My wife has been having quite a go-round with Dell Financial Services. It's a long sad and boring story, the upshot of which is they insist on being paid a bunch of fees and refuse to tell her what they bought her when they included a pre-checked item in the bill for two laptop computers she bought. I finally just paid it.
Here's my letter to them:
Dell Financial Services
PO Box 81577
Austin, TX 78708
Sept. 28, 2010
Re: Account # xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Dear Anonymous and Unscrupulous,
In the interests of my spouse's physical, mental and spiritual health, I have paid the $391.47 she doesn't really owe you.
In exchange for this payment I expect, on behalf of myself and my wife:
1. Never to hear from you again under any circumstances.
2. To spend the rest of my life bad mouthing you to anyone considering purchasing a Dell product, including warning them about your absolutely incredible practice of sneakily checking off financial commitments on the purchase arrangements that guarantee the time limits on payments will be exceeded..
You get a lot of bad word-of-mouth for $391.47, by the way. Unlike you, I deliver more than promised.
May you reap your just reward. If you were on fire I wouldn't piss on you to put it out.
William J. Watson
Stroudsburg, Pa. 18360
cc: Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett
Pennsylvania Bureau of Consumer Protection
They took the money.
So what do I get in the mail on Saturday?
"Dear Mr. Watson:
Thank you for contacting us. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Followed by a great wealth of detailed instruction on how to become an authorized designee to whom they can send more information. Even though I told them I never wanted to hear from them again.
It's signed by "Chris." All such correspondence with Dell seems to be signed by "Chris." "Chris," be it a he or a she, appears to be the only person in the Customer Care department which, please note, is apparently separate from the Customer Service Department. Since they offer neither care nor service, "Chris" may be the only employee in both departments.
How many of you think there really is a "Chris?"
How many of you think a human being even read my letter to them?
How many of you think the next thing I'll get is a demand for payment/
Rude, unresponsive, bureaucratic. Hopelessness and absurdity worthy of Franz Kafka.
Here's my advice: Don't do business with Dell Financial Services. If you want a Dell computer, pay cash and walk out of the store with it.
Meanwhile, somewhere in there is a story idea about a family pushed too far by all the people raiding the family budget. I'm going to work that into the next Folly Island mystery, yup. Suggestions for appropriate reprisals by such a family will be welcomed. I'm thinking of having the head of the Ugly Corporation put at the top of the collections list of his own company by a clever 11-year-old who's good with computers, followed by delivery of tractor trailer loads of merchandise to his home that he didn't order, including some blow-up dolls and subscriptions to a KKK magazine.