 + tax to fix the laptop. I was surprised it was so low but I wasn’t going to argue.
It was explained to me that I would be receiving a box to ship the unit back within a couple of days. I ended the call with a thanks and went on about my business for the next week. I started to wonder whether or not I was going to get a box, so I called up Dell.
The previous rep gave me no confirmation, order, case or any other number for which to reference the previous contact. All I had was the service tag #. After getting transferred no less than 3 times and having to be put on hold while the current rep “read the case notes”, I finally got a hold of a nice young lady who explained that the previous rep did not complete the depot request, thus there had been no box shipped out. She said she was going to take care of that and I thought we were done, but alas that’s just the beginning. She also explained that the previous rep did not do the order right. She explained that the $199 was only a diagnostic fee, and covered shipping the machine back to dell. As well as any miscellaneous parts that might be needed. She explained that the LCD repair kit was another $169 and if the main board was damaged, it was another $140 for that. So my costs just went to a possible $350 to $510 depending on the extent of the damage to the machine. I explained that I wasn’t happy this wasn’t explained better but relented and confirmed the costs.
I shipped the unit back, they received it and called the day after. Unfortunately I was out-of-town. They left a voicemail and also sent me an email. It was a Friday so I had to wait till monday to get in touch with them and sort it out.
Fast forward to monday, 3 voice mails left, 2 emails sent. Not a peep. Tuesday, 3 calls made, 2 voice mails left, 1 email, no response. Wednesday, I ring this reps extension again but do not get an answer, SURPRISE. So I call back and use the automated menu to try to find someone who can shed some light on the subject.
Keep in mind that to date, I have never been given a case, order, reference, or any kind of number from Dell. I only have the service tag.
I finally track someone down and give them the service tag number, he in turn, puts me on hold for 10 minutes while he reads the case notes, then comes back to tell me that I’ve called the wrong department and hands me off to another department. Again, I am put on hold while someone reads the case notes and wastes another 10 minutes of my time.
Finally after 3 transfers and 43 minutes on the phone I get another lady whom I tell I am not letting her off the phone until I get answers and I refuse to let her transfer me to another department unless she checks with them personally to make sure she is transferring me to the right department. I keep this gal on the phone for a solid 30 minutes while she tracks someone down in the right department. Things look promising, she comes back and says ” I have so and so from where ever on the line and they are going to make sure your case is handled”. She then proceeds to ask the other rep if they are on the line and is met with silence. “Hello, are you there?”
So she has to put me on hold again while she tries to find someone else to take care of me. 20 minutes later she finds one of the 5 people in the CSR department of Dell with an IQ higher than a toothbrush!
This single CSR decided to take complete ownership of the situation and made sure the depot request to repair the laptop was handled. She also made sure that the previous bill was rectified and added the new charge of $169 to the original $199 to fix the machine. When it was all said and done, the cost of the repair was $369+tax. When I finally got the laptop back they had pretty much replaced everything on the damn thing.
All the bezels were replaced, the keyboard, the main board, the LCD, the LCD lid & bezel, etc.
I could understand a company dragging it’s feet if it were something they were on the $ hook for. But I wanted to give them MY MONEY to fix the laptop. To me, it seems like a win-win situation. You know if you walked into a car dealship with wad of cash ready to buy a car, the sales reps would be beating themselves and each other up to make the sale.
Dell needs to step it up.
They get a 3 out of 10 for support.
If you have an Android and iPhone (iPod touch works too!) then you can secure your Google account with Google’s mobile authentication app! (Even you BlackBerry hold outs!)
If you’re ready to download the app right now, here’s a couple of QR Codes:
Thanks to my Broski Tim for suggestion I post this!
Why do people not keep their computers clean?
It’s well known that I work on peoples computers fairly cheap. One of the things that annoys me is a dirty computer.
I can understand dust and smudges, but FOOD?
You would think that a computer that is primarily used by a child or teen is going to be dirtier than one used by an adult.
So not the case!
I always feel like I need to disinfect a PC when it shows up all nasty before working on it.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR PC AND IT WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU!
Device: HP ProBook 6560b
OS: Windows 7 Professional 64bit
So I was working on one of our new ProBook 6560b’s and installing software, updates, reboots, etc.
One of the reboots the system decides that the video device is no longer usable and disables it.
Windows shut down the device because it reported a problem. Code 43.
I could still RDP (remote desktop) to the machine so I was trying to trouble shoot it. No matter what I did the device just wouldn’t work.
Installed the updated drivers, uninstalled drivers, 3 to 4 times.
I finally relented and called HP for support. Of course we all know that most tech support reps probably did not speak English as their first language.
The rep wants to me to do the same stuff I’ve already done, uninstall, re-install, etc. I understand that he’s just doing is due diligence before escalating the call to a higher support tier. However, I didn’t fall off the “tech turnip truck” yesterday. I’ve been doing this for 20 years now.
After spending an hour and forty five minutes on the phone, roughly ½ of that was on hold while he “researched” the issue. (How hard is it to use Google?) If he was using the same HP interface we all hate then I am sure he wasn’t finding what he needed either.
At the end of the call he tells me that he needs to research the issue further and gives me the case number and tells me he’ll call me back.
That was 2 days ago.
I logged into HP’s support portal and looked at the details of the case.
This is what the rep put at the end of the case:
Agent took EU to reinstall the graphic driver. Same issue
EU will contact us back if he has any question
That’s not what we agreed upon! He was supposed to call me back!!!
So I posted a note to the ticket saying that the rep had basically lied and left the ticket in such a way that on one would have called me back.
I get a call today from the same rep saying I need to re-install the chipset drivers to solve the issues o_O
Needless to say, I couldn’t wait for this n00b to get his ducks in a row and thankfully we purchased 2 identical laptops and I just replaced the users laptop with the other.
I will factory restore the broken one later on and if the issue is still there, I guess it’s going back to HP for repair.
I should have bought a Dell
There are some simple things you can do to keep your PC clean and clear of malware!
#1 KEEP YOUR SOFTWARE UPDATED!
I can’t stress this point enough. Most of the malware infections I clean up are due to 1 of 3 things being out of date:
There’s a really good website you can use to keep your installed software up to date. It’s completely free AND it keeps annoying things like TOOL BARS off of your computer.
Just pick the applications you want to update / install. Download their 1 exe and sit back and let it do the rest.
If you’re the tinfoil hat type, I suggest not even using Adobe’s PDF reader. There are several free much faster and more lightweight options out there. Just check Ninite’s list.
Ninite now offers a pay for application that will automatically keep your installed software up to date.
#2 Using an ad blocking software
I highly recommend Admuncher. It stops a lot of that drive by malware junk that infects your computer with software claiming to be AntiVirus and saying you need to for over $39-$59 to remove the so called infections on your machine. Admuncher is the best $30 investment I ever made.
If you’re on a budget, you can use Adblock for FireFox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer.
If you’re the tinfoil hat type, you can add ScriptBlock as well for an extra layer of defense.
#3 Use AntiVirus!
I recently removed 2 pretty nasty rootkits from a guys computer. When I got it, it had already been to see 1 tech who installed MalwareBytes, SpyBot and Avira. However, none of these programs identified the rootkits or even offered to remove them. The user was so frustrated with the machine he uninstalled the AV and AntiMalware apps installed by the other tech. Let me be clear….
That’s the last thing you should ever do!
Lots of malware is also trojan software which allows other nastier more nefarious things to get on your PC.
I highly recommend Microsoft’s Security Essentials Software. However, keep in mind that no software will ever be able to keep you from clicking the wrong thing. It only deals with the aftermath.
So recently one of the guys I work with asked me to look at his home PC.
On first power up I get a blank screen. All the lights and fans come on but there’s no one home.
I turn it off and on a couple of times and finally get the machine to post.
First things first I pop in my handy dandy HiRen’s Boot CD. Find MEMTEST86 and let it run. It does find bad memory. YAY!
HP wanted them to reinstall their operating system! Coincidentally HP’s onboard diagnostics didn’t report any hardware issues whatsoever.
So they called HP back and told them their memory was bad and needed new. HP was puzzled on how they reached this conclusion.
I told my buddy to tell the HP tech they used MEMTEST86 to test their memory and they should be ok with that. HP argued but finally relented and sent someone out to swap out 2 sticks of ram.
It has been my experience that some of these techs are pretty savvy people and have been in the trenches long enough to know about tools like MEMTEST.
I mean you expect them to have a little bit of intelligence. Right?
Think again. The tech that arrived at their house had the same questions as the people on the phone. How did they determine their ram was bad? He even had the audacity to tell them he just didn’t understand why bad memory would keep their computer from “working”.
Had a similar experience with so called TECH SUPPORT? Leave me a comment!