The Crazy Suburban Mom: Making Lemonade out of Dell...

Friday, December 4, 2009

Making Lemonade out of Dell...

It's a bit long... sorry about that

Ah Dell... I really do love you although at the moment you're making it difficult.

I know some people have issues with Dell computers, for the most part I do not. I have issues with one Dell computer, my laptop, and Dell itself (at the moment). It's been serviced three (or two) times in the last year and is about to take a journey to be worked on for a forth (or third) time.


Laptops can have issues. They are mobile, they are fragile and I think they tend to need more service than desktops but the problem with this one is it's needed the same thing done each time. The very same thing. This seems, to my untrained, ungeeky eye... an unresolvable problem... a design flaw. It's something that reoccurs within a few months and I attempt to ignore until I no longer can and have to get service again. And it's not just mine, I've googled it - it's many of these same laptops.


So, I was pretty tweaked to begin with the other day even before sitting on hold. After sitting on hold for at least one whole television show I was tweaked at least a schooch more, ya might say but I contained myself by surfing the Dell website. I found the Dell executive pages. Did you know there is a Michael Dell? That Dell was a person not a company? I sure didn't. And that he had "an unprecedented idea, to build relationships directly with customers."


No kidding, it's here. (On Twitter I think I would add #Fail and I would have but Michael Dell never Tweets. Really, go look. ) Honestly, I wish I could have written him to say how happy I was with my five computers but instead I emailed several 'high-end' Dell people, after aggravating on hold for an extended period of time, asking for a replacement unit. Within a few hours I got a call from someone who knew my whole case history and said he would send me a box to have the unit shipped to Dell. They would try for the third (or forth) time to fix the unit and if that didn't fix it they would replace it with a refurbished computer.


Ah, Dell. I do appreciate that call very much but I did stop you there. I bought an expensive laptop. A very expensive laptop, one that I have not even had a few perfect months of use out of. And despite that I bought three, (count them, three) computers after that. And you want to replace a computer that has never worked with a used one? I said that was unacceptable. You said that was all you could offer. I beg to differ. That may be all you are willing to offer, but that is not all you can do. Nor, is it what you should have offered me.


I am hopeful that you can fix my computer but not optimistic and I am dissapointed at your offer and I must in all legal seriousness ask, What part of the implied federal warranty law does giving me a used computer to replace the expensive new one I bought that never worked correctly fulfill?

Hm? This?

A warranty is your promise, as a manufacturer or seller, to stand behind your product. It is a statement about the integrity of your product and about your commitment to correct problems when your product fails.

Hmmm.... No, not that... The problem wasn't corrected three (or two) times.


The implied warranty of merchantability is a merchant's basic promise that the goods sold will do what they are supposed to do and that there is nothing significantly wrong with them. In other words, it is an implied promise that the goods are fit to be sold. The law says that merchants make this promise automatically every time they sell a product they are in business to sell.

Hmmm.... No, not that either... Because other people had the same problem as me so there seems to be a problem with the XPS M1330.

The implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose is a promise that the law says you, as a seller, make when your customer relies on your advice that a product can be used for some specific purpose.

Well, unlike when you are trying to get tech support... like before I wrote my email that day after waiting 40 minutes - Sales is easy to get on the phone. And they will help you out with...with is it ... "your customer relies on the your advice that a product can be used for some specific purpose" ... Oh, Dell... You are very good at that. Seriously, you are great. I'm very happy with my computers. That work. They do exactly what I want.

Now this one? Not so much.


My computer is under warranty, by the way. And as I read the Federal Implied Warranty Law it's requiring Dell to stand behind it's computer, that every computer must function as warranted and deliver what was promised at the time of sale.


I said I would send the computer back once more and give it a shot. The thing here is all of this is just sad. I was not an unhappy customer. I have two very expensive computers, one mid-range, one inexpensive and one mini. All of them had the most expensive and longest warranties I could buy. That added hundreds of dollars and in my mind well worth the price.

In this case I am not even asking Dell to honor the warranty I paid for but the Implied Federal Warrenty that goes along with any purchase anyone makes. And perhaps that is what makes it so hard for people to work with. It upset me that a company that I respect and I am sure that a company Michael Dell still values, and seeks to thrive would treat a valued customers this way. It seems I value Dell more that it values me. And that saddens me.

I hope it saddens Michael Dell.


Anonymous,  12/4/09, 10:14 AM  

No-For me the issue is with Logotech. My son took his hard earned money and bought an way expensive mouse. It broke the first week. no problem we called the company and after and hour on the phone giving info they offered to send a new one. never came -have contactd them since-no response....pretty much anyone dealing with computers or computer equipement doesnt give a care of it breaks once you pay them. And dont get me started on Worst Buy--charged me to fix stuff that was under warranty and then openly admited they didnt even OPEN the computer or trun it on to check the problems and sent it back.....

Anonymous,  12/4/09, 10:44 AM  

i sooooo hope michael dell reads this and kicks the company that bears his name in the reboot!

you go, girl!


Lynette 12/4/09, 11:08 AM  

I have a new Dell myself thanks to a wonderful friend. And if it goes out I would be up that creek without a paddle. Do not know what I would do. So good luck and keep trying to contact MICHAEL

The Crazy Suburban Mom 12/4/09, 11:13 AM  

Anon, I checked into buying a computer from best buy but really didn't want the computer serviced there. I talked to geek squad and didnt like the answers I got.

M, I hope that Michael Dell, is unhappy with this situation. I hope these turns of events are not his wishes or his intent. I hope this is made right..

Lynette - I think it will be fine, really. As I said, I have four others ones that are working and and I don't have issues with. I even had to have service on one of them (my son knocked a part right off the desk top - get accidental damage, if you didnt) and the service was wonderful. Like I said, I really don't have anything against Dell, or I wouldnt have five of them.

one gal's trash 12/4/09, 11:45 AM  

U R Funny.

Maureen 12/4/09, 12:35 PM  

I've had similar experiences with Dell. I've had 3 desktops. Occasional random problems over the 8 years or so that I've had them. Service was great when they had to replace parts. As in, at my door the next day.

My laptop has had a few issues and service was not as good. I think if I buy from them again I won't get the warranty. I was lucky enough to find a computer guy who lives right around the corner and he is reasonably priced. This way I don't have to ship my laptop off and service is fast. A day or two and back in action. Silly as it sounds it was like a mental breakthrough for me. An AHA moment. I initially bought from Dell because of the warranty but things have changed and now I don't need it as much. Watch out Michael Dell - that's all I'm saying.

Now the Love's Lemon - wow haven't seen that in forever. I used to wear Love's Baby Soft when I was a young chickadee. Wonder if that's still around????

Lin 12/4/09, 1:29 PM  

It is rarely the product that makes or breaks a company, it is their customer service--or lack thereof. Why, oh why, don't people like Michael Dell get that?

The Crazy Suburban Mom 12/4/09, 2:27 PM  

Maureen, My laptop was worked on here and the service was actually fine. I think the issue for me is this particular one. Although I sure wish I had someone around the corner! That would be terrific! And yes, loves lemon and baby soft... you know what? I bought it a few years ago. It's really for someone much younger :) But it was nice to remember!

Lin, I agree. It's always about customer service in the end. Always. And I think its partly that people just get frustrated with the amount of effort it takes to get satisfaction. The layers of people you need to go thru. I've found that to be true. With every layer of people, some consumers will drop out... and I guess that is what large companies count on? I don't know

Lidian 12/4/09, 4:13 PM  

We were lucky with the two Dells we have - so far, no probs. But you never know...

I love all the lemon pics! The Lemonheads one cracks me up especially because I'm imagining the people you spoke to as having these heads, lol

Ann 12/4/09, 6:48 PM  

This type of things seems to be happening more and more lately. Not just with Dell but with all sorts of companies. Customer service is not what it used to be. It's not about making the customer happy anymore it's about a company making money.

Richard @ The Bewildered Brit 12/4/09, 9:49 PM  

Back in the day, Dell were famous for their good customer service. They offered computers using cut-price parts, but at least they had good customer service.

Now they just offer computers with cut-price parts.

I'm sorry you've had a bad experience with them. Because of the quality of the components they use and my stressful, lengthy dealings with their customer service I won't be buying one of their computers again.

I adore Lemonheads, though! Your post has quite put me in the mood for some!

Storm, The Psychotic Housewife 12/5/09, 1:14 AM  

I'm one that has had issues with Dell - I had problems almost right out of the box with the keys sticking, and their customer service was a nightmare. The worksmanship was so shoddy, it fell apart completely right about when the warranty was about to expire. I know some Dells just rock, I guess I was one that had a lemon too.

Their customer service/repair department really needs help.

Helene 12/5/09, 12:24 PM  

Maybe this is why my husband won't buy a Dell. He said he doesn't like the company but I never asked why. So sorry you're having so many problems with know, for as big a company as they are, you'd think they'd have excellent customer service. I think they should replace your non-working expensive laptop with exactly the same quality and price that you wanted in the first place.

Hope it all works out, in your favor!

Debbie 12/6/09, 9:02 AM  

We have two dell computers and I've had issues with their customer service and them not standing behind their products as well. Can't you just feel your blood pressure rise when you talk to them?
Good luck!

Tina T 12/6/09, 3:38 PM  

As I type this my one year old Dell laptop seems to have the fan kicking into high gear repeatedly today, and it is making me nervous. Our Dell desktop is quite old and has been indestructible. I hope that my laptop is not a lemon too!

Amber 12/6/09, 6:40 PM  

My whole family uses Dell. My laptop, which was also very expensive, has had to be serviced over the years, as well. I see Dell computers as really nice, expensive cars. They run and look GREAT, but they WILL need to be fixed... so you NEED insurance (a warranty). No doubt about it. I mean, I imagine anyone's computer would need to be fixed from time to time, even if they care for their computers well - but I hear most of the "My computer broke! D:" stories from Dell customers.

Good luck! I agree that sending a used computer as a solution is bull. That's not what you paid for. You paid for a NEW, working computer. If anything they should refund you money if they want to give you the used one. You could have bought a used Dell laptop if you wanted to, but you didn't! >:(

Best of wishes.

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