John Kaster

Behind the Screen

Dell "Chat Expert" is not quite so expert

with 6 comments

This is the transcript of a chat I just endured with a Dell representative when trying to get some answers regarding the Dell AY511 I just received. The only change I made to the chat was replacing the name of the rep, and other identifying bits of information. The text of the transcript is unaltered, for your reading enjoyment. (Someone should get some joy out of this, since it won’t be me!)

This is an automated email sent from Dell Chat. The following information is a log of your session. Please save the log for your records.

Your session ID for this incident is *******.

12/30/2010 03:07:20PM
System: “Thanks for choosing Chat to assist you in making your purchase on A Chat Expert will be with you shortly.”

12/30/2010 03:07:26PM
Session Started with Agent (DellRep)

12/30/2010 03:07:30PM
Agent (DellRep): “Welcome to Dell US Chat! My name is DellRep and I will be your Sales Chat Expert. I can be reached at us_con_sl_apos_chat or via phone at 1-****-****-**** ext. *******.
Hi there, feel free to provide your phone number so we can contact you in case the line got disconnected. Thanks. How can I help you today?

12/30/2010 03:07:46PM
John Kaster: “Hi. My phone is ****-****-****”

12/30/2010 03:08:03PM
John Kaster: “I just received a Dell AY511 SoundBar and have some questions regarding accessories for it.”

12/30/2010 03:08:07PM
Agent (DellRep): “Thanks John, glad you chatted in today and hope you’re doing fine =)”

12/30/2010 03:08:20PM
Agent (DellRep): “Sure thing, how may I assist you on that?”

12/30/2010 03:08:47PM
John Kaster: “I’m well, thanks. it comes with an external power supply. I thought it would also come with the power plug for plugging it directly into my monitor. I’d like to know what part that is so I can order it.”

12/30/2010 03:09:04PM
John Kaster: “Also, I’m interested in what subwoofer you sell that’s compatible with the AY511”

12/30/2010 03:10:30PM
Agent (DellRep): “I’ll be glad to assist you on that. Please give me a minute or two while I’m checking on the specs of this sound bar. One moment please.”

12/30/2010 03:12:30PM
Agent (DellRep): “So it didn’t come with instructions on how to connect it to your computer?”

12/30/2010 03:14:18PM
John Kaster: “I have it connected”

12/30/2010 03:14:35PM
John Kaster: “but I have to use an external power plug (that came with it)”

12/30/2010 03:14:57PM
John Kaster: “my monitor has a power plug for a sound bar – but I don’t have the cord to go between the monitor power source and the sound bar”

12/30/2010 03:15:04PM
John Kaster: “it didn’t come with the AY511”

12/30/2010 03:15:46PM
Agent (DellRep): “External power plug in order to connect it to your monitor, right? The external power supply of it is connected directly to the wall socket?”

12/30/2010 03:16:16PM
John Kaster: “yes, connectied directly to the wall socket right now. No cord to plug the sound bar directly into my monitor”

12/30/2010 03:16:38PM
John Kaster: “that’s what I’m looking for. a cord for plugging the soundbar into the monitor directly”

12/30/2010 03:18:29PM
Agent (DellRep): “Actually, you don’t need to get any cord to connect it to your monitor. It says here that this item is directly mounted on the monitor.”

12/30/2010 03:18:48PM
John Kaster: “yes, it’s directly mounted. but that doesn’t give it power.”

12/30/2010 03:19:21PM
Agent (DellRep): “I see. May I ask for the model of the monitor that you have?”

12/30/2010 03:21:09PM
John Kaster: “it’s a Dell U3011”

12/30/2010 03:21:48PM
Agent (DellRep): “Got it,so you already mounted it on your monitor or not yet?”

12/30/2010 03:21:58PM
John Kaster: “yes, it’s mounted on the monitor, and working”

12/30/2010 03:22:36PM
John Kaster: “again, what I’m looking for is the cord to connect power to the AY511 from the monitor power plug available on the Monitor.”

12/30/2010 03:24:33PM
Agent (DellRep): “Alright, as per checking, this sound bar is connected via mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm cable. What we can get here is a cable that has 3.5mm jack on both ends. And you don’t need to connect it directly to the monitor. You will connect it to your tower. In the”

3.5mm port for headphones.

12/30/2010 03:24:58PM
John Kaster: “DellRep, you’re not answering my question.”

12/30/2010 03:25:05PM
John Kaster: “I have it mounted. I have sound.”

12/30/2010 03:25:49PM
John Kaster: “What I’m asking about is a cord for electrical power that goes directly from the AY511 to the monitor”

12/30/2010 03:27:36PM
Agent (DellRep): “If that is the power cord that is directly connected to wall socket, it should came with it.”

12/30/2010 03:29:01PM
John Kaster: “I know about that cable. I’m using it. Can you repeat back to me what it is that I’m looking for so I can be sure you understand my question?”

12/30/2010 03:30:51PM
Agent (DellRep): “You mentioned that you are looking for a cord that connecting the sound bar directly to the monitor.”

12/30/2010 03:32:24PM
John Kaster: “Correct, a POWER cord that connects the sound bar directly to the monitor.”

12/30/2010 03:33:01PM
John Kaster: “There’s a power plug on my monitor that’s compatible with the power plug on the AY511. What I don’t have is the power cord that will connect both to each other.”

12/30/2010 03:35:10PM
Agent (DellRep): “You mentioned that it already has a sound? What is the reason why you want to get it?”

12/30/2010 03:35:26PM
John Kaster: “without power, the sound bar will not work”

12/30/2010 03:37:37PM
Agent (DellRep): “You mentioned that it also has a power cord that is connected to the wall socket right? That cord will give the power to the sound bar.”

12/30/2010 03:38:51PM
John Kaster: “Yes, DellRep. I’m aware of that. Is there someone else I can chat with? We seem to be having trouble communicating.”

12/30/2010 03:40:33PM
Agent (DellRep): “Let me just connect you to our technical support department, since this is just a new Sound bar, you should get free technical support on this.”

12/30/2010 03:41:27PM
John Kaster: “ok, thank you”

12/30/2010 03:41:43PM
Agent (DellRep): “Please stay on the line.”

12/30/2010 03:41:53PM
Session Ended

If you require further assistance, please visit us at
The customer experience is our top priority. Your feedback would be greatly appreciated (link removed)

In case you wouldn’t know by this point: I did not actually get connected to a tech support rep, nor did anyone from Dell call me back after I was disconnected during the “transfer”.

I hope Dell provides better training soon to “DellRep”, and that this blog post helps inform Dell they need to improve their online service.


Written by John Kaster

December 31, 2010 at 6:10 am

Posted in IT Industry

6 Responses

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  1. I once called Dell to walk me through wiping and installing OS/drivers/etc. on my computer. I knew how to do it, but it was a new and expensive computer, and wanted to make sure I got everything just right.

    I ended up teaching the guy on the phone how to do it.


    December 31, 2010 at 6:13 am

    • I’m glad you took the opportunity to “pay it forward” with your expertise. I would have tried to help this guy out some, if I could have figured out how. I thought I was being reasonably clear – I suspect his English skills may not have been the strongest, or perhaps he’s just very new at PC hardware support.

      John Kaster

      December 31, 2010 at 6:54 am

  2. Hi John – being a bit opportunistic but did you get a Subwoofer to work with your AY511. I’m just considering ordering a set but can find no information about this so may go with the less neat option of desktop/deskside speakers.


    January 24, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    • Heh, no worries about opportunism. I wouldn’t post if I didn’t want to collaborate. I did finally get an answer from Dell that they did NOT have a specific recommendation for a subwoofer for the AY511. My sales rep mentioned a Yamaha subwoofer they sell for around $100 that might work. The sub would need to be powered separately, and obviously need to work off that existing subwoofer jack.

      It really seems like Dell didn’t complete the product planning for the AY511. It’s quite puzzling. It’s the obvious upgrade from the 510, but doesn’t have an option for getting power from the monitor, and doesn’t have a readily available upsell for a subwoofer. There’s some kind of story there (admittedly insignificant) that someone at Dell doesn’t want to tell 😉

      John Kaster

      January 25, 2011 at 2:13 am

  3. Thanks for the assist – I think I’ll give the AY511 a miss.


    January 25, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    • Andrew,

      If you do find something that attaches to the Dell monitor as a sound bar that you like better, please do follow up here. Thanks!

      John Kaster

      January 26, 2011 at 1:23 am

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