Behold Dell's "Buy One Wireless Card, Get 120 Free" Promotion

Dell accidentally skipped Andy in Canada’s wireless card upgrade while putting together the laptop he ordered. He called them and they sent the card along at no cost to him. Great service! The service was so great, in fact, that instead of just one wireless card, Dell went right ahead and shipped Andy a case of 120 of them.

He is less thrilled by this turn of events than a less honest customer would be.

Last November I purchased a brand new laptop from Dell. This was around the time when a new model of wi-fi card was being shipped with the computers, that didn’t yet have a driver for my intended flavour of Linux. I opted into an upgrade for a more well-known model using their online order form.

I can’t say I was surprised when this addition was overlooked by Dell, and I was shipped the card that was not compatible. I can’t complain though – I got a terrific deal, and a few quick calls to Customer Service had them shipping me the new card free. They even offered to send a technician to my house to get it installed, but I am an IT worker myself and said I could handle it just fine. The card arrived a few days later with priority shipping.

A whole crate of them.

Yes, they did not ship me a single wifi card – they sent me an entire box of them, a rough count numbering 120.

I’m sure about this time some of your more enterprising readers are proclaiming “jackpot!” and opening up an immediate eBay account, and I have to say I was tempted. This card in particular was a $80 upgrade on my laptop purchase! I decided to cash in for some Karma points and return the cards to them, and perhaps gain a thankyou note in response. This is where the story turns sour.

Since last November I have contacted Dell approximately twice per month in an attempt to get through to someone. It seems their customer service department simply does not have a pre-scripted response for “You mistakenly shipped me a crate of expensive parts.” I’ve been shuffled around to countless new customer service desks, but it always feels like I’m being transferred sideways (to other departments) rather than upwards (to management).

I thought maybe in this new “financial climate” (I hate that phrase) there’d be some hefty bonuses in place for Dell reps retrieving a pile of valuable goods. Though, so much time has gone on now that I suppose they are probably only worth $10 now. :-/ Any tips on who I could contact at Dell to have them take their property off my hands?

Any ideas for Andy (other than “eBay, dude?”) Or is it just painfully obvious that Dell doesn’t actually want these cards?

He could always try contacting Dell’s Customer Advocates, or maybe see what Michael Dell’s office has to say about the situation.

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