Or maybe dell is getting its act together. I purchased a Dell Inspiron 8600 notebook PC two years ago and had a horrific experience with customer service during my setup. This totally sucked considering I paid for the premium four-year warranty and service. I was livid, but I finally got the PC going.
Two years later — last week — the PC stopped working and gave my wife a blue screen with the message "Fatal Error". Fearful of another horrible experience, I selfishly passed the customer-service number off to my wife (she’s now the primary user of this PC anyway!). Within 20 minutes, customer service walked her step by step through a variety of tests and found out that the hard drive went bad. This was quite a feat considering how non-technical my wife is. My wife even commented on how friendly the rep was, and how she wouldn’t have minded remaining longer on hold because of how good the background music was (Indian disco).
What next? Dell shipped overnight a new hard drive to our home. Shocked at the improvement in customer service, I volunteered to work Dell over the phone to install the new hard drive. I had some problems with several of the drivers, but they walked me through identification and installation of all of them, until the machine was working properly. After the call ended, the friendly customer service asked if it would be ok for her manager to interview me about my customer-service experience. I agreed and underscored the good experience and dramatic improvement versus my first call two years ago.
I hope Dell keeps this up. I might consider going Dell again, as a result of this experience. I hope other fellow Dell customers publicly report their experiences so we all can get a sense of whether there is an institutional shift underway (away from the recent history of Dell Hell), or if I was a fluke.