Just thought I'd post an update on my problems with Dell service reps... .
One or two days after I wrote my scree above and had another call or two go into oblivion, I went into the Dell Community forum at the Dell.ca site and blasted away in a thread called 'Customer Support Complaints, Post Here' because I just couldn't see how to get around Dell.ca India.
And, lo, someone named 'Robert' from Dell in Houston (or was it Dallas? Anyway, Texas) dropped into the thread and told me to contact him via some button... which doesn't appear in Safari as I was reading the forum on my Mac. Another forum post by me pointing this out and not knowing whether or not the forum was just incredibly un-Safari/mac-FireFoxy, I ended up posting from my work's Window machine (on a lunch break, of course).
I gave him my order number, customer number (neither of which you're allowed posting in the public forum) and I had my inevitable Kindly Canadian chat with him. Genuinely friendly (considering my frustration level), quick, decisive, over.
Next thing you know, Dell.ca India's calling me... all. The. Freakin'. Time.
The first was from the tech support department from a week or two ago (he was involved in Point #1 in the post above) saying he 'wanted to know if I wanted to continue the diagnostics because he was just following up.' And then he apologized while reading a script, by the sounds of it. Fine, I just need the CRA numbers to return these two items. 'Someone will get back to you.' H'oh, boy - Texas must have blasted Dell.ca (like they should have).
Then someone else calls to apologize profusely (while reading a script), he gets my info and he apologizes again and that's the end of the convo. Then I get back from work doing some outside business and *3* messages are waiting from me from Dell.ca. One from another Dell.ca India guy apologizing and two from the customer service rep again, apparently.
So I call him and he needs something else and he's about to issue me a UPS label and something something and I have half a page now of confirmation numbers and phone numbers and instructions and an address (and why couldn't this all have been done by email?) but I tell him I don't want to bother wiping the hard drive (because I have OS X on it for one and because I've got passwords stuff on it and there's no reason why they need *that* particular hard drive in there to repair speakers). Then he calls me back *again* to ask me if the UPS label and stuff got through and to confirm I can leave the hard drive out. Then off I go to lunch and someone else from Dell.ca calls me. I don't call back.
Stalking? Getting there... . Harrassment? Maybe... .
I've got the CRA numbers, the UPS label and the phone number for Purolator and Dell's account number with them. But, you know, it's near the end of the month and I'm swamped with work and I'm suppose to run around finding a UPS drop-box for the keyboard and call Purolotor for pick-up and Dell.ca India guy has told me specifically I have about 'x' amount of time between getting the CRA number and really having to get the Mini into be fixed and it's the freakin' weekend and I just want a stressfree few days and that includes having and using my crap-speakered Mini before I know I have to lose it for whatever time it takes for delivery to/from the repair place plus a cushion of five workdays in the shop plus probably four days of weekends during this period.
A couple more calls from Dell.ca India on Monday. Two more, actually. The first came while I was out. Did I send everything in? Do I have everything I need? When am I planning on actually sending the stuff in? Mind if I go over (again) the details of the incoming order. The second caller didn't leave a phone number. Even if he did, I wouldn't call back.
Day eight after the issuing of the UPS label I get a call (again): the label's only good for 10 days. If I try to send it in after that, it won't work. Day 10 is a Sunday. Fine. I'll bring in the Mini on Monday and am assured the label should work even on that day and the keyboard and call everyone I'm suppose to to get this stuff out the door. Satisfied?
Monday, call Purolator. Guy tells me they have a pickup arrangement with UPS and the drive'll take both packages. Great! In the meantime, I email UPS and simply ask them to issue me a new label. They respond with one in less than an hour. Now *that's* efficient!
Except the Purolator guy doesn't show up on Monday. Or Tuesday. When I call afterhours from work on Tuesday, I tell them they'd better be there Wednesday or Dell should at least get a whopping big discount. Oh, and suddenly I get the 'driver will not pick up UPS packages'. Fan-freakin'-Tastic.
Wednesday morning, I get yet another call from Dell.ca India; did I send everything in? Was the UPS label issue resolved? Is there time to issue me a new one and put it on the USP package that was still sitting on the counter in reception 72 hours after the initial call? "Yeah. Strangely enough, one email to UPS solved everything. One. Email. Fancy that."
Finally, at 3:30 and with half an hour before the office closed, the Purolator guy finally shows up. Of course he doesn't take the UPS package and I end up running around on a hot sweltering (for Vancouver) day trying to figure out by the address given on the UPS site where the supposedly nearest drop box off is (near a basement mail room in a building I've never been to).
Now, obviously all this courier stuff is completely tangential and has it's own separate hell but the receptionist at work and I figured Dell.ca was calling me on average three times a day for four days and in clumps over the next few.
And the whole time we're wondering how this could possibly be efficient? 'Cause, you know, I really want less scripted courtesy when they're blowing a simple request and a hella lot less scripted and numerous contacts when they're just running around in circles trying to fix their problem. We figured the *entire* return process should have resulted in one email requesting really basic information like my name, address and client number (and they should have figured out the rest) and one email detailing the UPS and Purolator details and, maybe, one phone call to say that it was fine to pull the hard drive out and they'd put that note on my file for when the repair shop looks at it.
That was it; two emails and a call... two at the most.
So now I have no wrong keyboard (at one point, Dell.ca India guy told me what they'd credit me and I told him I fully expected to have all shipping charges credited back to me, too, since *I* wasn't the one who ordered the wrong thing. I think that resulted in at least one of the many phone calls to confirm that they'll credit me that, too). I also don't have the Mini and don't expect it back for at least two weeks.
So the hell hasn't ended... .
Oh, I forgot. Today I got home to an email from the Dell.ca India rep - can he have the UPS tracking number I used. I told him no. I don't have it with me and I'll track it on my own and if it doesn't arrive by early next week, I'll contact UPS directly. Just. Go. Awwwwaaaaaaay.