Monday, September 13, 2010

The Dell Customer Service Chats Volume 1

Scott's Tip Of The Day: Back in 2005, I was a young law student. The world was my oyster. I could be anything. I was gonna make it big. Watch out world, here comes Scott. But you know what? It wasn't quite so simple. Various forces conspired against me. I conquered these trials and tribulations and made it out the other end OK, but it wasn't easy. What? Paranoid delusions? OK, OK. Maybe various forces weren't conspiring against me. But my Dell laptop computer was. It broke. Over and over and over again.

Do you know how long it takes to get tech support on the phone? I must have wasted days of my life waiting on hold. They didn't even play good music. If you're going to keep me on hold for over an hour then how about playing some good tunes? Pipe some good music in. Let me get my jam on. Nobody wants to listen to muzak. Ever. Not in a department store, not in an elevator and certainly not when they are on hold.

So I wait on the phone for about an hour and I get some tech support guy from India. He says his name is "Jason." Let's just say Jason's command of the English language left a little to be desired. I don't have time for this! Luckily, Dell had online technical support. If you can find another computer (that isn't broken) to chat about your computer that is broken, then you can contact Dell Chat Support online. The wait isn't as long and they don't pipe bad music in. After waiting on hold for quite some time I grew a little restless. I decided to get my computer fixed, but have some fun at the same time. As I mentioned before, my computer broke numerous times and this is a REAL transcript of my second conversation with Dell tech support from 2005. (My first conversation was not as funny, so I chose not to include it.) I hope you enjoy....

Welcome to Dell Chat. Please wait for an available agent. You will be notified when your chat is accepted by an agent.
The session has been accepted.

{Shabnam 3:10:47 PM} At the end of this interaction you may be offered the opportunity to provide me with feedback. In order to do so you will need to click the "End Chat" button rather than using the "X" at the top of the screen. You may rate this interaction on a scale of 1 to 9 (1 being worst and 9 being best). I appreciate your feedback.

{Shabnam 3:10:49 PM} Thank you for contacting Dell Consumer Care Chat. I am Shabnam. How may I assist you today?

{ 3:11:27 PM} hi Shabnam, how are you?
Here is my problem.
I have a harddrive you want back, it's faulty, very faulty....doesn't work, in america we would say it is "busted" I contacted dell........
{ 3:11:36 PM} they sent me a new one, they want the old harddrive back
{ 3:12:02 PM} i spoke to dahbalina something on tech support last time she said "Hey, i'll send you a UPS guy to pick up a box with that hard drive" I said "thanks, you're a doll sweety"
{ 3:12:32 PM} but the UPS man never came, he never picked up the box, Dell keeps sending me emails saying "gimme my harddrive back fool" i just dont know what to do, teh UPS man didn't come, what do you guys want from me!?
{ 3:13:24 PM} so basically, if you want my harddrive i need some labels to ship it, possibly a box if you can send one of those, a UPS man to pick it up

{Shabnam 3:13:39 PM} I apologize for any inconvenience or frustration this matter caused. We value you as our customer and your satisfaction is very important to Dell.

{ 3:14:16 PM} Oh thanks that's nice to hear, but it sounds like you say that to everyone, i am not really feeling valued right now
{ 3:14:44 PM} I am feeling frustrated, tired, achey, and just plain invalidated, not invalid, but definitely invalidated, maybe you can help me fix this problem i have
{ 3:14:54 PM} What do you say my man? Can you help me out?

{Shabnam 3:15:12 PM} No Scott, don't feel like that as I will do everything possible to help you today.

{ 3:15:41 PM} OH Shabnam, you are the best, you must be the best Dell technician I have talked to all day...possibly all week
{ 3:16:45 PM} so how should we fix this up? what do you suggest I do?

{Shabnam 3:17:05 PM} I will be glad to help you.
{Shabnam 3:17:08 PM} May I know your order number please?

{ 3:17:32 PM} i wasnt given an order number, at least i dont remember being given one
{ 3:17:41 PM} i have had so many problems i was given a lot of numbers
{ 3:17:58 PM} i already have a lot of numbers to remember, like my age, my height, my social security number, my house number, i forgot, you know

{Shabnam 3:18:15 PM} Don't worry Scott, I will check it.

{ 3:18:49 PM} Good, cause I was worried! Woooooohhhh boy, i thought we weren't gonna fix this problem, THANK GOD you are helping me Shabnam, you are so abled and technically capable
{ 3:20:15 PM} if i am slow to respond, i apologize, i am working out to jane fonda's 1982 betamax work out video, have you ever seen it, man what a workout

{Shabnam 3:21:06 PM} Thank you very much for your appreciation Scott.
{Shabnam 3:21:54 PM} Scott, I will go ahead and schedule a pick up with UPS to get the package picked up from your place. Can I get the pick up address?

{ 3:21:59 PM} any time, i am good at appreciating, my mom used to tell me "boy, you can barely read, and you only got 2 teeth, and you are fat as a hawg, but doggone it boy, you can appreciate like hell"

{ 3:22:04 PM} yes pick up address........
{ 3:22:16 PM} (CENSORED)
{ 3:22:59 PM} do you live nearby? do you know my neighborhood well?
{ 3:23:05 PM} can you stop by and pick up the package yourself?

{Shabnam 3:24:45 PM} Scott, I will process the request for you and UPS will pick up the package from your place. The pick up will be arranged for next business day. It can be anytime between 12pm and 5pm CST.

{ 3:25:07 PM} ok, if i am not home can i leave the package outside?

{Shabnam 3:25:10 PM} If there isn’t anyone at your address, you could leave the package outside with a note for the carrier.
UPS will make a maximum of 3 pick up attempts. You can take the product to any UPS Store as an alternative.

{ 3:25:25 PM} ok, so if this doesn't work and i go to a ups store, what do i say
{ 3:25:42 PM} they probably know who you are right
? i can say "Shabnam told me to give this to you"
{ 3:26:03 PM} i can prob just leave a note "I'm Shabnam's friend, send this over to dell" they will probably know what to do right?

{Shabnam 3:28:20 PM} Scott, you can give them an authorization number and they will do their duty.

{ 3:28:49 PM} OOOOHHHH I would love that, that is all James Bond like "DO YOUR DUTY, HERE IS THE AUTHORIZATION CODE"
{ 3:29:37 PM} so they pick it up tomorrow or i bring it to a ups man and give them the code
{ 3:29:42 PM} so what's the code?
{ 3:30:01 PM} can i make up a code like "Alpha delta bravo cookie monster" that would be hard to break i think
{ 3:31:30 PM} So do i pick the code or do you give it to me?

{Shabnam 3:31:42 PM} An authorization number is (CENSORED)

{ 3:32:03 PM} Well Shabnam, that isnt a very creative code, but I suppose it will do
{ 3:32:09 PM} IS that all I need?
{ 3:33:15 PM} do i need any other information

{Shabnam 3:34:10 PM} Yes Scott, this will do. Please stay online for 4-5 minutes while I process the request for you.

{ 3:34:46 PM} sure, so Shabnam, have you seen the new Batman was pretttyyyy exciting

{Shabnam 3:35:53 PM} No Scott, I have not.
{ 3:36:25 PM} where are you stationed?
{ 3:37:11 PM} I lived in Goa for 3 years, the beach there was nice, and they played suchhhh good trance music

{Shabnam 3:37:52 PM} Scott, I am from Chandigarh (U.T.), India.

{ 3:38:32 PM} OHHHH DO YOU know debalina
{ 3:38:51 PM} she helped me last time, she was pretty nice, but i mean as soon as business was over she was like gotta go, she didn't want to talk much
{ 3:39:07 PM} She totally stole my heart, i think about her a lot
{ 3:41:52 PM} are you still there Shabnam?
{ 3:42:09 PM} are you helping other people at the same time!!?? Are you cheating on me?

{Shabnam 3:43:15 PM} Scott, I am here and I am processing your request. I told you to stay online for 4-5 minutes.

{ 3:44:36 PM} I am sorry, I am impatient, I thought you left me for some other guy with a broken hard drive, it wouldn't be the first time

{Shabnam 3:45:22 PM} Thank you for staying online. We really appreciate your patience.

{ 3:45:34 PM} hey, it's the least i can do Shabnam
{ 3:45:48 PM} Do your friends call you Shabby? or Shabs? I am gonna call you "Shabmeister"
{ 3:45:57 PM} thats what we would call you in the usa "Shabmeister"

{Shabnam 3:46:34 PM} Scott, I have processed the request for you and the pick up will be arranged for next business day. It can be anytime between 12pm and 5pm CST. UPS will make a maximum of 3 pick up attempts. You can take the product to any UPS Store as an alternative.

{ 3:47:04 PM} that sounds great, awesome....incredible even, I am overjoyed, you have really helped me out a lot Shabmeister
{ 3:47:09 PM} You make me want to be a better person

{Shabnam 3:47:32 PM} Thank you very much.

{ 3:47:42 PM} so what are you up to after work
{ 3:47:50 PM} stoppin by the old watering hole? drinking some brews?
{ 3:47:56 PM} do you have heineken over there?

{Shabnam 3:49:41 PM} Is there anything else I can assist you with?
{Shabnam 3:49:41 PM} Scott, I am busy in doing studies and work.
{ 3:50:04 PM} Yeah you dell people are always so busy! Busy busy busy!
{ 3:50:24 PM} i suppose I will let you go then. I won't forget you Shabnam, you are my new best friend

{Shabnam 3:50:26 PM} Yes Scott, Is there anything else I can assist you with?
{Shabnam 3:50:34 PM} Thank you very much.

{ 3:50:50 PM} Anytime, you take it easy
{ 3:50:58 PM} Keep it real, keep it fresh
{ 3:51:17 PM} keep it clean, keep it mean
{ 3:51:26 PM} keep it small keep it tall
{ 3:51:41 PM} thats what we say in ny when we say goodbye
{ 3:51:48 PM} Goodbye!

{Shabnam 3:52:37 PM} Thank you very much Scott and goodbye.
{Shabnam 3:52:41 PM} How am I doing so far at resolving this issue to your satisfaction?

{ 3:53:17 PM} If Superman was from India I would think you are Superman
{ 3:53:23 PM} But i mean everyone knows he is from krypton
{ 3:53:44 PM} but you are almost like superman, the green lantern perhaps? YES! You are like the green lantern. YOu are awesome! Keep up the good work

{Shabnam 3:53:58 PM} Oh, thank you very much.

{ 3:54:26 PM} no problem, take it easy my friend, but not too easy....relatively easy

{Shabnam 3:54:31 PM} Thank you very much for your praise Scott.

{ 3:54:34 PM} So in conclusion, take it "relatively" easy
{ 3:54:43 PM} No problem, i don't think you guys get enough praise
{ 3:54:52 PM} You guys work so hard, and you get no appreciation
{ 3:55:01 PM} You deserve beers, and free tickets to cricket games
{ 3:55:12 PM} and possibly Lamborghinis....possibly

{Shabnam 3:55:30 PM} Thank you very much.
{Shabnam 3:55:44 PM} Thank you for visiting Dell Consumer Customer Care online chat and allowing me the opportunity to assist you. I have included your case # 110416672 to reference our interaction today. Please keep this on file; it will assist you when contacting Dell Inc in the future. Also, feel free to visit us again at .
{Shabnam 3:55:47 PM} Have a nice day.

{ 3:55:50 PM} fairwell Shameister, may your online adventures be numerous and prosperous

{Shabnam 3:56:24 PM} Thank you very much Scott, take care and may god bless you.

So what's my tip of the day? If you have to deal with tech support people, you might as well have a little fun.


Jane said...

This is hillarious!


Jenni said...

If you weren't someone I admire, I'd say you were a total dick! Hilarious! Reminds me of my old days of prank calls, only I'm not as funny or talented as you.

tenax_technologies said...

This is funny.

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Bouncin' Barb said...

OMG. I'm going to have nightmares now. At my last job they began the laying off process because they bought a company in India. I was an operations manager so it was my job to get India up and running so they could learn our job and we would get to lose ours. I refused to go there. Instead they sent one guy over here for 2 weeks to learn our processes and then go back to India and teach a whole dept. Once a week I would have a conference call to go over issues and used to have to put the phone on mute while I laughed my ass off at them. They repeat everything and along with the "American" names it was such a joke. Additionally, they fired the guy who came to the US after about a month. They are just not up to par with our standards. I truly got a chuckle out of reading this. Thanks.

Lynn said...

OK--this so completely cracked me up! I have a Dell that is ALWAYS breaking as well, and I don't know how many times I've been on the phone or on on-line chat. This made me laugh so hard I think I need to go to the restroom now...

Thank you.

BTW, last time my computer broke (like, last week), I brought it in to a local computer repair place. They told me what was wrong. They called Dell to check to make sure things were under warrantee. They did the work. I picked the computer up. Done. I will never have to deal with Dell "customer service" again. Yippee!!

Anonymous said...

great customer care service chat

nice blog.
Something different.
I m happy that the name bombay arrived on his laptop.


Welcome to Cofeeinpot!!

Kev D. said...

theres an episode of MOrgan Spurlock's 30 Days that I think Bouncin' Barb needs to watch.

Ankita (Gg) said...

Now take it from the horse's mouth Scott... (haha)
This is how things work in India... that customer service girl is completely mechanical, they all are. Customer service and stuff are usually outsourced to call centres. And when it's Dell, expect worse.
Call centre owners and bosses are outdated potbellies of the British era, they prefer making up 'American' names for the Indian employees, instead of explaining the correct pronunciation of our names to the Americans. Shyam becomes Sam, Jayashri becomes Jasmine.
How do you guess it is in India? Worse. Not just customer service. They'll call you on their own, an office time-killing exercise I suppose. I once discontinued a subscription, and that 'Nikita' called me THRICE, everytime repeating Shabnam-ish mechanicalities.
Want more? All these youngsters work at night... to match with American day. They are coached on American accent, as if Americans won't understand any other accent. They are taught 'American' chit-chat... football, basketball; while here football refers to soccer and cricket is the other popular one. Why? Customer satisfaction.
But still people work there, for the money, as in any developing country. Lots of people have spoken about normalizing the routines of these people, giving them humane jobs. But still they are given lots of money to slave through the night and bear the insults of some people with... too much happiness.
[@BouncinBarb] I really found that offensive. Do you understand that they do their best to adapt to your accents? The reason they 'repeat everything'? Do you do anything to put them at ease? Let them talk freely? Tell them that you'll try to understand their accent and they needn't copy yours? No.[/@BouncinBarb]
Scott, I completely believe in the philosophy of irritating customer service, but how you spoke can be more cruel than you think with all the cultural differences. We usually don't talk so freely to strangers, esp. of this type. They are sleep-deprived nervous wrecks anyway, come on. Mild irritants will give you more than the effect you want... I just told Nikita that I'd write to their office and poor thing got freaked.
I loved the pic at the top.

Scott said...

Gasp! Thrice!??

Well I am glad you enjoyed this conversation because there are a lot more where this came from!

The Nerd said...

I've had similar chats with Dell tech support, not quite to that level but I have yanked their chains a little. It's so funny because they really don't understand what you're talking about and they continue to read through their little script.

emily_k said...

You have a new follower. That was hilarious. You have brought entertainment to my office job for sure.

Jerremy said...

This is so funny! And so true at the same time. I usually get upset and hang up on them because I dont need the head ache trying to figure out what they are saying. Very Funny. Jerr

Bouncin' Barb said...

Just to elaborate...the issue wasn't the accent. It was that they repeated everything you said and yes I gave them every opportunity to understand what we wanted. However, our service level agreements were same day service. They had to review, update the system and flag any issues all the same day. They strived for accuracy but had issues with speed. They wanted to please us so much but it was taking too long. I've been an exceptional manager for over 20 years. I also know that delegation is key. I wanted them to pickup quickly so I could move on to other projects. The speed and accuracy were the problem. No more said on this topic from me. Thanks Scott!!


I added myself to follow your blog. You are more than welcome to visit mine and become a follower if you want to.

God Bless You ~Ron

Luke said...

Haha classic. You were fast with you witty responses too. A little fun does the dell guys good.

Shanimal said...

That poor fella...having to cope with the fact that he hasn't seen Batman. What a shame.

Scarlet said...


shuchi said...

Hey this is funny.I loved it. I bet it would have made Shabnan's day.She must have had a good laugh chatting with you.

Slappy2323 said...

HAhaha, I usually dont have the patience to wait thru that long of a call... The last time I had to unscrew the casing and replace parts myself! WTF?

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Reality Bites. said...

This was awesome! I had no idea you could talk to dell customer service online... Probably easier than having to deal with long, long and painful conversations filled with mis-communications over the phone.

Sam said...

That was awesome. Truly.

Barry Allan Scott said...

Thanks for the chuckle! :D

Andy said...

That picture of the customer service guy makes everything okay in the world.....hahaha.

Lyds said...

I... could... not.. stop.. LAUGHING! Hilarious hahhahha! Absolutely loved it!

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Outsource Call Center said...

Nice post! In my opinion, Excellent customer service must have excellent customer service skills, a clear speaking voice. Excellent customer service also must have an enthusiastic and positive attitude. I believe that treating the customer so politely makes them so comfortable with your services.