Dell’s External Blog Policy

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Today, with the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA)  we’re announcing our external blog policy that calls for all of our employees who are speaking online on behalf of Dell to communicate in a transparent, accurate and ethical manner. What does this amount to?  That we’re serious about blogging and we want to encourage our employees to do it the right way.

Those of you who’ve been reading Direct2Dell know that before we launched the blog in July this year, we were finding customers in the blogosphere who needed support. We’re still doing that, and we’re also commenting more on external blogs and message boards. Dell Hell happened just over year ago and while we’re pleased with some of the progress we’ve made so far, we know we’ve just scratched the surface. As more of our folks begin entering more conversations, it seems appropriate that we establish guidelines to encourage those employees to do so in an open, honest and transparent way. 

In just a few minutes, we’ll host a conference call with John Hamlin, Sr. Vice President of Dell’s Global Online Business & Global Brand Marketing and Andy Sernovitz, WOMMA CEO, to share more details. Here’s where you can find WOMMA’s Ethics Program details. Dell’s policy is here or click on this link to download a PDF of Dell’s Blog Policy. Later this afternoon, I’ll post a vlog interview with Andy.

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6 thoughts on “Dell’s External Blog Policy

  1. Great move Dell!

    Your adoption of an Online Communicaton Policy sounds a lot like what we’re proposing over at DisclosurePolicy.org — but you’re coming from the marketer, rather than blogger side.  I think that’s a great move in the right direction.

    It looks like your policy applies to transparency for “employees/representatives speaking on behalf of Dell”, but you might want to consider a model Disclosure Policy for anyone displaying Dell advertising, but not “speaking on behalf of Dell”.  Having researched this for awhile, carving out people who don’t speak on behalf of Dell is a pretty large carveout.  For example, would a person blogging about how they love a Dell product and getting paid for encouraging readers to click/buy from an affiliate link be “speaking on behalf of Dell”?  How about a third party uploading user-generated, but Dell-sponsored videos to YouTube/Revver?  Probably not.

    I’d encourage you to consider drafting a model Disclosure Policy to be adopted by anyone receiving cash, products, partnership or other compensation for promoting Dell products directly or indirectly.  Then, audiences could always click that “Disclosure Policy” link to understand the affiliations/policies of the blogger they are reading.  We have a DP Generator over at http://www.DisclosurePolicy.org/ to make it easy.

    This is a great first step and I encourage you to fill a few of these exceptions so the good of the whole isn’t overshadowed by the bad of the exceptions…

  2. When you mention Dell Hell, there are forums of the same name.  It seems both Dell employees, as well as customers find their way to the forums.  One of the issues I’ve noticed in their forums, is that a forum mod or two have been “won over” by Dell, and actively seek excuses to cut off posts that put Dell in a poor light.

    While this may seem like a good thing for Dell, I find that it backfires more often than not. As already jaded customers seeking help or a voice get moderated (shut up), for obviously bogus reasons, it only makes it seem as if the Dell marketing department is at it again. Or worse, that the Dell culture is abusive towards those who would criticise the company or products.

    I realize that Dell has no control over 3rd party forums/bloggers, which is a good thing. However, the forums that Dell reps do interact with, should be reminded that being pro-Dell does not mean they should be anti-frustrated customer.

    The openess of Direct2Dell so far, has been an excellent example of what I’d personally hope to see Dell encourage their supporters to exhibit.

    Also, will you be making the conference available for review to the public?

    -DL

  3. I hate dell.  They have lost my hard drive 2x.  Having a dell is like having a virus on your computer which will explode in a matter of time–be sure to always back anything up as Dell’s constantly break and they will lose your hard drive if you send it in to get fixed.

  4. I am throughly dissatisfies with my purchase experience with DELL. I purchased a DELL desktop computer, monitior and all in one printer. That is where the good experience ends.

    When I received my new computer I began to set it up so that my high school student and college student will no longer fight over the one computer we have in our house. When I set it up I noticed that the computer only came with a DVD+RW drive. The CD+RW/DVD rom was not installed. I contacted DELL to notify them of the error. After being on the phone for about 1.5 hours they agreed to send me the drive. I received the drive 4 days later. I called technical support to help install the drive. After about 2 hours on the phone with someone I could hardly understand I was unsuccessful in installing the drive. I called back the next day to get someone else to help me install. After another 2 hours on the phone it was determined that DELL sent with the new drive with no SATA cables. I was transfered over to sales so that the cable could be ordered. I received the SATA cables 5 days later. Once again I called tech services to help me install the CD+RW drive. After being on the phone for 1.5 hours tech services was still unable to install the drive. I called back 2 days later to get help again. After being on the phone for anoher 2 hours it was determined that I had a bad mother board. The SATA 2 and SATA 3 ports were not working. I requested that a new computer be sent out. I was told that my request would be expedited and that I would receive the new PC in about 3-4 days. I thought that was rediculous. I have not been without my computer for 4 weeks now. I will continue this HORROR story later today. I am still on hold with DELL as I speak…..

  5. There have been several occasions where I have had to contact Dell directly for either a technical issue or a billing issue and I have to say that NOT ONE experience has been a pleasant one.  It seems that no matter what I'm calling about I will be required to speak to a minimum of 6 people, be on the phone for 2 hours, be disconnected at least twice, be given at least 5 different numbers to call (today I was given 7), told that I cannot speak to a supervisor, leave the supervisor a message, have the supervisors name or extension.  Today was the final straw for me, to date I have purchased 5 Dell computers and I ordered my 6th this weekend.  I was told that I had a $5000 credit line with Dell and that my computer would be shipping within the next week or so.  Today Dell Sales Center called me to ask my SSN, then they informed me that my account was blocked and I had to speak with the collection department(transfer #1).  Collections told me that my account was not in collections but there was a block on my account from a past due balance 6 monthes ago & that I just needed to go back to the sales department and have them set up a new account (transfer #2).  I was sent to the technical department, I told the gentleman that I was sent to the wrong department & if he could transfer me, he stated that he couldn't do that until he obtained my information.  Finally he sent me to the sales department (transfer #3).  Unfortuneatley, he transferred me to the automated billing number, which once again told me that I had a $5000 credit line with them (transfer #4).  Then I was able to get a live person on the phone (I'm now an hour into this call) but once again they weren't in the sales department (transfer #5).  Finally a rep from the sales department comes on the line only to tell me that the sales department has no jurisdiction over my situation but another department was (transfer #6).  Still the wrong department, because of the block on my account I had to speak with collections, I spoke to James in Collections Deaprtment already, he told me that Collections couldn't handle my case (transfer #7).  I was over an hour into this call and right back to where I started from.  That's when I encountered Denise from the collections department.  I explained my plight (again) and begged for help.  I was told that I could not set up a new account because I had missed 2 payments last year and the only way to purchase any Dell products was to pay off my current balance in full (about $600) and then re-apply.  I have spent thousands of dollars with this company over the years between computers, printers.monitors, etc. and Dell's automated system just told me that I had a credit line with them.  Why would the automated system tell me my account was ok and another collection agent tell me that my account was ok?  I then asked to Denise's supervisor.  According to Denise there wasn't a supervisor or managrer of the department tthen I was told that the Collections Supervisors name was Gary, no last name, no extension could be  given, no messages could be left, Denise was the end of the line and the final say to a customer that has been loyal to this company for close to a decade.  Somehow, Denise and I were disconnected.  I called back, I had spent almost two hours on the phone with this company.  This time I was only transferred three times before I reached a Collections Rep by the name of Gabriel, I have to say after speaking with Denise, Gabriel was a pleasure to speak with.  When Gabriel realized my plight he offered to transfer me to his supervisor.  I then spoke with Ms. Allen who also tole me that there was nothing that could be done.

    The most frustrating part about this whole scenario is the reason for my payments being late to Dell.  When I purchased my fourth computer from Dell they opened a secondary account for me (to date nobody can explain to me why).  Every month I sent two checks into Dell, each containing the separate account number to avoid any confusion to those that were processing my payment (that was a lesson I learned from another Dell experience that I had).  Dell, without notifying me, combined my two accounts.  This would not have been problem but they waited three monthes to send me a notice with three of my un cashed checks enclosed stating that they could not locate the account number that was referenced on my check.  I immediately contacted them via phone (I think that was a three hour ordeal with a non-English speaking woman) to rectify the situation.  I wanted to pay the three monthes worth of fees plus an additional two monthes in advanced over the phone but there is an additional charge for that.  I ended up mailing my 5 month payment in, plus I made my normal monthly payments the following month (that was 7 payments in all).  Dell put a block on my account and now I can not purchase any products from them (yet I still have that $5000 credit line with them).

    I must say, I will never purchase another Dell product, I would never recommend a Dell product.  I do however hope that Dell realizes that a person must reach an extreme level of frustration to take the time to post their experience on a forum such as this.  Unfortunatley, I can be assured that this too will fall on deaf ears.

    Jennifer

  6. I have emailed everyone connected with my problem to no avail.  "In January I purchased a new 1720 Inspiron notebook.  In May my hard drive crashed.  Dell sent me a new REFURBISHED hard drive that also failed.  It has cost me $529 + tx to rectify this problem by purchasing another hard drive and having a IT guy recover my data.  Since I am a loan officer, I think you can image the fiasco this has created for me.  Also, Dells representative said the software that came with the computer, Quicken, Interactive Video and others were a "gift" with the original hard drive and that he couldn't get me the software, although he did refer me to customercare hell.  I will NEVER, EVER, EVER purchase another Dell product.  I am so disappointed.   Oh, did I mention that I have owned 11 computers since 1986 and NOT ONCE have I ever had a hard drive crash?

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