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Dell crowned Bad Santa computer maker by angry customers

Holiday card labelled a 'joke'

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Dell customers are furious at the computer maker after it failed to deliver products in time for the holiday season, and instead offered a "Holiday Card" to place under their Christmas trees to replace undelivered gifts.

The company issued a statement on 17 December in which it said that it had been hit by order delays due to "increased demand [and] industry-wide constraints on some components".

"Especially at this time of year, we are sorry for the frustration," wrote Dell chief blogger Lionel Menchaca on the Direct2Dell site.

He said some Dell products had been affected by shortages of memory and larger capacity hard drives.

However, customers are continuing to complain about Dell's increasingly lacklustre delivery performance.

"Dell had been taking orders and assigning delivery dates of 2-3 weeks out," one customer told The Register.

"So for folks ordering late November, a mid December date was promised. As that date got close, the delivery date would slip a week. A week later, it would slip another week and so on. For some unexplained reason, Dell somehow forgot how to answer customer's emails leaving them in the dark."

He claimed that Dell's automated processing system to notify customers of delays was suffering regular outages, preventing many from tracking their orders with the company.

Similarly customers have griped in the comments section on the Direct2Dell blog.

"It's frustrating because Dell is accepting orders that they are not able to fulfill and they expect their customers to sit by until they get their inventory in order," grumbled meechigan.

"Most of us ordered a computer because we wanted it or needed it for a specific purpose. I understand minor delays but this is ridiculous and a bad business practice.

"Dell has not sent any updates or options for modifying the order which they are unable to fulfill. If the world is running out of high capacity hard drives, then perhaps Dell should not sell computers configured to have those unavailable parts."

We asked Dell to comment on this story, but at time of writing it hadn't got back to us with a statement.

Meanwhile the firm's EMEA flak, James Gibb, responded to Twitter user dell_ruins_xmas on 18 December.

"Genuinely sorry for the delays here Dan [AKA dell_ruins_xmas]. I know you've seen the blog from Lionel and we are trying to address these issues," he said.

However, since then, the dell_ruins_xmas Twitter account has mysteriously disappeared. ®

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