Caveat Emptor (Let the Buyer Beware) :: Do Not Count on Receiving Your Dell Rebate!

August 21, 2005 – 2:25 am

Update Published: Sat, 10 Sep 2005 :: This issue has been resolved by Dell, for the rest of the story see How to Get Your Dell Rebate (Our Trip to Dell and Back!)

Original Article Published: Sun, 21 Aug 2005

Does Dell actually give those rebates that they promise? We’re pretty sure that they do not, based on this response from the Dell REBATE FULFILLMENT DEPARTMENT after SIX months of phone calls (mostly waiting on hold and being transferred, disconnected or told to call other numbers) and emails (mostly canned responses). After finally being escalated to a Rebate Fulfillment Department Manager, who seemed to resolve the problem, all traces of her were gone when we tried to follow up with her six weeks later, as she suggested. We still had not received our rebate at that point – nor at this point either for that matter. Her name is gone from the directory, her extension no longer exists, her fax line has been disconnected and there is no trace of the two case numbers that she gave us. Here´s a sample of the latest canned email response from Dell…

“Dear Dell Consumer:

Thank you for your recent inquiry. Unfortunately you have reached the incorrect department. We are the Dell

Rebate Fulfillment Department and are not able to assist you with your request.

You may reach the Dell Customer Service Department by calling toll-free, 1-800-624-9897, option 4, enter your

order number, option 1, option 4, option 4. This will get you in touch with a live representative who will be more

than happy to address any questions you may have.

Thank you for contacting Dell.

Customer Contact Center Dell.rebatestatus.com”

So after I press 4, then enter my 9 digit order number, then press 1, then press 4 and then press 4 again, I can wait on hold for 48 minutes. Then after being transferred or told to call another number several times, pressing several more 1s and 4s and various other numbers and listening to several full-length concertos while waiting on hold, I will finally be talking to a live person in the Rebate Fulfillment Department, who is probably the one that told me that they are the wrong department via email to begin with! This live person (who is probably in India) will most likely just tell me (in broken English that I can hardly understand) that the Dell Rebate Fulfillment Department doesn’t actually send out rebates, call customer service. If you are a programmer you will immediately recognize this infinite loop that we have been trapped in for the last six months.

Dell is great when all goes smoothly, but there is nowhere a consumer can go if there is a complaint. Stay tuned for the rest of the Dell Rebate Bait-And-Switch Scam story if this is not resolved by this time next month. It will be both entertaining and enlightening.

Update Published: Sat, 10 Sep 2005 :: This issue has been resolved by Dell, for the rest of the story see How to Get Your Dell Rebate (Our Trip to Dell and Back!)

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