Sunday, 13 July 2008

Dell Customer Service - Part 2 - Dell Hell.

Over the years a certain phrase has been introduced in to the English language. The phrase is “Dell Hell”. It refers to the monstrous task of getting Dell to take responsibility for it's mistakes and problems encountered with it's products and services. In fact the phrase is so widely used many people suspect it's the reason “hell” is banned from Dell Forums and Idea Storm.

In my first post to Dell Your Blog I touched on issues like the XPS 700 upgrades and the missing XPS M1330/M1330n remote controls. Both issues that affected me and my experience with Dell. But happily both issues that were solved relatively quickly. Relative that is compared to the Dell W2600 LCD TV NO POWER problem.

For those that are unaware of this particular issue basically it refers to a situation where Dells W2600 LCD TV fails to power up. Sometimes the TV can be coaxed into life. But sooner or later the TV just dies.

Now most people would expect a TV to last a good few years. Most would accept 5 years of loyal dutiful service. The W2600 was supposed to last around 10 years. But in reality many customers have been lucky to get past 2 and a half years, while some Dell customers have gotten as little as a year.

One single solitary year of proper use from an LCD TV. Oh and Dells customers like me who bought the W2600 paid £800+ GBP. That's $1520 USD on the current exchange rate.

Dells response to this issue thus far has been to repair or replace these faulty TVs with refurbished models. Which might sound like a good deal. But there's a catch. This offer is only valid for up to 3 years from the start of the original warranty. If you miss it, too bad. You're on your own. And Dell hasn't exactly gone out of it's way to publicize this offer or contact customers. In fact this problem has been dragging on since 2002. I bought my W2600 in 2005 and it's now 2008. Count the years slipping by.

So if Dell had known about this problem for 3 years before I bought my W2600. Why didn't they issued a product recall? Why didn't they pull the whole product line sooner? Yes that would have been expensive. But Dells reputation would have been intact. They would have been a company that cared. They would have been a company that put it's consumers first. Instead of a company that seems to be washing it's hands of a problem only they can really fix.

Now if you think a product recall is a bit drastic. Consider that the W2600 is a product with a premium price tag. It's also just one of several Dell LCD TVs to suffer from this problem. Also affected was the W3000 and several other models.

Thanks for reading this blog. Please visit IdeaStorm and vote up or down for a product recall.