Dell Is "Too Cheap To Realize That I Have A Defective Laptop"

Reader Jake says he just opened his 45 day old laptop and the LCD cracked for no reason. Now Dell doesn’t believe his story and won’t cover it under his warranty. That sucks.

Jake writes:

I need some help; Some help dealing with Dell.

I purchased a DEll XPS 1530 (red) edition at the end of January. Being the geek that I am, and have had a laptop last up to 4 years (an iBook G4) without problems, so why get insurance?

On (roughly) day 45, as I finished a paper, I closed the laptop. I unplugged it from the charger, set the laptop on the table, unplugged the charger form the wall, grabbed my M1530 off the table and walked upstairs.

I opened the laptop up after I plugged in the charger to the wall and laptop and sat down in my room. There was a huge crack in the LCD screen that starts the the bottom of the screen, which was next to the hinge of the laptop.

$1300, 45 days and there is a huge crack in the screen, that honestly, shouldn’t have happened. If they didn’t make such cheap products, that wouldn’t have happened.

I called Dell since the laptop was under the one year manufacturer semi-warranty. Sure enough, they want money to replace the LCD screen that broke.

Considering that I have seen laptops that have been dropped, kicked, traveled with, taken apart, stepped on and beat to hell and still run perfectly. A less than two minute walk up the stairs and me setting it up so I can use the laptop in bed causes a crack in the LCD screen and Dell is being too cheap to realize that I have a defective laptop.

What should I do?!

Well, first you could try escalating your complaint with Dell. You can try writing to their customer advocate If that doesn’t work and Dell still denies warranty coverage, you can try your credit card company. (We’re assuming that you bought the laptop with some sort of credit or debit card.)

Since the laptop is so new you might be able to take advantage of any damage guarantees that your credit card offers. For example, an Amex gold card has up to $1,000 of purchase protection that includes accidental damage (not that this applies to you, or anything, but you’ll be sure they won’t hassle you.) Some cards will double the manufacturer’s warranty, others offer a return guarantee that will fully compensate you if you decide to “return” the item within a certain period of time and the retailer won’t accept it. If you can’t work it out with Dell, you should call your credit card company and talk to them about what they can do to help you.

It’s important to understand what protections your credit (or debit) cards offers so you can take advantage of them.

Good luck!

(Photo:Ben Popken)