Apparently when Dell support schedules a dispatch, it is only an estimate. And not only that, but if that estimate turns out to be wrong, it is the customers responsibility to track down that info.
So they know they are going to miss the date, but I wasn't able to find that out until I called them up and sat on hold, and went through the whole process of giving my service tag number, phone number and email address to the technician. Then I needed to give him the dispatch number for the service (shouldn't that be in their database next to my service tag number?). And he tells me, they had a stock issue shipping the part to the local technician and they estimate that the part will be in the techs hands on Monday March 3rd.
So a timely email with that information is beyond the capabilities of the mighty Dell
Apparently Benjamin Curtis isn't the only guy associated with Dell who is is guilty of low cognitive ability.