Dell Replaces Out Of Warranty Computer Messed Up Since The Day It Was Born

This is the message Dave sent the Dell Customer Advocates and got a new computer sent to him to replace the computer he bought two years ago that failed within its first month and Dell wouldn’t fix. His commentary and the replies he received from the Dell Customer Advocates follow:

Dear Dell Customer Advocate,
I understand that Dell is an enormous company that does not make any of it’s profit from customer service, but I hope that maybe you’d like to help your PR… at least in my mind. My name is Dave S and I purchased an Inspiron 600m directly from dell a year or two ago for $1100. The man on the phone was pushing very hard to sell me the extended warranty. I asked if he had so little confidence in the product he was attempting to sell that he insisted it would break within 30 days….

He paused and continued to end the discussion on the warranty.

Well it turns out, within 15 days I began to receive a couple of Blue Screens of Death. I rebooted and everything was fine. A few days later I received the blue screens again, but this time, when I tried to reboot, the computer sat there with blinking lights. Within warranty period, I called Dell Support multiple times on this problem. The first time they suggested taking out the battery and holding the power button down for 30 seconds. This worked for a few days, but then the problem came back. At the next call they said to remove and reinsert the hard drive. This worked for a few days until we began to receive a “Hard disk drive 0 not found” error. I called Dell support once more, and they stated the warranty period was up and they could no longer help us. (This was on the 31st day.) I asked if it meant anything to them that I had called twice before with the same problem within warranty period, and they hung up.

I then purchased a new hard drive, hoping that it would help the problem. It helped for about a week, then the problem came back. I then purchased new RAM, hoping that would solve the problem. It did not help at all. Finally, I resorted to taking it in to a local computer repair shop. $300 later, they said they had no idea what the problem was. Their guess was “Overheating and chassis bending because of a Dell design flaw.”

For the past year, I’ve been attempting to get the laptop working with different operating systems, hard drives, RAM, and etc. I’ve tried everything that I thought could help and nothing has. I realize that this laptop is far outside the original 30 day warranty period… but I did call during the warranty, and tech support acknowledged my problem. Apparently this means nothing to the Dell tech support department.

I’ve spent some time writing to magazines and tech blogs hoping that they could contact Dell and help make this right, but have received no reply. All I ask is compensation for a wasted $1100 on a lemon of a laptop. I hope that you read my story and take it to heart. Please reply.

Thank you for your time

After giving the customer support rep a reply with my service tag I waited… and waited… and eventually sent another email asking if she had reviewed the information. I then received this:

Thank you for contacting Dell Inc. I do apologize for any inconveniences that this issue has caused. I have reviewed your account. Is there a good time to contact you to discuss your issues?

If so please let me know and I will contact you when you are available to discuss your issues with Dell Inc.

It was looking promising! I gave them my number and never got a call after waiting about a week… This wasn’t going to be an easy process. There was a direct number to this rep in the first message I received, so I called it. It went directly to a message… I left a message stating my problem and that dell should treat their customers better. I waited… and received no reply. I called again, and I actually got the customer support rep on the line. We discussed the issues, and she said she would look into what she could do and give me a call back within a few hours. Three days passed and I received no call. The next day I planned on calling and saying what I thought about dell’s customer support. Right as I was about to call, though, I received an email saying:

Thank you for contacting Dell Inc. I do apologize for any inconveniences that this issue has caused.

I wanted to follow up and advise that I am watching the exchange order for you at this time. We have set an expedite request on the order to get it to you sooner.

However they are still building it, at this time.

If you have any questions and or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me directly.

I literally jumped out of my chair. With no warning at all, she decided she wanted to send me a new Inspiron! I went over to and figured out my login details. Sure enough, there was a $1200 Inspiron 1420 in the build process set to arrive within a week of that day! I sent a reply thanking her and saying that this has completely changed my view of Dell as a company.

The Inspiron is arriving today after being overnighted to me last night. The specs are better than my original Inspiron, mostly because they don’t even build Pentium Ms with 512MB of RAM and a 30GB hard drive anymore. They decided to include Windows Vista Ultimate as a replacement for the XP Pro that was on the original laptop and a Core 2 Duo instead of a Pentium M. Needless to say, I’m very happy that I’ll be able to sell the $300 Compaq I bought on Black Friday and use the a Dell that I’ve wished I could use since 2 years ago when it died.

Yay, is that like magic or what? The secret email address for the Dell Customer Advocates is Have the Dell Customer Advocates touched your life in some way? Leave your experiences in the comments.

(Photo: groovnick)