I have only had to shout down the phone twice in my life. Once was in 2005’ish I believe. The other time was this week. Both times were to Dell, although the first time was to technical support and this time was to sales support. It’s somewhat encouraging to know that their sales support is as bad as their technical support. I assume their presales support is better otherwise they wouldn’t sell anything.
So here’s the story.
One of the perks of my life is hardware. I have one old client from my pre Blue Fountain days and every now and again they fit me up with a new laptop but I always want the important data saved there to be erased completely by gigacycle.co.uk. Due to some confusion, the first order, placed on the 24th was rejected. On the 26th (having mulled some more and upgraded some of the specs (including lighting on the keyboard and bluetooth), I tried to place the order again rejected again.
Approximately three hours later I suggested I use a different one of their company credit cards and I’d put in all the details myself. I also made the delivery address the same as the invoice address which I know can cause issues otherwise. I also added a digital camera to the order. To my joy, about thirty minutes late I got an order confirmation. Hoorah. Or so I thought. The confirmation page doesn’t mention the original order number but if I’d looked at the specs on the PDF it would have told me that they had issued an order for a laptop, the first spec laptop. I would have also noticed that it had no camera with it.
But at 18:39 on the 26th I got a Dell order check. They gave me two internet receipt numbers. One for the first order I’d placed on the 24th and one for the last order that I actually wanted, placed a few hours earlier. Those clever Dell people. They’d realised the issue and were asking me to confirm which one I wanted. at 19:03 I replied that it was ONLY the last order I wanted. And I felt happy with the world. Sad deluded fool I am.
At 21:31 on the 26th, I got another confirmation email. Odd – this was just for the camera. The order screen was still showing as the first order processing, the third order was for a camera only. The order screen for the laptop was showing the previous spec.
OK, I thought, I’ll ring Dell in the morning. Oh no you won’t matey. Once you’ve placed your orders Dell will not answer their phones apart from during working hours. Worrying. Still, I’d get it sorted Monday.
Sunday brought interesting news. My laptop was in production. Worrying. Even more worrying was another potential duplicate order message. This time the first order reference was for the second order I’d placed! The second order reference was a number I’ve never seen in my life and to this day I don’t know what it is. Entering it into the system gives me “We’re unable to give you an update at the moment”. I replied to this confirmation mail saying ‘DO NOT PROCESS ANYTHING, UNTIL i SPEAK TO YOU IN THE MORNING’.
The next day dawned and I prepared for the joy of customer support. Lady 1. Listened patiently and explained to me that the laptop was on the first order and the camera was on the second order. OK … but the first laptop is wrong – I replied to your confirmation mail which says I have three working days to reply. I replied in 30 minutes.
“Ah so sorry”, she says, but it is in production and can’t be stopped.
“Sorry? Can’t be stopped!? I replied in 30 minutes!”.
“So sorry sir.”
What should I be doing then.
“When it’s delivered you can return to us with an explanation and you can have your money refunded.”
Splutter. Er, you want to make a laptop – I don’t want. Send it to me. Let me send it back to you. Then you give me the money back. And then I order the right one again!? Did I get that right?
“Sorry sir, there’s nothing that can be done. “
Well yes – we can do something. We can refuse to take this ridiculous situation and tell them where to put their laptops. I am not sure how long I was on the phone but by the end of it I’d been promised her senior would be calling me to see what could be done. And I was exhausted. Having somebody just repeating to you something nonsensical regardless of what you said back was exhausting. I am told my voice was clear across the breadth and depth of the Liverpool office.
Man 1 phoned me back. He helpfully explained that the order was too late to be cancelled and that there was nothing that could be done. Back to the order check email I went. No budging. Why did they then process PART of the third order? He didn’t know but there was nothing that could be done. I told him that a) I would reporting them to the credit card company b) I would not be accepting anything they tried to deliver to me and c) I would then turn this over to the company solicitor.
This resulted in a 10% discount offer. Which threw me a bit off balance. But the fact remained. It wasn’t what I ordered, they’d asked me for a confirmation which they now claimed was pointless as it was too late AND they’d tampered with the third order. Somebody had seen that order, cut the laptop off it and just gone ahead with the digital camera. That was not automated. He even had the affront to tell me that I’d placed the third order for camera only. I vented.
“I’m sorry sir, can you tell me what you actually want.”
“I want the items on the third order. That’s all I want. Nothing else. Nothing more. Nothing less.
“The third order was for a laptop as well sir!?”.
He said he’d talk to somebody and call me back.
After that call (Monday 29th, about 13:00), I realised that the prices had changed between the orders as well. I was being offered a discount but the revised order had only added a tenner to the total price, so the whole unit cost must have gone down. So it was a discount on the old price. No wonder they were so desperate to flog me the original laptop.
So I awaited the call back. And waited. Today, Tuesday 30th – I phoned Dell at 17:30. “The person you wish to speak to is not available at the moment, can I ask him to call you back?”. Yes, I replied calmly. That would be nice. He has not done so yet.
Watch this space.
Update 1. Tuesday 30th, 22:28 – They’ve changed the status screen for order 1 to ‘shipped’. Looks like I’ve been totally ignored so far. Will be making another call tomorrow morning unless they phone me first.
Update 2. Wednesday 1st July, 16:15 – The man I need to speak to is on another line. He will call back in 20 minutes. ‘Are you sure?’. Yes sir. No call back.