Paging Michael Dell: Where’s My Order?

I ordered my Dell PC with Ubuntu Linux on May 27. Dell.com informed me that the system would ship somewhere around June 12. Quite a long wait, but I was willing to sit tight rather than purchase a Windows Vista or Windows XP box.

Now, the problem: When I log onto Dell’s system to check my order status, the resulting Web page displays the following message: “The system is undergoing routine maintenance. Please check back in a few minutes.”

I’ve checked the system several times since late June 12 and I’ve received the same message during each visit. This doesn’t exactly give me faith in Dell, but I’m hopeful they’ll resolve the problem soon. And, with any luck, my system has already been shipped to me.

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21 thoughts on “Paging Michael Dell: Where’s My Order?

  1. some how I don’t think DELL will make it. I am getting ready for the big let down when everyone gives up on them for the service bloopers that have happened in the program so far like “accidentally” removing the hardware support until it caused a storm, long wait times, unavailable order systems,…

    thing will be that the excuse given by DELL at the end is nobody really wants to buy Linux computers, linux users are cheap, linux users like to build their own computers because they are geeks,…..

    While what will be the real leading cause is just that DELL is not providing the service to price ratio that people expect form them so the computers will not sell.

    Maybe its not the case because Michael Dell us back in charge to turn around the company, maybe its just a big ship that is fighting making changes. He will get it all in order and everything will be happy ever after. :)

  2. Ah, the notorious Richardatdell… this guy gets around and just when it seems it is safe to go back in the waters of the Dell customer service swamp, another fiasco. I am having a hard time understanding the eternal optimism of some customers in the face of the facts, and I have a hard time understanding Richardatdell in the face of the facts… and the facts show clearly that Dell was, is and probably will be digging out of their self created hole for some time to come and wishing won’t make it better. As long as Dell refuses to address the core issue of customer service and corporate integrity, it will be “business as usual”.

  3. Len,

    You are so patient.

    It takes us 48 hrs to ship a system and that includes the system tests from Canonical plus a few additional tests we run just to be safe. It also includes time to preload whatever you request along with whatever unique request you added on (unusual partitioning, an upgrade we didn’t list as an option).

    And, if there’s a delay on our end, we often throw in an extra to compensate. Have you thought of asking Dell for a free upgrade to compensate for the delay?

  4. Cathy,

    Thank you for the reply. How are things going at ZAreason? Are you noticing customers shifting to Dell? Or is the Dell hype generating more inerest in ZAreason? Naturally, our readers would welcome your thoughts on industry trends.

    Best,
    - Len

  5. Len,

    Thanks for asking. Yes, things are going well. No, we haven’t seen our customers drift away to Dell. And yes, the Dell hype is generating more interest overall. It’s a win-win. We are glad to see Dell get onboard.

    We don’t necessarily compete with Dell because we are focused more on:
    1. the long-time Linux advocates (they send us valuable feedback on our systems, how they have tweaked their systems),
    2. areas other than the US (the US Dept of Commerce is very helpful to exporters), and
    3. the Maker Faire crowd, ie people who want to mess with their hardware and still be covered under warranty.

    Dell wins by accessing the mass market and we win by being the little guys who do it a little differently. We used to live in Austin, in Dellionaire land and we have the greatest respect for what Dell is trying to do. Some of our best friends are still connected with Dell in one way or another.

    You asked about industry trends. From what we can see, Dell has a crucial place in the market but it would be bad to only have one Big Box supporting Ubuntu. It’s important to support Dell + the other builders who can customize more easily, and as in the point with this thread, deliver on a different timeline.

  6. Pingback: Will Dell Help or Hurt Rival Linux PC Suppliers? « ALL ABOUT UBUNTU

  7. ah, the infamous, Duffrey. Glad to see you getting around too….I am hard at work solving customer issues. Most often successfully and safely, as opposed to what you suggest.

    Duffrey, as you know, we understand the need to improve service and are making headway. We are not perfect or where we want to be, and you know all that from other blog posts. We have a lot of changes underway and to suggest we are not trying or working hard is your misperception.

    Len, I understand our team has been directly in touch with you by email to get the additional details we need in order to solve the issues. I will follow up with them again to make sure things are in hand…but counting on you to let me know if they are not.

  8. Hey everybody,

    It seems that the laptops are coming much faster. The two reviews I’ve read reported record speed in delivery. In fact, the laptop that my wife ordered last week, which was promised to be delivered on the 19th, will arrive tomorrow. It would have arrived two days ago, had the DHL guys knocked louder…

    Cheers,
    -JB

  9. Here’s my question: I see the Windows PC’s advertised prominently on Dell’s home page. I’ve seen plenty of bling on Dell’s site about “Vista Ready” PC’s and “Vista-Equipped” PC’s. Where’s the equally Big Announcement and the Big Advertising for the Ubuntu-equipped PC’s?

    Oh…not there? Oh, it’s buried in a sidebar, and only on the “Home and Home Office” page?

    Oops, Dell must not be too enthused about this *actually* succeeding. It’s just like back in 2000 when they did a few token sales. It’s a shame, really, since the Ubuntu-equipped computers themselves actually seem like they’re pretty good.

  10. Sum,

    (Sorry, I won’t fall into the trap of writing your full name.) However, here’s an answer to your question. Go to http://www.dell.com. Then refresh the home page a few times. Eventually, one of the rotating pages should be for Ubuntu Linux. It’s a big, big plug for Linux. I think Dell’s home page is only rotating through about five sales pitches right now. Impressive that one is Ubuntu, especially since only a small fraction of visitors are Linux buyers.

    Also, visit http://www.dell.com/ubuntu. That will bring you right to a big pitch as well.

    Hard to beat up Dell in this case: They really are promoting Ubuntu on their home page in a big way. I’m impressed.

  11. I didn’t see the Ubuntu ad on the main site. I rotated through it several times, but it didn’t work. I really don’t care if they do it or not, it’s just not there.

  12. Hi,

    Dell took the Ubuntu ad on its main site out of the rotation either yesterday or earlier in the week. But trust me: It was there in a big way. For a few days there, I suspect one-third or one-quarter of Dell.com visitors saw Ubuntu PCs advertised in a huge way on the Dell home page. And that’s a big, big statement from Dell, considering how much pressure from Redmond they get to promote Windows as the preferred platform.

  13. Hi Len…we emailed you direct to get some specifics so we could follow up on your order and are still waiting to hear back from you. Let us know.

  14. Hi Richard,
    I’m all set, actually. It was ordered under a third-party company name. I indicated this in today’s blog. Thanks a lot. I look forward to booting up the system.

  15. Len,

    I hope that your optimism proves to be well-founded. Yes, I quite sincerely hope that this is a success. Now, if only Dell would highlight it on their *HOME* page…not just buried somewhere that the GNU/Linux folks already know where to look.

  16. Hi Sum,

    Dell did promote Ubuntu Linux on their home page for portions of last week. The ad is no longer in the home page rotation. Let’s all hope it comes back soon!

  17. Pingback: FreeSoftNews » Blog Archive » Ubuntu Weekly News: Issue #45

  18. Pingback: Where Are the Dell Ubuntu PCs? - Not Just Linux

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