Dell ordering blues

I rely heavily on the Internet for my shopping needs. However, I am a bit stunned by a recent Dell experience. And not in a good way.

Some background. I placed an order on Monday, around midday. I waited for an order acknowledgment--which Dell's own page said could take up to a day for them to send. After you get the order acknowledgement, you're supposed to get an order confirmation estimating when the item would ship, and then an order shipment confirmation. (In the interim, as the day passed, I had reconsidered and wanted to cancel the order, but had no way to do so, without any order information.)

On Tuesday, at 10:50, I get my first e-mail from Dell--informing me that my order has already shipped. Talk about leap-frogging: This means Dell skipped over two steps of its own process.

To find out how to get out of this mess, I logged into Dell's Chat service, provided my order number, clicked through and--instead of talking to a Dell representative, the automated system came back with a screen informing me that my order number did not reflect I was a home or home office customer. Bizarre, considering the e-mailed order shipment confirmation clearly stated I'd ordered from the home and home office division.

While I applaud Dell's prompt turnaround from order to shipment--I've benefitted from their speed, myself, in the past--I question their ordering system's apparent inability to correctly inform buyers of their purchase's status. I also question their system's apparent inability to correctly identify its own customers. Never mind the hassle I face now, more to the point: If this happened to me, given the sheer volume of customers Dell handles daily, I'm sure many other customers are experiencing similar snafus with Dell's ordering system.

Adding a new dimension to the frustration: On Wednesday--more than 24 hours after telling me my item had shipped--I received the Dell Order Acknowledgement and the Order Confirmation. Time stamped to the same minute, no less.

What have your experiences ordering from Dell been like?

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