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Unacceptable customer service - had to cancel order after four (!) weeks out of frustration and resentment

If anyone is considering getting a new laptop for Christmas, I strongly discourage everyone from getting a Dell product. Placed an order for Inspiron 5523 at the beginning of November. Realised only after order placement that estimated delivery was more than six weeks ahead on December 19. I asked Dell at the outset if early delivery is possible (before Dec 16, since I was leaving the country then). Instead of giving me a clear answer ("yes, 3 days earlier is possible" / "no, we cannot guarantee early delivery" / "we don't know yet"), I was confronted with a series of wrong information and the worst customer service for 4 weeks, after which I eventually had to cancel my order out of frustration and resentment. This is the email that I felt compelled to write to Dell in the end:


Dear Dell Staff,

I have just had a telephone conversation with a Dell customer service supervisor and decided to cancel my order immediately, but to make sure that this is actually happening, I am writing this email to you. Thus, please cancel my order ASAP.

Please let me tell you that I am deeply disappointed and frustrated after having had to go through such a lengthy process that was full of wrong information, false assurances, and delays. I feel cheated as a customer and the time that I have spent on selecting a premium Dell product is wasted.

I chose Dell because I believed in your reputation as a professional, quality, and trustworthy provider of personal laptops. I ordered five-and-a-half weeks prior to my departure for my Christmas holidays. Only after I placed my order, I had to learn that “expected delivery” was only after six (!) weeks, which came as a shock to me. First checking your website, I could not find useful information and apparently no changes to the order were possible – I was surprised by such a lack of flexibility.
I then asked your customer service staff if there are ways to accelerate the order by just half a week, noting that five-and-a-half weeks for order processing and shipment are still substandard. Rather than just telling me honestly that you are not able to accelerate the delivery, I was told very early on that “usually most of the orders are delivered much before the given date”. Had I believed this vague claim, I would be left clueless and uninformed until the very end, and would not have received my laptop despite your statements. In other words, you gave me false reassurance for something you could simply did not know.

I was however getting unsure whether your statements about “usual deliveries” are valid, so I enquired again in order to get some assurance. I also made references that your FAQs are not very informative and that indicated that I would be happy about more information. However, I was only told that my request was forwarded to the manufacturing department, all I could do was wait and hope. However, nothing in my order status (“Pre-production”) changed, so again I felt necessitated to contact you for further assistance. I was then called by your customer service agent ####, who assured me that my laptop will be the first to be produced and that the order will dispatch by December 10. Should that not be the case, then we would “see what we can do” (her quote) after the 10th. Other staff (e.g. Mr ####) were copied in all email correspondence. Besides, I also asked for information on how to cancel my order (because your website does not provide any information: I never received any information on this, despite my request. In other words, you ignored me.

I hoped this the information about the manufacturing department was true, but I kept checking the order status and did not see any changes. I thus thought (in good faith) that maybe the tracking does not work properly and the order has indeed been in the manufacturing stage, blaming everything on a mere technical error. I sent an email to customer service in order to enquire whether this is the case or not. However, the customer representative was not in the office. This is nothing concerning (people should get holidays), so I tried her manager. Also her manager was not in the office. This was surprising, given that the out-of-office notice said I should contact her manager. I tried Mr ####, who was also not in the office. I also tried three other staff members mentioned in the out-of-office notices, one of whom also was not in the office. This is remarkable, and I have never experienced such a lack of professionalism. I had to send five emails before some of the remaining staff members felt sufficiently troubled to actually respond to my question via phone. In other words, you were simply not there when I had a question about my status.

Then (today), in an attempt to explain the delay in my order, I was told by your staff on the phone that there are apparently delivery problems for the displays. If you knew that but simply didn’t tell me, then this means that you told me false information. I would not have otherwise known that my order cannot be delivered in time. In other words, you simply lied to your customer.

Your staff member also told me that my order could be delivered by December 19. I told him that this was in fact the problem, not the solution. Rather than admitting that it is not possible to deliver before the 16th, he instead suggested discounts as a compensation for my troubles. I told him that this wouldn’t solve my problem and he would suggest I think about it for an hour or two and call me back later. I had to tell him six times that I want to cancel my order. In other words, you simply did not listen to me.

Now, after already more than an hour, the order still has not been cancelled. I expect you to forward this email to your managers in order to let at least someone who cares about your customers know how ill-conceived your processes, information policy, and customer treatment are.

[...] I have never in my life had such a dreadful experience with any company. I hope you learn from this and improve, or otherwise there will soon be no customers left to disappoint.

Thank you for your attention.
Marco Haenssgen

Marco Haenssgen´s profile

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Marco Haenssgen
Oxford, United Kingdom