Dell Customers Say What They Want, Aren't Getting

By Jessica Davis  |  Posted 2007-02-27 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Dell's new IdeaStorm site shows users are clamoring for open-source software and better customer service.

Less than two weeks after PC maker Dell premiered Dell IdeaStorm, a Digg-like Web site focused on determining which improvements customers want made to Dell's products and services, visitors have submitted more than 2,000 ideas and nearly 150,000 visitors have voted on those ideas.

Visitors' top concerns relate to the issues of open-source software and better customer support. Top-rated ideas currently include offering PCs with pre-installed Linux and OpenOffice, and offering "clean" PCs without all the pre-installed software such as AOL, EarthLink and Google. Another user requested a PC without a preloaded operating system. Others asked for preloaded Firefox as the default browser, and for Linux drivers to be fully supported on all Dell hardware.

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Another very popular suggestion, from a self-described corporate customer, called for customer support based in the United States for all users, not just corporate. This user said his corporate help desk line, Gold Support, does not read from scripts, and that they have the power to take ownership of a problem and fix it. The same is not the case for all Dell customers, he said.

The idea was originally posted on Feb. 17, and 10 days later it had already received more than 18,000 votes and nearly 300 comments.

One idea recently submitted to the site suggested that Dell go indirect if it really wants to make a dent in Hewlett-Packard's printer market share. But so far calls for Dell to create a channel program have not ranked high in popularity on the IdeaStorm, often garnering less than 100 votes.

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Dell launched the new site on Feb. 16 amid significant changes at the company. CEO Kevin Rollins stepped down and Michael Dell returned to lead the company in that role at the end of January. The moves marked the beginning of a new wave of executive changes at the company, based in Round Rock, Texas, and spurred even more speculation about what's next for Dell, which suffered less than stellar performance in 2006, losing market share to rival HP.

 
 
 
 
Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com
 
 
 
 
 
























 
 
 
 
 
 

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