Feb 16 2004

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Customer Satisfaction?

Got a call from Dell today about my laptop.

Apparently they ran the my machine over the entire weekend and couldn’t get the fans to fail.

I told them that the diagnostics indicated a problem with the fans and I had included the diagnostics report.

Skip, the Dell tech, indicated that he had seen the diagnostics report, but the diagnostics tended to lie and there really was nothing wrong with the fans.

I then told him that both Ginny and I heard the fans making odd noises. They seemed to startup and shutdown irregularly.

Skip said that he would replace the fans as a customer satisfaction issue and ship the system back to me.

Now, correct me if I”m wrong … but if the customer says the fans were operating irregularly AND the diagnostics indicated a problem with the fans … wouldn’t you say that there is a problem with the fans?

I do not want the fans replaced as a one time customer satisfaction resolution … I want the fans replaced because they are broken. Labeling it a customer satisfaction resolution makes me sound like I’m a whiner. I’m not a whiner (well, not usually) … but if the fans are broken, I want them fixed.

This isn’t the first time I’ve heard this line from Dell … when I first got the Dell PowerEdge 600SC system (that runs my mailing lists) I was getting a lot of kernel panics. At least one a day … sometimes more.

I did a few inquries and found it could be the motherboard or the memory. Well, memory is easier to replace than the motherboard, so I called Crucial and got replacement memory shipped out (Crucial does have a good warranty replacement policy). Even with new memory, the kernel panics continued so I figured a call to Dell’s tech support was in order.

The first time I called Dell’s tech support, I described the problem … but the diagnostics didn’t indicate a problem. They were willing to replace the motherboard as a “one time customer satisfaction” resolution.

I told the tech that I didn’t want it replaced just to satsify me … I wanted the motherboard replaced becuase it was broken.

I hung up on this tech rather angrily. The kernel panics continued. I configured the system to reboot 10 minutes after a kernel panic occured so the system wouldn’t be down for very long.

After about 2 weeks of this (and 14+ reboots) I decided enough was enough. I called Dell again, opened a new trouble ticket, and this time got a much more reasonable (and probably knowledgable) tech. I described the problem and he responded that is certianly sounded like a motherboard problem. He proceded to setup the replacement.

I’m pleased to say that the system has been up ever since the motherboard was replaced.

Sometimes I wish there was a “Tech support rating” system … so you could call in and, once you gave your rating, the techs would know how proficient you were … and take some things for granted and not treat you like an idiot.

Once I’ve called a tech support organization a few times and get to know some of the techs, they realize that when I call there usually is a serious problem.

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  1. Blogula Rasa

    Bullshit! Total Bullshit!
    Here’s what David doesn’t want to know about his recent experience with a major computer manufacturer’s tech support desk. Interestingly, the tech that helped David was not a giver, but a taker – he had to send his laptop in…

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