Voting with my pocket book

On July 14, 2006, in Rants, by

The other day a discussion was made of if something is so hard and costly for a small business that one should ‘vote with ones feet’ .. and in the small business case look at other solutions.. in this case Novell versus SBS due to the issues of licensing.  I said at the time that it would be ethically immoral for me to attempt to install or deploy an operating system that I was not trained on.  If I am to help my client “vote with his pocketbook” or “feet” … I cannot do it unless I am appropriately trained in that other technology so that the difference between the two technologies from my support standpoint would be nearly nonexistent.  Such that the technology would be a commodity to my client and I would be the expert.  Obviously this is near impossible for one person to do.  I can be an expert in one technology.  I cannot be an expert easily in another without a great deal of investment of time and energy.

But there are some technologies that the difference between the two is so slight that I can ‘vote with my pocketbook’ and that is hardware.

On July 9th, I entered an online order with Dell for a new home PC (I wanted a 64bit platform, beefy ram for virtualization and what not.  And in the specs.. I put together something that had a modem card that I didn’t really need (but was free on the system), sound card that was the default and then IEEE 1394 adapter.  The computer order system “allowed” me to put that configuration together…but on July 11th I got an email saying there was a problem with the order.

Leticia Gerardo sent me an email…with a subject line that was in lower case “your action required”

Dear Customer,

Dell, Inc is attempting to contact you regarding your recent online order. While your order was received, it is currently pending and has not been processed.  Your actions are required to release your order into production.

Please contact the Online Order Modification Department regarding your order at : 800-915-3355, extension 7243784 option 2.   Regrettably we cannot complete this online order until we speak to you.

Please have your email address and/or telephone number that was used to place the order available.

Failure to respond to this notice may result in cancellation of your order.



Online Order Modification Department 

So I called and the issue was with the combo of the modem, soundcard and IEEE card.. I needed to lose one of them as there were not enough slots on the machine.  Fine.  Get rid of the modem I said.  And thought the order would be acknowledged and my computer built.  Today I got another email.. once again.. the email was “your action required”… and Dell.. come on.. can you make that email look more professional?  Once again, I had a problem with the lack of slots that I had discussed on the 11th.  Nothing had been done to resolve the order situation.  The order was still in “limbo”.


And it was right then that I decided that I was an expert enough in HP technology to cancel my Dell order and go instead to HP.


Dell you had two chances … your online order page didn’t alert me to the problem with my configuration… and it should have… my call on the 11th should have send the order on it’s way.. but it didn’t.   Your unprofessional, near phishing looking emails also are unacceptable.  You may have opened up a blog, but you just lost a customer.


I’m voting with my pocketbook.  I love my HP server.. I love the HP server (cheaper one) I have at home.  Dell you had your chance.


P.S.  — 4 gigs of ram versus Dell’s 2 gig of RAM.. and it’s $200 cheaper… go figure… (and by the way this is a personal order..not for a customer.. ergo why I’m going through the web like this)

ORDER CONFIRMATION NUMBER: Online Order H7730165  07/14/2006, 07:45:15 PDT


8 Responses to Voting with my pocket book

  1. Graeme Smith says:

    Boy you have a lousy rep at Dell. We screen ALL our orders through our Dell rep – we get genuinely useful improvements and WAY better pricing than on the web.

    You don’t have a rep? Become a solution provider and get a dedicated account rep.

  2. David Schrag says:

    Yeah, you are obviously a newbie when it comes to buying Dell. Not only would a Dell rep have had a chance to screen this for problems, he/she would also have given you a better price than you got on the web. Oh well ….

  3. Tom says:

    I have been buying HP for a number of years. Much better than Dell. Won’t purchase another Dell again.

  4. Tom says:

    I have been buying HP for a number of years. Much better than Dell. Won’t purchase another Dell again.

  5. Try buying *just* a Dell replacement notebook power adapter, and you will understand why I would never recommend Dell to my clients.

  6. Bill says:

    We sell both and from an ordering standpoint of an initial system Dell is much better. We have had several nightmare scenarios with 10s of thousands of dollars of HP server equipment stuck in limbo in the order processing, or after it supposededly shipped we track it 2 weeks later and it is sitting on a loading dock on the other side of the country. This is through Wisca or B2B ordering. For regular customers we order the servers ala cart from Ingram or Synnex which costs slightly more but we know what we are getting and can tailor minor components of the system to what the dist has in stock.

  7. Graeme Smith says:

    Dell Powersupply – which one do you want? I’ll have you it drop shipped for $29.95 + shipping of your choice. Again – it boils down to – if you are an IT pro – you should have an account an account rep.

  8. Mike says:

    What — I need a rep in order to receive minimally competent service on an order? No way. If Dell has lousy single-order service, there is no reason to sign up for a partner agreement with them.

    I’ve had terrible experiences with Dell, especially in the SBS realm. HP does a much better job of small-order or single-order service.

    I don’t doubt that there are stars at Dell, and turkeys at HP; that’s the distribution bell curve in action. But over the long haul I’ve had better results from HP, and that’s how I vote my dollars.