Dell: We Can Only Send You The Wrong Kind Of Battery

Dell charged this guy’s daughter over $200 for replacement batteries that don’t even match her laptop. When her battery died, Dell sent her the wrong battery. Since she was out of warranty, Dell insisted that they could only continue to send her the wrong battery. When she asked why, Bill says the a supervisor repeatedly said, “I don’t know ma’am, that’s not my problem.”

As a company trying to turn around its image as being customer-service indifferent, “that’s not my problem” should not be in any customer service rep’s vocabulary. A self-described “computer guy,” Bill used to recommend Dell when people asked what kind of computer to get. After this experience, detailed more fully on his blog, no longer. Now he recommends Lenovo, and buying your batteries on Amazon.

Dell Laptop Battery Support Problems [Bits From Bill] (Thanks to Catherine!) (Photo: Ben Popken)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Difdi says:

    I suppose she could always try selling the wrong batteries on ebay and buying the right ones with the proceeds…

  2. Canino says:

    Do they include an RMA and pay for shipping? If so, just keep returning it over and over until someone there figures it out.

    What’s the over/under on that?

  3. How can a ‘computer guy’ possibly ever recommend Dell?

    Especially to a non-computer guy or gal?

    • ChuckBales says:

      @XianZhuXuande: Beat me to it.

    • @XianZhuXuande: Friend of mine who’s a computer guy heavily recommends Dell, especially when it comes to laptops. And he’s not at all a fan of mass-market PCs (he built me my current tower). Several computer guy co-workers of his recommend Dell as well. I think I can consider myself somewhat of a “computer guy” also, since I’ve been working on computers for the past 25 years. And I’ll also recommend Dell.

    • coolkiwilivin says:

      @XianZhuXuande: Easily. They have the best completecare and corporate support around. No Arguements whatsoever. My company has been buying more apples lately and their support is a complete and total joke. If you need service you need to take the laptop to the store, schedule and appointment and depending on what needs to be done either leave it, mail it in or wait. I’ve never dealt with the home line of Dell and I can imagine how bad things are there but from a corporate perspective, without a doubt Dell is the best. If you can get in under a corporate employee buying plan or bet small business support then without a doubt it’s worth it.

    • MaytagRepairman says:


      Because I don’t have the time to build every non-computer friend a PC from scratch and I haven’t seen a good off the shelf desktop PC in years.

  4. BuddhaLite says:

    Thank god there’s businesses like Batteries Plus. They’ve saved me a bunch of times and while they may not have what you need in store they’ll get it and for cheaper than the OEM.


  5. Robert Isbell says:

    1st off the customer got lucky they even sent her another battery, the battery on any laptop is not covered under warranty. I’ve had various ones form acer to toshiba and all told me if the battery died it was on my dime to replace it. I’d suggest the person that owns the laptop go to batteries plus and buy a new one, and the so called computer guy needs to have some sense knocked into his head for not helping her to get the correct battery.

  6. bsalamon says:

    just had a battery problem with dell. my battery, just over a year old tends to die after hitting about 50%. they refused to send me a new battery – but did send me a nice new charger. Although the CSRs were polite with me and were helpful

    • Sidecutter says:

      @bsalamon: Incidentally, for anyone unaware, Dell seems to have a battery issue. A lot of the stock issue batteries that come with the laptops we deploy locally and across the country for GE here at Appliance Park die within 6-12 months. This has been a very common problem on D620 and D630 models. Mind, this is GE, so when we say a lot of batteries die, think about the numbers of laptops we deal with. It’s not a small number.

      So far, the problem batteries all seem to be the default included batteries with serial numbers that begin with KR, indicating Korean manufacture. I’ve yet to see this issue occur with the JP (Japan) or other batteries.

  7. Jacquilynne says:

    If he doesn’t like getting the wrong battery, he probably shouldn’t switch to recommending Lenovo, unless he prefers getting no battery at all. I ordered a battery from them in February to replace my totally non-working laptop battery and was given a delivery date in March. In April, it still hadn’t arrived, so I called to find out where it was. They said it was due to be delivered in May. In June I called to find out where it was. They said it was due to be delivered in July. I asked if the July delivery date was any more likely to be correct than any of the previous delivery dates I’d been given. They really couldn’t say, so I canceled the order. The next time I actually need to use my laptop as a laptop, I’m simply going to have to buy a whole new system.

    But apparently not from Lenovo.

    Or Dell.

  8. Trai_Dep says:

    Yup, those naysayers were right: Dell handles things SO much differently than Apple recently did when they proactively sent out plug replacements for some of their iPhone chargers for free, even though no one had hurt themselves or experienced any problems.
    Err, “different” in The Monkey’s Paw sort of way.

  9. Huh. When the battery died in my Dell a year and a half ago, Dell sent me out a new (correct) one and I had it in hand within three days of my request. I’m still thinking that these complaints about Dell are the exception. You know, the whole “A happy customer will tell one person, a disgruntled customer will tell the whole internet” phenomenon.

  10. funnymonkey says:

    When I asked one of my company’s IT guys about a problem with my Gateway, he said I should have ordered from Dell. About a week later, my Gateway just refused to turn on. It would power up, show the loading screen, and shut down.

    It was a couple of years old, but I called Gateway. At first, the CSR said there wasn’t much he could do, because the warranty was up. I was frustrated and said “You know, I was told by a lot of people to order from Dell, I guess I should have listened to them.” The guy then stayed on the phone with me for an hour and a half, ultimately fixing my computer, which had gotten some kind of virus.

    I asked to speak to his supervisor to tell them what a great job he had done, but the supervisor seemed more annoyed than anything else.

    Still, Gateway has pretty good customer service.

  11. ImeldaWadoo says:

    Dell is having big battery supply problems right now. I recently waited five weeks for a new laptop because they couldn’t get a battery for it. They said this is due to a fire at a S.K. battery maker, earlier in the year.

    That said, when I got the laptop, it turned out to be incapable of doing the one thing I needed it to do : run iTunes over a WiFi connection. so, back it goes….

  12. Propaniac says:

    It’s a frustrating situation that Dell is handling terribly, but I think you’ve misrepresented it in your summary. From the guy’s original post, warranties have nothing to do with the situation (she apparently paid full price for the battery); it was the 21-day return policy that was the problem (although then Dell said they’d ignore the 21-day limit for her, but then they kept sending her the wrong battery and said it wasn’t their problem).

  13. SudhamayiKabong says:

    Well, it looks like Dell responded to the OP’s blog, offering to get the matter straightened out. Not defending Dell here, but it looks like there’s some light at the end of the tunnel. Doesn’t excuse what happened up to that point though, but at least someone there is trying to, I dunno, save face.