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what it takes

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Sat, 22 Apr 2000 11:46:16 -0500
Message-Id: <200004221542.LAA943243@smtp2.mail.iamworld.net>
To: w3c-wai-eo@w3.org
Cc: "Lisa LaNell Mauldin" <lisamauldin@earthlink.net>, kford@teleport.com
[broken record warning...]

The case history below is a marvellous tale, but in some ways it reads just
like all the other success stories I have occasionally encountered,
sprinkled amongst the tales of woe.

First: it takes professionalism; courtesy in dealing with the people on the
other end, a well-prepared story including backups [which WAI has prepared
well.]  But then it still takes a lot of sheer persistence and hard work.

Technical note: for this job, the phone may prove to be generally more
effective than email.

Second: the disabled community has a lot of remarkably able people with a
telephone and some available time.  This is a resource, we should ally
ourselves with those who can mobilize it.

Al

>From: "Lisa LaNell Mauldin" <lisamauldin@earthlink.net>
>To: "webwatch" <webwatch@telelists.com>
>Subject: [webwatch] Positive Response from dell.com
>Date: Fri, 21 Apr 2000 17:45:14 -0500
>List-Unsubscribe: <mailto:leave-webwatch-184612D@telelists.com>
>Reply-To: "webwatch" <webwatch@telelists.com>
>X-LYRIS-Message-Id:
<LYRIS-184612-13021-2000.04.22-01.10.03--asgilman#iamdigex.net@telelists.com>
>
>Hello All,
>
>I am new to this list; however, I recognize several names from other lists
>to which I am a member.  So, I say "Hello" to old and new friends a like.
>
>I have been shopping for a new computer of late and ventured over to the
>dell.com site, only to find JFW3.5 reading full addresses instead of alt-tag
>text.  With a little persistence, I could figure out the pattern of links
>for a particular page; however, once I moved to another page, my
>investigatory journey began all over again.
>
>Prior to joining this list, I forwarded the information to Kelly believing
>that I did not have the technical "know how" to explain to anyone at Dell
>exactly what was necessary to "fix" the issue, and Kelly confirmed that it
>probably wouldn't take Dell that long to make the necessary corrections.
>The challenge, he believed, would be finding the right person with whom to
>discuss the matter.  Knowing that he had a day job and, therefore, limited
>time, and I had neither (day job nor limited time), I offered to do the "leg
>work" if I could refer the Dell web developer - once located - to Kelly for
>technical consultation.  Kelly agreed.
>
>Well, trust me when I say that Kelly's belief that it would be difficult to
>find the right person was an understatement, at best.  I believe that I
>could have finessed my way into Fort Knox with greater ease than getting a
>phone call inside Dell's Corporate Headquarters.  Per usual, I started the
>adventure by calling the "800" number Customer Care Center.  A brief
>explanation of what I wanted led me to a toll number for corporate.  After
>remaining on the line after a computer invited me to either press "1" if I
>knew my party's extension, or press "2" do dial by name, I landed at an
>human attendants desk, where I was told I either needed an extension number
>or an individual's name.  I explained the purpose for my call again, and
>this yielded another request for either an extension or an individual's
>name.  (Isn't that called redundancy? <smile>)  Patiently, I explained

>again.  This time, I was transferred...to where, I knew not.
>
>After many, many rings, a human being answered the phone, and I discovered
>that I had been switched back to technical support to a guy named Jonathan.
>This proved to be a God-send.  Jonathan did not know to whom I should be
>referred; however, he placed me on hold and got up out of his chair, went
>downstairs within the massive Dell facility, and did not give up until he
>had secured a name for me.  For thirty-four minutes, I bopped to the beat of
>classic easy-listening, alternating with excellent acoustic "unplugged"
>style instrumental selections, while Jonathan executed his mission
>impossible.  At long last, the other end of the connection came alive with
>human voice, and I had a name!  Back to corporate!
>
>An extremely nice, incredibly interested individual answered his line within
>a couple of rings, and before I had even gotten a couple of sentences into
>my explanation, he had grabbed an open session of Notepad and began
>"scribbling" copious notes.  The true beauty of this miracle was the fact
>that the man to whom I spoke was not the right person - I needed a dell.com
>web developer while he was a dell.net developer - however, he vowed to
>search out the elusive dell.com web master to advocate on our behalf.  He
>said that much of the code for the dell.com site was automatically generated
>from a database application.  He also indicated that he would be speaking
>with his boss as he felt it was extremely important that all Dell sites be
>universally accessible.  Our conversation lasted nearly thirty minutes, and
>he gave me his e-mail address.  Per his request for supporting material that
>he could take to his boss, I sent him some information Kelly Ford had put
>together on the subject in a previous e-mail, as well as an article on the
>untapped potential of the disability market segment for American business.
>I also included the URL's for the W3C/WAI and Bobby Approval and - with his
>permission - Kelly's e-mail address for technical consultation.
>
>A brief note of humor, the man with whom I spoke was amazed and impressed
>that I had managed to "get inside."  He said he could not even get to his
>office without a photo-id badge pinned to his chest. <smile>
>
>All in all, I was extremely impressed with the customer service orientation
>of the Dell organization and the individuals with whom I spoke, and it is my
>sincerest hope that they remain equally attentive when I purchase my new
>desktop from them! <smile>  I'll keep you posted on web site improvements.
>
>Regards,
>Lisa Mauldin
>
>
>--
>
>
>Lisa LaNell Mauldin
>E-mail: lisamauldin@earthlink.net
>Web Site:  http://home.earthlink.net/~lisamauldin
> 
Received on Saturday, 22 April 2000 11:41:46 GMT

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