Tis the season to strong arm customers

I had one really miserable day with Dell yesterday. I have a Dell 700m laptop which I purchased about a year ago. The little pin that registers that the laptop is closed so that it goes into hibernate, broke off. This pin is attached to a strip that also contains the power button. This strip is extremely easy to replace, so I decided to call Dell and have it replaced. When I called in and selected the parts department, I was forwarded to a call center outside the US, most likely India. It happened to be a day where they were having phone issues. After speaking with someone for a couple of minutes, the call would go silent then drop off. I called about ten times, some representatives took my number in case I was disconnected. No one ever called back however, why bother taking my number in the first place? This time I decided to use the home user option, rather than small business. This is when my frustration with their phone system became child’s play. No one in the small business section asked for my Service Tag number under the laptop, however the home section required it. Once they received it they became dumb and had no idea of the part I was describing and required me to go to tech support to get the appropriate part number for them to use. They forced me there even though the part had Dell part numbers underneath it, they said I need to go to tech support to confirm the part number. After transferring me to tech support, the representative asked me for my Service Tag number again. This is when things became out right annoying if not comical. I was informed that my warranty expired and my phone support with it as well. I told the representative that I was not in need of any tech support and that I was transfered to verify a part number for the parts department. Again she went through the routine how she could not give me that information without appropriate service contract on the laptop. I went round for round, telling her there was no way in hell I was going to shell out a couple of hundred dollars just to get the part number for a $10 part. She stood her ground until I told her I had it and wanted a supervisor immediately. She then put me on hold and magically came back within seconds with the same part number listed under the piece I was holding in my hand. Is it just me or does this seem un-ethical to anyone else. It was pretty funny that the small business group didn’t try this, but the home section did. Is it that they think that general home users are gullible and would pay this ransom to replace a part? Shame on you Dell for pulling such tactics! Its one thing to inform a customer that their warranty has expired and offer them the ability to purchase an extension. It is another to force them into doing so even when there is nothing wrong with their system, just to replace a part is just poor customer service.

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