How Much Extra Would You Pay to Skip India and Work Directly with a North American?

December 24, 2008
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Dell seems to have put a value on non-offshored service – $150 per year
 
Yesterday we had to contact Dell about a recent and somewhat large hardware purchase. The solution their sales person had recommended at the time of purchase was not compatible when we set up and installed the new items. It was a Windows […]

Dell seems to have put a value on non-offshored service – $150 per year

 

Yesterday we had to contact Dell about a recent and somewhat large hardware purchase. The solution their sales person had recommended at the time of purchase was not compatible when we set up and installed the new items. It was a Windows Vista/64 Bit compatibility issue, but will skip the technical aspects. Suffice it to say that they had made the incorrect recommendation/assurance and I was looking for a workable solution or was ready to return a large order.

We first contacted customer support (about 5 minutes) who then transferred us to tech support (5 minutes). Before going into too much detail other than order number and service tag tech support gave us the sales pitch:

Dell (India): …Would you like to speak directly with a North American support person? If you want you can now purchase your own tech team. A north American will deal with you and your family for a year. The cost will be $149 per year. You can select your own Dell Support person to work with.”

ME: “hmm, Not sure, I just have a problem with my most recent order. I think I’ll pass for now”

Dell (India): “I see your company is on our preferred vendor program list, so it will actually be just $5 for you”

I was now sort of tempted to say yes. $5 to get my issue resolved quicker is tempting especially this time of year. But my tech person also on the phone shook his head. (to me “We shouldn’t have to pay anything extra to get this taken care of”).

 ME: “I think I’ll pass for this time”

Dell (India): “Well customarily you will be put on hold for 30-45 minutes. And since your company is in the Dell preferred program it’s just $5…We find that a lot of people prefer to speak with a North American..”

Can you imagine, I’m already being told I’ll be put on hold for close to an hour. I haven’t even really gone into the problem. Relatively small problem, and I may be returning over $3,000 worth of hardware if this doesn’t get resolved, which I haven’t yet told them.

ME: “Thanks, still I think I’ll pass for this time” (already starting to think I would regret this decision).

Two escalations and about 40+ minutes on hold later we decide to hang up. We find the original sales person’s name which we had on file and called back to his extension at Dell. He quickly takes care of our issue (<5 minutes).

So, Not sure what I’ll do next time. Not sure about paying $150, as a % of total this is sort of high. But since we’re on the preferred customer list  $5 seems like a bargain to save a 45 minutes and lots of aggravation an unnecessary explanations.

Curious, how they came up with the $150, and to know what others think about this. Wonder if there was any market research behind this, I assume/hope there was?

By the way, at my company, Anderson Analytics, we don’t charge anything extra and our clients will always work only with Americans. Perhaps the market research industry should start charging two price levels as well?

I’ll be writing more about the off-shoring trend in marketing/market research and sharing some recent research we have done on this soon.

 

-Tom

Link to original postTom H. C. Anderson – Anderson Analytics