Editor’s Take: How Dell (May Have) Lost Me
At that point, in her robotic Dellspeak, the rep said she would transfer me to Dell’s battery sales department so I could purchase a new one. This is where the nightmare began. I said, “Are you telling me that a $1,000-plus computer I bought came with a battery that’s supposed to die in just 14 months?” She repeated that the battery’s warranty was for one year and I could purchase a new one right away.
Without losing my cool, I insisted she put a supervisor on the phone or someone who’d be willing and able to talk to me as a person and treat me as a valued customer. (All along, I was going on the assumption that a new battery would cost about $75 to $100 — I’d later find out that it actually lists on the Dell battery Web site for $119.95.) She put me on hold for five minutes; then, another voice came on. He repeated what she said.
Now, out came my arsenal. I decided that I’d never buy another Dell product again if the company was unwilling to budge on this. So I very pointedly said to him, “We’re going to need to buy more computers in the future. We have a 16-year-old son who’ll soon need one to take to college. But if you don’t send me this battery, I’ll never buy another thing from Dell. You’re going to let a good customer walk away over a dead battery?”
He repeated: “I’ll check. I’ll have to put you on hold for three to five minutes. Is that OK?” By now, it had been more than an hour that I was on the phone. I told him this was unacceptable and insisted he check twice more. Both times he said that because the battery’s warranty had expired, there was nothing they could do about it. It was getting late, and with 90 minutes of my life wasted, I asked him to check again and to call me the next day.