Monday, May 18, 2009

Dell online help support fails the Turing Test

It's official Eliza is more intelligent than Dell help agents.

Had a sadly hilarious online chat with Dell support today, it reminded me of the old Eliza program. I expected any minute for it to ask me how I felt about the fan.

Here is the conversation I had, it's the abridged version as I removed a lot of other peripheral stuff:
Initial Question/Comment: Fan is loose and making a loud ricketting noise.
agent: Have you done any diagnostic tests or trouble shooting steps to help identify the issue?
me: did you read my questions? how do I diagnose a ricketting fan, am I speaking to a person here, or a bot?
agent: I am a human.
me: just wanted to be sure, didn't want to go round and round being asked the same Qs, via an automated agent.
agent: What have you tried so far to fix this?
me: um to fix a fan I'd have to open up my laptop, this voids my warranty, want me to do this now?
agent: Did you already tried to update your BIOS for your fan issue?
system: The session has ended!


  1. This post reminds me here in Argentina, when you ask to your local ISP about your Internet connection is down, the response was always the same:
    Reinstall your Windows... and if you have Linux, the answer is the same Reinstall your Windows, with emphasis in "Re"-Install.

  2. A good laugh and good customer support: both priceless!
    But getting one when expecting the other, that's not so nice.

  3. "Did you already tried to update your BIOS for your fan issue?"

    If that is the grammar kicked out by their "computer" it is even more scary.