Cyber Monday is here again, and I am sure there have been folks already attempting to get that iPad 2 for $41 less, or some of the other spectacularly ordinary deals that are being offered. I am always astounded at what folks will do to try to save a few bucks, but this year I actually have a story to tell, that you might want to heed.
As I have said there are some problems in the high technology component delivery chain (i.e. the floods in Thailand have caused a great deal of disarray in the delivery of hard disk drives) , so you should be careful when buying computers on-line that the system can be delivered in time for the holidays.
How do I know this? Two weeks ago I ordered a pretty generic lap top computer for my daughter for Christmas (to replace the “piece de merde” HP laptop that she currently has) from Dell (I have had no issues with Dell previously and I have ordered 4 or 5 systems on line from them). Looked like an OK price, nothing too exciting, pretty generic, so I put the order in. The Dell order process spit out two e-mails, the first one confirming that my system was ordered, and then another one that said that the system was “In Production” and that it’s delivery date was estimated to be November 18th (yeh, the one that just passed).
I was skeptical about this delivery date, but I waited until the Monday afterward, and I asked, “Where is my damn computer” in an e-mail. I got back a “canned” response saying there were issues with some systems, there is a high demand, and “blah, blah, blah…”, however, I did receive a new delivery date, DECEMBER 18th (yes a MONTH after my initial delivery date).
The next e-mail I sent to the Dell delivery support folks Â was much more harshly worded (but polite none the less) accusing their system of lying about delivery dates and asking why the system was so badly delayed? I received a fairly generic response with a “canned” apology and no answer as to why the system was delayed. I sent yet another e-mail asking specifically does this have to do with a hard disk drive shortage, and was not directly answered again, however it also included another poorly worded apology.
Dell has not charged me for the system yet, so I am not quite livid about this shoddy customer service, but my system still shows up as being “In Production” but the on-line system also claims that the estimated delivery date is November 18th ! Somehow I don’t think they can accomplish that date, but hopefully they can hit their December date.
I would be very leery of ordering any computer on-line this holiday season (but your mileage may vary, and it may all be fine).