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Dell delays spread to Inspiron, Latitude laptops

Customers cancel orders, swear off Dell for life

August 21, 2007 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - Dell customers continue to wait for laptops ordered weeks, and in some cases, months before, comments left on a recent company blog posting revealed.

Last week, Dell's digital media manager, Lionel Menchaca, used the Direct2Dell blog to once again reach out to people who had placed orders for laptops, telling them that one reason their purchases had been canceled was because of Federal Trade Commission rules involving mail order sales.

"One of the laws that the FTC enforces is the Mail Order Rule, which requires us to obtain your permission to proceed with processing your order when it has been delayed more than once," Menchaca said. "If we do not obtain your permission to proceed, we must cancel the order to be in compliance with the law."

That drew responses from would-be buyers who claimed that their orders had been canceled without any prior notification. "No one contacted me regarding the delayed shipping, I had to contact Dell," said a user identified as Diana.

For the first time, Dell acknowledged that the delays were not limited to the troubled XPS M1330 that went on sale in late June.

"Understandably, I'm getting lots of comments and direct e-mails related to delays of XPS M1330 notebooks, Inspiron and Latitude notebooks, and some of our Vostro products," Menchaca said. "I want to apologize to all of you for the frustration these delays are causing. I also want to assure you that we're doing everything we can to ship your orders."

That opened the floor to another round of complaints by customers who said that they're still waiting for laptops ordered as long ago as early July.

A buyer identified as Dave posted an 18-point description of each communication he has had with Dell regarding an Inspiron 1721 notebook and printer ordered July 4 that have not yet shipped. Several others said that they were college students and had placed orders in what they believed had been plenty of time, only to have their shipments postponed to dates after they were to report to school. "Another unhappy customer. I too have started college WITHOUT my laptop," said someone identified as Tonya.

Another user, Rascal, was scathing. "I see that Dell is still marketing 'back to school specials.' Perhaps they should make it clear that they really mean it to be a Christmas special for school in January."

Many noted that the new delivery date they had been given was the same date, Aug. 28. "There is NO WAY Dell can ship thousands of these on August 28th," wrote a buyer who called himself "Cancel Your Order."



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