Dell Sucks

By | January 19, 2006

The following is a letter I just sent to a customer support supervisor at Dell.

Mr. ___,

I was given your email address by a Dell support agent as someone to whom I could direct complaints about Dell’s support.

My complaints center around my Dell 3000cn printer, service tag number ___, purchased in February 2005.

The printer had print quality problems from the day it arrived and I set it up. I therefore filed an email support ticket the next day, case ID ___. Dell responded less than two hours later, which would have been wonderful but for the fact that the response was useless and ignored the facts I’d already provided. I answered, once again describing in detail the print quality problems and stating that the problems were obviously caused by drum defect. The agent responded quickly and said, “I will replace the drum cartridge for you.” However, five hours later, another Dell response from a different arrived and said, “A request has been submitted to ship the new Color Toners to you.” No reason was given for why a promised new drum cartridge had turned into new toner cartridges.

By this point, I was so sick of trying to get useful help out of your email agents that I decided not to let them go ahead and send me new toner cartridges rather than a new drum cartridge. The cartridges arrived, I installed them, and the print quality problems mostly, but not completely, went away. I decided to live with the defects under the assumption that when I finally wore out and replaced the drum cartridge; I made this decision because, again, I was sick of trying to get useful help out of your email agents. Yes, that’s right: the experience of trying to get support was so frustrating that I decided to tolerate a defect rather than continuing to try to get it fixed.

Fast forward to January 8, 2006. The print quality problems had gotten slightly worse. Furthermore, they were more obvious, because my kids had started using the computer to draw color pictures filling the whole page, and the defects were more obvious in their pictures than in what I’d been printing. Also, there were other problems: the toner carousel wasn’t locking during toner cartridge replacement; the printer had reported demanded a “service call” several times; and toner was occasionally ending up stuck to the page after the one it was intended for. For these reasons, I ask for support again, once again via email, in case number ___.

Again, Dell responded very quickly, and again, the response did not address the problems I had reported, or at least not all of them. The agent informed me that he was going to send me a new printer, presumably to address the “service call” error and the non-locking toner cartridge carousel. That was certainly something that needed to happen, but in addition to that, he said he was going to send me a new black toner housing, which made no sense, because the new printer came with a all new housings (obviously), and because the housings can’t be replaced end users. The other problem in his response was that he did NOT say he was going to send me a new drum cartridge.

The new printer and housing arrived January 10. I swapped the new printer into place and moved my old toner and drum cartridges into it as instructed,. Of course, the print quality problems were not fixed. I wrote back to Dell that evening, explaining that the print quality problems were still present, and asking what I was supposed to do with the toner housing that had been sent to me without any instructions.

Over a day later, I still had not received a response. I sent another message asking why; in that message, I explained quite explicitly that the print quality problem was due to a drum defect, a logical conclusion since the drum catrdige was the only component of the printer which had not been replaced.

Finally, almost two full days after I had informed Dell by email that my problem was not solved, I received a response. This response was useless, and again failed to explain why I’d been sent a toner housing or what I was supposed to do with it. I responded, explaining once again that my drum cartridge needed to be replaced. On January 17, over five days later, no one had responded, so I decided to try to escalate the case. Alas, things got worse, not better.

I clicked on the “Outstanding Technical Issues” link on the “Contact Us” page of your support site and filled out the form. When I tried to submit it, I was returned to the form, with the two text fields messed up, and with no explanation of why the form hadn’t been accepted. I tried this several times, from both Mozilla on Linux and Internet Explorer on Windows, with no success. Isn’t that wonderful? An escalation form that doesn’t actually work!

Next, I called 800-624-9897, one of the phone numbers listed on your Web site. After I navigated through your annoying IVR system, it claimed it was going to put me in touch with a technician. After a brief musical interlude, I heard a message informing me that I’d been connected to a “non-working number.” Great! An automated phone menu system which connects people to phone numbers that don’t work!

Next, I called 800-456-3355. After once again navigating a series of menus, I finally got into a queue to speak to someone in your printer support division. While waiting on hold, I heard a message suggesting that I visit to chat with an agent, so I decided to try it. What did I get? “All chat agents are assisting other customers and have become temporarily unavailable.” Charming!

Finally, an agent answered the phone. After looking up my case and confirming that I was calling about a 3000cn, she informed me that her division only supports inkjet printers and she’d need to transfer me to another division that would be able to help you with my printer. Um, hello, don’t you think that if inkjet and laser printers are supported by different divisions, there should be different options for them in your phone menus, rather than making customers wait on hold to speak to one division, only to be made to wait on hold again to speak to a second division?

I told her I was only because I wanted to escalate my case to get someone at Dell’s corporate office to call me back about it the next day and asked her to simply escalate the case for me even though she couldn’t actually give me technical support. She said she wasn’t sure she could do that, put me on hold for several minutes, and then came back and said she couldn’t do it. So away I went to wait on hold again to wait to speak to someone in the laser printer division.

An agent answered the phone several minutes later. I asked him to escalate the case to someone to call me back the next day, and he told he couldn’t do that, since Dell support people don’t do outbound callbacks. He then asked me to explain my problem, which I really didn’t want to have to do yet again considering how many times I’d already done it in email, but I did it anyway. Afterward, he said the email agents shouldn’t have sent me a housing and should have sent me a new drum cartridge. He dispatched one to me. It arrived January 19, and lo and behold, after installing it, my print quality problems have vanished.

Four hours later after I spoke to the phone agent who actually helped me, I finally received a response to all the email I’d been sending for the past several days. It was useless, and ignored the fact that I had already spoken to a telephone agent and gotten a new drum cartridge dispatched. A little over two hours after that, I received yet another email response, this one confirming that a drum cartridge had been dispatched. It was so nice of them to send me email and let me know that I’d already managed to solve my problem despite them!

But wait, there’s more… During this experience, I received email asking me to participate in a survey about the quality of Dell’s email support. I went ahead and filled out the survey, but I also wanted to send more detailed feedback (i.e., this letter). Conveniently enough, the survey form said to go to and select the “‘Global Support Sites’ drop-down menu on the left side of the screen” to give additional feedback to Dell. I tried this; as far as I can tell, that drop-down drop-down doesn’t actually exist at

I thought that perhaps the drop-down wasn’t there because I was logged into the site, so I clicked “Log Out”, which led to the discovery that the “Log Out” button doesn’t actually do anything! The only way I was able to log out of Dell’s support site was to bring up my cookie manager and remove all and cookies from my browser.

Yet another annoying little nit… All the instructions for returning defective parts say to call Airborne or Federal Express to arrange for a pick-up, depending on what kind of waybill came with the replacement part, but all three of the parts I received came with DHL waybills.

Now that I’ve gone through the entire of why my recent support experience was so incredibly, horrendously bad, I’d like to tell you why I’m rather dissatisfied with the 3000cn printer itself. To be blunt, the 3000cn is a poor product and I feel like I was ripped off when I bought it. Here’s why it’s a poor product:

  • There were quality flaws in its output from the very first day I used it.

    It’s a really bad sign when a brand-new product has a defect right out of the box. It means that almost certainly, quality is going to be a long-term problem with the product.

  • The toner carousel not locking properly and the repeated “service call” messages, more things which just shouldn’t happen in a new product, were more signs of the product’s unreliability.
  • When photos are printed on photo paper, the rollers inside the printer leave visible, indented streaks down the page. This is, quite simply, a blatant design flaw in the printer which makes it impossible to use the printer for nice photo prints.
  • Despite trying various methods for almost a year, I have been unable to get anything approaching good-looking photos out of this printer. I know this isn’t an impossibility, because my employer’s color laser printer does beautiful-looking photos with no effort at all.
  • The printer doesn’t take index cards. My old laser printer had no trouble with index cards.
  • There is no manual feed slot. Furthermore, because the paper tray frequently partially feeds the top page in the stack in advance, you can’t just put new media on top of what’s there when you need to temporarily print on different media.
  • The paper tray jams frequently.
  • Paper does not feed straight, so printouts are frequently slightly off kilter on the page.
  • Frequently one or more pages of a canceled job come out of the printer even when the cancel button is pressed before any paper has fed into the printer.
  • The printer sometimes forgets its IP address and must be restarted.

And here’s why I feel like I was ripped off::

  • When I went to your Web site to order the printer, using the URL from one of your newspaper ads, I was unable to convince your Web site to give me the price printed in the ad. I had to call your toll-free number and bargain with the guy at the other end of the phone to convince him to give me the price you had advertised. If I hadn’t argued, I would have ended up paying more than the advertised price. A little fishy and dishonest, don’t you think?
  • A month after I bought the 3000cn, you were selling the significantly better (PostScript support, higher capacity toner cartridges) 3100cn for the same price.
  • You have intentionally sabotaged the higher capacity color toner cartridges to prevent them from working in the 3000cn, even though there’s no technical reason why they can’t. This is, quite simply, outrageous. If I’d realized this before buying 3000cn, you can be sure I wouldn’t have bought it.

Given all this, I’m sure you can understand why I will actively discourage everyone I know from purchasing Dell products in the future.


  Jonathan Kamens

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31 thoughts on “Dell Sucks

  1. Richard Berry

    All most the same with me!!!!! I went a get a Kodak 5250 printer and I’m loving it. All in one printer and the price was right. All the ink is only 24.99 and come with 5 difference colors and one black one. Very happy with Kadok and great phone services.

  2. steve-0

    Dell are a complete farking joke. I was about to head overseas and foolishly went to order a Dell PC and printer deal online. This was so my wife could skype me while away. big mistake, I should have gone down to the shop and received one straight away.

    My guess is they are having trouble meeting delivery time SLAs, so a quick call to delay you will ensure these pesky ‘holdups’ will still allow them to look good on the books.

    – got an email saying printer not in stock, would i like to proceed without it and get my PC first. Checked the box to this effect.
    – three days later got email from Dell saying ‘we haven’t received your response, order on hold’ so I emailed them the previous email again. (3 days delay)
    – two days later they said my credit card hadn’t gone through, despite many other successful transactions with other vendors, and no mention on the website there being a problem. (5 days delay)
    – By this time I was overseas. The number to call was a 1300 number, so I couldn’t call from overseas (WTF!!?!) so eventually got a number I could call (in the Phillipines, at international rates). (7 days delay)
    – played phone tag and email tag while waiting to provide them with the credit card details (10 days delay)
    – eventually got onto the rep, who offered my a $35 reduction on a $1300 order for my inconvenience, by which time I would have racked up at least that amount in wasted time and phone calls. She also let me know that the credit card issue was Dell’s fault due to a manual processing error at Dell’s end. She would try to expedite the delivery by separating the printer and PC order so that my PC would turn up first and not be held up by the printer. The expedited delivery would be less than the 7-10 days usually quoted (11 days delay).
    – I arive back home from overseas and wife tells me that the delivery will be here from 12-5 friday (13 days delay).
    – Hooray! Dell package arrives on time. BUT…. guess what! It is the box with the farkin printer in it! no laptop in sight. I phone the incompetents in the Phillipines again, to be told that we are sorry the laptop will be another 10 days to deliver!! (23 days delay ! and counting).

    These people are farkin idiots with no idea about customer service. I will be telling everyone I can why DELL sux.

    Imagine if you were a small shop keeper and tried this on, you would be out of business straight away.

  3. AVP

    Dell phone support somehow seems to have limited technical expertise.

    My Inspiron 1525 was heating up a lot and then was shutting down intermittently.

    Being a tech support guy myself,I ran all the diagnostics tests,reinstalled Windows twice and monitored CPU temperature which was abnormally high.

    On calling tech support,what they tried to made me understand was that the shutdown happens because of a Windows virus and that I should reinstall again (this after the fact that I told them I have done all that).They were somehow not willing to accept that hardware would have gone bad.

    The first tech agent made me run all the diagnostics again (which would come clean as those tests would ignore soft errors).

    Once done,the second tech agent requested to backup my data and then call again so that they can help me in reinstalling Windows.

    Called them again,they mentioned the usual Windows steps for reinstalling and asked me to see if the issue happens again(never mind the previous two installations).

    Again shutdown as expected,funnily this time call was taken by non Indian agent (maybe Singapore),he immediately dispatched suitable parts for replacement.

    Parts were supposed to arrive next business day but were misrouted and finally motherboard and fan were replaced the next day.

    Does this happen to everyone who purchase Dell laptops?

  4. Andy

    I had a problem with a 3000cn laser printer where the black toner started leaking and eventually the printer wouldn’t even recognise the black toner. After 15 minutes on the phone to Dell technical support they promised to send out an engineer the next day, who duly arrived, replaced the toner, drum unit, drum housing and gave the printer a real good clean. The printer now prints perfectly.

    I have always had extremely technical support from Dell. I believe that as long as you pay for next business day support and always log calls via phone (never via email) then the level of service is brilliant. I work in IT for a very large public sector organisation, so maybe experience a different level of support form home users, but I rate Dell better than any other company I’ve had to deal with. Maybe Dell UK is better than Dell USA?

  5. Amy

    I could not agree more about the lack of service from Dell. It seems to me they are too concerned with new retail marketing at stores such as Staples and Wal-Mart and don’t really care about existing customers. I’ll never purchase Dell again. I’ve been on hold forever. I actually had to change phones because my other phone’s battery went dead waiting for service.

  6. David

    After reading the above posts, I feel vindicated building my own systems and avoiding companies like Dell. Dell does not use industry standard parts on their desktops, and there’s no reason not to, except to bind the customers to buying THEIR parts. They are particularly egregious in printer consumables; for instance, they will rebrand inkjet models with their own label, but sabotage the design of an ink cartridge so that you cannot buy and use a readily available equivalent cartridge. Done strictly for profit, NO other reason. Or, when a particular part is available elsewhere, they will IMPLY that you can’t use common standard replacement parts like power supplies, memory modules etc., when in fact you CAN. Again, it’s nothing but corporate greed. Their motherboards are proprietary; I’ve seen some of their computers where the mb expansion slots have been REMOVED, so the customer cannot upgrade to new features. You have to go OUT OF YOUR WAY to design a crippled motherboard instead of using an existing (and infinitely more capable) design but, hey, Dell will take that extra step just to ensure that you buy a whole NEW machine (from them, naturally) if you want more functionality. Their voiding your warranty if you install new parts yourself is laughable. Shades of Apple, but at least Apple makes (sometimes) innovative designs. Dell machines are WAY overpriced, for what they give you, and what they subject you to.

  7. Ron

    I am a small business owner. I purchased the new Dell Vostro 200 business version. My first unit was non-functioning right out of the box. Over 2 hours of tech support determined the problem to be a defective motherboard. Days later the service tech arrives with a new board. He installes it and guess what……….it’s bad too. He orders a whole new tower and a week later it arrives. This new machine won’t boot-up, recognize the keyboard or eject the disc-drive tray (using any means). I”m so teed-off at Dell it can’t be properly put into words and the sags continues. My old Dell had lasted 7 years.

  8. Wayne Reynolds

    Let me just add DELL has lost my business not only were they a little shady in their business but I now have a NON – PIP LCD TV.

    Here’s the story, I bought the Dell 26″ PIP Dual HDTV Tuners. Within the first year it started to shut off by itself as did the next 3 replacements. Some started to do this right out of the box. So Dell sent me a new 26″ NON – PIP No dual HDTV tuners. I quickly informed them they’ve made a mistake & set the wrong tele. After some running around Dell said since I was having so much trouble with the TV, like Dell wasn’t they’d send out a 32″.

    I received the 32″ PIP w/ dual HD tuners. I had earlier bought an antennae for Free HDTV & was enjoying the set a great deal until & this is all within my extended warranty there appeared to be lamp burn in on the screen. So I called Dell ask if it was under warranty & the girl said they’d have it replaced. They than sent a 32″ LCD TV – no PIP no Dual HDTV Turners. So my antennae is now for the birds. I can’t watch my surveillance cameras on PIP.

    These were the reasons I bought the TV I did originally. Dell has said they have stopped the warranty on this TV & will do nothing further. I also own 2 high end Dell computers & when they sent the 32″ I felt like they would stand behind their products.

    Silly me I went & bought the 37″ PIP Dual HDTV tuners for the next room. In order to synchronize free HDTV both sets need the dual HDTV turner. Now I can’t have the volume on if I’m watching the same channel as the other set due to the time delay in HD to Analog TV which is what I’m forced to view, not HDTV like I bought. Touch wood I’ve not had any issues with the other products, yet. The 37″ TV is the latest purchase around a year old now, yikes!

    They don’t make the original 26″ LCD PIP HDTV anymore. I would have been happy if they’d sent me that with the exception of the known power supply problem or a refurbished 32″ PIP HDTV. I feel I don’t have what I paid for & the warranty is still ongoing.

    I need to purchase another brand but not from Dell & put this 32″ TV in one of the other rooms to collect dust. It’s not what I would have bought for the office. It’s like them giving someone a computer with more memory but with No CD/DVD drives. Yeah it works but not very practical to use in the office.

    Well now we all know better than to buy Dell.

  9. Cherryl Gardner

    My dear sir, I have one better for you. For some unknown reason (because I purchased a computer and a new printer on two separate occasions) they send me two bills per month. Ok, so one month I only get one bill. Thinking they had incorporated my account into one, I paid the monthly bill. The next thing I know I am getting harassing calls from out of country individuals, at work, insisting that I owed them $15.00! I explain, politely at first, that I am sending a double payment but I really hadn’t received the second bill. The calls at work continued even after they received the check. The check was cashed, but the calls still kept coming in. I told one person on the other end of the phone that I have sent in the payment, and DO NOT call me at work again.
    Well, today I was out of the office on an errand and I come back to find a faxed copy of my account information (stating that I owed them money) addressed to the Bookkeeper at my job! The bookkeeper was gone for the day so I called (they had left another voicemail message at work) the number they left. I told the customer service rep that it was illegal to do that. Her answer was “well she asked me for it”! She then lied and said I don’t answer their messages when they call and when I informed her that I had and had a witness to it, she claimed that they don’t have my home phone number. Do you know any company that would authorize a purchase that wouldn’t have both home and work numbers?
    So, the moral of the story is that if you know someone who has an account with Dell, you can just ask them for a copy of his/her account information and they will be happy to provide it to you.
    I called them back when I got home, and asked to be connected to a number within the U.S. They didn’t have one. I asked to speak to a supervisor, some guy gets on the phone and says he can have someone call me back. I told him it had better be from their legal services division and in the U.S. Then he said he couldn’t do that until I give him my account number. I gave it to him. He made me repeat it four times! ( This after trying to figure out and navigate through their infuriating phone system) And still he couldn’t get the account info. Then he asked me for my social security number. I refused at this point, and told him someone from Dell in the Legal Dept. in the U.S. had better call me back. He then HUNG UP ON ME!
    So, while I commiserate with your trials with customer service, I think my experience was worse. Now I have to explain to my boss why Dell is calling the bookkeeper with harassing phone calls. (For $15.00 that was already paid)
    I also plan on putting on a grass roots campaign to try to discourage people from purchasing Dell products. I am sending them a letter at the only address I have in the U.S. with a copy of the flyer I intend to distribute.

  10. NJer

    I bought a computer from Dell with a floppy drive, operating system. However since the hard drive is SATA, I counldn’t install windows xp on it. Called Dell, explained the situation to them, they send me a usb floppy drive right away, and the best of it, for free! I have read a lot complaints on the web regarding Dell’s customer’s service, but my experience is totally the opposite.

  11. Howard

    My problem with Dell isn’t the printer it’s the ordering and then making their
    mistakes right.
    When I ordered my new Dell Dimension E510 I asked for a CD/DVD burner
    I specified I wanted to be able to play and record CDs and DVDs .

    I received the unit but it was 2 or 3 months before I was able to set down and start recording from my digital video camera the footage I took when I went
    back to Louisiana to look at and record the damage to our house and contents
    I then discovered I couldn’t record ANY type of DVD I called tech support
    which took forever only to find after he checked my original order that the sales person put in a CD/DVD combo unit not a DVD burner and when I was transfered to customer service which means I went through 4 or 5 different people in a 2 day period one of which I had to ask if I could speak to some one that could speak understandable english , no one could help me straighten out my problem the best I could get was they would sell me a DVD burner unit for $160.00 and send me a coupon for $50.00 off oh! and by the way if you have the new DVD burner put in it will void your warrant INCLUDING the extended warranty I paid for unless I shipped at my expence the computer in its entirity back to Dell purchased the new DVD burner and payed the cost to change the players out and shipping back to me—needless to say I never received a coupon but I would not have bought any of this crap they were feeding me nor let them rip me off.
    I finally went to and found an external Lite-On LightScribe
    DVD burner for a fraction of the cost of Dell.
    I recommend TigerDirect you can get everything you could ever need from them with out the hassel and they answer their phones!

    I will NEVER buy any thing from Dell again

  12. Michael Kuntz

    A month ago I bought a new dell desktop. I get an error messeger every time i tun it on that refers me to the internet. The reply always comes back we’ll let you know. Also, my microsoft premium Vista does not single space in “Word.””When I call dell I always get the same messger “heavy call voluem, your wait may be longer than ten minutes. The only time you can ever speak to a person with knowledge at dell a sales person. Dell Sucks.

  13. Anonymous

    Purchased a Dell Inspiron e1705 with a few upgrades (CPU, HD, Bluetooth, etc) earlier this month (February 2007). Got the laptop and mouse in just a few days – great shipping time. Took a few days before I had the chance to open it up and work on getting it set up.

    I liked seeing the style of the computer and the weight was not an issue – as I had read on several reviews before purchasing the computer. All looked good at this point.

    Did the usual set up of the machine, uninstalled the Norton Anti-Virus (NAV) free trial (that I had asked not to have installed), installed a full-version of NAV, etc., etc.

    Through all of this I noticed that the system took a very, very long time to boot up or shut down – longer than any of my computers with XP, 2000 and yes, even one with Win98. Okay – newer operating system with more things within – probably not an issue, just something I’d learn to adjust to.
    The battery was fully charged, but when I removed the power cord to take the computer to another room, I noticed the screen was so dim that I could hardly read what was on it. I did a Google search from another computer about this and it was probably one of two things: either a setting for the desktop needed adjusting or this was a known problem with this particular laptop – it “dims out”. Adjusted the desktop setting on the e1705 and that did not solve the problem.

    When I tried to get the wireless mouse installed – the system didn’t recognize it. Still unsure why that is a problem; however, in talking with a Dell tech – and after they reviewed my order – I may not have had the proper software in the computer to accept a Logitech wireless mouse. This surprised me because why would the sales person have not pointed that out to me when I was ordering the laptop?

    Next is the wireless issue. I could not get the Dell to work with my wireless network. I contacted my ISP (TDS) and the guy spent about 90 minutes with me to get it working, but without any security set at the modem level. Once I set the security to WPA-personal or WEP – the laptop would not work. TDS then told me it was a Dell problem, not their problem.

    Contacted Dell and one tech had me download some software so she could log into my laptop. I watched her futz around with several of the settings, try numerous things, then told me to unplug the CAT5 to see if I remained connected to the network. The connection was lost! and I could not get back in touch with this particular tech to follow up.

    Instead I got another tech (again by chat mode) and after explaining the problem. She told me that it sounded like a problem with a setting for the modem and that I should contact my ISP. I told her I did that and they told me it was a problem with the computer, not with the modem or any setting. She then told me to contact a certain number during the week. This area are experts in wireless networking and they’d be able to assist.

    On Tuesday (2/13) I contacted Dell by phone. After 40 minutes of sitting on hold, listening to advertisements, suggested methods of contact (they did push the chat mode rather than phone mode), etc., etc. I finally got a person on the line.

    I explained the problem and she asked why I called the number I did – I should have called their wireless network tech area. I told her this was the number I was given in one of five email responses I got back from my inquiries the past weekend. She asked for a case number, then transferred me to another area.

    The guy I was put in touch with was the biggest joke of anyone I dealt with during this “adventure”. Again, another person from India and this guy kept asking me to repeat myself because he couldn’t understand me. I was literally yelling into the phone the information he was asking for. When he repeated back the numbers I’d given him, he was missing one number. I’d repeat the numbers, he’d repeat back with the incorrect information. This went on for about three minutes before I heard a click and then got the dial tone.

    I finally contacted a neighbor who has a laptop and uses WPA-personal security. I took my laptop over to his place and he was able to connect that to his wireless network. This proved that it may not have been a Dell issue, rather a TDS issue. We then came back to my place and he made a setting change in the config file of the modem and that resolved the issue of my getting connected to my network – wirelessly and with WPA-personal security enabled.

    This still did not resolve the issue of the dimmed screen and mouse not working. I called Dell back and talked with someone about those issues. We never got to the mouse issue because the person I talked with said this was a known problem with those particular laptops and suggested I send the computer back to Dell for a replacement.

    I was frustrated enough at this point that I contacted Dell to return the items, not replace them. Another person from India, but at least I was able to get the information needed to send the items back.

    My experiences with this purchase have led me to the following conclusions:
    My ISP, TDS, is of no help whatsoever. We’ve gotten into some nasty email communications back and forth and the bottom line is that its my opinion that the techs at TDS cannot admit to not knowing something or that they were at fault. This is the second occasion I’ve asked for assistance from TDS and they could not help (the first was being timed out for uploading web pages – I researched and changed the setting to Passive FTP and that did the trick – TDS knew nothing of Passive FTP). I’m stuck with a one-year obligation to TDS, but will be changing services for my Internet and phone at that time. What’s funny is that I heard on the radio this morning about how good the TDS tech staff is – that you don’t get someone with an accent (alluding to people from foreign countries). True, but just because you speak English doesn’t mean you are better or more knowledgeable than anyone else….and IMHO – TDS sucks!!!

    Dell has really got some problems. Not only has the quality of products gone down (this was my fourth Dell computer purchase), but the tech support is absolutely horrible. People that cannot assist and cannot be conversed with because of a language issue is the “norm”. I have nothing against people from India; I work with several people from that country and they are intelligent, hard working people…..and they mean good. Because I work so closely with people from this country, I think the language issue isn’t too bad – depending on the individuals. I cannot imagine someone who doesn’t converse daily with an individual from India and how they are even able to understand that person. This has all led me to believe that the Dell support is bottom-dollar driven. All companies are trying to save where they can to increase their profits, but if its at the expense of customer service – these companies better start re-thinking what they are doing.

    As for my situation……the Dell computer and the Logitech mouse were shipped back to them yesterday (2/13). I will not deal with Dell until I read where they have improved on their quality of products and their customer service has improved. It is my understanding that many of the top executives at Dell have been replaced over the past few months. Unsure if this is due to a needed change of direction for the company or because these people were simply not doing their jobs or whatever. Bottom line is that I won’t deal with Dell at this point in time and while I cannot tell anyone else what to do – I would suggest you do a thorough research before purchasing an item that you hope you’ll be able to use for years to come and one that costs a fair amount of money (more than $2,000 in my case).
    Again – the viewpoints above are my opinions and my experiences. You have to decide what’s best for you! And like any product – one person will get a gem and another a lemon and many will get something in between. Reviews are meant to assist others (and do a little venting) to make intelligent decisions when purchasing products.

    Use the Internet to do your searches and don’t hesitate to put in searches like “tds sucks”, “tds sux”, “dell sucks” or “dell sux”. You might be a little surprised at what you find.

    Use reviews from magazines, but remember too – that these magazines and computer manufacturers are linked in many ways – advertising dollars being one. When reading many of these reviews, you may also notice that items on your new computer needed adjusting or tweaking. Some setup is expected – getting into the hardware is another and should not be expected of the average user.

    Good luck!

  14. clayton macbeth

    i returned my dell tv 3 times and still i have a non working model

    i have called over 20 times and e-mailed dozens of times

    not to mention the hours i spent on hold…if you ask to speak to a superviser you get put on hold for another hour with zero results

    is there anyone on the side of the consumer?

  15. Jadon Lidon

    Dell lied about only installing dell memory sticks on a dell system. Standard memory sticks can be used that are sd_ram and above (includes ddr). Assume the same with other name brand systems..

  16. Dell Sucks on Printer

    Dell is very good with their PCs and Server (both Hardware and support). They odd better stay just in those fields, because their support and hardware for printer SUCKSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS.

    I spent 2 hours on the phone with a support person, couldn’t solve it. I finally figured it out and had to show the support person how to fix it. Then when I change my computer a couple years later, loss all my setting and now my Dell printer cannot recognize my 2nd tray anymore.

    Michael, if you are reading this… Seriously, take my advise. Stay with PC and Server an STAY AWAY from making any more printer…..

    Thank you!!!

  17. Giuseppi Garibaldi

    On the 29th of November, ‘06, I helped my ex-wife and my ex-sister-in-law to buy a couple of Dell machines, a laptop and a desktop, one for each. After two days configuring machines at Dell website, in order to adjust the budget (which is cheap, so I had to make the most of it) I spent almost one hour with the sales guy on the phone (this is Colombia, and none of them had credit cards, so we went for cash in hand, instead). First surprise: the configuration tool at Dell’s website does not reflect the real world. You can add as many things you want, but the tool is not prepared to say “if you put this, you have to take that out”. Well, compatibility problems are not what you would expect in this kind of deal, otherwise Dell would not be such a huge company, I thought. I got a little upset, but then, no good would come from insulting the sales guy. I had to make the changes “on the fly” (thanks to 20 years assembling bloody computer parts) and I got a decent deal of machines, if not very upgradeable, because the parts that I threw away compromised future upgrades. The guy (Mr. Fabio Flores) said that he would send an e-mail to each one of them with instructions about how to make the payment. At that point, I left them because the bank was not my concern, assembling the machines according their needs and budget was my job, and a hell of a job well done. But there was something slightly surreal about the instructions: they should scan the bank receipt concerning the money transfer, and send by e-mail to him, so he could confirm that they had paid. They did everything as instructed, and that same day, the money was already on Dell’s hands. Mr. Flores (which I came to know later, was located at a Dell Call Center in Panama) said if there was a problem, he would let them know. On the 4th of December (5 days later), he sent an e-mail saying that he could not order the computers because “the bank receipt they sent is not proof of payment, what is needed is a letter from the bank indicating the transfer succeeded”. At their bank, the manager said he could try to get such letter, but could not give any guarantee that Dell’s bank received the money. He could only guarantee that the money left the accounts. It took 3 days to get the letter, and then, at Dell, they said they could not accept such letter. I was, then, aware of the situation, and I kept thinking: “this is bloody ridiculous, they are a computer company, they *MUST* have some sort of system that controls everything, from the manufacturing plants to the CEO coffee machine”. After 8 days, they had no money anymore, no computers, and no solution. And I was wrong. Dell is a crap company, I started searching with Google, and – voilà – there is an awful load of people that simply *HATE* Dell. My ex-wife is a hotheaded woman, and started calling Dell. I think they deserve her rage, and boy, they will suffer with her. They are a bunch of incompetents, they cannot communicate internally with each other (she said that after being transferred from desk to desk during the phone calls, she had to tell the bloody whole story again to each of them, she knows it by heart now), and they have no means to verify their own bank accounts and cross check the customer’s information. They kept giving excuses, like “this bank account is no good” (because they had 2 bank accounts listed in the e-mail they sent – why 2 banks if one of them is no god?), or “a money transfer is no good, should have been a deposit” (why would they instruct a money transfer in the e-mail if they cannot accept it? Would it be some kind of joke? “Ha, ha, we took your money, now piss off and do it right, your bloody poor 3rd world hispanic woman.”). After that, she decided to go to Dell’s bank, and explained the case to their manager. Even thought he *CANNOT* reveal information about the bank’s clients, after 2 days he decided to help and gave an official document saying the money had arrived at Dell’s account on the same 29th of November, detailed with sender, recipient, amount to the cent, time of the transfer, everything. But Dell likes things complicated, so now they are not receiving the scanned document by e-mail, but instead, they gave a fax number – which plainly *DOES NOT EXIST*!!! And absolutely no-one at Dell can explain either why they are not receiving the e-mail anymore or what the correct fax number is. It has been 2 weeks since Dell stole their money, 2 weeks since Dell has their money in the bank account, with all the rates of interest, and until now, there is no bloody computer, no purchase order, nothing. Tomorrow they will visit a lawyer, to see if they can sue Dell. I suspect Dell is not a company at all, but an intergalactic mistake. Some alien race, after hiding for some time on Earth in order to avoid the paparazzi due to an embarrassing freak accident whit an anteater, left behind a portable black hole, which was discovered by the U.S. military. They built a factory to conceal it, and now they experiment with it, searching for new and bizarre weapons, like the one that forces the enemies to call a Customer Center and put them on hold forever, while the power of the black hole sucks their brains through the phone cord and drives them mad. It is the only explanation. Behold, the truth is out there, somewhere, but the Big Brother is always watching it. Abandon all your hopes.

  18. Dell Sucks

    Everything produced my Dell is junk. Dell is Wal-mart in computer industry. Here is my timeline of Dell Inspiron 700m.

    Bought: Nov 2004
    Screen Broken: Oct 2005. (After sending 20 emails, an Indian from India working for Dell admitted that was their fault.)
    Replacement Screen Received: Dec 2005
    CD-Rom broken: Dec 2005
    Hard Drive Broken: Dec 2006

    DO NOT BUY DELL. You will definitely regret it. Dell is Hell. Save some money and buy an IBM!!!!!

  19. roy

    we had this same problem but with a Lexmark MFP. The call went to India, and for 5 minutes I could not understand his interpretation of men-u….finally I asked him to spell it. Bingo! Menu….and for some reason the printer turned from English display to french.
    Dell supplies and components are DELL propriety. Dell does a great job marketing. I look at their description of the computer products..and its basically basic computer, but damn their marketing is good. Buy something that is generic and parts are available here in North America. But price sways us all. I repair printers, and try to salvage dead type printers from the garbage. Most of the time, it is a very simple fix, but we have become so impatient, for whatever reason. Merry Christmas!

  20. Mark

    Letter I sent to Customer service, After trying to get a simp[le plastic part replaced, and was told the pard was no longer available. Pure BS, DELL YOUR CUSTOMER SERVICE IS TERRIBLE, We received a GX620 with the Ultra Small Form Factor case, We have loaded and set up the computer and registered it with Microsoft, We realized there was a problem with the bottom case cover, I have spent 2 hours on the phone trying to explain and getting pushed around to other departments to get no help. I need a new bottom cover or bottom chassis, 4 screws and it is replaced, Your tech had me dis-assemble it to verify the problem. NO ONE can convince me the part is not available when you are still selling the product. I don’t want another PC I want the repair part, I have friends that work for Dell, They told me to order another, swap my drive and send the other back. But no, thats not allowed, and not somthing I would consider, And I am not buying an additional piece of software to move files to another new computer just because you are unwilling to support the product. One tech suggested I buy ghost and get a new PC, If you people would just Send a replacement cover then we will be square. Basically the lady that called back around 10 Central indicated I should buy some other vendors product. I have 2 Dell PowerEdge 4400 Servers and 1 Dell Precision 610 workstation, And I just gave My son one of the old GX300 systems that I thought I didn’t need anymore. I thought I would upgrade Our desktops to newer Dell, But considering the way I have been treated, and the lack of repair parts Maybe I should send back the two We just bought and go back to the HP/Compaq’s we previously had. Apparently Dell won’t supply simple repair parts.

  21. justme

    Just had a really nightmarish experience with Dell – a little tiny thing really, but it’s the principle of the thing. Last spring I bought two Dell systems which I put together online on the Dell site – an XPS desktop, and a Latitude X1 notebook. Well, the wireless mouse I bought from Dell with the X1 conked out after only five months. So I figured, since I had also bought a really fancy premium warranty, they would replace a little thing like a $35 mouse, right? Wrong! I went through literally hours of being transferred around and around to the wrong departments (on purpose?) and getting the runaround and getting broken promises. I finally called the manufacturer of the defective mouse. No problem! Yeah, they’re in India, too, but at least they took my shipping info and told me they will send a new one in 1-2 weeks. Let’s see, let’s hope so. There is a website which is run by Dell shills who try to tell you all the reasons why they don’t honor their warranties. But the bottom line is, they don’t stand behind what they sell. Just another crooked company with the crooked Enron “E” in their name.

  22. jik Post author

    I never had to do anything when I was sent replacement drum cartridges to get the counter to reset, but on the other hand, I didn’t actually check to see if the counter had reset; for all I know it didn’t.

  23. Jennifer

    I am now having drum cartridge problems with my Dell 3000cn. I am on my 7 th call to the customer service center. And yes they have sent me a new drum cartridge, but the drum counter won’t reset to zero. Did you have to reset the counter when you installed the cartridge or did it reset automatically. One Rep told me that if it was not reseting on its own, I will need at least 2 new parts(under warrant – thank god) . One part being a sensor. That was on Oct 13 (Fri). 2006. Then this morning Oct 17th, a different Rep called and asked me why Dell was ordering these parts for me. I explained the situation for the 7th time and he said ..”, its just a matter of getting into the menu and resetting the values”. We did this for almost 45 mins. Trying and retrying with no progress. Then he told me to perform a certain sequence of button pushing and said ” That should do it” . I replied to him that I would like to confirm this first. He told me to call back if I have any more problems. I do…the count is still over 5000 prints for a new drum cartridge. I am calling them back again tomorrow. Wish me luck.

  24. Kathy from PA

    I will never purchase a Dell product again, my printer is junk!! Dell has had a collection agency on my butt for 2 years now for $ 24.53 which was suppose to be free shipping I have had nasty nasty people if you can call them that calling me for the disputed amount I tried to deal with Dell direct but you will be put on hold for hours!!!! I have purchased over $5000 worth of Dell equipment in the past 5 years. Which I payed for when purchased and then got the shipping bill, which I will go to my grave before it will ever get paid! I will never every buy from them again. I have a son about to enter college who will need a laptop, but it will never be a Dell they screwed themselves for being a greedy, dishonest unhelpful company. BOOOOOOOOOOO Dell!!!!!!!!!

  25. jik Post author

    I went to a Network World Live Conference and Expo yesterday at the Boston Marriott Copley Place. Dell had a booth. I walked up to the guy manning the booth and said, “So, here’s the story. We use Dells at work. I have a Dell printer at home. Why does your technical support suck so much?”

    The woman standing next to him practically snorted wine through her nose. Apparently, she had just spent 15 minutes haranguing him about Dell’s poor technical support. This must be the convergence they kept talking about at the conference! 🙂

    In any case, the guy said that at the annual meeting in February for all the Dell field personnel, the message came through “loud and clear” that customers are not happy with technical support and feel that Dell used to be much better and has slipped. He said he’d pass my feedback up the chain of command but I should know that my concerns are being addressed.

    We shall see. Well, I probably won’t see, since I doubt I’ll ever buy another Dell product, but who knows, maybe they’ll get better for other people.

  26. jik Post author

    While we’re on the topic, I think it’s absolutely outrageous that Dell makes their Indian call center workers go by made-up American names. Yes, it’s true that many Indian names are very difficult for Americans to understand and pronounce. However, all of the Indians at BrassRing with complicated names have shortened versions which are both culturally authentic and understandable to Americans (and indeed, my understanding is that these shortened versions are often used among Indians in India as well). The fact that Dell makes its people hide their own culture by using made-up names rather than shortened versions of their real names is, in my opinion, patently offensive.

  27. jik Post author

    I got a voice-mail message on January 24 from someone with an Indian accent who identified himself as a “Senior Escalation Manager.” He left a number for me to call him back. I didn’t have time to do that until February 6. I tried to call him three times, on February 6, 7 and 17, and each time, I got a busy signal, i.e., no opportunity to leave a message or anything like that. On February 17, I sent the following email message to the manager I’d written to on January 19:

    Mr. ___,

    I sent the attached message to you on January 19. On January 24, I received a voicemail message from someone who identified himself as “Fred” and claimed to be a Dell “Senior Escalation Manager.” I don’t know whether his call was a result of the message I sent to you, but I suspect that it was. He asked me to return his call at 800-624-9896 ext. ___.

    I did not have time to return his call until February 6. I have tried to call him three times, at 10:53am February 6, 11:30am February 7, and 11:24am February 17. Each time, I’ve gotten a busy signal after dialing his extension.

    This, of course, is yet another negative experience to add to the plethora of negative experiences I outlined in my last message. If your support managers are going to give out telephone numbers for customers to call, don’t you think it should actually be possible to use those numbers to reach those support managers?

    If you actually want to attempt to address my complaints, then I suggest that you do so by email rather than by telephone. I am much more accessible and able to respond more quickly to email than to telephone calls. If you insist on using the telephone, then please give me a number that I can actually use to reach a live person.


      Jonathan Kamens

  28. John Miller


    I feel your pain. Thanks for sharing as many of Dell’s printer users will not spend the time airing out like you have. HP still rules the desktop printer market.

    John Miller

  29. jik Post author

    OK, I lied about one thing… I was a bit surprised when I went back after the fact and looked at the reviews for the 3000cn, because they all claimed that it produced very nice color output, and I’ve found that even when it’s working properly, the color output is really quite disappointing. I think one of the reviews even said that it was among the best color output they’d seen, which is laughable, because we have color laser printers at work which have been around for significantly longer than the 3000cn and produce way better color output.

  30. jik Post author

    Yes, I checked the reviews about the printer before I bought it. They were positive. I can’t say I’m surprised, because reviewers never use new hardware long enough to find subtle problems, and besides that, what do you think the odds are that Dell would send a reviewer a unit that wasn’t sufficiently tested?

    When I bought this printer, it was by far the cheapest color laser printer out there, and my goal for a while had been to replace my two printers (monochrome laser, color inkjet) with a color laser as soon as the price on color lasers came down enough.

    Now, there are HP color lasers that are cheaper than the printer I bought, and HP makes by far the most reliable laser printers, so I’m feeling just a bit miffed that I jumped at the chance to buy the Dell printer rather than waiting another year. Doh!

  31. Angwantibo / Merril

    As always, it’s a pleasure to read your ramblings. Did you read the reviews on the product before purchasing it? Did they say that the product sucked?

    I did the cheap thing – went to Wal-Mart, checked out the best deals, researched the printers, and bought the cheapest one with good reviews. I’m quite happy with my all-in-one printer that cost


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