Dell Offers 25% Off Deal To Troops, Then Cancels Orders

Matthew, an Air Force veteran, saw a great deal on Dell laptops on the website of the Army & Air Force Exchange Service, a network of stores just for servicemembers. 25% off in a Mother’s Day special, an impressive deal. He ordered three, because who doesn’t want new, discounted laptops for their whole family? Only Dell canceled Matthew’s order and those of some other customers, with no explanation.

I have served my country as an enlisted Airman. I was recently on the AAFES website were Dell had a promotion going on that you would save 25% for Dell Alienware products through a mothers day special. I clicked on the link and chose my computer I would like to purchase. I added two more to the order because it was a great deal and I would like my wife and son to have a nice laptop as well. I was really excited that my son would get a brand new computer for his birthday with an illuminated keyboard and a high quality machine. I placed a following order then next day as I did not get confirmation from dell that my order was received (which I now know that I have to go through AAFES to find the order status). After placing the order I found out through a discussion board the order would show up on the AAFES site and I would need to click on the order status. Everything was fine at that point and I had a “in production” status.

After logging into the AAFES website two days later I saw that the orders had been canceled. I was upset and had been felt like I was getting run around with Dell and AAFES. Researching on various websites including slickdeals.net I found out that other peoples orders had been cancelled and others have shipped. There seems to be no explanation from the cancellation. I have been told the order configuration was incorrect and that I was only allowed to order one computer, where it does not state that for the sale. I’m looking for a resolution to this order cancellation. I would expect a company like Dell to honor their price that I had purchased the computer at. I have worked hard for my military benefits and this seems like a slap in the face to those serving. I really wish I get an explanation or some kind of apology from Dell. It’s rather unfortunate that these companies treat us this way.

Update: While Matthew’s order was canceled, not everyone’s was. Some Slickdeals posters saw on Monday that all or parts of their orders had shipped out. Some orders had projected delivery dates at the end of May, but have already arrived.

In a previous, similar case where Dell orders through AAFES were canceled, it was obvious why: a pricing error meant that you could order $25 laptops, but not receive them, since it was a genuine pricing error on Dell’s part.

One Slickdeals poster had something similar happen and received indirect confirmation that this deal was a pricing error, writing:

Mine was canceled without any notice. I logged in today and there is no record that I ordered anything. I also got this ashole email from dell today with a general “sorry about a price mistake” and here’s some links to some over-priced crap. No direct mention of my order or anything specific.

This pisses me off more than if they would have been straight with me.

Comments

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  1. bhr says:

    We’ve read this story before I feel like.

    http://consumerist.com/2011/12/canceling-orders-over-a-pricing-error-is-not-the-same-as-bait-and-switch.html

    Either way, it almost feels like the moment any deal that is supposed to go to a limited group shows up on all the cheap deal sites it gets cancelled.

    • Laura Northrup says:

      Funny how that works.

    • FatLynn says:

      I’m not clear on how this AAFES thing works. Do you have to login or something to get the deal? I mean, is it possible the deal hit slickdeals and suddenly the price was available to everyone, or did Dell have some sort of reasonable mechanism for limiting it to service members?

      • jsweitz says:

        Only service members can shop at AAFES

      • jiubreyn says:

        AAFES = Army and Air Force Exchange Service

        • FatLynn says:

          Right, I understand that part. What I’m asking is, do you buy stuff right through AAFES? Or does it redirect you to the Dell website? And if it gives you the redirect, is there an AAFES proxy required, or could someone share the link on slickdeals so that anyone can use it?

          I’m trying to figure out which of the following happened, here:

          1) Dell offered a deal to service members. Service members placed orders. Dell cancelled them.

          2) Dell offered a deal to service members, but f***ed up on the technology. The deal suddenly became available to everyone. Everyone placed orders. Dell cancelled them.

          • FatLynn says:

            Basically, I’m trying to find out why slickdeals is mentioned in the OP.

            • Here to ruin your groove says:

              Slickdeal posters regularly post AAFES deals in the Hot Deals forum.

              • FatLynn says:

                Just to communicate them to other service members?

                • theconversationalist says:

                  Yes. There’s no way to circumvent the military requirement – it cross references orders to the DEERS system with enlistment information. Slickdeals has many enlisted people on it, and the deals are posted for them to be aware of, but still out of reach for the general public.

                  This isn’t the first time Dell has cancelled or tried to cancel a “too good” deal they offered through AAFES. It’s about 50/50 whether the cancellations hold or a public shaming makes them back down and give what they offered in the first place.

          • Christopher Wilson says:

            When you order a dell computer, you login to aafes (when you sign up it asks for you social and checks if you have privileges for aafes). Then you go and get redirected to a dell site with special pricing to build the computer, but rather than checkout through dell it adds it to the aafes cart and you check out through there. So even if you somehow got the dell page to load without being logged in, you wouldn’t be able to check out.

      • Sarge1985 says:

        Yes, you have to log in to the AAFES website to shop. Only those people authorized to shop at the BX/PX/NEX can get access. It is one of our benefits for serving.

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          I’ve been out for well over a decade but when I was in, I never thought AAFES was much of a bargain when stateside. The only big advantage was not having to pay taxes, which made a huge difference for gas and booze.

          The PX was only useful when deployed, because we weren’t able to receive any mail larger than a VHS tape.

    • jiubreyn says:

      The linked article isn’t quite the same situation as this article. This one shows the computers were 25% off, not $25.00. From what I understand of the letter, the quantity limit wasn’t stated clearly on their website — if at all. His order was cancelled without any kind of explanation whereas the other story it was due to a pricing error.

  2. Agent Hooter Enjoys Enhanced Patdowns says:

    On the one hand, I feel sorry for the dude getting his order cancelled without notice.
    On the other hand, I’m sick of these entitled military members that throw their service status around like something that should allow them special privledges forever. You served. You either did it out of patriotic feelings, in which case your service should be reward enough. Or you were too poor to afford a better life through schooling without assistance and your service rewarded you with college money. Aside from that, you entitled, twaffe, you already GET a ton of extra perks, so STFU about your service like you were forced into it.

    • Happy13178 says:

      Yes, because only poor people join the service for cheap laptops. You’re an asshole.

      • FatLynn says:

        And it’s always their own faults they were poor, too!

      • jimbo831 says:

        Well, he is an asshole, yes, but his point is a valid one. There is this subset of service members who think they are owed everything for their service. They are paid and receive outstanding benefits. Many companies choose to offer them additional perks. There are some service members though that want more and more and think the world owes them. They are a small amount, but exist.

        The point is this shouldn’t matter if it was a service member or any other discount that Dell reneged on. However, these stories are only ever “newsworthy” if the person is disabled, or in the military. Apparently, nobody else needs to receive promised deals. We ignore these situations if the person doesn’t have something different that we feel bad about. It should be universal to everyone.

    • sherrietee says:

      You’re a jackass. My son serves in the military. Do you know he works seven days a week for shitty pay? Tell you what – you join up and put your ass on the line and then you can talk. Until then, STFU.

      • aphex732 says:

        Much respect to those in the service…but I don’t think the pay is that shitty.

        For example: if you’re an E-3 stationed in Iraq, you get the equivalent of a taxed individual’s $54,000/year salary. That’s not including the GI Bill (free-ish college), signing bonuses, and the fact that you don’t have to pay for food or housing.

        There are a ton of people who would be very happy for that compensation – the only catch is that you have to join the military to get it.

        • jumpycore says:

          you’re out of your mind. i’m deployed right now in afghanistan and my tax free income this deployment was roughly $32,000. i was an e3 and got my e4 halfway through. as far as i am tracking the pay in iraq and afghanistan are the same. combat pay and all. not to mention i’ve been in for 3 years

          http://www.militaryfactory.com/military_pay_scale.asp – the pay scale

          • nishioka says:

            > you’re out of your mind. i’m deployed right now in afghanistan and my tax free income this deployment was roughly $32,000.

            That tracks perfectly with “the equivalent of a taxed individual’s $54,000/year salary”, so how is above out of their mind?

          • JennQPublic says:

            Yeah, but you get all those cushy perks!

            They got A/C out there? ;-p

            (Take care of yourself and come home safe.)

      • Agent Hooter Enjoys Enhanced Patdowns says:

        Protip: I worked in Military Pay. I know exactly all the perks and bonuses all the servicemen get. I know about all the lying about where they live so they get comped a hotel close by that they can lend to their buddies. So don’t talk to me about pay. Your kid wants to sign up to kill some people in the middle east for funsies, that’s fine, but I don’t think he should be rewarded for it.

    • PsychicPsycho says:

      FWIW, I’m with you.

    • RogerX says:

      I agree, see my comment below.

      “Why don’t Presidents fight the War?
      Why do they always send the poor?”
      -BYOB, System of a Down

    • YouDidWhatNow? says:

      I have no problem at all with current or former service members getting discounts or other preferential treatment. They deserve it. And you’re a dick.

      • RogerX says:

        Well I think people named Roger should have preferntial treatment. You don’t know how hard it is to carry the burden of this name in everyday life. We’ve suffered enough. Now shut up and give me free shit.

    • JennQPublic says:

      He’s not asking for special privileges, he’s just asking that Dell honor the deal they offered him. It’s not like he called them up and told them they should give him 25% off because he is a veteran.

      I’m not one to deify the troops, but when someone signs up for a full-time, dangerous job that completely takes over their life for several years, they sign on in part for perks they were promised (e.g. being able to shop at AAFES, get help with school). Those perks should be delivered, the same way we would expect your employer to follow through if they promised dental coverage or a 401K.

      Living in an Air Force town, I’m well aware most service members join for their own reasons, not altruistic ones, but I don’t see any reason to hold a reasonable amount of self-interest against them. For many people, it’s a good career choice.

    • Galium says:

      Dell and any other corporation that gives a discount, deal or any other break to a service person get just as much out of the deal as they give, if not more. The companies make sure they tout the favor they do for service people, and it is also a tax deduction. It would not surprise me if the government gives the business’s money in some sort of program, like hire the vet and the government give the business money breaks. It is a win win deal for companies. The military and veterans would not get the perks if they were not offered. So the person doing the whining here I see is you, because someone is getting something that you cannot have. It is easily remedied by you going to the nearest recruiter and joining the military. Then you too can have all those perks. Understand that the cost of those perks may be high. A leg here, an arm there, and maybe you do not get to use the perks after all. Of course your widow could. I forgot to ask you if you think the widows and their children who qualify for most military/veterans benefits gave enough to get their perks.

      • RevancheRM says:

        “I forgot to ask you if you think the…”

        Galium, I could care less what Agent Rotten Crotch Fruit’s opinion might be. He clearly hasn’t earned the right to be heard, but simply was provided the entitlement. And of course the rest of us bear the burden of dealing with his bigotry.

    • RevancheRM says:

      Actually, this says waaaay more about your sense of entitlement than it does his.

      If this had been a general offer for everybody and his complaint had been worded similarly (but with no reference to his service), you would not be complaining about entitlement, but would have seen him as a consumer wronged. BUT because you do not belong to the group selected for this opportunity (by your choice I might add), your bigotry and sense of exclusion shines through.

      True, he chose to put more on the line for his community than you did. True, Dell appeared to want to recognize his service (and yes sacrifice, since I’m certain you’ve never spent a day much less years of your life away from your own bed for your community. true, you keyed in on his military service and read an affront to your lack of service that wasn’t actually there and you displayed it.

      You’ve got issues. I feel for those that have to deal with you on a daily basis. Especially your children and spouse.

    • citadelpilot says:

      Please explain to me what these “TON” of extra perks are. I have been in the AF for 19 years. And yes some of the DOD benefits are good (healthcare), but no where have I received any special benefit for being in the military other than a free drink at a random restaurant or 10% off at a very few stores. Believe me when I say, a free Coke is not worth 250-300 days a year away from my family, missed Birthdays, missed births, missed hoildays, missed anniversarys, etc…

      But, by all means, you a more than welcome to take the oath to cash in on all the “perks.” If you look, often times Policemen, Firemen, Clergy, and teachers get many of the same discounts. Huh… maybe it has something to do with giving of yourselves for others… go figure.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        A lot of people seem to think that veterans get free health care. Maybe it was like this for WWII veterans but for the rest of us, unless we’re 100% disabled, or are receiving treatment for a service related disability, we have to pay to go to the VA, just like any other hospital.

        I served 7 years in the Army (infantry), 5 of which I was deployed. Looking back, I’m shocked that anyone would ever even consider doing a full 20. There is no way my body, my mind, or my family could have lasted any longer than the 7 I did (the last 18 months being Stop-Lossed).

      • Agent Hooter Enjoys Enhanced Patdowns says:

        How about subsidizing for your wife and kids on military bases and no taxes on them? That too small of a massive perk?

        • citadelpilot says:

          I honestly don’t know what you are talking about. I have never lived on base, and I don’t get any other tax break on my family that any other American can get.

    • ovalseven says:

      I re-read his letter. He’s not throwing his service-status around. Dell made an offer specifically for service members and all he did was mention that he qualified for it. What special treatment do you think he is asking for?

      Now, it’s fine if you don’t think our troops deserve any special treatment. They fought for your freedom to say so. But at the very least, maybe you could have enough respect and appreciation to not insult them and call them names in a public forum for mearly stating that they served. You don’t have to salute, but you don’t have to be a d’bag either.

      • JennQPublic says:

        “They fought for your freedom to say so.”

        Aww, come on. No one in the armed services today has put their life on the line because some tyrant tried to stop us from saying stuff on the interwebs. The only ‘fighting’ for our freedom of speech these days happens in courtrooms, and the ones fighting for it are lawyers (ugh)(sorry lawyers). And sometimes they’re fighting for questionable uses of our freedom of speech, like simulated child porn. I do not think most members of our armed services would put their lives on the line for that, nor would most of us ask them to.

        Other than that, I totally agree. Members of the military should be treated with respect and courtesy- just like everyone else.

        • bluline says:

          Just commenting on a small statement above: There are no lawyers fighting these days for the rights of people to view simulated child porn. That issue was settled by the Supreme Court in 2002. In a 6-3 ruling, the court struck down a law that prohibited the distribution and possession of virtual child pornography that appears to — but does not — depict real children. See Ashcroft v. The Free Speech Coalition.

    • jefeloco says:

      My dad and brother served, I couldn’t due to childhood injuries and asthma that is on my medical history but hasn’t affected me since I was 9, so I guess I’m a bit biased.

      You’re an idiot.

      I agree that servicemen shouldn’t get free handouts every time they walk out their door, but if Dell offers a deal to a specific subset of qualified individuals without any restrictions and then pulls the deal without explanation, they are assholes. The only thing I can fault the OP for is thinking he was buying his son “a high quality machine” from Dell.

      I have encountered one, a single, solitary example of a serviceman who acted like an entitled little prick in all of the time I have worked in the public service industry. This little Air Force shit was 20 (I had to check his ID when he wanted to get a handgun) and stomping around my store like he owned the place. He even flat out told some of the employees that we should have opened the door for him and assigned an escort to fetch things for him because he was a serviceman. At one point he asked me if he could “have” a few firearms because of his status defending my freedom.

      I politely told him that he could have whatever he could afford and legally own as soon as he passed the FBI check and paid for them. That didn’t go over well and security had to get involved before he would calm down and quit his ranting about how he should be given everything he wanted for the sacrifice he made for our country. A 20 year old kid who just got out of boot. His supervisor at his new post happened to be a friend of mine that also worked at my store part time and was on shift when the kid came in, that didn’t work out too well either.

    • Azagthoth says:

      While you could have went about this a bit more tactfully, I’m with you.

      Nobody in the Armed Forces right now was drafted, so they knowingly chose to serve the long hours, be away from family, etc. This is not a “slap in the face” to those serving at all. The OP needs to get over it, and get a decent laptop somewhere else. Dell sucks anyway, especially the Alienware brand since they took it over.

  3. jimbo831 says:

    “I was really excited that my son would get a brand new computer for his birthday with an illuminated keyboard and a high quality machine”

    This is where the OP loses all credibility. No Dell is a “high quality machine.”

  4. scoutermac says:

    You don’t want a Dell anyways.

    • lvdave says:

      You don’t want a Dell…

      You don’t want an ALIENWARE/Dell… Ever since Dell took over Alienware, they have become shit machines. Dell makes fine laptops, so long as you stay with the corporate product line, which is the Latitude line. I’m a retired IT manager who supported a large fleet of said Dell laptops and Optiplex desktops for over 15 years, and I have ZERO complaints about their quality/support…

      • Kestris says:

        No, they’re correct- You don’t want a Dell ANYTHING, anymore.

      • Kestris says:

        My husband is the IT guy at his work, and has been for the last 6+ years. He has had more issues with the Dells they currently have than any other machine.

        In fact, his company is currently in the process of switching all laptops to Lenovos from Dells BECAUSE of the problems.

        So while they may have been good products while YOU were working, they no longer are. They’re pieces of junk now.

  5. Daggertrout says:

    “Dell Alienware…nice laptop…high quality machine.”

    Well, there was your first mistake. Though 25% off would actually make them almost reasonably priced, I guess.

  6. RogerX says:

    “A slap in the face to those serving” is unnecessary. The company was trying to get good PR by offering a deal to servicepeople, then renegged and is getting backlash for it. But the implicit comment is that “servicemembers deserve better treatment.”

    While I am the son and grandson of long-time service members, what brings it home most is that my brother was in for thirteen years, including two NATO peacekeeping tours in Yugoslavia and three combat tours in Iraq, including the initial invasion. He has shrapnel scars from an IED explosion, lost 30-odd friends in battle, and is now in and out of the VA psych ward with some serious problems around what he went through on the battlefield.

    He was a volunteer, he did what the leaders of our country told him to do, he was paid a paycheck like anybody with a regular job, and yes he absolutely deserves medical care for what he was put through for the interests of the country (depending on your political views, your mileage may vary on that statement.) He deserves recognition for being up to the call to be a pawn for games rich politicians play. He deserves compassion for his wounds and our attention to making sure it happens as rarely as possible in the future– while the chips continue to fall for him and many service members.

    So in my loudmouth opinion, people suggesting that Dell owes them any better treatment than their usual crappy service of their “non-servicemember” customers in getting a discounted computer are missing the reality of service and the recognition of same. Dell wasn’t recognizing militar members, it was shamelessly whoring itself for sales. I don’t pretend to know what you or anybody else went though as an enlisted airman, but regardless, expecting special treatment (especially on consumer pricing) from everybody forever is needless ego-stroking in my opinion.

  7. QuantumCat says:

    For those curious about the slickdeals post, here’s a link.

    http://slickdeals.net/f/4357698-25-Off-all-Dell-and-Alienware-AAFES

    Second post mentions Consumerist as a means of publicly shaming Dell into honoring the deal.

    • KitCat says:

      Oh yes, Slickdeals the site and thread where members (of SD) in that thread were practically begging registered and legitimate members of AAFES to “help them out” on getting in on the deal when they really had no “right”.

      So, when those at Slickdeals whose order did get cancelled because they had no legitimacy to the AAFES, they started crying “foul” like normal.

      I feel bad for those people that had a “true” affiliation with AAFES and got cancelled, not those that didn’t and deserved the cancellation.

  8. lvdave says:

    It constantly astounds me what kind of assholes are attracted to this website. That “Agent”-whatever his bogus name is takes the prize for the worst asshole *I’ve* seen on Consumerist in a LONG time….

  9. nishioka says:

    > Dell Alienware products
    > high quality machine

    Hahahaha

  10. Grandpa_O says:

    Sounds like AAFES should make up the difference. AAFES credibility is at stake if it doesn’t honor the deal. If they don’t, AAFES owes it to the service members to cancel their relationship with Dell.

  11. Enectic says:

    Unfortunately what did this deal in was the massive amount of people who ordered but were not eligible for the deal. Many people used family members/friends credentials to order one or multiple computers. Many people on Slickdeals also paid service members to either use their credentials or have said service member order them a computer. All in all it’s pretty shameful.

  12. ThinkingBrian says:

    I feel for the OP, however I just have one question, Did Dell and AAFES spell out one computer per order or service member in the fine print and/or the computers have to be a specific configuration?

    This is a black and white deal, if Dell and AAFES did spell it out that you can only order one computer or the computers have to be a specific configuration, then cancelling the order has every right to cancel the order. But if Dell and AAFES didn’t spell it out in the fine print, then Dell and AAFES are wrong and need to let the orders go through.

    Companies have to spell the terms out. Now I asked this because in the article it says some orders went through while others didn’t due to wrong configuration.

    • theconversationalist says:

      There was no limit posted for the offer, and it was promoted extensively on the main AAFES page. The part that caught Dell, I think, is that you could remove MS Office from the package and drop the price of the M14x $200, making a new Ivy Bridge Alienware a bit over $550 shipped. It lists for almost $1400 on the regular site without discounts. I think that extra $200 was the tipping point for Dell.

  13. Kestris says:

    Here’s your first problem- you thought you were getting high quality machines. Here’s the second problem- you attempted to buy Dells.

    Dells suck and don’t give a crap about workmanship anymore. Had to send my crappy new , still under warranty Dell desktop in for repair(they had to replace the motherboard) and it came back with an 1″ long gouge in the case, through the enamel into the metal, along with other scratches.

    That cemented my assertation that I will never own another Dell, that I will never allow someone to talk me into one again.

  14. jlkm2000 says:

    This is a really bad move on Dell. This is a very sensitive topic since Dell is not screwing with regular consumers but with government officials, soldiers etc.

    Some that ordered already got their computers and some have not. I myself who ordered on the 10th got mine cancelled this morning. My other military pals who ordered on 9th already got theirs.

  15. stevenpdx says:

    The only reason I can think of that Dell cancelled the order is due to quantity. OP stated he ordered 3 units total. Perhaps Dell cancelled the order due to fear of resale of the units.

  16. Dell-Lorna M says:

    Hi Matthew, My name is Lorna, and I work for Dell. Thanks for bringing this issue to my attention. I am happy to look into the cancellation of any AAFES orders, either due to a configuration error, multiple purchases or pricing errors. Please visit my Consumerist profile and email your order #’s. I’ll let you know what I find out about your particular order. Thanks,
    Dell-Lorna M

  17. reybo says:

    Dell?

    Let me tell you about Dell.

    My daughter’s deluxe Dell for college didn’t last the first semester. Within a year we junked it. Dell failed to refund anything on their lemon, nor on the three service contracts they didn’t honor.

    It’s well known that buying Dell can be a disaster. We lost $2400. Your experience might differ, but here is ours.

    My daughter’s Dell desktop was 5 months from brand new when the hard drive failed.

    This Dell was to be her computer for 4 years at Kenyon College. I asked Dell up front if they could service it in Gambier, Ohio, if I pre-paid for on-site repairs for four years.

    “No problem,” was the response at order time. “No problem!”

    So I bought the usual one year warranty from Dell, plus an extra-cost extension for three more years. Add to that I bought an extra-cost contract for 4 years of on-site service in her dorm.

    And there was a one year manufacturer’s warranty on the part that failed, the hard drive.

    That should mean her machine is covered for parts and service, right? Wrong on both counts. This is Dell.

    The company lied and the salesman didn’t know. He later quit over this. Read on.

    Even though Dell had factory replacement coverage on their hard drives, they refused to admit the drive was bad long past when they knew it. No one told us why. Presumably, they were over budget for service calls due to the run of bad drives, and under orders to keep a lid on cost.

    Actually it was something else they were hiding.

    The hard drive failed in early January and my daughter called me. I reviewed the warranties and service contracts with her and said call Dell. She did, and complied with everything Dell techs asked of her.

    This included three complete re-installations of Windows, each one failing because the drive was bad. To do that on Dell’s telephone schedule, she missed 7 college classes and hurt her grades.

    They refused to provide the on-site service I paid for. Just said no. Rather than risk flunking courses, after three weeks she gave up and brought the Dell from Ohio to me in Virginia.

    I tried a dozen times to get Dell to install a new drive. They stone-walled me. On their instructions I tried every fix for a drive there is six times over. Still Dell adamantly refused to replace it or send a technician.

    Eventually I had enough. I know a dozen ways to shred a lackey by phone and on the
    55th day I shredded them up three management levels until someone responded properly.

    Two months after the drive failed, Dell finally sent someone to replace it. When he cracked the seal and opened the case, I was flabbergasted to see the drive. It was a Western Digital Caviar.

    That explained everything.

    Early mortality Caviar drives were common knowledge that year. I knew that from reading tech conferences and InfoWorld. That’s why when I ordered the Dell my invoice states: “Customer specifically requests we not use a Western Digital Caviar drive.”

    They put one in just the same, and HID it by not showing it on the packing slip. When it failed, they fought against revealing the drive they gave me. When they finally did, they replaced it with another Western Digital Caviar.

    It lasted five months.

    Michael Dell couldn’t resist the deal: Western Digital was dumping flawed drives dirt cheap. They have a high failure rate? So what. On Wall Street only profit margins matter.

    I didn’t call Dell when the replacement Caviar failed. I returned it to Western Digital under the WD warranty. They sent me a new Caviar and I sold it on eBay. The buyer got garbage with a 12-month warranty. I put a Quantum drive in the Dell and everything was fine.

    For a few months. Then Dell’s “we buy from the lowest bidder” motherboard died. That was
    enough Dell for me.

    The Dell salesman was outraged when he heard this. By freaky coincidence, the salesman who answered my call to Dell and helped me place the order was someone who grew up in my neighborhood.

    When my dealings with Dell were done, I called him to share our experience. He looked up the event ticket, saw what Dell did to us, saw the Caviar drive that wasn’t supposed to be there, and the service contracts he sold in good faith that they didn’t honor.

    He quit his job with Dell.

    Deal with Dell if you want to, but you could get what we got. Even in the aftermath when we sent them the event ticket and asked for something to be done about this $2400 rip-off, they ignored us.

    Even when we told them the order number is 86471745, the Service Tag number is 7003G, the Express Service Code is 117574367, they ignored us.

    No refund for the intentionally flawed factory lemon computer; no refund on the service contracts they didn’t honor.

    That mistreatment is why you are seeing this, you and everyone we reach year after year with this warning. Every thousand orders Dell doesn’t get spares people anguish.

    Pass it on.

    Rey

  18. reybo says:

    Dell?

    Let me tell you about Dell.

    My daughter’s deluxe Dell for college didn’t last the first semester. Within a year we junked it. Dell failed to refund anything on their lemon, nor on the three service contracts they didn’t honor.

    It’s well known that buying Dell can be a disaster. We lost $2400. Your experience might differ, but here is ours.

    My daughter’s Dell desktop was 5 months from brand new when the hard drive failed.

    This Dell was to be her computer for 4 years at Kenyon College. I asked Dell up front if they could service it in Gambier, Ohio, if I pre-paid for on-site repairs for four years.

    “No problem,” was the response at order time. “No problem!”

    So I bought the usual one year warranty from Dell, plus an extra-cost extension for three more years. Add to that I bought an extra-cost contract for 4 years of on-site service in her dorm.

    And there was a one year manufacturer’s warranty on the part that failed, the hard drive.

    That should mean her machine is covered for parts and service, right? Wrong on both counts. This is Dell.

    The company lied and the salesman didn’t know. He later quit over this. Read on.

    Even though Dell had factory replacement coverage on their hard drives, they refused to admit the drive was bad long past when they knew it. No one told us why. Presumably, they were over budget for service calls due to the run of bad drives, and under orders to keep a lid on cost.

    Actually it was something else they were hiding.

    The hard drive failed in early January and my daughter called me. I reviewed the warranties and service contracts with her and said call Dell. She did, and complied with everything Dell techs asked of her.

    This included three complete re-installations of Windows, each one failing because the drive was bad. To do that on Dell’s telephone schedule, she missed 7 college classes and hurt her grades.

    They refused to provide the on-site service I paid for. Just said no. Rather than risk flunking courses, after three weeks she gave up and brought the Dell from Ohio to me in Virginia.

    I tried a dozen times to get Dell to install a new drive. They stone-walled me. On their instructions I tried every fix for a drive there is six times over. Still Dell adamantly refused to replace it or send a technician.

    Eventually I had enough. I know a dozen ways to shred a lackey by phone and on the
    55th day I shredded them up three management levels until someone responded properly.

    Two months after the drive failed, Dell finally sent someone to replace it. When he cracked the seal and opened the case, I was flabbergasted to see the drive. It was a Western Digital Caviar.

    That explained everything.

    Early mortality Caviar drives were common knowledge that year. I knew that from reading tech conferences and InfoWorld. That’s why when I ordered the Dell my invoice states: “Customer specifically requests we not use a Western Digital Caviar drive.”

    They put one in just the same, and HID it by not showing it on the packing slip. When it failed, they fought against revealing the drive they gave me. When they finally did, they replaced it with another Western Digital Caviar.

    It lasted five months.

    Michael Dell couldn’t resist the deal: Western Digital was dumping flawed drives dirt cheap. They have a high failure rate? So what. On Wall Street only profit margins matter.

    I didn’t call Dell when the replacement Caviar failed. I returned it to Western Digital under the WD warranty. They sent me a new Caviar and I sold it on eBay. The buyer got garbage with a 12-month warranty. I put a Quantum drive in the Dell and everything was fine.

    For a few months. Then Dell’s “we buy from the lowest bidder” motherboard died. That was
    enough Dell for me.

    The Dell salesman was outraged when he heard this. By freaky coincidence, the salesman who answered my call to Dell and helped me place the order was someone who grew up in my neighborhood.

    When my dealings with Dell were done, I called him to share our experience. He looked up the event ticket, saw what Dell did to us, saw the Caviar drive that wasn’t supposed to be there, and the service contracts he sold in good faith that they didn’t honor.

    He quit his job with Dell.

    Deal with Dell if you want to, but you could get what we got. Even in the aftermath when we sent them the event ticket and asked for something to be done about this $2400 rip-off, they ignored us.

    Even when we told them the order number is 86471745, the Service Tag number is 7003G, the Express Service Code is 117574367, they ignored us.

    No refund for the intentionally flawed factory lemon computer; no refund on the service contracts they didn’t honor.

    That mistreatment is why you are seeing this, you and everyone we reach year after year with this warning. Every thousand orders Dell doesn’t get spares people anguish.

    Pass it on.

    Rey