Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Dell Positive Customer Service

It has been all too easy to knock Dell of late. The stock trades well off its 2005 highs of $41.99 in 2005 (it closed Monday at $22.16) as stiff competition from PC manufacturers and a revitalized Apple chew into its bottom line. In addition, repeated concerns about its customer service [1], [2], [3], [4] were further undermining its foundations.

However, I did have a positive Customer Service experience, after a somewhat non-plussed experience buying a laptop. I was somewhat unfortunate to order a computer at a time when Dell wasn't offering its free-shipping offer (the free-shipping offer is of course back again). But, I liked what was on offer at the time and decided I would pay for the shipping myself. When I went to checkout I was somewhat horrified to find ther was only one shipping option available - Overnight ($70). Now, overnight shipping is all well and good if living on the mainland, but there is no such thing for Hawaii. I decided to order the system and took the shipping issue up with Dell Customer Service.

Thankfully, the issue resolved itself to my satisfaction. I would have been happy paying for regular shipping ($20 for the slowest, $40 for 3-5 day shipping - the fastest available for Hawaii), so my issue was with the lack of shipping options (there is the option to nominate a shipper, but I don't have a business account with a courier service to do this). I received a sympathetic email from a Jesewton Kommerla (Customer Care) and a offer for a Dell voucher to cover the difference in the shipping. I did agree to this but asked for the voucher to cover a period longer than a year as this would likely be the next time I would be needing anything from Dell. Jesewton (and Vishnu Gawas / Case Manager) came back to me with a new offer of a free printer ($95 value). I agreed to the offer and was very pleased to have seen this matter resolved very amicably to my satisfaction (all within 24 hrs). Good customer service deserves notice - and I believe this was one such case.

Oh.. just in case anyone is wondering. The computer took 3 days to arrive.