20 February 2006

Help Paul Dell Win

You know, I need a new computer. The one I'm currently using is about eight years old. I heard recently that Dell was going to start selling computers without an Operating System, so I wouldn't have to pay the Microsoft Tax. I thought this was a turning point for Dell, in trying to prove that they're being a a consumer-friendly, and technologist-friendly company.

I was wrong.

First, Dell's Chairman announced that they would consider using AMD processors in their computers, moving away from being an all-Intel shop. Apparently, this was just another rumor.

And now this: Dell is suing an individual over a web site, just because that individual -- who happens to be named Paul Dell -- is using his name in the web site.

That's two strikes against my purchasing a Dell computer. Unlike baseball, I think that's two strikes too many, and I think I'll be looking at other companies for my new computer -- perhaps even a white box where I won't have to pay the bloody Microsoft Tax.

Help Paul Dell Win

1 comment :

  1. I thought I would share my Dell horror story with you.

    Last month, my tax refund was due to magically zap into my checking account any day. I had decided months ago that I was finally going to take the plunge and buy a notebook.

    My employer participates in the so- called "Employee and Affiliates Discount Program". For anyone who's not familiar, it goes something like this. Any corporate entity that buys product from Dell gets signed up for this program so Dell can tap into pools of potential customers. The problem with it is that the program is pure crap. The so-called discounts are the same prices advertised to the general public via direct mail, TV, and coupon codes. The employee discount webpage shows that great price of $499 for an Inspiron B120 Notebook...but...that's the price everyone else pays. I came to find out that the discount program awards discounts of "up to 12%" for upgrades. In other words...add that 3 year extended warranty for $299? We'll give you a $10 discount. Big shit!

    Anyway, back to my horror story. I shopped and shopped around. I compared and narrowed it down. I refuse to play the rebate game. That didn't leave me with many retailers to choose from. As a result, I felt that the price for the Dell was as good as I would get anywhere else.

    The magic day arrives. It's Friday, February 17th and my refund is in my checking account. I hop on-line to transfer the funds to my MasterCard. However, in my haste, I didn't take into account the time it may take for my credit union to post my transaction. A few minutes later after submitting my order to Dell, I get an automated response telling me they could not get an approval on my card.

    No problem. All I needed to do was wait 24 hours and the funds would be posted on my MasterCard. I would follow the instructions on Dell's email and call their order department to confirm the card info and resubmit the order.

    In the meantime, Sunday's Best Buy flier comes out....sigh...and there she is. Right on the cover...sleek, stylish, sexy, and cheap!

    They had a loss leader Gateway with comparable and, in some categories, superior features for about $100 less. Come Sunday morning, I was just like one of those idiots you see on TV at the Friday after Thanksgiving sales.

    I handed over my MasterCard and bought my baby. Plus, with the $54.00 I would have paid Dell for shipping, I had Geek Squad upgrade the memory for me in 15 minutes.

    I didn't worry about my "order" with Dell. The reason was because they sent me multiple emails every day telling me my card was not approved, please call them to resubmit the order. Furthermore, I received an email on Sunday, Feb. 20th that specifically read.."unless you call to confirm you order, it will automatically cancel in 4 days."

    Imagine my surpise when on Feb. 22nd, I got an email advising me that my order shipped.

    I used my MasterCard for my Best Buy purchase. The credit limit I had left wasn't enough to approve the Dell purchase.

    Turns out despite what their emails described and what procedures they would follow regarding cancelling my order, the folks at Dell thought they would get creative with my credit card. Since they couldn't get an authorizaion for the total amount, they decided they'd make multiple other attempts for smaller amounts until they reached the total. My account was hit with three different authorizations.

    So...today is March 9th. After refusing delivery and exchanging phones calls and emails with Dell's customer service in New Delhi or Pakistan or wherever to raise hell; the package has finally arrived back at Dell's facility in Austin as of March 8th. A full credit is pending. Mind you, because of Dell, I'm over my limit on my MasterCard, my available credit is not available; plus, I will incur interest and a penalty fee. I'm hoping that the credit will hit my account by the 17th, but I'm not making any bets on it.

    Stay away from Dell! Don't make the mistake I did and trust their communications.