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My latest DELL experience

by Anti-Dell / July 10, 2009 6:21 AM PDT

Hello Forum.

I wanted to get some feedback from other DELL users as well as a broad
opinion base from other consumers in a general sense. I am going to post two "poll" questions for feedback in addition to the comments I hope you will respond with. Don't hold anything back, if you feel I am being unreasonable, please tell me and conversely, if you feel that DELL has not acted in good faith, post that as well.

Here are the events.

December 2008 I purchased a NEW, not refurbished DELL desktop system.
It is used exclusively in a guest bedroom as a media center PC with light internet browsing and occasional MS Office work. I installed VLC for media playback, Firefox for web surfing, Brother proprietary printer software and MS Office for Word and Outlook. Nothing else has been installed. DELL supplied MS Vista Home Premium.

I have a 2TB hard drive connected via USB for movies and such, printing is wireless, the keyboard & mouse and a 32 inch Samsung LCD TV via HDMI.

From day one, the computer would beep 5 times when powered on. I should rephrase, it beeps 3 times then emits a tone longer in duration and higher in pitch followed by the 5th beep that sounds like the first 3. It loaded the OS without incident or error and gave no BIOS warnings. I had no reason to believe anything was wrong. About 4 months into ownership I had to call technical support and while I had their agent on the phone, I asked about the beeps. I was told it should not beep at all. I spent more than an hour with this agent on the "beeps" while we tried different steps before I relinquished control of the computer and DELL tried remotely to correct the issue or at a minimum, diagnose it.

This technician was unable to resolve it so he arranged a home visit for someone to come and replace the motherboard. Three days later I received a call from the on site technician and arranged a time for him to come by the following day. He arrived 10 minutes late (He gave me a 4 hour window and arrived 10 minutes past his own window of time.) and hadn't bothered to call me advising he was running late. He stayed about 2 hours, he had to watch short video clips on his own laptop on how to replace the motherboard. After he was done and he powered the computer, it beeped 8 times with the same
unusual tone/beep in the middle. He called DELL and they instructed him to remove various components and then powering the computer. One of those components was the processor. By now it was past my dinner time and I requested that if he was no closer to a solution, that we reschedule. It was a few days before I contacted DELL again and another hour or more on the phone (since I have to start from scratch despite having a case #) and this person said they would send a new motherboard, cpu and memory to the technician for replacement. By now, it seems like they are parts changers, not technicians that diagnose. Another 4 hour window with the same tech, only this time he shows up in the 3rd hour. He replaces the parts and now I have 4 beeps all of the same pitch and tone. He calls DELL and after some discussion, they agree to send a new replacement. This technician was here for 90 minutes and showed me something I found surprising. Every part he received was refurbished and not new as DELL technical support claimed.

12 days later I called to get an update on my replacement system and was given a tracking number for FedEx. I arranged to be home that day to sign for it and when it arrived, I removed the computer and power supply from the box. Connected the peripherals and turned it my dismay, it beeps 4 times of the same pitch and tone, then gives a BIOS warning about the power supply.

I called DELL yet again, more time on the phone and they want to send a replacement motherboard and hard drive to the technician. At this point, I advised them not to, that I would be seeking a different path to resolve this matter.

I tried calling every "Customer Service" telephone number for DELL but all roads lead to India where they have no concept or concern for customer service and in each instance, tried to transfer me to technical support which is anything but.

I then filed a Better Business Bureau complaint that resulted in someone from India calling me on the 3rd day. This person told me my request for a NEW NEW NEW replacement would not happen as it violated DELL policy. She further informed me that I was not entitled to anything for lost time, or aggravation spent trying to resolve this. I appealed and requested her manager to which she told me that I was already speaking to the highest authority within DELL that I could. I had to do it, I asked if she was Michael Dell. I don't think she got my point.

Yesterday the BBB called me and asked if I would be willing to enter into arbitration with a senior level manager from DELL, someone here in the United States. I said I would be delighted. The BBB rep then advised me there is a $70 charge for this service. I was appalled and said to him, is it not the very purpose of a BBB complaint to put a consumer in touch with a member of management from the business? Someone empowered to listen to the consumer, decide what is fair and reasonable when weighed against the business need of the company and the desire to retain a customer. So far, the BBB failed to put me in touch with anyone at DELL that I could not and have not already reached via the DELL toll free number.

I left it off with the BBB that I was not comfortable paying $70 for what I thought was the very function of the BBB, to ensure someone from DELL that can help contacts me.

This is how DELL responded to the BBB:
*** Web Response ***
Mr. xxxxxxxxx
Re: Better Business Bureau Case # xxxxxxxxx

Dear Better Business Bureau,

I am writing on behalf of Dell Inc. in response to the inquiry filed with your office by Mr. xxxxxxxx. Thank you for making us aware of his concerns.

After reading Mr. xxxxxxxxx complaint, the following is what I have determined to be the issues.

* Dissatisfied with refurbished system exchange
* Requests new system exchange with upgrades

We apologize for any inconvenience that Mr. xxxxxxxxx has encountered. A Dell representative contacted Mr. xxxxxxxxx to address the issues. Mr. xxxxxxxxx purchased his system in December 2008 and his first call for technical support was in May 2009. He has been provided support and an exchange system in accordance with the Terms and Conditions of the Limited Hardware Warranty. It was explained to him that a new system exchange or upgrades are not an option for him within the terms of the warranty. We remain ready to provide support and assistance within the terms of the warranty agreement entered into with Mr. xxxxxxxxx at the point of sale. We are closing this case as having resolved the issues within the warranty agreement and no further consideration will be given. In the event Mr. xxxxxxxxx requires further assistance we request he contact us directly using the information provided below.

If you have any additional questions regarding this issue, you may contact the agent directly at 1-800-624-9897, Ext 726-9246 or via e-mail at He will be happy to assist you.


Consumer Resolution Center
Dell Inc.

So they "apologize" with empty words but continue to inconvenience me by sending a defective system and then compound
that by asking me to wait around my home another 4-7 hours while a technician replaces more used parts with --- more used parts.

Dude, I should have got a Sony.

My poll questions are as follows:

Would you have agreed to pay that $70 just for the opportunity to speak with someone from DELL.

Am I being unreasonable in requesting a NEW system, not refurbished and that I feel I am entitled to something for the 33+ hours lost in trying to fix this issue.

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by Anti-Dell / July 10, 2009 8:08 AM PDT

Well, as if this saga wasn't enough of a drama...

I received a call an hour ago from "UNKNOWN" and like many of you, I
do not answer unknown, not available, blocked or other similar calls.

This one turned out to be DELL india. They left a message with a call
back number and extension. I called, spent 16 minutes on hold before
someone picked up asking What department am I looking for. I said I
wasn't sure, I just have an extension. The line was then abruptly cut off.

I called back, on hold now 22 minutes before I decided to just leave a message. This level of customer service reminds me of the 1980's. DELL should take a look at how giants like GM and Chrysler have fallen all because they concider the consumer an expendable nuisance.

Here is an excerpt taken from an interview with GM CEO Fritz Henderson:

"The automaker is launching a "Tell Fritz" Web site to allow owners and the public to share their concerns with senior management and he planned to go out on the road every month, Henderson said.

We need to listen to the questions, ideas and the concerns of the people who matter the most," Henderson said."

If DELL isn't mindful of its customer base, it will suffer as GM has suffered.

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Dell experience.
by mopscare42 / July 11, 2009 2:27 AM PDT
In reply to: followup

I agree with a lot of what you are saying about Dell.
My computer was delivered with a problem with the 4870 graphics card. I told the 1st tech I spoke with who was in India, that if they send me the card I could change it, problem solved. I was told that would void the warranty.
The computer also had damage to the front case which could easily be taken care of.
They sent a tech out the next day to replace the case parts , but not the card.
Turns out that Dell had sent the wrong parts, so nothing was done.
After about 20 hours on the phone and online chat with the script readers in India who are incapable of thinking outside of what is in front of them, I e-mailed the person who I had ordered the computer from in the USA, who gave me a number also in the USA and my exchange was setup. Both e-mail and the call took less than an hour.
It took them a lot longer to get me the new computer than I think it should have, but I have it now and glad I waited, It is much more than I expected.
Every time I spoke to someone with Dell in the USA I never had one problem and things got done quickly. It's when I had to talk to the people in India where things turned very sour very quickly.
I defense of those people. They have to learn American English, are put into a technical job and have to deal with short tempered, impatient people such as myself and do it in a short time.
It is also a poor country and the people working for Dell or their contractors, don't have computers at home to hone their skills.
That to me is Dell's fault. They need to get tech support for the USA back to the USA and not to some country where we have no clue to what they are saying.
If they must use foreign people, route calls from that country to those people and make sure they are trained, it is very plain that the people in India have little or no training.
When it comes time for me to get a new computer, Dell will be my very last choice because of all the hassle I went through on this one.

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by Anti-Dell / July 11, 2009 4:54 AM PDT
In reply to: Dell experience.

I can relate completely. It is to the point that I'd rather
communicate with DELL technical support through chat sessions
than speak with them on the telephone. I am hoping they can read
and write English better than they are able to speak the language.

I think the person that thought mixing a language barrier with a technical issue a good idea deserves to be on the consumer end of that call.

I just received a call back from DELL india, they're so called
"Consumer Resolution Center" and basicly they call me to repeat
themselves, we're not replacing the computer with a new one and an upgrade for your trouble is out of the question. This they follow
with "We're sorry for the inconvenience" yet they are willing to
perpetrate that inconvenience further by suggesting I spend more
time on the phone trying to diagnose what is wrong with the used computer they sent me.

This will be the last DELL I ever own.

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This is all very interesting ...
by Roxbury Ranger / July 12, 2009 11:25 AM PDT

... and I feel your pain, really I do. But ...

Why would you waste your time dealing with an organization (BBB) that is - by definition - at best an arbiter for the very business with which you have the problem?

This seems to be a tremendous waste of time. If I were you, I'd contact your state's Attorney General's office, followed by the Texas Attorney General. And, I'd send a letter to Dell's legal department detailing all that you've been through (and making it clear that this has been reported to the above), cc'ing whomever you'd like (I guess M. Dell would be a good choice, but I'm not sure a billionaire cares). However, his minions certainly should.

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Horrible customer service from dell !!!
by caffeine911 / July 17, 2009 11:57 PM PDT

OMG I am so afraid I've made a terrible mistake by ordering a laptop from dell.

Here is the issue:
I just spent over 2 hours yesterday on the phone with everyone but the janitor trying to get an answer! I placed an order with dell for an xpsM1330 Intel Core 2 Duo with a lot of neat stuff included and which I originally wanted in Red so that I could tote it along with me to college. I was told by the sales rep that in order to get all the things I wanted onto this computer especially the bluetooth that they would not be able to sell me a Red xpsM1330 because it did not support bluetooth, was incompatible with the backlit lcd monitor (whatever that means?)and did not come with a finger print reader. So, I had to opt for the one that would support these things which at this time only comes in Midnight Blue and includes the finger print reader (which she assured me in this color it could not be built without it).

Anyways, yesterday I go online to check on my order status and I find that the laptop is being built without the finger print reader! I had read on some forums that the finger print reader really doesn't work that well and can be a real hassle, so I'm thinking maybe this is not such a bad thing. However, I see that the price on the invoice still remains the same! I couldn't believe it! After all that about not being able to get the laptop in Red because of the finger print reader and so called incompatibilities this one is being built without it and I'm still being charged for it!

After much arguing back and forth with at least 9 different people in different departments and having finally lost my temper with a rep who told me very rudely not to yell at him (even though I wasn't') I demanded to speak to a supervisor. I get this girl on the phone who puts me on hold 2 times for at least 15 minutes each time and finally tells me that the mistake was on dells part (no kidding!) that they should have called me to tell me that the finger print reader was not going to be on the laptop they built for me and that they should have given me the option to: a)either opt out of buying the laptop or b) they should have adjusted the price of the missing finger print reader on my invoice.

Unfortunately, she says there is nothing she could do because the laptop was already in transit and she had no idea where it would finally ship from, which meant she could not stop the delivery. I told her I would send this laptop back as soon as I received it. She told me to give her until Monday to see if she could get a price adjustment on the invoice but that she could not make any promises. Unbelievable! I told her I was not going to pay for something I was not getting! Then she said maybe she could get the customer care manager to get me a "coupon" or "giftcard" for the amount of the missing finger print reader so that I could use it to purchase a peripheral or accessory, but that she could not promise this either. OMG I can't believe this girl!

So, here I am waiting for this thing to arrive and I don't know whether I should keep it or not? But I if I do keep it I certainly want my invoice adjusted. All this hassle has really taken me by surprise since I did buy an Inspiron 530 desktop computer from dell earlier this year and it had a broken ethernet card so I called dell's customer service and they replaced the entire tower within days with no hassle whatsoever and it works great! Seems to me that dell's customer service is extremely inconsistent. What a shame since they seem to build a pretty decent product.

I would still like to know if I am missing out on not having a finger print reader if I keep this laptop? Does the finger print reader work at all? And has anyone heard of the Red xpsM1330 being so incompatible? I thought one of the big advantages about dell laptops and certainly one of their main sales advertisements is that you could get any color you wanted?!?! I am really disappointed.

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Horrible customer service from dell !!!
by Anti-Dell / July 22, 2009 6:18 AM PDT

I feel for you. You are in a far better position to demand customer
service as you have not yet taken delivery of the computer. This is the ONLY time where DELL will listen and care what you have to say.

I have 3 notebooks with biometric fingerprint readers and I would
not want a computer without one. I can log into everything from
Windows to Bank Of America and American Express as well as this
very forum all with a swipe of my finger. It works in IE, Firefox
and Opra. It certainly simplifies the over all internet experience
given how many web sites have "log in ID's".

If I were you, I would refuse delivery of the notebook when FedEX
arrives BUT take note of the tracking number. Then call DELL and
tell them you refused delivery once and you will refuse again when
FedEX returns tomorrow untill you receive either an appropriate
monetery compensation or an assurance in writing that a replacement
will be ordered and shipped at no cost to you configured the way YOU WANT.

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Bad Dell experience
by retlas101 / July 25, 2009 5:55 AM PDT

I've purchased 6 or 7 Dell computers over the last 10 years for self and family. The last one was an XPS 420 with all the bells and whistles. I was very disappointed. The wireless card failed after about 2 weeks and had to use an ethernet cable. It's still that way after a year and a half. Dell tech support couldn't resolve the problem and continued to blame the router even though other home computers worked just fine off the same wireless router. I finally asked if an on-site technician could be dispatched but was told that Dell didn't really do that for this type of problem.
There were numerous other problems in addition but won't go into them all. I'll probably not buy a Dell in the future! **** Salter

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Dell Experience - Not so good
by rezende1 / August 15, 2009 5:32 AM PDT
In reply to: Bad Dell experience

Just wait to see when your warranty expires.
As you have a separate number for expired warranty products, they will answer very quick. They are also very quick to offer you solutions that possibly cost you the same as if you would be purchasing a new computer. This is why they do not put you on hold and make you wait, they transfer you to India and charge you a bundle of money to fix your computer...
Frustrating and disappointing that Dell believes that they are the best and we need them. Fortunately, the bad economy did not take out their competition and yes Mr. Dell, WE HAVE OPTIONS!

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DELL can't make a laptop that will run for more than 3 days
by DellREALLYSucks / August 25, 2009 7:42 AM PDT

Back in March I ordered a 15″ Studio laptop. Somewhere near the end of April it arrived, the claim that it was back ordered to explaim the late shipping. Arrived on Friday, on Sunday while working on the laptop and at the time not even touching a button the unit shut down. Upon restart everything was recovered but time.
This continued to happen whenever the unit felt was an inopportune moment for the next several days and no technical support or the little man in the machine was capable of fixing the problem so the answer was to send it off to the depot to be repaired. Remember this is less than a week old!
The depot had it for a week and couldn?t get it to shut down so they called, I suggested they do what I was usually doing for my job when it would shut down, have a word document, an adobe document and a page from the internet open and peruse them one at a time. While the technician was doing this and speaking to me the unit shut down on him. One would think that the problem could now be solved, NOPE!

The unit arrived more than a week later, now it had been in the shop longer than I had it, with a note that it had been cleaned but the problem could not be fixed!

Contacted DELL and they would send a replacement. Several weeks the later , no computer, the response was that processors were on back order. One would be rushed out ASAP. New order.

When it arrived it was the Inspiron model, missing several things that were on the original order and obviously a lesser quality unit. The good thing about this one is it worked. Keep that in mind.

Before it was even plugged in the call was made to DELL, much back pedalling and much appoligies correct unit with a better graphics will be put through on a rush, told to hang on to the Inspiron until it arrives.
3 weeks later newer version of the Studio arrives on Wednesday. Check all the checks, this one says Centrio wheras the other said Core 2 duo, plug it in and prepare to pack the Inspiron. But the graphics on the Inspiron are better than the Studio,that?s not right!

Whatever, it has everything else. I transfer what little is on the one to the other and start to work.
Friday evening I have an error message appear while manouvering around a website, no problem, I X out of the error and continue for a very short time before closing everything for the night.
Saturday morning I open the laptop to start work and low and behold the error message from the night before, but this time it isn?t going away. No amount of X, or esc or left click on the mouse will work. Right click the mouse and everything goes black.

3 days old and the ****** won?t even turn on!

Now here?s the kicker!
DELL claims it has been more than 30 days since the original contract (Remember the March order) and they won?t accept a return. We can send it to the depot though!!!!

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My bad service
by asfd9 / October 4, 2009 1:31 AM PDT

Wait for the warranty to expire. My warranty is not up till Jan 15. My Inspiron would not load at all last week. They told me they could fix it for $130 bucks, one shot deal. But for $230, i could get a years worth of trouble fixed. Not wanting to give them a dime, I tried the vista fix of "return to factory condition". Lost some data and programs, but saved $130. I guess this is the last Dell I will buy.

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Horrible terrible Dell Hell customer service
by azuremountain1 / March 1, 2013 11:21 PM PST

The terrible customer service at Dell continues. It makes me sad because my husband has bought a lot of Dells for his company in the past. No more! He's an attorney and he needed a new laptop for his trial. We went online and had fun picking out all kinds of pricey extras with the fast, helpful customer rep. He ordered it 2nd day air so he could have it for the trial. It took a lot longer than that to get here, and when he turned it on it didn't work, Nada. He hired a tech person who said the motherboard was disconnected. Bummer. So he tried to reach Dell to get labels to return it. He was on terminal hold for hours, transferred all over, and with his busy schedule was unable to get this done. Even the tech people at Dell couldn't get through to their own customer service. Finally he returned the computer on his own, but kept the accessories. The tech people confirmed: disconnected motherboard. Two weeks later, he finally had another laptop. A high end laptop, mind you. Guess what? It didn't turn on. Why? Disconnected motherboard. Nobody at Dell bothered to turn it on and make sure the second one worked. And did customer service improve? Nooooo, it got worse. This time he gave up reaching anyone. I had to take off work, because people would email us with the right phone number and it would be the wrong one. I had to deal with numerous people in India who tried to tell me the WARRANTY might be expired. I said THERE IS NO COMPUTER, it doesn't turn on, so there CAN BE NO WARRANTY. It took me 4 hours to get someone who would send me labels to return the second one. He even tried to tell me I had to fit everything in 1 large box and package it myself as I could only have 2 shipping labels. Absurd! The kicker: it's been 6 weeks now, UPS has confirmed receipt of all packages, and my husband took more of his valuable time drafting a letter to Dell Financial telling them the computers never worked. But guess what??? That's right, we are getting constant phone calls from Dell Collections trying to get us to pay our bill. This is March 2, 2013, clearly their customer service has only gotten worse. Who wants to go through all this and get absolutely nothing in return? It's a competitive marketplace!

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by jesseindiana / August 26, 2009 3:02 AM PDT

wow thats alot to read

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Dell support is worthless.
by Dowquest / September 30, 2009 2:33 AM PDT

Do not purchase a Dell product! They are overpriced, and their Customer service is horrible. I purchased 3 laptops from them, have "in house repair" and was told today they would only ship me a box for the repair. My inhouse repair is "only for hardware failure"
Do not purchase their products...

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Say, could you make a new post on this?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 30, 2009 3:13 AM PDT

Dell didn't write the OS so support for the non-Dell parts is quite a concern for many. Top post this so people can comment about that.

And be sure to tell us which Windows machine maker gives you Windows and software support you crave.

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my suggestion
by DellREALLYSucks / October 4, 2009 5:43 AM PDT

For any poor sole who has found themselves in possession of a Dell computer less that 30 days old is to ship it back to Dell immediately!!
Get rid of it while you can. In my province and as far as I know everywhere in North America, there is a 30 day trial on any purchased goods. So send it back and get a Toshiba or whatever model you prefer. Less headaches and you can speak to someone in your own language!!

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Hate Dell
by disgustedwithDELL / January 23, 2010 11:24 PM PST
In reply to: my suggestion

NEVER buy a Dell. I bought my first one in February 2009 and am still suffering after numerous hours and hours of misery with Dell India.

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Dell customer service
by nellyindy / August 4, 2010 7:59 AM PDT

You are not alone in your situation. I am living through "Dell Hell" as we speak. Three nights on the telephone for a total of 7 hours tracked so far; two visits to fix a computer that was supposed to be fixed the first week I got my system in December 2008, and now a two to three week wait or a three to four week wait until they replace my system with a system that is a different model. When I asked what model and features I would get, they said they couldn't tell me for another five business days.

I used to love and brag about the service I got from Dell. Over the years, I have bought three desktops and two laptops along with another ten items that cost over a hundred dollars each. Like many things, corporate profits must have changed how they do business. My next computers for myself, my wife, my grown kids will come from another company.

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