I’ve been a software developer going on 12 years and it has been great. As such, I’m the family computer guy, which I don’t mind because it helps keep me up on current hardware technology (I have a masters in EE so I like that stuff).
Recently, my mother came to me with an issue with her Dell laptop. It seems that the hard drive stopped working. Pretty simple to fix since it used a 2.5″ SATA drive. I went to the local Microcenter and grabbed a 240Gig SSD to replace it with. (SSD’s are soooo cheap these days!)
My mother brought over her computer and I proceeded to install the hard drive and then I was looking for her box for the restore disk… Oooh lala they don’t provide a restore disk with their computers anymore.
So I got to call the wonderful Dell tech support which is obviously located someplace in India. The tech said that since the system was out of warranty that we had to pay for the restore disk. He said that if it had broken under warranty then they would’ve sent the disk for free. He also said that my mother should’ve created a backup disk when she first turned on the computer… Mind you, this is a sixty year old woman without that level of know-how. He also made a number of snide comments about the CD costing multiple hundreds of dollars, which simply isn’t true. Did I mention he was rude? Constantly cutting me off, making smart ass comments about the computer and generally being a bad customer support rep.
This type of thing really pisses me off. All of these damn companies cutting corners and then nickel-and-diming me. We purchased a legal Windows 8 license and, at least, Dell should hand it over so I can reinstall the OS… But no. I have to pay $20 for something that I already bought? I’m pretty sure this is illegal.
I remember when Dell cared about its customers… Those days are long gone. Their biggest care is the bottom line. When companies become large, this frequently happens. Well, they’ve upset me and I hold a bit of weight with family and friends when it comes to purchasing computers.
No longer is it, “Dude you got a Dell”, now it’s, “Dude don’t buy a Dell!!!”.
Update: After complaining a bit online (blog / twitter) Dell contacted me through Twitter and decided to send me a restore disk for free. I’ve had this happen with a few companies… Why can’t they just have good customer service? Can’t complain too much I guess…