I love this story about a chinese man who didn’t quite get what he expected from Dell and wanted action. Only a few years ago the power balance between complaining customer and multinational would be tipped well and truly towards the multi-national. Not anymore.
Instead of the Intel Core Duo T2300 processor he had expected, the computer had a T2300E, which lacks “virtualization technology,” a feature that allows the computer to run more than one operating system at a time. Dell says it’s of little use to laptop users, but Zhang says he wanted it anyway.
A few years ago the 30-year-old Zhang might not have gotten very far with his gripe. But 53 million Chinese are denizens of online forums, making it easy to find folks with equivalent complaints.
In the old days, we’d tell our friends and family, influencing maybe twenty people around us. This might mean some lost future revenue to the company we bought from but realistically, would Dell feel that?
Now look what happened: not only did this guy find a bunch of people like him with the same complaint as well as a laywer to take the case but more importantly, the story zipped around the world in a matter of days. I picked it up from two sources; Steve Rubel’s post on Dell’s response and CRM Daily about the actual case. Now, if you hadn’t read it yet from another source you have read it here….
For now, this is about a big, global brand but it won’t be too long when every brand, local or internationally will have to contend with the fact that customers will be able to compare notes, talk about your firm, your delivery, your service whatever it may be.