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Tuesday 29th July 2014,

Internet Buyer Receives Laminate Flooring After Ordering a 5D MKIII From Dell.com

Leigh Diprose January 17, 2013 Beyond the Lens

Have you ever felt so excited when an internet package arrives in the mail?

Well Jalal certainly did when his internet order; the Canon EOS 5DMK III with 24-105mm f/4L Lens arrived in the mail from Dell. After a six year stint with the Canon EOS 30D Jalal had decided it was time to upgrade and after looking at prices online he rang Dell.com to see if they could price match some online pricing.

They came close and so I decided to order the 5D3 Kit with EF 24-105mm f/4L IS. Place my order over the phone….I start opening the box and document every step of the way. Extreme high, to bitter sad low

You can understand the roller-coaster of emotions Jalal would have experienced as he captured the unboxing event using his iphone 5.

Have you ever experienced something like this? What would you do? Jalal’s full experience is documented below.

Not the camera I ordered

Not the camera I ordered

Not the camera I ordered

Not the camera I ordered

Not the camera I ordered

Not the camera I ordered

Not the camera I ordered

Not the camera I ordered

Not the camera I ordered

Not the camera I ordered

Not the camera I ordered

Not the camera I ordered

The following text is the full account Jalal sent to F Stop Lounge documenting his experience with Dell.com

“I wanted to share you with my purchase experience with Dell.com.

I was in the market for a new camera.  I’ve been shooting with a Canon EOS 30D for 6 years, and I’m looking to get more serious with my photography and wanted to invest in something I could love for at least another 6 years.  After hitting up my local camera stores I decided on a Canon EOS 5D Mark III kit with the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS lens.

I have been a Dell customer for 11 years and have a Dell Preferred Account which is a line of credit.

On January 4th, 2013, I called up Dell Customer Service to see if they would price match their 5D3 kit with other online retailers, Best Buy, B&H, and Amazon.  They only could bring the price down by $200, but given that I wanted/needed the camera, I told them ok, and had them order it for me.

Dell’s customer care team is completely based out of India.

January 8th comes around, the package arrives and I’m overly excited – it finally feels like Christmas. I’ve made it a habit of taking photos as I unbox large purchases because you never know what you’re going to find.  But also because I’m a giant geek.  Everything is packaged perfectly and looks great. I cut open the shipping box, pull out the camera box and start to unbox it…. what do I find?  Wood flooring.  Perfectly cut and glued together to fit the compartments of the box.  No camera, not accessories, no booklets, nothing.  Wood mother effin flooring!  I was dejected.  I went from a super high to a super low in a matter of seconds.  There was definite humor in this.  Quite frankly I was floored.  Badoom pish!

I called up Dell customer care immediately but the department I needed to speak to was closed.  The next morning, Wednesday, January 9th, I call up Dell and explained my situation.  They tried to tell me Dell wasn’t to blame because they didn’t ship the item themselves. It was their distributors fault.  I pointed out to Dell’s customer care that I purchased my product from Dell.com and they were the company that fulfilled my order.  I wasn’t talking to their 3rd party distributor.  After expressing my frustration they agreed to send me out a replacement.  They wanted to make me wait a few days but I requested they should ship it next day air.  I was dealing with a particular customer care representative that was to be my main point of contact.  She said to give them 6 hours to get back to me which is around 4pm that afternoon.  So I agreed.  In that time I send 3 emails to my case manager and called her direct line several times to see if I could get updates on the situation – she was unavailable.   4pm came around and no one contacted me.  I called up and spoke to a different rep who told me my order was in fact shipping overnight and he continued to give me my new order number and tracking info.

After hanging up I checked the tracking number on the FedEx website and it seems they submitted my new camera at 9am that morning! Six hours later after I hung up with Dell I received an email from my case manager with the exact information I received over the phone by someone else.

The morning of Thursday January 10th, I received a new replacement package via FedEx Priority Overnight.  I opened it up, WOOD FLOORING AGAIN!!!

At this point I knew that their distribution center’s stock of Canon EOS 5D Mark III kits was compromised and the thieves probably cleaned house. I noticed both Canon boxes had clear circular stickers placed on the box flap, and after consulting with the members of an online Canon forum (which I was a member of) they indicated that Canon never uses stickers to seal their boxes and that it sometimes was done by the vendor.

I contacted Dell’s customer service once again, explained my situation and was told at this point since I received a replacement order and received wood again they would have to investigate this situation with their Fraud and Logistics teams. They would also contact and inform their Distributor.  I expressed my extreme frustration and disappointment about receiving another piece of wood instead of my Canon 5D MKIII kit and the ongoing terrible customer service.  Again, they tried to say it wasn’t Dell’s fault instead it was their distribution company that was to blame.  Again I repeated it was a Dell transaction and they were responsible for everything.  They couldn’t push it off on someone else.  Their inability to keep tabs on their distributors was not my problem at the least.  The shipping labels have all said DELL on them.  Not XYZ.

Judging by the box, it looks like my camera was shipped from D&H Distributing Co.

D&H Distributing Co, 909 Katie Court, Harrisburg, PA, (717) 561-4313 - www.dandh.com.

Doing some research on the web brought up issues they have had with items shipped for other distributors. However the distributor in question wasn’t too blame. Fishy at best.

Friday rolls around and I contacted Dell again.  Customer care told me they needed more time and they would contact me when they heard back from their various departments about the issue. I again explained my frustration with them. I began to explain some previous examples of my experience with them – I was promised a call on Monday 1/7 and didn’t receive a call.  They also told me they’ll call the next day.  I didn’t happen.

I got a call on Tuesday the 15th January and was told Dell had not heard back from their fraud team and their logistics team found nothing wrong. Further to this the distributor returned their email simply acknowledging the receipt of the news.  Nothing more.  They said they could try and send me another camera but they couldn’t be 100% sure that I wouldn’t receive wood again.  I asked them about the compensation and they said the most they could try to give me was a $100 coupon toward a future Dell.com purchase.  I refused and told them I considered it an insult and a slap in the face. Especially with all the time and the frustration that I had to deal with. I asked to speak to someone higher up about the issue. I was extremely upset with this whole situation and what they were offering me.  Some have said that I should be lucky to have even received that.  I’d say that some don’t have very high standards and are easily toyed with.

It’s now Wednesday January 16th and I just got off the phone with a higher-up manager from Dell customer care.  The absolute best they could offer me was $100 coupon towards a future purchase and that was the most they have ever offered customer.  He asked me if he wanted Dell to send me the order and I promptly asked him to cancel my order.  I will never be ordering or dealing with Dell again.  After 11 years, my relationship with them as a consumer is over.  I will make sure to spread this word and make sure that everyone knows what I have experienced.” – Jalal

The author of this post (Leigh Diprose) has not heard directly from Dell.com. If a reply from Dell.com is received this post will be updated to further their views. 

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About The Author

Social Media Specialist > Blogger > Entrepreneur > Photographer > Teacher & Advisor on Google Helpouts > Views and opinions are my own.

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33 Comments

  1. Vicki26 January 23, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    I agree with the 1st comments, if you went to the effort of going to your local camera store in the first place, why not buy from them? At least you know you’re getting the correct item, correct warranty, and supporting the high street and the staff that no doubt spent their time and effort helping you pick out the correct camera. There soon won’t be a store for anyone to look at cameras, never mind buy them!

  2. joebob23 January 22, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    Do you people not understand how fulfillment works? If true (and it’s completely plausible), it’s the work of some sort of organized crime. Truck loaded with expensive electronics gets jacked, payload of boxes get carefully opened and contents replaced with useless contents, then truckload of items with professional (appearing) packaging gets sent/sold to fulfillment warehouse while thieves make off with the goods. It’s not plausible that someone found his two cameras and replaced them – more likely an entire pallet (or part thereof) of cameras got jacked and his two were the first ones from that lot that got sent out/discovered. Dell didn’t sell these to him directly from their warehouse – they drop-shipped him the cameras from a third party fulfillment warehouse..

  3. Hong CN January 22, 2013 at 4:35 am

    Leigh, I will wait for your follow up update then :-) Thanks for sharing.

    • Leigh Diprose January 22, 2013 at 11:03 am

      The follow up has been written. Check it out on fstoplounge.com

  4. Murphy January 18, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    The first “camera” received may have an ID on the box. This ID could possibly be found in photos taken from the camera and posted online?

  5. Addler January 18, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    I don’t believe it for a minute. Too many inconsistencies in his unpacking story. Lets see the boxes with the serial numbers visible.

    • Leigh Diprose January 18, 2013 at 1:48 pm

      Hi,
      There will be an update shortly (I am currently writing it now). The update will include pictures with serial numbers.
      Regards
      Leigh Diprose

  6. Sigi January 18, 2013 at 10:33 am

    100,- Dollars for your frustration? Thats not enough? You are really whiny person.

    As long as you get your money back, there was no real issue here for you.

    Oh yes of course emotional it is hard if you have to wait for a very expensive camera…

  7. mei January 18, 2013 at 4:33 am

    I’m pretty sure there’s something happened during shipping process. Mails/packages being stolen is very common, at least I had experiences, especially such an expensive product and when it happened twice! Of course dell cannot be sure if it’s what happened, even the shipping company/post office could do nothing unless you insured and registered it and the package is directly send into your hands! Check out how did you received from the shipping, maybe there’s other clue! It’s too bad and I feel so sorry for you!!

  8. jeff January 18, 2013 at 4:14 am

    So after 11 years, you have 1 issue and it’s over?

    Gimme a break…if you deal with any company long enough, eventually you’ll have an issue. And then you demand compensation, really?

    For what? Like it really took that long for FedEx to come to your house twice…people like this are the customers companies don’t want to have.

    If I were Dell, I would pay you to shop somewhere else.

  9. Fotogal January 17, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    That’s crazy! Always buy from B&H, Adorama, Calumet, or your local camera shop (if you have one)!

  10. Jimmy January 17, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    Is there a way to look at the times of the photos in the metadata? I’m not sure if iphone photos have metadata or not. By looking at the time the photos were taken one might be able to see if there was a significant gap in time or not.

    Also, do you happen to have an idea as to when you might receive your reply from Dell management so we can read the follow up story?

  11. Aaron January 17, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    Hi Leigh,

    Sorry to hear about your frustrations, but unfortunately their system clearly hasn’t been built to account for theft en route – nor do the drones that work there have any ability to adjust for that fact. You’ve been very understanding to both Dell and the interweb trolls as a result.

    Best of luck with the 5D Mark iii – I assure you that when you finally get the darn camera, you won’t look back – cause the AF on that camera is a thing of beauty.

    Good luck,
    Aaron

  12. CJ Burk January 17, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    I have no doubt this is true, there’s somebody out there that have a lot of nice camera’s to sell on ebay or Craig’s list. Have any of you not read the stories about the apple purchases from the big box stores that end up being weighed books? Just cause its Dell doesn’t make them immune to crooks! As for taping or videoing the opening of a purchase, I think that is a very wise decision, plus haven’t any of you watched YouTube videos of product tutorials, they always start from the un-boxing.

  13. Donna January 17, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    I just expereinced some VERY bad customer service from Dell. I love their product, but quite frankly their customer services SUCKS! Someone higher up at Dell and in America not India, needs to get a handle on these problems or they will be another company with a good product that goes out of business.

  14. Andy C January 17, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    Selene,

    Not too bright I see. You will notice that the USPS packaging was INSIDE the Canon 5D MKIII box. The USPS packaging was only there to secure the wood inside not used to ship the product.

  15. Leigh Diprose January 17, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    Hi Selen,
    If you notice the USPS priority mail package is actually inside the Canon camera box which is inside the outer cardboard box. The outer cardboard box was sent via FedEx. This package was not sent via USPS.

    There will be more insight offered in the follow up post I am currently writing.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

  16. Selene January 17, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    He claims he tracked 2nd camera via FedEx website…yet it’s in USPS priority mail package. Not only inconsistent story, but I can’t believe camera would be shipped without tracking/insurance by Dell. Also, large purchases online should be made on credit card with consumer protection or purchased in person. FRAUD!

  17. B Sullivan January 17, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    Frankly, this whole story seems a bit too contrived to believe. Twice he receives a box of used wood flooring? And he just happens to have carefully photographed the process of opening it?

    I’ve never done any business with Dell, but I somehow doubt they are doing business with a fly-by-night distributor who would be so blatant as to ship used flooring instead of expensive electronics. This has the earmarks of someone who either has a grudge to settle with Dell, is trying to get something for nothing, or, saddest of all, simply wants attention. Let’s not give that to him, okay?

    • Leigh Diprose January 17, 2013 at 5:07 pm

      Hi B Sullivan,
      I am awaiting a reply from Dell.com about the customer’s experience. Currently the conversations I have had with Jalal about his situation all seems to match up on the research I have conducted. I plan on doing a follow up story as soon as I hear from Dell.com
      - Leigh Diprose

    • Adder January 18, 2013 at 10:10 am

      You are aware that a warehouse in Canada discovered millions of litres of Maple Syrup in went missing, right? People were somehow emptying barrels (not bottles, since it was bulk reserves) and getting it out of the warehouse. Same deal here, if it is to be believed; the warehouse of the distributor is having boxes opened and content removed, replaced with something of similar weight (or just something heavy) so shipping labels and weightheads are fooled.

  18. martha harvey January 17, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    When do we get to see your new floor?

  19. rob lang January 17, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    plus to you Tim, couldnt agree more.

  20. Tim January 17, 2013 at 9:20 am

    Why on earth would you buy such an expensive camera (in fact, any camera) from a computer manufacturer? Next time buy from the camera store you looked at it in, otherwise they’ll start disappearing.

    • bill January 18, 2013 at 8:18 am

      Man, look at all the paid Dell shills. ’18 years and ONE mistake and it’s over..?’ ‘Obviously this didn’t happen at Dell…’ and calls of liar, etc.

      The corporate spin machine is working overtime…And if you dolts aren’t Dell shills, that’s just pathetic.

    • DPR January 18, 2013 at 11:21 am

      2nd that.

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