Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Talking Heads Talking Crap@Dell.com

So how does it feel to be the mouthpiece for a pack of bullshitters?

Ask former White House press secretary Scott McClellan, who came out with a book on how he was duped and deceived by the White House into telling all sorts of half truths and outright lies.

If you have ever resided in DellHell, you might wonder what sort of book the talking heads at Dell would come out with once they decide they have had enough of spewing out endless crap about what a great company Dell is...

Hey guys (and girls one presumes) like McClellan, you are either stupid or oblivious to the fact that everyone is pretty much on to you.

A great piece came out today at CNN which busts Dell for the claims they are making in regards to the greening of Dell.

Dell would like you to believe they are making great strides to clean up the mess their products leave in the world. The truth is far removed from the lofty claims we have been hearing out of Round Rock.

Way to go Dell. Proving to the world yet again that not only do you engage in bad business practices, you also distort the truth to the point where no one with any serious mind will take you at your word!

My advice to the talking heads at Dell, Quit! You are embarrassing yourself, your families and your profession.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

News Flash - Dell are still a bunch of Losers

Black Friday, the benchmark sales weekend in the U.S. has confirmed that despite the endless promises coming out of Round Rock that Dell continues to lose ground in the retail battle against rivals HP, being outsold 5 to 1 in retail sales over the 3 day weekend.

Doug Reid, an analyst with Thomas Weisel, who tracked sales at Best Buy stores over the weekend had this to say...

"The only negative comments in our survey with respect to brand were aimed at Dell, with survey respondents noting potential quality issues."
End Quote

So much for Micheal Dells' plan to aggressively pursue retail partnerships, Micheal, here is the news flash... no one wants your crap any more....

Reports from Bloomberg.com tell the sad tale, which comes as no surprise to anyone residing in Dell Hell. Why would anyone buy crap products from a crap company, I have often said that the business model of US corporations is irrevocably broken and Dell is a classic example. Unrelenting focus on quarterly results rather than long term health, have driven dell downwards, helped along by abysmal customer service and shenanigans which continue to boggle the mind. I don't even bother going to Direct2Dell anymore to hear the blather and B.S. spewing forth from the talking heads. That guy who runs the show there must have no personal shame. "Grandpa, what did you do during the computer wars?" "Well, I wrote propaganda for a manufacturer who couldn't shoot straight"

Way to go talking heads!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Things Going to Hell@Dell.com

I can almost write these things in my sleep by now, Dell just keeps churning out crap service, crap products and crap excuses, it's getting way to easy to slag these miscreants.

Latest news from Dell is "voluntary" vacations... Dell is hoping that staff will take unpaid leave in the coming months to ease the strain on poor old Micheal Dell and the shareholders who for years have been bleeding Dell dry.

So, Christmas coming, stock markets in disarray and tough times on the homefront and Dell wants people to give up a week of pay??? Way to go Dell!

Word on the street is Dell is only making $33,000 per employee, as compared to HP which employees twice as many people as Dell can get $42,000 net per employee and Apple a staggering $160,000 per employee despite being a quarter the size of Dell.

Does anyone see a disconnect between those figures and Micheal Dells' endless promises to turn Dell around... seems it is truly "Freedom from Business as Usual" at Dell. There is no freedom from Dell Hell on the horizon.

There WAS an unusual turn around at Dell however, it would seem that the personal music player Dell was supposedly interested in launching is now back on the shelf, you may recall the original announcements were met with derision, as reported in one of my earlier blogs.

Dell stock was at a very low $11 and change today, and it will be interesting to hear how the Round Rock cowboys round up the numbers on THAT!

And before I can even publish this blog, Dells' woes continue, the stock is dropping like an anvil on a malfunctioning parachute... how does $10.30 sound? Tech Trader Daily ran this report on their blog..

Merrill Lynch analyst Jeff Fidacaro this morning lowered his rating on Dell (DELL) to Neutral from Buy, slicing his target on the stock to $13 from $22.

“While Dell’s shares have been under pressure and valuation looks attractive…we are downgrading Dell…given our view of a sharp downturn in the PC market (especially in desktops), and a lack of catalysts to either reignite growth or gain share in the next few quarters,”

And if that isn't enough to convince you to steer clear of Dell, consider that the Cheif Technology Officer has resigned and the overseas market has also figured out that Dell is on its' inevitable slide in to oblivion... as observed at the stalwart UK newspaper "The Guardian".

"This is a businesss model that is going nowhere..." is probably the key phrase in a damning article.

So what have we learned today? It is simply this "Things are STILL going to hell@Dell.com" and anyone who buys a Dell product, with all the info out there saying they should do otherwise, is going straight to Dell Hell. No amount of blather from the talking heads at Direct2Dell or from Micheal Dell himself is changing anything anytime soon!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Mini Dell Hell, a Touchy Feely Thing, and Customer Service at it's Worst!

Well, seems every time Dell comes out with something lately, it is followed by an announcement on the dell company website, telling purchasers exactly why their product is faulty.

Batteries burning, video cards melting, products not available until hell freezes over (dellhell one would presume), or some version of all of the above.

Latest case in point is the new Dell Inspiron Mini9 computers, Dell was late getting to market with these new machines, after the appearance of similar machines from their main rivals, and now it turns out that if you ordered the Ubuntu version they are improperly formatted, leaving you with only 4 gb instead of the 8 or 16 you should have!

Of course Dell provides a solution, but that is kind of like Ford selling you a car, it is broken when you take delivery, and then they tell you to fix it yourself! Makes you wonder doesn't it?

On the Minis running XP the problem is similar to many other launches of dell brands, they state on the website that the computer is ready to be built and neglect to tell you that although it might be ready to be built today, it won't be... computers ordered as recently as Oct 15 are not going to get built until at least November 12.

Way to go Dell!

In a departure from the norm, the notorious Inspiron line, full of turkeys like the Mini9, and subject to numerous lawsuits, is having to share the limelight, this time with the Latitude line of tablet pc's. Seven months after launch the tablets "multi touch screen" still doesn't perform as advertised. Seems the wireless card also quits working at random moments.... Imagine trying to wade through customer support for this one! Dell Hell indeed!

Double Way to go Dell!

And last but not least, this nightmare from a Dell Customer which I reprint here in it's entirety simply because
a.) It is typical of Dell
B.) A summary of this horror show doesn't do it justice


Dell renegs on promised discount, customer charges
George Gombossy
on October 19, 2008 5:51 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

I would like your help resolving an issue that I'm having with Dell computers.

Back in November, 2006, I contacted Dell Tech Support for assistance in installing more memory on my Dell computer.

The tech sounded confused at as I was following his instructions, my computer started smoking and making flashing lights. He bounced me around for 14 hours (I'm serious) to various people all over the world.

When I asked if I could speak to Dell HQ in Texas, I was told that Dell didn't have anyone in the US. I finally got someone who admitted that I was given incorrect instructions and it fried my motherboard. I had a Dell warranty at the time, but was told it would take a week for service. Luckily my brother-in-law is a Dell-certified technician for his company and Dell authorized him to service it and would send me $100 to pay him.
After a few months of no check, I contacted Dell, who had no record of my call. I looked up their HQ's phone number online and called Michael Dell himself (actually his secretary). I was told the Mr. Dell doesn't take calls. I was able to get his personal fax and faxed him my complaint.

I received a call from Dell Customer Care immediately, got my check overnighted, and was promised 15% off my next purchase (at the bottom is a copy of that email). Well, I placed an order online today, emailed the Dell Customer Care person, and got my email returned undeliverable.

Phone calls to Dell today keep getting me bounced around to Tech Support and Sales. No one can assist me because they said that they can't look up employees in the US.

I'm at a loss. The only reason I went with Dell again is for this discount.

Yours truly,
Tony Cane

----- Original Message -----
From: Connie_Muegge@Dell.com
To: bigtcane@comcast.net
Sent: Thursday, January 11, 2007 11:22 AM
Subject: Cust # 58097209

Good Morning again: Here is my promised e-mail. I will honor a 15% discount on a new system should you decided to go with Dell again. Once you have your order set up contact me with an order number and once it ships I will write the credit. I am about to set up the MCR to send out you r 100.00 check. Again I am very sorry for your experience. Connie

Connie Muegge
Dell Inc.
Executive Support
Care Resolution Center
Americas HSB Care
ext 72-68324


Triple Way to Go Dell!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Dell Hell - By the Numbers 11

20 - approx $ cost of the of the 4.9 million shares Michael Dell bought in early September

15 - approx $ cost of dell shares today

5 - The number of Dumbest stock moves of the week according to Motley Fool, of which Dell is No. 1, and while not technically a "stock move" a dell marketing scheme was silly enough to be called "corporate buffoonery". Oh, well, good to be number one at something! Way to Go Dell Marketing!

388436 - Number of views of the youtube parody "My PC is on Fire" (September 30)

230 - approx number of views per day of youtube parody "My PC is on Fire" since May

2 - Number of my favorite quotes I will end with

Michael Dell speaking to Business Week in July
"We are going to have a big second half..."

Michael Dell speaking to Business Week in July
“These large financial institutions, generally speaking, they’re not going away...”

Friday, September 19, 2008

Dell Dives, Poor Decisions, Poor Results

So the quarterlies are out and Michael Dell will have to do some fast talking in coming months if he hopes to pull Dell out of the ever thickening quagmire he found it in a few short years ago, when he retook the reigns.

The ever excellent Times of London lead with "Dell shares dive to seven-year low after warning of softening demand"

A ten percent share drop, and a SEVEN YEAR record low share price promptly followed the release of the news that Dell was coping poorly in a faltering economy... Shares have fallen at Dell by over %40 this year, DESPITE a $3 Billion set of cutbacks, including the loss of over 8000 jobs and the closure of factories across the globe... Way to go Michael Dell!

Michaels wizardry lead to Dell slashing prices to increase market share, eyes fixated on #1 HP. Trouble was that the slashing lead to so little profit per machine sold as to make the whole project pointless.

Forbes came close to calling Dell a pack of liars when they ran an article on September 16 which quoted Dell as saying further softening in technology spending was behind the loss, while pointing out that investors seem to think the problem lies with Dell itself! Certainly Dells competitors didn't suffer from any softening.

In a report today, bloggers at CNBC were having a laugh over Hewlett Packards timely series of ads aimed squarly at and hijacking the "Dude" ads from Dell itself... the catch phrase of the ad is "Dude your dell died 5 hours ago". The CNBC bloggers even went so far as to ask if Dell is one foot in the grave already. Ouch indeed!

Anyway, serves the bastards at Dell right... as we have seen on Wall St. the American business model is well and truly broken and the generation of "best and brightest" who brought us to this point are among the friends and peers of Michael Dell. To be the "best and brightest" it is not enough to have good ideas which make tons of money, you also need integrity. Dell has not been honest with its customers for some time judging by the continuing howl from Dell Hell, now nicely echoed by the howls of the shareholders!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My Nomination for Useless Blog of the Year

Well, I thought I had it sewn up in the catagory of "Useless Blog of the Year" until I went along to good old Direct2Dell.com to check out the latest from Dells' Talking Heads.

Perhaps inspired by the recent Olympic Games, Dell has recently been putting on a display of customer service that is astounding observers and customers alike. Last year at this time the crisis was selling laptops to students, knowing they were needed for the school year and also knowing they couldn't possibly deliver them on time. This year it is melting graphics hardware.

Check out the Dell company blog site dealing with the Nvidia meltdowns and for a laugh wade through the thousands of comments from unhappy, angry customers. Dells' resident talking head makes his contribution to the discussion in two ways 1. Announcing the Party Line 2. Responding to comments to his blog posting. And for those two reasons I think Dell wins the useless blog award hands down.

These aren't blogs, they are the party line, and the concept of Dell communicating with customers is a laugh. The chief blogger, in both the blog and his responses to comments, simply states the party line and recycles techie info. He does not respond ONCE to a unhappy customers comments. So what is the point?

Now that is what dell does so well in regards customer service, chart a new course and then ignore the fact that the ship isn't turning and continue full steam ahead on to the rocks...

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Crux of the Biscuit...

A great analysis of the current crisis facing Nvidia, maker of a faulty GPU found in many Dell Inspiron computers (and a host of other laptops from other computer manufacturers) can be found in a great article by Charlie Demerjian.

In any case, since Dell came out with a BIOS that 'fixes' the non-existent problem almost two weeks before the disclosure in the Nvidia 8-K on July 2. They knew HP laptops were bad, they knew Dells were bad, and we know the chips are all bad, but NV keeps stonewalling and spinning very different stories to analysts. They haven't mentioned Apple and Asus yet, but if you look at their forums, they both seem to have a high rate of early Nvidia GPU related failures.

That brings us to the next problem, namely full and fair disclosure. Dell and HP know the extent of this, as presumably do other OEMs. Is it collusion when they do not disclose an event likely to be material to both them and Nvidia? Not a peep from Apple and the others yet though. Apple never admits to even crippling failures of its products, it might damage its halo. When the first lawsuit hits, the documentation of who knew what, when is going to be REALLY interesting.

So my point of blogging this is simple... is this further proof of Dell (and the American Business Model) being broken and corrupt? Is it more "Freedom From Business as Usual"?

Presumably Dell was aware of the problem some time prior to the bios fix they announced and if they continued to sell computers with this chipset after that date, when they knew it was faulty, it would be a sad indictment of Dells' business practices.

Even the "fix" of the bios is a joke, it doesn't fix anything it just makes the fan run more... Way to Go Dell!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Another Class Action Lawsuit - Dell Hell Payback

I missed this one a few weeks ago, but it seems that Dell has been caught up in yet another Class Action, this time in the State of Illinois

Seems Dell was offering rebates to consumers and then refusing to pay them! Dell insisted it was immune from legal recourse because of a clause in the customer contract that expressly forbids the consumer from pursuing legal action!

Judges rightly held that this clause was unacceptable in Business in the State of Illinois. A point also upheld in New Mexico in a similar case and reported on in the Wall Steet Journal.

Hey, suits in Round Rock, here is some free advice... if you want your children to grow in to productive, HONEST citizens, you might try setting a better example. Do what is right and stop selling off your integrity in return for share price.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Freedom from Business as Usual??

I saw a youtube still while looking over the latest Dell news and the image behind the speaker was a slogan "Freedom from Business as Usual" which is totally ironic... way to go Dell.

As far as most consumers can see, it is "business as usual" at Dell, in other words, good luck with your computer should it fail... "Freedom from Business as Usual" would be a relief but is highly unlikely given that it has been a few years now since Michael Dell retook the helm and set about steadying the sinking ship... Perhaps he should focus on Dell instead of Newcastle.

The real issue this week though is harder to find... it involves the new line of laptops which promise 19 hours of use for the chronically connected or "digital nomads" as Dell refers to them. Problem is the battery only lasts 10 hrs... to get the full 19 hours you need an add on that attaches to the laptop! Dell doesn't even tell you that in the press release except in the "fine print" which never seems to make it in to the consumer conscience. something most companies already understand!

A reasoned explanation of battery life as it applies to Dell products can be found here, now when it comes to truth, who should I believe? Dell, who are on record for fraud and many other serious examples of consumer abuse, or the guy who wrote the battery article, who as far as I know is just a nerd with no axe to grind?

Real busy? Always using your laptop on the go? Need 19 hours of battery life?

Buy a spare battery.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Teacher, Leave Those Dells Alone...

Dell continues to lose ground in sales to its rivals, this time it is those rebels in Cupertino, the Apple gang, that have stolen a slice of Dells' pie.

Investors.com ran a great article on the shift in purchasing by Teachers at institutions across America. The results of the study will be depressing news in the boardroom in Round Rock.

Now why would teachers shift to other brands, particularly to a Mac? Dell will likely say privately that it is a reflection of customer dis-satisfaction with Vista in particular and Windows in general... and that might well be part of the problem, but more likely it is the case that Dell has been feeling the "effect" part of Cause and Effect.

Further effect may be felt in the very near future if Apple goes ahead with its expected plan to lower prices on some notebooks in coming weeks. This would be a declaration of war on the PC makers who have been somewhat insulated by the higher pricing of Apple products until now.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Dubious Decisions@dell.com

The folks with the inside track on how these things work are scratching their heads this morning over a bizarre announcement from Dell that they are re-entering the personal music player business.

Wired had this to say, "...Three cheers for cockeyed optimism".

Motley Fool lead off with "That's Just Dumb, Dell".

Tech Digest
had this to say "So what will it be? An iTunes for the common man? Or an even lower-profile repeat of Zune? My farm is currently riding on the latter".

According to Michael Dell they are looking to expand in to a "broad range of consumer markets".

Good luck with that, after the fiasco with colored notebooks, burning notebooks, melting notebooks, along with several lawsuits and class action suits, and both a financial and managerial crisis to boot, it would seem that Dell is burning every possible bridge to the broader consumer market there is.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Same Sh*# Different Day@dell.com

A new report today is telling a very familiar story... yet more Dell meltdowns, and it's customers and overheated computers again, rather than the boardroom or the stock.

My own (or rather, my daughters') problem with her Inspiron 9100 was a failed motherboard from overheating, caused no doubt by a faulty design which called for a 3.2 ghz desktop chip in a notebook! Now, I am no expert on the exact problem and am only going on what Dell told me, if I understand them right! They were very kind to offer me 10% off on a refurbished motherboard! Only about $700 installed... on top of the nearly $3000 dollars for the less than 3 year old computer!

And now it appears that a similar problem has cropped up with many dell notebooks and it is traced to an overheating video card... Dell wants to fix it by a new bios which instructs the fan to run at a lower speed, but more often, to assist in cooling. Customers rightly want a replacement card that does not have the current issues with heat! Anyone whose computer has already melted and out of warranty is out of luck.

So the talking heads at direct2dell are no doubt putting a serious spin on this and if you need a good laugh, head on over there and see what they have to say... but then do yourself a favor and follow up with real consumers like us, who are in dellhell... as sad as it all seems folks, we are NOT making this stuff up!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Dell beaten by Acer in Europe, about to get beat up in Court.

Dell has just been hit with another blow, it's sales are static in Europe while its competitors keep getting bigger. With overall sales of PC's in Europe up 24% and a staggering 53% for notebooks, the Dell boardroom is likely to be a lively place in the next little while... wonder if it has anything to do with customers who have heard the news of Dell knowingly selling laptops in Europe with US keyboards?

Woes in the boardroom continue with a new class action lawsuit just certified by the courts and laid by Dell employees who claim they were underpaid by Dell. Way to go, Dell!

This is like watching a slow train wreck while the Conductor tells everyone to relax, that everything is fine!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Dell Hell - By the Numbers 10

In my last post I stated that if just %1 of the people we tell about our time in Dell Hell never purchased a dell product as a result, I would feel we had gotten our money out of Dell...

But exactly how much is that %1 going to cost Dell in the end?

I tried this once before and didn't get too far... but if I stick to a simple scenario we can get a fair idea. Simple means if we don't know the figure we can just make a fair estimate...

Lets' start with how many people I actually tell our story to, and then figure out what the average person might purchase in their lifetime.

I am going to use a nice round figure of 10,000 people who will have heard our story before we are done. One percent of 10,000 is 100.

So we now have 100 people who will not buy a Dell product because of our efforts.

Now, if the average person replaces a computer every 3 years and assigning a average age of 30 to each person, then they would buy 3 products per decade for the next 4 decades which is 12 products. Lets throw in one peripheral product per decade too, Dell is big on selling you other things besides a computer.

So we have 16 products per person x 100 persons = 1600 products

So lets assign an average of $1200 per product and now we are getting somewhere...

Total cost to Dell for ripping off my daughter is about $1,900,000.00

BUT for each of those persons who don't buy a Dell, let's be fair and figure that they too will divert at least one other customer from Dell... so now the figure doubles itself...

Total cost to Dell for ripping of my daughter is now $3,800,000.00

Makes me feel better now that I have an idea of what my efforts here are worth!!

Dell have behaved atrociously in their dealings with my daughter and it was all so simple to begin with... Do the right thing, replace the faulty computer and win your customer over... or, lie, stonewall, and give them the run around and it will cost you... Now we know how much!

10,000 - Number of people I will reach with my efforts to alert the public to Dells' business practices.

1 - Percent of people we reach who will not buy Dell products.

1600 - Number of product sales lost by Dell as a result of our efforts as described above

1200 - Average cost of individual product sales lost.

1,900,000 - Approximate Dollars lost by Dell as a direct result of our efforts.

3,800,000 - Dollars it cost Dell if you accept that each of the 100 lost customers also tells a friend.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Off to Australia, Mac in Hand!

The raison d'etre of this blog is now on her way to a years' worth of adventure in Fiji and Australia... Bon Voyage kiddo! The day before she left she completed her private pilots license flight exam and is now a pilot.

Several years ago she saved all her money working part time while attending school so that she could buy herself a laptop. But she didn't want just any laptop, she wanted "the best". And sadly for her, with my encouragement, she choose a Dell Inspiron 9100. More horsepower than a Ferrari, the size of a Kenworth truck, and the cooling system of a 1963 Volkswagen...

Shortly after the warranty expired it suffered a meltdown and being out of warranty Dell offered to sell her a $700 refurbished motherboard! You can trawl up the rest of the sad story elsewhere in cyberspace...

Anyway, my daughter is off to Australia, newly minted pilot wings on her coat and a Mac in her computer bag. And between her and I, we are still kicking Dell in the balls every chance we get, and it feels good! If you are stuck in Dell Hell, I highly recommend it... Let the world know what sort of company Dell really is!

Of the thousands of people we have now told our story to, and the thousands more to come, if even 1% never buy a dell as a result, I will feel we have gotten our monies worth out of Dell.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Guilty, Guilty, Guilty... FraudandFalseAdvertising@dell.com

Well, no big surprise to most of us who reside here in dellhell.

Dell was found guilty of Fraud and False Advertisingin New York yesterday and it will have major repercussions for Dell. The loss of credibility among consumers and the potential damages and fines which they are facing are not going to be easy to explain on the direct2dell site or in the shareholder meetings to come.

Just to repeat the obvious, here is a quote from the Judge.

"Dell has engaged in repeated misleading, deceptive and unlawful business conduct, including false and deceptive advertising of financing promotions and the terms of warranties, fraudulent, misleading and deceptive practices in credit financing and failure to provide warranty service and rebates."

Dell claims it is only a small percentage of consumers who complained! Oh, well I guess that makes it okay then, silly me.