Feb 14 2005

More Trouble with Dabs.com

Published by at 5:56 pm under Screw Dabs.com

This is an old article and the information contained within it may be out of date, not reflect my current views and/or contain broken links. If you feel this article is still valid and requires updating, you can use the contact form to let me know. However, I make no guarantee that it will get updated.

Oh the pain, the pain! Its such a pain in the a*se trying to get Dabs to do anything.

My current problem with Dabs.com is that I have decided that I’m not going to be using their not quite so wonderful services any more. Therefore, I would like to delete my details from their system just incase the decide to violate the data protection act and perform unauthorised processing on my personal data.

Reading the help documents on the Dabs site it seems that they don’t like you deleting your details. They recommend that if you want to close your account that you should delete your address, your credit card details and reset your account password to a long random string.

But why can’t I just delete my account? No messing around… just delete it?!?! Well, it seems that some clever bod decided, when their system was being designed, that everything should be customer account centric. Therefore if you delete an account all of the transactions for that account will be lost, something which would break Dabs.coms legal obligations with regards their accounting, so you account has to exist on their system.

So I should be able to just delete my address and credit card details? Well lets give it a go…

Oh dear! There seems to be a slight problem. It would appear that my account needs to have a valid address and a valid credit card. But the help docs say I can delete my address and credit card?!?! This time it would appear that the clever bods that designed the Dabs.com system have said that every customer must have a valid address so they can receive their orders and they must have a credit card to be able to pay for their orders. But I don’t want to make any more orders!!! Are you sure? After all the bods at Dabs.com know whats best for your account!

Enter customer support. These are the guys that know all the answers, so lets just give them a quick phone call and get this whole thing sorted out. Doh! They’ve taken away the customer support phone lines. I’ll just have to email them instead.

The response I received was the same as the help docs – delete your address and credit cards and set a random password (I can’t include the original as it contained a non-disclosure disclaimer). To which I replied:

I have tried deleting my payment methods and addresses but the “system” said I had to have atleast one payment method and atleast one address. I tried entering rubbish data into the address but was met with a “not a valid postcode warning” and I could not create a blank credit card as I was told the card number was “not valid”.How, in this case, am I supposed to clear my data from the system?

at least
That was on Friday. This morning when I received the following email (non-disclosure disclaimer not included):


Thank you for your email to dabs.com’s customer service team.

Due to the nature of your enquiry, we need to liaise with either another dabs.com department, or another company (i.e. manufacturer or courier) before we’re able to reply.

This will help ensure we resolve your query first time.We’re getting on with this right now and will get back to you with an update as soon as possible.

As we’re depending on a reply from someone else, it can take up to 48 hours (excluding weekends) to obtain a response – so thank you in advance for your patience.

You may be interested to note that answers to most enquiries can be found on our website at http://www.dabs.com/uk/help/ where you’ll find a list of commonly asked questions with step-by-step resolutions.

With warmest regards
dabs.com customer services team

So what can information can we gain from this? Well, not only are the help documents on the website incorrect and misleading but Dabs.com also seems to have kept their support team misinformed as well. What a recipe for success!

I have also done a bit of snooping around on the WayBackWhen machine on archive.org. It appears that Dabs.com is reducing their stock base. In March 2003 they had 21,414 products but at the moment they’re down to 19,869. I’ve also noticed that they have taken down the notice about how many orders they’ve processed in the previous month… is this a sign of a down-turn in Dabs.coms luck? Have they become too profit centric for their own good? Only time will tell.

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