For Whom the Dell Tolls

Dell has been on my blacklist for just over two years now (read here, here, here, here, here and here).

This is from an article posted yesterday on BusinessWeek Online:

Many observers, including customers, partners, and analysts, fret that Dell may have been cutting costs so much in order to hit financial targets in recent quarters that it has compromised other measures of performance, including customer support and, possibly, product quality. “The key is to keep customers happy in an efficient fashion,” says Maxwell. “Not getting the processes right can really snowball through the system quickly.”

Meantime, companies with more innovative products and better support, such as Apple (AAPL), are growing at a faster pace. Even once-beleaguered rival Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) grew faster than Dell last quarter.

And this exerpt from the article entitled “Hanging up on Dell?” hits home:

Armed with an extended warranty that cost him an extra $300, the Pasadena (Calif.) retiree got on the phone and waited. After sitting on hold for 45 minutes, a technician whom Ulyatt could barely understand came on the line and diagnosed a “software problem.” Ulyatt’s call, transferred to the software technician, was dropped. Calling back, Ulyatt waited on hold another 45 minutes, asked for the software desk, and waited a half-hour more before hanging up. “At the moment, I’m not high on Dell’s service,” says Ulyatt, who plans to buy two new PCs in a year or so. “When I buy again, I will look at others beyond Dell.”

In the past two years I’ve managed to consolidate most data from two older, barely breathing (this is an obvious Windows issue but I’m on my Dell tangent) Dell desktops and transfer the files to a server. It wouldn’t cross my mind to call Dell for support. If I can’t fix it, I salvage what data I can and move the computer to my Dell boneyard. If the day comes where it’s necessary that I buy a new computer for the office, I’ll shop elsewhere unless Dell straightens up.

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