However, last week I had the ‘pleasure’ of helping to install a Dell Dimension PC from scratch. Obviously, having worked in the channel for so long, I was dubious about a Dell machine. But having heard good reports about Dell on the consumer side, I settled down to the task.
The instructions were for a different machine, with a different set of ports and cables, so I was off to a flying start. I pieced the machine together, which wasn’t too difficult, then tried to switch it on.
And encountered my second problem. The PC came with an add-on graphics card and would therefore not let me plug my non-Dell monitor into its video-adapter port. But, luckily, said the instructions on screen, the PC came with an adapter cable. Except that it didn’t.
One very disappointed father later and I was on the phone to Dell. After I’d reached old age and had RSI in my fingers from all the “Press one if…” messages, I finally spoke to someone on the helpdesk (surely an ironic name). However they had no record of the delivery address, or the name in which the PC had been ordered.
As Dell makes channel noises and attempts to link arms with resellers around the world, what kind of service can the resellers who join the ranks expect from the ‘direct-selling’ vendor? I may be just one small consumer in the great ocean of PC buyers, but will one small reseller in the channel fare any better?
Customer service is crucial. At a time when consumers and businesses are presented with so much choice, it can be the differentiator. Dell needs to ensure its that customer service is up to scratch before knocking on the channel’s door to ask for its services.
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