Anna says Dell sent a special offer on a laptop via text, and even though she acted on the sale immediately she hasn’t been able to bag the deal, and instead was offered a similar product for $150 more.
Ok, here is the concise version of Dell “Bait and switch”. Dell sent out a deal via text alert on 2/1 – $329 for an Inspiron 1545 laptop via Fast Track (promised to arrive within 48 hours from the time order is placed). I placed the order on 2/1 with 2-day shipping, received a delay notification on 2/2/2010, another one on 2/3/2010. Kept calling Customer Care and every representative told me my order is delayed, but will ship today (2/3/2010) or at the latest 2/4/2010. On 2/4 I received an automated email saying that the order is delayed and that they need my authorization to continue processing it or it will be canceled. Reply with authorization via email and phone. They document my response and let me know that they will proceed with the order. A few minutes later I receive a cancellation email. Call back Customer Service, get bounced around from rep to rep and every single one of them tells me that my order has not been canceled and that the new estimated delivery date is now 2/9/2010. Online Order status shows “In Production” until about 2pm when it suddenly changed to “Cancelled”. Called back, was told that Dell was oversold and all out of inventory. Was transferred to order modification to order a new comparable system. Was offered a nearly identical system for $479, a whopping $150 more than the original order. Said, no thank you. The slickdeals.net board started receiving messages of people getting replacement orders placed with pricematch. Call back, go through 5 people, end up talking with someone from Nashville sales, who told me they could build a comparable system, but they don’t pricematch, only Customer Care Sales can pricematch. Get transferred to India for Customer care, where I am firmly told that Dell does not pricematch. Period. Ask to speak to supervisor. Speak to supervisor, same outcome. Ask to speak to his supervisor, receive a response that 1) he doesn’t have one; followed by 2) supervisor is not a call taking position. Ultimately, he offers to transfer me back to Sales where they can build me a comparable system at a much higher price. Thanks, but no thanks.
In the end, the customer gets the short end of the stick. I am a student, working full-time to get by, and thought I could get a decent computer at a price I could afford, instead I get lured into this deal (bait) and the only resolution I am offered is to order a much more expensive system which is ultimately the same computer I could have gotten had Dell not canceled my order.
Apparently, I am not alone in my ordeal as evidenced by a flood of message on the SlickDeals.net forum.
If you’ve ever felt baited and switched in a similar manner, please share your story in the comments.