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Apple approaches warranty support by taking a customer service approach to making repairs as frictionless as possible. But at the end of the day, it's like going to the dentist, and despite having a cheerful, empathetic receptionist, you still have to endure the pain and hear the intimidating drill.
Dell, on the other hand, hopes that you never have to think about warranties and system failure. By making warranty support automated, seamless and invisible, you won't even know that something is wrong. It's similar to Kaiser Permanente's preventative care approach to medicine.
What we like
If you can afford it, you should pay the premium to get ProSupport Plus. The Plus option adds in the predictive monitoring, a feature that makes Dell's business warranty stands out, and accidental damage protection.
Both the standard ProSupport and the Plus options come with proactive support, meaning no waiting in line at Best Buy to see a member of the Geek Squad. The SupportAssist software will automatically create a ticket number when an incident is detected, and Dell's reps will reach out to you to inform you of your next steps.
When SupportAssist detected memory failure on my Latitude 12, Dell proactively contacted me via phone and informed me that my replacement part will arrive the following business day.
Even though the customer service Dell provided in my support experience is great, Dell really doesn't need to highlight good customer service, because with predictive, proactive support, the problem disappears.
To me, the issue becomes less about customer service and more about quality products. Despite having a glitch, albeit one that was induced for the purpose of this review, I didn't need to wait close to four hours for my laptop's problem to be diagnosed, and I wasn't out any downtime for repair work. It feels like nothing went wrong because Dell was able to catch the problem in time.
What we dislike
The only complaint I have is that predictive monitoring isn't available for more system components at this time. Dell is only able to monitor and predict failure for hard disk and solid state drives, memory, battery and keyboard. In the future, I hope Dell extends its predictive intelligence to cover the fans, charger, motherboard and ports, especially the more delicate micro USB port used to charge the Venue series of tablets.
Pricing is also a little confusing. Rather than offering ProSupport and ProSupport Plus pricing that's directly tied to the Dell hardware cost, Dell could have simplified pricing by offering support package based on pricing tier. Additionally, offering a "family plan" bundle like Dell would be beneficial to small business owners who own more than one piece of Dell hardware.
Dell's predictive and proactive support business warranty is unmatched by rivals in the industry. Predictive support helps to reduce downtime and data loss, while the proactive piece of ProSupport Plus helps reduce the headache of filing a support claim. Beyond just offering support when there is hardware trouble, the SupportAssist software also makes sure that your system stays healthy by alerting you to potential problems.