Thread: beware of dell
November 28th, 2011, 05:14 PM #1
beware of dell
I've often recommended dell for low end systems, but a friend in wow bought a dell alienware computer. Apparently soon after she bought it, it started having random issues with locking up. Tech support ran her through some stuff and eventually sent someone out to look at it. This started a several month attempt to get the thing working, during which the best they could seem to come up with was randomly replacing parts.
They replaced her mobo, cpu and hard drives once, they replaced her SLI 3 times, ram twice while ignoring any possibility of psu trouble. When they replaced hard drives, the tech left her with the install incomplete, so the tech apparently didn't even care if it actually worked. After all this and a rather large amount of time with a very expensive nonfunctional computer, she requested they replace her computer outright and was refused. After much egging on by her friends (she's not an aggressive woman) she really got on them about a computer replacement, threatening to cancel the charge with the bank. With this they finally agreed to replace it, although they said it would take 15 days to get a computer assembled for her.
Right after her business was concluded I see another friend that can't get support she can understand from dell, I guess their indian call center needs some english lessons.
Anyways, thought I'd put out there that dell is really failing miserably lately with support. I suppose in the poor economy they decided they can't afford to take care of their customers.
November 28th, 2011, 06:04 PM #2
ehhh cant say anything about your friend but i can tell you i got on the phone and had a parts qoute for a replacement LCD in about 10 minutes. I have had excellent customer service with the occasional push back on overly enthusiastic sales people. While i realize you can't make everyone happy, i dont see the relavence since this isnt your experience ... but i do recognize the need to vent.
Playing devils advocate, she could have asked for additional support from you and us here at techimo and done some troubleshooting of her own to establish a root cause. i mean, thats what most of us do here right? If a tech came onsite, she must have either business level support or something special because i was not aware that dell did on-site support for any consumer level products which makes me mention it.
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November 28th, 2011, 07:51 PM #3
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I have a strange like-hate relationship with Dell.
I do recommend them to new customers that are looking for low maintenance, easy to setup PCs prepackaged with whatever customizations they seek. I never recommend stock Dells but rather advice them to choose a Dell that meets specifications I tell them, things they need (usually they are both go hand-in-hand) and - upon check out - customize them fully.
I never recommend uncustomized systems.
Do I really love Dells? No. I'm very much against their outsourced tech support that read from cross referenced pre-scripted manuals (I've actually seen the manuals so I know what I'm talking about). But I think if you are going to get a pre-built system you're going to want to go with a name you can trust (trust = a name that will be around a while). That or would you like to go with a Gateway and risk what happened back in the 90s/00s with them nearly going bankrupt and not willing to service a lot of their warrantied computers (I had an old Gateway that had a warranty still in full force and effect, the machine died, tried bringing it to the store and they couldn't do anything). **
** Maybe this was just in my area though. Can't seem to find much about it online.
That said I do have a Gateway I'm happy I have (my main computer). The hardware/machine itself runs great but the company I'm less than fond of. That said there are hardware problems commonly found in "big manufacturer" PCs such as a BTX form factor configuration, low grade/low quality manufacturer based PSU, poor nVidia graphics card on a system that should be a Media Center PC, etc. But such is life when dealing with a manufacturer PC (I should have triple checked the specs but at the time I didn't know what I was looking for and, for a system being over 8 years old, it was a really great buy! "Advanced" at the time).
Dell is what I would say is good for a manufactured computer with decent warranty support.
I'll usually have customers customize a PC on Dell.com, order one from Newegg (rare but they do have some nice Acers every now and then) or check out Micro Center for a good starting place. And all of this relies on the fact that they want a manufactured computer and not a built computer (no one has ever asked me to build them a computer and, quite frankly, there's no money in PC building to be had if you aren't working on big gaming computers, have a contract with a company, etc).
As for what you experienced with Dell... I'm shocked that the alienware had so many troubles. But tbf alienwares are junk. The chassis and design are sick and the hardware is typically substandard and overly expensive. But I'm shocked it had problems to that degree. You should have made a post immediately and I could have helped resolve some of the issues (or tried)!
One thing I do like about Dell is that they'll flip the bill for sending things back to them. Unfortunately to get them to take anything back means subjecting yourself to a battery of questions on the phone from multiple employees (they do have a procedure they need to follow prior to giving you RMAs).
Again for pre-built manufacturer PCs I'm fine with Dell but I'm always on the look out for a better company. I hear HPs are decent but from what I've noticed they seem to be designed poorly (this may just be the lot of HPs I've worked on). If you think Dell packs their systems with bloatware, HP overdoes it. Sony is worthless junk that won't even get a mention here.
eMachines...? Not sure. I've worked on a few dozen but I can't recall really if I liked them. I think I did a lot. But it was a while ago... they may have changed over the years.
By the way I hope no one thinks I'm being a snob by me saying what I did about PCs made by the "big manufacturers." Obviously I don't want to sit and built every PC I come across either. Buying from these big guys is a necessary evil. Especially when recommending PCs to those that are casual users and don't need top of the line gaming machines, etc. But it really is up to the customer to make sure he or she is getting what they need, want, and all the right service/warranty/etc. crap they need as well.
Last edited by Interrupt; November 28th, 2011 at 08:00 PM.“Arguing with anonymous strangers on the Internet is a sucker's game because they almost always turn out to be—or to be indistinguishable from—self-righteous sixteen-year-olds possessing infinite amounts of free time.” ― Cryptonomicon
November 28th, 2011, 09:23 PM #4
As most of you know, I have lots of experience with Dell systems. But like everyone else, they sell some lemons. The key is to pursue things through the proper channels and escalate appropriately. Dell's escalation team is really top notch, and I have seen them go so far as to replace systems that are a couple years old with a brand new system when all other avenues were exhausted.
That said, I generally do not recommend Dell's bargain basement systems. Just moving up one or two models will get you far more reliability and longer life. People buy these stripped down boxes thinking they only going to do email and internet, and then invariably find themselves wanting a better system that can do more than the bargain basement system was designed to do.
November 28th, 2011, 10:42 PM #5
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I've owned many Dell computers and never had any trouble. I think it's Alienware that is high priced junk.
November 29th, 2011, 12:48 AM #6
I was giving her tech support, but presumably she paid for this level of service so why should she be swapping cards around and such things. Perhaps it is just that she bought an alienware, I wouldn't have recommended that. I always thought they were overpriced.
Oh, the real kicker is that she has an identical computer from dell for her husband that they weren't willing to risk to identify the problem. Troubleshooting, if they were willing, would have been so much easier.
November 29th, 2011, 09:21 AM #7
Of all the hundreds of Dells I've used/been around in offices where I've worked the really good thing is that they very seldom need service
I think I've only had to deal with support maybe five times in 20 years. Watching their techs replace a lappy mobo in under 15 minutes is pretty cool..The propeller is just a big fan in front of the plane used to keep the pilot cool. When it stops, you can actually watch the pilot start sweating.
November 29th, 2011, 09:56 AM #8
If tech support isnt giving you the support on your computer you feel is deserved, email Micheal Dell Michael@dell.com and tell him what is going on. (yes the email is legit, see link below)
Alienware Laptop "Fixed" With Black Marker, Food Crumbs - The Consumerist
November 29th, 2011, 11:46 AM #9
I reached out to one of the Dell Customer Advocates similar to the DellCA guy that posted here:
B/W only with s-video out to tv(Dell Lat C840/Nvidia GEForce440 MX)
My boss order the slower of several cpu's for my new office Dell...I wanted to see if I could upgrade the cpu. The guy gave me an 800 to the parts department. That was a horror story in that the person started asking me survey type questions and wasn't going to give any price info till she completed... so I hung up.
To make a long story short - The Dell Customer Advocate guy swapped out my cpu for free
November 29th, 2011, 03:11 PM #10
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I've had several Dells over the years. One was a lemon and was replaced after a lot of troubleshooting. I've had higher-end HP's for work that I like a lot, they have the longest extended battery life (9 hours) that I've ever seen. My personal laptop now is an eMachines (made by Acer) that I only got because it was on sale at Best Buy for $200. It's been the most reliable machine I've ever used.
December 8th, 2011, 04:42 PM #11
Hah, she got a replacement shipped out, and they gave her 2 Nvidia 450 GTS cards when she paid for 2 460 GTX cards. They also didn't put in some 5 in 1 card reader she had.
December 8th, 2011, 08:40 PM #12
December 8th, 2011, 10:09 PM #13
a friend of hers had a bad laptop, emailed michael dell because she couldn't resolve the problem. Kept getting customer support from some other country that she couldn't understand. The email to michael dell got her a call from support....from the same people she couldn't understand.
What's the point of emailing him if he's just forwarding it to his support department?
December 9th, 2011, 07:06 AM #14
There has been plenty of people who have gotten their issues resolved by emailing Michael. I was just posting the information to help you out, if you don't want to try it that's fine.
Another suggest is to do an EECB bomb
How To Launch An Executive Email Carpet Bomb - The Consumerist
EECB Gets Dell's Attention, Better Computer Shipped Overnight - The Consumerist
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