In Technology Review, Craig Newmark writes about his list and his view of customer service. As I think I’ve said here before, I’ve heard Craig introduce himself at more than one event as the guy who does customer service and that always gets a laugh but it is no joke. Customer service is the highest ethic of his venture. It is the highest ethic of open source. It is the highest ethic of a true community. If newspapers… and Dell… and AOL… and government remembered that customer service is their job, they’d be a lot more successful than they are.
I, too, have had problems with a recent Dell purchase. I now have an unusable Dell laser printer, thanks to a failed firmware upgrade. On hold to Dell support in India for 90+ minutes (pleasant person, but what a waste of time), I was advised to try it again, which I knew would not work as the printer is evidently in an infinite loop. After several go rounds, I called Dell and asked them to take it back. Unfortunately, my request was 29 days after the purchase date and Dell evidently only accepts returns 21 days after the purchase date. I’ve turned it over to my credit card company….
My Father emphasized great customer service throughout his career. Dell is simply being cheap and it will cost them.