Dell Pushes Warranties While Claiming Help-Desk Customers Won Phony Sweepstakes

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If you call the Dell support line, chances are you’re the lucky winner of the chance to pay $300 for Dell warranty protection. Laptop Magazine called Dell three times with a number of simple problems, including trackpad issues and software problems. Each time the CSR informed the reporter that they had won a “daily drawing to purchase a four-year extended hardware warranty for our laptop for $317.”

The CSRs also offered software warranties for hardware questions and even forced a warranty on the customer during a question on how to use the trackpad with three fingers.

When we told him that we weren’t interested in a warranty, Sherma told us that only three customers win the drawing per day, and that the normal price for such a warranty is $512. We again told him we weren’t interested, at which point Sherma said that if we didn’t want the discounted offer, he would give it to his next caller. We once again told Sherma that we didn’t want to purchase the warranty, to which he replied in a clearly agitated tone that he was only trying to save us money. He then began telling us that we were also eligible for a software warranty.

These call centers were apparently all in India and Dell responded by explaining that many of the behaviors exhibited weren’t sanctioned by the company. “Daily drawings are not a regular practice nor encouraged tactic in technical support and we have used your feedback to reinforce this with our teams. Their only priority is to resolve our customers’ issues,” they wrote.

This sort of behavior suggests a few things. First, these guys are paid commission for every warranty they sell and by gar they’re going to sell them some warranties. Second, if Dell, ostensibly no longer a PC company, is reduced to the worse tactics than Best Buy, there may be some problems internally. I’m surprised they didn’t try to upsell Monster USB cables.