Dell Doesn't Care Where You Live, Keeps Delivering Packages To The Wrong Address

Elizabeth went out and bought a Mac after Dell twice sent Windows XP replacement CDs to her old address. After each failed delivery attempt, Elizabeth called Dell, which repeatedly promised that they’d get it right next time. One CSR even claimed that he personally called DHL to change the shipping address. (He didn’t.)

Elizabeth’s story is just one of the many examples showing that piss-poor customer service can directly lead to lost business.

It has been over 3 weeks since I ordered a set of windows XP replacement cds, and still no sign of them. I ordered the disks using the form on and received an email saying that the disks would be sent to me in 3-5 business days. When I had not received the disks after over a week of waiting, I checked my account information on, hoping to find some answers. It was clear that the customer service rep never read the original form that I submitted and sent the disks to the “original shipping address” instead of the “current shipping address”.

I replied to the original confirmation email (as the email told me to do if I had a problem) and explained the situation. I received what was obviously a form letter in reply saying that the situation would be corrected and that they would send out a new set of disks the following day. After waiting a few days for the “order info” to appear in my account information on, I was shocked to see that the disks had AGAIN been sent to the wrong address.

This time I tried calling customer service directly. After being on the phone for nearly an hour being transferred to a series of people whose English was barely intelligible , I was finally connected to a rep who said that because the package had not yet been picked up by DHL that he would personally contact DHL and change the shipping address on the package. He also stated that I would receive a confirmation email that same afternoon with the case number of my problem and all of the relevant shipping information.

By the next day I still had not received any confirmation email. My information still had the incorrect shipping address. Likewise using the DHL tracking number provided on the order info page, I saw that DHL still had the incorrect shipping address listed.

I called customer service again and was told that I had to be transferred to the technical support department to solve the problem. While I was on hold, the voice recording over the hold music told me to “have my credit card ready” so that technical support would be able to charge me for talking to them. I immediately hung up when I heard this. There was no way that I was now going to pay to talk to technical support about a shipping issue for a supposedly free set of disks.

I called customer service back immediately and was connected to a different representative who said that he would indeed be able to help me. He pulled up my file and said that he saw I had called the previous day and that the agent I had spoken to had contacted DHL and had changed the shipping address. The representative was quite rude and treated me like I was crazy for calling to confirm what I had been told the previous day. When I asked why I had not received a confirmation email about this (as the rep the previous day had promised), I was told that between Friday afternoon and Saturday afternoon Dell had changed their policy and that they were not allowed to email me a copy of my case number and complaint information nor could they even tell me the case number over the phone. I was however promised by this rep that the disks would arrive on Tuesday.

Tuesday came and no disks. I received an email stating that my order had been “resolved and closed” because the package had been delivered. Magically, they now included the case number in the email, the case number that on Saturday I was told in no uncertain terms that I was not allowed to know due to their “policy”. The Dell representatives had blatantly lied to me.

I checked the tracking information. The disks had been delivered alright…AGAIN at the incorrect address. I called DHL directly and asked them if they had ever received any request from Dell to change my shipping information. Of course, they had not. The Dell representatives had blatantly lied to me about this as well.

I called customer service for a third time and explained the entire situation again. I told the rep that I had just gotten off the phone with DHL and that even though her computer said that Dell had contacted them about the shipping change, DHL had no knowledge of this. All she could tell me was that because the order had technically been delivered, the only way to receive the disks was to start the request process from scratch. I did so. So here I am Friday, sitting here still waiting for the disks to arrive knowing that some poor soul at my old college dorm has now received two sets of windows XP disks and is probably wondering what the heck is going on.

There is currently no information regarding this third order on my account info page. At this point, I just want to see if Dell will EVER be able to send the disks to me. Thank goodness all I had ordered were a set of free disks, imagine if this had been done with a full computer system.

This was not my first horror story with Dell customer service, but it will certainly be my last. I am currently typing this on my shiny MacBook. The final selling point for me was that there is a physical Apple store nearby that’s open 24/7 – 365 days a year with customer service reps that I can look in the eye. Then if they lie to me, at least they have to do it to my face. 😉

Welcome, Elizabeth, to a new, better world.

(Photo: Getty)