Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Online Shopping

I'm quite unhappy with the state of Online Shopping for Servers.

On the 28th of last month I placed an order from Dell, Dell did not ship my order with the three day shipping I paid for, Infact they never shipped my order at all because of a 'Miss-Configuration' Somehow their online tool set the server up with a DC power supply, That wasnt even an option on the page!

So instead of calling me or emailing me they just sat on the damn order.

Fast forward 10 days, Where the fuck is the server?

We look online, Order is gone.

We Call Dell, They cant find the order, Claim it was never ordered.

Finally we got them to process the order or so we thought but once again the server got held up for a 'Miss-Configuration' This time it was because we had 3 disks in the server one 40 gig disk and two 80 gig disks and we specified we anted Raid 1. Most people would put the two matched disks in a raid 1 configuration, but noo not dell.

At this point we either had the option of starting over or going with another vendor, I chose to change vendors and went to CDW's site to spec out a IBM.

I found a nice IBM for about the same price as the Dell which fit our needs, Using their options page I ordered it with a Extra processor, 4 Gigs of extra ram, One 40 gig disk, Two 120 Gig disks, A RAID 1 controller for the disks and a 3 year warranty.

Monday I got a call from CDW saying that they were out of the RAM I ordered so they upgraded me to 2Gig dimms from 1 Gig dimms.
That was fine, It wasnt supposed to impact the shipping process at all.

Today I got another call from CDW, They said that the Disks I ordered were IDE and the Server was SCSI, Asking about the RAID controller I ordered it was IDE but they said it would not be compatible with the server as the server had SCSI Raid.

Also it turns out their ordering system allowed me to order 3 disks for the server when it only had 2 Drive bays.

So today we ended up switching to a HP from CDW with two 140 Gig Ultra 320 SCSI disks, a Built in RAID 1 controller and 5 Gigs of ram (It came with 1 Gig and we added our 4 from above to the order)

I hope we get the server by Friday, I need to have it received by then for Billing reasons.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am a previous owner of computer hardware e-tailer, I know about those issues you were complaining about.

I just want to tell you about a little secret, most e-tailers drop ships their product. Meaning they actualy do not have the product in stock. And sometime it takes too long to ship because the information does not occur electronicaly.

My recommendation is to use Air Shipping prices not ground or free shipping. Why? Because ground and free shipping allows the merchant to consolidate products for large shipment to save them money. Therefore you order gets delayed and sometime during that delay it has been sold... so that is a problem.

Save money by shopping for the best deal using price comparison / price search engine like http://www.PriceComparison.com, use the money you save to spend it on 2nd day shipping or 3 day shipping.

Just my 2 cents.