Personal Branding Hall of Shame Redux

Thank you, Jeff Jarvis. Jeff Jarvis, as you remember, was the blogger who outed Dell for its egregious customer service, which he called "Dell Hell."

Recently, I entered my own "Dell Hellish Dell" when I spent about five hours all told with their customer service reps trying to get my 1 ½ year-old PC to work. Escalating to supervisors, typically a helpful response, got me nowhere at first in Dell land. Even though I had purchased a $200 service agreement, I was told that "We don’t provide service, only parts." And in Dell’s own version of "bittergate," I was admonished for "bickering" about the service – or lack thereof. In desperation, I uttered the words "Jeff Jarvis" and mentioned that I would be blogging about my experience and doing whatever was necessary to get my problem resolved.

Suddenly, it was as if the heavens had opened up. I was told that I would get a call back and that someone would take charge and manage my problem. I got not just one but two call backs and was given a particular number to call back. I thought I was home free.

Well, not quite. Unfortunately, the call back number was not a direct line but a cue where after a hold time of 15 minutes, I gave up and hung up. I then called the regular Dell customer service number and got someone right away without waiting. Go figure. The rep was pleasant but after reviewing my file discovered that I was now a "special case" because I had complained to a supervisor. In Dell’s new twist on Catch 22, that meant he couldn’t handle my case even though he said he could help me and needed to transfer me. After 20 minutes of trying to transfer me, he said "no one was picking up" and then I told me to dial directly. So like a rat in maze, I called again. This time around I got a very nice man named Oliver in the Philippines. Oliver spent about an hour on the phone with me trying to diagnose my problem and then suggested we run a Windows repair on it. Since that took at least an hour to run, he promised to call me back. It was now about 11 pm ET.

I won’t bore you with all the gory details of what happened next only to say that by 12:30 am ET my system was still not working and I didn’t get the promised call back.

Next day, I called Dell again and reinvoked the name "Jeff Jarvis," when they wanted to waste more of my time trouble shooting. This time around I was finally told a technician would come to my office armed with parts to try to fix my PC.

So, here I sit, Ms. Rat, awaiting Dell. Fingers crossed but breath not held, that someone shows up and doesn’t blow up my machine. And, if someone shows up, I will happily toast Jeff Jarvis. Do you have your own versions of "Dell Hellish Hell." I’d love to hear from you.

 

Wendy Marx, PR and Personal Branding Specialist, Marx Communications, Inc.

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