Price Wars by PC Makers

There are a bunch of news stories around this morning about Dell announcing “more aggressive pricing”. Analysts are writing about potential price wars.

Dell apparently also announced a planned improvement to its customer service and support, but either the analysts just didn’t believe it or they didn’t think it was important enough to write about. But I think a serious customer service war between Dell and anyone would be such a huge benefit to the PC users of the world.


Customer service is getting worse and worse, and Dell is one of the biggest offenders. The internet is full of Dell horror stories. I don’t know about HP’s customer service or tech support, but I’ll probably find out, as I doubt I’ll ever buy another Dell. We’ve always bought Dells here (except for the guys who build their own PCs), but after the last experience, at least I’ll never buy one again. It’s too bad – I like their PCs – but I will not support any company that treats me this badly.

We’re known for our excellent customer service and tech support. I don’t expect that level from other companies, but I do expect much more than I’m getting.

I’ve seen many discussions in the various ISP groups I read about customer service and tech support. Yes, it’s expensive, and, yes, it’s time-consuming. And yes, some of the users try hard to take advantage of it, and then everyone gets frustrated. But I really can’t see that providing bad service is the answer. And since I’m in charge, my vote is the one that counts.

One thought on “Price Wars by PC Makers

  1. Kevin White

    I believe this is known as “The Last Mile”, where companies strive and talk the talk, but when it comes to really delivering where it counts, they fall flat and fall hard. “We’re the cheapest and most popular [thing] company! People will HAVE to deal with us even if talking to our support staff is like talking to a deaf rock!”

    As an example, check out http://www.consumerist.com/ , a website devoted to failures in customer service and consumer experiences.

    There’s certainly something to be said for not letting customers bend you over backwards (see the recent post on Responsibility), but there’s a flipside – do what it takes to make people like you within reason.

    I like providing support to people that is actually useful. If I had to sit in a cubicle with a timer that forced me to shuffle someone off after 5 minutes and forced me to read from a script that usually didn’t help customers, I’d be unhappy, the customers would be unhappy, and the only people happy would be those getting the sales profits in their pockets.

    I think Ellen’s right – Price wars? We already have price wars. That’s why Dell is usually ‘the’ company to get your PC from if you don’t just want to drive down to the store. Dell’s the Walmart of personal computers.

    Customer service wars? I’d like to see that. I’d be able to call up my cable company and ask a question without sitting on hold for 35 minutes straight, I could call my credit card company without playing 20 questions (“What was the name of your Mother’s first cat?”) just to find out that they think I’m defrauding myself because I changed my address on their website.

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