I recently made an online purchase of a Dell Laptop Computer. I had been looking at them online for months. In June of 2004 I applied for a Dell Preferred Account and was accepted in seconds.
For months I watched online and waited for the best time to purchase. In December while looking online I saw NO INTEREST FOR ONE YEAR on Dell Preferred Accounts. I decided to make the purchase December 9, 2004. I received my laptop on December 12. On December 16, I was online looking at digital cameras and saw Dell had a 5 mp Kodak that I was interested in. I called the online sales number to inquire if I could add the camera to the Dell Preferred Account and was told I could. I ordered and was told the camera would be here in 3 to 5 business days. Camera had not arrived by December 22, so I called to inquire.
During our conversation I made the comment about this being a great deal having no interest for one year. The sales rep then told me I only had 90 days no interest. I almost exploded. I told her no way would I take the camera and I wanted to return the laptop. She asked me to reconsider and I told her how I assumed I had no interest for one year. She apologized and said she needed to transfer me to the return department.
After speaking to the return department I asked them to transfer me to the Dell Financial Department. They could not transfer, but gave me the number. I called and asked to speak to a supervisor. I was on hold for over 20 minutes and hung up. I called again on December 23 and again, after being on hold, I began to repeat my issues and was interrupted and told by the rep she saw my previous days call and a change had been made to my account. I now had ONE YEAR NO INTEREST. I was told I would see on my first statement that payment in full must be made by January, '06. I was happy again. All was right in the world.
I then received my first statement from Dell Preferred Accounts on January 20, 2005 and guess what. You got it, 90 days to pay with no interest. Now the fun begins. I called DPA and spoke with a rep after a 10-minute wait. I asked to speak with a supervisor. Another 10 minute wait. Really quick today. I asked her if she had my information on the screen. She replied yes and said she saw calls on December 22 and 23. She read me almost word for word about my call on December 22. Asked what it said about the call on the 23rd. She replied nothing. The only thing she saw was that there was a phone call. I explained to her my situation and she said I'm sorry, but there was nothing she could do.
I told her we shouldn't even be having this call. I would have to be the stupidest person in the world to order a camera and add it on to a program to pay for in 90 days when I was ready to return the laptop for that same reason. Again she apologized. I told her apologies would not make a payment. I asked her if there was anyone above her I could speak to. She said yes, but they will tell you the same thing. I asked her if they all used the same script. I asked her about returning the laptop and camera. Here we go again. She couldn't help me but she would transfer me. After a 20 minute wait, I spoke with a customer (don't) care rep. I explained my situation. I also emphasized how I had planned to return the laptop and camera previously (within the allowable timeframe) and now the window of opportunity had expired. He had to put me on hold. When he returned he said he would be glad to get me a RA number. Then he lowered the boom. Since I was outside the 21-day return, I would need to pay a 10% penalty. Atomic bomb goes off. I asked to speak to a supervisor and he asks me why. I explain to him there must be someone there who can approve this return due to this comedy of obvious errors. No two areas of Dell work in concert. From Sales to Technical Support to Customer Service to the most obvious of all. Dell Preferred Account. No one department can tie all these together.
After I have gone through all these situations, I'm looking on Dell's website for someone to call when I see a Community Forum section. I went through the section and see a section for Customer Care. There's that oxymoron again. Inside this area there is forum for Dell Preferred Accounts. I sure wish I had seen this section before going through all these problems. Someone from Dell has to be aware of these issues to CIT Bank to be on Dell's website, use their name and serve as a creditor. I hope to bulldog this issue the same way Dell went after the free money of the citizens of North Carolina and especially Forsyth County.
High Point, North Carolina
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