Dell’s 23 Confessions

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Now's not the time to mince words, so let me just say it… we blew it.

I'm referring to a recent blog post from an ex-Dell kiosk employee that received more attention after the Consumerist blogged about it, and even more still after we asked them to remove it.

In this case, I agree with what Jeff Jarvis had to say: instead of trying to control information that was made public, we should have simply corrected anything that was inaccurate. We didn't do that, and now we're paying for it.

I believe in the customer voice-that's why I signed up for this job in the first place. There's simply no cheating the system. When we're on the right track, folks tend to say some good things about us (or at least give us a second chance). When we mess up, they let us know quickly and vocally.  Then everyone watches our reaction like a hawk.

Now, if you'll allow me to shift gears just a bit, here's our own 22 23 Confessions list:

1. Ok, we goofed. We shouldn't have sent a notice.  To my earlier point, we appreciate the reminder from the community.  Point taken. Yesterday, we also responded to a related IdeaStorm  idea from user jmxz. To see more, take a look for comments from our own dell_admin1 and my good pal richard_b.

2. An easy way to scope out deals  is to go to the Home and Home Office section of Dell.com and click "As Advertised." In other words, click here. You can see what we're currently offering and then chat live with a rep if you like.

3. We have simplified our pricing and promos. We have reduced the number of promotions per product line and the number for a single product. We've also simplified our rebates. 

4. Small Business will be different than Home and Home Office soon. There will be a real difference between systems we offer to consumers vs. small business users that goes beyond price. Since these details depend on upcoming changes in both our Inspiron line and our small business systems, I can't share more details just yet, but you will hear more in a few weeks. 

5. We are committed to being the greenest technology company on the planet.  It's the right thing to do for ourselves, our environment and our customers. See details in the Programs section of this page for more information.

6. When your computer's effective life has ended, we still care about it as much as you do, so we provide free recycling for all consumers worldwide. We can't wait for our competitors to catch up, since we all benefit from improving our environment. Please remind them.

7. We don't think many people get excited when they have to call the Geek Squad, wait around at their house and then fork over cash when you can do the same thing in the comfort of your home on your own schedule for free.  Maybe we're crazy, but we think this is more effective.  Turns out our customers seem to agree.  DellConnect has helped over 5 million consumers for free and has a 93% satisfaction rate in a little over one year of service. Other tools like PC-Tune-Up help automate confusing aspects of system maintenance And new tools like Dell Support Center centralize system-specific information and provide several options for reaching support to make troubleshooting easier.

8. What if you only had to make one click to make a difference in the environment?  Well, we do this everyday via our Plant a Tree for Me program.  Through it, we empower our consumers to offset their system's carbon footprint by making a small contribution to purchase a tree at the time of purchase or whenever you want.  And, Michael Dell is personally matching any contribution you make in June, July and August.

9. We normally wouldn't have said this in the past, but we have some very cool PCs being introduced later this month.  Stay tuned and you'll see what we mean.  Matter  of fact, I've seen some pictures  here  and  here.

10. We have a very great way for all of our customers to share ideas with us at www.ideastorm.com.  Michael actually takes your ideas and shares them widely in our company to ensure that we're all paying attention.  When Michael shares ideas with us, I can tell you that we listen extra carefully.

11. Speaking of Michael, you may know that our CEO is only 42 years old.  He is a true tech enthusiast who plays World of Warcraft, reads blog posts (and not just Dell's), tracks your ideas on IdeaStorm and he really does have a notebook that runs Ubuntu 7.04.

12. We think we should do more than sell PCs, which is why we have helped over 10,000 children in the U.S. learn how to take apart and build PCs via our TechKnow program and it is also why nearly half of our employees participate in charities.  We can always do more, but this is a good start and one of the ways we try to say thank you for your business.

13. It's getting easier to talk with us everyday.  You can go to www.dell.com/conversations  to learn more.  We hope to hear from you and most importantly, we hope to hear your ideas on how we can improve. Many of these tools like the support.dell.com, the Dell Community Forum and Direct2Dell offer additional ways for customers to reach Dell and the community for support.

14. Most of you are probably not checking out a PC and then trekking through the mountains to get home, but for those of you that are, we've built one of the most rugged PCs in the business. 

15. We blog in two other languages: Chinese and Spanish-feel free to join the conversation if that suits you.   We're having fun with our Chinese blog, since we're the first company to offer one in our industry.  There will be a lot more to come.

16. Our XPS systems will soon receive service from technicians in the U.S. and Canada if you buy the system in the U.S. or Canada.  We've also hiring more service and support team members in North America in the last 12 months or so.

17. If you want to find Dell products and savings you saw featured in print, just refer to the E-value code for any Dell product in the catalog, flyer or print ad to find the product online.

18. There are a number of Web sites that aggregate Dell coupon offers. Just Google "Dell coupon codes."

19. Dell offers choice. Our customers can order systems with Windows XP, Vista, Ubuntu, or no operating system at all. If Steve Jobs ever changes his tune on OS X, we'd probably offer it too. 

20. Dell stands behind its products. Recent example is the XPS 700 Motherboard Exchange program.  Here goes the simplified version. About a year ago, we launched a product and promised an upgrade path to next-generation third-party BTX system boards. Since the aftermarket did not materialize as we had hoped, we announced our intentions to offer an XPS 720 motherboard with on-site installation for any XPS 700 customers at no charge.  Stay tuned.

21. We have started offering Dell Outlet coupon codes on Twitter.com. More details soon on Direct2Dell.

22. We've made even more progress on the bloatware issue. Now, much more software is optional for all of our consumer and XPS products. We've recently started shipping a software uninstall utility for consumers in the US to make it simple to remove software you will not use. More details here next week.

23. Did I mention that we goofed? 

No matter where we are at any point in time, there's always room for improvement. The key to our success in these areas depends squarely on opening the lines of communications with our customers, taking some time to assess what the feedback means, and taking action on that feedback.

We'll keep doing that, and think we'll ultimately be a better company for it. Thanks for indulging me.

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  • Anonymous

    I think Dell goofed, but guess what?  It doesn’t matter, we all goof up.  I am using a Dell now, at work and at home, and find both to be reliable and trouble free.  Do I like everything about Dell – no, I think the website is confusing, and would never visit a kiosk in the first place.  By the way, how stupid do people think computer buyers are?  Just by playing around with the website, you can identify most of the “confidential” info that was released. 

  • Anonymous

    I commend dell on appoligizing for the mistake. Not all companies will admit that they made one

  • Anonymous

    A step in the right direction. Good move Lionel to take on the issue head-on.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the confession.  Quick reaction to what was a very negative situation.  I think many of us had seen a gradual decline in the quality of Dell (not necessarily the hardware, but the other aspects), and I can say without a doubt that is changing for the better.  You certainly acknowledge it as a long road, but one that is worth taking.

    Now, the only thing I have to say is that you certainly should have known better.  After the flare up recently with the Apple/PC World situation, these types of things don’t happen in a vacuum anymore.  Reporting is quick and mostly negative.  Responding to complaints, rather than trying to take them down works much better in the long run. 

  • Anonymous

    Muy bueno sus 23 confesiones, los felicito , hacen un buen trabajo !

    yo feliz con mi DELL optiplex GX110 🙂

     

    Saludos de Lima, Peru

    John,

    Un blogger de tecnologia

     

     

  • Anonymous

    On number 19 you list no-OS but for the Workstation Class computers you only offer Red Hat Linux, why not no-OS like the link states? Or was it incorrectly listed? We… well somebody out there must understand why you need FreeDOS instead of no-OS (testing?) but why not no-OS? Testing? Some of your customers actually install their own OS as odd as that may sound. Companies have different standards and security restrictions which require wiping any pre-installed OS no matter who it comes from. A no-OS option will make many customers happy, you can include a FreeDOS diskette or CD if you feel you need to but they will only go in the recycle bin.

  • Anonymous

    to the marketing/pr team: well done, you’re almost there 🙂

    my suggestions

     * go a little lighter on the advertising links (it gets obvious..)

     * make the article about half as long in future (we have short attention spans)
     * keep the message a bit simpler e.g. (we goofed, what we’ve learnt, product placement, we’re-one-of-you-anecdote about the ceo)

  • Anonymous

    Can I make a suggestion? Quit calling us consumers. Thanks.

  • Anonymous

    I watched this contretemps unfold, and am pleasantly surprised.  I swore off Dell years ago (for the usual reasons, esp cust tech svc and Win 2000 never working on a 300Power-something) after buying new units for my family and parents regularly, almost as far back as Michael-in-his-dorm-room…  I’m a SONY VAIO guy for my firm, too, b/c I can buy a similar model on a weekend if mine dies.  But now Dell seems to be available in kiosks, etc, so maybe I’ll reconsider.

  • Anonymous

    uh, yeah right.


    “we goofed” meaning this is a bad public relations problem and if no one had noticed it we would have continued requesting the information taken down to possibly the point of involving a legal team?  (yes, i am making a guess that legal would get involved but since the take down notice mentions ‘confidential and proprietary.’  i can only assume that’s where it would lead, but that is conjecture.)

    too little too late.  think a little bit before you act.  Dell is in the business of selling products to consumers right?  and this goes for every other company out there.

    and really #9?  you’re pushing products in your apology?
  • Anonymous

    I posted my thoughts here:

    http://www.centernetworks.com/dell-forgets-to-think-first-thinks-last

    My advice to Dell is simple: Think.

  • Anonymous

    There is little in the 22 points that isn`t common knowledge. For several years I have been checking the different sales and getting rock bottom price on the specs. Number 24 should be after checking out all the sales, print the config. out and call Dell order and get some money knocked off.

    If the different depts. in Dell really read their e-mails and actually talked to each other, this wouldn`t have happened. OK, you got caught with your pants down again. The bloggers, readers and consumers aren`t stupid.

  • Anonymous

    Nothing there? –> OMG HIDDEN!!

  • Anonymous

    The phone sale people are polite and informed and are usually from the USA for when the calls are originating from the USA  – however, the customer service reps are outsourced to foreign nations where English is not the major language. They are very polite and dedicated – but still it is not the same.

     

    Why is priority being given to sales but not to service?

     

    It just is too difficult to communicate – it is one thing to KNOW English – but another to be naturally comfortable with it 

  • Anonymous

    Response to IMNOTTA NIDIOT:

    I would like to clarify something in your post. Lionel is a very nice, sincere, highly inteligent person. He has been with Dell a while and is not there to put out a fire. He dosen`t need a PR person to write his comments, he is well able to write them himself.

  • Anonymous

    You goofed allright, but you havent corrected the mistake, atleast not completly. Talking about charity work may help bringing out a positive spin to the deservedly negative publicity you are getting, but it doesnt convince some of us. You only need to take a look at Microsoft to find an example of a charitable-evil company.

    Your mistake wasnt only the notice you sent to consumerist.com, but failing 
    the consumer in principle, and I cant find anything in your confessions
    which convinces me to go and buy a Dell computer.

    How about being honest and fixing all the glitches in your laptops which you
    have been shipping over the last 2 years…how about that for charity?

  • Anonymous

    It’s inevitable that a situation like the one presented to Dell was going to escalate out of control, especially considering the rate of speed news travels on the Internet. Props to Dell for admitting their ‘goof-up’, if only more company’s would do the same….

  • Anonymous

    I am still waiting on the Ubuntu machines to have more options on video cards. If I could order it with the nvidia 8800 like you can with the windows option I would order one today.

    There is linux support for the 8800
     

  • Anonymous

    “and call Dell order and get some money knocked off.”

    Really?  I tried to order 6 laptops.  I found one that I wanted on the web site, but the unit price for 6 was more than the unit price for 1.  I called to get a better price since I was ordering 6 laptops.  The price given on the phone was higher than the price on the web!  I was told that Dell has to make money so they charge more if you order more.

    Good thing though.  I ordered 6 HP laptops for less then Dell.  For some reason, Dell charges an arm and a leg for RAM.

    I will need 14 laptops total.  I know it doesn’t hurt Dell to lose the sale of these 14 laptops, but I’ll be going back to HP for rest.

  • Anonymous

    Seems like a lot of publicity for Dell without any cost. 

    I think Dell can only beneift from this publicity. 

    The difference between quality of Dell and HP systems in negligible.  For most consumers price is King and the Dell confessions told you when to get the best deals on Dell systems. 

    Wouldn’t surprise me if it was all just a publicity stunt by Dell.

    Oldest trick in the book.

  • Anonymous

    Mr. Dell, great job. I just might come back around to this company after avoiding it for a good while. Sounds like you need a management shakeup to put guys in place who care, all the way from the guys beneath you and then down to the managers of the customer reps.

     

  • Anonymous

    So, now that Dell has turned a new leaf, does that mean something will be done about the 5 month wait time I’ve had for my Express Upgrade to Windows Vista? Not only have I been lied to by Dell Customer Service numerous times (I was told in March I would be receiving my upgrade “soon, I promise.”) but I have also received ZERO compensation for my wait! And now, after my last call earlier this month, I was told I’d receive it by the end of June. Well, I have yet to receive an email to tell me it was shipped and we’ve already passed June’s midpoint. I should get a free upgrade to Vista Ultimate for all the trouble I’ve been put through! Not only does this make me never want to buy another Dell, it has me so worked up that I’m going to start a letter campaign to my Student Government at Stony Brook University to try and get them to switch the manufacturer they get a discount from to anyone BUT Dell. I start school in the first week of July, and look forward to getting that started.

  • Anonymous

    I was ready to boycott Dell, despite being in a family who have three Dell laptops and three Dell desktops because we’re always impressed by the cost and performance of your machines. This was definitely the right thing to do.

  • Anonymous

    Well done Dell! 

    Thanks for dropping by my boycott Dell post and letting me know about Dell’s latest developments.

    You’ve done a great job containing what could have been an ugly situation.  You turned a mistake into a learning opportunity.  This is how you deal with a crisis.
     

  • Anonymous

    Great post. Posts like this make you look like you “get it”.  I hope that you can convince the entire organization that the time of threatening lawyer letters is over.

    When attacked on the internet: Counter with facts, in public. It’s the only thing that works now.

     All the best, Anders

    PS And glad to see you mention the XPS m1330, I am so going to get one. Now if only I could get it with Ubuntu here in Spain, Europe.

    PPS And please follow my suggestion :o)

    http://www.dellideastorm.com/article/show/68200/Make_CDDVD_drive_swappable_with_an_extra_HD

     

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for this post.  I hope this is a true reflection of the direction that Dell is headed and not just PR damage control.

    I develop software on a Dell laptop and I bought my son a Dell laptop as a graduation gift.  I like to recommend Dell to my friends who ask my opinion about which computer to buy and if this blog is a true reflection of Dell’s direction then I can continue to do this comfortably.

     

    For me there was very little surprise info in the 22 confessions, I have been working with Dell for several years now. However, I was disappointed to read Dell’s legal response and it made me pause and wonder if I should be recommending Dell to my friends.  This article goes a long way toward restoring my faith and I will be watching to see if Dell “walks the walk”.

    While I agree that a fair amount of the post is hype, I also was glad to read number 16.  I hope that Dell sees the light and moves most of its support to North America (at least for North American customers).  Nobody will provide better care for your customers than you.  If you think they do, then you will find that they are no longer your customers.

     Thanks again.

     

  • Anonymous

    If Dell wishes to make an apology, where is the letter from Dell legal to the Consumerist officially apologizing and agreeing that the previous claims were in error and/or no further claims will be made?

     As far as I can tell, the Consumerist folks are still on the business end of a legal threat from Dell, and someone else from Dell posting on a blog that Dell goofed does not change that, nor make things right.

    Don’t just see “gee, I’m sorry” – make things right. 

  • Anonymous

    Please remove the posting… It contains information that is confidential and proprietary to Dell.

    This is what your lawyer emailed to the consumerist. This is not a goof-up, or an innocent mistake. It is not about possible error in the posting. This is the beginnings of a well-planned legal threat by Dell.

    Since it has transpired that the blog posting does not contain any confidential and proprietary information, it seems Dell’s representative lied to ensure that customers do not get the best deal.

    Your attempt  to gloss over this fact is simply an attempt to try and pretend it didn’t happen, since none of the points in this blog actually address the issue of “information that is confidential and proprietary to Dell“.

  • Anonymous

    what i want to know is when are the problems going to be corrected? You can sit there and give all the cofessions you want, but i will tell you that your customers want to see action, not cofessions. We already know Dell goofed up we can clearly see that in the use of our computers. I have never in my life had a software that was more difficult to use. I am having downloading issues, it seems that this software does not allow a customer to do anything or go anywhere or download anything. What are we suppose to do if we cant do anything on it?? I bought a computer so i could play online games and cant even get a program as easy or as simple as Java to download and work because of security issues. I have notified the technical support twice and neither of them could seem to help me out, but to tell me it is a “bug” in the system. What i would really like to know is what is Dell planning to do about these bugs and how do we get around them so that we can go back to enjoying our computers. I think that if there are bugs in windows vista then it should be up to Dell to correct them instead of pawning it off on other companies to correct. I agree that customer service is not the best with Dell. I am a first time Dell buyer and I was excited when I purchased my new Dell a week ago. And in less then a week I am tired frustrated and stressed, not to mention not at all as happy with my decision, as i was a week ago. I have had thoughts of returning my system and going with something different. WAY TO GO DELL!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Glad you admitted you made a mistake.  I like Dell machines, and now that I see that you can handle stuff like this responsibly (even if you did screw up, you admitted it) I can continue to suggest your products in good conscience to people who ask.

    Glad to see you’re still a pretty decent company after all. 

  • Anonymous

    Look, coming from a guy who got his start in IT in a mom and pops PC store and swore by the custom built PC, I gotta say, the last 2 years, dell has won me over. My main pc is my Inspiron 6000d, on a 2407 LCD. I bought 2 other laptops, one for my wifey and one for my mother, and they work flawlessly (Although Inspiron 1000 needs to replaced as it just too old). I had problems with my Monitor, Dell overnighted me a replacement. I had a rom failure, Dell sent me a new one, that was an upgrade to the original. I have my eye on 27 inch Dell LCD now.

     Every company has mess ups, every big company has PR issues, but, that’s part of the job, and Ill go to Dell for my next laptop as well.

     Well, its not all good, I hate the tech support 🙂 Yes, I rebooted. heh.

  • Anonymous

    I have had a 1/2 dozen Dell laptops and I have given up after every single one of them a hardware issues as well as the cosmetic issue with the wristrest. Why does all the newer Dells have paint that fades on the wristrest? If the M1330 is actually a cost effective toy maybe I will give up my IBM for it…..

  • Anonymous

    We should enter the era of no-OS on all models. Most people are tired of Microsoft and their crappy products. Vista was supposed to be better but it is not. Office costs an arm and a leg and I would much rather pick and choose my own OS then have to pay the Microsoft Tax. Give the people a chance to vote with their money on all models. I bet you will find some people want XP, some people want Vista, some want no OS and some want Ubuntu. Give us a choice and maybe we will give you our money again. Alternatively, you can go from 2nd place to 3rd place in US computer sales.

  • Anonymous

    Great news on living up to your XPS desktop promises, but what about those of us with XPS laptops?

     A major reason I bought an XPS gen2 was the promised service and support.  Specifically, an advertised benefit of buying an XPS laptop was ‘regular driver updates’.  It’s been over a year since you’ve published an update for my XPS 2’s 6800 drivers and your support was worthless on the issue.  I’ve even had a letter on this topic published in Maximum PC magazine, with no appreciable effect. 

  • Anonymous

    This is all well and good, and I’m glad to hear that Dell stands behind their products, but what’s with the mess that are drivers for Dell notebooks? Dell tends to only post drivers to certain notebook pages even when other notebooks with the same hardware could benefit from them. Users on notebookforums have taken to scouring the driver pages of ALL Dell notebooks to find out when there’s a new driver for a certain part (be it audio, video, wireless, etc.) We should NOT have to do this to find the latest drivers for certain devices, such as a sigmatel chip shared by multiple Dell notebooks.

    And what about those of us with Vista? Dell still hasn’t released new drivers to fix the major incompatibilities between the Sigmatel audio and Dell wifi drivers that causes stuttering sound issues for ALL owners of Dell wifi cards in the E1705! So many customers are affected, and yet all we’ve heard is “we’re working on it” for months in the Dell forums. Not a post on direct2dell, and no word on when to expect a fix.

    It’s very frustrating. Dell’s driver support is a huge mess right now, and needs a major overhaul. Customers should be able to check one page and know that they’re seeing the latest and greatest drivers for their computer, without having to check the page of every Dell notebook to see if there’s a new driver for a component.

  • Anonymous

    Frankly, I’m using a Dell E1405 to write this, and I’ve been very happy with the machine since it arrived.  I am glad though to see that Dell can admit to a mistake.  It makes me feel that my next machine is going to be from Dell since I now feel I can trust that Dell will be more honest than some companies.

  • Anonymous

    I think it’s great that Dell comes out publicly and states that they “goofed”. They could have easily made up excuses like some politician. Mad props to Dell! 

  • Anonymous

    Dell,

    Amazing job with this article,

    I have been a loyal dell fan since 1997 when I got my first dell at 16, I loved the customer service so much, I was a non paid dell sales man trying to get people to buy Dell’s. But 3 months back when I had a monitor problem, I had spent 9 hrs yes 9 hrs on the phone to get the problem resolved. Now a new dell monitor I bought last month is acting up, I am terrified to call dell customer service. Part of me says I should live with the problem. Well I will be posting my 9 hours of dell customer service hell experience somewhere.

     BTW the XPS m1330 looks very nice, great job on the design. I am happy dell is coming up with designs that will compete with Apple.

  • Anonymous

    If true, I will get one of the XPS m1330 right now.

  • Anonymous

    It’s absolutely wonderful that a company like Dell has offered not only this blog to communicate with the consumers but also its suggestion box.  Compare that to any other company out there, no one else can match it.  That’s why I recommend Dell to ALL my family and friends and even customers since I fix computers for a living.

  • Anonymous

    Just reading through all these “hoops” one must go through to find the best deal reminded me why I have stopped buying Dells and now just go to Costco to see which HP suits me best.

     In over a dozen tries I couldn’t manage to stumble onto just the right configuration to get the lowest price advertised and of course when I used another computer to start at another point of the Dell web site, the same configuration came up with a completely different price. Who has time for such nonsense when there are perfectly good computers available without having to go through that?

    Unfortunately for Dell, I am in a position where I get asked a lot about recommendations of what/where to buy. These folks are not very technical and have neither the patience or know-how to dig into the Dell process to get the best deal. I value my reputation, so I don’t send them to Dell–I send them to Costco.com…

    Clean up your act Dell. Stop trying to “glean the fields” by squeezing every last penny you can get out of folks–no one likes being subjected to that. To me that is just as important as your environmental stance!
     

  • Anonymous

    How on Earth does the fact that Michael Dell plays WoW have anything even remotely resembling relevance to the issue at hand?

     Seriously, it’s like someone in Dell’s PR department sat down and said, ‘gee, let’s make a list of as much stuff as we can possibly come up with that will give us geek street cred to try to make up for our mistake.’ 

  • Anonymous

    I think an apology from Tracy Holland, Esq. to all concerned, perhaps using the consumerist.com as a vehicle, is in order.  I own a Dell computer running Windows XP Professional.  I had considered further Dell purchases, particularly the Ubuntu pre-load, but Ms. Holland’s heavy-handed takedown letter leads me to believe that Dell does not want my business.  I was particularly impressed by the original article, and very unimpressed with her objections to it. 

    Please, have *everyone* at Dell prove me wrong.

     

  • Anonymous

    Well done DELL, I think the momentum is with you now.

    New exciting products, and a more responsive and more proactive approach- all good pointers to the continuing improvement in customer perception DELL is now beginning to enjoy.

  • Anonymous

    We all make mistakes. It’s okay.

  • Anonymous

    I commend Dell on its efforts to avoid a disastrous move. Now if Dell follows by adhering to the points made up above that would be great, I might be getting a Dell soon!

  • Anonymous

    I’m not convinced. If the consumerist did take the material off their site as requested by Dell, then they would not have been compelled to write this blog entry.

    The Dell request did more bad then good, and was further worsened by the consumerist posting their replies to the letters Dell sent. This created an even worse scenario, and this is how Dell responded to it.
     

  • Anonymous

    Imnota: 

    “It’s long overdue that there is acknowledgement of missteps, but this MARKETING RHETORIC is far too little, far too sanitized and far too scripted.  This post reeks of damage control, not repentance.”

    Yes, the apology does sound scripted and it did blossom into a full marketing brochure.  But it does offer benchmarks for improvement.  For example:

    4)      Small Business will be different than Home and Home Office soon.

    Dell “different pricing for the same computer” model always bugged me.  I’m glad they are finally going to change that business practice.   Of course, Dell is being ambiguous about when the changes will come.  We will, of course, unleash holy hell if they go back on any of the promises made here.  For today, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.

  • Anonymous

    I wouldn’t have probably heard about it were it not for Dell’s tactics, but this article tells me there is hope for some of these megacompanies. 

  • Anonymous

    Hmmm, I’m skeptical of your post, and your sincerity, and the count of “confessions” you offer.  This article reads like it was vetted by a PR agency and perhaps Michael Dell, and I wonder if Mr. Menchaca was specifically hired to take the heat and quell the Fires of Screwup.

     Yes, there’s some flavor of Mea Culpa, but nothing that I’d truly call candor – more like acknowledgement that Dell has made customers angry.  And guess what:  We Already Know That Lionel.

    So don’t give us fluffy apologies.  Give us real details.  Calling those 23 items “confessions” is further evidence that the Dell corporation sees consumers as malleable sheep. 

    Telling us where coupons are posted (#18 and #21) isn’t a confession.  

    Telling us that DellConnect has a 93% satisfaction rate (#7) isn’t a confession. 

    Telling us how to use E-value codes (#17) isn’t a confession.

    Telling us that you make a mountaineering-ready laptop (#14) isn’t a confession. 

    Telling us that the company promotes environmentalism (#8) isn’t a confession.

    C’mon, 2/3rds of those confessions really ain’t. 

    It’s long overdue that there is acknowledgement of missteps, but this MARKETING RHETORIC is far too little, far too sanitized and far too scripted.  This post reeks of damage control, not repentance. 

    Shame on you Lionel.  When you and Dell want to get real, it would be welcome.  But when you offer marketing spin in confessional clothing, you hurt your own name and do nothing to improve Dell’s. 

     

  • Lionel_Menchaca

    Hey, Imnotta. I saw your comment on Engadget as well. First off, before you doubt my overall sincerity, I’d recommend that you take a look at some of my recent posts here on Direct2Dell.

    Regarding the confessions, sorry you didn’t find many of them useful. Most are sales and marketing related just like the ones we reacted to. I know that some folks may already be familiar with E-Value codes and coupon codes, but some customers aren’t. I included those because many in the blogosphere thought we were trying to hide those things.

    I can assure you it was a sincere post. And though you may not agree, I would ask that you not make a judgement based on a single post. I’ve run the blog since we launched it in July, and I’d hope that we attract readers because of the content itself and humanness and sincerity.

  • Anonymous

    This is awesome. Keep it up, Dell!

  • Anonymous

    I use Small Business, so I have a personal sales rep, and Gold Support which are level-2 techs, whom I have less than 5 minute waiting times and speak English since they are all from Texas.  I have no gripes about support, usually.  Every so often when their diagnostic software doesn’t find something, but my “know-how” and intuition kicks in, it can be difficult to convince them to replace a mother board over memory sticks.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t know whether you personally posted a comment on my blog or if it was just an automated system scanning for posts related to this problem, but I’m glad you did.

     Your post does show how a company should respond to issues. Admit being wrong, apologizing and promising to improve. Be humble.

    I’m still a bit heartbroken with Dell, but this post shows that our relationship might still have a chance. You’d be a great marriage counselor. 😉

  • Lionel_Menchaca

    J2R: I did not post a comment on your blog, but [email protected] did. I can definitely say he’s a real person. Matter of fact, we sit right across from each other.

    Glad to hear that it (potentially) has made an impression on you. I can assure you that we don’t use automated responses to post to blogs… there’s always real people behind those words.

     Thanks for taking the time to come here and leave a comment.

  • Anonymous

    That’s all fine and dandy, Dell, but please hurry up with releasing of Dell Tablet PC because otherwise I have to draw my comics with Toshiba Tablet PC yet…

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Dell!

    You obviously know what customers like and don’t like, want and don’t want – and as long as thats carried out and well-executed, it will lead to even more sucess.

    JBL is a prime example – a large international company, but I can still pick up the phone and talk to someone who knows what they are doing…and better yet, I can get their name and call them back!  Personal service from a massive company.

  • Anonymous

      I have had multiple Dell notebooks and currently use XPS M1210. Despite having tremendous number of problems and contacting tech support, I have been nothing but in the same condition again. However, the service offered was always upto par and matches Dell’s repute as a Fortune company.

    Introducing new notebooks is definitely a step in the right direction because your older notebooks (Inspiron 6400/1505) are not visually appealing. I can see that your chat support has streamlined and they’re the best at what they do. I don’t use phone support for my notebook, but I have at my University and it’s really not that bad.

     I can see why there have been tremendous amonts of changes recently which started mainly after HP’s lead over Dell (This is an assumption because we do watch markets).

    Either way, I don’t see a big deal in what is happening right now regarding Dell’s former employee’s confessions. Things are just being blown out of proportion a little.

  • Anonymous

    Am I the only one here who thinks these are not really *confessions*? Irrespective of Lionel’s sincerity in other posts, this one seems to be more of a damage control act with sugary interludes of how Dell is getting better everyday.

    Many of the things you *claim* Dell is doing for the better certainly has its place… but when they are in a topic with the word “confessions” in it, true motives begin to seem a little suspect…

    Most of us weren’t born yesterday.
     

  • Anonymous

    Including a tool to remove ALL the programs included with the computer (all the bloatware) and making it “easy as one click” to uninstall and then ADVERTISING that you’ve included such a tool would gain you ground in the more educated consumer market.  None of this “we have made steps” garbage.

    Not to be rude, but you should have had marketing tighten this apology up a little. 

  • Anonymous

    You say:

    Dell offers choice. Our customers can order systems with Windows XP, Vista, Ubuntu, or no operating system at all. If Steve Jobs ever changes his tune on OS X, we’d probably offer it too.

    Bring it to Australia – we want more choices too. 

  • Anonymous

    I like Dell, but I gained that impression as an employee of a customer, not as a direct customer, and not as an employee.  The Dell PR machine is superb, Apple really needs to start taking some notes.

    When I read the Confessions on Consumerist yesterday I really didn’t find anything that struck me as detracting from Dell’s image at first (of course it took a takedown letter to really muck things up).  The post contained insider info, is all, some of it clearly contractually protected between the writer and Dell, but once it’s out, of course, protected within the public’s free speech.  Obviously CSRs with bad attitudes can be a blemish and there were quite a few tidbits of business secret in the Consumerist post, and that’s a hassle for Dell, and that brings me to the one place where I think Dell dropped the ball with this response…

    Customers often do care about how your CSRs feel on the job.  I don’t see that being addressed here.

    When I go to a fast food joint and they get my order wrong, I have a grain of salt at the ready – after all, as I say, they aren’t getting paid enough to care.  It’s not just about pay, either.  It strikes me as really odd that Secret Shoppers should be such a hassle that a rep is going to get paranoid and rude and that it can show in the kiosk shopping experience just because a real customer is curious or informed. 

    Sure, maybe the article is describing select 18 year old kids who don’t care about anything, but on the other hand, a person who moved up through the ranks to manage 3 different stores in a region probably has learned not to sweat the little stuff.  Talk of how easy it is for shoppers to get every single coupon in the computer and buy from the exclusive part of the catalog … this isn’t just a challenge for Dell’s business plan, it’s a sign that these employees who work in between both worlds — corporate Dell culture and street-consumer culture — aren’t finding sufficient reason to respect Dell.

    Any place where I’ve worked that I no longer respect, lost that respect for a good reason. If corporations are to be viewed both legally and culturally as individuals in business who must earn and defend their respect, employee perspectives have to be taken as a barometer of how businesses affect that relationship.  In that way, employees are insiders who “really know the guy” (the guy being Dell Inc., not necessarily Michael personally).  Those insiders tell us what’s behind the smiles (or lack of them).

    Don’t get me wrong – what I’m talking about is hardly unique to Dell.  But  almost everybody is someone’s employee.   Dell could take this opportunity to publicly ‘make it right’ with kiosk workers, or at least talk about Dell’s impressions of that side of the story.

  • Lionel_Menchaca

    Jason: Stay with us… Remember that the three systems in the U.S. was done in about 60 days. Longer-term, lots of folks here understand that developing Linux at the kernel level is a big deal.

    There will be more to come.

  • Anonymous

    Regarding point #19 – I applaud Dell for this change. However, as a critical consumer, I must state that Dell has only gone part of the way. This operating system choice is limited to a select set of systems and not across the board.

  • Anonymous

    Yawn, just sell PC’s and stop talking.  Selling Ubuntu PC’s is the smartest thing you’ve done yet.  I won’t be happy until you offer it on more than 3 models, ridiculous.  I had a friend buy your Ubuntu Laptop, ya that 1 laptop model (geez).  Well, he got it, was happy until an update and boom.  What happen?  I gave him an “official” Ubuntu 7.04 CD, installed it, did updates, no problem.  Conspiracy I say.  Trying to turn would be Ubuntu users into “maybe I should just stick with Windows users”.  Sad, but I hear the issue is fixed now. 

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for apologizing.  As Gaby on Consumerist wrote, working with and not against the consumer will work for you, I believe.  In any situation (marriage, the workplace, or customer relations), when a person feels respected, acknowledged, and treated as human, they are more likely to cooperate and remain loyal.

    When many other companies are not willing to do that, being the one company that listens to their customers could be quite an asset.  I believe that.

    Please continue to strive to remember that you need us.  Without us, the consumers, your company wouldn’t exist at all.

  • Anonymous

    I’m going to buy Dell next.

  • Anonymous

    Okay, you are finally taking a step in the right direction by owning up to your ‘Social Media’ mistake but how about an apology on ‘The Consumerist’ blog? 

  • Anonymous

    I think Dell is getting better and better as a company, maybe in response to recent financial and marketshare hardships. 

    I used to not like Dell, and think they were bad quality, catering to the ‘don’t know any better’ crowd, but then I found a great deal on a Dell laptop, and here it’s still a great computer two and a half years later. It’s been rock stable the whole time. My next computer will be a dell, or possibly a mac.

  • Anonymous

    I appreciate this apology.  Personally, I’ve been through my love/hate/love/hate relationship back to simply:  dell is a good option.

     It’s as good as any, and better in many circumstances.

     

     

  • Anonymous

    I continue to be amazed at the gullibility of us humans.  Why on earth would anyone purchase a dell machine at any price given all of the negative publicity.  I certainly would not.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t appreciate different systems being offered to Home/Home Office, Medium Office and Large Business. I’m a software developer, I want to look at EVERYTHING available when I’m looking for a computer, whether that’s for work, or not.

    If you go to http://www.dell.com.au you cannot get a laptop with ANYTHING except Vista. That means “no operating system” isn’t provided either! I tried http://www.dell.com and couldn’t find a laptop with a 17″ screen that had anything other than Vista of XP.

    I’m still far from impressed with dell lately.

    I do appreciate http://www.ideastorm.com I just hope they respond to more of their users concerns.

  • Anonymous

    It doesn’t matter what Dell say they will and won’t do. My painful experience with 80 Dell desktops (bought on a single order) over the past three years convinces me never to buy from this company again. You would think that after three years, Dell would have managed to get the specification of the PCs to match the order that I placed wouldn’t you? I still live in hope. The constant telephone calls achieve just a further sequence of mistakes. You had your chance Dell, and blew it!

  • Anonymous

    Hmmm… I don’t think your the only green PC company out there. Gateway has been doing it. They also take any old PC’s… not just their PC. If Michael Dell really cares about what customers say, he should spend more time answering to consumers not playing Warcraft. Heck, he should’ve written this blog. The fact that he changes his email whenever he feels somebody has discovered it only shows that he DOESN’T care. Can you clarify #16… are you talking about local people here or foreign people that you flew in here.

  • Anonymous

    I read with interest the 22 points and then the 23 “confessions”.  Like a lot of people I also have a Dell Demension PC.  I bought it less then 2 weeks before the “free or reduced price for Vista”.  I was told when it came out I could “upgrade”  I thought upgrade meant it would be free.  Think again.  I was finally offered a credit that I had to use for a Dell product but could not be used on a laptop etc. I ended up buying ink.

    Customer service takes sometimes as long as 30 to 45 minutes before you get to speak to a rep and then you can’t understand them.  I have just put Dell on my “circle of friends” with Alltel so I don’t have to pay for the time on my cell phone.

    I wish Michael Dell really read these blogs.  It might open his eyes.  It took him forever to can his president and I thought things would get better.  Just glad I didn’t have Dell stock.

    Doug

  • Anonymous

    Why I’m not buying an Ubuntu Dell.  I participated in the pre-Ubuntu survey Dell used to guage the Gnu/Linux community so it could figure out what Gnu/Linux OS to sell (or just use as an opportunity to gather intelligence if the OS choice was pre-ordained).  The OS choice, as I mentioned in the poll, wasn’t important to me, what was important is drivers that worked, source code availability to the community for drivers, source code availability going forward for the BIOS, and a comparable Linux/Windows product that actually priced the Linux version to reflect the lack of Windows OS.

     While Ubuntu was a very good choice for me (as I was hoping for Debian or Debian-based), and I would’ve installed KDE (Kubuntu) once I received the laptop, I ended up being disappointed and decided against purchasing the laptop from Dell.  First, the base Ubuntu laptop available (at the $699 price) starts with 512 MB Ram, not 1 GB Ram like most Dells with Vista start with.  So Dell is saving the $1.75 for the extra 512 MB memory (spot wholesale pricing) and boosting the $699 price in to the mid- $700 range for extra memory. Too bad.  I would’ve spent more for an extra 1 GB, for a total of 2 GB, if the base model started at 1 GB.

    2nd, the base model starts with, not the latest tech cpu, the Core 2 Duo, but more than a year old technology, the Core DUO processor, the predecessor to the Core 2.  Only after 2 additional cpu upgrades, is the Core 2 Duo available at a decent MHz speed choice.  With this second issue, the $699 laptop is over $800 iirc.  Just in the last 10 days, Intel cut pricing on cpus.  Dell would’ve been notified of this prior to the Ubuntu launch, and might have already received credit or discounts on cpus prior to the Ubuntu launch.  So they are pocketing even more money than the market reflected when they launched at $699, since they are pocketing a large (39%, 49%, iirc) discount on the cpu, the most expensive part of the laptop, instead of passing that savings on to the Ubuntu shopper.  Add in another cpu discount already announced for July, another big drop in current cpu pricing that Intel is using to hammer AMD, and that $699 price, if not lowered, or the base cpu option not changed to the Core 2 Duo, means an even larger profit for Dell, while the Ubuntu purchaser is still faced with old tech cpu (Core Duo) or a higher purchase price (pay for Core 2 Duo option).
     

    Taking a look at this Sunday’s paper, there are three other top tier brands, all probably made by the same oem manufacturer (Compal, Quanta, etc.), all with 1 GB of memory, all with 15.4″ screens, all with Core 2 Duo processors, and everything else comparable, with pricing at $549-$649.

    Most ironically of all, when ordering from Dell, I would’ve purchased a copy of Windows XP Pro Service pack 2 as an add-on, to run through vmware, due to one windows user who will also use the laptop and is currently unwilling to learn Linux.  I’ll be purchasing this OS from another online catalog seller that offers the OS for a good price when other hardware is purchased (which I’m purchasing anyway).
     

  • Anonymous

    Please tell me that sweet m1330 will have ubuntu available? That thing looks sweet.

  • Anonymous

    Well seems dell continues to emulate Sony with every turn.  Let’s see how many times they can alienate their community and stick their collective foot in their collective mouth.  Good-riddance to you Dell.

  • Anonymous

    I will say this though: while I feel that your 23 “confessions” are in fact not confessions but advertisements showing why you’re the best (I think you’ve missed the definition of confession: “A written or oral statement acknowledging guilt, made by one who has been accused or charged with an offense.”), I will commend you on not censoring this page (at least not much if you are).  While there are lots of Dell fans praising you, there’s also a lot of people condemning your actions, and you have the intestinal fortitude to go ahead and put those comments up as well.  Well done on that – I applaud your openness to public criticism. 

  • Anonymous

    Very impressive by dell. I never considered buying a dell computer or laptop before, but I will definetely keep it as an option now. This sort of stuff is to be welcomed, and the most effective way to do that is to buy one of their computers.

    Mabye if they improved their support for the country which makes their computers for all of Western Europe, I wouldn’t even need to decide. It’s not just americans who don’t like bloatware.

    And some of the commenters here should take Dell at face value. Even if it’s a little sugary, it’s a damn sight more than what other companies would do. What more should dell do?? They messed up, or rather a lawyer messed up. They took it back and tried to repair the damage.

  • Anonymous

    Whoever sent this notice should be fired. I certainly hope he/she isn’t in your marketing dept. Don’t you realize that this is free advertising? Maybe it will generate sales? Salespeople your problem is that you don’t’ realize what a sale is. A sale is a sale is a sale is a sale. Let me ask you this if you work on commission would you rather sale something or … not sale something? How much commission would you make on a sale vs not selling anything? Let me run your marketing dept.

  • Anonymous

    So, how many of these posts were made by Dell employees?

  • Anonymous

    Being an enterprsie customer of Dell I can say we get very good resonse from Dell but on the other hand I stopped recommending Dells to my private customers (I am a Systems Analyst) years ago because of poor construction (how can you QA a system that doesn’t have the IDE cable connected?) and when they went with the base warranty to 1 year.

    Just the fact that they would only offer a one year warranty ought to tell you something about the quality of the components used in their consumer systems, although I have started to see that creep into the OptiPlex line of late.

    It is going to take MUCH more that what has been published for me to again recommend Dell to people that ask for my recommendations.

  • Anonymous

    Picked up on the saga fron The Inquirer.
    Read the article on The Consumerist.
    I just know that Tracy Holland has to eat Humble-Pie.
    IMHO Brilliant Corporate response by D2D.

    [Note to ALL Legal Eagles – If you’ve read something on the Net, then so have millions of your client’s customers or potential customers. Public Opinion = Purchasing Power; Proceed with caution.]

  • Anonymous

    Dell needs to bring customer support back to America and out of India. This has been said OVER and OVER and OVER, and is probably one of the largest stumbling blocks to the company’s continued success. I used to be a Dell tech support rep, working for an outsourced company in Memphis, TN. Dell moved their support to India to save a few bucks, spurring many other companies to follow suit. Within a three month period, more than half of the call centers in Memphis evaporated as everyone tried to emulate Dell and move their support overseas. The company I worked for went bankrupt. Now, there are very few call centers left – the ones that are left belong to companies who are headquartered in Memphis. Memphis WAS experiencing a renaissance of sorts before Dell pulled out – call centers were opening up left and right – all paying about $8-$13 an hour. I’m sure that’s now considered an outrageous rate for tech support, when you can pay people in India a few dollars a day.

    Sure, you’re rerouting BUSINESS customers to the USA instead of India. When will you do the same for consumers? When will you wake up and realize that it’s bad business to continue sending calls to India? Revitalize OUR economy by resuming your strategies from 1998-2000. Outsource calls to American call centers run by small outsourcing companies in low cost of living areas of the country – like you did with Stream International.

    Use your Indian call centers to support the computers you sell internationally, and give Americans what they have been telling your for 7 years they want – American technical support representatives.

  • Anonymous

    Reason #1 

    I have to agree with a lot of the comments up there, I used to be an Avid supporter of Dell and convinced my family to all get Dell’s and I have regretted that ever since. Our computers are great but when they have issues the Dell customer service is useless they are reading from a manual somewhere in India and I simply don’t appreciate being outsourced. I have since convinced my family to switch over to Lenovo, why because their call center for the United States is located here in the Good old USA in Atlanta Georgia.

     Reason #2

    DFS same language issue, however this part I find to be one of the most baffling almost entraping things I have ever seen a company do. I conduct all of my bill payment online, I fell on hard times and fell behind in payments and when I finally had the money to pay my account I logged on the website and I no longer had the pay online feature. When I called DFS I got a very rude women from India who told me if I wasn’t allowed to pay online anymore. WHY WHY WHY WHY would you take away a form of payment, it makes no sense to me, Who at corporate thought that was even feasibly brilliant, Dell is Dead to ME~!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Personally, its far too late. Any thoughts I had of even looking at dells on a consumer level for some of my customers is definitely a goner.

    I tell you what would get me to consider dell, and someone hit it right the nail right on the head.

     The apology from anyone other than the lawyer that served the threat is unacceptable. I want to the see the apology from the lawyer and the causation of why they produced such a threat. Nothing else matters.

  • Anonymous

    Quoted above: “Dell needs to literally fire everyone responsible for their legal
    threat.”

    Actually, it may have been a brilliant PR move.  No such thing as bad press, right?  Do you think this story would have been Slashdotted, among others, if it hadn’t been for Dell’s reaction?  They got a million heads to look their direction and then apologized.  A good move guys, really.

    What I don’t appreciate though is your “23 confessions”.  If you’re going to offer some honest confessions, great.  If you’re just going to choke us with more PR, keep it and quit while you were ahead.  I’ve bought tons of Dell machines and have had a lot of success with them.  But when your PR department starts pulling stunts like this I have to seriously reconsider future purchases.
     

     

     

  • Anonymous

    In response to Mohamad:

    You rant against the offshoring of tech support jobs, but are you willing to spend the extra $50 or $100 that paying tech support agents $20/hr would add to the cost of a system?  It’s the “give me more and more for less money,” “WalMart-shopping” mentality that’s crushing the middle class out of existence.  And it’s because “the average consumer” isn’t willing to pay a premium price for better service or better quality.  Corporations have responded to what consumers have asked for by reducing COSTS to offer the prices people wanted to pay, not _just_ to enrich the C*Os’ salaries.

     The bottom line is that while we SHOULD indeed get the service level you’re talking about we should also be willing to pay what it is worth.  If we want to save the middle class then we should stop FORCING companies to offer cheaper and cheaper products and then complaining when we get what we paid for. 

  • Anonymous

    I did not but a Dell this time because of the Indian guy pushing me to buy one. It was very very annoying.

    I bought HP. Goodbye Indian Dell guy.  

     

  • Anonymous

    Why does it this whole page look like you offered all your employees a $5 bonus for each ‘nice’ comment they posted on here? This has sketchy written all over it.

    Dell has been BANNED from my medium size biz since November 2006 due to consistantly abysmal reliability. After replacing almost 50 Dell 1600N printers and watching the motherboards self-destruct on dozens of the Optiplex and Powervault towers in a time span of only 6 months, i told the VP of IT that we must migrate away from them.

    I don’t know if it’s because Michael Dell left and hasn’t been back long enough to retake control of the company’s ‘standards’, but there’s no excuse good enough to validate your greed.

    Blog PR BS all you want, it comes down to customer experience and someone over there is running it into the ground.

    Personally, you’ve lost a long-time Dell fanboy and I’ve taken an entire company away from you, and we have no intention of coming back.

  • Anonymous

    19)   Dell offers choice. Our customers can order systems with Windows XP, Vista, Ubuntu, or no operating system at all. If Steve Jobs ever changes his tune on OS X, we’d probably offer it too.

     

    I would like it so much to be true… but it is not: Dell is offering only Windows or Windows in 291 out of 292 countries. That is hardly “offering choice”.

  • Anonymous

    Man… Whomever made that call to react like the RIAA needs to be fired. Point blank no discussion. It’s not like Dell is making any real quality products at the present time, other than servers. You can’t have your products blow up one month and then pull something like this the next.

     
    Apologies are worthless when you reach this far in the game. Dell should just know better. The problem is that the people that you have working in your organization. Everybody, including legal, in the Dell organization should know that such a threatening letter wasn’t going to bode well. So rather than fire the real problem, those responsible for the threatening the threatening letter, you probably got rid of the guy who wrote the confessional. Well I think that it’s time to make amends.

    Dell needs to literally fire everyone responsible for their legal threat. This would be an efficient way to rid yourself of the very element that’s currently holding your organization back. Just use the chain of command as a guide and begin plugging away. I assure you that this will help your organization immensely.

     

     

  • Lionel_Menchaca

    Craig: The reason why we don’t offer Free Recycling through Premier Pages is because it’s offered to Consumers. The reason why we don’t offer the free service to corporate customers is because the free requires consumers to box up each piece of hardware to have it recycled. Corporate customers prefer that these orders are done in bulk. See this link for details on how recycling works for all customers.

    Regarding competitor products, you’re right—in the past we did recycle competitor stuff. Today, though we feel that recycling is something that all PC companies should take seriously.  

    Regarding your question about contributing to the Plant a Tree for Me on Premier Pages, I don’t have an update I can share since Tod’s response to you, but there will be more details coming on this front. Things are still being worked.

  • Anonymous

    A few comments…

    On #6
    I don’t get offered free recycling through my Premier account/page.  Why?  Dell also used to offer free recycling of competitor’s products when a new Dell system was purchased.  What happened to that?

    On #8
    Again…at last check, I can’t contribute to the Plant A Tree For Me campaign through my premier account.  Why?  I have asked this in the past and haven’t gotten an answer.  I have also asked in the past if any marketing was going to be offered to Customers who participate in the campaign. (http://direct2dell.com/one2one/archive/2007/03/07/7465.aspx)  Didn’t get an answer to that either.

    Lionel…Last time you responded to me you said that you were going to work on responding to people more.  I don’t really see that happening yet.

  • Anonymous

    As a previous non-disgruntled Dell employee (worked in ESG in RR5) and current customer, I’m of two minds about this whole deal.  But one thing is clear:

    Lawyers being involved only means profit for the lawyers.  

    You’d figure a company as enslaved by profit and loss as much as Dell is would understand that lawyers cost money and customers.  That take down notice + follow-ups probably netted the attorneys a few grand, easy.  That’s money that has to come from somewhere at Dell.

    Since y’all are laying off another 8k or so people and pushing more for product saturation and Chinese business and a hundred other bizarre little profit moves, lawyering up against an internet site (one of, oh, fifty billion or so) seems like a counter-intuitive action.

    Michael Dell runs his business not as a technology company (point me to one thing that Dell has developed) and not as a consumer-centric company.  Dell Computer is a public company with a legal obligation to make money for their shareholders.  That’s what they do.  Regardless of product, that’s their task.  That’s how the company is run: purely financial thinking, regardless.  I left enterprise development when I grew tired of schedule before quality, form over function nonsense that made us look good to the investors.

    Now that I am out, it’s easy to see why Dell does so well: price.  And if you’re a business and get Gold support, you get a tech in Round Rock in five minutes on the phone, and he’s eager to help.  Best set of techs ever, those guys.  Damn fine work.  Cost effective, too: one call to a quick-responding tech, and I’m going to spend more money with Dell. 

    But on the home user, moron drooling idiot consumer side of things? The average tech call (just the call, no time on the phone) costs Dell $110. The margins on home PCs being razor thin, they probably make $50 on a system.  Your call to India, however, costs like pennies.  No worries about cutting into profit there.

    I’m rambling; the point is (for those of you who hung on this long): The business of business is to make money.  Period.  End of discussion.  In a global economy, the 100 systems I have purchased from Dell since January of last year only make a difference to my excellent sales rep, ensuring he gets to buy lunch every now and again.

    You, the consumer, do not matter.  Your cash does. 

  • Anonymous

    Wow, I am going to buy a Dell next time just because of this post. I really respect a company who is this open with their customers-the most important part of any company. 🙂

  • Anonymous

    I always build my own computers for a variety of reasons, but I can’t build a monitor… so when it was time to upgrade my monitor, I shopped around, and it seemed like the best value for my money was a Dell widescreen. The initial monitor I received had a dead pixel – which is not so cool for a graphic designer – so I had it shipped back and replaced. Dell’s customer service was much better than I’d been told by, well, anyone… and they even paid shipping. I don’t know what’s changed since my mom bought her Dell in the late ’90s, but it seems to be working. It’s also good to see that not all large corporations are willing to go against public opinion and steamroller over their critics.

  • Anonymous

    Can you remind me what you did wrong in the first place? 

    OK, you asked for a website to take down information that was given to them in breach of an ex-employee’s confidentiality agreement with you.  Then what happened? 

     So far I can’t see what Dell did wrong?  All I see is a lot of people complaining that “Big Corporations” are trying to push people around.

  • Anonymous

    LaSandra Brill said:

    “Okay, you are finally taking a step in the right direction by owning up to your ‘Social Media’ mistake but how about an apology on ‘The Consumerist’ blog?”

     Apology for what?  Asking them to remove protected information as an act of good faith?  Grow up.

  • Anonymous

    In Response to Dude_Nobody

    Well said, my friend, well said.

  • Anonymous

    看不懂

  • Anonymous

    Well done for admitting your mistake, although in future I would suggest you don’t add so much blatant advertising! There is a time and a place for adverts, but an apology is not it!

    I would also like to suggest that you either provide support staff based in the same country as the customer for all your range, or none of it (and for people who are not based in the US or Canada!), as just giving to the XPS line gives off the impression that customer support only matters for the customers who buy the most expensive machines.

  • Anonymous

    Dude-your comment wa so inspiring, my head exploded. I wish this type of thought process occurred more often in more people. Preach on brother man!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Regarding #22: I used to work in a tech support department at a college. Each student was required to have a notebook. Lots of those notebooks were Dell because Dell had a deal with the school. In any case, I used to see brand new — taken out of the box in front of us — Dell notebooks that were slow. Reinstalling Windows from scratch always made the system feel twice as powerful. It seemed to us like Dell was shooting itself in the foot. I’m sure some revenue came back to Dell for all these preinstalls, but for what price? I’m glad to see a change.

  • Anonymous

    So we should take…”Well its better than anyone else does” as a standard?  

    By that standard murder would be ok if you did it quickly and with no pain. 

    Chain the lawyers. Make ordering a Dell more like walking into the parts store and building your own pc instead of picking from crummy models.  Kill All Bloatware Instantly On All Models.   Localize tech support withouth having to pay for “gold support.”   The downfall of the comany, like most companies, is the short term thinking, lets make this months profit report look better than last months.  Companies used to understand that even short terms losses that  bennifited the customerbase would provide long term security and keep them in business for lifetimes.

    This is a challenge to one Mr. M. Dell.  Prove to me, a customer of your’s both at home and as a reseller that I am best served working with you for the next 30 years as opposed to switching to whoever has the best deal this quarter?

  • Anonymous

    Now if we could only get Ubuntu on anything other than home systems.

  • Anonymous

    I provide PC support for my entire family.  In my home alone, we have had (past tense) 3 Dell laptops, 1 Dell desktop, and I supported 3 other Dell machines.  However, I had stopped buying Dell due to disappointments in the past – I am very skeptical; tt will take more than rhetoric to change my mind.  I may try my next purchase (laptop for the in-laws) from Dell, but I don’t want them bugged by endless phone solicitations to buy the maintenance contract (as happened before), or nag screens for crapware.  So, when I shop online and call, all these wonderful blog posts had better turn out to be true!

     Also, I have migrated my home environment to Ubuntu (before Dell did, I’m not sending any more $ to Redmond).  I think Dell is on the right track here, but may stumble on poor execution.  I have a question – does Michael run his Ubuntu laptop without the codecs, just as he ships them to the customers?
     

  • Anonymous

    When some one says that the  quality difference between Dell and HP is negligible that is really  scary. Dell has definitely gone a long distance in the support area and I am very impressed. I use all kinds of DELL servers every where in the a nationwide network that I designed and got set up, and use other  Dell systems in the office. I have been nothing but happy,  and the business level tech support from Dell has been top notch.

    On the other hand, HP products have been nothing but pain. I have had a misfortune of buying a HP DV 1000 last year (well known battery connection issue within first six months – still with HP after many months for supposedly undergoing warranty repair, it just happens HP doesn’t know how to repair its own laptop – lost all my three years very useful data), HP DV 2000 dead within 2 weeks of its arrival – it is only 8 weeks old and I use as a paper weight (won’t bother to send to HP as I hate HP totally and completely), a HP DV 6375  that came with motherboard malfunction last month, and  was sent to J&R who were kind enough to take this back  even after 30 days as I refused to sent back to HP, and was left no option but to take a legal action against HP as I can’t be paying for dead on arrival HP laptops one after another. HP is dead for me now and forever as there quality is worst than any thing I have seen and their support staff is not only stupid but very arrogant. I found more support from Microsoft (free btw)  than from HP on debugging HP’s faulty motherboard that was bought at full market price.

    Just for your information, I am not a novice user. I am some one who has spent nearly 25 years in the computer industry and
    have guided numerous complex products design in the Wireless, Networking and 
    now in Web 2.0 space. I have a Ph.D. in Computer Science with numerous
    publications in various professional journals so I must have some idea
    as to what I am talking about, and would give reasonable benefit of doubt to a company if things don’t work first time. But, HP’s poor quality and very poor support, have exhausted all my patience.

    After my terrific experience with Dell, I can say that HP is million years behind both in product quality and support.

     

     

  • Anonymous

    “Dell stands behind its products”

    Wrong.  They stand behind their products, even to the point of denying there is something wrong with them when there is.  Then, when the systems are all out of warranty, they admit that they have problems, but they won’t help you because you’re out of warranty.  

     It’s going to take a lot to convince me that Dell is not an unscrupulous company…a lot more than a stupid blog.

  • Anonymous

    The new Dell models are much prettier than the models they replace.  We use Dell notebooks exclusively and I found their styling to be lacking, compared to HP or Toshiba or Sony, say — though the Dells are tougher and handle a beating better than just about everyone.

    Dell’s website has allowed us to spec our computers the way we want, at a price hundreds less than competitor’s models. None of the other vendor’s websites allow this to the same degree.

    We’re pretty savvy about fixing computers so Dell’s customer service isn’t an issue for us.  It’s good that they are improving it, though.

    It’s good when humble pie is served up by a big company.  Big companies are still run by little people who make mistakes!

    Cheers

  • Anonymous

    “19)   Dell offers choice. Our customers can order systems with Windows XP, Vista, Ubuntu, or no operating system at all. If Steve Jobs ever changes his tune on OS X, we’d probably offer it too.”

     

    But will Dell actually promote this fact? In all of the TV ads and catalogs I get from Dell never have I seen reference of Linux or no operating system machines. Unless you come to IdeaStorm or Direct2Dell you’d never know they carried these alternatives at all.

    As I mentioned on IdeaStorm, I think it’s just Dell’s way of saying we tried Linux but barely anyone was buying them so we will discontinue them. You can’t buy something you don’t know is available!  Advertise them like you would a Windows based PC!

  • Anonymous

    hi this kaleem i have one DELL LAPTOP but i nedd cabel can you tall waht can i do thanks

  • Anonymous

    Dell offers choice. …

    In Brazil, I bought 2 Dell Dimension – one for my woman, another one for my daughter. It wanted a Dell with Linux. Haven’t! (it has, but only Red Hat Enterprise). I had that to buy Dell with Windows XP (Dell Dimension with same configuration and no OS is more expensive than with Windows XP Home) and to install  Ubuntu on my own risk.

     

  • Anonymous

    I really liked this blog entry…good to see Dell tackling these issues head-on.

  • Anonymous

    I may try my next purchase (laptop for the in-laws) from Dell, but I don’t want them bugged by endless phone solicitations to buy the maintenance contract (as happened before), or nag screens for crapware.

  • Anonymous

    Let me see if I’ve got this right. The Boss gets fired and recieves millions and you can’t gert my $1600 laptop to me on time. What’s wron with this picture?

  • Anonymous

    My experience of Dell was paying for Next Day On Site service and when I needed it, Next Day On Site Service was actually a 6 day wait and then sent the part to fit myself. I even had to return the faulty part (CD rom drive) to Dell at my own expense.

    Nice service – NOT!

    Needless to say, when it come around to buying a new computer, I went with HP and have had stunning service from HP.

    I still follow Dell but Id never buy another.

     

  • Anonymous

    You say we don’t have to call the Geek Squad and spend hundreds of dollars to fix a problem with our computer, when we can do it from the comfort of our own home along with a Dell tech…….rediculous !!   I spent over an hour one night just trying to understand what language the lady was speaking.  How about spending a few extra bucks to ensure your customers can relate to what tech services is saying?  Evidentally when you hire them you must just sit them down and give them a CD about how to “Learn A Foreign Language In 24 Hours”.  And as far as solving the problem, the lady had no idea what I was talking about.

  • Anonymous

    (Sigh)  My daughter sits in her third week of her first year of college without the computer Dell PROMISED would be here in early August, then mid-August, then later August, then late August, then early September, and now mid-September.  All these years, Dell tells us they’re making their computers just for us, and they can be tracked through the system because they’re built personally for us: however, when I ask their poor managers (who I’m sure are getting hammered by the public) why I should trust their new ship date…what about what they’re seeing on their order logs should make me believe the new ship date, they are forced to admit they don’t really have any idea where my daughter’s computer is or when it will be shipped. Worse, I learn from the forums that if you scream at front line CSR or their managers, you get pushed to the front of the line.  Well, as a chaplain, I just can’t bring myself to yell at the front line workers.  Now Michael Dell and his management team, them I’m happy to yell at, (but they’re all hiding from the customers); not for the shipping quandary ruining my daughter’s college launch, but for lying to us about the problem and then continuing to push sales in the lines that are backlogged before they’ve solved their inventory crisis.  Why haven’t I just moved on? Try finding more dollars for the extra costs now that competitors realize Dell’s customers are migrating in record numbers. I always believed Dell tried harder…boy, was I fooled!

  • Anonymous

    I have a Dell E207WFP LCD Monitor that I bought direct from Dell last year  that flickers continuously has a predominant red hue most of the time and is hard to read a lot of the time. I have gone thru all the tests Dell has shown me how to do but I have not had any success. What’s next?

  • Anonymous

    It’s very easy to find a coupon code or E-value code. Unless you want to buy a new XPS. I can’t find one to save my life. I have an HP and was hoping to switch to dell this go around but the computer I built on the dell website is $800 more expensive and less attractive than its HP counterpart. I am not buying for another week so if I find a coupon code by then I guess I’ll have to take all this back, otherwise HP has my dollars.

    Scott

  • Anonymous

    I was a Sales Coach for Dell in the home division until early August (site closed) I was there when it was all good, I also witnessed the downfall, but the one thing that sticks out to me was Dell’s reaction to what was going on and the detirmination and pride that upper management on down was and im sure still is, in correcting the self made flaws. They only did what the industry was doing, and they did it to stay in front of the competition, the problem was that it went against what Dell is built on (customer service, return customers) I have personnally witnessed and been a part of their overall solution, and I must say that I was impressed, Dell will be the Dell everyone loved and depended on again right now they will get the job done but it may take a little longer. I could be bitter about loosing my job due to layoffs, but im not. Everything that Michael does is for the good of Dell’s customers and the company in whole. I will always be a Dell customer because I know what they stand and are committed to. The time I was part of the Dell team was a highlight of my life and very rewarding. They take very good care of their employee’s and everyone from entry level on up is treated with respect, your views are heard, they care about each employee. I do know very well that a major improvment area was in customer care, I also know what is being done and have seen the care dept. drastically improve over the last year. I can’t tell you what they are doing what I will say they are doing it right!!

  • Anonymous

    Due to the fact that I live in austin, my wife has drawn a Dell paycheck for almost 9 years(coming to a close as her group moves to Tennesee soon), and that when I graduate from McComb’s I’d like Dell to at least be someone I’ll consider, I will continue to keep up with whether or not it’s a smart move to buy Dell, as if it isn’t a smart move to buy Dell, I wouldn’t work there either.

    Lately, buying a Dell just hasn’t been “a smart move”. I picked up a quad-core gateway for $750 at Fry’s. I couldn’t find a refurbished quad core on the Dell site with my wife’s discount at close to that price. Just a symptom of why Dell is losing ground right now. You appear to be slow, blind to your market, and a clueless to the fact that your reputation for quality that allowed you to sell at a higher price is no longer extant.

    I anxiously awaited the XT tablet PC release, only to find out that I could buy 3 Gateways with proven Wacom digitizing technology for the price they released it at. I guess the 20 million or so College students that could really use a $1500 tablet were not within the target demographic?

     I really like the forums that you have created to monitor feedback. If you can sift through it and pull out true market sentiment, then I think you will find it to be worth it’s weight in gold. In the Jack Stack, “Great Game of Business” model, there is true value in giving what your customers, both internal and external, want. Hopefully you find your way to this.

  • Anonymous

    Hey guys, just needed to check for if there are any new latitude models coming in, I just read a post somewhere something about the E series… when exactly will you guys be shipping it and what can be the approximate price for it ?

    Sunil 

  • Anonymous

    Always found dell to be ok . at the lower end of the quality scale but you get what you pay for

     

  • Anonymous

    i bought a computer threw dell and it is still under warrenty actually all together i own 5 computer recently one of them went down for no reason and they are doinig nothen to keep me wanting to continue buying from them i was on the phone yesterday 8 hours and got no where but hung up and promissed thing all day yet my computer still dont work so they have lost me as a customer in the future terrable customer support i feel like i wasnt treated proper at all NEVER AGAIN DELL NEVER

  • Anonymous

    dell has lost another customer thats for sure

  • Anonymous

    Tried to buy a printer on sale. Used $50 coupon sent to me by dell. Total price came to $49 after sale, before coupon.  I was contacted and told coupon only good for over $50 purchase.  Fine, Just send me printer for $49 as advertised, and dont redeem my coupon.  Ok they say, new price for printer will be $99 and coupion has been redeemed and is no longer good.  Fine I said, cancel order and cancel my extended warranty on computer.  Sorry, your extended warranty cannot be cancelled.  I reordered printer later at sale price of $49.  Received printer, okay with deal.  Still getting billed for extended warranty, so I keep writing on bill that I will not lpay for ext warranty or accumul;ated late charges, but will pay for printer.  Does not seem to compute with call centers, so I will not pay at all, not even for printer. This does not seem to faze them, as the answers to my questions don't seem to be on their screens, they just keep wanting to know how they can resolve my problem.  I guess they cant, even tho I keep putting attn Michael Dell on return envelopes.  Hope someday to afford a Mac.  Goodby.

  • Anonymous

    Mr. Smith, why would you think that they would honor coupon or anything else? i bought the extended warrenty on my dell xps 400 but guess what? after numerous calls dell  to try to figure our why my internet wasn`t working, I called the tec. for my internet service that i had at that time and guess what?, after they told me it was a bad modem , thats what i tried to explain to dell but i ended up having to buy a modem and put it in myself.  they sent me an email that they were glad to help me with my problem!!!!!  hahahhaha ! If i ever buy a dell, it will be without the warrenty…..i am not planning to ever get one of those computers a gain!!

  • Anonymous

    Did I mention that I also bought a 37 inch hd tv from dell? Along with the computer I paid them off within 30 days.  They are upset ,I am sure, to lose all that money on finance charges. I am awaiting my next invoice from dell, so I can write something interesting on it and gladly spend 42 cents to communicate it to them, enen tho it falls on deaf ears.

  • Anonymous

    This post is an example of what makes the social web work. Yes, there will always be trolls who try and shoot down anything corporate, but Dell stepped up to the plate here and apologized for poor social media citizenship.

    I am proud to be working on the team enabling this connectivity.

  • Anonymous

    Absolutely brilliant comeback! I wonder why the take-down notice was sent in the first place. My guess would be because of drop it and get a new Dell piece of advice. Would you care to reveal?

  • Anonymous

    I am extremely disappointed with Dell's "solution" to the vertical lines problem. Sad, since at first it seemed like you were doing the right thing. Long story short: My 9300 was slightly less than three years old. I had had the line problem for years, but finally found this blog.

    Got customer service. After initial "it's out of warranty" mandatory statement, I referred the service person to your blog. Problem got handled and I had a "new" screen in three days. Amazing performance.

    Oct 30 and I now have 20 lines on the "new" screen (8 more than the original). However, now my 9300 falls outside the 3 years. Nice maneuver, Dell. Replace a defect with a defect and wash your hands of the issue.

    Not that it should matter, but I have owned six Dells. This is my last.

  • DELL-Todd S

    @ Thom

    The replacement LCDs have a 90-day warranty on them.  If you're still within that time period contact tech support and they should replace the screen for you.

    I'll email you to get more details and see if we can help you.

  • perfect0

    I have an Inspiron 9200. I purchased this laptop when I was still based in Houston, Texas. I was fortunate enough to have my LCD replaced about a year ago here in the Philippines. A subsidiary of Dell here in the Philippines, Accent Micro, came to my home and replaced the defective LCD. Unfortunately, I am experiencing again the vertical line defect. Now, it is a one-inch thick vertical stripe. I remember speaking to the service person while he was replacing the LCD, since I noticed that the replacement LCD has exactly the same part. I was wary having realized this and asked him why Dell was replacing a defective part with exactly the same part. He told me that this new part albeit the same brand and specifications was not defective. I think now he is mistaken. It is frustrating that I, among so many others affected by this defect, experienced this once. But for us to experience it again, well, is, disappointing. UPDATE: I have been sending email messages to [email protected] but have yet to get a reply. Is this email address still one that exists and one that Dell attends to?

  • airbottom

    Am I supposed to believe that this is a isolated incident? Dell preys on people like my mother.   My mom wanted a regular computer so I told her to call you people, A couple of weeks later a 7,000 dollar xps system showed up just so she could play a 29 dollar video game. Your phone people really took her to the cleaners.  She told them she only wanted to play a laura croft video game.  I had her call them to take it back which they did but now they are charging her 1,000 dollars (yes thats one thousand) for the picture of the xps computer they included in the deal. She forgot it and has since misplaced it. I am sure you can get those printed for pennies and I am wondering why you are trying to milk a grand out of my mother.  You will be hearing from me I can assure you.

  • DELL-Todd S

    @airbottom  —  if you would like to PM me some more information about your mother's order I'll have someone take a closer look at the case.   Not sure which picture you're referring to but there may have been something else not returned or a restocking fee applied to that return.   I'll ask someone to investigate and get you more information.

  • airbottom

    She said it was the poster of the xps computer that came with it.  I am going over there today and get the low down.  Another chimed in first to help and I am going to send her the info after I get it. Thanks.