Stuff ups

Early yesterday morning, I got an email alert from my bank stating that there was a charge of almost 1.5k made to my credit card account. The email alert does not detail where the charge came from so I made a mental note to check it out later. It was nearly quitting time at work when I remembered the email alert and promptly logged on to the bank’s system to check my credit card transactions statement. Hmm… it looks like Dell Singapore has charged me 1.4k and since the amount was in a foreign currency, the bank also automatically tacked on a foreign currency conversion charge. Now, this amount debited to my account does not make sense at all since Dell Australia has already charged me for the laptop I ordered. Where did this mystery charge come from?

Although unlikely, I asked Gj if he ordered anything from Dell Singapore to attract the charge. He didn’t, which means Dell somehow stuffed up the billing for my yet-to-be-received notebook. I promptly called the sales representative I’ve ordered the thing from but she was busy with another customer. I left a message and waited for a call-back. A few minutes later, my mobile rang and it’s S- on the line.

S-: Hello Raquel, how are you today?

Me: Fine, how bout you?

S-: I’m fine.

Me: Good, I’ve called you because there seems to be a problem with the billing of the laptop I ordered from you last Monday. It looks like there was double-charging.

S-: How did you know that Dell was the one who made the mistake?

Me: Uhm, well, I’m looking at my credit card summary and there are two charges from Dell. One from Dell Australia, which is correct and another from Dell Singapore, which I don’t know what for plus a currency conversion charge because the charge seems to be in Singaporean dollars.

S-: Well, you shouldn’t be charged twice. Dell does not charge their customers twice for an order.

Me: I can see it in my credit card statement and I’m telling you that there’re two charges. I don’t know what happened there.

S-: Alright, it looks like our billing department may have made a mistake. Just send me a copy of that statement and I’ll forward it to them. Sorry for the inconvenience.

I asked for her fax number, hurriedly went on to print the credit card statement, composed a short fax cover letter describing the issue and sent everything to her.

On the way home, Gj and I are still fuming over the incorrect charge. Now we have to wait for Dell to resolve the issue, refund the money and then we have to talk to our bank to cancel the foreign conversion. Gahhh, maybe I should have just completed that laptop order over the internet and eliminated the human factor. Maybe then, I won’t have this problem. On the other hand, I rationalised that maybe the problem could have occurred either way anyway. There’re no guarantees that automating the order would have eliminated the need for someone in Dell’s billing section to doubly enter my credit card information to another system which may have caused the incorrect charge showing up in my credit card statement. Wonder if they have a fully integrated system in place or not?

When we got home, I immediately fired up the old desktop computer to see if Dell’s sales rep. has sent me an email confirming she got the fax. Problem is, there’s no internet connection. I’ve rebooted both the system and the modem, re-checked the settings of the modem before enlisting Gj’s help. He did more of the same with the same result – zilch internet connection. It wasn’t until he decided to connect to our ISP through dial-up that we found out the source of the problem, the phone line’s dead as a door nail. With no other way to call iiNet‘s call center to ask what’s going on, we waited well after midnight hoping that the problem would go away by itself and we’d have our connection back. Well, that’s not exactly true as we could have used our mobiles to call their call center but with the usual 30-minute wait we’ll have to endure before we actually talk to someone, we figured it won’t be worth our dime. Curses, no way to check my email, surf and download Gj’s daily dose of podcasts. We very nearly had actual withdrawal symptoms.

Our phone connection didn’t magically resurrect itself this morning either so Gj reported the problem to iiNet. From what I gathered from him, the company promised to send out someone to check the line and report the fault to Telstra. Failing that, they would have to check our physical connection at home, meaning someone had to go home early to let them in. Bummer. Meanwhile, my inbox was filled with everything but a confirmation email from the rep. from Dell. I fired a quick email to her to confirm whether she got my fax and if there are any updates on the issue yet. Around noon, I got a short answer. She said they’ll refund me the unnecessary charges but did not elaborate if I still have to call my bank to have the foreign currency conversion fee cancelled or if they’ll take care of it as well. I suspect I’d still have to sort it out with the bank but that would have to wait until after the refund has been done (dunno when that will be).

As we say in the Philippines, abangan ang susunod the kabanata… (stay tuned for the next chapter…)

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Published in: on February 24, 2006 at 12:37 pm  Comments (3)  

3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] Early today, I checked the transactions summary of my credit card again to see if the promised refund from Dell has gone through. The good news is, it did. The bad news is that it is short by several dollars. I was erroneously charged $1,458.02 by Dell New Zealand Singapore but the amount they refunded was only $1,443.53 (that’s a difference of $14.49 plus the foreign currency conversion fee of $36.45 because the charge was made in Singaporean dollars. That came out to a total difference of $50.94). […]

  2. @shiatoh: I admit that the possibility has crossed my mind. Fingers crossed that it isn’t so and that it’s an honest mistake.

  3. sana this s not the case of phising…


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