Grey Forrest
1 Copper

Last chance for a bit of sanity from Dell support?

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Hi,

I feel I have to explain this long and needlessly time consuming story from the start, to cover all the bases and try to demonstrate how in the right I feel I am.

So on the 29th of April, after discovering a special offer on the Dell UK website of a £66 discount (actually £55 pre-VAT, the UK's 20% sales tax) on a Dell Vostro 3900 i5 desktop machine, after much contemplation, I decided decided to finally take the plunge and order the machine late evening, at just before 11pm, UK time. The offer was closing that day, so I realised I only had just over an hour to get my order in before midnight.

So, I went through the order, contemplated my configuration options/extras, and decided I'd stick with the standard options, filled in my details to register with the Dell website (this was my first Dell purchase), and was at the last stage of making payment...oh, low and behold, the discount had disappeared. The price was now £66 more, after VAT...I went back to try and modify the order to try and recover the discount, no luck. I clicked the chat/instant support button to try and get some assistance, but a message told me that support staff weren't available after 9pm. I half suspect the discount disappeared at around 11pm because some of Dell's UK servers might be on central European time, not UK BST/DST.

So, I was left with a dilemma. As I'd been debating ordering for days, and had gone through registering with the Dell UK website, and was through 90% of the process of making the order, I feel I'd mentally committed to making it, so it was hard not to continue. I thought to myself, “I'm pretty sure Dell will accept that I had not received the discount because of a technical glitch, the offer was still available, because I'd ordered on the 29th (I actually have a screen grab showing I completed the order at 11.20pm on the 29th, which I can provide if required, but it should be on your database as to what time I ordered) within the time limit of the offer. I can't really see them having too much of an issue with giving me the discount...but if they don't, I can surely cancel before dispatch.” And as I'd just discovered, no one was back at the Dell UK offices to Monday morning, there was no chance of dispatch until then...or so I thought.

So, I figured I'd send an email on early Monday morning, explaining what had happened, and would be able to cancel before dispatch if Dell UK weren't prepared to honour the offer. No problems... - incidently, I did try and send a message via the online support form system on the Friday night, but for some reason it wasn't accepting my customer number at the time, so it wouldn't allow me to send it. I assume it was because I'd just signed up and this was my first order, so your databases hadn't fully updated.

Well, my problems started when I checked my emails on Saturday morning. Much to my astonishment, I had received an email from Dell's delivery company, Syncreon, at 1.10am in the morning, two hours after making the order, stating the order had already been dispatched, and I could now no longer cancel the order. Even allowing for possible timezone differences from where it was possibly coming from, wow do your delivery guys work late!!!

So, as I couldn't find an email address on the Dell UK website to send to, on Monday morning I again tried using the online support form to explain the situation. This time, thankfully, it worked.

In likeliness, I thought the email I'd receive in reply would be a formality, a routine email, apologising for the technical glitch that had relieved me of my £66 discount and telling me £66 would be credited back to my credit card...boy, was I wrong.

So, for a start, I waited for a reply. I waited, and I waited...No reply. Naturally this was becoming frustrating, as the delivery was getting closer and closer. I really needed a response before the delivery turned up.

What added to the stress and frustration was Dell's rather archaic support system, which didn't give me any receipt of the support message I'd entered, other than a basic message displayed on the website after I'd clicked the send button, saying “thanks for your message, we'll get back to you” (or words to that effect), no reference number, support ticket, not even a receipt email, nothing. After closing the webpage, I had zero evidence I'd even sent the message. I think Dell should at least change this system to send an acknowledgement email to set the customer's mind at rest that they have some evidence of contact. It would have at least reduced my frustrations...but that's just my opinion.

Finally, after getting increasingly exasperated, I received a response from a support person who I'll refer to as MK (I won't use their full name) on Tuesday, May 3, 2016 at 11:52 AM. Just so I know how to refer to them, I googled the Christian name of MK, and it appears to be a female Indian name, so I'll assume they're female from here, and refer to them as “her”, also “MK” for short:

Hi *My name*

This is regarding the order#<Removed>.

The order has been shipped and it will reach Uk hub on 04/05/2016.

 

I will follow the case and get back t you once the order reaches uk hub.

Clearly this fairly terse response, wasn't at all satisfying, as I didn't WANT it delivered if I wasn't getting the £66 discount. I'm not exactly sure how you define “uk hub”, but I felt I was being stalled until the PC arrived at my door. It seems I had to accept delivery of the order before finding out if I was getting my £66 discount/refund. Why?

Finally, in exasperation, on the morning of delivery, I decided to deliver an ultimatum. I sent an email stating if I wasn't receiving the discount, I would refuse delivery.

FINALLY, this provoked a definitive answer...or so I thought, the exact contents of email was as follows:

Hi *my surname*,

I can process refund of £66 once the order is delivered.

Please respond to proceed further.”

So, I was getting my £66 discount and refund afterall, or so I thought. So I replied:

Ok, yes, that is acceptable to me. As long as the £66 is guaranteed to
be credited back to my credit card. Thank you,

I received no reply. Dell support was being uncommunicative again. But at this point, I felt I'd been given enough to accept I was getting a full refund for the amount I was owed and that was the matter resolved. I doubt any court in the land would think otherwise, so I treated the non-response in a positive light, as a confirmation – after all, if I wasn't, MK would make the effort to reply and correct me? Perhaps I should have demanded a further reply, but the PC could arrive at any moment, so it was a difficult decision as to whether or not to wait for a response. I was also driven simply by the fact that I WANTED to accept the order, in spite of the frustrating time I'd had at the hands of Dell support. Perhaps Dell should have been pleased I still wanted to be their customer.

So, I thought that was the end of the matter, I thought that as I had accepted the PC, MK would be automatically issuing the refund. So I unboxed it and set it up and tested it, it worked ok, it performed to my satisfaction, I spent hours backing it up and setting it up how I wanted and installing software. I'd say around 6 hours of effort.

No response to my email did ever end up arriving to my email box, but I thought the refund was sorted, and assumed MK had issued the £66 refund to my credit card, so I didn't feel the need to persue it...

On the 19th of May, I got my credit card bill...I'd been billed the full amount of £346.60, and no £66 refund. So I emailed MK to ask what had gone wrong.

MK finally got back to me on the 24th of May, a full 5 days later, after I had to send another email on the 23rd, asking what was going on. It was as follows:

We apologize for any inconvenience caused to you I couldn't get back to

you
on time as I am leave last week.

I have got approvals for 10% on total order value 34.68.

Please do respond to proceed further.

Regards,

So my £66 refund was now down to £34.68. I clearly found this unacceptable, as I felt I'd clearly been promised the full £66. I was also fuming. I refused the offer, and MK got back to me offering me a 10% discount on a future order. As feel Dell have messed me about a ridiculous amount over what should have been a routine, unquibblable refund, strangely I didn't feel much desire to to order from Dell again, so this was of no value to me. I get the impression Dell support haven't ever appreciated how annoyed I am about how I feel I've been messed about by them. In over 10 years of ordering online, I've genuinely never had such a frustrating and exasperating experience.

At this point, I felt MK had either made a promise she couldn't keep when she offered me the £66 refund on the day of delivery, or had mislead me to get me to accept delivery. Either way, I wanted someone else to deal with my case from here on in.

The main problem now was I wanted to know if Dell would try to issue me with a restocking fee. But I realised that after the £66 reneged promise debacle, how can I trust what MK told me on the issue? I don't feel I've had any explanation of why MK seemed to promise me a £66 refund, then reneged on the deal.

The second reason is I also wanted a confirmation that what had gone on is in line with Dell UK policy, whether the way I've been treated is acceptable in Dell's eyes, or whether MK was acting on her own. If it is acceptable policy to promise one thing, then change the deal afterwards, then ignore the customer for days, then I feel there's something a little amiss at Dell UK support.

Oh, and the 3rd reason was that I entertained the problems I was having with MK was down to language problems, and she wasn't entirely understanding the points I was making or understanding my explanation of events. Replies seemed terse and often missing words. In spite of me trying my best to explain what went wrong with my order, I've had no real attempt an explanation as to what did go wrong, making me think she's never really understood why I felt so strongly that I should so clearly getting the full £66 refund in the first place. Frankly, the whole thing baffled me, as I felt I was clearly in the right.

So I asked MK if someone else could deal with my case. In reply, she told me what details I should give for a collection of the PC, but ignored my request for another support person to deal with. I've sent another email on the Monday, May the 30th, asking again for someone else to deal with my case.

Finally, MK got back to me on Fri, Jun 3, 2016, but only to tell she'd arranged to collect the PC on Tuesday the 7th. So sadly, no other person to deal with from Dell support, so no second take on the situation. I emailed her back asking if I'd suffer any restocking fee. She's said no, and I will get a full refund of £346.60, which is something. I'm just hoping that is correct, and subject to change, like my promised £66 refund.

Considering the hours I've spent (and now probably wasted) setting up the PC, what I'd really like to do is to still keep the PC, but I'm only prepared to do that if Dell are prepared in turn to fulfil the agreement MK made on the delivery date, and refund the £66 owed to me, so end up paying the price I should have paid for it in the first place. It's a point of principle for me. I bought the PC at the time of the offer, so I should have got the discount in the first place, and on top of that, MK made a commitment to refund me the £66. If this can still happen, then hopefully I then would have no hardware problems with the PC during the warranty period and me and Dell can go our separate ways. Usually I'm not the sort of person that needs lots of support “hand-holding”, or fires off numerous emails to technical support. For the life of me, I've no idea why this has been so difficult, considering the £66 discount was price Dell were selling the PC at, so I assume were still making a profit at.

I didn't expect trying to get a refund of £66 that I felt was naturally owed to me when you look at the evidence, would be like pulling teeth, or trying to barter a discount with a used car salesman. Why such difficulty and resistance? I find the whole thing bordering on the bizarre. A bit of me would still like to be a Dell customer, but I also need to feel like I'm being treated as fairly as everyone else.

To make matters even more ridiculous, I've just seen an offer for exactly the same model and spec Dell PC from a third party UK vendor for £239 (I'd provide a link if required, but I don't want to risk my post being treated as spam), a whole £105 less than the £346.60 I've currently paid. And I'm saying I'd be happy with a refund of £66. I'm only really prepared to take this lesser amount because of the time I'd spent setting up the PC.

But if I can't get the £66 refund, then I'll simply return the PC, but reorder it with the 3rd party vendor, it'll save me a relatively considerable amount of money, but I'll have wasted the 6 hours or so I spend with the the one in my possession (add another 2 hours to clean my stuff off the PC and box it up). But, if that's what I have to do it, then I'll do it. The whole thing seems a “lose / lose” for everyone. Dell are going to end up paying for the restocking, then indirectly selling me the same model PC for even cheaper via a 3rd party vendor, and I'm going to have end up wasting another 6 hours setting up the new one up. Crazy.

So, ok, last chance before the guy comes to collect it. It doesn't seem I'm going to get to talk to anyone else from Dell unless I post here, so I throw it over to you, Dell, in the hope that someone gets to see this, can I have my £66 refund, or do I have to go through the madness of boxing it up, have someone collect and return it, then reorder it at a cheaper price from a third party and have an identical one redelivered to my door a few days later?

I can only really give it to midday tomorrow, UK BST time, then I'll have to deleting installed software and boxing the PC up for collection on Tuesday. But I think MK will have to be overridden, as she now seems determined the PC has to be returned.

I assume you can find me from the order numbers in the emails and my user name.

Regards, CB.

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Grey Forrest
1 Copper

RE: Last chance for a bit of sanity from Dell support?

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Ok, no response, wasted my breath. I'm done.

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Moderator
Moderator

RE: Last chance for a bit of sanity from Dell support?

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Hi Grey Forrest,

Thank you for posting your customer experience on the Dell Community Forum US Customer Care Board. Please accept my apology for any frustration or inconvenience you may have been caused.

This will advise I forwarded your concerns to Dell representatives supporting the UK. Someone will contact you as quickly as possible.

Thanks,
Lorna


Social Media Support
#IWork4Dell

2 Replies
Grey Forrest
1 Copper

RE: Last chance for a bit of sanity from Dell support?

Jump to solution

Ok, no response, wasted my breath. I'm done.

0 Kudos
Moderator
Moderator

RE: Last chance for a bit of sanity from Dell support?

Jump to solution

Hi Grey Forrest,

Thank you for posting your customer experience on the Dell Community Forum US Customer Care Board. Please accept my apology for any frustration or inconvenience you may have been caused.

This will advise I forwarded your concerns to Dell representatives supporting the UK. Someone will contact you as quickly as possible.

Thanks,
Lorna


Social Media Support
#IWork4Dell