Ok, I just tried to purchase a Desktop from Dell, online. I had a 15% off coupon, and was eager to buy. It then turned out that my coupon was only valid from tomorrow onwards, not yet today. I opened a chat window, confident that surely, they could either quickly resolve this matter or, at the very least, tell me that, unfortunately, I have to wait a day (that would have been strange, but fine too). Neither of these two things happened. Here is the complete transcript of the chat (I only removed my address and my phone numbers, otherwise it is not edited).
Corporate America (Dell, in particular): if you want to know why your customer relationships sour, read on! Business administration professors: if you want to teach your students, how NOT to provide chat services and need a little case, read on! For the rest, I am sure you have experienced this a lot of times yourself. There is nothing new here, is there? But it is time to post these ... and to hope, that corporations wake up and treat customers with respect and with value. Hope springs eternal!
Ok, here is the chat (this happened today, April 9th, 2017), without any further comment. This is the transcript, which I received afterwards, per e-mail:
Dell Chat Session Log
Dell Chat <firstname.lastname@example.org>
4/9/2017 7:18 PM
This is an automated email sent from Dell. The following information is a log of your Dell Chat session. Please save this log for your records.
Your session ID for this incident is 79303273.
04/09/2017 05:59:45PM Session Started with Agent (TIP_Jimenez E)
04/09/2017 05:59:45PM Harald Uhlig: "1_227"
04/09/2017 05:59:50PM Agent (TIP_Jimenez E): "Welcome to Dell US Chat! My name is Liz and I will be your Home System Sales Chat Expert. I can be reached at email@example.com . How may I help you with your purchase today?"
04/09/2017 06:00:46PM Harald Uhlig: "Hi Liz! I just received a mailing from Dell, with an "Exclusive Coupon" for 15% off: coupon number is 1QQTHC2276L4XN . I chose a computer etc., typed in the coupon and it said "coupon expired". Very odd!!! I just got the advertisement a day or two ago"
04/09/2017 06:01:24PM Harald Uhlig: "Indeed, the ad said "offer s valid 04/10 - 5/8/2017" ... is it too early for me to shop?"
04/09/2017 06:02:01PM Agent (TIP_Jimenez E): "I apologize for the inconvenience. I'll be glad to help you with your concern."
04/09/2017 06:02:33PM Agent (TIP_Jimenez E): "would it be fine with you if I pull up your cart and check if I can apply the coupon code on my end?"
04/09/2017 06:02:43PM Harald Uhlig: "please do"
04/09/2017 06:04:04PM Agent (TIP_Jimenez E): "On the Cart Page, please click the “Email your Cart” so that the configuration will be sent to your email. Once you received the email, at the bottom of the email, there is a Quote ID Number, I'll be needing that for me to be able to pull up your cart :)"
04/09/2017 06:04:45PM Harald Uhlig: "ok ... let me figure out how to "email your cart". Give me a sec..."
04/09/2017 06:05:08PM Agent (TIP_Jimenez E): "Sure,thanks harald. appreciate it"
04/09/2017 06:05:39PM Harald Uhlig: "Ok, the email says: Your Quote Id : 1025722175680"
04/09/2017 06:06:31PM Agent (TIP_Jimenez E): "thansk, checking here,,,"
04/09/2017 06:08:09PM Agent (TIP_Jimenez E): "thansk for waiting, just to confirm you are looking to purchase : Inspiron 3250
6th Generation Intel® Core™ i5-6400 Processor (6M Cache, up to 3.30 GHz)
Windows 10 Home 64bit English
8GB, 1600MHz, DDR3L; up to 8GB (additional memory sold separately)
TB 7200 rpm Hard Drive
Intel® HD Graphics
Tray load DVD Drive (Reads and Writes to DVD/CD)
1 Year Ltd Hware Warranty: Mail-in; Customer supplies box, Dell pays shipping
Microsoft Office Home and Student 2016
McAfee LiveSafe 12 Month Subscription
04/09/2017 06:08:12PM Agent (TIP_Jimenez E): "am i correcct ?"
04/09/2017 06:09:11PM Harald Uhlig: "Yes ... I guess, the Adobe Acrobat Standard includes both the software to create .pdf as well as Premiere Elements and Photoshop Elements?"
04/09/2017 06:10:14PM Agent (TIP_Jimenez E): "oh yes Adobe® Photoshop Elements & Adobe Premiere Elements is also included in your order sorry missed that part"
04/09/2017 06:10:20PM Agent (TIP_Jimenez E): "Allow me to create a short Dell customer profile for you so that I can save all the items we will be discussing today under your name and send you a quote with the details of the system, accurate prices and estimated delivery date via email. I'll be need"
ing your name, billing-shipping address and phone number and email address please.
04/09/2017 06:10:25PM Harald Uhlig: "Excellent."
04/09/2017 06:11:10PM Harald Uhlig: "Harald Uhlig, [ ... ADDRESS AND PHONE NUMBERS HAVE BEEN DELETED, FOR THIS POST ... ] . How much is it after the coupon?"
04/09/2017 06:12:01PM Agent (TIP_Jimenez E): "I will still check for the coupon harald. One moment please"
04/09/2017 06:12:10PM Agent (TIP_Jimenez E): "oh btw ou may qualify for discounts through an eligible employer, if you are a student (or buying for a student), associated with the military, or affiliated with an association. Do any of these apply to you?"
04/09/2017 06:12:55PM Harald Uhlig: "I am faculty at the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois. Does that help?"
04/09/2017 06:13:50PM Agent (TIP_Jimenez E): "yes Thanks! one moment please"
04/09/2017 06:15:55PM Agent (TIP_Jimenez E): "thansk for waiting, may I ask how much is the price on your end before taxes?"
04/09/2017 06:16:46PM Harald Uhlig: "The website gave me the price $897.97 before any coupons were applied (and presumably before any taxes, since I hadn't yet fully checked out)"
04/09/2017 06:17:22PM Agent (TIP_Jimenez E): "okay hold on please"
04/09/2017 06:22:02PM Agent (TIP_Jimenez E): "thansk for waiting, are you sure the coupon code is 1QQTHC2276L4XN ? can you please double check if eveyr charachter is correct please?"
04/09/2017 06:24:19PM Harald Uhlig: "That's the one."
04/09/2017 06:25:41PM Agent (TIP_Jimenez E): "thank you for verifying. Hold on please"
04/09/2017 06:29:45PM Agent (TIP_Jimenez E): "thanks for waiting, as per checking here, the coupon code you are looking at is only applicable for electronics and Accessories meaning it can only be applied for computer parts like monitors, printers, etc. but no worries, what I can do here is help you"
get the best deal here and make sure I'll include all possible savings. Sounds good?
04/09/2017 06:31:03PM Harald Uhlig: "Ok, let's see what comes out of that. The flyer certainly said "15% OFF PCs and Dell Electronics" ... I assume that wasn't meant to deceive customers like me?"
04/09/2017 06:31:33PM Harald Uhlig: "I am ordering a PC after all. The 15% should be good for that."
04/09/2017 06:32:27PM Agent (TIP_Jimenez E): "oh I perfectly understand, do you mind to take a screenshot of the flyer you have and attach the photo here so I can check accurately please?"
04/09/2017 06:33:23PM Harald Uhlig: "Oh my!!! This was a flyer that Dell sent. You seem not to trust me, the customer? I am not sure how to think about that ..."
04/09/2017 06:33:51PM Harald Uhlig: "What is your e-mail? I never thought I had to jump through THAT many hoops."
04/09/2017 06:35:18PM Harald Uhlig: "It is a nice Sunday afternoon, I wanted to order a Dell PC and move on to other things in life ... this is taking MUCH longer than anticipated. This feels like filing taxes, going to the dentist .... I really really hope this is worth it. Your e-mail is"
04/09/2017 06:37:39PM Agent (TIP_Jimenez E): "Not that I dont trust you harald. please dont feel that way. I hope you understand that we do not have the access on all the flyer and emails that Dell has to give all of our customers. I just need a screenshot so I can verify and check further here. I"
dont intend to offend you, Sorry harald. I do not havea direct email Harald, but you can email me through firstname.lastname@example.org, my manager also have access through this email. I have already checked for the best deal here as well, and I can gi
04/09/2017 06:41:40PM Harald Uhlig: "Ok, I just sent it. It does come at a price, though. This is NOT how one treats a valued customer. And this has been taking a LOT of very valuable time on my side. So, unless I get a terrific deal now, there will be one or more tweets that I will send"
out, following this conversation. Not threating ... but I am sure others would like to know how it is like shopping with Dell, when they say "we want you back".
04/09/2017 06:43:58PM Agent (TIP_Jimenez E): "Im really sorry for the inconvenience,. chec king the email here"
04/09/2017 06:45:13PM Agent (TIP_Jimenez E): "Thansk for waiting, unfortunately, the email you have sent has a broken file, can you please resend it agaain and make sure the file was attached ?"
04/09/2017 06:46:37PM Harald Uhlig: "It looked fine on my end in the "sent" folder ... sigh ... sure, whatever, let me try to send a smaller version of the photos."
04/09/2017 06:47:33PM Agent (TIP_Jimenez E): "Really sorry for the hassle here. Please extend your patience as I will do my very best here to help you out with this."
04/09/2017 06:48:25PM Harald Uhlig: "I just sent it again ... smaller files this time. My patience is really running thin now. Do you want to help or do you not?"
04/09/2017 06:49:26PM Harald Uhlig: "I will also probably tweet, that Dell is not capable of receiving e-mails ... impressive for a tech company? I don't think so."
04/09/2017 06:50:23PM Agent (TIP_Jimenez E): "harald, I am doing the best I can here. Hold on as I am checking the email."
04/09/2017 06:51:12PM Harald Uhlig: "I am not blaming you. I am blaming Dell, obviously. I realize you are just working for a salary, following instructions ... what else can you do? But these instructions and this company ... that's something else."
04/09/2017 06:55:32PM Harald Uhlig: "We are nearing the one-hour mark. Do you have a good deal for me or do you want me to tweet?"
04/09/2017 06:56:10PM Agent (TIP_Jimenez E): "I understand how frustrating this may be Harald. And I really do appreciate the patience and understanding you are giving me. I am actually verifying this with my manager as well. And as per checking the coupon code is actually 10%. and as per your email"
, we can notstill access the file, it is still broken.
04/09/2017 06:56:28PM Agent (TIP_Jimenez E): "Since the file is still broken, we have verified the coupon code instead which is 10% only."
04/09/2017 06:56:39PM Agent (TIP_Jimenez E): "the best price we can offer you is $815.37 before taxes."
04/09/2017 06:56:58PM Harald Uhlig: "No, it is not. The coupon is 15 percent."
04/09/2017 06:57:29PM Harald Uhlig: "You cannot read my e-mail? What do you mean, "broken"?"
04/09/2017 06:57:32PM Agent (TIP_Jimenez E): "The email you are sending is broken, can you screen shot the flyer instead and attach it here? You can attach a photo or file here harald."
04/09/2017 06:57:36PM Harald Uhlig: "The -email is perfectly fine at my end?"
04/09/2017 06:58:04PM Agent (TIP_Jimenez E): "I can see you email's subject uis "Again", correct ? but when we open it, the file is broken,"
04/09/2017 06:58:16PM Agent (TIP_Jimenez E): "so sending a picture here or a file would be better"
04/09/2017 07:00:14PM Harald Uhlig: "I clicked on the funny paper clip icon, found the two pictures to upload and uploaded them. It says "uploaded files" in my little side window. Did you get them?"
04/09/2017 07:00:33PM Harald Uhlig: "I uploaded the small versions, but if you need the large versions, let me know."
04/09/2017 07:00:52PM Harald Uhlig: "We are now beyond 1hr for the chat."
04/09/2017 07:03:40PM Agent (TIP_Jimenez E): "sorry for teh long hold I have reviewed the photo, at the bottom part of the page, wwhat does it say? the photo is a bitblurry, sorry"
04/09/2017 07:05:28PM Harald Uhlig: "The bottom of the photo clearly says "15% off PCs and Dell Electronics" ... I can read it WITHOUT having to enlarge this. Not blurry ... are you pulling my leg? Ok, I attach the larger ones ... are you trying to just annoy me or are you serious?"
04/09/2017 07:07:41PM Harald Uhlig: "I uploaded now the larger versions ... can you read them now?"
04/09/2017 07:07:57PM Agent (TIP_Jimenez E): "No Im trying to understand why the coupon code is not applying. The bottom part I am referring to is the date at the bottom part of the page. That part is really blurry. and as I try to read it, It says this is valid 04/10 -5/8 if im not mistaken ?"
04/09/2017 07:08:39PM Agent (TIP_Jimenez E): "okay read it clearly now."
04/09/2017 07:08:45PM Harald Uhlig: "I said so in the first 3 minutes of this conversation. Check what I wrote at 6:00:41 pm, more than an hour ago."
04/09/2017 07:09:03PM Harald Uhlig: "You said you can help!! What are we, what are you doing here, for more than 60 minutes?"
04/09/2017 07:09:24PM Harald Uhlig: "This conversation will be posted on Facebook."
04/09/2017 07:11:32PM Harald Uhlig: "Just posted it."
04/09/2017 07:12:02PM Agent (TIP_Jimenez E): "the coupon code is valid for selected systems adn electronics and accessories only and it will be valid 04/09/2017. and sincey ou are looking for the best deal available now,. the best deal is $815.37 before taxes."
04/09/2017 07:13:15PM Agent (TIP_Jimenez E): "Really sorry for the confusion and hassle thsi may cause you Harald. I hope you understand that I am maximizing my options here to help you out."
04/09/2017 07:13:41PM Harald Uhlig: "Well, either Dell tried its very best to mislead me as a customer or you did your very best to mislead me by offering your help, after I clearly described the issue in the first three minutes of this chat. Amazing. This will go out to the world. I wish"
you all the very best.
04/09/2017 07:14:41PM Agent (TIP_Jimenez E): "I totally understand what you are feeling right now and I really do apologize for the inconveneince."
04/09/2017 07:14:57PM Agent (TIP_Jimenez E): "As of the moment I do not have the specific reason as to why the coupon is not applying"
04/09/2017 07:15:01PM Agent (TIP_Jimenez E): "But if you do not mind"
04/09/2017 07:15:09PM Agent (TIP_Jimenez E): "I would like to further check my options."
04/09/2017 07:15:31PM Agent (TIP_Jimenez E): "I cannot guarantee that it will be applied after I check again but let me see what I can do."
04/09/2017 07:15:45PM Agent (TIP_Jimenez E): "I will speak with our support team about this matter."
04/09/2017 07:15:55PM Agent (TIP_Jimenez E): "Can I set up a call for you tomorrow to do a follow up?"
04/09/2017 07:16:26PM Harald Uhlig: "This chat probably has been the biggest turn-off for buying from a company, that I ever experienced ... and I have experienced a lot. This will be my last message. If you or others at Dell think there still is a good deal for me here somewhere, you have"
my e-mail and you are welcome to e-mail that to me. Time is running out very quickly, obviously. I do not wish a call or a chat: email suffices. Give me a good deal, and we are on. Otherwise, I doubt I will ever shop at Dell again. I wish you the bes
04/09/2017 07:17:18PM Harald Uhlig: "... I would like a copy of this chat, though."
04/09/2017 07:17:25PM Agent (TIP_Jimenez E): "Sure. That would work. Can you give me at least 24 hours to check? The other members of our support team are not available this time around."
04/09/2017 07:17:38PM Agent (TIP_Jimenez E): "No worries. You will receive one once our chat session ends."
04/09/2017 07:17:42PM Agent (TIP_Jimenez E): "That's automatic."
04/09/2017 07:18:00PM Harald Uhlig: "24 hours it is. Great, looking forward to the e-mail copy. Bye."
04/09/2017 07:18:15PM Session Ended
If you require further assistance, please visit us at support.dell.com