Jan 182011

“Total Satisfaction Return Policy”

Total Satisfaction

I was in need of a second power adapter for my laptop, a couple of days ago I went into Best Buy and they immediately told me, that for high end laptops, I really should contact the manufacturer to get the proper adapter, as any variation in wattage/voltage could potentially ruin the motherboard.

So I called up Alienware to order a second adapter for my Alienware laptop. Alienware was purchased by Dell, so I was directed to Dell Sales to make the purchase. I gave them my information they confirmed that I had a Alienware M15X, and told them I wanted a second power adapter. They were happy to take my credit card and for a price, shipped it as fast as they could to me.

Today I received the package. I did not think much to open it up and look at it, until my son kept bugging me to open it up. The shape of the converter was much smaller, and so I thought, great, less load on my back as I travel!

However just by looking at it, I noticed that this adapter was not going to work for me:


This should be a breeze, Dell has documented taking great strides to improve customer support:

In 2006, Dell acknowledged that it had problems with customer service. Issues included call-transfers[76] of more than 45% of calls and long wait-times.Dell’s blog detailed the response: “We’re spending more than a $100 million — and a lot of blood, sweat and tears of talented people — to fix this.”[77]Later in the year, the company increased its spending on customer service to $150 million.[78]

I called up Alienware support at 6:30pm and told them my situation. Technical support listened to my story and said, that they could not help me and that they would transfer me to customer support. “okay” I thought: they would be able to resolve this situation, it was a mistake, they can send me the correct adapter and give me a return slip for this one that doesn’t work. I then talked to someone at customer service, and they stated that the adapter that was sent to me was for the second generation M15X and that I owned the first generation M15X. WHAT!”  Didn’t I call up Dell (who now owns Alienware) who confirmed with me my computer in their system and sent me the correct adapter?!

They then told me that they could not help me with exchanging this, as this order was generated in the sales department, and only they could rectify the problem. They then transferred me to sales.

Sales then listened to me explain: AGAIN the issue and then said that they could not help me, that I was talking to Dell Sales, and I needed to talk to Alienware, and gave me Alienwares phone number. I told them that the number they had just given me was the number I had called. I asked repeatedly to be transferred to this person’s manager, as I wanted to talk to someone who could help me. He then told me that his manager was on a call. “Fine, I will sit on the phone and listen to you breath until your manager gets off the phone to talk to me” He then proceeded to tell me that he gets paid based on how many calls he gets in a shift and that they manager was taking calls!

I told him, that I knew that, I had once upon a long time ago, worked in a call center myself, but I needed to talk to someone that could help me and follow this issue through to completion. He then told me that he could not help me and that the only people that could help me was customer support, and that the only thing he could do was transfer me.

He then transferred me to customer support. The time was 7:35 MST, which is 9:35 EST. By this time customer support is closed.

So I am here with a power chord that doesn’t fit my computer, that I paid handsomely to get, and NO ONE AT DELL/ALIENWARE can help me with.

Does anyone have any hints at who can help me? I don’t have 3 hours per day to dedicate to this, is there a customer advocate at Dell/Alienware that can champion an issue like this through the maze that Michael Dell has put in place to ensure no return customers (at least not me now), all in the name of Total Satisfaction?