I know This is True is about people doing dumb things, but it still amazes me when people do dumb things to me. (But for once, this is not about a dumb reader!)
You might remember some years ago I had terrible trouble with a Dell laptop computer. I wrote about it in True, calling it my Dell Hell experience. The page quickly rose to Number One on Google for the search term “dell hell,” but it even more quickly got the attention of Dell executives, and thanks to having a huge and responsive audience, Dell took care of me, replacing my brand new, but completely screwed up, computer. Alas, most people having such problems don’t have a big platform to get companies’ attention.
My rant about my experiences is not only still on the True website, it’s still a very popular page, getting hundreds of views per month.
I used to allow comments there, but so many people were putting in their own Dell Hell stories, which I couldn’t help them with, that I finally stopped accepting comments — it was just taking too much time to read them to decide whether to accept them or not. (And speaking of dumb? Some people are so desperate to get any kind of response that they even put their email addresses in, in the open where anyone could see them, to beg for a response. Who is more likely to see them? Scammers and spammers. How sad that they felt so pushed into a corner.)
One thing that these people constantly clamored for was a way to contact Dell computer Inc. president Michael Dell, since the company didn’t seem to want it to be easy to find — so I put a big block on top of the page with his address. This is where the really dumb people come in.
Despite the prominent placement of the address in a colored box, the number one request from people going to that page has long been… can I give them Michael Dell’s address? Duh.
The Leap from Dumb to Obliviotic
But it gets worse. This week I found a slip in my P.O. Box: a notice for me to come to the window for a certified letter. The letter’s addressee? Michael Dell at Dell Computer Inc.
So someone with a Dell Hell problem found my page in a search engine, came to a humor site and read that page, perhaps saw the huge box of the top of the page with Michael Dell’s address, yet ignored all of that and instead went to my own contact page and found my address, which clearly says ThisIsTrue.Inc, not Dell Computer Inc., and wrote a letter to Michael Dell. At my address.
Seriously?! I don’t think it’s very likely that Michael Dell gets his mail in care of ThisIsTrue.Inc in tiny Ridgway, Colorado. Yet some obliviot does think so.
I’m still not terribly impressed with Dell Computer Inc’s customer service, at least at the consumer level, and I have sympathy with people who are having problems with their computers and can’t get help. But that doesn’t mean Dell is always wrong. Sometimes the customer is simply an idiot, and it’s hard to satisfy an idiot who thinks he’s right. And one of them is about to get a returned certified mail letter marked “Not at This Address”.
Comments about this? You can enter a comment below, but DO NOT write about your own “Dell Hell” problems: I cannot help you! I have no association with Dell Computer. And your comment will be deleted the second I see what it is. Don’t waste your time — or mine.
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Happily, as the years went by Dell got a lot better at customer service, assigning a support manager to every case to see it through to conclusion. At least for the business customers, which was my Lesson Learned on the Dell Hell page in the first place.
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