There are millions of Dell laptops out there in the world; businesses buy them by the tens of thousands and plenty of home consumers use them too. And unfortunately, that means there are millions of laptops out there with a big fat security hole that could allow mischief-makers and would-be-thieves a way to access users’ private, theoretically secure data.
Sure, most people in search of the finest gaming computer that $1,200 can buy wouldn’t head to Walmart, but that apparently doesn’t stop Walmart from stocking this machine from Alienware. As all lovers of obsolete technology know, Walmart is the place to go for that sort of thing. What this computer lacks in age, it makes up for in strangeness. [More]
On the one hand, a check for $14.73 doesn’t seem like that much to get worked up about. But for one man who lost his girlfriend to cancer in 2010, part of his role as her trustee is to recoup any debts owed to her estate. And that includes a refund check from Dell that the company took a heck of a long time to send. [More]
It’s the strangest thing: remember our post yesterday about Dell’s gift guide catalog and the camera prices that didn’t line up? Dell still hasn’t called us back or anything, but all of a sudden the price on that Nikon camera described in the post is down $100, in line with the catalog price. What a weird coincidence! [More]
James got to play with a Dell Latitude 10 tablet at a trade show, and wanted one for himself. When he saw the tablet available in Dell’s online outlet store with a big coupon, he knew it was time to bring it home. He did. He didn’t realize that ordering from Dell’s outlet meant that maybe the packaging wouldn’t be as fancy as a new tablet. He didn’t realize that Dell would send him a system with an insufficient installation of the wrong operating system, and no product key so he could just go reinstall it himself.
Readers Robert and Madison are twins, so they should know better than anyone that multiple things that look exactly alike are not exactly the same. For example, they discovered on Dell’s small business website four identical versions of the exact same model of computer, but for different prices. How does that work, exactly? [More]
Tommy is trapped in one of the more tragic outer circles of Dell Hell. His sin? He’s not entirely sure, and Dell will not tell him. All he knows is that his Alienware laptop won’t charge, his account is mysteriously “on hold,” and no one at Dell will talk to him.
Ken was shopping for a new laptop on Dell’s site, and discovered a strange bug in the ordering system. One of the many features customers can add to their computer was a French-English keyboard, with a slightly different key configuration. But for customers outside of Canada, this keyboard carries a slight premium. Of almost a million dollars.
There are many ways to define “Dell Hell,” but Todd’s situation certainly is a perfect example. Every time Dell gets hold of his computer to repair it, things get worse. It began with a simple battery charging issue. When it came back to him, it wouldn’t accept half of his RAM. After another motherboard replacement, the fan went rogue and the keyboard wouldn’t light up. Dell sent Todd a refurbished replacement computer, which wouldn’t turn on at all. At this point, he probably wishes he only had trouble getting the battery to charge.
John has an Alienware computer. Dell owns Alienware. So Dell sent a technician to his home to fix his computer when one of the USB ports quit working. This tech proceeded to break his computer, and was possibly part of Dell’s elite computer-breaking tech team that we’ve written about before. [More]
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.
Reader E. has encountered an interesting problem with Dell. I always thought that the point of purchasing a computer online was that you could place the order yourself, with a printed confirmation page and the ability to check all of the numbers carefully before hitting the “submit” button. In E’s experience, though, Dell representatives insist on taking your order directly over web chat or over the phone. This isn’t necessarily a problem, but it became one when she was quoted one price over web chat and charged a different one, and had no evidence of this because Dell redacts numbers from chat transcripts.
When Andy bought a notebook computer from Dell, he also bought a license for Windows 7 and the right to use it on that computer. But when something went wrong with that installation of Windows 7, and the code on his Certificate of Authenticity wore off, he was stuck. Windowless.
Congratulations, Dell customer! You might have won! Won what, you ask? The opportunity to hand more money over to Dell for an extended warranty that you don’t necessarily need! During three calls to Dell technical support, Laptop Magazine found that technical support representatives offered a hardware warranty for a software problem, a software warranty for a hardware issue, and told a caller that he had won a mysterious daily drawing for the opportunity to buy a four-year extended warranty from Dell for the low, low price of $317. That sounds like the most boring sweepstakes ever.
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.