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May 01, 2003

Why I'll probably never purchase anything from Dell again

My friend Noggie needed this Lexar Media 128 MB USB JumpDrive but she couldn't order it herself because Dell USA doesn't ship to Canada. So I offered to purchase it for her and would then ship it to her once I received it.

After placing the order I found out that it would be illegal to send it to her in Canada without an export license because of some of the technology it uses. Right after letting Noggie know I called Dell to cancel the order. The customer service representative I spoke with said she canceled it and my order status page on would reflect the cancellation within two hours. Around five hours later I checked the order status and saw it was still in "pre-production" so I called Dell to canceled it once again. This same scenario repeated itself four times over a few days. Then I received an email stating that the product I ordered would be delayed so I replied to the email and stated they should cancel the order and also said that I already requested the order be canceled a few times and could they please make sure it gets canceled for sure. They replied the next day saying it was canceled but I saw that the order status still showed it as in pre-production. I had to call them for a fifth time and requested it be canceled yet again. As with all the previous calls they were only able to tell me that the order would be canceled within a few hours. Yea right!

Well guess what the UPS man came with today: the god damn thing I was told was canceled a total of 6 times! So you'd think I could just call them and get them to pick it up? Nope, its not that easy. I could get a RMA number, but I'll have to pay for the return shipping, and pay a 15% restocking fee even though its unopened and its clearly their mistake that I'm sitting here holding the bloody thing.

I've resigned myself to just keeping it. Thank goodness it was only $41 and change after discounts and free shipping. It is a little upsetting knowing that I should have also been able to get a $20 rebate but I threw out the rebate form after I canceled the order and now the rebate form is now where to be found on the site. If you call the 1-800 number that Dell lists on the web site to request 'rebate forms by fax' it just places you in a telephone menu hell and it only tells you to go to the same dell rebate page I already knew about and got that number 1-800 from. Asking customer support about it is just as useless. redupset.gif

So I've learned three things from this experience:
1) Dell doesn't want you to ever cancel an order. It doesn't matter how many times you do it they'll just pretend like you never called.
2) Dell wants to discourage you from returning any product without inconveniencing and penalizing you and knows this will discourage most people from returning the products in the first place.
3) If you're lucky enough to get your hands on a rebate form never throw it out, until the rebate expiration date has expired.
4) Fuck Michael Dell. I'll only order peripherals and software from from now on. (I've canceled orders and made several hassle free returns with Amazon and know they don't screw you around.)

I should also note that this entire experience over this $40 product is very likely to discourage me from ever ordering another computer system from Dell too. This includes systems for work, my own business, and home use. If I include my employer's budget (where I specify/authorize my dept's purchases) this could cost Dell around $4.5 million in sales per year. Dude you're loosing a bunch of sales! tongue.gif

Posted in Product Reviews & Purchases by usrbingeek at 2003-05-01 22:46 ET (GMT-5) | 2 Comments | Permalink


My experiences with Dell have been the exact polar opposite, including returns... I guess it depends on who you get on the other end of the phone...

Posted by: Vinny at May 2, 2003 12:01 AM

I've refused delivery of something once and I still got charged for it and took a lot of calls to the company and finally my credit card company to get it removed.

Posted by: #!/usr/bin/geek at May 14, 2003 02:02 AM

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