Recently my wife bought a new computer for her father at Dell.com. To everyone’s surprise the keyboard and Windows operating system were in Spanish. We live in Puerto Rico and although the majority of the population communicates in Spanish all the computers are in English. This was the first time we got to use a Spanish version of Windows. As you might imagine none of use could effectively use it, although we know the language, we are accustomed to the English interface and terminology.
My wife quickly wrote back to Dell in order to try to fix the error and get an English version of Windows Vista. What followed was a disappointing string of emails in which Dell claims the mistake was in our part because we ordered the Spanish version of Windows by using a Spanish version of Dell’s site for Puerto Rico, although my wife claims she used the English Version.
Does the language of the interface determines the language of what you are buying?
I think not, but apparently Dell thinks so. As you can see in the picture below their site doesn’t offer a way to customize the language of the software (it did a few years ago). So that brings the question: Is the client to blame when you don’t give the option to select a different language?
As explained to us by Dell’s customer service rep there is a text on the site that explains you have to change the site’s language in order to buy software in the language that of the interface. So apparently we must have been shopping using a Spanish version of the site and we needed to use the English version. Guess what?:
We found the text. It is a footnote at the button of the page. With an asterisk and all but nowhere on the site there is a reference to the asterisk.
What’s worst, there is no way to change the language of the page you are in.
Dell’s personnel denial to help us in changing the operating system of the computer let my wife to seek if there was an explanation on the order confirmation email she received. Again, Dell doesn’t specify the language of the Operating System there so there is no way for the customer to detect the error prior to Dell shipping the order.
There are some marketing lessons here
Turning a negative customer experience into a positive is easy and will probably turn your customer into a lifetime fan. Dell missed this opportunity by basically denying any wrong doing from the get go and blaming us.
Sell me something! Sometimes the customer is willing to spend a little bit of money to get the situation fixed. The first time we wrote Dell about the error they wrote back saying that the best solution was to buy a new operating system. However, they didn’t say we could buy it from them. I guess offering us an OEM version of Vista was to much of a hassle.
Saying sorry goes a long way. From now on we won’t even consider Dell as an option to buy more computers. Heck, I’ll try to go out of my way in order to avoid other people buying from Dell. BUY A MAC!!!!
Answer the sales calls!!! After we became so frustrated with the customer service reps we decided to call sales and try to buy a new version of Windows. Four different employees transfered our call and then the phone call ended. So we couldn’t get the software even by purchasing it.
At the end, I think Dell’s customer service policies were effective in doing what they were designed to do: Get the customer so frustrated that they just quit. We just can’t find the energy to write back or call. Dell, this is our last effort and this is the last time we are buying from you.
CASE ID: KMM90202584I57L0KM