Monday, October 31

Dell Hell 2011 - the problem of telephone sales in the UK

Taking a page out of Jeff's Dell Hell post, I thought I might share one of my pet peeves with Dell - especially in the UK.

One of the things I most hate about Indian call centres is the lack of understanding of the sales process.  The call centre seems to have to operate on a strict chain of command, and the sense of nail-dragging and absolute frustration I get when I have the call centre person on the phone reading through the script or trying to not answer the question I have asked.

In this episode of trying to make a purchase through Dell phone sales, I spoke to someone weeks ago about purchasing a couple of 23" or 24" monitors.  I asked for a price quote to be EMAILED to me such that I could get authorization.  Sadly, the email did not come - because the supervisor had to call me first to tell me the quote - and then I would get the email.

Because of that delay, I could not purchase the monitors (I had to travel for a couple of weeks).

Then, as I returned to London, I decided to give it a go again.  This time, I found the email and contacted the rep again.  I told them that, in the intervening weeks, the price quote I had gotten had been improved and could they offer me a better quote.  Within an hour, I got a couple of quotes - at the prior price with the wrong color monitor.  I then resent the emails back to them requiring a rejigger of the pricing - and to have the quote re-emailed to me.  I was informed that they were going to have their supervisor call me.  Unfortunately, I normally do not answer "Private Number" phone calls - so when he called, I chose not to pick up.  I emailed again asking for a price quote in EMAIL, and again he tried to call.

A week later, I finally had the time to email again - and informed them that I needed a response as soon as possible.  And once again, they CALLED me from a Private Number, which this time, I decided to take.

When the call centre rep got on the line, she began to explain to me how they would not be able to give me a response until tomorrow when the supervisor would call me.  At that point, I was LIVID.  I mean, did they want the sale or not?  I started trying to get more details on why it was so hard to get a discount price quote emailed to me - and sadly, it took a number of directed questions ("Okay, is there a reason why you can not email me a quote before I speak to your supervisor, yes or no?") to get a shallow understanding.

But did I get an email?  Well - I am waiting since the call centre rep did say I would get the discounted price quote for the monitors by the end of the business day - but she made sure to inform me that the delivery would not be next-day.  I informed her that the other quote I got was, and I hope that they made the discount intriguing.  Let's see what happens.

Can I ask Dell a simple question?  Why do you make it so hard to purchase, instead of easy?  Just a couple of questions:

  1. Why do you have to have a supervisor call me?  Why just provide the price quote - and then follow up?
  2. Why do your call centre people always sound like they are reading from a script and not being proactive in their engagement?  Especially when I spend time with Apple and find I walk away from that experience with nothing but joy?

For all those Dell managers out there - the Dell Offer # is 91867318 and the Customer # is GB11886331.

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