Friday, July 15, 2016

What's up with Dell?

On Tuesday, I chatted with American Express. You see, I have been a card-carrying member since 1979. Well,hit me on the head for loyalty. Yet, have you served in the military? Only a small percentage of Americans have.

I told AmEx that Dell swears that it has sent a credit to the card account. AmEx has no record of this transaction. And, AmEx takes its reputation for financial prowess seriously. They told me to get some confirmation from Dell that they paid. Then, I was to get back to AmEx.

Aside: Some of the early details can be found at this blog post - Open letter to Michael Dell.

Mind you, this saga is months old. Many would have given up by now. Too, it is disheartening to get a different answer to different phone calls on different days. But, I attributed that to offshoring and other modern business practices that do not care for the end customer. Want me to expand upon that?

I called Dell after I had chatted with AmEx. If you look at the Remarks added to the "Open letter" post, you will see that I have recorded, there, some of interchanges. Several times, I was told 5 days more. Other times I was told that it is a 30-day process: be patient, you are in the final stages of the financial transaction that has been approved.

Several said that the credit had already been sent. Hence, the chat with AmEx. However, this reminds me of an issue with a phone company. I had talked to several persons about a problem with no resolution. One actually told me to listen, and she would explain and pay up.

It was simple algebra. Finally, I got some guy who could follow the logic. In the meantime, I put in a complaint with the Feds. I heard from the headquarters of the company. They assigned some muckity-muck to work with me. Also, they sweetened the pot, a little, in order to get me off of their back.

Too, they changed their process to remove this source of irritation. I did not get any pay for the consulting work. However, seeing them improve their process was enough. Though, I scratched my head at the declining smartness in the market place.

So, back to Tuesday. I used the number obtained on Monday from someone who said that the customer needs to talk to Dell Credit in regard to issues like this. That is, the ones answering the phone only see paid on their records, but there is some hang up somewhere such that the customer does not see the transaction. And, I must admit, I did ask, via chat once, where in the long bit of travel from a button push to a credit appearing on the screen was there a traffic tie-up. I mean, was I held up in commuter snarl?

On dialing the number, I found out that it was another entry into Customer Care (ah, let's talk that name, shall we?). The guy saw the record and said, oh, this will be paid in 48 hours. For sure, he assured me. And, I got a confirmation number. Well, I have that number. But, there is no credit. And, we are far beyond 48 hours.

That means that I'll have to get back on the phone for the umpteenth time with Dell and not know which of the many types I will end up with.

In the meantime, Michael, is this a scam being run under your nose? Or, do you know of it? How is this bit of profit accounted for? And, how many consumers have given up, thereby enlarging Dell's intake?

BTW, all of this has been on the consumer side of Dell. I called the business side and asked if they had heard of this. Twice. Both times, the person on the phone was aghast. What?

Yes, indeed, what is up with Dell, Michael?

Remarks: Modified: 08/10/2016

07/19/2016 -- I found this via the Corporate website. Filled in the report. ... BTW, I have called Dell several times. They must know my number as I go into hold with music that's like torture when you hear it enough. What that means is: what good is the 48 hours confirmation? Of course, I will continue. I'm missing on some deals (black Friday in July) since I will not buy until this is resolved.

07/22/2016 -- It's late in the afternoon. Nothing from Dell. Are they incompetent? Or is this some type of fraud to rook old (more than one sense) customers? It is way over 48 hours.

07/25/2016 -- Nary a peep. Replied to the Customer Care email. Got an automated response that someone will get back with me within 24 hours.

07/26/2016 -- Query yesterday said 24 hours. So, I have launched a BBB complaint. Dell, I would take a credit for a new system. Wake up. ... Later, heard from BBB. They have contacted Dell.

07/27/2016 -- Another message from BBB that they have contacted Dell. This morning a credit appeared from Dell on my account. That, at least, shows that the capability is there. The problem? It is a duplicate of an earlier credit received and not for the amount being discussed. Oh well. ... People wake up. Your automated processes are dumbing down people. Too, they confound issues far beyond what might be considered normal.

07/28/2016 -- Asked the card company. They let their vendors determine the date for a credit. It was dated two days before it appeared. On the other side, debits are recorded to within a second (give or take clock sync issues). ..., Later in the day. My phone system heard from Dell. They left a message with a phone number to call, with an extension. On my call-back, into hold, with the music that I have listened to for four months now.

07/28/2016 -- So, I get a call. The guy, more or less, tells me to shut up and listen. Later, he tells me how many minutes he has talked to me. Come on, Mr. Dell. The guy says that he has researched the case and sees that a credit was done on 6/8/16. Oh, sure. Why did he call? Well, he says that he needs another 1-2 days to talk to finance. Did I hear that before? This is in response to a BBB complaint. Come on, Mr. Dell. I just sent the guy a note with an attachment showing a refund from yesterday that was dated for three days ago. However, it was the repeat of a refund done way back in March. His research did not see that. Would finance? We shall see. BTW, what is a good substitute for Dell?

08/01/2016 -- I did not hear back from the guy on Friday. I had sent him a note on Thursday, after we spoke. A refund had appeared for an earlier purchase on Wednesday. I wanted to know if he had known of that. ... Then, on Friday, I get a note from BBB. Dell had sent them a note on Friday saying that I had been contacted and there was no resolution. ... Today, no call. So, later this afternoon, I sent a note and wanted to know when this will be finalized. ... Got a call just a few minutes ago, didn't have my phone with me, so there was a message. Ah, the guy says, somewhat bashfully, the credit did not go through because of technical difficulties. He could resubmit the request for a refund. But, he needs my credit card information. ... Notice, there was a refund from Dell just last week. ... So, what gives? Lots of possibilities. Say, Peter doesn't know what Paul is doing. Or, the off-shored people do not have a clue on how to fix things like this. ... You see, the other day, he was argumentative and downright crappy in attitude. Of course, what does he make? Mr. Dell is worth 18B. A little refund of $300 seems to be difficult to accomplish. The guy who has to talk to customers probably could use that $300. ... Ah, the strange ways of modern business. If they cannot do money, how can we trust their overall computing wherewithall?

08/02/2016 -- So, Dell says that there were technical difficulties. And, they will resubmit the request for a refund. I sent a note saying that I was by my phone. No call. So, I called. Luckily, the guy was available. He wanted my credit card number. When I go into purchase, it's already on my profile. Evidently, this group is outside of Dell's system. Okay. I give them the number. He says, in response to my query of how long, 2-3 business days. And, I am informed, it's too late for this week. He will call me next Monday. So, I will watch the account, in the meantime. Actually, Mr. Dell, I do this for two reasons. One is, I'll know when the credit appears. Two, I will watch for unauthorized activity. Something seems amiss. But, then, the thing is to get the refund. That settles the account. Then, I would like to know what is going on. That, I am afraid, may be a fool's errand. The world is going amok, and those with the big pockets like this when it is in their favor (opens up the giant vacuuming process to take from the pockets of the hapless).

08/03/2016 -- I get a call. Same guy. He says that there was a rejection. And, he wanted the number, again. Also, he said that he would expedite the thing. How long, I ask? It would take 2-3 business days, he says. Any questions, he asks? No, I'm just wondering about deja vu here. What gives? Indeed. We'll keep you posted, he says. Well, I'll keep this posted, here, too.

08/04/2016 -- Later, I got an email. It says that the credit was done. I ought to see it in 2-3 days. ... Nothing yet. And, no untoward charges.

08/05/2016 -- The credit, expected back in April, appeared this morning on my account dated 8/3/16. Also, there were some reads on this post the past 24 hours. Anyone from Dell?

08/10/2016 -- What gives? For sure. The case is closed. Dell responded. Not to the extent that I would have liked, but it's not a perfect world. One reason is that we have business people making decisions that are suspect (other ways to characterize) in the longer term. Poor BBB. Non-profit. Let's see. Dell had thousands of complaints. Boeing? One. There are other firms that only have a few. One retailer (big name) has a 'F' rating. Lots of complaints. And, they drag their feet. And, about the web vendors? Two big names have more complaints than Dell. But, Michael, take no comfort in that. I sampled a few. Need to look at this further. ... However, the business brain that strategized this approach to customer service was stupid. Categorically. Again, poor BBB. And, how many do not know to go to BBB? How many never get their little claims rectified? Who cares? At the top, there are billions of personal accumulations? ... Look for "near zero" in my blogs. I'll get back to that. For any accumulation of a large magnitude, there are myriads of little losses. Oh, they aren't human; don't fee the pain. That's the thinking? ...

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