How NOT to handle customer support – Dell DataSafe support review

This post is not related to background verification or People Search, but focuses on customer service and support. While the rant may appear to be coming from personal experience, the impact has been on the business and hence it becomes suitable for JantaKhoj blog.  Since 2004, I have been a Dell buyer, earlier owning an Inspiron laptop and later on Studio 1555. Now, one application which comes bundled with the OEM software is Dell DataSafe, an online backup application which allows the folders to be sync’ed up automatically with online backup servers. Since my storage requirements were above the minimum free quota, I bought the annual subscription for 10GB online storage.

Recently I had a hard disk crash. Thankfully I had purchased the extended warranty so the disk replacement and associated on-site service was covered. Full marks to Dell up to now as the service was quite prompt and to my complete satisfaction. After installed the other software like Windows 7 and Office 2010, I was able to restore all my files from Dell DataSafe to the new disk. Again full marks to Dell.

But one file – the Outlook Archive file (.PST), which had a large number of official emails from last two years or so, was pretty large at 5.67GB. I tried restoring this file quite a few times. In the initial stages, the file transfer would get interrupted as the wireless connection at office or home would encounter a temporary glitch. So I ran it on the home LAN which was fully solid and let the batch job run overnight. One or the other error code would show up at the end of 12-15 hours cycle.

I raised it to Dell first time via their email support on 10th October 2012. I did get response from their India office but the local team could not resolve it over phone. There after the customer support’s true colors started coming out. Even after multiple calls and emails (which got more and more desperate with my increasing exasperation) and repeatedly sending log files, screenshots and problem details, over next even weeks, the problem lies unresolved. I can understand that the local technical team may not be conversant with a special/niche application like Dell DataSafe but then why is Dell selling this solution when they cannot provide support – for paying customers.

I have pretty much given up hope of any resolution. And for sure, I will never be buying any Dell product for personal or business usage. In this specific case, Dell DataSafe and its technical support became the Achilles’ heel for Dell – Dell is a formidable provider of computers but was extremely vulnerable on Dell DataSafe technical support. For online backups, MyPCBackup, DropBox or even Google Drive is possibly a better solution.

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