Dell Slowly Sends Out Crappier Replacement Laptop

Yuriy’s Dell laptop conked out last month, and so far the company has said “Dude, you’re NOT getting a Dell” via its convoluted replacement process. All Yuriy has to show for the effort of trying to get the computer replaced is an inferior model.

Yuriy writes:

Since receiving my brand new Dell Studio XPS 1640 at the end of July, the hard drive has produced a clicking sound every few minutes, followed by a brief freeze of the whole system. After doing a good deal of research on the matter, I found out that the cause is an incompatibility (with the shock sensor) between the Dell system and the ST9500420ASG hard drive included in the system. Seagate and (some) Dell representatives acknowledge the problem and agree that Dell needs to release a patch. After speaking with technical service representatives on a dozen separate occasions, I was finally put through to a Dell system engineer who explained that their department was not aware of the problem and that no ticket existed for the “bug”. I pointed out that the technical support agent I had just spoken with was familiar with the issue, and that multiple others knew about it as well. He said that they would look into it and contact me with a fix.

Today marks 21 days since that conversation took place, so I decided to give Dell a call. This system was purchased through a business account and I have a full hardware warranty with “accidental protection”. I called their business department, entered my laptop’s “service tag” and was promptly greeted with “due to heavy call volume, you may experience a wait time longer than 10 minutes”. The wait time I experienced was 2 hours and 14 minutes, at which point I hung up. At no point did a human pick up on the other end, but the hold recording reminded me to “visit the Dell community forums” every two minutes for the duration of the call. Dell should take their own advice, because there are an enormous number of people reporting this exact same problem on the Dell community forums.

Needless to say, I am very disappointed with Dell’s handling of the situation.

Yuriy sent out an Executive Email Carpet Bomb but still can’t get a suitable replacement:

I sent an EECB and received a call from their corporate unresolved incidents department. That was 3 weeks ago. They promised to send me a replacement system, but it was held up in production due to a backordered part. It turned out that they made a mistake with the specs, and the system that finally shipped 2 days ago is inferior to my current one. I am going to have FedEx return that package to the sender and do all of this over again.

Meanwhile, their own forums have people complaining about the same problem with their systems, so I have no reason to believe that the replacement system (if I ever manage to get one) is going to work any better. I filed a report with the BBB today asking for a refund and am hoping that someone will care enough to give me a call back. It has been over a week since anyone has contacted me.

If anyone has successfully navigated Dell’s stygian process to successfully getting a computer fixed, please drop your advice in the comments.

(Photo: meormeor)