Friends of mine know that I'm a fan of Dell because their computers work well and they get high marks from readers of Consumer Reports for their service. I have now switched to telling people "don't buy Dell" for many reasons. Here's another.
A friend had the screen on her Dell laptop go bad while under warranty. After a few very long calls to Dell, they sent out a repair person who replaced the screen. After he finished, he started walking out the door without having booted the system. She tried to stop him but he said "I'm sure it works" and quickly left. It didn't work (the screen backlight comes on, but there is no video signal; external monitor works fine).
So she calls Dell again. After an hour on hold, she is told that she needs to reinstall the drivers (which was clearly wrong from the symptoms, but the person's script was too short). Then she got cut off.
After another 45 minutes on hold, she starts to say what has happened so far and the technical support person tries to sell her an extended warranty before she will schedule another person to come again to fix the problem. This is what changed my recommendation status for Dell from "probably not" to "stay the hell away until they prove significant change", which means probably not for at least a few years.
You are doing some very harmful things in your current technical support practices. Please fix these as soon as possible.
- Include a disk in every Windows system that allows the user to reinstall the operating system after formatting the hard drive.
- Make sure that disk that comes with the system has all the drivers for the user's specific computer, and that there is a simple, one-step program that installs all the drivers the same way you installed them when you shipped the system.
- When someone is on the Dell web site looking for drivers for their model, make all the drivers available as a single combined download and put that as the first item in the list and make it clear that most users should start with this download first.
- When sending a user a disk to restore Windows, make sure that either the disk itself has all the drivers needed to restore the user's system to the way it was, or that you include a second disk with a simple, one-step protram that installs all the drivers.
- Do not make users wait an hour for tech support. Take some of the money you saved by hiring outside the U.S. and put it into shortening the wait queues.
- Do not have your tech support people say their names are "Susan" and "Bill" unless that is the name they really use on a daily basis. If you outsource phone support to people who sound non-American, be honest about it.
- When one of your field techs opens a system for any reason, make sure they fully reboot the system in front of the customer to prove that the system works better than when they started.
- Fire field techs with crappy attitudes.
- Do not try to sell anything to frustrated people with broken computers until you fix their computers.
Also please note that many people reading the above list would say "well, of course!" to most or all of the statements. The fact that Dell doesn't follow them reflects poorly on your company and could be a significant part of the reason that Dell's PC sales are declining sharply.
(someone who has bought over a dozen Dell computers in the past 15 years)