Longtime readers of Consumerist are familiar with “Dell Hell” stories, in which something bad happens to a Dell computer and then the company does its best to do absolutely nothing about it. A recent news story about an exploding Dell laptop is a perfect example of Dell’s particular flavor of ignorance. [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.
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.
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.
Remember Travis, the college-bound student whose touchscreen Dell laptop keeps moving the mouse pointer around on the screen, among other problems? When we last heard from him a week ago, he was waiting for the computer to return to him from Dell’s repair depot after two in-home tech visits, and he hoped the problems would be fixed. They weren’t. All Dell did was replace the wireless card. So he turned to the advice we gave in the post, and wrote to Michael Dell. This got him a new laptop for his trouble.
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?
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.
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.