Fighting Dell Bloatware
UPDATE: Dell responded... see my response here.
This is my story of helping the fight against Dell bloatware, which began because I read about a fellow citizen's fight, and because I had to call Dell about my battery anyway.
Thank goodness my battery didn't explode (it wasn't made in the appropriate 2-year timeframe), but it did recently just stop working. The battery in my new work Dell Inspiron 9400 quit after weeks of usage, so after procrastinating the inevitable call to India through the holidays, I emailed our salesperson Shawna.
Good Morning Shawna,
The battery on the Inspiron 9400 that my company recently purchased for me no longer holds a charge, so I guess it's defective.
How can I get this addressedd(sic)?
Shawna promptly called me back, apologized for me having to deal with tech support, and transferred me to Josephine in India. Josephine worked her IT magic on my computer, had me install some software so she could take control of my machine, and fiddled with settings. She had me remove the battery a couple of times and turn the computer on and off a couple of times. She seemed competent, and the whole thing took about 50 minutes, what with it being Windows, but it got done.
Then, inspired by the story I read about how I could make Dell get rid of its own bloatware, I requested a CD for my computer that just has Windows, and absolutely no other software. Josephine understood after I explained to her "as if I had bought a box of Windows in the store." She consulted with a supervisor, and then she told me that Customer Care could help me, and she would transfer me. Then, click. Lost in the void. I'm praying this was an accident, or Dell is in even more serious trouble than we know.
I spent 50 minutes with customer support after you and I spoke. They are sending me a new battery.
After we went through all the stuff to get that, I had a second request.
I asked that the rep. to have Dell send me a CD with an OS image that doesn't have anything but Windows on it, since I do not want to have any of the other software that y'all bundle such as McAfee and Works and Desktop searching and whatnot. And I don't want to just delete them because that will foul up my registry.
After she understood what I was talking about, she said she would transfer me to Customer Care to handle that request. At that point, I was disconnected.
What shall I do now? I would just like to get a copy of Windows as if I had bought a box of software from the store, and not have all the rest of the stuff.
I think there is a way I can do that for you. Give me a little time to find out.
Truth about Dell:
1) Dell's ground people are good. Yay Dell people! You guys are fine, human, but fine. Thanks Shawna and Josephine. Really, these folks are working enmeshed in a huge corporate bureaucracy that can't seem to get a realistic view on customer service. It takes forever and the sales people apologize for it, as they should. The people actually made me happy! I think they were better at their jobs than the people at the DMV.
2) Dell's bureaucracy is dumb. You would need good people like Shawna and Josephine just to keep that behemoth of an organization lurching forward. At 50 minutes to have me on the phone with someone in India fixing a problem, it would have been cheaper and less dreadful to have me fill out an online form, then have Dell sends me a new battery, and then they pick up my old battery with UPS. It's just common sense.
3) Dell's computers are junk. But they replace all the junk that breaks if you buy the warranty thing that makes them cost as much as everyone else's computers. So, this would be only a sort of crappy business model, and their customer service people might even push Dell to the top of the market. But they would need reasonable policies, for their good people, to fix their junky computers.
I blame the management.
I'll let you know if I actually get the clean image CD in the mail, and benefit from the changes alluded to in the Dell blog post link off the CRN post above.
You should join the fight too. Make your hardware provider provide you with a clean image, free of bloatware. And if you think that the OS is bloatware too, make sure you protest paying for that too. I'm tired of living in push-economy. I'll tell you if I need your stuff and I'll find you... just use the right keywords in your website.