Dell Drops the Ball

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My 'e' key had something stuck under it on Thursday night. Normally, it's just a matter of pulling the top off, removing whatever is under it, and putting the key back on. Well, this time it didn't work that way. It worked more the way my old computer did, which means the key just broke off an wouldn't go back on. The next day the 'd' key an the 'c' key stopped working as well.

I called Dell on Friday in time to get an appointment today for a technician to come out, with the complete-care warranty with next-day service that I just renewed for $440 (more like $470 if you count tax). There was some severe weather today that might explain why they didn't bother to honor their agreement (even after a specific appointment from 1:30-5:30, which the the technician even made specific by calling to say it would be after 2:30). No phone call to say they wouldn't be fulfilling the terms of the contract. No email to explain the no-show and ask for a time tomorrow. Nothing at all.

Dell has been very good to me. Still, if you're not going to honor the terms of a contract your loyal customer has just paid for (and I'm not saying this isn't an excusable circumstance) you better inform that loyal paying customer that the service will unfortunately not be able to be fulfilled according to the terms of that contract, to apologize, and to offer an immediate attempt to remedy in whatever way is in your power.

I had a choice between posting some lecture notes that I could cut and paste or typing out this message and inserting all the instances of e, c, and d. Normally, I'd never consider the amount of work involved with the second option if I had a choice, but it's important that companies known for their special customer service (and as I said Dell is very good on the whole) receive a public calling out when they fail even to apologize or notify someone of a failure to keep their agreement. They're usually better than this.

Update (8:43 am Tues 6-17): I called the service scheduling center, and they seemed to think the tech had called us to reschedule. Someone seems to be fabricating records, because no one called us, never mind got us to agree to a time to reschedule.

Update (9:32 pm Tues 6-17): The tech arrived today, with maybe 15 minutes' notice, saying nothing about any appointment yesterday. I'm not sure what happened, but I didn't press it with him. Someone did something wrong, though, because the computer shouldn't have indicated a rescheduling with the customer when the customer hadn't had any contact whatsoever with the tech about rescheduling.


Man, that stinks.

Sounds like the field tech dropped the ball. Just remember that even though that field tech represents Dell as their fulfiller of the contract that you have with Dell, that tech also works for a third party company, and those separate companies can have better or worse service in different areas of the country. Overall, as you know well from past history, Dell has one of the best records of service. I'd chalk it up to the tech just not wanting to do his job that day and doctoring things to show that. Hopefully your being persistent has 'outed' said tech so he got his wrist seriously slapped.

I don't think this particular guy would do that, at least if it was the same guy who showed up the next day. He hasn't been the only one to be scheduled to come to our house, but he's come the last few times, and I know enough about him to know that he wouldn't do that sort of thing. He's very honest. But it might have been a different tech assigned the previous day.

What's most likely is that it was the weather, since they did issue a tornado watch amidst some severe thunderstorm watches and warnings in this county and surrounding ones. It was bad enough that school dismissal was delayed. It's also possible that they had scheduled too many service calls that day and just didn't get to me. It's not the not showing up that bothered me. It was that I didn't get a call saying they weren't coming, apologizing, and confirming a time the next day and that someone indicated that I had when I hadn't.

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