My 5 year fight with Dell Customer Service

I work in customer service and have for a good portion of my life. I think that’s why being on the receiving end of extremely awful customer service bugs the crap out of me so much.

My beef is with Dell.

I’m not a customer. I’ve never bought a Dell product in my life. (and after all of this I don’t plan on ever being a customer) I’ve never emailed them. I’ve never given them my contact information…ever.

Yet for about 5 years  they keep calling me with “order updates” about my order that’s being delayed or something similar at least once a week. I’ve written down the order number and ID numbers and called them about once a year trying to get my number removed from the account it seems to be linked to. Every time I explain my situation: that my phone number has somehow been given to an account that isn’t mine.

And every time they keep asking me to verify the name on the account and if it’s a business or personal account. By the fifth time they do that I’m practically screaming “IT’S NOT MY ACCOUNT! I JUST WANT MY PHONE NUMBER REMOVED FROM IT!”

Angry Elf

Angry Elf!

Today marks a particularly crappy bit of runaround from Dell.

Got another voicemail about a delayed order. Wrote down everything I could get from the message and called. The receptionist said she’d transfer me to customer care. The poor guy I was transferred to was in sales and couldn’t help me. He gave me a number of a Dell Do Not Call list to have my number removed.

I called it.  It was automated and wanted my account number first. Surprise! Not my account so I have no account number. No way to get to a live person on that number. So I searched their website for a new number to try calling for customer care.

For the record, it seems that no matter what number you call you end up at a receptionist who might transfer you to the right department. Might.

Finally got to customer care and went through the whole spiel about how my number was linked to an account that wasn’t mine and all I wanted was for them to remove my phone number from it. Needless to say I once again had to go through the whole “I can’t verify because it’s not mine!” upset at least 3 times before that person said they would transfer to me to another person who could help me.

Rinse and repeat my spiel and the verify argument a couple of times with the new person. Then they asked me to hold.

15 minutes of holding later I just hung up and starting writing this entry.

10 minutes after that my cell rang with an 800 number and I answered it, sarcastically remarking to a coworker that maybe it was Dell. Amusingly it was. She apologized for the long wait and disconnect . Then she said that they’d try to get my number removed from the account.

Not that they would remove it but that they would try.

Now, I work with a CRM database. And it’s a temperamental and finicky one. But changing or removing a phone number isn’t hard and only takes a moment. How hard can it be on their end? They’re a damn computer company!!

Still, “try” is the best answer I’ve gotten in 5 years. Let’s see if I get another call from Dell about my delayed order.

Maybe next time I’ll simply call back with the order number and purchase ID# and tell them to cancel it. Just for the hell of it.

I’m still not sure how my number ended up in their system though I suspect it might have something to do with a psycho ex that worked at Dell at the time I asked him to leave. The phone calls from Dell started not long after that.

In any case, Dell, your absolutely shitty customer service and inability to remove my phone number from an account that isn’t mine have ensured that I will never purchase one of your products as long as I live.

Update 1/24  4:47pm CT
A friend linked this post to the DellCares twitter. As you can see below I was contacted about getting in touch with them via twitter. As of this moment they’ve responded to my DM with the info and asked for my phone # to see what they can do. Will update with more once anything happens.

Update 1/25 9:30am CT
Here’s the DM I got this morning after wondering what was going on:

“Started research on issue late yesterday. May take few days for updates to be complete as involves company w/ multiple accts. Will DM update soon as we have new status info to share. Certainly appreciate your patience. “

Update 1/27  11:46am CT
Guess who just got another automated phone call from Dell about their order? Yep, obviously nothing has been done. That makes 2 automated calls this week and waaay too much time spent trying to get it sorted out. I am not a happy Elf at all.

Update 1/27  1:46pm CT
Supposedly my number is linked to a customer that has multiple accounts. They tell me that they can’t remove my number until they get a new contact number (which the customer obviously doesn’t care about since this has been going on for FIVE YEARS!) and they can’t remove my number and put in a random fake number. I’m about to hit my limit break.

Update 3/22
So much for having it fixed. On Tuesday (3/20) I received TWO automated calls from Dell about the same order delay. Again! One day maybe Dell will actually fix this problem like they claim they will.

(photo by Ray+Wendy)


~ by rumielf on January 24, 2012.

3 Responses to “My 5 year fight with Dell Customer Service”

  1. Rumielf, My name is Scott and I work for Dell. @AlanBailward linked your blog post to our @Dellcares Twitter Support page. We can check into this matter & see if we have another way to assist. Please contact us on and DM the information you mentioned that you have so we can look into this. Thanks for your time.

  2. What an appalling history! So much for the customer is king, eh? I’me left with a laptop less than a year old that is now sat on my desk not working and worthless. Hours on the phone to their extremely unhelpful customer service got me nowhere. A replacement was refused by their customer service team leader, who could barely speak English, I’ve just given up with them now. No-one that I have any connections with will ever buy DELL again. They ought to treat their customers with some understanding but all I got was abusive and condescending attitudes. They will reap what they sow!

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