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Dell Dependability

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September 21, 2009 3:21:32 AM

I have heard that Dells make the most dependable machines, and offer the most thorough warrantees in case they do break. However, Compaq, while less reputable in the durability department, seems to have quite an impressive warrantee that includes house calls if necessary.

So far, all of my information on these machines have either been word or mouth, or straight from the manufacturers. Can anyone point me in the direction of any third-articles that could substantiate or refute the claims of Dell being more reliable than Compaq?

Can anyone with direct experience with either of their technical support departments offer any advice?

Thanks.

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September 21, 2009 4:05:40 AM

I cannot speak to Compaq's tech support. And although I have had several Dell machines over the years, and advised several people (whom I did not want to support personally) to buy Dells, my opinion is only *one* opinion.

Dell's support for me has been extremely competent. Your machine will run for as long as you extend the warranty. If you do not, you *can* find that a replacement part is not available for you, as they are often reserved for warranty buyers. I have had some issues with Dell machines (eg. a purchase that arrived with the wrong 2 out of 3 drives in RAID), but in those instances they always offered on site support, or cross shipping of parts.

You can get a stinker in tech support at any time, from anyone. Hang up and call again.

PC Magazine used to do satisfaction surveys. I don't think anyone does those any more because name organizations (who you would trust) are too dependent on manufacturer support.

If you google "PC user satisfaction", you can find articles like this:

http://www.theacsi.org/index.php?option=com_content&tas...

How much faith you put in them is a decision that's yours to make.
September 21, 2009 4:18:57 AM

The company I used to work for was almost exclusively Dell on the PC side, but I don't know anything about Dell support because we never had to use them; basically the machines just worked. The one thing I did dislike about them was the build quality, often making them a real pain to upgrade (e.g. one had a poorly installed motherboard so replacing graphics cards was not easy because it didn't properly line up with the backplate)... but if you just plan to buy them to use and never open the box they should be fine.
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September 21, 2009 11:36:43 AM

Twoboxer said:


You can get a stinker in tech support at any time, from anyone. Hang up and call again.

Best advise that can be given for dealing with Dell tech support.

I've had both good and bad experiences;

Called and told them I had a bad optical drive, the tech listened and sent me a new one by the next morning.

Called and told them I had a bad harddrive, the tech listened but continued to follow the script and ended up wanting to send someone to troubleshoot the system for me, on the fourth call I got a tech who realized that I had already been thru all of the trouble-shooting and sent me a new harddrive.
September 21, 2009 11:56:44 AM

Pineapplefellow said:
Can anyone with direct experience with either of their technical support departments offer any advice?


I'm pleased with Dell. There seems to be two different types of technicians there:

1) The one that listens to you and just ships out the part you want (as long as you make up a little troubleshooting)

2) The one that wants to go through the ENTIRE script


I'm Dell certified to work on Optiplex desktops and Lattitude laptops, so I don't have to wait through the prompts, I just order the parts. However, I choose not to work on the laptops, I'll order the part and tell them to send out a technician. In those cases, with only a few exceptions, I got service the next day. In metro-Detroit Dell uses a third party for warranty fulfillment (I think they're called Unisys) and they're usually really good.
September 22, 2009 2:42:43 PM

Pineapplefellow said:
I have heard that Dells make the most dependable machines, and offer the most thorough warrantees in case they do break. However, Compaq, while less reputable in the durability department, seems to have quite an impressive warrantee that includes house calls if necessary.

So far, all of my information on these machines have either been word or mouth, or straight from the manufacturers. Can anyone point me in the direction of any third-articles that could substantiate or refute the claims of Dell being more reliable than Compaq?

Can anyone with direct experience with either of their technical support departments offer any advice?

Thanks.


I've had some Dells and the support has been good.

What's more important, the computers didn't need support much.

Good luck
September 22, 2009 2:48:10 PM

dunklegend said:
What's more important, the computers didn't need support much.


Agreed. With a few exceptions, the Dell Optiplex line is pretty rock solid. The only complaint I've ever had is the wide-spread issues with GX280s and GX270s with faulty motherboard capacitors, but Dell willingly extended many warranties for this issue and replaced the motherboards.

The only other issue I had was a BIOS\Fan Control issue with Lattitude D620s. We had a bunch that wouldn't turn on the fan enough and would fry out the graphics adapter unless you did a BIOS update to address the fan control issue.
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