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Dell's Helpless Desk - The Missing Laptop Computer

I have purchased a new Dell laptop recently. Unfortunately although it was supposed to have arrived about almost a week ago, I have no idea when to expect it.

I was contacted by Walsh Western, who are the courier firm used by Dell, and arranged for it to be delivered last Tuesday. I stayed at home all day waiting for the laptop to arrive, but heard nothing. I contacted Walsh Western the following day, as they had already closed before the end of the delivery slot, and although the website tracking said that I was not at home, they informed me that the Laptop was being returned to Dell as the packaging was damaged.

Since then I've been trying to get an update from the Dell Helpdesk although from the "help" they've given I might well have not bothered. The helpdesk appears to be an offshore help desk, perhaps in India or a similar part of the world. The call goes first to a call receipt who literally ask for order number, name and address, and then ask the problem. They then pass it straight on to another number which takes a while longer to answer. I then have to answer all the questions again before they say that they will investigate.

The first time I called I was told that they'd investigate and call back within 3 hours. I also received an email confirming they would call back in 3 hours. The following day I still hadn't heard.

The following day I called again and after going through the same process they said that they hand not heard back from the courier firm and would find out shortly. I still didn't receive an answer so I called again, and this time I asked them to get on the phone and speak to the courier firm. The answer I received was that they were not allowed to make phone calls, all they could do was send emails. Now it did strike me as a little odd that they weren't even allowed to make a phone call to a business partner directly involved in the supply of the laptop. Perhaps it was just me, assuming that they actually wanted to investigate or cared about their customers, but the helpdesk still didn't seam to be doing much helping.

I phoned again on Friday, 2 days after my initial contact with the Dell helpdesk. After going through the usual pass the caller, I was told that they would have to investigate and that it would take 72 hours. I was starting to get a little annoyed at this point having not got any information from the previous 48 hours, I told that that it wasn't acceptable and that I'd like to speak to a manager. At first they tried to fob me off by saying that the manager would still tell me it would take 72 hours, but I was insistent, so I was put on hold whilst they told me that they would get a manager. After keeping me on hold for a few minutes I was told that nobody was available, but that a manager would definitely call me back within an hour. That hour passed, as did several more and I still didn't hear back from Dell.

I'll try again on Monday once their 72 hours is up, but I'm not hopeful about getting a reply. I'm very tempted to cancel my order, but the laptop that I ordered is just the spec. that I want, and at a good price. Helped by some special offers that they had at the time. HP have a similar laptop, which is only marginally more expensive, but don't appear to have them in stock (or not to order from the Internet at least). Fujitsu Siemens also have a reasonable alternative, but it comes with a 17" screen, which is a bit bigger than I wanted, and means the cost is a bit higher. At the moment I'm still hanging on to see if Dell can deliver the laptop I've ordered, but I am seriously considering cancelling the order.

I have referred to them as the helpdesk in this post. I think that Dell actually call them customer care services. In either case they have provided neither help nor customer care so far, and I'm yet to be convinced they are able of doing anything other than answering a phone.

I'll no doubt post an update in the near future.

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