Having trouble with Dell customer service? You are not alone. I had a problem last month, and when Dell customer care failed miserably over the course of three hours, I turned to the company’s employee blogs. After an exasperating few days, I remained cordial despite being treated in an outrageous manner. In the end, I was rewarded with a $75 gift credit from an employee in the states who cared about keeping my business with Dell Online. The company just settled a lawsuit over customer complaints. Here’s how to get Dell’s attention without a lawyer.
1) Visit Dell’s employee blogs. AND COMMENT ON THEM. A LOT.
Like a lot of tech-ish companies, Dell’s employees blog. A lot. Now these aren’t the customer care folks at far flung places around the globe you’ll get when you dial the customer care number that comes with your order. Rather Dell’s bloggers are professionals with titles like, “Blog Editor” and “Customer Care Specialist.”
2) Make a list of the bloggers’ e-mails.
Now, Dell doesn’t make it so easy as to offer up e-mails of their bloggers. But a quick glance at the contacts listed on the company’s news releases indicates that Dell’s e-mail convention is firstname.lastname@example.org. That means you can read bios of employees, say of blog editor John Pope, and then plug his name into the convention, email@example.com. (I contacted several of these employees during the holidays, which resulted in out-of-office replies containing their company cell-phone numbers. Don’t bother these folks at home. They likely have no idea how incompetent their overseas call centers really are. Wait ’til they get back to work to deal with you.)
3) Compose a friendly message. Keep it cordial. Remember, the objective is to resolve your issue. The more you thank these people and let them know how much you appreciate their time, the more successful you will be. Dell’s not a company in good shape. Its stock is falling. Its service is so awful it lost a class action suit. Let these people try to keep your business and maybe avoid being laid off.
4) Send your message to as many Dell employees as possible. And just maybe somebody’ll get back to ya’.
In the meantime, Dell also has what they comically refer to as a Global Escalation Management Team. Be warned. These are just the same overseas call centers, only the escalation team is staffed by people with better English skills. Here’s a couple contacts for it, but these people can only provide form letters and read from scripts:
Divya Pradyumnan: 1-800-624-9897, Ext. 7283898, firstname.lastname@example.org; Kapil Gupta, email@example.com.
Stay friendly, and Dell might just give you a free $75. It’s the least they can do for your trouble.