Debbie from the Dell Online Community Outreach team saw my article, How Dell screwed up my order, and did a little digging into what happened. Here's her response:
I'm glad to hear your computers arrived. I wanted to follow up with you on the conversation we had the other day. I did some research on the possible causes behind the issues we discussed and have received some feedback from the Global Finance group that may shed some light on things:
- Dell did originally receive a decline on your card (not sure why Citibank showed the authorization, we’re root causing how this would happen). Additionally, in the US we don't "charge the card" at authorization, it is done at invoice/settlement, Dell would not have charged your card twice for the same order. Still we understand those funds would not have been available to you.
- On declined cards for online customers our process is to contact our customer (via email and phone) to resolve the issue. This is why you were initially contacted.
- Our call queue is primarily India based, 20 minutes on hold is not acceptable. We have shifted additional resources to manage the increase in sales volume during the holiday season, but clearly in this case we did not meet our service level. We will review where we have options to shift additional resources.
Feel free to call me or send me an email if you have any questions, or if there is anything that I missed. Again I apologize for the inconvenience you experienced.
This isn't exactly what Citi told us but maybe they misspoke. I've asked Citi for clarification. In any case, given Debbie's responsiveness, clearly the "F" grade I gave Dell customer service was unfair. At this point I'd say they've earned at least a "C".
Meanwhile, I got the computers unpacked and... well that's a story for another article.