Dell Customer Support Rant..and Recovery

OK.  I bought a Dell Axim X50v sometime ago.  That’s the pocket PC PDA with wi-fi, etc. I bought the blue tooth gps navigation kit with it.  During a company office move, my navigation CD set was misplaced.  I started online with tech support.  I was referred to spare parts after a day or so.  Spare parts informed me that these are not available anymore, but "good news, they’re available online".  I had looked online for the software but I knew somehow that Dell wouldn’t put $99 navigation map data up there for all to grab.  I forgot about my logical conclusion and listened to the rep, ended the call, and went back to dell’s site.  I found the European map installer program only with no map data.  I’m not kidding here. 

I called back and after speaking with spare parts and explaining my situation, I was told I needed to speak with tech support.  (Mind you that’s where I started).  I explained the situation after 26 minutes on hold to a nice person who informed me that my Axim was out of warranty…but asked what he could do. 

He came back online and said, "We don’t normally do this with something that’s so far out of warranty, (Feb 2006 expiration) but since these CD’s aren’t really available and (authors interpretation here) you’d be totally screwed and have to buy another GPS navigation accessory kit at $179 each anyway, I’m going to just send some to you, please give me your address, etc.

Great recovery Dell.  The only issue I take here is that it took me about 1.5 hours of jacking around with emails, on-holds, explanations, call backs, and re-routes to get to the bottom of my issue.  My issue was the same throughout.  I need CD’s that came with the device that I don’t have anymore.  My product is registered and I’m not trying to get anything for free that I didn’t already own.  I started with tech support since I didn’t need spare parts but I can appreciate how they made that connection.  The original email reply I received was full of praise and language that is intended to make me feel very wanted, needed, and loved by Dell.

Thank you for choosing Dell! I will be your point of contact until your issue is resolved in its entirety.  If you have any questions during the course of our correspondence, simply reply to this message and I will do everything I can to provide you with an answer to your question(s).

I have received your request, and though I am unable to assist you directly with your request, I ask that you please contact our spare parts department to resolve your issue.  Again, I’m sorry about any delays that this may be causing. Please respond to this email directly with any questions you may have, or if you need any further assistance.

Spare parts: 1-800-357-3355, extension: 7269938.

I value you as a Dell customer and your satisfaction is important to me.  Please take a moment of your time to let Dell know how I am doing as you may receive a survey requesting your feedback pertaining to the level of customer service I’ve provided you today.

Thank you for contacting the ABU Sales Support  specialty queue.

Please let me know if there is anything further I am able to do to assist you in the resolution of your issue. 

What they could have done further to resolve the issue…was to resolve the issue.  By the way, the first few people I spoke with…I perceive to be outsourced.  There was no language barrier..but there was an "able to get things done without following the script" problem.  The technical support person had a freedom and flexibility to get things done…and he did.

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