To Dell Hell And Back, With A Refund

When we first heard from Dan a few weeks ago, he had been sent to endure punishment in Dell Hell for his sins. His principal sin, of course, was purchasing a computer from Alienware, a once-beloved company now owned by Dell. The products still look cool, but it’s Dell providing the technical support, with all of the competence and generosity that implies. His computer continued to fail. Dell sent a replacement, which was supposed to resolve this, Instead, he reached even more advanced and frustrating levels of Dell Hell. Finally, through persistence (and maybe having his story appear here on the site) he was able to make a deal with Dell and escape with his soul. And a refund.

First, he sent us this update:

Thank you for publishing my story. I believe your story and my applying a bit of psychological pressure to my Excecutive Support led to them deciding to send me a replacement system.

Here is where I was promoted to the 6th level of Hell. The replacement system arrived not a day too late. My old Aurora R3 gave up the ghost that very day, no longer connecting to any network either wired or wireless. I had to attach the old drive to the new Aurora R4 (yes, they were kind enough to give me an upgraded system!) in order to transfer the files over. When I powered the new system on, I was presented with a series of 5 beeps and a blank screen. Way to go Dell! They replaced a flaky problem-ridden system with a flaky system that won’t boot! I powered it off and back on, and it booted fine, intermittently — other times the system would beep at me and do nothing.

I reported the beeping to Dell, plus two other problems I found with the system that was supposed to save me from hell: fans running at full blast consistently, bios would not take an update. They scheduled an onsite visit to replace the mainboard and add a new CMOS battery. The day before the tech arrived, the system died completely.

Earlier that morning I talked with my Executive Support contact and explained that if I have one more problem with this new system, I will be demanding a refund. With that refund I will be building my own system as many commentators on my previous story have scolded I should have done to begin with. I do agree with them. But permanent advancement through the layers of hell in retribution for my sin seems to be excessive, does it not? Executive Support said Dell will not issue me a refund; but to wait and see what happens with the mainboard replacement.

When the tech arrived with the new parts, the replacement did nothing to correct the problem.

Fortunately, I am technically savvy enough to troubleshoot my systems. After the onsite tech ruled out nearly everything as the cause, I decided to unplug the SD card reader from the IO board. That did the trick. The PC came back to life, blasting fans and all.

I think at this point the only thing Dell could do to keep me as a customer and prevent me from spreading the gospel of salvation (never buying a Dell), is to send me a new SD card reader and extend my warranty for free. I think this is fair for the year of suffering I’ve endured because of my sinful decision to ever buy from this company in the first place, don’t you consumerist?

I sure hope my torment will come to an end soon. I’ve paid for my sins and repent.

Lo, salvation was at hand! Dan sent us this update yesterday.

Great news! Dell has finally relented and stated they will make things right for my issues with the original system I purchased and the additional issues with the replacement. After emailing them each and every error message I have experienced today with the system as separate emails, they called me and stated they will be issuing me a refund. I truly hope Dell understands that I only ever wanted a working system. The torment I endured because of this sinful desire has taught me a valuable lesson. If you can do it yourself, save yourself some money and torture, don’t commit the sin of wanting to pay for convenience. Good riddance Dell Hell.

We’re glad we could play a part and might have helped resolve this mess. Good luck building your beautiful new system, Dan.