"Dell Is Chasing Me Into The Arms Of Steve Jobs"

Reader Julia writes in to say that Dell owes her a $70 gift card and when she didn’t get it they simply told her “too bad.” She’s wondering if any other Dell customers were similarly “cheated.” She sent an EECB to Dell and a quick summary of her problem to us:

I am a faithful – *religiously* devoted – reader of your blog (but not in a creepy way), and a huge supporter of your customer-focused stance. I’ve emailed your articles to friends, family members and strangers.

Unfortunately, I’m writing you today with my own customer service nightmare. I’d like to call it: (cue ominous music)

DELL MAKES PROMISES IT CAN’T KEEP, CHEATS CUSTOMER OUT OF $70, CHASES SAID CUSTOMER INTO THE ARMS OF STEVE JOBS

(Okay, that’s not very punchy… but Dell cheated me out of 70 bucks, and I’m too mad to make a snappy title)

So here’s the SHORT VERSION:

I’m a Mac and PC user, and recently had to buy a new computer. Solely based on price, I decided to buy a Dell on 01/31/08 – it was on sale, and they had a nifty promotion for a $70 gift card to be mailed to you with your purchase. (I think you can guess what the problem is going to be…)

It’s been 3 and a half months, and I NEVER GOT that $70 gift card. I called their customer service three times:

#1 03/30/08: Spoke to a supervisor, who asked me to PROVE THAT I QUALIFIED for the gift card. I forwarded him my confirmation email (with the gift card listed in the order), and he said he’d have a supervisor call me back, no one called me back

#2 around 04/15/08: Spoke to “Anne” who said she’d have a supervisor call me back, hung up on me, no one called me back

#3 05/05/08: Spoke to nameless CSR who said that all the $70 gift cards were all sent out and if I hadn’t received one – TOO BAD – they were all out. Nothing she could do. I asked to speak to a supervisor, she refused to connect me, said he’d call me back, no one called me back

During the three calls, the CSRs were rude, obstinate, uninformed and, of course, unhelpful. Can I mention again that each time a CSR promised that someone would call me back, and I have yet to receive a phone call from anyone at Dell?

So… Now I’m at the point where I am being a good Consumerist reader and sending Dell an EECB. And I want to share my story with you – considering, also, that I must not be the only one Dell cheated out of the promotion. I mean, we all know how horrible their customer service is – but I didn’t know that they blatantly lied to their customers to boot. BUY A MAC!

Julia wrote back today to tell us that her EECB has been ignored and she’s heard nothing back from Dell. Is she the only one who is having this problem?

Any advice for Julia? She could report Dell to her state’s attorney general for not living up to their advertised agreement. What do you think?

(Photo: Ben Popken )

UPDATE:

I have an update on my case – Dell will be issuing me a credit of $70 back to my credit card. (!)

I actually had two interactions with Dell, seemingly unrelated:

Geoff [Ed.– He’s a helpful Dell guy who reads the blog.] got back to me, and told me he would be taking care of my issue

Before he could do that, a woman named Anne called me me from their “Customer Resolutions Center”. She was the one who promised me that she would be crediting my acct., and that she will follow up Mon. or Tues. It seems that she was following up on my EECB, as she and Geoff did not know anything about each other.

Anyway… Yay for Consumerist and the mighty EECB!

The EECB is magical, is it not?