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Dell ripping folks off on XPS M1330

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August 23, 2007 12:59:52 AM

I ordered a Dell M1330 XPS with 2Ghz C2D, 8400GS, 2GB RAM and the invoice clearly stated item 313-5014 Integrated Sound Blaster Audigy. There was an Xfi upgrade that I did not choose, the audigy is good enough.

After recieving the notebook I noticed the sound card drivers showed a Sigmatel sound device. I tried loading the Creative Audigy MB disc but it would not load due to unsupported device.

The bios clearly shows Sigmatel Audio.

I sent an email on Monday 8/18/07 but got no response for missing parts or configuration. I called today and after going through two different people up to a manager they insisted that this was a software layer device only???

He was rude and when I continued to emphasize in a calm manner that the notebook clearly indicated an integrated hardware device as opposed to a software layer, he hung up on me.

I called back and spoke with another guy, who verified that this is in fact only a software upgrade that sits on top of the sigmatel chip and that NO M1330 laptops come with anything but a sigmatel chip?????

This is false advertising and not what is listed in the configuration settings which clearly show the Audigy as the default chip and a choice of upgrading to the Xfi. THe invoice also clearly lists the integrated audigy and not a sigmatel with a software patch?

I am trying to get an upgrade if possible. whish me luck and if you have an M1330 I would recommend you do the same.

(the configuration notes now say....Software in the end of Audigy HD and the color has changed to yellow box)
August 23, 2007 2:54:28 AM

Yes, this is unfortunately a known issue.

We were discussing it a while back for another DELL model.

Definitely false advertising, and like you noted they have changed the description to Software Edition.

As an owner of an Audigy 2ZS PCMCIA , if I had only gotten a Conexant chip with a Creative software wrapper around I would be P.O.'ed too.

I'd check the other forums out there, I'm certain there's going to be some lawsuits going on, and while I'm usually against such things as they are usually spurious (like the 1MB / 1Million bytes suit) in this case I'd say you have a valid complaint and they should attempt to do something to make ammends, like give you a serious discount on an XFi express card or something.
a b D Laptop
August 23, 2007 4:16:18 AM

It depends on what was on the website when you ordered. Right now the site gives two choices "High Definition Audio 2.0" or "Integrated Sound Blaster Audigy HD Software Edition". This may not have been the case when you ordered or the invoice was printed wrong. I think that GGA is right, you may have a case against them. I really hope that everything works out for you.
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August 23, 2007 6:09:15 AM

Yeah originally the site had a different description and has gone through a few iterations and revamps. But the issue has been ongoing for quite some time;

http://delllied.blogspot.com/

I thought they had it cleaned up, but you never know with new models and pages, etc.
August 23, 2007 1:47:44 PM

TheGreatGrapeApe said:
Yeah originally the site had a different description and has gone through a few iterations and revamps. But the issue has been ongoing for quite some time;

http://delllied.blogspot.com/

I thought they had it cleaned up, but you never know with new models and pages, etc.


They have been changing it. When I orderd the only two options for sound were integrated soundblaster audigy MB and upgrade Xfi which was noted as PCMCIA. I thought, I'll stick with the Audigy because thats pretty good and better than some generic audio and I didn't want to tote any extra cards if I didn't have to. My invoice also clearly listed the audio as Integrated Soundblaster Audigy.

I don't see how they can do this as there is a HUGE difference between integrated sound card and a SOFTWARE patch to mimic a soundblaster. In the end its not even a soundblaster but only the soundblaster media and controls using whatever sound card is built in. There is no AUDIGY chip to speak of???

I am pissed and have sent a complaint and will continue to do so until they stop this. Its just wrong. I think most people wouldn't even notice it.

They need to list their configuration page with Integrated Sigmatel audio + simulated Soundblaster software and nothing more.
August 23, 2007 4:27:47 PM

I agree completely, belive me I'm an audio wh0re.

I say if you've got the invoice then you've got a pretty strong case to get them to do right by you.
The only thing I wonder is what the consumer protection side of things is like in Texas, I only know from CNN/CNBC/PBS etc so I may be way off base and an ignorant foreigner in this respect, but I thought that Texas state law usually favours companies in similar situations (there was a big issue about this and frivilous versus worthy lawsuits after the Texas A&M tragedy). So I'd be more confident with your options if you were in California or New York, but I don't know how succesful you'd be in Texas, or how helpful the DA/AG would be in such a case.
I would try of course, but have lowered expectations, especially with DELL being a Texas based company and likely has alot of political clout, so your best bet may be a more national class action suit, like I'm here and the US class action suit got me my WD settlement which was great (too much trouble for them to fight a Canadian suit after a US ruling so they just rolled us in for the fre software).

The only other issue is that 'free software' won't go anywhere near helping solve your problem, and a DELL 'rebate' wouldn't be helpful either unless it's like DELL bucks you could use to buy accesories and thereby get a $20-40 webcam or whatever essentially for free for your troubles.

Anywhoo, I wish you good luck, because issues like this are bad, and their tricky and a pain for you (especially after such a long wait for the !330), they should just do the right thing and gives you a rebate cheque for the cost of it and eat the 'SOX compliance charge per unit' in order to make things right. I think their major worry is that by now that's likely 10 of millions of dollars. Still doesn't excuse it regardless of how mcuh it hurts to make it right. I think in this case they were definitely in the wrong, and if you have an invoice with it on it you may have strong enough case.
a b D Laptop
August 23, 2007 4:35:46 PM

I think GGA is right. You have a strong case against them since your invoice tells a different story then what you received. Keep the pressure on Dell and eventually you will get through.

Quote:
I think their major worry is that by now that's likely 10 of millions of dollars. Still doesn't excuse it regardless of how mcuh it hurts to make it right.


Yes they may lose a few million by satisfying the customers, but how much will they lose if they don't and everyone walks away? In other words, they will hurt themselves more by not forking over the rebate checks since hundreds of affected customers would walk away from Dell permanently.
August 23, 2007 4:44:12 PM

Oh I agree, but with their low-ball strategy people usually don't stay agro'd enough to not buy them next time around if they're $100 cheaper than the competition, and if they got as many people that way then of course they would be losing $80 in the transaction in order to get that sale, but since they get about 5-10 times more sale and most people who don't know better because of those discounted prices, I'm sure they don't care enough.

Now a company like the OLD IBM, and even APPLE, know that it's their solid rep that gets them their customers, who pay MORE to buy their laptops, and as such to them, they definitely would do what they can within reason.

Anywhoo, I hope it works out for him, I hate these things, because it's just so obviously wrong, and it looks like it's so easily fixable.
I just wonder what level is the sox component, since they are forced to be jerks on behalf of the share holders, but SOX seems to ignore the value of things like 'goodwill' which has been a standard and recognized benificial accounting practice for some time.

Anywhoo, hope he gets some satisfaction, but being DELL, and based on my personal experiences, I doubt it.
August 25, 2007 12:43:49 AM

TheGreatGrapeApe said:
Oh I agree, but with their low-ball strategy people usually don't stay agro'd enough to not buy them next time around if they're $100 cheaper than the competition, and if they got as many people that way then of course they would be losing $80 in the transaction in order to get that sale, but since they get about 5-10 times more sale and most people who don't know better because of those discounted prices, I'm sure they don't care enough.


SUCCESS!, for the most part. I didn't get a discount or anything but I just got a call from Dell and they had my complaint filed as well as record of all the mess I had to go through trying to figure the problem with the "missing" Audigy hardware.

They agreed to send me a FREE Xfi adapter upgrade. Not the ideal solution as I will now have to configure and carry it around and it sticks out of the computer but better than kick in the teeth which is what I was feeling like.

Just an FYI to anyone who is curious as to what happened with the bogus sound problem. I hope Dell gets wise and removes the Audigy description of the M1330 and all similar laptops or begins offering everyone effected with a free Xfi upgrade replacement.

Hold your invoice as proof of purchase items and expectations, file a complaint and keep fighting. Don't give up.


August 25, 2007 1:21:11 AM

Sweet, yeah I thinks that's actually better than expected.

The XFi is nice, but I prefer the 2ZS only because of the DVD-Audio playback, which kinda annoyed me when I thought I'd be forced to upgrade due to the ExpressCard slots.

Anywhoo, glad it worked out, and yeah it sucks having it stick out, but hopefully the XFi does better in games than the Audigy because it's annoying taking it out for Oblivion, and putting it back for everything else.
!