Why am I not surprised about this?
Luckily, I have never had the misfortune of dealing with overseas customer reps while I was working at Silhouette with a Dell problem. I did however, have the misfortune of dealing with an overseas rep when I had to order my copies of Windows Mobile 2003 under my “Home” account. I had a horrible time trying to understand the gentleman in India mostly because of the degraded quality of the phone connection. I have no real problem with thick Indian accents because throughout my stay in Rutgers and forward, I have always had Indian friends and co-workers. My real problem with overseas Dell representatives is the lack of preparedness and the horrible phone quality. When I called to order some software, I could hear the gentleman fumbling around for his script and then the line would get full of static when he talked. I called one other time and the same exact thing happened, so I hung up and called in from work the next day and ordered the software from our corporate account. Granted I had to deal with an even thicker (and harder to understand oddly enough) Texan accent, it was definitely a more pleasurable transaction.
I say this is a good move by Dell.
Purchasers in IT departments are about as loyal as a sack of crap when it comes to brand loyalty. One wrong move or one bad experience with any vendor and you better bet your ass they are switching to a different company. Shit, a bitchy IBM sales rep gave me some lip while placing an order for a few dozen high end laptops and desktops, so I cancelled the order just as she gave me her lowest quote. Dell and Sony got my orders and IBM lost out on a good chunk of change… Hell, the new guy who replaced my boss had a bad run-in with Dell I believe, so the company went completely Compaq at the new location. Granted Compaq’s and HP’s are the biggest pieces of crap hardware wise, that was his call and HP got the big bucks to outfit the entire US infrastructure.
Chances are a great deal of IT managers had some relatively less than stellar experiences with Dell after the move to overseas support and just dropped them. Thus Dell reacted to this in the only way it could. Granted this only deals with corporate support for Optiplexes and Latitudes, it’ll be very interesting to see if they eventually drop overseas support for Home users as well. Only time will tell.