It’s funny, on many occasions I struggle to come up with blog topics then a series of events – or a debacle, usually (in my case) with a large company will lead to the inspiration. My saga with Dell continues – and unfortunately it doesn’t get any better for them either…

As you may know from my previous blogs, we’ve closed our direct relationship with Dell under protest of our relationship being moved and managed in India. I am sure I changed phone and insurance companies for the same reason, so I’m also more than likely to do the same with my business as I’d do in any other aspect of my life – after all, it is my business! I’m not a man to mince about or have patience on such matters – with Dell, I’d been through it before and I have no particular desire to have a repeat performance, especially after finding out HP are managing customers locally.

I’d complained, to Michael Dell’s email address (no, I’m not deluded that he actually reads it, but imagine he’d cry if it he did – especially with a company that has his name) and got nowhere, so I made it very clear that if we couldn’t resolve the situation that my account be closed and they confirm.

Today, I have a Channel Sales Director leave me a message in the morning, it pretty much says that he wants to have a word about the investment they’ve made in India. You’d think he’d have actually taken the time to read the complaints I’d written and listen to his account management team my thoughts on the matter. Maybe a bit vain of me – I’d have expected him to read my previous blog article, I know HP and Cisco execs have!

Once upon a time, I’d have called him straight back and really been excited to speak to someone so senior. However, when you consider, once upon a time my Dell fandom meant I traveled over the Irish Channel (see how I worked channel in there again) to speak to this chaps predecessor to find out they were all morons too caught up in Excel spreadsheets to listen to what customers want, you’ll understand why he wasn’t the top of my call back list. After all when I’m not blogging, I’m running a business or working for customers.

So after a hectic day of speaking to people, I ended up getting call from my former Dell account manager, he’d tried me a few times and I did wonder what he wanted. I like the guy, consider him a friend – I thought he was just wanting to give me a heads up before I spoke to one of his head honchos. Unusually, the banter came at the beginning of the call – talking about the weekend and everything else, usually we talk business first and shoot-the-shit second. Eventually he comes clean and tells me he’s to conference his colleague in India into the call. Obviously, I’d expressed my written concerns about this, it had already been acknowledged in writing and I had at that point in time received an email from Dell confirming my account had been closed.

It was the most difficult conversation I’ve had in some time and also the most awkward, I respect my former account manager was in a difficult position – being ordered to do it, against more than likely his own better judgement. Whilst I do have a sympathy for anyone with a mortgage and a young family in this position, I don’t like it.

I’m annoyed on many levels:

  • First of all as I’d specifically declined this activity and yet Dell persisted with it.
  • I’d already closed my account with confirmation at that point!
  • I can’t believe how spineless his management are for not doing their own dirty work.
  • Most of all, they compromised a good man’s integrity (there’s no going back on that – I wonder how his view of his own company is going to go from there)

What’s more worrying, is what value do people put on integrity at Dell and how do they feel about compromising another person’s? I’m sure Europe will have a human rights law about this and if my former account manager would like to put in a claim, I’ll certainly back him up!

I wouldn’t be so supercilious that I would say that I’ve, on every occasion, acted with 100% integrity. However, I would say that it is something that I at least strive to achieve. A good night’s sleep is usually a good incentive. I can wholeheartedly say that I truly believe that everyone at Unleashed acts in a similarly fair and honest manner. Things wouldn’t work without it. However, even though I may strive to uphold these values, whilst admitting I am a mere mortal, I do know one thing – I’ve never knowingly asked one individual, to compromise their own values on the basis of my own or the company’s wishes. You don’t get much lower than that.

I’ve binned suppliers for dealings much less underhand and sickening than that – and I do wonder where Dell is going with its current management and ethics – it certainly seems a drive to the bottom with cost-of-sales also means a drive to the bottom with corporate ethics.