In an ideal world, things work, people are on time, and businesses almost run themselves. We don't live in an ideal world. We know this. Mistakes are made, and most people strive to correct their mistakes. In fact, we've come to accept this more than most, given that we live on a tiny island in the Mediterranean, where attitudes towards professionalism are...mixed.
Let me set the scenery. We're a small business operating in the IT space. We order and set up hardware and provide support for clients working in a number of areas. As such, we rely on distributors to import the required hardware, which will often take some time, given that demand is low in Cyprus. We're prepared for this and update our clients about expected timescales accordingly.
So we go ahead and order a Dell Server with a 10 Drive Chassis (model R620, if it makes a difference to you) from your distributor in Cyprus, Multitech. Why this model, you may ask? Because this is the model our client needs, Dell. And how long can I expect to wait after our 20th of October order date Dell? A couple of weeks maybe?
Is it being carried on the back of a camel across the desert Dell? Or do mummy server and daddy server, who both love each other very very much, need to spend some time together to make our new server baby?
I digress. We are prepared for such delays, and update our client accordingly, as I previously mentioned. We receive notification and collect our package on the 10th of December, which is only slightly later than what was indicated. So far, so good, Dell.
But. Remember when I explained that I need the server with a 10 drive chassis, Dell? You obviously don't remember, because you sent me one with an 8 drive chassis. What's that? You're asking whether I can make do with this? No Dell, I cannot, I've been waiting for 7 weeks to get what I ordered.
Imagine if you walk into McDonald's Dell, and you order 10 Big Macs for yourself and your 9 friends. The cashier charges you for 10 Big Macs, and tells you to come back 4 hours later to collect. You think this is pretty unreasonable, but there's not that many options around, so you agree. You come back 4 hours later and the cashier gives you your order. You all sit down (starving after the long wait) only to find out that 2 burgers are missing. You don't even like McD's but you're irate. You will stand up to the system. You *WILL* have your sloppy burger.
What's that? Your distributor says I can get a refund and get this ordered again? Sounds good Dell. But how long is it going to take this time?
6 - 7 weeks again.
But I've had to wait this long already Dell, given that you've accepted you've made a mistake, perhaps you can send this any sooner so I can get my client what they ordered? You'll ship by air this time? Fantastic. How long is that going to take?
That's a pretty slow plane Dell. Or does shipping "by air" mean something different to you?
But again, remember my client needed that server? My customer is angry, Dell. What do I tell him? To wait? He says that he's losing money due to these delays and he's demanding damages. I'm a little guy, Dell. I can't afford to lose customers. I'm a good guy, too, and want my clients to be happy, so I'm going to have to pay if I have to wait 4 weeks.
What are you going to do about this Dell? Are you going to stand up and acknowledge your mistake and do something about it? Or ...
Cmon Dell. You're better than this. You know it and I know it. Do something about it.
By the way, we cancelled the order. We chose a different supplier...
Nikolas Valerkos of Pittas and Valerkos