Playing with Dell chat
A non-techy friend asked me to check into computer prices, so I built a system on dell.ca, then thought I’d get an answer to a simple question by trying the Dell chat feature. After no wait, here’s the dialog that ensued. Insert 10 seconds to 1 minute or more for each Dell response.
Jon>Does the E521 have a network connection for a high speed modem?
Dell>Welcome to Dell Canada Sales Chat. My name is Joe. I’ll be your personal sales advisor today. I’m reviewing your question and typically respond in 20 secs or less so please don’t go away.
Dell>network card is already available
Jon>included in the system price then?
Dell>what is the base price of the system you have chosen to configure
Dell>would you using dial up for Internet or high speed
Jon>high speed likely. I note the option for 56k modem is clear
Dell>We would encourage you to use my SALES REP EXT <number> on the SHIPPING ADDRESS page while placing an order ONLINE so that we could get you the order confirmation and the Tracking number right away and expedite the order
Dell>how do you want to pay for this purchase
Jon>not ready to order at this time, thank you. Just wanted to confirm that the system could connect to a high speed modem.
Jon>If so, that’s all the info I need today. Thanks for your help.
Dell>you can save my sales rep number if you are ordering in future you can mention so that i will be your authorized dell representative
Jon>alrighty, I cut and pasted it for future refernce, thanks
Dell>Welcome to Dell Canada Sales Chat. My name is Joe. I’ll be your personal sales advisor today. I’m reviewing your question and typically respond in 20 secs or less so please don’t go away
Dell>Sorry that was not for you
Jon>oh, Joe, what will be the shipping cost for that system?
… and I waited a minute or two without a response before deciding to click on the FAQ button in the browser window that spawned the seperate chat window. The response: This will terminate your chat. Click OK. No option but to terminate.
What’s even more fun is that the chat dialog shows the time of each response, but using a special warping function that made it look like I was getting a fast response (dell responses were clocked at 5 seconds or so, when the reality was 10 seconds to a minute or more), while attributing the long time for the Dell response to me! Most interesting.
I haven’t included the reps name or ID in the above dialog, because this isn’t about one rep, it’s likely about a system that overloads the reps and drives them to close the sale with a frantic zeal that ignores all else.
So the next step? Find another vendor that pays attention, or give Dell a call. I won’t be needing that sales reps number though ….