Dell Customer Support Uses Fake "Sweepstakes" To Push Unnecessary Warranty

Illustration for article titled Dell Customer Support Uses Fake Sweepstakes To Push Unnecessary Warranty

Don't dial up Dell's slimy tech support unless you hate yourself. Laptop Magazine did some undercover sleuthing and in a simple call about a battery issue, a rep claimed that they had won a sweepstakes that entitled them to pay Dell $317 for a four-year extended warranty. What luck!

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In fact, Laptop could hardly get the rep to answer the actual question they had, because he was pushing that warranty so hard. And the rep continued his sleazy pitch even after it was turned down, arguing that he was doing the caller a favor. $317 down from $512? For a computer he might not even have four years from now? Eureka!

Dell told Laptop that this isn't an encouraged practice. But that canned response to some shady dealings isn't exactly reassuring. In two other calls to tech support, Dell reps tried to hawk premium warranties that the customer had no interest in— and in both cases these pricey warranties really had little to do with the questions being asked.

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It's really a shame that it's such a gigantic headache to make a simple phone call about a simple issue. Laptop points out that 80 percent of Dell tech support issues can be solved at support.dell.com. And that's definitely the way to go if it works for you, because their pitch men are a total hassle—and in some cases, openly dishonest. [Laptop]

Image credit: Rob Marmion/Shutterstock

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DISCUSSION

I feel really sorry for these poor guys in tech support. Being a former support rep myself I can almost guarantee that some ass-hat middle management call center director type is the real force behind this. I'm sure this poor rep is being told that if they don't sell enough extended warranties in one day they will be written up or even worse they have been written up and if they don't make numbers this month they'll be out of a job. I worked for Dell in the late 90's and the motto when I started was "Sure you'll pay more but you get what you pay for." and for the most part that was true, I had targets they would like us to meet but they never really pushed that hard. It only went downhill when they started getting into price wars with other computer manufacturers, then it changed from do your best to support the customer to, you need to get through this many customers an hour or your fired. I quit a few months later for a much better job.