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27 March 2007
Further to my post: Dell’s Helpless Desk - The Missing Laptop Computer I have now finally been able to cancel my order for a laptop, but it took a 30 minute long phone call to do it, and it is going to take several days more to get my money back.
First I got passed through the call receipt, who couldn't even give me a status of my order before passing me on. I then got passed on to the helpdesk who still couldn't say what the status of my order was. I was told that the 72 hours for investigation, which even if you don't include the weekend would have expired since my first report. I was then told that it was 72 business hours. They didn't explain what was meant by business hours, but taking a Wikipedia Business Hours as being 9 to 5, that is 9 days. If they meant 72 hours minus weekends, then the 72 hours was still up, and they said that they would still not be able to provide me an update until Wednesday. It seams that the length of time just keeps increasing. The thing is that I wouldn't actually be that bothered about it taking a bit longer, but nobody seams to know where, or in what condition the laptop is. The Dell website says it is despatched. The Walsh Western website says that nobody was home, when I most certainly was and the helpdesk / customer services don't appear to be able to pick up a phone and call anyone. As far as I know the delivery is still sat in a depot somewhere in the West Midlands.
At this point, I had had enough of being lied to, and fobbed off so I asked to cancel my order. I was then told that I would not be allowed to cancel my order until after the investigation was complete. I said that was not acceptable and asked to be transferred to someone else who could actually cancel my order. Our conversation kept going around in circles, with the customer service person still refusing to cancel my order. I asked to speak to a manager, several times, before I was put on hold, but then the same person came back. Still no manager.
I then became very insistent that I did not want to continue the conversation with them and demanded to be transferred to a manager. Finally I got the Senior Supervisor, who apologised for the fact that I'd never been given an update, but was still not able to say where the laptop was. I then had to ask them several times before they would actually cancel my order and I got an order cancellation number. They said that they would not be able to give me a refund until 3 to 5 days after the investigation had completed. I said that was unacceptable. I have never received the laptop so the fact that they don't know where it is, is up to them to resolve not me. Walsh Western is Dell's courier firm, and they had never handed anything over to me. I have now been told that I should have the money back by Thursday, which is still a long time to wait for a cancellation, but was shorter than I was originally told.
I am very dissatisfied by the way that I've been treated by Dell. I've been given wrong information, lied to and ignored. To add insult to injury it's still going to take most of this week until I get my money back and can go elsewhere for a laptop.
Perhaps the one good thing is that I have found this out during the order process and not through a problem with my laptop. At least here I had the option to cancel (thankfully protected by UK law), but had this been a broken laptop going back for repair then I hate to think what it would have been like or how long it would have taken. The Dell laptop, a Dell Inspiron 6400, was slightly cheaper than the other laptops I'm looking for, but the additional piece of mind is worth more than the small difference in price.
I'm now looking at a couple of alternatives. The HP website still has the laptop I want as "ring for availability", although some local stores appear to sell it, and Dabs lists it as expected in a few days. I've also seen some Acer, Samsung and Fujitsu Siemens laptops that would also fit the bill. I'll see how long it takes to get my money back and then look at ordering an alternative. Lets hope I have more success with someone else.