Monday, April 18, 2005

Dell UK order line: staffed by liars and con artists

The Dell UK order line is staffed by customer service representatives who will pressure, lie and attempt to do anything to ensure that you don't get the system you want for the price that you know it should cost. And I know how much a system should cost, or how much removing a peripheral will reduce from the overall cost; numerous calls have equipped me with that information. Proceeding to order stage, however, about 50% of my calls were mysteriously disconnected. I firmly believe this to be the consequence of the customer service representatives (I continue to call them that, despite them displaying none of the expected traits of one) deliberately cutting me off when they realised that they weren't going to sell me a top specced system, one with numerous bells and whistles that I didn't want. Speaking to a supervisor implicitly confirmed this; his practised assurance that I would not be cut off again had all the hallmarks of a well-worn response to a very common complaint.

The representatives will lie outright, when their not very glib sales talk fails to move you. Asking to speak to a supervisor, I was put on hold for a very long time, only to be told that the supervisor had concurred with the representative. This turned out to be patently false, and my continued insistence on demanding to speak to the supervisor paid dividend: the supervisor confirmed my belief that I would be able to remove unneeded peripherals and still receive the discount and offers published on the Dell UK website.

There is nothing in the phone service to suggest that you are a customer. Until you prove otherwise, they will treat you as a dupe, employing bare-faced lies, disinformation, arm-twisting pressure and, in one case, even pleading, in order to get you to pay more than you should. And if they fail, there is always the last resort: the disconnect customer button, which, judging from the frequency it was used, must be wired to their eyelids. Dealing with the con artists, thieves and liars left me physically and mentally exhausted. Short of the bruises and knife wounds, I feel like I have been mugged.

I have never had to jump through as many hoops (it took more than eight phone calls) to get an order processed and the experience has left a bitter taste. As a first time buyer from Dell, I am severely distrustful of their order service and would strongly recommend that anyone considering a Dell system either look elsewhere, or restrict your configuration options to the Dell website. If you do have to call them in order to place your order, be prepared to be persistent, firm, and insist on speaking to a supervisor. Anyone else is likely to be completely and utterly dishonest.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Hello world!