Dell Technical Support and the recent Laptop Magazine article


Laptop Magazine recently called out poor performance from Dell in its blog post on overall technical support for their upcoming annual Tech Support Showdown. That post drew the attention of other sites like TechCrunch and Gizmodo among others.

As I commented on John Biggs’ TechCrunch post—personally, I’m sorry to see that these things occurred. Improving customer service overall was one of our key goals when we launched Direct2Dell and our broader social media efforts in 2006. It’s a topic I was passionate about then, and still am today. And I’m not alone—many Dell employees work hard to provide great support every day. Clearly, in the case of the Laptop Magazine situation, we fell short of that goal.

The problems Laptop Magazine faced while trying to get basic support simply should not have happened. It is true that our support agents are encouraged to provide details regarding warranty extensions in those situations when customers are near the end of their warranty period or are outside the scope of their hardware limited warranty. They are also encouraged to share information about component upgrades or other peripherals when it makes sense. Regardless, in all cases, our support agents should be focused on resolving customer issues above all else. That was reality 17 years ago when I worked in Technical Support just like it is today.

Regarding the sweepstakes, I verified with our technical support leadership that our support teams do not tolerate the use of daily drawings or other one-time offers as part of the support process. I can also verify that Dell has reiterated that message to our support teams and we are currently investigating this instance. If you are a customer who purchased an extended warranty because of a sweepstakes offer like this and would like a refund, please e-mail us here.

Beyond the sweepstakes, we should have done a better job answering Laptop Magazine’s questions. Each one had answers on and other places. To share those:

Other basic support-related links: Dell’s Limited Hardware Warranty for Consumer products; see the first bullet point on the page for clarification on what’s not covered in software. Here’s the link for Dell’s Limited Hardware Warranty for Commercial and Public Sector products. While I don’t know which machine Laptop Magazine called to get support for, if it was an XPS 13, maybe my post on XPS 13 trackpad gestures could have helped.

One reason why I’m still involved in Dell’s social media efforts six years later is the simple truth that we can always do things better. Over that time, I think Dell’s done a solid job scaling the online support we offer via (something that Laptop Magazine acknowledged in their post) and via the Social Outreach Services (SOS) team. The SOS team supports you via @DellCares and @DellCaresPRO on Twitter, Facebook and elsewhere online. That’s the team I work closest to day to day. On average, that team addresses about 3,000 posts a week in 11 languages overall. It’s that kind of effort that earns reactions like this one from Mike Whitmore pretty regularly.

Still, situations like this are clear reminders that we need to get better—not just in one aspect of customer service, but all of them. That’s what we will strive to do.

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2 thoughts on “Dell Technical Support and the recent Laptop Magazine article

  1. Something I have hated about Dell for some time, outsourcing of  tech support! I have been a long time customer and remember the pre-outsourcing support that Dell used to provide.

    The tech support one receives when contacting them, is marginal. From the support staff unable to understand what you are telling them, to totally useless steps to resolve issues.

    Now it becomes apparent, that Dell has lost control of their remote tech support and the "canned" answers provided by Dell to explain the actions, is a total turn off for me.

    It sends a clear message to the consumer and customer, as long as the "bottom line" looks good, we do not care about our customers.

    You can not explain away the miserable answers provided to Laptop magazine. This is what we customers have to deal with, on a daily basis, when attempting to resolve issues. Dell remains deaf to our requests and support provided will not improve.

    Shame on Dell!

    I should not have to spend hours on "blogs" to resolve my questions. Dell Cares, is an oxymoron!

    Once you purchase a Dell product, you are on your own.

    Dell needed to get better a long time ago, when it comes to support.

    The best advise, take a computer class on basic PC repair and diagnosis and help yourself, thats what I did.

    Dell is more interested in corporate accounts and has focused on those, that is obvious.

    There is no real support, just canned answers and a outsourced support, that is running rampant, without any oversight or control by Dell.

  2. Roter: Thanks for taking the time to register and to share your feedback. Sorry to see that you've had bad experience dealing with Dell Support.

    Just in case there's something outstanding that we need to resolve, I will send you an e-mail to offer help.

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