Monday, March 12, 2007

Dell Hell

I ordered a new server a couple of weeks ago to replace one that I built about 5 years ago. I decided to buy a pre-built machine because I felt I just didn't have the time to go through the process of assembly. To keep it simple, I ordered an empty machine. It has one disk drive, no operating system and should have taken no time to build. Because I'm heading on the road again I paid for two-day delivery.

What I like about Dell is that it's pretty easy to configure the order on-line. In today's world, tracking packages is extremely simple and thorough with the ability to get detailed information about a package location anywhere in the world, 24x7.

Apparently not with Dell. The machine was shipped with two-day shipping on March 1st and now, 12 days later, no one can locate the machine. I'm on the phone now with Dell, for the fourth time in the last five days. We've gone from, "It will be delivered in the next two hours," to, "It will be delivered tomorrow," to, "We don't know why it's in Salt Lake City," - I live in the San Francisco bay area, about 800 miles away.

They actually don't know where the machine is located. In this day and age when I expect to be able to find out, via internet and instantly, where any order is located I'm having to go through the phone-tree hell at Dell. It takes a long time to speak with an actual human who, apparently, has no more information than I. In fact, the agent with whom I'm speaking is currently going through the phone to speak with the shipper. Will the shipper speak with the truck driver via cell?

How can a company that represented the epitomy of on-line service and sales be reduced to such a position? Companies that forget the value they provide to their customers will always fail and disappear, is that the fate awaiting Dell?

I'm also tracking my order with AlienWare for my new desktop system. Let's see how they compare. I'm not sure yet how much I'll like AlienWare's service but I'm positive on how I feel about Dell. The only question that remains is if this is the last Dell machine I ever get or if the XPS already on my desktop was my last machine from them. If they can't find it then they can keep the order.

Update as I'm writing this - If I want to locate the machine, I need to call the carrier myself. When I asked to speak with a supervisor I was disconnected. Unbelievable.


grant said...


Dell bought Alienware last year... I hope your stuff turns up.


Dave Dargo said...