Andrew had a beautiful and relatively modest dream as a teen. He wanted to own an Alienware gaming computer. When he became an adult, he was able to achieve that dream by purchasing a M14x laptop. There was no happy ending for the man and his computer, though. It has needed to be sent back to Dell five times already. He bought it in August. Of 2011. He hasn’t even owned it for a whole year yet.
Of course, the system hasn’t gone back to Dell multiple times for the same problem. Something different breaks each time.
So I’ve always wanted an Alienware computer ever since I was a kid. Now being 20, I was finally able to buy one. I ended up buying an Alienware M14x for $1600, the best available at the time in August of 2011.
Since then the machine has broken five times ranging between dead pixels, GPU, Motherboard, CPU, CPU fan and AC Adapter. Today I got my machine back from Dell after one of these failures. What was supposed to happen according to a technician on the phone was an “assessment to see if the machine requires a full replacement or just a repair.” When I opened the box it was just the old machine with a piece of paper stating the CPU fan had been replaced. Nothing else.
I contacted Dell’s technical support and they told me that yes this was possible but first they need to transfer me to Customer Service. Ok, sure no prob. Probably see the situation and get me a new machine. They tell me they are not technical and do not understand so they need to transfer me back to technical support. Wait…that’s not right. I told the customer service rep that I’ve already spoken to them. They finally decided that it’s time to transfer me to the actual tech department that repaired the computer.
Of course they would have a solution since they fixed it, but I was sadly too optimistic. The person I spoke with told me that they could not give me a replacement because the warranty states that the computer must break at least 4 to 6 times and go in for 2 repairs to the plant. Does that make any sense? I have to wait for the computer to break again before getting another machine? Ridiculous. I asked to speak to their manager.
The manager who is supposed to be the most informed of the people I’ve talked to was probably the worst help. He started with telling me the same thing, that it needs to break again before I can do anything. I asked why. Why couldn’t they look at the long history of problems and get me a solution? He tells me this isn’t possible. I asked him as an individual and not a manager that if he was in the same situation would he think that it is okay for a computer to break down five times within the 1 year warranty period. He said no. I asked what my viable options were. This is where things got really stupid. And this is exactly what the manager of the tech department said to me.
“You could always resell the machine to someone and buy another computer that’s not from Dell.”
Wait, to you’re a manager of Dell and you’re slandering your own company that you work for and telling me to not go with Dell again. At this point I didn’t know what to do. There was no department that could give me a solution and there wasn’t a single thing anyone could do until my laptop has broken 6 times and gone into the plant 2 times for repair within a 1 year period. Sounds like an extremely strange contract to me.
No, that sounds about average. But instead of waiting for the system to break again, there are ways to bend Dell to your will. The executive e-mail carpet bomb is a good option for disgruntled prisoners of Dell hell. We hear that the office of Michael Dell (firstname.lastname@example.org) is always delighted to help out unhappy customers.