Why I will NEVER Pre-order from CodeGear Again

Posted by Kirby Turner on March 19, 2007

Borland announced last year the spin off of CodeGear, their Developer Tools Group. Since that time CodeGear has done things to improve not only their products but communication with the developer community. I have been so excited about this new energy that I pre-order a license for Delphi 2007 back in February.

Last week CodeGear announced a 25% discount for pre-orders of Delphi 2007. I had already placed my order so I sent an email to CodeGear asking if it were possible to apply the discount to my current order. The recommendation from CodeGear was to cancel my original order and place a new one. And this is where the problems began.

CodeGear uses Digital River for their order processing (when purchasing through the Borland Store in the U.S.) and the experience has been awful. First, I attempted to submit a request to cancel the original order via the Borland Store. I received no confirmation on the cancellation request even after waiting more than 24 hours. So I called customer support and spoke with a customer service rep.

The customer service rep told me my order could not be cancelled, but long story short she could apply the 25% discount manually to the order. I thought all was good.

Friday at the CodeRage event an announcement was made about the release of Delphi 2007. Download instructions and license keys were being sent out. Heck, customers in Germany were able to start downloading Friday afternoon.

I waited all weekend for my email. Unfortunately it never arrived. And today I received an email from Digital River telling me my order has been cancelled. Yep, it took almost a week for Digital River to receive the original request sent through the web site.

On top of that, the email I received this morning acknowledged the fact that I had spoken with a customer service representative last week. Yet even though the customer service rep has already worked out the issues with the original order, Digital River still cancelled the order today. (And yes, I mentioned the cancellation request sent via the web to the customer service rep I spoke with last week and I was told not to worry about it.)

So I’ve been on the phone with Digital River (again) and I have spoken with 2 separate customer service reps today. The story I’m told now is that my order has been cancelled and the only option I have is to replace a new order. But here’s where it gets crazier.

As part of the original order I subscribed to the annual support and maintenance, also known as software assurance. I was charged for this last month when the original order was placed. I asked since my order was cancelled and I’m now forced to replace a new order will I need to reorder the software assurance option or will the original request be honored (meaning I will receive future releases free during the term of the subscription). (Note: The subscription has already been “fulfilled” and cannot be cancelled.) Digital River has no clue and the order issue is being escalated to someone higher up (this will be the second escalation today).

Meanwhile, people who purchased Delphi 2007 on Friday have most likely already received their license key and download instructions. People in the Delphi newsgroups are already talking about downloading and installing the product.

I, on the other hand, placed my order almost 1 month ago and as of right now have no idea when my order will be fulfilled. I will never again pre-order from CodeGear.

CodeGear, I love your products. I love your team and the new energy coming out of Scotts Valley. But you need to seriously reevaluate your ordering and fulfillment system and the use of Digital River, which seems to only make matters worse.

Update: I received responses from CodeGear and the mess will hopefully be cleaned up soon.

Update 2: The issues have been resolved.

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