Travis is heading to college in a few weeks. That’s very exciting, but he’s nervous that he’ll be heading to school with no computer or no working computer. He got a new laptop at the beginning of the year, and it’s no longer working all that well. The touchscreen keeps touching itself, moving the pointer to random points on the screen and disrupting whatever he’s doing. A Dell technician came to his house, didn’t fix the problem, and broke his headphone port. A second tech didn’t help all that much, and now it’s at Dell’s repair depot, still not getting the touchscreen fixed. What should he do?
Usually, it’s our job here at The Consumerist to do the redacting, removing employee and location names in order to prevent Internet mob harassment, among other reasons. But now Dell has gone ahead and pre-redacted chat transcripts when customers try to save them, erasing the evidence of price quotes and sale dates that they’ve discussed with potential customers. That’s what happened to Julie when she tried to discuss a financing offer over chat.
Matthew, an Air Force veteran, saw a great deal on Dell laptops on the website of the Army & Air Force Exchange Service, a network of stores just for servicemembers. 25% off in a Mother’s Day special, an impressive deal. He ordered three, because who doesn’t want new, discounted laptops for their whole family? Only Dell canceled Matthew’s order and those of some other customers, with no explanation.
M. bought a five-year Complete Care Warranty from Dell, and this somehow led him to believe that he would receive five years of warranty coverage. Crazy, right? Consumers can be so foolish. But just because the site will sell you a warranty, and documentation on the Dell site says that you have almost a year left on that warranty, that doesn’t mean that you actually have that warranty, because the Complete Care warranty that includes things like accidental damage is only an add-on to the regular warranty that has already run out.
Andrew had a beautiful and relatively modest dream as a teen. He wanted to own an Alienware gaming computer. When he became an adult, he was able to achieve that dream by purchasing a M14x laptop. There was no happy ending for the man and his computer, though. It has needed to be sent back to Dell five times already. He bought it in August. Of 2011. He hasn’t even owned it for a whole year yet.
While it turned out that monologuist Mike Daisey made up a bunch of stuff about working conditions at Foxconn, that doesn’t mean that things there are all sunshine and roses. A recent labor audit found the giant Chinese manufacturer has working conditions that need a whole heck of a lot of improvement.
Spencer’s Dell laptop has two hard drive bays. That’s pretty cool, and he decided to take advantage of this by using it to install a hard drive. But no one at Dell has ever heard of such a crazy thing, and you can’t order any of the parts needed to actually hold or connect the drive from Dell’s site. Because that would be simple and easy.
Experienced customer service wranglers will tell you that if you’re going to buy products from Dell, buy them as a small business owner, since they get better customer support. I’d hate to see what kind of support reader Benjamin would be getting for his Vostro notebook computer if he weren’t a small business owner, then.
Frank ordered a refurbished laptop from Dell Outlet last week, and got a great deal. He hadn’t anticipated that the machine would come with extras: some gum in the CD drive and an unidentified substance that we can only hope is soup, but looks more like vomit.
Joe wanted to find a new battery for his daughter’s Dell Mini Inspiron 9 laptop computer, as the original couldn’t hold a charge, so he checked out the company’s website for a replacement. He didn’t have any luck, so he began chatting with a customer service rep online, which turned into one of those roundabout ordeals no one likes dealing with.
Several times a year, the Consumerist inbox is flooded with e-mails from people who are livid because they purchased something online at a huge discount only to have the retailer cancel the order, claiming it was a pricing error and the item should never have been listed at that price. Some people are quick to call this “bait-and-switch,” and state very confidently that the retailer is somehow legally obligated to honor the original price. These people are mistaken.
Hear that? It’s the dying gasp of the Netbook computer, as tablets continue to rule as the device of choice for small, portable computing needs. So clutch your Dell Mini close and tell it you love it, as the company says it isn’t selling any more of the 10-inch laptops.
Today is Free Shipping Day, which is pretty self-explanatory, but free shipping doesn’t mean good shipping. That’s why the folks at STELLAservice wanted to know which of the top 25 online retailers were able to get you your order in a timely manner.
Jeremy’s 3D Alienware gaming laptop from Dell didn’t work right from its first bootup. It had blue screens of death and the video card needed swapping out. When he sent it in for repair, he got it back with crumbs in the keys, and a crack on the side someone tried to hide with black marker. When we posted his story on Consumerist, we gave him CEO Michael Dell’s email address to go tell his story. Now Jeremy writes that after he emailed Mr. Dell, the CEO intervened and made sure Jeremy got a brand-new laptop, along with a free memory and CPU upgrade.
When the cooling block of Jeremy’s Alienware computer began to leak, the answer was obvious: call Dell to see whether they would fix what was an obvious and pretty terrible flaw. Dell’s answer was obvious in turn: tell him that the machine was out of warranty and he should go away. But Jeremy thought that a $2,500 computer shouldn’t destroy itself within two years.
Jeremy’s 3D Alienware gaming laptop from Dell hasn’t worked right from its first bootup. It had blue screens of death and the video card needed swapping out. Then when he sent it in for repairs, he got it back with food crumbs between the keys. The side panel was also cracked, and someone had tried to hide the crack by coloring it in with black marker.
It was probably a glitch and not a nefarious plot on Dell’s part, but Chris found it odd when he tried to take advantage of Microsoft’s back-to-school promo where a free Xbox comes with certain Windows laptops. Dell’s site kept showing that adding on the free Xbox promo made his total $100 higher than with just the computer. Huh?