UPDATE: DHL Laptop Thieves Busted After Reader Complaint

Sue, whose Dell laptops were stolen by dirty, dirty DHL thieves writes in to update us.

I FINALLY got my computer on October 26, over a month after I placed the initial order.

I called Dell on October 18 since I hadn’t heard anything from them. I initially talked to a CSR who told me they would have to send my new computer via DHL. I didn’t like that answer, so I demanded to speak with a supervisor. The supervisor told me that she would fill out a form that would change the delivery service to FedEx and that she would follow my case and update me with purchase order numbers and keep me updated with ship times. She also told me that she would check into some compensation for me for all of the trouble I’ve had. She never called me back, I finally called on the 20th for my purchase order so I could track my order.

On Wednesday, October 24 I checked my Dell account and saw that my computer had shipped…via DHL! I just about had a stroke when I saw that. I didn’t have time that day to call Dell, since I was working on a paper in the library, and DHL had already closed, so I just prayed they wouldn’t lose a 3rd computer. In the mean time, Debbie, a customer advocate from Dell contacted me (via email) and asked if I had gotten my laptop yet and I told her that not only hadn’t I received my third laptop, but Dell shipped it via DHL again. I also told her that I had not heard back from the supervisor who had promised to keep me in the loop and that I was extremely dissatisfied with Dell.

I woke up on Thursday, October 25 and called Dell and demanded to speak with a supervisor. I was informed that all of them were busy, but that one would call me back within an hour. A workday at Dell must take forever, because an hour to them meant two days as I was finally contacted on Saturday, October 27. When one finally called me on Saturday, I was on vacation and couldn’t talk, and the supervisor had the nerve to get huffy with me, saying that I was the one who requested a callback from Dell. Whatever, I told him to call me back on Monday (since he wouldn’t give me his direct number) and I haven’t heard back.

Anyway, at about 1100am on Wednesday, October 24 there was a knock at my door and it was DHL with my computer. How did I know it was my laptop? Because right on the front, Dell put a big sticker saying “Computer made in Malaysia.” Duh! Why not just broadcast what was in the box? Even with the big “DELL” all over the box, it could have possibly been accessories. Anyway, I ripped open the box, just to make sure they weren’t bringing me a box of bricks, and I saw my shiny, new laptop. I almost cried.

About an hour later, I got a call from Mark, who identified himself as the Las Vegas regional manager. He apologized numerous times for my trouble and then let me know that there had been 2 delivery drivers at DHL who had been part of a theft ring and had been stealing laptops and cell phones. They had finally caught them and DHL is pressing charges. Oh, and the corporate office also sent me a pre-paid DHL envelope where I can send a letter to anywhere in the country for free. Whoopee! I am going to use the envelope to send a letter back to their corporate headquarters letting them know that I wouldn’t use their company again on a dare.

So that’s where it ends. I finally have my computer, but will never use DHL or Dell again. I am also not holding my breath for the compensation that the first Dell supervisor had mentioned.

We’re glad to hear that Sue got her laptop and happy to know that the DHL thieves got busted. Perhaps Dell should consider investing in some plain boxes? Sending out ones with “steal me” written on them doesn’t seem to be working for their customers. In addition, based on Sue’s experience, Consumerist will be less likely to pass along overtures of help from Dell’s PR team, as they seem determined to make us look foolish.



Edit Your Comment

  1. scoobydoo says:

    After all this crap all she gets is a frikkin $13 overnight envelope?


  2. Sudonum says:

    My new Sony just shipped via FedEx today. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

  3. clementine says:

    Perhaps she should wait for all the comments from all the consumerist posters, print them all off, and put them into the envelope to Dell? I’m sure that we are all going to say that Dell is staffed by idiots, etc.

  4. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    Reminder: Order Dell computers through their small business division, NOT their home/consumer division. You’ll get better customer service.

  5. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    DHL has not even ONCE gotten a package to me on time. Amazon uses them sporadically. I’ve begged them to stop using DHL to my location, but they claim there is nothing they can do about it.

  6. davebg5 says:

    @LatherRinseRepeat: You are 100% correct.

    I just purchased a new laptop from Dell small biz div. I was going that route just b/c I had found a great deal. Turns out to have been the best thing I could have done.

    After I placed the order I got my email confirmation, which was littered w/stray letters and special characters, including in the Ship To fields. I called Dell CS to verify that they had the correct information. The rep not only confirmed the info, but volunteered to upgrade me from my free shipping (3-5 biz days) to overnight at no additional charge. I didn’t even ask for that.

    Then, the day after I received my laptop the same rep called me to verify that I had received it via the overnight shipping.

    A much better experience than I EVAH had w/Dell Home/Consumer.

  7. RAREBREED says:


    I’ve gotten two laptops through Dell’s small business division, and both times, they came quickly and in one piece! The only things I seem NOT to get sometimes are DVD’s from Amazon shipped USPS. They replace them if you don’t get them after two weeks, though.

  8. nXt says:

    I’ve always hated Dell shipping boxes with HUGE DELL Logo printed on ALL Sides of the boxes! I’ve gotten about 8 shipments from Dell (laptops, monitors, pcs, accessories) that vary from small to large boxes. All have the dang Dell logo!

  9. faust1200 says:

    A free overnight envelope!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now that’s comedy.

  10. kidzmatter2me says:

    Dell could take a lesson from Apple here. Apple always ships (at least in recent years) in plain brown corrugated cardboard boxes, and simply puts “ACI” (for Apple Computer, Inc.) in the address line. Now, while any enterprising thief with brain in his head could figure that out over time, it still helps with issues like what Dell has by slapping “DELL” in giant letters across the box.

  11. DashTheHand says:

    When I ordered a gaming laptop that was in the region of $1900, I nearly had a stroke when I got home to find it sitting on my porch with giant ASUS LAPTOP plastered on the side of the box. Even though I live in a fairly good community, its just plain stupid to 1. Leave a box obviously containing something fairly valuable for all the world to see and 2. that the company is so stupid that they help broadcast it.

  12. 9900dude says:

    When I shipped my MacBook to Apple to get fixed, it went out DHL. However, it came back FedEx :)

  13. InThrees says:

    …corporate office also sent me a pre-paid DHL envelope where I can send a letter to anywhere in the country for free. Whoopee! I am going to use the envelope to send a letter back to their corporate headquarters letting them know that I wouldn’t use their company again on a dare.

    Hahahaha NICE.

  14. demonradio says:

    When I ordered my laptop from Best Buy (I know, I know, the devil, etc etc) the box was in a grey bag type of thing. I thought that was kind of cool.

  15. mandarin says:

    Damn DHL. No wonder they have been messing around some offices lately trying to get corporate accounts…

  16. Saboth says:


    Lol I know..how many times do I need to send letters via snail mail? Maybe she can give it to her Grandma for Christmas cards or something….

    It’s like if Burger King messed up your order 10x and gave you 3 free sporks.

  17. SaveMeJeebus says:

    DHL=Awful. My mom’s company uses DHL as their contract carrier and whenever she overnights a package of cookies and whatnot, the local carriers always seem to fuck it up. They either leave a doortag at my house without knocking (I confronted them afterwards about it) or fail to actually deliver it overnight. They are a bunch of knuckleheads, especially after they took over Airborne Express.

  18. royal72 says:

    “I am going to use the envelope to send a letter back to their corporate headquarters letting them know that I wouldn’t use their company again on a dare.”


    bravo, absolutely brilliant!

  19. solipsistnation says:

    DHL has very unreliable tracking– I ordered a computer (from Apple), and had it vanish for a couple of days between hitting the US and reaching my door. I called Apple and DHL during this time, and they had no idea where it was… I have had generally bad experiences with DHL all around, to the point where if I order something and it ships via DHL (if I don’t have a chance to have it ship some other way– I’ll go FedEx every time if I have the opportunity), I am surprised if it arrives on time, or, indeed, at all.

  20. ExtraCelestial says:

    a letter to anyone in the country for free???? lamest attempt at a reconciliation ever?

  21. jwissick says:

    DHL is horrid. They have ‘attempted’ delivery on packages here a few times.. they never actually come out to deliver, but just say they did. I had one package SIT in their warehouse for a week and they never tried to deliver it. I had to go pick it up.

    DHL is one of the WORST companies around. I am YET to have a good experience with them.

  22. lalahsghost says:

    You weren’t one of the sufferers at WVWC that was involved in this fiasco, no?

  23. SOhp101 says:

    Dell sucks.

    DHL sucks even more. Had to use it frequently a few times (delivering 30-60 documents to separate addresses at a time) and their failure rate at delivering time sensitive packages was staggering.

  24. eelmonger says:

    I always get great service from DHL…but there’s a catch. The website that uses them uses DHL@Home, which basically means DHL gets it to the right city and then the pass it off the the USPS to make the final delivery. So DHL is a great shipping company, not so good as a delivery company though.

  25. Phildawg says:

    @eelmonger: I have used several websites that do the FedEX and UPS connection type stuff where once it gets to your city, it switches to USPS… so this is becoming common place now and unfortunately is just a cheap shipping option.

  26. jediistar says:

    I have to say that I just went through the same type of hell getting a warranty replacement from Dell. Aside from their outsourced customer service, lack of phone etiquette and just all out sad customer service it was this story that made me sit at the window today waiting for my package to be delivered. Luckily they sent the warranty replacement priority overnight and I was thinking clearly enough to call them early in the week to see if the laptop had shipped. After going through 4 people they were able to get me a tracking number helping me learn that this morning was delivery day.

    I too after going through a traumatic 3 weeks of Dell ordering me parts and having to spend days on end waiting for techs to come over will never ever order another dell.

    However, on a bright note they did replace my 700m laptop with an xps 1210 which if new prices out at almost double the price of my 700m, 200 gig hard drive, 2 gig ram, double what I had on my previous machine so at least they did something right.

  27. JadedScientist says:

    Several years back DHL delivered over a hundred urine samples for drug testing to the wrong address and the box sat out at room temperature over a long weekend. The person who opened the shipment and had to process the samples almost passed out.

  28. BillyShears says:

    Maybe it’s just me, but after the second time I would’ve just reported it as lost and gotten a computer from another company.

  29. emt888 says:

    Update: I’m the one who’s had all of these problems with DHL and Dell. I just got word from Dell that as compensation, they are sending me (not through DHL) a free spare battery. That’s fine, I orignally wanted a spare battery and couldn’t afford it, so this works out well for me. Debbie (from Dell) said that she had tried contacting me yesterday and today and couldn’t get through and that is quite possible since my contact number is my cell and when I’m on certain parts of my campus, the phone doesn’t pick up calls.

  30. Eilonwynn says:

    I find that my own best technique with dell, when I demanded a new system after 2 motherboards, is “i’m gonna tell all my friends” – I live in a university town, and I knew full well that they were vying for a contract on campus, and the university was “looking for student input”. That got me through to the right people tout suite. The other thing is to get the absolute MAX warranty you can – completecare with onsite. I told them that if they *didn’t* replace the system, I would be phoning them and demanding onsite care every time the machine beeped at me funny. They did much the same thing for me as for Jediistar – a much better system came as the replacement. The final trick is, know what you want, and don’t be afraid to go for a bit of overkill and expect to negotiate down – when dell LOST my payment for a few weeks, I got a free not-bad kodak digicam out of the deal.

  31. FLConsumer says:

    I’m with the others — Use Dell Small Business!! Totally different experience than their consumer division. USA-based sales, cust. service, and tech support, good shipping, etc.

    I’m not fond of DHL at all. Never had a terrible exprience with them, but never had a good one either.

  32. felixgolden says:

    I’ve had my share of nightmares with DHL not ringing doorbells and leaving delivery attempt notices even with a house full of people. A couple of months ago, I ordered a critical replacement part for a client that was supposed to be delivered before 10:30am. After it failed to show and I made at least 6 calls, Around 2pm, I was told it was delivered a little after 1pm. Since I obviously didn’t have the package, I assumed it was delivered to the wrong address. DHL was trying to contact the driver. I gave up hope and decided to try to hit at least one client. I had to throw out some garbage on the way to my car. Sitting next to the garbage cans on a pile of cardboard to be recycled, was my package. Fortunately it wasn’t a pickup day.

  33. gmw3550 says:

    I’m finished with DHL as well. When a laptop I ordered from CDW couldn’t be found after reaching DHL’s Texas distribution center, DHL basically said “too bad” and gave no suggestions for resolution.

    Fortunately, CDW sent a replacement immediately after determining that DHL wasn’t going to help me.

    A few weeks later, a friend ordered a monitor and DHL shipped it. When she went to use it, it was cracked. DHL took weeks to get it settled.

    I’ll pay the extra for UPS or FedEx ground from now on. And I’ll order from CDW faithfully because any time I’ve had a problem, they take care of it.

  34. aikoto says:

    It seems wrong to hold it against DHL. The issues they had could have happened anywhere and I’ve had better experiences with DHL than the others.

    As for Dell, they obviously can’t follow through with their promises.

  35. kc2idf says:

    Anyone give any thought to what appropriate compensation should be? Here’s my idea:

    Let’s assume, for the sake of the argument, that she spent $900 on the computer. That’s about the price of a Latitude D820 (or at least, it was last I looked).

    She originally placed her order in Mid-September, so let’s say, for the sake of the argument, 2007-09-15, and she received it on 2007-10-26.

    Now, she no doubt paid with a credit card. Let’s assume 14% interest. That amounts to $126 a year if she never pays it down, which, of course, she must.

    From 2007-09-15 to 2007-10-26 is a period of 41 days, which amounts to about $14 in interest, so yes, a $13 overnight envelope is actually pretty close to correct compensation for the immediate loss of use.

    It does, however, neglect the fact that she had to waste shitloads of her time trying to get this resolved. This is where something more is needed.

  36. zibby says:

    Agree that DHL stinks. There have been multiple incidents where they claimed to have attempted delivery of an item to me but in reality they just didn’t bother. They make the USPS look good.

  37. Sasquatch says:

    The company I work for recently switched to DHL from FedEx… for less than a month. In the time we were using them, they lost about 20% of the packages we shipped with them. Needless to say, we’ve switched back to FedEx. I can’t believe they’re still around.

  38. Imaginary_Friend says:

    @Speedwell – same here. The trick is to not order anything 1 day delivery from Amazon; 1 day delivery = DHL with them (at least in my case). Everything else ships UPS or FEDEX.

    I know folks think there isn’t a reasonable alternative to Dell when you need a Windows pc, but I just found one: [www.pugetsystems.com] The customer service is stellar and their computers are top notch. It’s worth the extra money to never have to deal with Dell again.

  39. jpmoney says:

    To add another “me too” I’ve not had good experiences using DHL.

    I ordered a 24″ Dell monitor that was “lost” by DHL – lost somewhere in the 5-10 miles between my house and the Dell shipping center that it shipped from.

    I specifically asked if I could just pick it up, but Dell wouldn’t budge. Fair enough, until the DHL website didn’t update after it was received by them. After calling them, they couldn’t find it on their shipping doc (check the employee’s car?) so I started the claim process, etc. Queue the normal rant about being passed around between different people on the phone, etc. Not fun and worthless.

    I ordered through the Small Business division and was happy enough with their service. The support was a bit annoying since it was outsourced, but they did not think twice about shipping me a replacement monitor next day when I told them that I had called DHL, started a claim, etc. Its like they’ve had to deal with such things before or something :).

    The whole process took about 2 days. In the end they sent me a replacement overnight but they still would not just let me pick the monitor up down the road. They also gave me a $100 Dell gift card that went towards a new digital camera.

    I love the monitor but I agree that Dell needs to get some non-descript boxes pronto.

  40. Dervish says:

    I’m going to climb on the “DHL sucks” bandwagon here. Normally when I read stories of crappy UPS/postal service I just feel lucky, because both services are pretty competent where I live. DHL, though, really bites. Out of the four shippers (USPS, Fedex, UPS, and DHL), they’re the only ones who can’t seem to figure out how to leave a package at our condo. I’m not sure exactly what the process is – whether the other drivers have a door key, or whether they buzz our caretaker who takes posession, or what – but DHL never delivers to us. They never even leave a door tag. Anytime I’ve gotten a shipment from them I’ve had to drive out to their warehouse and pick it up. I’d rather have something shipped by USPS and not get any tracking info than have something arrive via DHL.

  41. 4ster says:

    Use the envelope to send them a Totino’s Party Pizza.


  42. Dilbitz says:

    DHL all around sucks. When I worked at a store in the mall many moons ago, our paychecks came via DHL. They were NEVER on time. They were supposed to be at the store by 11am on thursday…we sometimes didn’t see them ’til monday.

    Try telling a poor 19 year old that she can’t get home cause she has no more gas and that she’ll have to sit at home all weekend cause DHL lost her paycheck. Hell, NO!

  43. sdc says:

    I think it is very unfortunate that you had this problem with DHL. I work for Airborne now DHL and have for nearly 20 years. It is disturbing to hear all the horible stories people have with my company, frankly it sucks. I can tell you this that we to have people that don’t care about doing a good job, however we do have people like myself that does care about customers needs. I certainly can’t speak for every DHL driver but I take my job very serious. I have a wife and four kids to take care of. I need my job and if I don’t do my very best and my customers suffer in any way we lose business. Yes there are problems with DHL but I am sure others carriers have their problems as well. I am not making any excuses for my company because there is no excuse what so ever for poor customer service. For those of you that have had a bad experience with DHL I am truly sorry the whole company does not operate like this. There are some isolated areas of the Company that are a problem and DHL is working on them and will fix them. I just hope its not to late for some of you. Anyway thats my two cents I hope you can have a differnt perspective of Airborne/DHL.

  44. Trump48257 says:

    I had a similar experience with DHL in the past as well. I sent my Dell laptop in for a repair under warranty. The delivery center is here in Memphis. So dell fixed it and I received a return DHL tracking number. The laptop got delayed and delayed again—showing it had been picked up from Dell’s repair place but that was the last update. It was “missing” as well. There have been news stories about the cooked DHL sorting facility stealing laptops here as well. Called Dell and they issued a replacement.

    My only other complaint with DHL is that the new guy doing my route can’t find my apartment (nobody else has any problems). This isn’t an isolated thing either. I’ve had the same guy get lost twice so I don’t get my package till the next day after I call in and have the dispatch lady print him off mapquest directions…and then he still calls me because he’s confused.

  45. chrispc24 says:

    I know someone who works at Dell who says this is a common occurrence. She says to NEVER get anything shipped via DHL!

  46. octgirl says:

    Your comments about drivers leaving droptags at a door where the house is full of people is rediculous. Makes no sense to get all the way to the door and not knock or leave the package. Doesn’t happen. And as far as DHL being the only company that “F”s up is way of. I know first hand there are “f-ups” at the other delivery companies too. All companies have issues. Dell may have to change there packaging but you can’t police every employee everyway. The 2 DHL employees that stole from Dell shouldn’t spoil it for thousands of great empolyees, which I am one of for over 20 years. And proud of it.

  47. khatfield says:

    DHL has lost almost $2k of items being shipped to me which costed me hours upon hours of calling here and there to get replaced. The items I have received from them have come with drivers that look like they just got off the street corner selling crack. I have seen “Attempted Delivery” many times and have never once seen a door tag or a note, anything. I’m guessing the Penske rental trucks don’t come with those?