8 hours on the phone the first time. A dead laptop returned from their service and further calls answered with "we've done all we could sir."
They walked on a 3 month old laptop. I share when this comes up so it appears that the usual names are just that. Names we can't trust.
About that 3 year or longer. I'm sure you've read this -> http://www.squaretrade.com/laptop-reliability-1109/
No laptop I see today lasts more than 2 years. For example all the batteries I see are 300 cycle units. If that fails, the laptop has failed. And do you see them tell you this up front? That is, you know that tires wear out on you car but with laptops it appears that fans and batteries wear out and there is an oil change needed every few months. (Canned air if you don't know.)
Before you purchase a Dell system you should first be made aware of their customer service. Check out ihatedell.net which is one of the many forums voicing frustration with Dell. Dell has (had) a history of making quality machines which last 5-10 years with ease. This was very true for their past generations of systems. This is not the case anymore and you should rethink your purchase beforehand. I had a great ownership experience with my Sony Vaio for a little over 5 years and it worked without issue for my work, leisure, and educational purposes.
When it was time to update it in December 2012, I chose a Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook. When I called Dell on December 20th to place my order for the unit I emphasized that this unit needed to last me more than three years without any issue. The Sales Agent assured me it would and that the Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook was a quality system which would easily surpass that duration. She spoke with such conviction about the product that I believed her. Then I proceeded to make the purchase I now regret.
The XPS 13 came with a 1-Year Premium Warranty. My laptop worked well until the end of May (a little over 4 months). It then began to overheat doing simple tasks such as watching videos on youtube on 360 resolution. It would constantly reach unsafe temperatures (hot enough to burn your finger after touching the top of the keyboard, and nearly melted the top of keyboard)
I called and told Dell about the issue. After spending 5 hours on the phone troubleshooting the issue, updating drivers, and bouncing through 6 different departments, they agreed to send a person out to repair the computer. The repair person came and replaced the motherboard with a faulty Dell Refurbished motherboard resulting in my ultrabook becoming inoperable. Afterwards, I was asked to call Dell. I spend an additional 6 hours troubleshooting the unit without success. Dell offered to send yet another person out to repair it once more. I inquired if it was possible for me to pay for the difference in price for an upgraded motherboard as they told me a better one would not overheat as easily resulting in longer life for the unit. They refused my request even when I asked to pay the difference in price myself. They sent a third repair person three days later who replaced my motherboard once again and it remained inoperable.
I called Dell once more and went through the same regular routes which I had already through to talk to Dell Premium Service(a 30-45 minute process). Dell Premium Technical Support had me troubleshoot it once more taking another 4-5 hours of my time to no avail. They then dispatched another repair person, this time with a new screen and another refurbished motherboard. At this time, I asked them to please send a new one as the previous three had not worked. This time my ultrabooks speakers did not work, and the laptop would randomly overheat to dangerous temperatures when off or asleep in my bag.
I called Dell once more, I had been more than cooperative and patient, and I asked the representative to simply replace it with a new unit. I had already devoted over 25 hours of phone time and on my schedule to meet with the repair people. The second option was to allow me to return this defective product for a refund. After spending countless more hours I finally had "permission" to make my request to Dell Escalations. After much discussion they offered me a refurbished unit. I stated I was not satisfied with this resolution. I had paid a premium price for a "New" Ultrabook. The Dell escalations employee refused to accept either option. I then requested to speak to his supervisor. Mr. Bhavin Min, the escalations employee, rudely asked me multiple times, "Why, why do you have to speak to them?" It was obvious why I needed to speak to someone of higher authority. After much resistance, he obliged. Now I am to wait two more days before Dell Escalations Level II calls.
As you can see, it is VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE to get adequate customer service from DELL even after going through a multitude of people, repair people. Their objective seems to be UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES REPLACE THE DEFECTIVE PRODUCT AND DO NOT GIVE A REFUND. Dell places no value on your time and will go out of their way to put that message across.
Please don't make this same mistake.