Dell Learns A Customer Service Lesson

Score it "ignored customer" one, Dell zero. This is an uplifting--or frightening, depending on your dayjob--saga of what can happen when a customer's problems are ignored.

The tale, which is a few weeks old now, comes to us from the Star-Ledger, the largest daily newspaper in New Jersey. The Star-Ledger's report tells of a $2,000 laptop that was sent to Dell for repair. Dell sent back the hard-disk but lost the rest of the laptop and offered the customer a refurbished model without an extended warranty.

After 19 calls to Dell and its partners were ignored, the customer get clever: He sued Dell in small claims court and--this is the best part--he served the papers on a Dell store at a local mall. As one would expect, it was ignored and the customer quickly won a default judgment for $3,000. Dell quickly settled. It's a story well worth reading.