Tuesday, December 09, 2008

How Not To Run Customer Service

More tales of priviledged woe... why have a blog if you can't rant?

On Friday I decided to make an impulse buy of a new monitor. There's nothing wrong with my current monitor other than it doesn't quite fit multiple windows very well. Who knew that a 22" 1600x1050 monitor would be insufficient?

So a 27" 1920x1200 was bought. Multiple USB outlets on it, card reader, every video in you could want (except s-video)... it looks like a good buy. Oh, and 40% off too.

I complete the order and then realize I could get some more money off with my company's employee purchase plan. So I call up Dell to see if the can adjust my order. I call the EPP line, get transferred to sales, and then get told that since I don't have an order number yet (sent to my home e-mail address), they can't help me.

Okay, problem 1. You have a whole database of every order that comes in and goes out. You're telling me the ONLY way to track down an order is via its number? Got it, that's your primary key, but there should be other searchable methods. They tried my phone number and address, but found nothing (which is odd, since an order I placed the day before had already arrived at my place).

I go home and check my mail. There is indeed an e-mail from Dell. One confirming I have made an order, with no order number, and another saying there was a problem processing my credit card payment.

No worries, I call the card company and see what's up. Looks like I fatfingered the wrong expiration date. Aight. I call the number provided in the e-mail, complete with extension to a specific individual.

"You have reached my voicemail. I'm out of the office until Monday."

It's 6pm on Friday. You run a worldwide computer organization and you have banker's hours? I call other numbers, nobody can help me after 3 or 4 transfers. Online sales office is closed. But will be open on Saturday I'm assured.

The monitor is listed as sold out on the site now.

I call on Saturday - "Our offices are closed. Please call back during office hours." No office hours are given.

The monitor can no longer be found on the site.

I leave a message on the voicemail of the original person who e-mailed me with the pertinent info.

I wait until Monday. No call or e-mail from Dell. I get home and call immediately (5pm). "I've gone home for the day." ARGH! I check the e-mail again... office hours - 5:30am to 2:30pm! WTF?

I call today. Voicemail "I'm out until Wednesday." I call another number. Get transferred 4 times and end up at... an auditor's voicemail??? I try a third number, get transferred twice, and FINALLY get a guy who can help me.

Him: Hello.

Me: [pause].. uh... hi?


[pause]... who am I speaking to?

Oh, this is [name]. Am I talking to... [me]?


We proceed from there. He's able to set everything right, give me an order number, apply the EPP discount, and send me on my way... in about 20 minutes.

Now it will either arrive before I leave on Thursday and suck up hours of my time in playing with a new toy, or it will arrive while I'm in Vegas or after I return and fill me with anticipation.

At the end of the day though, Dell should have ONE FUCKING NUMBER. You call it, the person who asks what you need should have SOME clue where to send you instead of passing you around India looking for the right call centre. I did find it funny that as I moved up the ladder, the pretense of where they were disappeared. I went from Thomas/Mary/Tim/etc. to less generic names, and finally to Ali/Rajit/etc.. I guess once you get a VP title you get to keep your real name.

1 comment:

Riggstad said...

Ya, why only one number?

Why should India's unemployment rise just because us dwellers on the continent of the Americas demand quality, easy service?

You're selfish man! SELFISH!!!