Dell Reduces Instant Discount By $200 Somewhere Between Shopping Cart And Order Confirmation

Before we get to the typical bad-company shenanigans—in this case, Dell’s $599 discount mysteriously shrank to $400 between when he placed it in his shopping cart and when he reached the confirmation screen—we want to share this bit of ridiculousness. Dell’s CSR Vanessa gives us the scoop on Dell’s sophisticated order fulfillment system:

Jack: Can you look at sales history today and verify whether you sold this system at $599 off today? This was to be my third dell purchase, now I will not purchase again!
ATG Vanessa: There isn’t a cart history unfortunately.
Jack: Sales history! Actual people who purchased this system today!
ATG Vanessa: We don’t keep record of that.
Jack: You’re telling me dell does not know what it has sold today?
ATG Vanessa: Remember this is done online and there’s some confidential information we usually erase to protect customers.
Jack: Like what computers you have to build?
ATG Vanessa: So no, there isn’t a record where you can see how much have been sold.
Jack: How do you know what you have to ship?
ATG Vanessa: It depends on what we have available at the moment.

Aside from that nonsense, the problem here is that Dell enticed Jack with a weird bait-and-switch, and worse still, they snuck it in at the very last moment before he hit submit.

I had found a link for an XPS system that had a $599 instant savings. I configured my system and added it to the cart and the $599 savings still was applied. I chose to then apply for financing beacuse there was no payments for 12 months. Once I was approved, i proceeded to checkout. Once I reached the confirmation page to submit my order I saw that the price had risen by $200.00 when I went back to check what happened the instant savings had dropped to $400. Confused I then initiated a live chat which led to nothing.


ATG Vanessa: Thanks for holding, I have checked and the instant savings changed. Please be aware that configuration, pricing, tax, shipping & handling and monthly payment information that appears in your cart is estimated and presented for your convenience only, and is subject to change without notice.

Not only was Vanessa less than helpful, but she was pretty apathetic at the end, too:

Jack: Well dell just lost a customer.
ATG Vanessa: Is there anything else I can help you with at this time?

Umm, no.

(Photo of computers: Extra Ketchup)