July 8, 2004 9:17 AM PDT

Dell to open new sales facility

Dell plans to add hundreds of new salespeople at a new call center slated to open in Oklahoma City this fall.

The center, which Dell hopes will take its first call in early September, will initially house 250 salespeople and managers, hired from in and around Oklahoma City. Over time it could hold as many as 500 employees, a Dell representative said. The center's main mission will be to take orders from small and medium-size businesses.

The move reflects Dell's recent growth, the company said in a statement Wednesday. Dell has risen to become the largest PC maker in the world. In the first quarter, for example, Dell out-shipped second-place Hewlett-Packard by over 1 million computers, shipping 7.7 million machines to HP's 6.4 million, according to IDC.

But the rapid pace of Dell's growth has put some strain on its systems, leading to some customer complaints about lackluster service, including problems with sales and order shipments. Other customers say they've been less satisfied with Dell's technical support than in the past. Dell has been working to address those complaints in a number of ways, the company has said, one of which has been adding personnel.

Additionally, Dell's plans show that the company recognizes the importance of the market for small and medium-size businesses. Although individual businesses in the category don't buy as many PCs each as their Fortune 1000 counterparts, small and medium-size businesses as a whole represent a big opportunity for companies such as Dell. The Round Rock, Texas, PC maker, along with rivals such as Gateway, Hewlett-Packard and IBM, offers a variety of products and services directed at small and medium-size businesses, and these companies are seeking to win more of those customers.

Meanwhile, despite the new center's focus on sales, there's at least some possibility that Dell might use the office to serve other business needs in the future, a company representative said.

"We'll evaluate and measure the business needs," she said, adding though that it's "too early to commit to future plans."

The Oklahoma City office, which will start at a temporary location and move later to a permanent facility, joins several other Dell sales and support hubs. They include a center at Dell's headquarters in Round Rock, Texas, as well as facilities in Waco, Texas; Nashville, Tenn.; Roseburg, Ore.; and Twin Falls, Idaho.

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dell and the punjabees
my desktop dell has a power supply fan thats about to shred itself. Its
still under warranty and all I want them to simply send me a new supply and
I will put it in. I call the hell hole of dell support and here is the
transcript...

edquigman: im going to kill michael dell
edquigman: the hold music is interupted by a voice saying "dell is
experiencing unusually high hold times due to a recently released worm. and
also tech support is run by indians"
edquigman: ******* ******* INDIANS
edquigman: Punjabbe answers and asks AGAIN for the service code and a bunch
of personal info. I refuse to divulge my email address
edquigman: punjabbe asked me if im sure its the fan making the noise and not
the system. he just told me to turn off the computer.
edquigman: Im sure its the power supply and of course its going to stop
making the ********* sound if I turn it off. Its not like its bagpipe
players in the courtyard Im hearing confusing that with the sounds of a fan
about to eat itself.
edquigman: ok, punjabbe says "we have to replace the entire computer..."
***?????? I said "just send me a new power supply ill put it in..."
edquigman: i told him, "hold on a minute sport, i cant understand a *******
thing you are saying. do you have anyone there that has a firm command of
the english language?" ... Punjabbee says "ok sir so you want to talk to an
American" ... "you ********* right I do"
edquigman: now, im on eternal hold again. And I think punjabbee is pressing
the phone keypad alot to annoy me.
edquigman: after about 8 minutes of the "please wait" loop, now i have BAD
BAD BAD music on hold.
edquigman: transferred me to another ********* punjabbe instead of the
english speaking person I asked for
edquigman: he asks "do you leave the computer on all the time?" ...hmm i
didnt know how to answer that, because he may have a reason why the computer
squeals for any way i answer. I figure telling him i have it on for a few
days... then off for a few days will hedge my bet and confuse him
edquigman: darn, he comes back with "oh sir, that ees the problem... see
when you turn it back on it has to really cool and it makes alot of sounds"
edquigman: now im laughing at punjabbee and he is laughing back. he wanted
to do "some steps" to see where the noise is coming from. I told him "look,
if a stick a ********* pencil in the fan, the ******* squealing stops"
edquigman: tonite, when he and his family are enjoying BBQ goat at the local
eatery, he will tell them of the very angry american he had to deal with
today
edquigman: I am back on eternal hold while he tries to figure out how to add
my issue into his database software that was written (outsourced) to the
other punjabbees down the hall. It doesnt seem to work so well
edquigman: He just came back and said he is still trying to get the issue in
the system but all the computers (Dell) are locked up.
edquigman: Now Punjabbee #2 is transferring me to the "dispatch management
center" where I am going to have to explain all of this again, especially
the part about sticking a pencil in the fan to stop the squealing.
edquigman: Finally an American answers the phone. She asks if I am sure its
the powersupply fan. I explained the part about sticking a pencil in to stop
the squealing and she says, "ok we will fedex a new supply to you this
afternoon"
edquigman: stupid punjabbees and their fancy "university educations". They
got no real sense. Any American knows to see where the squeal is coming
from, all you gotta do is stick something in the fan.
Posted by (1 comment )
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Not the same reliable company
As a former proponent of Dell products, I can certainly testify how far Dell has slipped in quality - both material and support-wise.

Our last Dell Dimension 4600 blew up less than five minutes upon startup. The culprit? A faulty power supply. Getting Dell to send a replacement system over was a two hour nightmare in aggravation.
1) The foreign tech support is worthless - since they don't troubleshoot - they merely waste your time with their scripted responses. Here's the truncated series of events. Please stretch this "comedy" out over an hour...

Me: The power supply of my Dell just blew up. There is a smell of burnt circuitry coming from the power supply.
Tech: Please check to see if your monitor is working.
Me: Yes, the monitor works.
Tech: Are you sure?
Me: Yes, it works on another PC.
Tech: Did you unplug the PC and plug it back in?
Me: Yes, I unplugged it and powered it up. The diagnostic lights are Orange, Orange, Orange, Orange. No hard disk activity, no fan activity. Power light is non-functional on switch.
Tech: Try removing the memory.

{five minutes after removing the RAM, GPU, HD, etc. etc.)

Tech: Are you sure it isn't the monitor?
Me: The monitor is FINE. It is to my left. The "Bang" I heard was from the CPU to my right. There was smoke coming from the power supply. I have worked with PCs for over 10 years now, so beleive me when I say it's the power supply.
Tech: Can you remove the CPU from the motherboard?
Me: Why? There's no power to the system.
Tech: Please do it, sir.

{After removing the CPU}

Tech: <Click>... Buzzz.... <Phone hangs up>

To make the long story short, it took them two hours to agree to a system replacement (the first hour and fourty minutes was with the first tech support call). Much of it was really wasted.

My conclusions:
1) Foreign Tech support is spotty and inconsistent, at best.
2) Part quality from Dell has really deteriorated a lot (cheap power supplies and such).
3) You used to be better off with Dell vs HP or Compaq, but not anymore.

I used to recommend Dell without hesitation, but not after this fiasco.

BTW, HP has also off-shored their tech support - so don't expect any better from them either.
Posted by Tex Murphy PI (165 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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