Friday, October 8, 2010

Dude, don't get a Dell.

Seriously my fellow expats, just don't do it.

I've mentioned my issues with my Dell Inspiron laptop on here before. Just do a quick search for 'dell' and you'll find a small sample of my frustration with my laptop and the company.

It's been a roller coaster with this thing and it all started when I moved to Europe. Imagine my surprise when my charger stopped working after a few months of living over there. The charger says it can handle European electrical loads but I have experienced four broken chargers in the past two years that says otherwise.

When I moved back to the US, I thought my issues with my laptop would be over. This is the country I purchased it in, so hopefully no more electrical issues!

Hahaha. Ha.

My charger hasn't been working for a week and I've been getting a new error message. This message informs me that I'm plugged in to an incorrect charger and must change to a 65W AC adapter. Nope, it is a 65W AC adapter. So I tried unplugging the charger, unplugging the battery, restarting the laptop yadda yadda yadda. Still getting the message. And now my battery isn't holding a charge so everytime my power cord comes out of the computer, the computer shuts down.

Having had enough, I contacted Dell technical support online last night. Apparently they couldn't do anything for me so they quickly got rid of me, telling me to call a 1-800 number today with my laptop's express service code number.

So I did. And now I have a migraine.

I called and explained the situation to the lady I was speaking to. I gave her all the information. She put me on hold. When she came back, our conversation went a little something like this:

Her: "Your computer is registered to a country outside of the US, have you changed the registration back to the US?"

Me: "No, I bought the laptop in the US and never registered it in Switzerland."

Her: "Well, our records show that it isn't registered to the US, did you ever change the registration back?"

Me: "If I wasn't aware that the computer was registered in Switzerland, how would I know to change it back to the US?"

Her: "Would it be okay for me to put you on hold for 2-3 minutes?"

When she came back she said she was trying to access my computer and warranty information. I informed her that the laptop was purchased in 2008 so I suspected it was no longer under warranty. However, the adapter needed to be replaced often while I lived in Switzerland and that Dell Switzerland had covered it because the adapter was failing so quickly, before any warranty could expire on it. She asked me for more information to find the purchase information and then put me on hold, again.

The third time she came back she asked what troubleshooting I had attempted on the computer. I told her and then she directed me to remove the battery from the laptop and see if I still got the error message. I did. So she put me on hold again.

The fourth time she came back she told me the warranty had expired on my laptop but I could purchase an extended warranty plan. I said, yea, no thanks. She said my error message indicated that something else might be wrong with the laptop, like a motherboard issue. I told her that Switzerland had looked at that and, no, that wasn't the problem. The chargers suck. Then she asked me for the reference number that was used for the new adapter that I received in Switzerland. I told her I didn't have it. She said she needed it to put in her records so that a 'higher up technical person' could help with this issue. I said, "Well, I thought you couldn't access foreign records?" She said that this higher-up person could to which I responded, "Great, then he should be able to use the laptop's service code, which has never changed, to be able to see all of the records from Switzerland." Then she - can you guess? Yep, put me on hold again.

The final time she came back she again informed me that my warranty had expired in April 2009 (a year after I purchased it) and, as a result, in the future I would be charged $59.99 for contacting phone support.

That's when my mouth hit the ground and I went in to full "Are you kidding me?" mode.

She wasn't, she was dead serious.

So that's that. I have a crappy laptop, charger, and battery and I'm missing the Swiss support because they seemed to give a damn.

Learn from my experience people! Just say no!


Holly Dengler said...

OK, that has to be the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of!! I would deiniflty get something new. Good to know too since I was thinking of getting a DELL!!!

Mike said...

One word - Toshiba.

Oh, and don't forget that Windows Home Server thing I was telling you about to regularly backup all of your home computers and safely store all those pictures you took...


Lemon Gloria said...

That's ridiculous and would make me completely stabby. Isn't there a higher higher up you can talk to do deal with this?

I got a Mac earlier this year and I love it so much.

Issabella (and Ted) said...

Mrs. Mac definitely needs a Mac!

Arielle said...

I'm not sure how it may apply in the US, but in Canada, there is a law saying that the warranty duration shall be concordant to the value of the item. I had a lot of problems with my Dell XPS1330. Using that argument (and the documentation if found on the web about my specific problem), I had it repaired for free after two years, even if the warranty was officially expired for one year. They've charge me the technical support fees, which I had refunded afterward. The story is quite long and I made many call to Dell, but what I would advise is to note every calls you make, it duration, how many time you were put on hold, the name of the person you've talk with, and never let down... Of course, if you have time for this... Good luck!

Lindsay Novotny said...

That's RIDICULOUS! We have a Dell Inspiron (or however it's spelled) laptop that's 3 years old and is starting to The battery stopped holding a charge and the new battery charger we have makes the laptop extremely hot on the bottom. I want to get a new laptop, but the husband says no. Ugh. Good luck with your issues!