My call one Monday evening to Dell Support was met with the ubiquitous automatic answering system, with the standard message that said something like "We are experiencing heavy call volume right now. The best time to call is Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm." Of course, since this was the tech support group for Dell’s Home & Home Office group, I don’t imagine that very many of those customers call during that time.
That message was the only downside to the whole tech support and repair process!
As I expected and was warned, I waited on hold for a little bit, perhaps 10-15 minutes. It didn’t bother me. I’ve waited longer on hold in earlier years.
My call was answered by a very helpful young man named Alok. Alok listened to what I had done, asked some questions, and then asked me to stay on hold a couple minutes while he consulted someone else.
When he came back, he asked me to turn on the computer and go into the BIOS setup (Accessing The Computer’s BIOS Setup). The computer showed the BIOS Setup screen as expected — for about 10 seconds, and then went black. This confirmed yet again that the problem was hardware and not a software configuration problem.
The other test he asked me to do was to hook the notebook to an external monitor to see if I had a display on that. I hooked up a standard LCD monitor to my notebook and then turned on the notebook. As I expected, the notebook booted part way and then its LCD went black — but the external monitor continued to work perfectily. This confirmed that the problem was not the video "card" in the notebook.
I had read that Dell was using tech support in India to provide service for its Home & Home Office group. Alok seemed to have a slight Indian accent. His diction and grammar were excellent and I had no trouble understanding him, nor did he appear to have trouble understanding me. I had no more trouble understanding him than I’ve had with the accents of Georgia, New York and Arkansas.
Why am I writing all of this? Apparently Dell has been getting a lot of flack over the tech support in India. At the end of the call, I was asked to speak with a supervisor, who wanted to make sure I had not had difficulties understanding Alok.
Anyway, Alok advised me that he was setting up for a repair service call. They would be shipping the part to the repair man. He gave me a phone number for me to call to set up the appointment, if I hadn’t heard from the repair service within two days. This was Monday evening, so I should hear from them on Tuesday or Wednesday, but had a number to call if I hadn’t been called.
Bright and early on Wednesday morning, I received a call from Robert of QualxServ, Dell’s warranty repair service. Robert had received the part and wanted to schedule the repair call. We set the time for 4pm that afternoon.
At about 4pm, I received a call from Robert saying he as on the way to my house, but was running a few minutes late. He arrived at about 4:20.
Let’s just say that Robert had repaired notebook computers before. He had the old LCD removed, the new one installed, demonstrated that it worked, demonstrated that the Internet access worked, written a summary of what he did, and was gone — by 5:10.
I was quite impressed by my Dell tech support and repair experience.
From the professionalism shown by Alok and the speed of confirmation of my diagnosis to the professionalism of Robert and the speed of parts delivery and speed and completeness of the repair, I was very pleasantly surprised.