Dell's endless tech support loop

Monday, August 24, 2009 ·

The plan went well right up to the day his offspring moved into her dorm area. "I installed the drivers for the printer we picked up for her a pair of miles from the university," explains Pete. "I confirmed the system restart, so the driver settings could take effect. But the laptop would not power back on afterward. It was completely dead. Now I was in panic."

The technician shipped a substitute motherboard to an authorized repair agent in the city where Petei daughter was attending college and made an appointment for Monday morning to meet Pete and make the fix. "This was getting close to the beginning of my daughter's classes and my plans to depart to make the 801 mile drive home on Tuesday," says Petei.

Pete waited at the appointed location with his cell phone in his pocket. "No one showed," he says. "And no one called." After two hours, he called and fell right back into the technical support vs. customer service loop he'd endured on Saturday. He spent several frustrating hours on the phone looking for someone who could help.

"Finally, with no logical end in sight," he says. "I gave up. I went to a local retailer and purchased another laptop for my daughter to use at school and began the long drive back home with the broken Dell in my car."

Two days after he got home, the computer repair technician called Pete. Now he was ready to repair the laptop. "He didn't find it particularly funny that I was several states away," says Pete. "And he had no intention of shipping the motherboard to me or a repair technician near my home. He said he would return the motherboard to Dell and that I should start over again in that endless customer service vs. technical support loop again. No thanks! It will be a cold day in you know where before I subject myself to that experience again."