This Certified Refurbished Dell Laptop Comes With Large Scratches And A Pirated Copy Of Microsoft Office

Ever wonder if “certified refurbished” is just corporate doublespeak for “not entirely broken crap?” Well, at Dell, it is! The refurbished Dell Studio Joseph bought as a gift for his father-in-law arrived with large scratches and a CD-R in the optical drive containing a pirated copy of Microsoft Office. Dell’s response? They’re willing to take back the laptop and waive the restocking fee, but that’s it.

Joseph writes:

I ordered a Dell Studio from Dell (My first mistake, I know). After I placed the order, where there were tons of helpful people eager to take my credit card number, I saw the Dell outlet center with some refurb laptops.

I called and cancelled my initial order, asked the lady on the phone (Name escapes me, but I KNOW they can find out who by my click to chat IDs) and asked her to compare, line for line, the two laptops. She assured me they were identical, component for component.

I then asked her about certified reburbs vs scratch and dent, which I did not want.

She says “Cert refurbs are conditioned to factory specification, the cases look just like a new laptop”. I pointed her to the description online that hinted at some damage visible, she says “oh they just say that, I have never seen a refurb with any damage on it.

I place the order. It is a gift for my father in law.

I get the order.

It looks like a bear clawed the front of the cover. Someone took a flathead and gouged the bezel in the front. It is not line for line the same laptop, missing features, wrong OS, etc.

Best thing was the “present”: a burnt .rar of Office 2007 corporate edition in the cd tray. It had a text file with the Warez site it was downloaded from as a reference. Yes folks, they sent me illegal software from a warez site. If this was refurb’d, where is the QA department? No one noticed a cd in the laptop?

I called corporate using Consumerist guidance, no help. I sent an email to corporate and CC’d Michael@dell.com, Got someone who honestly seemed to want to help me but “had hands tied”

Their compensation for a laptop that I cannot return (I was asking for a tech at least to come out and replace the case, drop off the OS I wanted, I was willing to eat the non-backlit keyboard) was this:

No restocking fee, return the laptop and get assistance ordering another.

I assure you, this was not “certified reburbished” but very much “scratch and severly dented”.

I cannot return it as it was a gift to be presented in front of about 20 folks, one of them my future employer. The future is suddenly not so bright.

This worth a letter to BBB?

Thanks a lot Dell. Any advice from consumerist? Seems like Dell is considering this a “case closed”.

Joseph doesn’t need assistance ordering a new laptop. He needs is the laptop he ordered delivered at the price Dell quoted. They should provide a system of equal or greater value, free of charge. An apology note wouldn’t hurt either.