Friday, November 14, 2008

The non-arrival of the (next) Dell mini 9

So after buying one of Dell's new netbooks, the Inspiron mini 9, for myself as a travel laptop and living with it for a month or so, my wife was sufficiently impressed with it to order one herself.

She placed the order on the 16th of October with an expected delivery date of the 31st of October. A couple of days before it was due to arrive her expected delivery date was put back until the 17th of November. Today, a couple of days before it was due to arrive, she received another revised delivery date of the 26th of November. That's a full month lead time now, and two slips in the shipping date.

She isn't happy, and since the reason she was getting a new laptop in the first place was an incident involving a dog, a baby, a low table, a full cup of milky tea and her previous Dell laptop you can probably figure out why. Her unhappiness hasn't really helped by the fact that my original mini 9 was delivered over a week early...

This has started me wondering why the shipping dates for Dell's "off the shelf" mini 9's are slipping, and whether this has anything to do with their deal with Vodafone. Are UK destined netbooks having to be diverted to fulfill Dell's obligation to its partner? Is Vodafone putting pressure on Dell to slow down shipments of stock netbooks to encourage sales of their own WWAN-enabled version? You have to wonder...

Update (17/Nov): Well you have to be reasonably impressed by that. Having spotted my complaint on the blog someone, somewhere, did something. One phone call and an email later, the laptop shipped. We all know things go wrong, and delays happen. But if you point out a problem, and the problem gets fixed, that's good customer service.

Update (19/Nov): The laptop has now been delivered.