Dell Customer Support Uses Fake 'Sweepstakes' To Push Unnecessary Warranties

Don't dial up Dell's tech support unless you hate yourself. Laptop Magazine did some undercover sleuthing and in a simple call about a battery issue, a rep claimed that they had won a sweepstakes that entitled them to pay Dell $US317 for a four-year extended warranty. What luck!

AU Editor's Note: We've been in touch with Dell Australia, and they've assured us that all of their call centres are in house and that they don't run warranty sweepstakes. Thank goodness.

In fact, Laptop could hardly get the rep to answer the actual question they had, because he was pushing that warranty so hard. And the rep continued his sleazy pitch even after it was turned down, arguing that he was doing the caller a favour. $US317 down from $US512? For a computer he might not even have four years from now? Eureka!

Dell told Laptop that this isn't an encouraged practice. But that canned response to some shady dealings isn't exactly reassuring. In two other calls to tech support, Dell reps tried to hawk premium warranties that the customer had no interest in -- and in both cases these pricey warranties really had little to do with the questions being asked.

It's really a shame that it's such a gigantic headache to make a simple phone call about a simple issue. Laptop points out that 80 per cent of Dell tech support issues can be solved at And that's definitely the way to go if it works for you, because their pitch men are a total hassle -- and in some cases, openly dishonest. [Laptop]

Image credit: Rob Marmion/Shutterstock



    I called Dell earlier this year to get my monitor (27") fixed under warranty, no such "warranty sweepstakes" was on. And I was quite impressed with the service, didn't have to pay to get it shipped back.

      Yep - the last few years, Dell have really picked up their game in regards to service and warranty. Even the off-shore techs I've dealt with have been friendly and knowledgeable.

        Unfortunately for them, a lot of damage has already been done. I recall ringing them about their Dell XPS laptops. You had the option to install this Quickboot OS, which you could activate by pressing a dedicated button. I didnt want it so I didnt install it. But what happened if you pressed the button without it? It repartitioned your harddrive with a small FAT32 partition. Bye bye OS. They flat out refused to accept it was a design flaw and refused to fix it. Never ever again will I buy Dell.

          you can fix that with fdisk pretty easily

      I got a non-working DELL XPS 9530 from DELL Australia. There customer support is almost non-existent. After 2 weeks of numerous calls and emails I got the motherboard replaced. But the one now I have is corroded and looks almost 3 years old. Anytime this can break! Most importantly the technician who fixed had no knowledge of opening up the notebook and broke all the plastic sockets at the back lid. Now the alignment of back cover is gone and I'm still trying to get hold to their Customer Support for last 120 hours and nothing from their side. Starting to complain it to local authorities.

      Which number do you call again? I also have a faulty monitor that need to be fixed and they keep transferring me around. I called the number that they have on their website and after a couple of transfers they gave me a different number turns out to call the same center and the loop begins again. Spent 2 days on this and might as well give up and never buy a Dell again.

    Dell Australia assured you it was in house? Funny the Dell rep I talked to when purchasing my partners laptop was in Malaysia and had an Americanised accent, so I highly doubt there is any difference between Dell Australia and Dell America's call centre, they would be one and the same.

      It can be in Malaysia and still be "in-house", just based off-shore.
      Americanised accents don't indicate the staff are supposed to serve American customers. US English is the most commonly spoken kind of English internationally so that's probably why they sound that way. Besides, it's a much easier accent to fake. ;)

        I've dealt with Dell support in Penang (Malaysia) for business many times and have been impressed with the service I have received. Quick, efficient and friendly. As for the accent, its not Americanised, its Malaysian. I have Malaysian and Singaporean friends so I can pick the accent. You wouldn't say the New Zealand accent is Australianised!

        Off remarks here, i arrived to australia 10+ years ago after countless hours of english language study.

        Up until this day, i still have a difficult ear for american english, briton and aussie english makes more sense to me for some reasons

        Lol much?

    Have been a Dell customer for the last 12 years. I have always had no trouble dealing with any of their support staff. Have gone through a PC, PDA and laptop during that period and have never experience any lack of service. Am now looking to get my next laptop from them.

    Never experienced any of the Dell warranty sales pitch before either...hmmm...

    You've got no idea how impossible it is to get Dell on site business tech support - Biggest waste of money... They made me recover my machine before they considered coming out.... I had to spend hours and hours backing up everything... My NIC was faulty. I knew this, I told them time after time but they had to follow steps. Then they finally come out and told me my NIC was faulty and they was replacing the motherboard.

    I'm a mac user, but my previous partner was a Dell user. One day, the video card in the desktop refused to display anything so I called Dell Support, Explained that I work in IT, I have done this, this and this to troubleshoot... and the faulty part number is X.

    After that, they agreed to send the part out on next business day delivery. Was quite impressed.

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