Disclaimer: This is mostly a rant

I was very happy to receive my Dell XPS 13 9350 in November.  It was the laptop that fit my needs like a glove.  Unfortunately, a corrupted bios upgrade forced me to send it in for RMA repairs.  This is where my impression of Dell’s product vs their customer service gets ripped apart into two different worlds.  Unlike the well built laptop the customer service needs serious improvements.

Timeline of Customer Service

Dec 9, 2015 - Corrupted bios and phoned Dell to arrange a RMA.  The agent on the phone promised a swift service.  I was promised a full repair and getting my laptop back in my hands before Christmas.

Dec 11, 2015 - Receive the empty shipping box and sent it out the same day.

Dec 17, 2015 - Dell receives the laptop and the repair will be ‘ON HOLD’ until January 2016.

January 14, 2016 - Pick up laptop and realized they took out the motherboard (as expected since it was a corrupted bios), and my nvme pcie ssd.  Unfortunately, I was traveling so the pickup address didn’t match my driver’s license.  Purolator informed me that I could not pick it up until Dell allowed them to release it without confirming address.  It took me 1.5 hours of being transferred and waiting to finally speak to someone that could assist me.  Unfortunately, Purolator’s customer service department already had closed for the day.  Luckily I tried to bring my brother in law, his driver’s license, and a recent bill which allowed me to retrieve the package.

January 15, 2016 - I left my in law’s house and drove 10 hours to my home town.

January 20 (ish), 2016 - Reinstall Linux and during partitioning I realized my partitions were labelled SDA1, SDA2, etc.  Woah, hold up.  This was an indicator that my ssd was no longer an NVME PCIE.  I rebooted and entered bios and read the descriptor of the ssd and it stated “M.2 SATA SSD”.  I knew then and there that they had swapped out my pricier ssd and installed a cheaper ssd.

I phoned them right away.  The first agent told me that I am mistaken.  He also said he double checked the system and it showed the same model # for the SSD that was removed and added.  I told him that that can’t be right and I am 100% sure that the new SSD is inferior and not what I had paid for.  As I could see he wasn’t budging I got transferred to a supervisor who took 15-20 minutes to really check.  He confirmed that they messed up and installed the wrong type of SSD.  He promised an expedited service and told me that I will get my laptop back faster than last time.  I informed him that my address is different from the last service.  I gave him my new address and prayed for the best.

January 26, 2016 - Email notice of empty shipping box sent to the wrong address.  I emailed them right away that the shipping address is wrong.

January 28, 2016 - Phone call from Dell to ensure I received the box.  I told them that the box was sent to a different address.  They said they will phone me back.  Another dell agent called to request my new address.  I gave it to him and now I am waiting for the shipping box.

Update to timeline since January 28th 2016:

February 9, 2016 - Dell received laptop and begins working on repairs to replace the inferior SSD that they accidentally replaced.

February 16, 2016- Dell posts on the repair status that the estimated return date will be Feb 17th 2016.

February 23, 2016 - Dell is still working on a simple swap of SDD.  We are beyond the estimated return date with no explanation.  During this time they call me every single day telling me “we are working on your laptop”.  Great!  How about stop calling me with useless information?  Dell, when I asked your supervisor if this will take another month you promised me that this would not take that long.  You said this will be expedited and will be taken care of promptly.  I’ve lost all faith in Dell customer support.

Reaching out on Twitter

I even tweeted my torturous relationship with Dell to @dellcares and their response was:

“Sorry for the all the trouble you had to go through. Unfortunately the system us out of return period. As per the warranty, we see system has depot warranty and we request you to send the system to depot for repairs. Please send the system to depot and we will keep a track of the repairs to ensure this is resolved. ^TM”

Where is the “care”?  I feel abandoned by Dell.

Closing Statement

There were many, many small inconveniences that I left out.  I only wanted to highlight the main events.  I’m not sure what they can do to improve their service as many of their agents (from India) were not following standard procedures.

  1. Do not over promise and under deliver

  2. Listen to your client carefully

  3. Ensure you do the job properly.

  4. Build an elevated customer service rep that is empowered to take action and keep your customer’s happy.