I couldn’t decide if this was a rant, or just a warning, or what. But I’m guessing there are people who want to vent about Dell’s ‘Customer Service’, so I put this in the pit.
The other day I ordered a new laptop for my daughter, who needs it for school. I configured it through Dell’s site, and chose the 3-5 day delivery option.
Today I got my order notification E-mail, and I followed the link back to the Dell site, which is now quoting a delivery date of Nov 30. WTF? I don’t want to wait a month for a laptop I could have purchased the next day at numerous places in the city. I ordered online for convenience.
So I searched Dell’s site for their cancellation policy, and the search turned up reams of very angry posts in the Dell forum. Apparently, these kinds of delays are common now - something’s wrong with Dell’s procurement practices. And you can’t cancel. Once the order is ‘in production’, you have to wait for them to ship it to you, then you can ship it back. But you have to pay the postage back, and they ‘may’ charge you a 15% restocking fee. For a $1,000 laptop, my only choice is to wait a month, then pay $30 shipping and possibly a $150 fee. I am totally at Dell’s mercy if I don’t want to do that.
This is totally unacceptable from an online retailer. There’s no way in hell they should be able to arbitrarily change your delivery from 3-5 days to a month or more, without giving you the option to cancel without penalty.
And it gets worse. This may not be the only delay. Some people have had their delivery dates changed 2 or 3 times. One person on the forum has been waiting for over two months.
I thought of simply buying a laptop locally and refusing the shipment when it arrives, but Dell’s got a plan for that too - they say that if they receive ‘unauthorized’ returns, they will refuse a refund, AND they will keep the returned item. They’ll consider it a gift from you to them. Isn’t that special?
In addition, there are people who are having holds put on their credit cards by Dell for the duration of the production. If it’s an order close to your limit, that renders your credit card useless until you get your order and it reverts to an actual payment you can pay off - which could take several months.
People who try to contact customer service are experiencing endless runarounds, disconnects, rude personnel, promises to respond by E-mail or phone which never materialize, etc.
A check on the BBB web site shows thousands of complaints about Dell, many of which have been unresolved.
Something’s gone wrong with Dell. It’s not the company it used to be. I wish I had known that before I ordered the laptop. Now I can only hope it’s not delayed again, and I have to go explain to my daughter that the laptop she thought would be here this week won’t arrive until the semester is almost over, and that’s if we’re lucky and there are no more delays.
Do not buy from Dell online. If you want a Dell product, buy it from Costco, which still has reasonable customer service. Order online at your peril.
If I owned stock in Dell, I’d dump it. This kind of service is death to an online retailer.