Unlike wine, the problems with the Dell XPS M1330 order process only seems to get worse with time. Forgetting the completely inaccurate estimated delivery times set out by the customer sales representatives at the time of purchase and delays in certain parts of the world that have pushed back ship dates by a month, numerous people are now finding their orders canceled. The lucky ones have been notified and their orders re-placed – others have had no notification and their orders were not reinstated. This is not how Dell should be treating their paying customers.
I’ve been in contact with a Senior Manager at Dell corporate (Round Rock) who I’ve been feeding information and thoughts from various online communities. One of my major suggestions to him was to get someone in a knowledgeable position at Dell to visit these communities and post responses to popular questions and concerns regarding the new line of Dell laptops. Issues range from the delays and misinformation about the Dell XPS M1330 ship dates to improperly advertised NVIDIA 8600M GT video cards to poor quality control of the new Inspiron laptop line (grainy LCDs and noise from the headphone jack). Nothing on that front has materialized and the discussion on Dell has turned overwhelmingly negative in recent weeks. Product and service are tied together and despite a relatively good product launch, service since then has been abysmal.
Dell’s corporate blog, Direct2Dell has also been silent on the XPS M1330 issue since the last update a week ago (Edit: They’re now updated the blog, more at the end of this post), which crushed expectations. Although updates were promised, nothing new has been written since July 13th. Now, I don’t know how Dell’s internal communication system works, but one week should be more than enough time to find out some information about the status of a flagship product. If it’s not, then there are some serious issues at Dell, far more severe than the delay of one product. I honestly hope that this is not the case.
So why the silence, Dell? Is Dell harboring the mentality that nothing should be said until there’s something good to say? At this point, I think I’d rather the truth, thank you very much. If there are serious issues, I’d like to know about them and adjust my purchasing plan accordingly, instead of hanging in limbo. Dell has already lost many orders – even within the Notebook Review community, several people have canceled their orders. Others are planning to do so if they do not hear any additional updates, and soon.
I’m not even certain about the status of my order. A few days ago, my heart skipped a beat when my account page at Dell told me I have no recent orders. I suspected that this was the result of my order being canceled. However, my order status page still shows the laptop as being in production. It’s been ‘In Production’ for the past 8 days. I think it’s about time I called up Dell and gave them a piece of my mind.
Update: Well, Direct2Dell finally got an update on the M1330 a little after I wrote this. Gist of it is, systems are starting to ship – Dell ran into some production issues with the laptop – but the lead times are still in place due to low availability of certain parts, like the LED display, which is popular.