Dell Pays You to Service Your Customers?

July 25, 2007 – 6:13 pm

OK, now that I have your attention….  Yes, it’s true, but there is a catch. 

Here it is in a nutshell.  Dell has a program called the Warranty Parts Direct.  This program allows your customers to specify you as the company to provide hardware diagnosis and repair service (you get to replace parts) and get paid by Dell for the labor.

Some of the possible benefits/features:

? Timely access to service and service part dispatches after performing technical diagnosis
? Dedicated Technical Support
? Dell Warranty Parts Direct Online Certification and access to WPD Member Site
? Exclusive Tech ID & PIN for individual user profile
? Labor Reimbursements: Dell currently reimburses per qualified incident

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Before you get too excited, let review what you need to do to get this going.  Let’s see, just a couple of small things:

  1. Fill out a few forms and send in a W9 (sure, I can do that)
  2. Get two technicians certified by Dell when they pass a WPD exam (OK, easy enough so far)
  3. Get your customer to designate you as their Customer Appointed Service Provider (I can do that too - hey this is easy)
  4. Get your customer to complete some forms to participate in the program. (Hmmm, can I just forge their signature?)
  5. Pay a small fee of $50 for a “Logistic ID” (must be important but since I’ve come this far, I’m in for $50)
  6. Submit all your info and if accepted, get back an “Enrollment Fee Quote” telling you how much it will cost to participate.  (Let me get this straight, I’m going to pay an unspecified and yet to be determined by Dell enrollment fee.  Care to tell me how much before I jump thru any more hoops?)
  7. Send payment and mountain of additional forms along with your first born child’s photo to mdell@dell.com  (OK, so I made that last part up but I think you get the idea).   The cool thing is you have about 15 different ways you can pay.  Unfortunately I didn’t see paypal on there.

So, once you invest an unspecified amount into the WPD application process you are now ready for your customers computer to break so you can do what?  Come on, be honest.  Most people signing up for this are going to double bill.  Bill the customer for the time spent then bill Dell too.  But what if you have an SLA, how does that work?   OK, so who you bill and how often is up to you.  Let’s focus on the Dell WPd side.  Here is a paragraph straight from Dell’s Program Guide.  Dig this:
Warranty Labor Reimbursement Claims are collected and verified for the return of service parts and call closure before the claim is processed. Assuming full compliance with the terms and conditions of the WPD Program Agreement, claims are then validated and qualified claims are paid within 60-90 days of the end of the month for which the claim was filed.

I’m glad the process of getting paid will be quick and easy… NOT!  How do you like those terms.

Here is another gem:
Replacement of ?Plug-In? Devices: external peripherals ? I.E.: printers; scanners; external zipdrives, modems, CD-ROMS, tape backup units; speakers, monitors, mouse or keyboards are allNon-Reimbursable parts.
More Here

In summary, Dell would like you to pay them so they can pay you what your customer would have paid you anyway to perform initial diagnostics on warranty covered hardware.  So I’m confused, I see the benefit for the customer, the benefit for Dell, but what about for me?  I’m still missing answers to a few key questions:

  1. Is this Dell’s answer to “working with VARs”?
  2. How much exactly will this cost me to join?
  3. How much exactly do I get paid to do what I was already getting paid to do? (Am I going to be that much cheaper than India?)

I think the first thing I will do when I become a WPD CASP is help Chris Rue get a new keyboard so I can understand what he is typing in IM.  Oh wait, that’s not covered….  I guess he will need to buy a new Dell.

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