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by fislertrc / December 22, 2012 3:20 AM PST

Dell runs a scam where a message will appear that says "Computer does not recognize the AC adapter...."

They are trying to get you to buy a new AC Adapter or new Battery.

Then after that does not work they will tell you you need a new Motherboard...which costs about 80% of the price of the original laptop.

This is despicable scam and Michael Dell should be ashamed that his company has running this scam since 2008.

Michael, is the problem is most assuredly not with the adapter, please do not lead people to believe they can fix it by SENDING YOU $80 FOR A NEW DELL AC ADAPTER. Be honest with your customers.

And the customer service...entirely based in

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Have any proof?
by Jimmy Greystone / December 22, 2012 3:37 AM PST
In reply to: DELL SCAM

Have any proof of your claims beyond just your one experience? Because having worked as a hardware tech, who primarily did laptops, I can tell you that sounds like the SOP for diagnosing and troubleshooting.

If a customer is having some kind of issue with their laptop, and it could be the battery, AC adapter, or motherboard, you start with the cheapest and easiest component to replace, usually the AC adapter. If that doesn't solve the issue, you move onto the battery. All else fails, then it has to be the motherboard. However, a large percentage of people will have the issue resolved by either the AC adapter or battery being replaced, especially if the laptop is rather old and the battery may be consumed and AC adapter damaged from some chunky volts coming down the line at various times over the months/years. Sounds like you were one of the unlucky few who end up with a bad motherboard.

Also, it sounds like you were trying to troubleshoot this yourself, via the phone support from Dell, instead of taking it to a repair shop where they could have tested it with a known good AC adapter and battery to find out that it was the motherboard. To say that this is a scam would require considerably more proof than you've offered up so far. Based on what you have said so far, Dell would be will within their rights to take you to court for defamation.

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Dell error message wrong or deceptive
by fislertrc / December 22, 2012 4:25 AM PST
In reply to: Have any proof?

My point was that the message shouldn't say

"laptop does not recognize the ac adapter"

the message should say

"there is a problem with the ac adapter, or battery or the motherboard. Please call Dell or take it to a licensed technician"

If they want to take me to court...fine. I write a column for the local paper, I would be glad to air my problem in court. To fix my complaint, all they have to do is change the error message,


What are you, some paid lackey of Dell?

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I'd like to read what you write about MSFT error messages.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 22, 2012 4:47 AM PST

Your last question is likely you lashing at anyone that disagrees. I wish the battery fires had not happened but they did and we see the result.

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Re: laptop doesn't recognise the ac adapter
by Kees_B Forum moderator / December 22, 2012 4:56 AM PST

Logically speaking, that could be a problem of either the laptop or the adapter.
In your case is was the laptop. So I fail to see why the message is wrong.


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Why should it say ...
by Edward ODaniel / December 22, 2012 5:11 AM PST

what you want rather than what it does indicate? The message is telling you that the laptop isn't recognizing the adapter and you can then assume that this error might be because the adapter has a problem (they don't last forever and sometimes people try using one with a connection that fits but that doesn't provide correct amps), or that the battery itself has a problem or that the charging connector is damaged or that the motherboard is broken.

If you have a problem that you can't solve it is up to YOU to determine that it is time to call the manufacturer, it isn't their problem to suggest such as they already did that in their manual and warranty.

The message you indicate can be caused by a bad battery - check that by either using a different battery or by removing the battery and trying the laptop on AC power only. If it works on AC it is a battery problem; if it doesn't it is either the adapter or an adapter cable, or the power connector or motherboard. Most computer repair shops will help you out by trying a known good power adapter.

You can also make use of the information found here and that includes running the Recalibration Utility if Your System has One listed (you could have told us the model of the problem computer) :

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Dell says "We dont want ot help anymore than we have to"
by fislertrc / December 22, 2012 5:53 AM PST
In reply to: Why should it say ...

What you are saying is that Dell is saying

"Let the buyer beware"

That they throw a message up, that according to you, merely suggests there is a problem, is sufficient. That it is incumbent upon the buyer of a $600 piece of machinery to take the information given and infer that what is said to be wrong with the machine is in fact wrong, and that they should do detective work to determine that the computer lied to them to begin with?

Dell used to be better than that. They used to stand behind their machines more than they do now. Now, they don't give a s**t about the consumer after they get their money. Why don't just have a red light that appears on the front of the machine when "something" is "somewhere wrong" with the hardware or software of the machine. Then let the consumer figure it out from scratch. Why have the message at all? The message is disingenuous and ambiguous at best, and deliberately misleading at worst. They have been posting this message since 2008, it would be easy to rewrite the software to give a more honest assessment of the problem.

Why are you defending this misleading practice? I can only assume you are a Dell employee trying to deflect blame, by blaming the customer to know better than believe the message programmed by Dell into their own computers.

Good bye Dell employees, take your time getting Dell to be more honest in their error messages than attacking complaints on "Computer Help" bulletin boards.

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Do you feel attacked?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 22, 2012 6:01 AM PST

Here this is a discussion board but once in a while a new member feels attacked when folk disagree with their view.

I'd like to agree with you but is this unit in warranty? Most are not when Dell answers like I read above.

And then we have folk that feel entitled to support once the warranty period is over. For them I think we have to discuss how support works. The support folk are paid from a combination of sales but once the warranty is over they need to collect fees to continue support. These folk are just like you and I and can't answer the phones for free.

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Dell employees unite!
by fislertrc / December 22, 2012 6:13 AM PST
In reply to: Do you feel attacked?

I am offering criticism over what I feel is a dishonest error message on Dell computers, and all the Dell employees on this board unite to attack my post.

This is easy to fix, when the problem arises on the computer, have the error message state

"There is a problem involving the charging of the battery of this computer. The problem could arise from the ac adapter, the battery, the connections or the motherboard. Please call Dell support."

But it doesn't say that does it?

Cowards on this board and cowards at Dell refuse to acknowledge how easy it would be to not mislead consumers.

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I think the error message could be improved.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 22, 2012 6:24 AM PST
In reply to: Dell employees unite!

But it's on par with the industry. That's not much consolation but I see no company improving this area.

As a software/firmware/hardware author those error messages cost space, time and money. Would you pay for such improvements? Every time I see an cost increase I see owners want the lower price over better messages.

If you begin to call folk names you run the risk of a lock of your discussion. Please be civil.

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No offense
by fislertrc / December 22, 2012 6:43 AM PST

No offense...
Are you claiming that changing the error message will cost Dell anything?

Give it a rest Dell employee.
Stop trying to defend a stupid and misleading message.

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Yes it costs them a lot.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 22, 2012 7:42 AM PST
In reply to: No offense
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RE: "I can only assume you are a Dell employee ...
by Edward ODaniel / December 24, 2012 1:02 PM PST

trying to deflect blame, by blaming the customer to know better than believe the message programmed by Dell into their own computers."

Based on your responses I guess we can only assume your panties are in a bind and bothering you.

NONE of us are Dell employees but all of us are aware that MOST error messages leave much to be desired as they are written by the programmer and his error message makes PERFECT SENSE to him. As I tried to get across to you, YOUR CHOICE OF WORDS for the message you would prefer do not look one whit better than what you were presented with. Yours is three times as long and a full third of it is telling you something you shouldn't need to be told and that is IF YOU can't solve the problem call the manufacturer.

You need to come to grips with the idea that these are help boards and we will attempt to assist with a problem but we aren't going to hold your hand and commiserate with you because it isn't a perfect world.

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So I'll take that
by Jimmy Greystone / December 22, 2012 7:39 AM PST

So I'll take that as a "No, I don't have any proof." To me it looks like you cheaped out and tried to solve this yourself, it went sideways, now it's anyone's fault but your own.

And for the record, I actually work for one of Dell's competitors, at least in some markets. We're involved fairly heavily in some other markets that Dell isn't even in. It is possible I still have valid DOSD certification, but I'd have to check. Anyway, point being: Just because someone disagrees with you, or doesn't take your wild accusations at face value, doesn't automatically make them some kind of shill.

Despite what might be considered my better judgment, I'll give you one more chance to offer up any kind of proof you have that this is a systematic course of action that Dell management is not only aware of, but put into place. Anything at all, besides your solitary experience, which a conspiracy it does not make. Right now, you're doing a bang up job of coming off as a raving loon though. That's not a pejorative, just an observational statement.

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Asking for Proof?
by fislertrc / December 22, 2012 4:32 PM PST
In reply to: So I'll take that

The proof is the message, which is misleading.

Tired of all you shills for the industry that claim that it is that difficult to change an error message.

This message is one that has been spouted for 5 years. Couldn't change it after 5 years of installing faulty motherboards in computers?

Do I have proof of a conspiracy by Dell?...No. Do I smell an attempt by what was once a paragon of the industry to shore up revenues after their fall from Grace. Yes.

All I will need is access to all internal documents and e-mails.

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How is that misleading?
by Jimmy Greystone / December 22, 2012 5:47 PM PST
In reply to: Asking for Proof?

How is that misleading exactly? Seriously.

What I can glean so far from your comments is the following:

- You had a power related issue with your Dell laptop
- The error message said the AC adapter wasn't recognized
- You called Dell support who (correctly) told you to get another AC adapter
- The replacement AC adapter didn't resolve the issue
- Someone told you to get a new battery
- You decided to go ahead and buy a new battery, which then also failed to resolve the issue
- You were told that the issue then must be the motherboard

So, I'll grant that the suggestion of a new battery for an issue concerning the AC adapter would be a little odd, but rather than some kind of conspiracy I'm betting it was the oft potent combination of a poorly trained call center rep and the language barrier.

We are the ones to blame for the sorry state of tech support these days. We keep demanding lower prices, and better features,so if the company is going to make a profit, something has to give somewhere. If you, and maybe 50,000 of your closest friends would all be willing to pay 50-100% more for every computer you buy, and buy pretty regularly, then Dell might be able to move support back to the US. Or at least be able to increase the training budget for the call center agents. So the next time you buy something based purely on price, consider the implications of that. That is EXACTLY why manufacturing jobs have all been shipped to places like China and Viet Nam. People like you, and me, and millions of others, will choose Product A if it's even just a couple dollars cheaper than Product B. I'm hardly some "let businesses do whatever they want" style conservative, but I recognize the need for a company to make a profit to remain in business. So if revenues go down because of lower prices, you need to make that up somewhere else, and quite often it's on the back end with manufacturing.

Still, if you think you have a case, talk to a lawyer. You could try filing a lawsuit, then have the court grant you subpoena powers, giving you access to all of Dell's internal documents and correspondence. However, my guess is any lawyer who takes their profession seriously, will tell you that you have nothing even close to resembling a case. That pretty much any judge would throw the case out, but probably not before berating you and your lawyer for filing such a frivolous lawsuit.

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Blame the old BATTERY FIRE days for this one.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 22, 2012 4:21 AM PST
In reply to: DELL SCAM

Your post seems to be a problem you encountered and not one I see a lot. We know why they locked out batteries and chargers but I can't see where you told us why.

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