No its not a complete, "I hate Dell" post.
I was the student representative for IIM Indore, in handling all the IT problems. I loved it, and liked fixing the varied problems that my classmates, juniors and seniors had. Back then, we had a tie up with Dell for laptops. Roughly at any point of time, at least 70 laptops were there from Dell. The warranty on them had lapsed in a years' time, so ... as Murphy would have it, the problems started cropping up only after then. Thus started the telephone calls over Warranty issues, and the constant bartering ... over warranty given on paper ... then comes the line, read the fine print. I was glad to hand over the ITCom Secretary post to my able junior .. whew!!
Now I do not own a Dell laptop anymore, but two of my colleagues do. Both have malfunctioning laptop batteries and chargers to boot, so the machine refuses to run without AC power and a functioning battery. Ok ... easy solution ... go to support dot dell dot com and raise a request. One month wait for customer care to respond. Fine, lets raise a sales enquiry of purchasing a new battery and a charger ... one month wait for sales to respond. Is the site working anymore?
If you have a website and are making case studies of it in so many b-schools, then can you make sure it works properly; and if it is working properly, then why not respond to the customer, establishing their expectations. No response is a no-no. That has not only resulted in lost sales, but more importantly lost customers. An easier approach would be to sell extended warranty support to them and retain them as customers.