Immediacy Counts Justin French 25 Sep 2005

69 comments Latest by J

Late last week, I decided I wanted a new display. The two contenders were Apple’s 23”, and Dell’s 24”. According to reports, they’re essentially the same thing, and there was AU$400-500 difference between the two. I decided I’d prefer the Apple, but the price difference was hard to ignore, so I took a look at the Dell option first.

  1. Go to the Dell Australia website, see that their build/shipping guidelines are ridiculous.
  2. Think to myself “maybe these are for full systems” and call Dell. Someone with awful English (from a call center on the other side of the world, I guess) tells me it would take a minimum 9 business days for them to ship the display to my door.
  3. Realize that these 9 business days cross over 2 weekends, taking the total to 13 days.
  4. Ask them if they have any retail stores or warehouses where I can pick one up. They have a display center, but you can’t buy anything there. They do not have any local distributors or resellers. You buy direct from Dell over the web or by phone.
  5. Note that the Apple Store has shipping times of around 1–2 business days.
  6. Call up two Apple stores. One has the display in stock, at full retail. One can have it in stock the next business day, and offers a $100 discount.
  7. Order the Apple.

Apple aren’t exactly renowned for their immediacy (my Powerbook took about four days, my brother’s Mac mini took almost two weeks, and my friend’s iBook took an eternity), but if they’re beating Dell by weeks then something is horribly wrong. The Dell business model down here (not sure if it applies world-wide) removes any chance of an impulse purchase. Immediacy counts.

No one wants to wait 2 weeks for delivery on what should be a commodity item (I want to go grab one from a local retailer now). No one wants to be called back by a sales representative for pricing (just show me the prices on your website). No one wants to schedule a meeting to see a demo of some software (let me download a limited trial, or show me a movie of it in action).

I guess I expected Dell to be more like Ikea, but they were the exact opposite.

69 comments so far (Jump to latest)

Peter 26 Sep 05

My experience with Dell has been much different here in the US. When I ordered my first computer with them a few years ago it took about 3-4 days for it to arrive, with the lowest shipping option.

My day to day experience with them is even better though. My university has a deal with Dell, and all our computers are through them with 3 yr warranties. Something breaks, we tell Dell, they have a replacement part delivered the next day.
My guess is that they just don’t have any distro centers in Australia.

Tom 26 Sep 05

Well, lets be honest here, the reason Dell takes longer with things is because they sell a lot more. I don’t think there’s any statistic in the world that puts Apple sales anywhere close to Dell sales.

Also you have to consider that most of Dell’s customers are business customers who really don’t care about a 9-day wait. Again, Dell’s position in the marketplace shows this to be true.

I’m not against your main premise, immediacy is nice, but the simple truth is it doesn’t matter that much. Most corporate software’s still sold by sales people giving demos and most companies don’t mind waiting 9 days for a high end item.

Put it this way, most people would assume that intelligent people can spell the word immediacy correctly but my experience has been that smart people are rarely great at spelling.

George 26 Sep 05

Doesn’t apply 100% to your experience… But we placed an order with Dell for a dozen servers, and it took well over a month and a half to get them all in, even though the “estimated ship date” said 2 weeks. Beware those estimated ship dates.

Dave 26 Sep 05

Tom your comment was a bit all over the place, taking shots at both Apple and Justin’s spelling. In particular, though:

Well, lets be honest here, the reason Dell takes longer with things is because they sell a lot more.

Care to elaborate? I don’t disagree that Dell surely sells more, but why would that make it take longer to get an item from them? If anything it seems to me that this should allow them to carry more inventory due to larger turnover. If you mean that ‘the wait is because they run out because they sell more’, then this just would imply bad inventory management. Clearly there is a problem somewhere with their delivery method.

Jordan Brock 26 Sep 05

Looks like if you waited a week the price differential would have been AU$950 (AU$850 with discount), which could have made the wait worthwhile.

That said, the Apple casing is shexxay.

Russell 26 Sep 05

And - the verdict on the apple screen after all that…

Annoyed Indian 26 Sep 05

Someone with awful English (from a call centre in India, I guess)

Up yours, you bigot.

Marko Samastur 26 Sep 05

Well, it takes on average 4 weeks to get a Powerbook (or any other Apple computer) here in Slovenia. If it breaks in a way that local reseller can’t fix it, it takes at least that much time to repair it too.

No idea about Dell though.

Richard Spindler 26 Sep 05

Another thing that I like about Apple and that I don’t like at Dell is Apples distinctive productline an pricing model. They have a limited number of very recognizable products (MacMini, iMac, PowerMac, etc.) and each one is available in three variants. That’s all, simple and convienient.

Dell on the other hand has a confusing and overwhelming collection of items, in different configurations, various discounts, you never get a real “overview” in what they provide and how much it is.

Tom 26 Sep 05

Dave - Well first, if you actually read my comment about Justin’s spelling you’ll see it was a back handed compliment. I was trying to point out the error in a way that was less “ha ha your wrong” and more “we all make mistakes you might want to fix that”

Second, a company that sells a lot of an item will occasionally run out of stock and that is not bad inventory management its just a fact of life. Their demand is more volatile because they have 8 million customers as opposed to 80,000 (totally made up numbers, I have no idea what the real ones are). If Dell and Apple both keep enough stock on hand to supply 1% of their customer base, Apple’s spending a lot less than Dell.

Further, if say 10% of Dell’s customer base decide they want a certain monitor, there very well might not be enough manufacturing power in the world to meet the demand immediately. If the same happens to Apple, they can easily meet that demand.

Jim Royal 26 Sep 05

To the Annoyed Indian who said, “Up yours, you bigot.”

At this moment, I am sitting in an office in Bangalore, India, working with a group of people on a software product that was outsourced from a North American company.

Any of these good people here would be frankly embarrased to hear that employees working in one of their call centers was dealing with English-speaking customers with poor English.

The whole point of customer server is service to the customer. If my company provides customer services in French, the spoken French ought to be impeccable. The same goes for German. Or Spanish. Or Japanese. Or Hindi.

If the call center is not hiring people with proper language skills, then they are not doing their job properly.

satya 26 Sep 05

i have worked in call center’s and i have worked with most of reallly big companies.. including dell…. dell was probably the best time i ever had … why ? coz the quality of customer service we were providing was horrible… we had no goal no targets and no mechanism which was check if we were doing everything properly or not…so there was no pressure and the job was fun… that was years ago… i hope they are a lil better now..

Michael Tyznik 26 Sep 05

Up yours, you bigot.

How is that bigoted? He’s not making a judgment about that person; he’s just saying it was hard for him to understand his representatitve. It’s well known that many companies (Apple and Dell included) are sacrificing customer satisfaction by outsourcing their customer service call centers to India, with representatives sometimes with poor English skills and thick accents that can make them near-unintelligible to English-speaking customers.

Andrew Massey 26 Sep 05

Guang, I think that’s the point exactly: Dell build machines virtually to order, they have to othewise the warehousing would be horrendous. Apple on the other hand (with approx. 2-3% of the PC market) have huge stocks sitting doing nothing hence their worries when moving to the intel chip set…what to do with left over inventory. Remember Dell change there line several times per year, Apple…

Justin French 26 Sep 05

Oh man, I’m incredibly sorry about using “India” as the example in this post. I’ve removed it from the text, as it was an utterly poor choice of words, and certainly wasn’t meant to be racist in any shape or form. I’m sure most people understood my intentions, but I offer my deepest apologies to any one I’ve offended.

It was intended as a stab at the growing trend of big corporations out sourcing their support calls to countries with lower wage costs, and certainly nothing against a whole race of people.

Anonymous Coward 26 Sep 05

Obviously, people from Australia have no right at all to complain about terrible accents :-)

Imagine what the poor chap on the other side of the world had to put up with on the phone!

Seriously though: I have noticed that Dell delivery sucks in many small European countries because they simply don’t have any distribution centers over there.

Jeff Atwood 26 Sep 05

> No one wants to wait 2 weeks for delivery on what should be a commodity item

Impatience is very, very expensive. Ask people like me who bought a new GeForce 7800 GTX on introduction at $599. Now you can get it for well under $500.

I paid $100 because I was impatient and had to have it now (2x framerates in Battlefield 2 @ 1600x1200 was calling). This is what I call the “early adopter tax”.

Of course the nVidia 7800 GTX is a commodity item sold by dozens of vendors on hundreds of websites.

Apple’s business model might be a little different since they have no real competition other than themselves, I guess, and thus have no reason to lower prices until they release a new model. So buy away!

> Put it this way, most people would assume that intelligent people can spell the word immediacy correctly but my experience has been that smart people are rarely great at spelling.


But yeah, spelling errors in the *title* of the post is rather.. egregious.

Stuart Sutherland 26 Sep 05

Agree with much of the above that Dell delivery sucks. The laptop I bought from them arrived 7 weeks after being ordered online. Their pricing / marketing strategy is as bent and dishonest as those of many so-called ‘low-fares’ airlines in Europe- viz. advertise at prices that it’s really impossible to find and buy at on the website once you add in or take out what you really need for a basic set-up.

And as regards accents: one’s desire for immediacy should never override one’s tolerance of others. We live in a global world so just get over the fact that some people don’t speak like you and listen carefully. We need each other brother. We don’t need this rampant intolerance.

Rimantas 26 Sep 05

” We need each other brother. We don�t need this rampant intolerance.”

That is true, but it also true that we need a quality service.
So we may know and understand the reasons why some products
or services are crap, but that does not make them any better.

On the other hand that whole outsourcing issue looks very very suspicious to me, especially in long term.

Anonymous 26 Sep 05

In the late 90’s I worked on a very long project to re-organize the supply chain of one of Dell’s major component suppliers. I really can’t say which one, but suffice it to say that no Dell computer ships without one.

Their supply chain material planning was bottle-necked to the point that their *entire* weekly build request—for the entire world, mind you—was transmitted to their production facility via an Excel spreadsheet sent by one person. If that person was on vacation, I kid you not, they sent in a sheet for two weeks worth of production.

This has an enormous trickle-down effect to areas of the world that aren’t near Dell’s major distribution centers.

And, language issues aside, the global structure of Dell’s supply chain is driven entirely by market demand. While Denmark and Australia certainly buy Dell products, they do not do so in quantities sufficient to warrant a big line-item in their build requests. And, so, it takes a little longer.

What I wonder is how much the wait *should* play into a decision about the quality of even commodity items. After all, you’re probably going to spend several thousand hours in front of that monitor—if the Dell provided a better quality viewing experience (and I’m not saying it would, so pipe down Mac nutz) would the extra 10 days be worth the wait? Or is it simply a matter of convenience if the quality difference is so slight that it can’t be discerned after a modest amount of web research?

Communist 26 Sep 05

The nazi’s used to call people bigots, too.
But they also used do insult the accent of customer service representatives.
And only communists use poor spelilng.
Tihs is an fcat!

brad 26 Sep 05

A couple of years ago I was shopping for a laptop for my girlfriend’s teenage daughter. We live in Qu�bec and she’s Francophone, so we needed a laptop with a French keyboard built in. Dell’s site did not clearly indicate which models were available with the French keyboard, so I called them to clarify. After being routed around a bit, I was connected to a salesman who supposedly could answer my questions. He couldn’t. He had to put me on hold for 10 minutes, and then came back to tell me that he’d have to do some research and would call me back. He never did. I bought a Toshiba.

Last year, I needed a new computer for myself. Once again I went to the Dell Canada site, and I found a system that looked like it would meet my needs at a reasonable price. I placed an order, but my U.S. credit card company froze the charge as potential fraud and contacted me to verify, since it was a large charge and was made in Canada. In the meantime I got an email from Dell Canada saying that my charge didn’t go through and my order was being cancelled. I called Dell back and explained what happened and asked if they could just reinstate my order but they said no, I would have to start over from scratch.

I gave up and bought an IBM instead.

Neil 26 Sep 05

I’m with Jeff:

>No one wants to wait 2 weeks for delivery on what should be a commodity item.

Wants to wait? No, nobody wants to wait two weeks for anything. But I’d sure as hell be willing to wait two weeks to save $500, especially if the purchase was just because “I decided I wanted a new [one].”

Some of us just don’t have that kind of money.

Adam Thody 26 Sep 05

It’s not excuse, but at least it’ll shed some light on things…unless they’ve changed their policy in recent years, all Dell machines are assembled and shipped out of Texas, USA (I assume monitors are treated the same). This is why it takes forever if you’re outside of North America.

Apple however, obviously has distribution centre’s worldwide.

Justin French 26 Sep 05

My reason to go with the Apple display wasn’t just about immediacy. It’s not secret, I’m a big fan of Apple’s products in general, but the Apple model also gave me a few extra Firewire ports, matched my Powerbook’s finish, and was available in a day or two, not a week or two.

The delivery date (and immediacy) was actually really important here, because the Dell probably would have been delivered about the same time I board a plan to San Diego.

Trust me, I’m not rolling in money, and the extra $400 was not easy to part with. I don’t think anyone really enjoys parting with money on that scale.

Ed Knittel 26 Sep 05

@Tom: I was trying to point out the error in a way that was less “ha ha your wrong” and more “we all make mistakes you might want to fix that”

Put it this way, most people would assume that intelligent people understand contractions and can spell them correctly but my experience has been that smart people are rarely great at spelling.

And it’s my contention that if you’re (see!) going to rip on someone about their spelling you had better be damn good at it yourself.

Dave Simon 26 Sep 05

If I had an extra $400 or so when I was buying my display to go with my PowerBook, I would have purchased a larger Apple display.

But then, to me, design has value as well as immediacy. The Apple stuff is elegant and beautiful. I can’t say that for Dell’s black (although it is better than most PC stuff.)

Ed Knittel 26 Sep 05

But seriously… I’ll tell you when immediacy (or just even being timely) is important: when customers are looking for answers. We’ve had potential customers call or email us and our competitors with similar questions about our products. We try to respond to the questions immediately and I prefer to call them directly with a response if I have their phone number even if they sent their question via email. This lets me tell them more about our product and the other services we provide. They think it’s really nice that there’s actual people behind the website and email.

This has proven to be successful on a number of occasions. It’s a mixed blessing when I hear people say “I can’t believe how quickly you got back to me. I’ve sent a message to Company XYZ weeks ago and I still haven’t heard anything from them.” On the one hand, it’s great business for us but on the other hand you really feel like people are surprised to hear someone responding to them in a resonable amount of time.

It’s a fact: if your product meets the same requirements of Company XYZ’s product but you answer the the customer’s questions faster, you will get the account. The incompetence of your competitor is the easiest sale you’ll make.

Darrel 26 Sep 05

“removes any chance of an impulse purchase.”

True, but Dell isn’t in that market. Apple is.

Tom 26 Sep 05

I will never usually buy direct from the manufacturer, generally they are pretty bad at delivering quickly. Why didn’t you just order from one of the big computer suppliers? Generally they will dispatch on the day of ordering for 1-2 day delivery.

Tom (The First One) 26 Sep 05

@Ed - And it�s my contention that if you�re (see!) going to rip on someone about their spelling you had better be damn good at it yourself.

Well actually, I had just said that poor spelling was a sign of intelligence so if I’d had perfect spelling in my own post what would that say about me.

oh, and by the way, just for the record, I WAS NOT RIPPING ON HIM!!!!!!!!!!!! (and just for good measure “!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”)

I, as I said before, was just trying to point out the mistake in a way that we could all laugh at together rather than be the “anal retentive correction guy” like some people (I’m not going to mention any names, but I was referring to Ed)

Andres 26 Sep 05

Inmediacy counts, yes, but doesn’t trump everything else.

“No one wants…” Be careful not to speak in absolute terms, as there are people who are willing to wait a few days to save themselves a few hundred bucks, for example.

Felix 26 Sep 05

The IKEA business model….A computer store where I can view the models on the second floor. Then walk down to the first floor warehouse with my shopping cart and pick up all the parts in self service aisles without hassle or grief!?…..that would be fine dream indeed =)

Ian 26 Sep 05

I can’t believe you even *considered* buying such a shameful monitor in the first place.

As for “immediacy counts’, it did for you and as fine as the Apple display undoubtedly is, you certainly paid extra for it. I think your point is still valid though - well done Apple, bad luck Dell.

Me? For what it’s worth I would have waited and got the Dell, then smiled as I thought of some useful and creative ways I could use the $400 I saved. I guess I just enjoy parting with my money that little bit less than you, Justin.

Rob Poitras 26 Sep 05

Those dell estimated ship times. When I get stuff from dell they always over estimate the shipping dates. Both of my 2005fpw’s shipped within 1-2 days even though it said that it would take 5-7 business days on the dell order status page on my account.

Rob Poitras 26 Sep 05

When I get stuff from dell they always over estimate the shipping dates. Both of my 2005fpw’s shipped within 1-2 days even though it said that it would take 5-7 business days on the dell order status page on my account.

Steve French 26 Sep 05

My experience with Dell is somewhat similar, but I’ve always been accused of being too patient, so the delay wasn’t an issue for me.

I actually ordered this exact Dell monitor about 4 months ago. I was told that the monitor wouldn’t ship for about 3 weeks, and the rest of my order would ship that day. Imagine my suprise when I got an email the next day that told me all items had shipped. I had all items by the end of the week.

So maybe I got lucky, or maybe Dell realizes that if you promise something to somebody, you better deliver (literally!).

Focus: What is worse? Promising something on a certian date and not delivering, or padding your delivery date to gaurantee that you can meet it, and in the process, running the risk of ticking off the customer because they want it as soon as humanly possible?

Jim 26 Sep 05

Tom: You said that most of Dell�s customers are business customers who really don�t care about a 9-day wait

I’m a Dell business customer. When we need hardware from Dell, we don’t need it in two weeks. We need it tomorrow. Whether it’s more storage for a new contract, new CPUs & displays for new hires, switches for networking closet, or new servers - waiting on my supplier is lost money.

We deal with Dell because they are supposedly the masters of the supply chain. A company that bickers with Microsoft and Intel because affixing Intel/MS promotional stickers adds 30 seconds to build times. That’s how they present themselves to the business world.

9 business days - with two weekends in between - isn’t acceptable.

Ed 26 Sep 05

Interesting post… I agree with Justin’s premise regarding immediacy.

I’m often suprised that a company, such as Dell, doesn’t offer alternate pricing schemes that would expedite delivery to customers. Granted, their just-in-time manufacturing keeps the inventory low thereby keeping the price points low, but you’d think there would be a midpoint (both price and delivery) where additional inventory is maintained for high demand items.

Phil 26 Sep 05

It is rather unfortunate you had to use Dell and Apple as your example as it seems the majority of the comments focus on that point rather than the point you were trying to make about immediacy in general.

Dave Marks 26 Sep 05

With regard to the whole biggot thing…

I live in the UK and we drive on the left side of the road and as such drive right hand drive cars…. now I could buy a left hand as an import and probably save myself some money, but you know what - it would be a real pain to drive.

After a while I guess you would get used to it, but I’m more likely to shell out the extra money so that things are easier

Do you see what I’m getting at? I’m not at all racist (i can’t spell mind) and I’m not against out sourcing work to other coutries and what not, but sometimes its not practical

Its damm frustrating when something goes wrong… trying to explain your problem to someone with your own accent can be hard enough some times - these companies make it harder and customer service really should put the customer first…

Tom (The First One) 26 Sep 05

Jim - Well, again I say, clearly it is acceptable because that�s the way it is and Dell�s still the largest PC manufacturer by far.

I happen to run an IT department myself and I honestly can�t fathom living the way you say that you do. I can only see a few reasons for us to order PCs/Parts (1) to replace a damaged PC/Server, (2) to buy a new PC for a recently added position, and (3) to accommodate a project to improve infrastructure/performance (aka upgrades)

Now, on the PC/Server repair, that is an immediate concern but Dell offers �4-business hour� contracts for servers (which we have for each of ours) and we keep a PC that can be �swapped in� to replace damaged user PCs immediately.

On buying a new PC for an added position, I�ve never seen a company that goes from deciding to add a position to hiring that person and putting them to work in under 2 weeks. Our new hire training takes a week in itself so when you add placing an ad, interviewing, hiring, etc�. 9 days just isn�t an issue.

Finally, on the Upgrades issue, again I�ve never seen a company that decides to do a project and then jumps right into doing it. I have a rough outline of my projects for the next year, I�ve had to add things on the fly before but it�s never been a case of 9 days making a difference one way or the other simply because things don�t go into production that fast. Any new project would require some kind of testing using our test equipment before its implemented and by definition that kind of testing would take at least a week and a half.

Realistically, as some who�s worked at startups and large organizations, I�ve just never seen a business where 9 days made any kind of difference.

Don Wilson 26 Sep 05

Lose out on $400 because you can’t wait a few days. Good financial move.

Kim Siever 26 Sep 05

“I called Dell back and explained what happened and asked if they could just reinstate my order but they said no, I would have to start over from scratch. I gave up and bought an IBM instead.”

Did it take less time to fill out an order for an IBM than it would have to fill out an oder for a second Dell?

dmr 26 Sep 05

My comment got eaten…

dell’s 24” is only $1199.

Darrel 26 Sep 05

“Lose out on $400 because you can�t wait a few days. Good financial move.”

Yes. That’s stupid. As is buying an SUV instead of a used Honda. As is shopping at Gap vs. Target. As is buying bras at Victoria’s Secret vs. Wal-Mart. As is buying a McMansion instead of a condo downtown. As is spending money on war instead of infrastructure.

But, really, none of that has anything to do with the topic at hand.

Berto 26 Sep 05

So much talk about delivery but not enough about the quality of both products. Unless someone proves me wrong, I do not believe the two products to be that equal.

I’ve heard more stories about Dell’s having dead pixels. I’ve heard just as many about Apple’s having *no* dead pixels. This would be my reason for going with Apple.

brad 26 Sep 05

Did it take less time to fill out an order for an IBM than it would have to fill out an oder for a second Dell?

Actually yes. It took quite a while to configure the Dell to exactly what I wanted, whereas the IBM site had a package that was basically just what I needed. I had researched the IBM previously but went to Dell since it was cheaper, but then when Dell said I had to go back and reconfigure my order from scratch I said screw it, I’ll go with the IBM. I could have spent the extra 15 minutes on the Dell site, but I was pissed off at them for being so inflexible.

Don Wilson 26 Sep 05

I’ve got the 20” version of the 24” and it’s plenty big. $1100 for a monitor is completely insane (I managed to get mine for about $450). Is the sole reason behind not buying the Dell monitor is because of the waiting and piss-poor customer service? Surely it wasn’t because you get an extra inch in size and the ability to have VGA, Composite and S-Video inputs (from what I know, Apple’s displays only accept DVI, correct? or do you need a brick adapter?), because only the Dell machine has all of this, at a cheaper price, none-the-less.

Don Wilson 26 Sep 05

I understand the point about imediacy, but where do you draw the line in dollar amount that you will actually sit around for a little while longer to get the better deal?

David Chilton 26 Sep 05

Adam: I know that Dell has an assembly plant near Nashville Tennessee, USA. They built it while I lived there, and it really boosted the local economy since the parts manufacturers had to at least warehouse there to meet Dell’s needs. I also remember seeing that they have a facility in Ireland, and probably have more, since their model is distributed - build on demand.

Chris Johanesen 26 Sep 05

Aren’t we getting a little off topic here?

I order a 20” Widescreen from Dell, and it took about two weeks to get to me (in the US). I was a little annoyed, especially since they didn’t make it clear ahead of time. But I didn’t mind too much considering the deal I was getting. I got mine with coupon codes for $359. The reason I had to wait so long, I believe, has something to do with the huge pricing discounts, volume orders from their vendors, etc.

As I’ve said in a comment on a previous topic about Dell LCDs (what’s up with that?) I would have much rather gotten an Apple. I would have gotten a better designed product (aesthetically, not technically) and probably had better customer service.

The thing is, I never would have gotten the Apple at all, because I just can’t afford to blow $700 on a monitor,. So everything else is a moot point.

Clark 26 Sep 05

I envy you for even being able to order a Dell. I would have loved to have bought a Dell LCD but ordering one in Taiwan seems next to impossible. There is no way I would justify Apple’s inflated prices so I bought an Eizo and a high end Samsung.

mr.again 26 Sep 05

MH: Exactly! And as I read this on my 23” cinema display I say to hell with that Dell junkbox; is Apple the only computer company with grace and personality?

Let them have their value; I’ll have my quality and love it too.

mac.jordan 27 Sep 05

FWIW, I went for the Dell - I thought it was better ergonomically.

and I picked up a pair (one each for self and husband) for UKP625 each, brand new, on eBay. Given that Apple want UKP1049 per monitor here, it was a nobrainer.

I bought them on a Friday morning, and had them delivered on Saturday. And they’re wonderful :)

Igor 27 Sep 05

I ordered my 19” from Dell and had it at my doorstep in 22 hours, this was using free standard shipping.

Ryan Allen 27 Sep 05

I’d buy the Apple over the Dell any day, even at a $1000 price difference.

With Apple’s Cinema Displays I know I’d never be asking myself, not even once, “was this worth the money?”.

Totally and utterly satisfied. When making purchases over a few hundred dollars the satisfaction that it was money well spent overweighs a few hundred dollars difference.

Don Wilson 27 Sep 05

People who are willing to spend $1000 more for a slightly better purchasing experience are out of their minds.

The only question I’ve asked myself after buying my 20” Dell is “Why haven’t I done this earlier?” and prasing myself for not wasting $1000 because I didn’t know how to put in coupon codes or hit submit once more than the competitors.

Philip 28 Sep 05

I had an even worse experience with Dell. I tried to order a LCD screen online and their ecom system was busted just at the final submit/confirm the order screen.

Then I called to place the order. I went through the order process and remembered to ask a very important question. What’s thei dead pixel policy? It’s an absurd 6-dead-pixels so I told him forget it, I don’t want to order it.

Guess what?

The bastards put the order through. It’s very likely that it was due to poor English skills, because I had a hard time understanding the person over the phone.

An absolutely horrible experience and I will NEVER order anything from Dell. And I’m all too happy to share my horror story so people avoid the pain I’m suffering.

bmc 28 Sep 05

who pays retail?


Sick guy 29 Sep 05

Well, Dell not my thing… I don’t like people who check the national credit registration (i.e. where they register all mortages and bankrupt people etc.) if I can afford/pay the system. It’s just odd imho. No Dell for me anymore.

Tom Wrona 01 Oct 05

How ironic. I’m reading this on my brand new Dell 24” widescreen monitor. I ordered it late Tuesday afternoon from an outfit called Pilgrim Technology LLC and got it Friday (yesterday). It was $949.00 plus $23.55 shipping. The price on their website is slightly higher but I got it through their PriceGrabber storefront.

PriceGrabber requires you to register with them to buy anything at one their merchants and the sign-up process is annoying and poorly designed. (If forces you to register in the middle of the purchase process and it requires you to reply to a confirmation email. Maybe they told me my order would not complete without responding but I didn’t see it.)

The monitor is enormous but I immediately took it for granted. I’m using it in a dual-monitor set up with my old 20” CRT. (I know. I’m insane.) It’s going to be hard to go back to the 20” CRT at work on Monday.

Here in the states I believe it almost never makes sense to buy a Dell directly from Dell—at least not without a coupon. They’re asking $1199 for the 2405 on their site right now. Always scour the “deal and coupon” sites before buying from them. Or join Costco, which also sells Dell online and in their stores. The other warehouse clubs probably do too.

The monitor is offered for much less by various eBay merchants, but the lowest prices always carry absurd shipping charges like $199, more than eight times what I paid to send it from Michigan to New Jersey.

divya 01 Oct 05

(from a call center on the other side of the world, I guess)

I hope you include the aweful english that french, german, australians, americans, chinese, malays, Indians, africans speak in your reference to ‘the other side of the world’. The issue isnt about call centres but YOUR judgement of where the person must be located. So, I request you to stop making judgements about call centre representatives.

divya 01 Oct 05

(from a call center on the other side of the world, I guess)

I hope you include the awful english that french, german, australians, americans, chinese, malays, Indians, africans speak in your reference to ‘the other side of the world’. The issue isnt about call centres but YOUR judgement of where the person must be located. So, I request you to stop making judgements about call centre representatives.

J 08 Oct 05

Just picking up the call centre thread - many UK companies have outsourced to India. In my experience the only two problems of significance are (a) telecoms line quality too poor, the accountants made them buy capacity to a cheap price, all starts and stops of each person get clipped, this is often interpretted as poor language skills but it is not (b) the systems given to the customer peopole in India don’t interface properly with the company systems (hard to believe but, for example, I recently had a problem and needed to reshedule a BMI flight - very helpful chap in India had to put me on hold while he rang Manchester airport to find out basic stuff needed to fix my problem).