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TinotopiaLog → Jeff Jarvis Has Problems With Dell ( 3 Jul 2005)
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Sunday 03 July 2005

Jeff Jarvis Has Problems With Dell

Jeff Jarvis runs Buzz Machine, a very popular weblog. He writes:

I tested Dell and they failed. Their customer service mechanism did not recognize a machine and service pattern and customer that were a mess. They didn’t try to fix it.

I could have stayed on the phone for hours and gone up a tier at a time playing the customer having a psycho fit (ask anyone who has heard me go after customer service people who don’t serve: I play the role well).

Instead, I chose to write about the saga here. I chose to elicit the sympathy and conspiracy of fellow pissed-off Dell customers. I chose to see whether Dell is listening.

They are not.

I have never had any serious problems with Dell, myself. But I would think at least twice before buying a computer from them (particularly a laptop) after reading too many stories like this. Jarvis says that, thanks to cheap communications, we are in the age of caveat venditor, and I think he may have something there.

This is, of course, already covered by Customer Service Rule # 15:

Customer-profitability accounting is almost totally inaccurate. Especially in any kind of retail business. Most businesses who have ongoing relationships with their customers will treat some better than others. It’s just smart business, given limited resources, that the customers whose business is very lucrative will get better service and pricing than the customers whose business generates less profit. If you try to apply this to unknown or little-known customers, though, it can blow up in your face. You can’t serve only the 20% of customers who produce 80% of the profits, so stop trying. If you are thinking of classifying a customer as ‘unprofitable’ and not worth serving well, make sure that you know, truly, who that customer is and who it is he influences.

PS: The comments on Jarvis’ post are also particularly good.

Posted by tino at 13:46 3.07.05
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More stuff about Dell’s customer service idiocy: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/07/11/dellcustomersupport/

It starts: “Want to complain on Dell’s website about its customer service? Too late - the Customer Support Forums, operational until last Friday, have been shut down, apparently to try to quell bad publicity there about Dell products and especially after-care service.”

Posted by: Nicole at July 13, 2005 02:47 PM