Dear Mr. Michael Dell

Welcome back to your post of CEO of Dell Computer. I sincerely home you can turn around your company's missteps in financial performance, customer service, and product offerings.

You don't know me, but I've been a Dell customer for 10+ years on my home computers as well as corporate purchases. My total spending at Dell is a blip, a sneeze, yet I'm certain that my experiences are probably shared among your more significant customers. Let me share a few of them.

1. Dell's website was always a winner for small businesses that had sufficient technical capabilities to spec out a machine. It was easy and fast pricing out a machine and putting an order in and it saved IT managers the long calls with sales people to get a machine built to specification. The problem is, we soon discovered that there were several paths through Dell's website each offering different component configurations and pricing. We also learned that if we called our sales rep we could often get better discounts and other benefits than what was available online. So we lost the simplicity; We were forced to spec things online several times, then forced to call our reps anyway. Bottom line, we need to get these discounts online and have confidence that we're getting the best price without the added hassles.

2. About once a month I overhear my partner's frustrated and angry with a Dell rep. He's made several requests to have our billing address changed, yet the bills keep returning to our original address. Why is it so hard for Dell to do a simple address change? Here's why this is important; when a CFO, Controller, or someone in the accounting staff has recurring issues getting the bills paid, they start to question the IT Managers' choices and decisions on their choice of vendors. IT managers are extraordinarily loyal, so don't put them in a difficult spot with the folks who sign the checks.

3. A couple of weeks ago, my Dell laptop's hard drive began to sputter and failed. We have gold support on this laptop, so I called Dell over the weekend to get the issue resolved. The tech support specialist I talked to was excellent and it didn't take him long to go through his playbook and agree with my own self diagnostic. Dell would ship me a new drive, but I would have to go through the installation steps on my own with my Tech Support's help if and where needed. Ok, not a big problem for me. I then found out that Dell no longer ships CDs of the drivers needed for my laptop and one of these magic CDs was not shipped with my original purchase. I would have to download the drivers using another computer, burn them on a CD, and install them myself in the right order. All this because 'Manufacturing' decided that they would no longer ship driver CDs for my out of service laptop, a Latitiude D610. Is it so hard for Manufacturing to stock these CD's?

I then got an email reminding me to send back my original, broken, hard drive. Now if this were any other part, I would take no issue. But a hard drive with personal and proprietary information? There's no info in the email or notes guaranteeing privacy or that data on the disk would be wiped clean. Does Dell really need this drive back?

Bottom line: when a customer's drive goes bad, your dealing with them at a lowest hour. Some better corporate bedside manner is in order. And asking for a customer to send a disk drive back is a ridiculous policy.

Please look to address these issues as you look to reinvigorate Dell Computer.


1 comment:

  1. Point #1 I can very much agree with.

    Never liked that about Dell.

    Or that they'd take days to get back to me on quotes.

    I find them overhyped personally.


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