Dell Computers; look over your shoulder

So, unless you have been among the unfortunate who succumbed to Dell’s latest play for market dominance in the “build your own” PC world, this won’t resonate. I’m going to pit Dell without the benefit of four letter words and invective, but will nonetheless Pit them

So, Michael Dell, you and your peeps had a great idea - offer an extemely lightweight laptop/notebook that your customers could customize - XPS M1330. Offer a few “cool” colors indeed to ramp up the interest. And then, FAIL TO DELIVER. I among others,are less than amused:

After multiple fruitless calls, I have concluded that Dell doesn’t really care about this - tough luck, customer, we advertised something we couldn’t deliver on - oh well, go check out our competition (one of the Dell minions actually said on the phone “well if you need a computer so bad, why don’t you go to BestBuy or Walmart”

So, folks, Dell doesn’t seem to be worried (I’m amazed that they think their market position will weather this storm) - my advice - buy a Mac - then you won’t have to deal with the other damage that results from large corporation hubris (can you say Vista?)

If you’re talking about market share as it applies to this particular niche item, maybe. But I’m not so sure trouble with one new item is going to have the kind of effect you’re thinking it might.

As for us, we’ve ordered three PCs from Dell at different times. All of them have been delivered in much less than the stated time, in fact we had the first one about four days before the date we were told they would start building it. And we just ordered two laptops. The expected shipping date was Aug. 28. They shipped today. I’m happy with them.

Why would anybody switch to a Mac just because some new Dell trinket is behind schedule? I call that throwing the baby out with the bath water.

I went to Dell’s website to configure the 1330 for myself. There were a couple of parts that plainly stated beneath them that those selections would cause a delay in delivery. I worked in Home Sales (and, briefly, manufacturing) for a while and can tell you that, most likely, they had an unexpected run on some components or had issues getting components delivered to their assembly sites.

Remember, they build the computers here and ship 'em out, but the parts and components that Dell uses come from overseas.

Another likely reason is that the demand was much, much higher than they expected. Also, Dell just went through a state-sponsored tax-free weekend with another one or two coming. I guarantee that it’s shipping lanes are totally clogged.

I don’t work there anymore so I can’t say for sure. I can say that when the super-duper, high-end XPS desktops come out every year or so, they’re delayed like crazy. Sometimes there is no good reason. So, there it is.

Unanticipated demand? Surely Dell has sophisticated marketing data that prompted them to develop and offer the M1330 (they aren’t likely to introduce a new model without very careful forecasting, IMHO).

My beef is how they are handling the problem. Until the PR problem surfaced (got to love the Internet!) no one from the company was forthcoming. And now, in spite of many complaints, they are yet unwilling to offer anything to those who placed orders in good faith.

The problem is bigger than the M1330 Link
I have been a loyal and repeat Dell customer, but not anymore. Just so.

Yes, the marketing guys take a wild flaming guess, hwich they back up with incomprehensible flowcharts and graphs. Look, they don’t have crystal balls, here. Sophisticated marketing data means nothing in the face of actual consumers.

Why is it that every time something sells out upexpectedly the only explanation some people jump to is that it’s all a conspiracy by the big bad corporation?

See also: the Wii.

I’m confused. The guy in the OP’s link had an initial ship date of August 22. Then he hears about other people having delays and gets antsy. Then his machine shipped last week and arrived on the 9th. And somehow this indicates that Dell is in trouble?

If I were a Dell salesperson and someone called me in a dither about this, I’d be pretty darn vague too. At least, verbally. My thoughts would be painfully precise.

Since I’ve seen quite a bit of traffic coming from this board, I thought I’d chime in. I’m the author of that linked article.

The fact that I was given an August 22nd was the problem initially. When I spoke with the Dell sales rep, I specifically asked about delays. I’d heard murmurs about them, and I needed the laptop for the end of July. The rep told me, no, there are no delays. You’ll get the laptop within 10 to 15 days. That would have put the delivery date somewhere around the 20th of July at the latest.

So you can imagine my frustration when I find out only AFTER I placed the order (Dell Canada’s website does not provide an ETA before the order is placed, which is the precise reason I decided to call a sales rep beforehand) that it wouldn’t be until late August. Obviously, this was completely out of whack, compared to what the rep told me after I **explicitly **asked.

Still, I was somewhat optimistic, perhaps the ETA was just being conservative, but when July 20th came and went without so much as a peep from Dell about my order (and reading of massive delays from Direct2Dell and other places) I decided to call them. They told me that my ETA was actually August 3rd. The date on the website was pretty much bogus, as was the original rep’s information.

So when August 3rd also came and went without it being shipped, much less arriving in my hands, I became a little irked. My laptop has since shipped on the 9th of August. I have not yet received it.

So boiled down, my disappointment really has nothing to with the August 22nd ETA itself. I became frustrated because I was blatantly lied to by the rep before ordering and only **after **I ordered did I find out about that almost 2 month ETA. Then my ‘real’ ETA of August 3rd also came and went.

Ok. Well I was flat mistaken in saying that the laptop had been delivered, Chuck. It was shipped yesterday. I don’t know if it’s shipping from the US or somewhere in Canada. I’ve usually gotten stuff from Dell within 4 days but that’s in the US. I don’t know anything about Dell Canada or their website and didn’t catch that this was talking about Canadian service. If Dell Canada’s site doesn’t tell you the ship date until after you’ve confirmed the order, than that’s a website problem and that should be addressed.

As for the rest of it, the fact remains that your invoice, placed a week after the m1330went on sale, told you your item would ship on Aug 22. So you’ve known all this time that was your target date. (And funny but your initial post on the subject, from 7/7, makes no mention of the lying sales reps or how that’s your main beef. You mention several times there and in subsequent posts that the sales rep told you it was hugely popular but not that they had lied to you about a guarantee of ten day shipping.)

And lo and behold, your computer actually shipped ahead of the scheduled Aug 22 - ie, the schedule you knew about from day 1, and claim not to mind, despite also claiming you need it by the end of July.

I still think this is a story about annoying internet shoppers in a tizzy and not Dell on the verge of collapse, like the OP tried to portray it.

Computers for Dell Canada are shipped in from various factories around the world, but they get placed together with accessories, documentation, and get their OS installed at various locations in the US. It typically takes 3-5 business days for it to arrive in Canada.

As I said, the Aug 22nd ETA wasn’t given until after I placed the order. I didn’t feel like airing out too much dirty laundry on the site because it was more intended to inform people, rather than complain unreasonably. I was working with various people at Dell at the time to sort some things out so I thought it was only fair to give them a chance.

Again, I was told taht my ETA was actually Aug 3rd all along when I did call. I do agree, a part of it is frustration on the buyer’s part (mine). Dell’s not going down the hole because of this. It’s shortages that are affecting the entire industry. And even so, Dell’s working on it. I’ve had the situation addressed to my satisfaction and I think other buyers will feel the same when Dell is done.

Man, that Dell commercial with the Flaming Lips tune rocks, buy one of those.

From everything I’ve read, Dell doesn’t care all that much about individual customers. Selling to large organizations is their bread and butter.

When I did a short stint temping at Rite Aid’s corporate headquarters, I never once got an incomprehensible and clueless Indian tech on the line when I called Dell trying to RMA drives and whatnot; it was always a very friendly and knowledgeable American.

Solution: start a large corporation and buy a few hundred or thousand computers from Dell. Then they’ll treat you right. :smack:

Some of us call it moving from a Volkswagon to a Porsche. :wink:

As neutron star indicates, Dell’s primary interest these days is supplying desktops, workstations, and servers to commercial clients who can purchase in bulk. Their interest in supporting home and small office computing is waning, and they’ve pretty much opted for a standard three-size fit.

Meh on the rant, though. There are plenty of other options besides Dell, and it’s about the second or third last I’d go to for a laptop computer, anyway.


When I tried to order from Dell, I didn’t get the M1330, but the Inspiron 1510. I placed the order on 6/18 and they estimated I’d have it in about 10 days. I checked the account online daily to check the status. I noticed within a few days, there was a delay of a week, with the wireless router being even further out.

I approved the first delay online. Then a few days later, there was another delay, but I didn’t see an email asking me to approve the delay. I asked them why there were 2 delays and they said they were waiting for the processor. :smack: Don’t they stock these things? It’s not a special item! IT’s the goddamned processor!!

Anywho, the next day, they cancelled my fucking order! I spoke with several Indian-speaking people and had them reinstate the order, with the promise that I wouldn’t be put at the back of the line, so to speak.

After checking online shortly after that phone call on 6/29, my new order date was 6/29! I called and asked to talk to a “supervisor” who assured me that he would talk to the people in the factory to “put a rush on it”.

The next day, I called and cancelled my order, telling the Indian person who couldn’t have given less of a shit, that I was very unhappy with Dell and that I was going to get my laptop elsewhere. I went to Comp USA that afternoon and walked out with a great laptop (great except for Vista anyway).

Wow. It was cool to see a true and meaningful example of “my post is my cite”! :smiley:

You’re not the only one. Apple has consistently been rated higher in service and customer satisfaction than Dell for quite some time. Most of the gripes directed at them have been to do with iPod batteries. There are people who rate them lower just because the batteries are not customer-replaceable, regardless of whether they’ve actually had a problem with the battery or a desire to replace it.

(Considering how tightly those things are engineered, there are some solid reasons for using the type of batteries they do, and it’s not exactly safe for customers to be fooling around with the battery packs.)

If every Dell customer Ran to Apple tomorrow, the delays on shipping Mac’s would make this Dell debacle look like a minor stock hiccup.

I do feel vindicated by events since my original post; Bloomberg news has, at least as quoted by my hometown newspaper, reported that Dell has indeed fallen quite short of their “customer relations” in the past year in spite of reportedly infusing much $$$ into a renewed effort to woo new customers. Not only that, Dell will now be restating its financial ledgers for that past few years - yup, they seem to be enjoying a just reward for their arrogance. And, Dell is falling farther away from their hopes of dominating the PC market (HP continues to have a bigger dick as far as the general consumer is concerned). FUCK DELL. I hope Micheal Dell and his miserable Texas goat fuckers end up like Enron.