I have been reading the flood of comments (across various sites) about the recent story I published here on F Stop Lounge – Internet Buyer Receives Laminate Flooring After Ordering a 5D MKIII From Dell.com
I would like to inform the vocal worldwide audience of the updated information surrounding my previous post.
Currently Jalal’s account of events was the only view published and sure enough everyone had their own opinion on the situation. To be fair I have contacted Dell Management in various ways to get them to issue a press release about the recent events. I received an email 16 hours ago from the Chief Blogger at Dell, it reads:
Thanks for bringing this to our attention and also for sharing the customer’s information. We are sorry for the trouble this has caused Jalal. We’ve reached out and are working with him to resolve.
Chief Blogger, Dell
I welcomed the response from Dell saying if they wanted to elaborate on their response I would be happy to post their reply in full.
After all I am in no way am I out to cause Dell.com any bad publicity. I really did want to help – especially if this case was news to them.
I would like to applaud Dell for their quick response to my communication. It took just over 4 hours to hear back from Lionel (via another colleague at Dell). To me that speaks of a willingness to act and tackle any issue which are certainly signs of a people who work for a great company.
My business background has taught me to look at the positives in the story. For example maybe companies could grow stronger from learning about this story. The way I see it if companies are prepared to sell to the masses they should be willing to serve the hand that feeds them – the public (when I said serve I mean serve within reason). This may be in the form of a back up service or in this case a customer call centre.
Hypothetically, if this was my company I would invest in communication management. I would form new roles by employing communication managers to exclusively deal with the offsite call centre management team and the head office management team using new social technology (like Google+ Hangouts) to engage with each other. If something seemed urgent then the chain of communication would have already established between the two parties and decisions could be made quickly.
Anyway enough about hypotheticals – shown below are the two cameras boxes in question. Was this story really faked to gain a free camera or was this for real? Many of you may have made up your minds but for me based on my own extensive research I believe this story is true. Not so sure? Then please continue.
After communicating with Jalal again I thought it would be a good idea to ask some more questions to help explain this freak situation he found himself in and to clear up any rumours that may be flying around the net.
I started by asking:
Leigh Diprose – What would your response be to the skeptics out there saying – ‘it looks a little fishy’
Jalal – Why would someone that is lying about this situation and trying to steal thousands of dollars of equipment put themselves out in the open and post photos with updates? That would be absolutely asinine and just ignorant. I don’t know what’s fishy about it. I’m photographer that was super excited to finally upgrade from a 6-year-old camera and documented the experience. It’s no different from everything else that’s out there on the internet.
Leigh Diprose - Did you make any payment on the camera before receiving it? If no payment was made was the camera charged to an account?
Jalal – No payment was made on the camera. I have a Dell Preferred Account and was financing the camera with that. I am waiting for them to confirm to me that they have credited my account, which according to DFS, should take 24-48 hours. My guess is that I’ll need to call on Monday afternoon for a status update.
Leigh Diprose - Is there a reason why you didn’t use video to film your unboxing the first time or second time?
Jalal – Video honestly didn’t even occur to me. I’ve never videotaped an unboxing, although I should have. But knowing the skeptics, I would have become a video editing expert that completely manipulated the footage to make it seem like there was wood instead of a 5D Mark III. I have nothing to hide.
Leigh Diprose - Any advice to people out there wanting to buy cameras online?
Jalal – Honestly, this is a crazy situation that could happen to any retailer that ships their product from a distributor. All it takes is a thief/thieves to set up a small operation like this, execute it, and make out like bandits. Leaving the customer as the victim.
What separates the meh companies from the great companies is their ability to make situations right. Every business has to suck it up for the sake of making an experience worth it, especially when it comes to large purchases. It’s what a good organization does. Do your homework and research. I was a 10+ year customer, but I’ll never use Dell again and would never recommend their products or services to anyone ever again. After reviewing Dell’s Facebook page, and reading comments left on their wall by customers, it’s a giant wall of complaints and disappointment. Go see for yourself!
Leigh Diprose - What do you intend to do with the empty boxes and wood flooring?
Initially, a manager told me that he was going to send out a return label. However, no one has mentioned anything about it to me since. I now have the boxes sitting in my living room awaiting their fate.
Since I posted the original story Jalal has contacted Canon to reveal the stolen Canon EOS 5D MK III serial number shown on the right hand box – (21)082024001216 and the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Lens – (21)04560712. The box on the left (seen below) didn’t contain a serial number sticker as it had been removed (most likely by the thieves).
For any of the readers out there with a little know how maybe you can track down the serial number via Stolen Camera Finder. If you are able to locate the camera be sure to share it with us on F Stop Lounge!
Thank you to everyone who engaged with the original post. I have really enjoyed reading your comments across some of the sites like Petapixel, FStoppers and slrlounge who also picked up the story. Let me share with you one comment I feel stood out the most for me.
I am surprised at the comments on this story. Let me address a couple of the points.
1. It is actually quite common to photograph or film when opening boxes where you expect expensive merchandise to be inside. Google it or search on YouTube and you will find many instances of this. I will definitely be doing it in the future to protect my own rear if something like this were to ever happen to me.
2. If Jalal was really trying to scam Dell, why would he be reaching out and sharing his story with news agencies which he has been doing. He is trying to get someone to take notice at Dell. Up till now all he has been able to do with them there is speak with people in their customer service which operates out of India. He has not felt like there has been any real connection or that anyone really cares to handle the situation. If in fact he now is the owner of two new Canon 5D Mark III’s I would believe that at this point he would lay low and not try to draw any attention to himself.
3. It is sad to see how easy it is for so many people to call him names when all he is trying to do is share his message so it does not happen to others in the future. If you want to make a comment, please keep your personal feelings to yourself.
4. I have been in communications with Jalal and he has promised to let me know when/if he hears back from Dell or D&H about the matter. I will update the article as we receive any communication.
5. People are acting as if nothing like this has ever happened before. Again Google it and you will find that in just the last few months there have been some major news stories that are very similar. An iPad was purchased and was full of notepads, a Nintendo 3DS was purchased full of rocks. Ultimately, my hope and I am sure Jalal’s as well, is that by getting the word out about his experience the distributors of these products will do a much better job in their checks and controls to ensure that none of us have to experience a situation like this in the future.
6. Lastly, he is getting blasted for not purchasing at a local camera store. We all hope that these camera stores will stick around forever and of course love purchasing from them. The advantage he had with Dell as a preferred customer was a line of credit. Therefore he chose to make the purchase through them rather then at the local dealer.
Hopefully DELL takes notice of the story and does some internal investigations into their distribution. It would also be interesting to see if anyone else has experienced something similar recently. If I were in DELL’s shoes I would most definitely look into it. I also know that Jalal has reached out to Canon to share his story as well.
I really felt like Trevor’s comment engaged with the general conversation of the story and opened it up for further healthy debate. I still baffles me why the majority of commenters post absolute rubbish (I think they are referred to as camera trolls?) – so thank you Trevor for posting your comment that actually engaged in the conversation.
As of 9.30pm in Perth, Western Australia it seems the communication between Jalal and Dell is ongoing and they are working together towards a resolution (voiced by both parties). The matter will clearly be solved internally between them. I would like to thank Jalal and Dell for both participating in this story.
Again if a press release is revealed by Dell on this matter I will certainly be happy to share it with you all in an update.