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OOC: Crashed Computer/Dell Sucks

I got home from being out of town for the weekend.  Logged into my computer and SL without problem.  Then, I shut down the computer with the intention of going to bed, but I remembered I forgot to do something.  So, I sat back down and hit the power button.  My computer went click, click, click and informed my my hard disk had failed.  After spending two hours on the phone with Dell, they finally agreed that 1) My computer is under warranty.  It’s only 4 months old.  At first they told me it wasn’t and tried to get me to spend $300 on an expanded warranty. 2) They will replace the hard disk, the mother board, and the memory sticks.  Of course, they are not replacing it with new parts.  They’re replacing it with refurbished parts.  I wanted to know why they don’t just replace the entire computer considering what a mother board AND a hard drive cost.  But, of course – who the heck knows when the parts will actually come in and the technician will contact me to come to my house and do the work.

Really, I will never-ever-ever-ever buy a Dell anything again.  This computer has been one massive headache since it came out of the box.  Their customer service sucks.

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  1. Victor1st Mornington Victor1st Mornington October 11, 2010

    For a drive to go belly up this soon means that either they got stock from a bad source or (and this is more likley) they stuck an old drive in a new case and sold it on.

  2. Glaubrius Valeska Glaubrius Valeska October 11, 2010

    Doan fergit damaged in transit through the mail!  I’ve had lots of good luck with Dell, but it is a dreadful truth that their customer service is the worst in real life, second life, nuclear worlds, space age, or steam lands.

    Zaida?  What kind of machine was/is it?  I have a Studio version that needs constant nursing.  At least you still have in-home service…

  3. Tepic Harlequin Tepic Harlequin October 11, 2010

    If the technician is coming to your house, hang around when he/she changes the drive, ask to see the old one, and check for “refurbished” stickers, Dell do put them on re-used parts, and although you can’t do much about it, it gives a certain moral leverage over the technician! Also, offer the technician tea or coffee, and sympathise with them about the customer service, they will be getting grief about it from most people, so to have a sympathetic client is a relief, and you can get better parts and service :-)  Oh…. I do service work sometimes, so know what it can be like, and how clients can get the best out of me! :-)

  4. Glaubrius Valeska Glaubrius Valeska October 11, 2010

    I had a hard drive die a week after a new machine arrived.  If you chat up the service person in a non-intrusive way they will sometimes tell you interesting things.

  5. Zaida Gearbox Zaida Gearbox October 11, 2010

    I’ll be sweet as sugar to the tech because 1) there’s an excellent change that I know the person, 2) I have no reason to be nasty to him, 3) I don’t want him to bugger up my computer.

    Though, it occurs to me that I have now technically installed my Panda virus scan on three different computers (mine and the kids) and I’ll probably have to go buy a new one to be able to continue to have it on my computer.

    It’s a Dell Inspiron – I think my model number is 580.  I can’t swear to it though.  I bought it because my computer geek friend who works in IT over at local big bad university told me to buy a Dell.  *grumbles about how he probably told me to buy Dell because he knew I would have to bring it to him often for repairs*

  6. Orchid McMillan Orchid McMillan October 11, 2010

    I worked for a while as a telemarketer for Dell. I would call people whose warranties were running out to try and get them to renew them… the majority of the time I would be screamed at because the computer was already broken and the warranty wasn’t seeming to cover anything at all. Whoops. Time and time again too someone would ask me a technical question, and though I knew exactly how to help them fix it, I wasn’t allowed since I wasn’t “qualified.” Of course, transferring them meant non-English speaking people, so good luck.

    Moral of the story: Never get Dell.

  7. Zaida Gearbox Zaida Gearbox October 11, 2010

    I will say that even though the techs I spoke to last night were undoubtedly from India I had no trouble understanding them.  One of the questions they asked me when they were basicially doing a customer service satisfaction survey was “could you understand him?”  The answer was yes.  He was polite and helpful.  It was the previous 90 minutes I spent trying to get through to that polite, helpful, and easy to understand person that had me in a homicidal rage.

  8. Yang Moreau Yang Moreau October 12, 2010

    As bad as my machine is with constant crashes and blue screens, every time I hear of Dell problems I find myself more and more thankful to have a custom built from scratch.

  9. Zaida Gearbox Zaida Gearbox October 12, 2010

    Oh it gets better and better – I just filed Better Buisness Bureau complaints against both Dell and Walmart.  When I bought the computer in June, it was clearly printed on the box that it had 6 GB of RAM and a terrabyte HD.  While the service tech was at my house today he informed me the computer only has 3 GB of RAM and a 500 GB Harddrive. 

    So, I complained to Dell about this.  They said my issue is with Walmart not them.  I said, “It wasn’t Walmart that boxed up the computer and printed that on the side.  It was you.”  They still said my issue was with Walmart.  So, I called Walmart, and they said my issue is with Dell.

    I told the BBB that what I want is a full refund of the cost of the computer, so that I can buy a computer that isn’t a Dell from some place other than Walmart.

    So, anyone thinking of buying a Dell – DON’T DO IT!!!!!!!

    • Gabriell Anatra Gabriell Anatra October 12, 2010

      That sounds like a shipping issue. Namely some sleaze in shipping decided to dump a clunker on you and take yours for himself thinking nobody would know. Shipping centers can make or break a business and some will insist that cheapest is best. Dell definately needs to put some investigation into theirs, it seems like they may have gone a bit too low in the bidding and oversight somewhere and attracted a bunch of thieves.

  10. Zaida Gearbox Zaida Gearbox October 12, 2010

    Just for fun – here’s a link to an ad for the computer on  For some reason the computer is no longer available (I’m thinking I’m not the first to complain).  But, as you can all see – the ad clearly says 6GB of RAM and a terrabyte HD.

  11. Gabriell Anatra Gabriell Anatra October 12, 2010

    A do it yourself build is the way to go as far as I’m concerned. That said, a lot of people here have Dells and they seemed to have a generally good reputation. Then again, a lot of people here listen to the press release ‘reviews’ they get in the media too.

    Tech support is almost always an abomination, though. I’ve given up on it entirely where IT is concerned. We left Verizon because they would not move us up to someone who knew how to do something other than run through the same ineffectual script over and over again.

    Kill it with fire.

  12. Zaida Gearbox Zaida Gearbox October 12, 2010

    The issue isn’t with Dell’s shipping.  Dell replaced my RAM sticks along with my hard drive.  They sent 3 GB of RAM.  It was when I said, “But, it’s supposed to be 6 GB of RAM,” that I found out that there was only 3 in the computer.  When, I talked to Dell they were all, “But there’s only supposed to be 3 GB in that model computer….”  I told them that is not what was printed on the box or what was advertised.  Because I have the add they’re send me the RAM sticks, but the heck with that – I want a refund so I can buy a computer that isn’t a Dell someplace other than Walmart.

    • Gabriell Anatra Gabriell Anatra October 12, 2010

      Ah, yes, now I see that. :-/ 

      I’d want to deal with someone else too. This looks like a pretty clear-cut case of false advertising. If you were so inclined you could take them to court over it. I’d imagine they’d be glad to help you out then, if only to avoid that.

  13. Glaubrius Valeska Glaubrius Valeska October 12, 2010

    Dell towers used to be the bee’s knees.  Easy to work on, reliable.  I like their laptops performance, and my family has had a lot of them, but come to think of it, we should not have had so many!  It seems the run fine until a problem, and then they doan jist get sick, they die like they had a heart attack!

    I once bought a mail order Compaq.  It’s the one which hard drive went out a week after arrival.  I called Support and tole them the drive was fried, they asked me a series of questions and had me perform a bunch of tests and after an hour and fifteen minutes the Tech said “Well, it seems your hard drive is fried.”

      • Glaubrius Valeska Glaubrius Valeska October 22, 2010

        Yes they did, sent a Tech to my house and it took him awhile cuz the drive had so much space it was diffiuclt to initialize.  He told me they only had two replacement drives for my machine in their warehouse and that Dead On Arrival computers are not uncommon.

  14. Gabriell Anatra Gabriell Anatra October 12, 2010

    The only time I have ever seen a monitor burst into flame was this Compaq branded thing that we’d picked up for a relative. She loved their stuff so we replaced it with another Compaq. I remember coming in and smelling melted plastic. “There’s something wrong with it, fix it.” she says, so I turn it around and there is a 1 1/2 inch hole in the case where the plastic had melted and fallen into the electronics. 

  15. Parker Rumsford Parker Rumsford October 12, 2010

    I had a Dell until December last year, I had had it since 2006 and it was very poor, from 2006 to 2009 I had to have it serviced at least five times. I bought a Sony Vaio last December and have only had it serviced once (due to a broken screen on part of my dog, nothing technical). They’re customer service is much better than Dell’s, I had my Sony back in two days whereas with Dell it would have taken about a week.

  16. Tepic Harlequin Tepic Harlequin October 12, 2010

    Any machine, from any company, as soon as it arrives and it running, check what is in it!  CPUID, AIDA32, Sisoft Sandra, even Device Manager – found far too many machines not as documented, including a large order of supposedly identical machines for a CyberCafe!  Come to think of it, i also check machines i build, just in case! hehehehe

    Seriously, self build is straightforward nowadays, and by reading reviews and a bit of research, you can make a decent machine – always bere in mind which components are the most important to you, and never, ever skimp on the power supply!

  17. Zaida Gearbox Zaida Gearbox October 13, 2010

    Yah – my next machine will be a do it yourself.  Even if I do end up enlisting the aid of some computer geek friends to get it done.

    • Glaubrius Valeska Glaubrius Valeska October 22, 2010

      My daughter saved her money and bought the components for a DIY and had a Geek friend buy it.  For $800 she bought a screamer that does whatever she wants.  Trouble is I’m addicted to laptops now, where I once turned up my nose at them.  I was issued one at work and have been hooked ever since.

  18. Zaida Gearbox Zaida Gearbox October 13, 2010

    Yah – my next machine will be a do it yourself.  Even if I do end up enlisting the aid of some computer geek friends to get it done.

  19. Zaida Gearbox Zaida Gearbox October 13, 2010

    Well, ultimately, the joke will be on Dell because I will cost them a lot more aggrivation and a lot more money in lost sales than the initial cost of my computer.  My part-time job was looking to replace all their computers – about 20 of them.  They were planning on going with Dell until I told them what happened to me.

    My computer still isn’t right.  Now, it’s doing something that the best way I can describe it is to say it hiccups.

    • Zaida Gearbox Zaida Gearbox October 21, 2010

      A Letter To Michael Dell – The End of The Story


      Dear Mr. Dell,


      I wrote to you a few days ago about a problem I had with a Dell Inspiron 570 I bought at Walmart last June.  The box stated the computer had 6GB of RAM when the machine in fact had only 3.  ((The Harddrive Issue got taken care of when the repairman came)) After dealing with your We Don’t Care About Customers personnel, I filed a Better Business Bureau Complaint, and ended up speaking to InsertNameHere who told me that because I don’t still have the box – five months after the purchase – that Dell would not make the situation right.  That is when I wrote to you because I thought you cared about your company’s reputation.  All I got in response was another terse call from Ms. InsertNameHere telling me that because I failed to keep garbage around my house for five months Dell wouldn’t fix the problem. 


      In the meantime, I found an entire thread on your own website that showed that Dell was, in fact, aware that this mistake happened.  A nice Dell employee who oversees the user forum on your website has made it his personal business to rectify this situation for any customers who contacted him.  This young man obviously takes pride in his job and the company he works for.  Whatever you pay him, it’s not enough.  As a matter of fact, you should fire InsertNameHere and add her salary into his.  If all of your customer support were like this person, I would be a loyal Dell customer for life.  But, they’re not all like him.  Most of them are not even close.


      The reason I’m writing you today is so that you will think about the damage just one angry customer can cause.  I will never buy another Dell computer.  I replace my computers about every two years.  If I live to be 80, that will be 21 more computers over the course of my lifetime.  None of them will be Dells.  I work for a small company that will be upgrading our computers and server in the next year.  Since my boss generally defers to my judgment when it comes to computers, I promise you, we will not be going with Dell.  Now, consider the fact that we generally upgrade our machines every 3 years.  I have three sisters, two brothers, two adult children, and a small army of nieces and nephews.  Most of them have computers.  My parents have computers.  My grandmother has a computer.  Do you think any of them will consider buying Dells in the future?  Do you think they won’t go out and tell their friends and acquaintances, “Let me tell you what happened to my mother/sister/aunt when she bought a Dell?”  I have 150 friends on Facebook, have a Twitter account, and am a member of probably a dozen internet communities – all of which have been getting a blow by blow of my experience with Dell.  I wonder how many of them will now not buy Dell computers?  If you add all that up, Mr. Dell, that is a lot of Dell computers not sold, and THAT is what happens from alienating just one customer.  That is something to think about.

  20. Queer Hermit Queer Hermit October 21, 2010

    Huzzah, well done !!  That was not a shot across the bows but a round straight into the powder magazine!!

  21. Zaida Gearbox Zaida Gearbox October 21, 2010

    My sister says she forwarded a copy of my letter to her boss who USED to be a big Dell man.  He supposedly is also writing to Michael Dell to tell him he isn’t sure he can do buisness with them anymore.

  22. Edward Pearse Edward Pearse October 22, 2010

    To be honest I doubt they’ll change their business practice, but it should be interesting to see if you get any response. Good luck with the Better Business thing too.

  23. Edward Pearse Edward Pearse October 22, 2010

    Yeah I think you’ve been stiffed by both Dell and Walmart and don’t blame you for wanting to deal with either. My last two machines have been built from componants and assembled with my brother’s help. It also means I’ve been able to upgrade the RAM and the graphics card myself.

    It also meant I had the OS disc for when I need to reformat rather than the lovely “restore” function that so many PCs have installed on them now.

  24. Zaida Gearbox Zaida Gearbox October 22, 2010

    They tried to call me.  It’s the same woman who has been contacting me since this began.  She sounded upset on the voice message.  I also got a message from Walmart offering a full refund.  I’m trying to decide whether to take it or just be happy now that it has the correct RAM and hard drive.

    • Tesla Tripsa Tesla Tripsa October 22, 2010

      I would take the refund, because after 5 months, you can probably get a better computer with the same amount of money.  I worked at a big box store that used to have a one year return policy on all electronics, so several people would bring their computers back just before their year was up and get a better computer, and often money back as well because the newer and better computer was cheaper than the one they bought a year ago.  Not to say that this was a good thing, but just illustrating how computers get better and cheaper rather quickly.  Since the company was clearly at fault in this case, I would totally do it.  But dude, don’t get a dell.

  25. Breezy Carver Breezy Carver October 22, 2010

    *grins*  @ little Zaida’s great big Dell Adventure ((hugs))

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