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UPDATE: Troublesome experience with Dell hardware upgrades!

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  • Laptops
Last response: in Laptop General Discussion
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June 19, 2008 3:05:39 AM

EDIT: An update, as of 3:02am CST 06/19/2008:

Apparently Dell has decided that they are not fans of my forum post, and have made it a point to permanently delete the entire post, along with the user account I had made to make the post.
It appears they aren't really big on letting other customers know about the pit-falls of purchasing from them?

---

This is a post I made on Dell's Community Forum.. hopefully you can spread the word, or tell me where I could. Or maybe you're bored and can read it anyway!

http://www.dellcommunity.com/supportforums/board/messag...


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I'm an advanced computer user, having built and serviced my own for going on ten years now. My family situation went downhill in 06, so I was on the move a lot, and found that I had to scrap my recently assembled $1000 gaming rig. A month later a friend had an Inspiron 6000 (basic system, 256MB RAM, 1.6 Celeron, DVD-ROM, 40GB HD, etc) that he sold me for $300. I loved the system, it had great battery life, has proven super durable, and not once have I had an issue with it.

As time went on, however, the tiny 15.4" Lappy-That-Could began to show it's age, and so I did some research, using the system's service tag number through Dell's website to see what would go in it. I even went a step further to confirm with not one, but two Dell sales employees over the phone that said parts would be compatible, not wanting to screw it up and buy the wrong stuff. After hearing their feedback on what would and would not work, I ordered the following:

1.73Ghz Pentium M
160GB 7200RPM 16MB Cache Western Digital SATA hard drive
2GB DDR2 RAM
A new keyboard to replace the old, fading keyboard
And an ATI x300 128MB Video Card

This all cost me around $400, with the videocard and keyboard being purchased from Dell, and the other parts being purchased from a lovely vendor I've been going to for years, NewEgg. Mind you, this was all after confirming that a) my hard drive was SATA and a SATA drive could replace it and b) the motherboard in my particular laptop did indeed have a PCI-E expansion slot, interally, for this videocard to fit. Again, this is confirming through my service tag number on the website, along with two employees over the phone, before ordering.

So I get the $400 in parts and they all install well and good. It's a huge improvement for the laptop. Then, the videocard arrives a few days later. To my chagrin, this part does not work. There is no PCI-Express slot on the laptop. After calling Dell, the same day I got the part, I was told that I was not able to return the part, because through the several weeks in ordering it, I had changed the type of checking account I had through my bank, and was thus issued a different check card. I figured alright, they can just mail me a check, right? It might be a few weeks longer in arriving, but they can at least do that. Wrong. Dell Corporation, a company who in 2007 had over $57 Billion in operating revenue, did not have the capability to mail me a check.

This was alright, surely they could at least give a gift card, store credit, something, right? Nope. Not that either. To make matters worse, I later found out that their main consumer call center was outsourced entirely to India for the first however many escalations of a call. This made things worse, as the dialect did not work out entirely for communication purposes. I don't mind people from India, but come on, when I ask for a superviser four times to get stuff figured out, and I still get call-backs from India, that's a tad ridiculous. I ended up escalating the issue to... eight or nine people, including I want to say three or four call-backs. This was over the course of probably a month and a half, as they did not call back "within 24 hours" like stated, sometimes taking a week and a half or more to call me.

The problem with this is two-fold: it takes forever to accomplish anything (and probably costs Dell a ton in the process), and also becomes so frustrating. I've been calling in on and off for the better part of ten monthes (going on eleven) now. I ordered my parts from Dell in August of last year.

So I call in today, get a supervisor, and am told that Dell doesn't accept returns on items over 21 days old. Excuse me? I called in the day I received the part and was told I couldn't do it, and this guy has the audacity to tell me I'm SOL? On a $150 videocard? To make matters worse, he then tells me that he's the end of the line, and that I am not going to be allowed to speak to anybody higher up in the company regarding the issue. He also mentioned flagging my account (?) so that nobody else in the company will talk to me about it at all. What kind of customer service is that? That's aweful.

Now not only am I stuck with a $150 videocard that I can't use, but $250 in other parts I would never have purchased if I had known about it, as gaming is something done often on the laptop, not to mention the graphics card's assistance in other day-to-day activities. So that's $400 more I'd have in my pocket, to spend on a new laptop, had Dell not messed things up with my service tag number in the first place.

What's funny is I asked when I called today if I could get store credit or a gift card or something instead of cash, because I was actually planning to purchase a Dell Vostro laptop in about a month, because I do traveling sales and marketing, and this Inspiron is now 3 1/2 years old.

I have no idea what to do. I can't get a supervisor to escalate a call for me, to try and hope to get an American, I can't get a corporate office phone number, and I'm just stuck, shafted out of $400 in parts, $150 of which was directly from Dell.

I read a story about a gentleman who had a newsletter with a publication of over 100,000 people, and he had posted a horror story about Dell, and conveniently had two Dell executives read his blog daily, and so he was assisted. What do those of us who don't have that luxury do? You know the funny part in all this... I actually work for a competing computer manufacturer, and often times deal with customers at a retail level (along with retail employees) who will ask me about Dell. Not liking to be biased, I am often times the first line of communication these people have when it comes to Dell knowledge. You know what I do? I tell them the story I just typed out to you, about how I can never get an American, and am stuck with a bunch of stuff I don't need or want. That comes off horribly, and hopefully somebody can care enough to fix this, so I can change my story to these folks, and explain to them how I had an issue with Dell, but in the end they came through for me, and I could stand by them once again.

Please, somebody help me. Anybody.

More about : update troublesome experience dell hardware upgrades

June 19, 2008 8:02:46 AM

An update, as of 3:02am CST 06/19/2008:

Apparently Dell has decided that they are not fans of my forum post, and have made it a point to permanently delete the entire thing.

It appears they aren't really big on letting other customers know about the pit-falls of purchasing from them?
June 19, 2008 5:07:42 PM

Moral of the story:
Stay away from Dell....

Seriously though. A company like Dell really doesnt give a flying ____ about their customers anymore. They make so much money that if they sweep one customer or 100 under the rug, so to speak, its really no skin off their backs.

Best of luck though. Did you ever figure out why the video card didnt work? Did it do anything?
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a b D Laptop
June 19, 2008 9:44:18 PM

Kaldor said:
Moral of the story:
Stay away from Dell....

Seriously though. A company like Dell really doesnt give a flying ____ about their customers anymore. They make so much money that if they sweep one customer or 100 under the rug, so to speak, its really no skin off their backs.

Best of luck though. Did you ever figure out why the video card didnt work? Did it do anything?


He said his motherboard didn't have the slot for it.


Dell is like just about any other computer company out there, you are going to here mixed stories and almost more often than not they are going to be the negative ones. For whatever reason, people are more likely to share a negative experience than they are a positive one.

I personally have never had a problem with Dell or their support over 5 or 6 purchases, but we're not talking about me. Sorry to hear about the inconvenience mwoller. You can always threaten to report them to the Better Business Bureau.
a b D Laptop
June 20, 2008 1:03:38 AM

you can report them to the BBB, yes...or sue them (but that would be far too american)

I've had problems with Dell's support in the past in terms of just finding drivers for things that weren't on the web site, getting broken links, people giving me drivers I didn't ask for...yeah. It was a load of 30 minutes I got sick of really fast.
June 20, 2008 3:38:26 AM

The biggest concern I had, initially anyway, was learning that their Consumer Customer Service department literlaly was solely based out of India (at least according to what people in the Business Cust Service department had told me, after I inquired). But their complete unwillingness to help me or return my item, whether it be the day I got it or ten months later, is unacceptable to me.

I do have a little good news: after contacting several executives from Dell (courtesy to consumerist.com's email address listings), I was called this morning from a member of Dell's Executive Customer Service department, which as I understand is their highest level of support. I called back after hearing his voicemail, and was greeted by... a voicemail inbox, but I hope for better results tomorrow.

Will keep you guys updated. :) 
June 21, 2008 6:12:20 PM

I too am having trouble with a Dell Laptop. It is an Inspiron E1505 that won't boot. I am an older "nerd" and
try to assist my neighbors with problems. This laptop belongs to a nice older lady, and as a "nerd" felt an
obligation to "fix" it. It will not boot from the hard disk. I ran all of the Dell diagnostics, and they indicated that
the cd/dvd drive was at fault. I replaced it with a New cd/dvd drive from Dell and reran the diagnostics. No
problems. The lap top will still not boot. I reinstalled MS XP Media Edition from Dell. It still will not boot -
regular or safe mode. It begins the boot and than "hangs up" It will boot from Puppy Linux, CD or Flash drive
but won't boot from Ubuntu. It will boot from DR-Dos cd, and MS-Dos from flash drive. Of course the programs
I have on cd are from HP Desk tops and will not execute properly on a Dell Laptop. I even removed the
memory and re-set it. Still won't boot. Ran diagnostics again, and still OK.

It does boot and execute Puppy Linux ok.

I diddled the settings in "setup" but still it won't book.

Does anyone have any ideas?

HELP!

Joe Murdock
June 22, 2008 6:32:23 AM

My guess is maybe the motherboard? The motherboard on my Inspiron 6000 has, over the course of the past three years, had a RAM bank die, a USB port die, and in general the chipset itself seems to be slowing down, if that makes any sense.

Even after a fresh format/install today, it seems slower than a fresh format/install a year ago, and I'm doing the same stuff on it, and running the exact same specs, so no idea.
June 22, 2008 6:37:06 AM

UPDATE - Friday, 06/20/2008

I received a call and subsequently spoke with, on Friday morning, one of Dell's executives and member of their Board of Directors who apparently has a lot of influence on the consumer side of their business.

I explained everything to him, found out he was one of the people I had emailed initially, and explained I was happy with even store credit, as I was planning to order a Dell Vostro 1700 within the next few weeks.

He offered his personal contact information and suggested I should call him when ready to order, and he would extend to me a free 3-year warranty on the new laptop, and because he was on the consumer side of the business, an Inspiron 1720 instead of a Vostro, complete with a sizeable cash discount on the Inspiron (due to them being the exact same system, only the Inspiron costing more pound-for-pound).

I'll update after I've ordered everything, and let everybody know if Dell keeps their word on this, but given the one plus hour on the phone with this executive, explaining everything to him, I think he sees my frustration, and hopefully I can get this darned part returned and apply that to my new laptop.

After over *ten* months of this, it's exciting to finally see (a possible) resolution on this issue, although I'm not entirely excited about having had to email a thirteen paragraph essay to a bunch of corporate executives in order to do it. :) 

Anyway, Dell just went up a large number of points in my book - now to see if they keep their word in the next month when I order! :) 
June 23, 2008 7:01:30 PM

Squeaky wheel gets the grease. Good to here they are at least working with you now.

!