How can you not love the viral power of the Internet? Besides all the silly memes, troll faces, LOL Cats and weird videos, said power is also responsible for creating ripple effects throughout whatever industry is being targeted. Just ask Dell, who, after the much-discussed blog post by an apparent corporate adviser named Bill, finds themselves in the position of issuing massive apologies after word about Bill's not-so-excellent adventure with Dell's Customer Care program hit the tubes.
To recap, according to the initial post, Bill, who, among other duties, advises Fortune 500 companies on how to spend their tech budgets, experienced what can only be categorized as a slice of hell after buying a Dell laptop, one that was dead on arrival. Naturally, a level of satisfaction was expected after such a discovery, and, if Bill's post is to be believed, once he started calling Dell, the misadventures began, all of which were documented in Bill's post.
Aside from this publication, Bill's story also hit other outlets, mainly, The Consumerist, and once that happened, Bill's story went viral. This includes Bill's disposition of advising his clients to never buy from Dell again.
Now that the post has hit the mainstream, Dell finds themselves in a position of having to respond to Bill's complaints, and according to an update on the post in question, that's exactly what they did. Twice, in fact. Bill has the details:
A representative from Dell just called (2:45 PM, Wed Jun 1st). She seemed genuinely concerned about the incident and assured me that they would be looking into it. They also offered 20% off of my next purchase. She also expressed that the call center is made up of Dell employees, it is not outsourced. We spent a couple of short minutes discussing the fact that it would be difficult for them to even track the event, but I did provide multiple phone numbers that they could use to attempt to track the inbound and outbound to and from their center, and explained that they had a serious problem in their ability to keep accurate records without immediately capturing service tag or account numbers. She did express that their was a management committee that would be briefed on the situation and they are always looking for was to improve.
As well as:
5:10PM EDT - Another update. Another U.S. Based Dell Rep (from their Social Media department) called me up and apologized again, ensuring me they are working to correct the issue to my satisfaction. They also offered an increased discount.
While Dell indeed capitulated, it wasn't enough to change Bill's stance, something he states quite clearly. Clearly, if Bill had been given such a level of concern when the initial complaints began, it's doubtful he'd be so anti-Dell. Another point to consider is, why does it take such high-level complaining before satisfaction is provided? Why did Bill have to go through all of his hoops before Dell showed its apologetic side? One hopes issues like Bill's forces Dell to rethink their customer service policy, at least in terms of satisfying a paying customer.