I have a laptop. I do not have a laptop bag.

Well, I do, but it’s been some time since I’ve been able to use it. When Octavian has to go anywhere (usually Andrew’s), he goes in a Film Fest tote bag. Not the best option. My work laptop bag is a beast of a Targus backpack, and I hate it.

This state of affairs is especially pitiful given that my own kid is one of the world’s foremost authorities on laptop bags. And WNET had a discussion on the topic a while ago that resulted in many fabulous links and recommendations.

However, Red Flag Deals to the rescue! Andrew noticed Dell had a deal on for, among other things, a women’s laptop bag. $25 off, usually $79.99. Works for me.

And yes, I did go into this fully aware of their “Dell hell” reputation for customer experience. What can I say, as gorgeous as some of those $200 jobbies are, a girl will do a lot of things for a bargain. (Potentially sugar mammas/daddies: feel free to email me.) 🙂

So I headed over to Dell Canada’s website and started ordering. Couldn’t remember my account login details. (The last time I would have ordered something there would have been Simon, my old laptop, back in… 2003?) So I created a new account, finished ordering, and saved the confirmation page as a PDF.

You know this is where things start to go all pear-shaped, right?


I placed the order on February 1st (the deal ended February 2nd). This past weekend (the 9th), it occurred to me that I hadn’t seen any emails about “Your order has shipped!” Since I’ve received packages from Peet’s and Chapters in the last week, and am expecting a package from Amazon, shipping confirmations are top of mind. Then it occurred to me that I’d never even received my order confirmation email. Hrm.

So I opened my order confirmation PDF… yeah, all the info was there. So I went to the website and tried to track it. Except all my confirmation info wasn’t there — no order number. Hrm. Since their customer service department isn’t open on weekends, I had to wait til this morning to get a hold of them.

I would like to have tried the online chat, but the hours don’t start til noon. Phone call it is. (DO NOT WANT!) Man, their IVR is nasty. Incredibly loud 70s rock, but filtered through a Tesla coil, a diesel engine, and a dirty gym sock, I think. So I turned the sound on my phone WAY down and sat on hold.

Eventually I got a person, but even after turning up the volume, could barely understand her. Yes, she had an Indian accent, but it was the horrible sound quality that was the problem. Aaaaanyway, I explained the issue, she tried to look me up, and… I don’t exist. And so, of course, neither does my order. Hrm. So I explained for the second time what I want to do (get my order into the system, and apply the discount that was active when I originally ordered).

Of course, she had to transfer me from Customer Service to Sales to do that. But hey, at least she gave me the phone number for Sales in case the call got disconnected. Call didn’t disconnect, but after several more minutes of that hold music, I almost wished it had.

Eventually I got through to Sales. Still in India, same horrible sound quality. I explained the situation again, gave him my information again (Dear Dell: warm transfers — look into them), and was told… not much. Except that since I placed the order online, I had to talk to someone in Online Sales. Right.

Back to the hold music… This was the shortest time on hold, but of course when I got my third person on the phone, the sound wasn’t any clearer. Yep, still in India. And again I explained the situation. Hmm, sounds like he can help me. I gave him the Dell part number so he can look up the bag I want, and then started giving him my personal information so he can create a new account for me. In the process he finds my old account. I tell him I couldn’t get into it and gave up, and that one can be deleted. He also asks in passing two or three times if I’m aware of Dell’s privacy policy, and to confirm that I am not planning to export the laptop bag out of Canada. No, not unless I’m on the plane with it…

So I gave him my name, street address twice (does “south” sound anything like “west”?), postal code four times, and phone number. Progress, excellent. Then he needed my payment info, so I gave him that. That only took one try. I guess they’re serious about the money. Then he processed the order and gave me the order number. Smurfy. I asked if I’d be getting email confirmation of the order. He said he could do that, and so I gave him my email address. That email DID arrive soon after. I can’t confirm the order online yet, but I’m supposed to check back tomorrow.

Oh, and as he was confirming the order details, he told me I’d be getting $20 off the price of the bag. I asked why I wasn’t getting $25 off, as that was the deal I ordered for originally, and the price I’d quoted him off my (useless) order confirmation. He said that that deal was over, and they can’t apply it after it ends. I pointed out that I HAD ordered while the deal was active. He then put me on hold. When he came back he moved on to some other part of the proceedings, but after he gave me the order number near the end of the call, he confirmed the price details, and did apply the full $25 discount. Will wonders never cease…

So, yeah. One phone call, three customer service reps, endless repeats of my situation and personal details, one account creation and hand-over of payment information later, finally I might, at some point in the next few weeks, find myself the proud new owner of a laptop bag. Which the cat can’t climb into.

And I gave accessing the old account another crack, and managed to get in. You know I haven’t accessed something in a while when the account email address is my Hotmail account. Anyway, since there was no way to delete the account, I sent Customer Service an email with the account details, requesting deletion and confirmation. I’m not holding my breath.

The moral of the story? Next time Andrew recommends I buy something from Reg Flag Deals, I’m going to make HIM order it. 🙂

Update: Soon after I posted my saga, my daughter, Diva of the Laptop Bags (and Marketing), emailed me to chastise me for spending money on such things. Cuz I guess she’s got one or two lying around… She even said she’d hand over the Maddie Powers, but really, you don’t mess with a girl’s Royal Purple Faux Velvet. 🙂 Whee! It’s like Christmas! (I offered to send her stuff in return — cash, chocolate, Anatole, hookers and blow…)

Amusingly, when I contacted Dell, they couldn’t cancel the order because it had already shipped. However, the CSR said that when it arrives, just don’t open it, and give them a call, and they’ll arrange for a return. Sweet! Love how the customer service was rather better when cancelling (though I did have to attempt a chat session twice).

1 Comment on You don’t exist… Much like our customer service…

  1. That sucks! I got my laptop bag from the Dell website as well and I lucked out. I ordered it on a Wednesday afternoon, they said it would arrive by Monday and it came in on Thursday morning.

    Which bag did you end up ordering?

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