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What Can You Learn From My Dell Technical Support Experience?

As a long time Dell owner, I've constantly had people ask me just how bad Dell's technical support is.

Here are some common rumors that I've heard...

1. you will be on hold for an hour before you talk to anybody

2. you will talk with someone from India who you can't understand

3. they will try to get you off the phone as quickly as possible

I've had to contact Dell a few times over the years. But my recent occurrence pretty much sums up what a typical Dell technical support experience is like...

First, my reason for calling was because the charger to my laptop was no longer working. It was working off and on for two weeks. But as time went on it worked less and less.

I could tell it wasn't working because the light on the charger would never light up. Also, my laptop wasn't being charged when I plugged it in.

I also tried plugging a lamp into the same outlet, thinking that it might be the outlets fault. But this wasn't the case. I tried charging it in several different outlets and everything had the same result.

The Call

I gave Dell technical support a call around 8:30 AM EST.

Within two minutes, I was speaking with a Dell representative. The man had a pretty thick Indian accent. But for the most part, I could understand what he was saying.

I told him my problem. The same story that I mentioned above. He put me on hold for about two minutes to basically type up everything that I had just said.

He then read what he had just typed and asked me if it was correct. It was basically word for word what I said so I said yes.

Then he asked me for my Service Tag number which I promptly gave him. Another minute later he was asking to confirm what type of laptop I had and that my laptop was still under warranty.

He asked me again to tell him how I knew that it wasn't working. I told him everything again and he seemed pretty convinced.

He asked if I would be on hold for a few minutes and I said yes.

Around five minutes later, he asked if the light was never on. Or if the light wasn't on only when I plugged it into my laptop. I told him that it was never on.

After this brief question, he asked if I would be on hold again. A little frustrated, I replied yes.

Three minutes went by and he asked me what type of adapter I had. It was hard for me to understand what he was asking and it took a minute for me to finally make out what he was saying.

I told him what adapter I had. After a few seconds of typing into his computer, he then went over a couple of questions to make absolutely sure that it wasn't working.

It was then that he said that my adapter was indeed not working. He asked if I would wait on hold again for a couple minutes so he could give me all of the information.

When he got back, he said that he would ship out a new adapter immediately. I called on a Friday. He said it would be at my house on either Monday or Tuesday.

He gave me a couple service numbers to write down in case I needed to contact him. He also asked for my phone number. He said he would be contacting me in a few days to see if I received the adapter and whether or not everything worked fine.

He then asked me to wait on hold one final time so I could speak with his supervisor.

A few minutes go by. Hello supervisor! Another Indian man. He asked a couple short and sweet questions. How was the service? Did I get what I wanted? I said that everything was fine and we hung up.

I was done at a little after 9. The total calling time around 35 minutes.

After The Call

I received the adapter on Monday! A pretty good delivery time if I may say so myself.

Everything worked just like I expected.

On Tuesday, the Dell representative gave me a call around one o'clock. He asked if it worked. Yes. He asked if there was anything else I needed. No. He then kindly asked my permission to close the case.

I said that would be fine. And that was that.

Case closed. New adapter within a few days. And I didn't even need to return my old one!

That was what surprised me the most. I thought I was going to have to send my old adapter in (3-4 days). Have them confirm it didn't work (1-2 days). Then send me a new one (3-4 more days).

But impressively this wasn't the case. Two business days and the new adapter arrived at my doorstep.

Overall Thoughts

There were a few things that was frustrating to me. I was starting to get a little annoyed that I was being put on hold so many times. But it makes sense that he had to make sure he was following all of the procedures correctly.

I also didn't like some of the repetitive questions that I was getting. But I can understand that most of the people that Dell talks to have no idea what they are doing. So you have to ask these questions over and over.

But overall, I was very impressed with the my Dell technical support experience.

It wasn't perfect as far as the phone call goes. But you can't beat getting a brand new part within a couple of days.

And the phone call only lasted a total of 35 minutes. Most people think that you are on hold for two hours before you ever speak with someone. Every time I have had to call, I have usually received a reply within 15 minutes.

Maybe it's because of the time of day that I call. I can imagine that less people call at 8 in the morning. It's also important to make sure you are getting to the right area of technical support.

The automated message when you first call asks a series of questions. Failure to get to the right area can be a huge time waster.

Make sure you have your service tag with you before you call. And make sure you go into heavy detail about your problem.

I figured the reason that the phone call was so short was because I told him everything that I did to try to fix it. I guarantee he would have made me go all through the house trying to find an outlet that worked.

Make sure you do everything you can to fix it yourself. And then tell them everything that you tried.

Dell support isn't as bad as people make it out to be. You just have to use a little common sense to make it go as smoothly as possible.

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