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Endless delays and excuses for an expensive purchase. Where is the customer service? Alienware Area 51 ALX

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Endless delays and excuses for an expensive purchase. Where is the customer service? Alienware Area 51 ALX

  • Hello Reader,


    I’ve been ordering Dell computers/servers/cabinets/storage personally and professionally for awhile now.  I used to enjoy the Dell experience but now I’m afraid I can no longer say that.


    In September I placed an order for a high end Dell XPS fully loaded with a new monitor.  The combined price at checkout was over 7,000$.  Knowing Dell service with my laptops, and pervious desktops I didn’t mind spending a substantial amount of money with them.  This order was supposed to be shipped to me for the first week of October but it was DELAYED.


    Called Dell to see what the hold up was and found out it was waiting on parts.  The system was in “HIGH DEMAND”.  Every time I called Dell would say that something else was delayed.   Customer support was being extremely rude and told me I wasn’t “being understanding” of their delays.   How could I be understanding when the I placed the order in September and now it wasn’t expected to be shipped till November.


    Trying to expedite my shipment I asked if I could purchase another computer or change parts.  Each time I asked I was shutdown and told there is nothing that can be done.  I was even told I couldn’t cancel the order and would have to wait to receive it.  Once I receive the order I can ship it back. (Are you kidding me?)  I asked to speak to a manager and I was rejected.  I asked for the customer service representative’s name and he wouldn’t give it to me. (Frustrating)


    When November came and no status updates were received I called Dell to find out what was going on.  Now the order was on hold indefinitely.  Now magically I can change my order.  I was sent off to sales and had to deal with yet another person. 


    They CANCELED my order and promised me that my new machine would be delivered within 16 days.  Now my order for the Alienware Area 51 ALX isn’t expected to be here till the middle of DECEMBER!  What is going on here??  The sales representative told me that this is just what the online page is showing not what is really happening.


    I was assured that he sent an email for a "rush order" but because its a high end system, it’ll take time.  Funny I can order servers that cost 100,000$ and higher they’ll arrive quicker then this.


    I called Dell once again and they say my order won’t be shipped till the end of the first week of December.  Can someone please help me??  Managers, customer service reps don’t call or respond to emails.  They are fine with taking my money but following through.


    Any help would be appreciated!!!!


  • I also want to voice my concern and would appreciate any advice.

    I ordered my Studio Desktop in mid-October with an estimated delivery date of Nov 4th. I got a shipping delay notice on the 2nd and was advised that I would receive a notice within 5 business days that my order had shipped, or if there was to be another delay. Not really a good customer experience of pretty much being told to wait until you receive it.

    Since I did not get any notification, I called to inquire about the nature of the delay. I was advised that the delay was due to Windows 7 being out of stock and that they're expecting an update before the end of this week. The rep was quite rude, seemed like he was doing something else (lots of quiet periods with no response), and actually told me to keep waiting since there was nothing they could do. I inquired about cancelling my order because I don't want to wait at least another 2 weeks for a computer to ship and have to deal with not knowning when my pc will ever arrive but I was told to wait until the end of the week.

    I'm just ranting at my displeasure for the whole process, the lack of knowledge sharing between the shipping channels and the service channels, and the horrible experience so far. This is my first order with Dell and this experience has really soured my view. I definitely would not recommend anyone to Dell and if I can find a better priced system with similar specs, will be cancelling my order.


  • Oh my!  I had to do a double take, as I could have written this exact same story myself! 

    I ordered a high end XPS deskto on September 6, 2009, and it was expected to be delivered within a month.  Two months later, after I'd been through the same routines as you, I was finally told that the computer was "End of LIfe" and no longer in production, and that Dell was going to let me know they'd cancelled the order, and that I could finally order a different computer!  WOW!!!  I have to wonder, if I'd not been persistent, when they might have told me!  I had to bully my way through about 5 or 6 different people on the phone to get anyone to truly look at the account and order, and not just read the status off the website.  I laughed when they followed up on their customer service with a survey! I said, surely you're kidding!

    So, I ordered an Alienware Aurora ALX to the tune of over $4K, on November 4, 2009. The Dell Product Advisor said that even though the order's estimated delivery date was December 2, 2009, that I would have the computer on or before November 23rd.  However, he said he could not put it in writing yet, that the order's delivery date was computer generated, and that after it was in production, he would update the delivery date. 

    Well, today is November 23rd, and I don't have a computer, the estimated delivery date has never been updated on the order on the website.  I phoned last week, and my call was not returned.  I phoned today and my call was returned by my same Product Advisor within the hour.  He said he was "unavailable to return my call" last week.  Oh really?  How convenient for him!  And, today, he says that my computer is completed and hasn't been shipped because of climactic problems in the US.   He suggested that there was flooding in Virginia this month of November that delayed the shipment of my computer!  What?  How insulting is this?  Floods?  What's next, a volcano in Louisiana?

    As I suggested in another blog, customers need to be ready to walk away from Dell computers, much as we would from a car deal gone wrong.  I wish I'd have walked away 2 months ago, and cut my losses.  Now, I'll have to settle with a lesson learned the hard way, and next time I need a computer, buy elsewhere.  I won't give any company another chance to abuse my good will this way. 

    If there is anyone at Dell who reads this, I'm a 1o year customer.  I'm willing to listen to how you can make this up to me.  It'll have to be good, and tangible.  More like, promises and excuses will not make up for 3 months of lost production time.



  • Wow,

    I wish I could say that I feel comforted by the thought of someone else having the same issues as me but instead I feel more upset.  Dell Escalations has now contacted me due to my community posting.  Hopefully they are able to help me out but ONE of my video cards sounds like it's delayed.  Who know spending 7K on a machine would take so long to deliver.

    I'm a Sr. Systems Admin for Linux/UNIX systems at a company.  All of my colleagues are disgusted with what has happened to me at Dell and now refuse to use them or recommend them.  

    Dell is calling me again on Wednesday to update me with their status.  I said I wont accept any more excuses... partially because today they were giving me more reasons why they cannot deliver.  

    What has happened to DELL????

    I'm finding something really strange here. I was given the same date Nov. 23rd by Srinivas 1307. Every time I try to contact someone else regarding my order I get sent back to him. Same story all the time... "Don't worry sir you'll get your order on or before...." fill in the blanks where needed..

  • Hi Sean.

    Yes, your Dell Product Advisor, once you've elevated your order, is constant.  And, just as useless as any.   Once you give them your order number, they bounce you back to that same individual, who reads from his handbook for scripts.

    But, that most original excuse today, that there were floods in nearby states here was just the most absurd!  There haven't been floods bad enough here to delay FedEx, UPS, and/or AirBorne (which is the way Dell usually ships)!

     I am a 3D graphic artist, consultant, and content creator in virtual communities.  I work with education at various universities and nonprofit organizations.  I'm also a professional photographer, but not currently working on photography projects as such.  I need a computer that can run demanding graphics applications.  I'm seriously considering ordering some other computer.  Any suggestions? 

    I'm really doubtful this one will show up before the end of the year.  I placed my original order for a new computer on September 6, 2009.  I'm still waiting.  The current delivery date shown on the Dell website is December 2, 2009.  If sales had told me that they'd take 3 months to deliver a computer, I probably would have looked elsewhere for one.  I'm sure they realized that, and it's much easier to assure a customer, while charging their premium account, that they'll have their order delivered in 3 weeks.



  • I have been a Dell customer almost from day 1. I have never been concerned about their reliability as a supplier until now. I checked out everything I could find about my hoped for Alienware computer before ordering it - EXCEPT for whether Dell was having problems shipping what now looks a lot like vaporware to me and a lot of others.

    I'll give them awhile longer - but as the email notices now are just promising to try to set a delivery date, I am not hopeful. This could well be my last Dell order ever.

  • Hi,

    My turn to rant, lol.

    Was trying not to post in the forum and just contacted some of the helpful Dell personnel in this forum. Robert was helpful and polite but there was nothing much he could do as I'm outside the US.

    Am not gonna repeat most parts, since everyone's story seems almost similar and bears the same points: Dell is not forthcoming about their shipment, bad customer service, clueless customer service (or just plain rude).

    However, I gotta post this "excuse" given. When I first complained, I was advised to read the sticky in this forum posting http://en.community.dell.com/forums/t/19269596.aspx and of course, the 'standard' excuse is the delay is due to (i) parts shortage (ii) manufacturing being done in Malaysia and thus it takes a while to be shipped.

    Now the funny part is, I stay in Malaysia ;-)

    My delivery address is in Malaysia. In fact, the Dell HQ/plant/factory/whatever-they-call it is but a 4 hour drive from my house. So I told them that. And whoa, now I'm being told that my unit is manufactured and assembled in China! I mean, WOW. If you order from the US, your laptop is built in Malaysia. If you order from Malaysia, your laptop is built in... China? If you order from Europe, what? Your machine is built in Timbaktu?

    One week ago, Robert told me that he has forwarded my case to the Escalation Team in Malaysia and that they would contact me shortly. No news, to date.

    I used to like Dell a lot for its excellent service, promptness and friendly CS staff. Not anymore. I believe it is high time they seriously look into having proper training for their CS staff in Malaysia (and reading from other forum postings, perhaps *all* their CS staff), and to look into their supply chain management software.

    Dell, stop giving us stupid excuses.

  • Chee Meng,


    I sent an online message to Robert awhile back and he said basically the same thing to me.  He was very polite and forthcoming that there wasn't much he could do because I live in Canada but that he would pass my information onto Dell Escalations.  He kept his word and it does take time to hear from their Escalations department, and its called the Resolution Center. 

    I now have a new person that I annoy because I'm getting the same results just with another team.  If I call them or they call me they always sound mad.  They have yet another part shortage.  I don't understand... I purchased this machine because I was told there was no part shortage and now your telling me there is. 

    They asked me to give them more time and to be understanding.  I think they forget that I ordered this PC in Sept. and its now nearly December and I haven't gotten a machine.  I was told please understand that this is the holiday season and manufacturing is having issues with wireless cards, video cards and the list kept going.

    Well if you can't produce product then stop selling or tell people that there will be endless delays.

    Fine if there is no ATI video card then why don't you use the nvidia for my dual cards??  There was more then one option...

    I sent my new special friend an email at the Resolution Center stating the next time he calls don't provide me with excuses or raise your voice at me, just offer me a solution to the problem.

    I wish everyone on this thread all the best.  I'll keep everyone posted with my story... hopefully one of us will find a way to get our systems.  If I find a way I'll post what I've done here on the thread so that we don't all have to go through the same song and dance.


  • Hi Sean,

    At least you know that your delay is caused by the ATI card. My conversation with the CS was more like:

    CS: "There is parts shortage" (notice that there is no use of salutation, someone gotta teach them manners too)
    Me: "Which parts? Let me know, perhaps I can swap it for a readily available part?"
    CS: "Only the assembly team can answer that"
    Me: "Pass me to the assembly team then"
    CS: "They don't speak to customers"
    Me: "Pass me to your supervisor then"
    CS: "The supervisor is not around"
    Me: "Get the supervisor to call me back when he/she is back"
    CS: "We do not do 1-to-1 communications with our customers"
    Me: "So what can I do?"
    CS: "Wait for us to resolve the parts shortage"

    And the whole conversation in a dull, monotonous manner on the CS side... heck, are they bored of their job or something? Felt like throwing my phone! But then, I love my iPhone too much, LoL.

    When (or if ever) we get our machines, Dell has better compensate by giving us free upgrades of their Complete Cover warranty to the full 3 years.

    Don't bother accepting their printers as compensation, because another friend of mine has been complaining of shortages of ink cartridges.

  • Chee Meng,

    LOL Well It took me many people to find out what part was actually holding up the order.  The funny thing is if you ask them to change the part they reply back with a rude response. "You don't think we've thought of that"  Ok well if you've thought of it why haven't you done it yet?  Then they just raise their voice at me again and tell me I'm not understanding.

    I haven't talked to one person on the phone at Dell India that understands whats customer service is.  I understand that dealing with customers on a daily basis isn't easy, however take the time to learn some manors and stop treating us like fools. 

    Who knew spending over 7k on a system would be so difficult. 

    Next time he says that the supervisor doesn't do one on ones he is lying.  I've spoken with their supervisors before but it took a lot of effort to get them to pass me to one.  Just say you wont hang up until you get a supervisor.  Don't say you want to launch a complaint against them because they'll take their own complaint and write it up LOL.

    I love that... Writing up your own complaint about yourself. 

    After awhile of staying on the phone they'll pass you off =)

    Get ready for a boss with attitude as well.  It'll start off as I'm sorry and work its way to we can't do anything for you and the person you were talking to before gave you all the answers.  They'll also tell you that they will review the phone call to ensure nothing went wrong.

    I've been on the phone/online chat and community for some time now...  I've gotten no where! 

    My system hasn't even started the build process yet... ARG!

  • Sigh.. I too am in the same situation as most of you on this thread. I placed my order for the AREA-51 (non-alx) on Oct 22 with Dell. (One day after the computer came out in Canada) The order was suppose to get shipped out by Today (Nov 26th) so I just gave them a call now to see what the status is. And low and behold - the classic "we have a part shortage" excuse. I inquired as to the part missing - she said something like "Base" that I had trouble understanding and now my comp is delayed until Dec 29th till the part comes in. That's a +1 month delay from my expected date of delivery. Thanks a lot Dell, you have ruined the Christmas Holidays I booked off to game on this comp. 

    The CSR lady in India I talked to told me to talk to Sales and ask them to see if they can change my system configuration to replace the part that was in shortage. So I contacted sales online and they indicated that they do not have access to the exact part that was missing from this computer (the sales rep gave me another answer indicating that the part shortage might be the I7 processor??).. nice communication going on between the Sales and Customer Service there... sigh.... so now , there is really not much I can do but wait and see. Seems like everyone's clueless as to what's going on with these machines..

    Oh and I asked the rep - what is the expected delivery date of an Alienware Area 51 if one were to order now - he said "4 weeks". I was like what? I have to wait the same amount of time as people who order now??? How does that make any logical sense.....he wasn't able to provide a logical answer.

    I asked if any compensation was going to be offered, the lady said none whatsoever. Wow....come on Dell - at least issue some kind of statement on what is causing this delay instead of leaving us in the dark!!

    Alienware AREA 51 (Non-ALX)

    Intel i7 920 2.66GHz

    Dual ATI 5870, 2GB

    DIMM,6G,1600,ANW DT

    HD,300GB,S2,WD,VR150,XPS D


    Ordered Oct 22

    First EDD: Nov 26

    2nd EDD: Dec 29

    3rd: EDD: Sometime in 2nd week Jan 2010

    Current Status: In Production


    Okay Dell, What if I say this:

    I will send you the money 3 weeks after I receive the laptop.

    Bank error, I assure you that you will have the money within next 2 weeks ( no extra, sorry)

    Hum...I don't have money this time. I promise to transfer it to you next 2 weeks ok.

    I know you have been waiting for 7 weeks for total, but you will have to wait more. I will expedite (but to me, expedite means : the same)

    I know you are angry but it's Dell..oh oh sorry, I mean..it's me, not you, ok.

    Sorry, I don't know if I can give the money to you or not. Just let me cancel this payment and re-enter a new date. 

    (I just want to make it seems like it has been delayed just 1 week.)

    Enjoy waiting...! (without even sure that you will have the money or not)




  • STUDIO XPS 16 1645 i7

    Ordered    09/27 - EDD 10/19 - Canceled by Dell - NO ANY NOTIFICATION

    Reordered  10/22 - EDD 11/13 - Delayed to 11/20 -  Canceled by Dell - NO ANY NOTIFICATION

    Reordered  11/19 - EDD 12/15 - ...( waiting to see WHAT WILL HAPPEN HERE )

    On Fri, Nov 27, 2009 at 11:54 PM, I have received an e-mail saying that: "your order is built and in transit to the shipping facility.

    Normal time in this routing position is 48-96 hours.".

    Waiting to see what will happen..

    ( visit my thread "STUDIO XPS 1645 - DELAY - CANCEL - RELEASED MONEY = DELL" for more information and update )