Dell Inc. / customer service & refund
On March 27, 2008 I ordered a Dell XPS M1730 laptop computer over the phone (Dell Purchase ID and Order Number available upon request). The order was promptly shipped to an address in Texas and the equipment was received in good working order. Initially I was exceptionally pleased with the product; however, after a few months I began to have a number of issues. These were initially fairly easy to resolve and seemed to be fairly routine for a computer. As time passed these issues seemed to multiply and were no longer simple issues and now involved both hardware and software (e.g., battery, RAID configuration, operating system, memory parity, etc.) and required many, many hours on the phone with Dell Support, which itself was exceptionally poor.
After several months of attempting to resolve these issues I requested that Dell accept return of the equipment and issue a full refund. After many hours with Customer Care (also exceptionally poor) it was agreed they would return the computer less a 10% restocking fee, to which I agreed. I was informed that the purchase price (less the restocking fee) would be refunded to the credit card used to purchase the equipment.
The equipment was returned to Dell on October 19, 2009 via UPS and was confirmed as received on October 22, 2009. The email from Dell confirming the return indicated a refund would be issued within 30 business days (i.e., by December 3, 2009). After 30 business days no refund had been received and upon inquiry with Customer Care I was told that a replacement battery issued several months prior had not been returned. Again, I was required to have further discussions with Customer Care (each of which takes approximately one hour due to hold times and poor service) who eventually agreed that the battery had in fact been returned and that my account would be closed and a refund would be issued promptly.
Several more weeks passed and yet no refund was received. I again called Customer Care who stated a check had in fact been issued and sent to the address to which the computer was sent; however, I was no longer residing at this address. Furthermore, Dell stated the refund would be issued to the credit card; there was no mention of a check. Upon inquiry with Dell I was told that since the purchase was more than 18 months ago a check was the only option. This information was not provided at the time we agreed to the refund and had it been I would have provided an alternative address. As a result of this miscommunication I took my issue to the Consumer Resolution Center which I was told could potentially provide expedited service.
My first contact with this department occurred on December 23, 2009 via an email from MR (initials of representative). I promptly contacted MR and explained the situation. She agreed to issue a second check, this time to an address in Germany (my current residence). On January 8, 2010 she confirmed a check in the amount of $2, 730.37 was mailed to my address in Germany and that I should receive the funds within 15 business days (i.e., January 29, 2010). As of today (March 12, 2010) this second check has not been received. It has now been over 100 BUSINESS DAYS since the computer was returned and no refund has been received. On March 3, 2010 I was told a third check was issued and would be sent overnight the following day. Accordingly, I should have received this check on the 4th. Again, as of today this third check has not been received.
The Consumer Resolution Center does not appear to be in a position to deal with this matter. Each time we speak or trade emails I am informed they have no further information or will have information in the coming days.
I will continue to follow up with Dell; however I feel that I have exhausted all avenues to obtain this refund and thus have submitted a claim to the Better Business Bureau and contacted local news stations in Austin, Texas (near Round Rock) to see if they are interested in helping me resolve this matter.
I would welcome any response from Dell regarding this matter.
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