Like many of you, I am the default user support person for family and friends. Mostly, this doesn’t bother me. When it comes to my parents, it can be a bit heartwrenching – I want to offer them the best I can, but they seem to feel their needs come before my work and everything else. It’s a little bit of a sore point.
Back in early February, my Mum started having troubles with her Dell Inspiron 1150 notebook. At unpredictable intervals, it either BSODs or bypasses that altogether and drops out to a DOS crash state with a message about being unable to read the hard drive. It’s quite obviously something I can’t fix myself. Running full Dell diagnostics on it picks up no identifiable problems (gooood…).
Now this machine is almost three years old, but it’sgood enough for my Mum’s needs. But she does need it. She needs it for her daily contact with her volunteering groups and Vietnam Veterans Wives support groups. She’s lost without it.
She’s also very non-technical, so as soon as she tries to call Dell Support, she’s lost from the first phone menu choice. She just doesn’t understand what they are asking her. She ends up getting upset and frustrated and rings me to make the call for her.
Here’s the first problem – the machine is out of warranty. I have spent nine weeks trying to get extended warranty added to a system. The warranty has been paid, but does not show up against the system. With no warranty against the system, I can’t even get a support call started. I call or email the nominated contact for the warranty extension almost every day and rarely receive a call back. This is atrocious customer service on Dell’s part and indicates a complete lack of care for their customer base.
I have emailed Dell Customer Service about the very unsatisfying experience I am having on this matter. I hope someone there cares enough to do something about it.