Dell lies. Dell sucks.

Dell lies. Dell sucks

: I just got a new Dell laptop and paid a fortune for the four-year, in-home service.

The machine is a lemon and the service is a lie.

I’m having all kinds of trouble with the hardware: overheats, network doesn’t work, maxes out on CPU usage. It’s a lemon.

But what really irks me is that they say if they sent someone to my home — which I paid for — he wouldn’t have the parts, so I might as well just send the machine in and lose it for 7-10 days — plus the time going through this crap. So I have this new machine and paid for them to FUCKING FIX IT IN MY HOUSE and they don’t and I lose it for two weeks.

DELL SUCKS. DELL LIES. Put that in your Google and smoke it, Dell.

  • Something tells me you will hear from them again real soon.

  • I doubt he will, Josh. Dell is not focused on the needs of the user.
    I recently bought an Inspiron 6000. When the LCD broke (mea culpa!), I spent over an hour on hold to India only to be transferred by the first tech guy to a desktop support queue.
    Their online chat did not work with my only other computer, my iBook.
    In desperation I sent a Hail Mary email, which for some reason, was answered and I got a telephone call (again, from India) four hours later from a very nice, but difficult to understand, fellow who shipped me a return box.
    Dell doesn’t support their customers. Their great deals come from lowballing every component, including the tech support people who were formerly employed in the United States. Thus, they do everything to get you to ship the computer to them.
    Moral of the story? Don’t pay for in-home service, especially on a Dell laptop.

  • erp

    I won’t bore you with the details, but I wouldn’t have a Dell on a silver platter. Tech Support?? Haaaaaaaaaaaahaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

  • Oh, man, do I know what you’re going through. I went through the same thing with my Toshiba Satellite and CompUSA. My readers kept telling me I should have bought a Dell for the service and support. I had a few bad experiences with Dell as a network administrator a few years back and have tried to steer clear of them ever since. I guess I made the right decision.
    I wound up buying a Sony Vaio the next time out. So far, that’s working OK. Maybe you can get your money back and give them a try. Meanwhile, I’ll keep my fingers crossed that everything works out well for you.
    Memo to laptop makers: Your customers need them for their businesses in the market you’ve created. Either learn to adapt to that fact of life, or get the hell out of the laptop business. Two weeks of downtime isn’t acceptable for anyone.

  • Tim

    Say what you will about Apple, their customer care is superb. (And Consumer Reports agrees.) When my PowerBook had screen problems, they Fedexed me a box to send it in, which arrived Monday. I sent it in on Tuesday and got it back in perfect condition on Friday.
    As for Dell, my Dimension XPS is fine, but it sounds like a jumbo jet taking off the moment I do anything more than move the mouse… =( Why can’t Dell innovate and make computers enjoyable like Apple?

  • I had a great experience getting the part I needed fixed from Dell. But that was a few years ago…
    Using my trusty Inspiron 8200 as I type, in fact. Fans are getting a bit loud, though :/

  • Juris Courious

    DUH!, why didn’t you ask your readers what laptop to buy before you got corncobbed by dell?

  • Amanda

    I am on my SECOND Dell Lap Top. Mine went down and I had no computer for over a year!!!!!!! They wanted to send parts with out someone to fix it which I blew up at. I know NOTHING about fixing a lap top nor do I have the tools to fix it. I spent many hours on the phone with them. My computer tech sent by them spent many hours on the phone. He and I saw each other at least once a week. The lady next door though the was my boyfriend he was over so much. It got to the point that I was promised a new lap top and was to call the next day for the detials. Had the guys name, phone extention, and email. Only to find out when I called back he was fired the night before. Had to call comsumer affairs and they were taking Dell to court for me. Dell finally settled and sent me a “new” lap top the day before court. Then they did not transfer over my warranty from one lap top to another and did not find this out till I had problems with the second lap top. Things finally got settle(I think) and it got “fixed”, but it still does not run well.
    I do not care if I am a “perfered customer” I am NEVER EVER EVER BUYING ANOTHER DELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And I have also told others to buy other brands!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • I too had a horrible experience with Dell. Its service department played hard-to-get and kept advising me to pull the machine apart myself before they would send a guy out to fix it. They actually wanted me to take out the hard drive myself. And I had a frickin’ on-site service plan with them. I feel for you, really. It’ll be a long time before I roll the dice again on a Dell.

  • Kevin

    So I have this new machine and paid for them to F****** FIX IT IN MY HOUSE and they don’t and I lose it for two weeks.
    Rules of Engagement
    No personal attacks, hate speech, bigotry, or seven dirty words in the comments or comments will be killed along with commenters

    Huzzah? I guess the seven dirty words part doesn’t apply to posts. That ain’t fair, Mr. Jarvis.

  • Charles Futch

    I made the mistake of buying a refurbished Dell. After 11 months and a couple of days, it croaked. Dell apparently did not keep records reflecting a change of ownership for that machine. It took an additional two months and a threatening letter from my attorney to convince them that I, and not someone in Saginaw MI, was the true owner and that the warranty was applicable.

  • I’ve noticed some interesting things about Dell too, lately. Bottom line: Dude, I’m not buying another Dell. I just wrote that this morning, too. Odd.

  • Buy a Mac !!!

  • gemini

    Had a Dell a few year ago. Good product – but you would not believe what I went through simply trying to order additional memory for it. Hours & hours on hold, lot of the run-around, and the (wrong) memory shipped twice to my old address, after I’d asked them to change their database records about 3 times.
    When it was time to buy a new machine, Dell was the very last company on the list. Their customer service sucks, sucks, sucks.

  • Joel S.

    Jeff, do you really think using your blog for this kind of thing is a good idea? I know it’s fun to think that you can “out” some company for its bad products and/or customer service, but it starts to sound a little whiny. What’s the next step? Telling Dell (or whatever other company ticks you off) that “I’m Jeff Jarvis, and if you don’t make me happy, I’m going to report you to your readers”? Give me a break.

  • Aaron

    I had a similar experience with Dell a few years ago. Keep a written record of every issue you have and get the email address of everyone that you talk to at Dell, plus their supervisors. I emailed my updated story every time I had another problem to everyone I had talked to(plus their bosses) and eventually got my refund.

  • CG

    Buy a PowerBook, you will never go back to those cheaply made PCs.

  • Jay

    I’ve had reasonable luck with Dell, but that has mainly been with servers. I like their laptops, but they seem to have gone downhill. Still, I have seen more trouble with Toshiba laptops. Among people I support, my favorite laptop is a Gateway. No idea about their support, and they generally cost more. I have advised people to steer away from both Compaq and HP computers for years, especially the desktops and the HP laptops, so it is the height of irony that the two companies merged.
    I agree. Fix in home means fix in home unless the thing is essentially fried to the point of preemptve replacement. They charge good money for those fancy warranties that offer that service. Don’t let them screw with you. Using the blog is an excellent tactic.

  • Anonymous-for-obvious-reasons

    I’ve had experience as a vendor in two different companies dealing with Dell: one of them was direct and first-hand, the other was less direct and through applications engineers.
    Dell does suck, but a lot of the other companies sucked even worse. They beat up the vendors pretty badly, but not in any rational or effective way so the vendors learn to dance around and play the games. The Dell people who deal with vendors don’t know as much as the vendors do so they’re like something worse than pointy haired bosses. The apps engineers say Dell sells crap, especially the Dell laptops.

  • JorgXMcKie

    Don’t want to break up the parade, but I habitually work my new computers as hard as I can for 30 days or so. If nothing breaks, it usually works for a long time. It’s worked for me since the 1980’s.
    So, a couple of months ago, I got a Dell 6000. I put it thru its paces, nothing happened, and it’s working fine now. I like it. It does what I want, reliably. About all I don’t like is that, since I didn’t purchase *any* additional coverage beyond the basic warranty, they keep emailing, calling, and popping-up attempts to get me to buy additional warranty coverage. Also, they loaded up a bunch of “free 60-day trial” software crap that is kind of hard to delete.
    I tend to think that sometimes, especially with laptops, we try to load up too much stuff. Too many drives, too many cards, too much of too much. Even top quality, top priced laptops have known physical limitations.
    Hope they do the right thing for you, though Jeff.

  • I have a several-year-old Dell Latitude C840 and other than WinXP-related software problems (bugs in WinXP that were causing the machine to hang), it’s been a rock-solid daily performer that gets carried to airports, from home to office, to cafe’s with WiFi, etc.
    I also have the 4-year CompleteCare service which is offered to Dell “business” customers, which seems to be a LOT better than the “consumer” support that they offer.
    Hint: When buying from Dell, purchase products from their product line that are aimed at businesses (i.e., Latitude instead of Inspiron). It’s a totally different experience, and the price difference isn’t significant.
    I’m a happy Dell customer, and I’m about due for a new laptop since this one’s about to meet the end of it’s warranty period. I’d buy another Dell, except I want a Tablet PC like the Toshiba Portege M200. Unless Dell offers a business-class Tablet PC, it looks like I’ll be contacting Toshiba … but not because of any personal dissatisfaction with Dell, itself.

  • Ouch, you guys are pretty harsh.
    If, perhaps, you worked for Dell (Oh, like me, although not in the consumer products division) you might realize that when you ship out thousands of boxes a day, you’re bound to have a bad one here and there. It’s not a statement on the brand, it happens. Have you never been to a chain restaurant and not had as good an experience as you normally have?
    As to the customer service, what Jeff is saying is not exactly accurate. Dell contracts with a company for in-home repairs. When it is determined that parts are needed, those parts are shipped to the tech who then makes an appointment with the customer to do the repairs. If this has not been his experience, I would invite him to contact me and I will see what I can do.
    I understand and wish that, prior to making inflammatory statements about a company as a whole, people would understand that not every product you buy is going to be perfect every time. Would that it was like that, but it’s reality. I’m not going to blast Honda on my blog just because I happened to get the one out of ten thousand cars that had a fatal gap between the manifold and the block. I also wish that customer service was perfect every time, but it isn’t.
    (BTW, if you want to experience incredibly bad customer service, go ahead and buy a Mac. Been there, done that, several times)

  • Ethan

    For once, I completely agree with Jeff! Two years ago, I bought a top-of-the-line Dell, complete with their most expensive warranty, which supposedly includes “on-site” repair. My computer, which I only use for internet and Word documents, broke down 4 times. Dell always refused to come to my site, and to fix the broken parts, sent me MORE broken parts–twice!
    Needless to say, I am suing Dell this summer. And of course telling everyone I know not to buy a Dell, under any circumstances.

  • “You get what you pay for” has never been more true then in the case of dell hardware and less true than in the case of dell support. When the thing breaks (and it will) you are on your own.
    As for Tim asking why dell can’t innovate like apple, it is simply because dell does not even remotely care to. Apple wants to build computers, and good ones. Dell wants to buy the absolute cheapest parts they can find and shove them in to boxes as fast as possible in order to sell as many as possible. Different goals.
    I own an HP laptop (as well as printer and phone in the form of the tmobile ipaq) and a mac mini. I love both. Never had problems with either, so i can’t complain about customer service i’ve not used. The same went for my old toshiba. The dell i had, and the ones my parents own, are clearly built by the devil himself and were sent to this earth to test me.

  • Lothar Krause

    Buy a Thinkpad if you need a laptop that you can rely on. IBM’s service is unsurpassed. If you have a problem, an IBM technician will come with the right parts and fix it in front of you.

  • Joe Peacock has a great story about his customer service experience with Dell.

    Not a very good blog Jeff.
    I thought BIG MEDIA (MSM) had the monopoly on anecdotal extrapolation?

  • I had purchased a Dell Laptop a year back with 4 year in-home service. Within a week, I had to use their service as the keyboard was faulty (a key was stuck). They replaced it within 3 days (in-home service). After a month, the bluetooth (in-built) didn’t work. They replaced the mother board but of wrong model but atleast everything was working, so I did not complain. After another 3 months, the touchpad stopped working. They replaced it again. Everything worked fine till few months when bluetooth stopped working again. This time I am too tired to call customer service! Dell sucks and it sucks badly.

  • Jeff,
    My Dell Laptop gave up on me a few months ago. All the experts had a similar comment: Dell is good, but when it’s bad, it’s really really bad.
    Bought a Toshiba instead, much better and so far no need for customer support. But then with a Toshiba you may not need customer support.

  • Andrew, you are simply full of shit. Pray that you never need to have the touchpad on your HP fixed.
    I have four Dells (and a Thinkpad) in my house. Aside from upgrading the memory in the Dells, I’ve never had a problem beyond those caused by general Microsoft suckiness (Linux is a wonderful thing!).
    This is exactly why anecdotal evidence is totally meaningless.

  • This isn’t about Dell. Dell’s a great company, as anyone who’s done any volume of business with them knows.
    Scratch Jarvis’ surface just a wee bit and a foul-mouth nut case springs out looking to slime something, anything. Dell just happened to be at hand.

  • Bernie Wishnia

    Maybe Dell was once a good company. Now they don’t give a damn about their customers. Customer service is rotten and quality is getting much worse. I bought a Dell 19 lcd monitor, and it is basically a piece of garbage. Dell knows it and doesn’t care.

  • ahem

    How’s this? I bought a Dell online under the pretence I qualified for an interest-free Dell credit card. (My credit’s quite good.) Because I mis-typed a number as I was filling out the online form, I was told to phone for approval. Although I was approved, they didn’t give me the promotional terms–and didn’t bother to tell me. (If they had, I’d have paid with my Visa. I was only trying to spread out the grief for three months.) I wanted to send the damned thing back. I’ve been happy on the past, but I’ll never buy from them again. They suck.

  • i gots onna em delbert moduls with the wick, burns coil oil. wurks dam gud!

  • mindy

    Yes, but you can get a Dell Dimension 2400, monitor included, for $299.
    Dell just helped me out on a 3-year old laptop. They shipped the parts to a local technician who rebuilt the laptop. He replaced the CD drive, hard drive, processor, memory, keyboard, fan assembly. I went ahead and retired this laptop from work use. Perhaps because I had another computer to work on and I wasn’t aggravated and annoyed, I was as patient with tech support as they were with me. They were pleasant to deal with and professional wherever they were at.
    I also previously researched high CPU usage. I found comment threads that went on for years trying to pinpoint the cause. This issue may not be specific to Dell hardware.

  • I have a new Dell desktop and love it. But, on a lawyer’s listerv I’m a member of, several have been complaining like crazy. You may want to think twice before financing one through them. See this news article

    Dell Inc. has become the target of a lawsuit alleging the PC maker baited customers with low-cost financing and then switched them to a higher interest rate plan, according to an Associated Press report.
    The Round Rock, Texas-based computer company’s financial services division and CIT Bank Inc. were named in the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in New York by law firm Seeger Weiss LLP, according to the report. The complaint seeks national class action status and accuses Dell of violating New York false advertising and deceptive acts and practices status, the law firm was quoted as saying.
    The complaint reportedly alleges that “Dell lures consumers into financing their purchases with (Dell Financial Services) by leading them to believe that they are approved for low rates of zero percent or other favorable promotional terms and then switches consumers to significantly less favorable financing.”
    Seeger Weiss also contends consumers receive statements with hidden fees, late charges and excessive interest rates.

    I bought mine on e-bay, new, sealed box, full warranty.

  • I’m using BlogPulse to track Jeff’s influence on the blogospere on my blog here: How Influential is Jeff Jarvis?

  • Ken Mitchell

    Problems with your Dell, huh? What a surprise. (Delivered in an absolutely flat tone.)
    “This is True” author Randy Cassingham had a similar experience last year. He wrote it up in “Dell Hell” at
    He got results; maybe you will too. Too bad Glenn Reynolds didn’t make a bigger deal about it; you’ve got to have LOTS OF NOISE!!!! before Dell’s “customer service” people will do anything about it.
    As a computer consultant, I have had many clients purchase Dell computers. Like Kaiser health care, people either love them or hate them, in an 80/20 split.

  • A.W. of

    I had a similarly bad experience with Dell. i got a very top of the line Dell. i mean i splurged, frankly. Currently it is a paper weight. i can’t get them to fix it.
    Their service promise is a f—ing lie. Don’t believe it. Every time i see a Dell commercial touting their great service, i want to throw my remote at the TV.
    Undeniably, at one time, Dell had great service. i know many, many people who can attest to that. But that isn’t true anymore.
    In my case they had outsourced their help line to India. Not that i care overly much about the outsourcing part. I am sure there are many bright people in India who could have walked me through it. But apparently those people were hired by other companies. The people working for Dell were a gaggle of idiots who clearly had no idea what they were doing.
    And you know, there is nothing more insulting to your intelligence than hearing a guy say in a thick Indian accent, “Hello, my name is ‘Tom.’ How can I help you?”
    After like the fourth time i called them, I got impatient and said, “okay, let’s cut the bullsh– a little here. Your name isn’t Tom is it?”
    “And i am not talkng to anyone in America, am I?”
    Quietly: “No.”
    “Let me guess? India?”
    Sheepishly: “Yes.”
    Sigh. I was pretty aggravated by then.
    And one more thing. WTF are these companies doing hiring people with thick accents to help us with our computers? I am pretty savvy with computers, but even to me, computer talk is like a foreign language. Add to that a thick foreign accent, and much of the time i can barely understand what they are saying. There are alot of areas where i can tolerate poor langauge skills. This is not one of them.
    Not that i can tell you which computer to buy. I have also been badly burned by toshiba. I was lucky, there, though. that flamed out after a month, so i could return it and got a compaq. Compaqs have always been good to me, but there is a problem there, too. The company has been bought out by HP, and it is a real question whether they will maintain the quality. I have not liked the quality of HP printers, and i am not sure i will like the quality of HP computers, either.
    So for me, don’t buy Toshiba, don’t buy Dell. Be wary of HP. I can’t say with the others.

  • Joe Bonforte

    It’s not just service in which Dell has gone downhill. I’ve been buying Dell desktops for ten years. The one I got two months ago will be the last I ever get. Yeah, it was cheap, but it was also deceptive. Same size case as the last one, but a smaller number of slots for cards and drives.
    And when I tried to install Windows 2003 on it, it was like working with a stubborn two-year-old. Yeah, yeah, there’s probably something in their web site specs telling you not to do that, but I’ve never had to worry about installing any version of Windows I want on earlier systems. The install programs are specifically rigged to not work if anything besides the expected OS is installed, which means these things are essentially non-upgradable for OS.
    I never did get the DVD drive stuff installed – had to go to another source. It works now (which means there are no compatibility problems), but Dell wasted a day of my time because they wanted me to buy one of their servers that I didn’t need. Screw ’em. If their machines waste that much of my time, I don’t want them.
    And I’ll echo the comments about ThinkPad laptops. Most reliable ones on the market that I know of. Not flashy, but they sure do work well.

  • uh oh

    You said the “f” word. I thought you banned people for saying the “f” word to keep your virginal son safe….?
    Please do teh intarweb a favor and ban yourself. ban yourself with extreme prejudice.
    (By the way, my dells work fine, so it may be just be a matter of their taste, personally, I think the machines rejected you and are on strike hoping to be used by a sentient creature next time.)

  • Cal

    Oh Joel S. If he wants to talk about his woes with his computer on his blog then so be it. Are we going to get all journalistically integrified (no not a real phrase, but the name of my new band. OK, that’s not true either.)
    Look, you pay money for service, you get the horns, then the company deserves to be called out.
    Good for you Jeff. Although, since you are a self-professed Christian, I must dole out some slight admonition for the F-bomb. “Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for edifying, as fits the occasion, that it may impart grace to those who hear.”- Ephesians 4:29

  • max kalehoff
  • Re Trolls:
    Jeff, do you get the feeling troll standards have slipped in the last few years?

  • Re F-Bomb
    Cal, get laid and get over it.

  • Dan G

    You need to hang out with more techies. Dell makes great desktops but horrbile laptops. At my company, we only buy Dell desktops but laptops come from IBM, Sony, and Toshiba. (Some folks have Macs, but they’re essentially ways of people showing off how much money they can waste…)

  • michael

    My favorite comment is from the “Dell Guy” (Matt)
    Who says:
    “I understand and wish that, prior to making inflammatory statements about a company as a whole, people would understand that not every product you buy is going to be perfect
    and then two lines later says:
    “(BTW, if you want to experience incredibly bad customer service, go ahead and buy a Mac. Been there, done that, several times)
    Posted by Matt at June 21, 2005 11:03 PM”
    HA! Irony or idiocy? Only the best and brightest there at Dell. Take your own advice. Oh, and Apple is documented as the highest rated customer service in the computer business. Oh, and no tech support in India. Oh, and not the Yugo of the computer business. Have fun at work though, you are doing a great job! You clearly have a lot of fans here.

  • I bought an Axim handheld PC from Dell, and that was an absolutely miserable experience. I finally got someone to agree to send me my money back, and am still waiting on that.
    My parents were going to buy a Dell laptop when they lived in Korea. The laptops kept getting stolen in the mail, and Dell wouldn’t deal with an international delivery service like DHL. Dad fought with them for six months before they agreed to credit them with their money back and the credit itself took another eight months.
    On the other hand, I have had nothing but wonderful experiences with Compaq and Gateway, especially Gateway. My brother screwed up his keyboard last year on his notebook. I called Gateway on his behalf and told them I wanted a new notebook keyboard. They asked me if it would be convenient if I waited a whole two days. Two screws dropped the keyboard out of the notebook and just like that it was repaired. Total time spent on the repair was something like a half-hour and that counts being put on hold by tech support.
    Dell needs serious help.

  • Gideon

    The older high-end Dell laptops have kept good value. I got used Inspiron 8200 from EBay, and then I kicked it up to 2 gigabytes SDRAM from Crucial and an 80GB 5K80 2.5″ disk from Hitachi. With the 1600×1200 ATI Radeon 9000 I couldn’t ask for a nicer laptop.

  • Dell is shooting itsef in the foot. On P42 of PC World magazine, you will find a strange Dell story. They mailed a promo $4 dollar cheque to someone who paid off their Dimension 4100. The cheque was cashed but the next bill had a credit card charge of $139.95.
    By cashing the $4 cheque, he unknowingly set up a DealPass account. However DealPass never did inform him of the account.
    You can find this whole amazing story on page 42 of the July issue of PC World.
    73s TG

  • S

    Jeff simply just noticed that his Dell has no nipples. He’s outraged. With Jeff it’s Always about the nipples.

  • Most laptops are all made by 3 or 4 ODM’s in Taiwan. A Dell is a Gateway is an HP is a whatever, they just slap some different hubcaps and tailfins on the shell. Desktops are a different story, sure, but laptops are where all the money is. Buy a mac. You’ll never regret it.
    I have been involved with my school’s technology program for several years. Everyone loves Dell because they’re great to the purchasers. Their business is serving businesses, not people. Keep that in mind. You don’t mean a thing to them.
    I have two iBooks and I wouldn’t trade them for the world.

  • Get a real computer. Buy a MAC!

  • Dr. Fager

    I had a bad experience with Dell and their ridiculous “customer service” but I won’t bore you with the details. I want to comment on people like Matt, Captious Nut & Joe Zekas who presume to tell other people that their first hand experience is not valid.
    On second thought they’re not worth the keystrokes.

  • “Most laptops are all made by 3 or 4 ODM’s in Taiwan. A Dell is a Gateway is an HP is a whatever, they just slap some different hubcaps and tailfins on the shell. Desktops are a different story, sure, but laptops are where all the money is. Buy a mac. You’ll never regret it.”
    I think that used to be the case, but not so much anymore. While for obvious reasons a HP might be a Compaq, these aren’t Gateways or Dells or Fujitsus. Fujitsu is the last major notebook manufacturer to actually make the notebooks in Japan, for example. HP’s and Compaq’s are made in mainland China. Also, Dell notebooks seem to trail everyone else’s for cutting edge stuff — they’re the last major manufacturer to offer the chemical coating on the screens that signifigantly brightens the appearance. Toshiba and Sony have really been leading the charge on that.
    And personally, the reason I went with the Compaq over the Mac is that its a far better value. I used to think that Mac notebook hardware pretty much had to be the best stuff around, but the screen on the V2000 kills anything that Apple is putting out right now, and Fujitsu screens are markedly better yet again — I just didn’t want to spend the extra money for them. I look at Mac notebooks these days and wonder what I was thinking even considering Apple.

  • Living in Austin, I have had many friends who have worked at both Dell and Apple in both general tech support and high level escalations. Here is my opinion on this subject:
    I would have to say that Dell, or Hell as the techies call it here, is neither a good place to work nor the provider of a good product. Bottom line, Dell is way too proprietary and low ball.
    Apple on the other hand is a great place to work, but contrary to the Acolytes and devotees that seem to worship at the alter of Jobs, Apple is also very proprietary and low ball. Shocking but true. Apple uses the same cheapy components Dell does.
    I know the return policies for both, Apple is much more customer oriented. But their products aren’t really any better in a QA sense than Dell. And they cost a whole lot more. I suspect that the better customer care eats up a lot of their profits and accounts for some of the higher cost.
    Now if you spend big bucks for the high end systems, you’ll get industry competitive systems. So a Dell server is probably a good desktop system. And a big Apple makes a good graphics system.
    But for my money….and to my patriotic chagrin, I must recommend the Japanese systems, really Koreans and Chinese but supervised by Japanese, but still, generally great quality and fairly competitively priced.

  • Buy a MAC.
    Others have said it, I’ll say it again. When my iMac crashed on me, I picked it up and hauled into the Apple Store in Tysons Corner Virginia one Saturday afternoon. After waiting a reasonable 45 minutes (I put my name on the list and grabbed some coffee and lunch and shopped at LL Bean next door) for help the Genius Bar employee proceeded to spend OVER 2 HOURS with me checking the system, the hard drive, etc, rescuing my files (2 years of photos of my son) and backing them up on DVD and then reinstalling the OS.
    Didn’t cost me a dime (even though the iMac was out of warranty and I didn’t buy Apple Care plan – would have been able to schedule an appointment had I purchased it)

  • mw

    I’ve never bought a Dell laptop, but I have a couple of desktops a DLP projector, and a 20″ LCD monitor from Dell. The only one of the above that ever had a problem was the monitor. It was a 2000FP. After 2+ years into the 3 year warranty, it started to lose contrast. I called, and within a couple of days, I had a brand new 2001FP (the much improved replacement for the 20001FP) sitting on my desk (which I’m looking at right now). Amazing deals, these 20″ Dell monitors–on sale, you can get them for around $400.

  • John

    I am having the same trouble with Dell. Bought a brand-new Inspiron laptop in January. Paid for the 4 year, in-home service for the computer. The keyboard has gone bad. So the service tech advised they are going to mail me a new keyboard and tools. “The instructions are sooooo simple to follow.” So now I get to repair the lousy computer. Why did I pay for a service contract?

  • Tom

    We are on our second month (with india) trying to get a fan for an out of warranty high end video card.
    We’ve had good luck with our dell servers – but trying to deal with tech support stinks. For generic office
    computers we are continuing with DELL but for high end stuff try XI.
    P.S. we have had nothing but problems with Compaq stuff – everything computer was none standard.

  • Doug C.

    I never thought I’d be saying this, but go Apple. I just got a 12″ Powerbook – and I’m in love. After being a PC user for years, I’ve completely seen the light.

  • Neal

    In sum, Dell sucks for all of the reasons herein stated. Buy IBM or Mac for all the reason stated herein. When you realize how dependant you are on your laptop it’s worth every penny in the long run.

  • Xiaoding

    I feel so bad for anyone who has to buy computers by the brand. I get my PC’s from a guy at a college who builds them on the side. Otherwise, I would buy from a small independent shop. Bought a re-furbished e-machines laptop from a local Tiger shop, it was DOA, replaced the next day! DON’T BUY BRAND NAME COMPUTERS. Buy from guy you can talk to face to face when it goes bad. Of course, not everyone can do that, and those people have my sympathies. :)

  • I bought a new PC from Dell – delivered last week. It has been an unmitigated hell. We have 3 PC (including the new one) and a laptop, all running XP Professional. I configured the home network (a mix of ethernet and wireless) and I’m also a software engineer so I’m not a total naif.
    Problem one occurred at bootup, with bluescreen of death and ominous message about contacting your computer manufacturer if problem recurred. Didn’t (immediately). After going through the setup script and completing the software installation/activation I prepared to transfer my stuff from one of the other machines but they weren’t talking to one another.
    Trying to get through to Dell was the first nightmare. Couldn’t access online chat because their DB didn’t recognize my purchase. Tried phone and after a long hold first talked to some guy in Calcutta who could help me because the network problem was software. Directed me to their other help line. This lady was an American who tried to hard sell me their service package for $300. Appalling.
    I ended up figuring out problem #1 on my own: the setup script runs Norton internet security early. I didn’t realize that it had a separate firewall. When I turned that off and reconfigured my machine for the network it worked. As far as I’m concerned, this was Dell’s screwup.
    Screwup #2 is not solved as of this writing: I can’t get email to work. I’m guessing the problem is similar but so far simple approaches have failed. I did talk to Dell again – some guy from Hyderabad … wherever. In any case, he was trying to set me to the leeches who wanted to suck $300 out of me. I explained to him that this was Dell’s problem and that they had to make good on it for free. In the U.S. we had something called an implied warranty for fitness and merchantability and Dell had breached that warranty. Dell, or someone with whom Dell had contracted, created the installation script and that was probably the cause of the problems (it was of problem #1). I said I needed to go up the chain until I could talk to a responsible authority. As things now stand, I have the number of the leeches. I’ll see how that goes.
    Problem #3 – remember that early (and ominous) bluescreen of death – is some kind of firmware problem as near as I can tell. I was unable to diagnosis it using the available tools and what I was able to get from Intel online. This is Dell’s problem, too. They should not have delivered the machine without the firmware up-to-date. It should not be my problem.
    When you buy a new car, you don’t expect to immediately have it towed to a garage to be worked on. Same thing with a computer. You want to turn it on and have it work. This is not complicated.
    We are also planning on buying two more computers: a first one for my oldest daughter and a new one for my wife. What do you think the odds are that they won’t be from Dell?

  • I have used Dell for years, both in the corproate and home environments. As an IT geek, I have recommended them as well – but now only in a business environment. Why? Individual user support is still mostly in Bangalore; corporate support isn’t, though it used to be. I’d like to think that this story may have had some small part in making that change. That said, I usually build my own, except for laptops (duh). There I still use Dell exclusively.

  • Make that reason number 5,498,209,331 to buy a Mac.

  • cyblanton

    I had a similar problem with Dell. After many calls to India and having to do the tech work several times they decided that I needed a new motherboard and harddrive. several days later someone came and installed them and left. No assistance in restarting and reloading. India tried and failed. Pndia decided I needed a replacement machine. It had to go thru “channels” to be approved. After a month of this I purchased a new computer and junked the dell. I wrote to the President of Dell with my story and never even got a Screw You reply. Dell service is a big lie.

  • I just went through 3 weeks of having dell come to my place to replace The ram, The motherboard, the power supply and the PRocessor on my not even 6 month old computer. And I also replaced the hard drive on my own. Fortunately I have the tech support where you get to speak to a native english speaker. But I am less than pleased, in the past they were very good, but something changed and now they are less helpful and more of a pain in my ass.

  • Bill Hensley

    I LOVE my PowerBook G4. 3 years old, heavy use, and still going strong.
    Early issue with a dimmed display; call to tech service on Monday, got the shipping box from them on Tuesday, shipped it back to them on Tuesday, they fixed and returned to me on Friday, better than new: they even, without asking, had replaced the case where my metal watch band had chipped the paint.

  • Rich

    You might want to take a look at this guys experience with Dell:
    Bottom line with Dell laptops is to buy from the Latitude rather than the Inspiron line.
    Also buy via the small business route rather than as a home purchaser. It’s my understanding that the home tech support has been farmed out to India while the business end is still in the US.
    From what I hear from people I know that are into this stuff, the laptop least likely to give you trouble overall is the IBM Thinkpad line. You’ll pay a several hundred dollar premium over a comparable unit from Dell but they take a lot of abuse and keep running.
    I’m not sure how this will be affected by IBM selling them to Lenovo.

  • I’ve been reading *The World Is Flat* by Thomas Friedman. He spends a lot of time talking about the wonders of the call centers in Bangalore. I keep thinking about the 40+ hours I spent on the phone with India and Malaysia last summer, when I innocently offered to help a friend with a Dell. It was hell. Completely unforgivable. I only wish Thomas Friedman such an experience. He might conclude that parts of the world are quite mountainous, desertified, unbearable. Meanwhile, anyone who asks my advice gets “Dell? Never. Never. No way in hell.”

  • As a user of both PCs and Macs in pretty recent history (with comparable software, and the Macs in a graphic design capacity), I can’t really say there’s actually much of a difference. Yes OSX crashes a little less often than WinXP with SP2. However, the protected memory in OSX isn’t all it’s cracked up to be an crashes will often still cause the whole system to lock. Windows has had cntrl-alt-del for years, and deals with that rather well.
    Further, OSX has that horrible “classic” mode and a lot of relatively new applications will boot in it (I’m looking at you, Quark XPress 6) which makes them virtually impossible to use. The other major issue is that I can’t build myself a mac. Cannot do it. Period.
    My latest PC is a self-built machine that cost me in the neighborhood of $1,000 and is pretty close to top-notch (needs a bigger HD, and more RAM, but hey what doesn’t?). For worse parts, less RAM, and fewer features Dell would’ve charged me over twice that and a comparable mac (hardly even usable for gaming) would’ve come close to 3x that cost if not more.
    I agree with the commenter above that dealing with a reputable local shop is your best bet, barring that try New Egg.

  • b

    we buy Dell laptops exclusively where i work as a network admin. when one breaks, they send a tech to repair it within a day or so. seems pretty simple to me.

  • chuckR

    I have bought Dell desktops and workstations for my personal and business use for 10 years or so. I buy refurb – I used to resell *nix boxes and suspected that a lot of returned units were buyers remorse or unplugged cable/unseated PCboards.
    Never a problem until last time. I bought a refurb 1U rack server – it looked like a well-engineered system and I’d have it today if Dell’s policies and procedures were properly implemented. THey did not make it clear that one and only one Win OS works – not XP, but only one version of Win2003 Server. By the time I figured this out- repeated calls and emails, the eval/return period was about up – they were unable to extend the eval period and so the box went back. Everybody has a bad day, but Dell seems to have lost their way on responding to those bad days. In my case, the bad day wasn’t even a hardware issue, it was pure and simple lack of communication and information. BTW, my server is now a Systemax dual Xeon with 4GB and XP – not really a server, but rather a personal workstation for engineering SW.

  • While not a big fan of Dell, I do own one (a desktop) and it’s the most reliable PC I’ve ever owned. When you catch the specials, Dells are great deals. As for anecdotal evidence, I’ve helped about ten people buy Dells since I bought mine, and no one’s had any problems that I know of.
    My work PC is a Dell notebook, and while I’m not terribly impressed with the performance I’ve never had any quality issues.
    I can’t comment on customer service, as I’ve never needed it.
    Like everything, your mileage will vary.

  • Angelos

    Mac has much better support alright. I should know. I’ve contacted them 7 times in the first 3 months of ownership of my G5. Of course, all they can suggest is “Verify Disk Permissions,” “Repair Disk Permissions,” and reinstall the OS from scratch. I can’t count how many hours I’ve spent reconfiguring the dock, my preferences, etc. to just the way I want them. True nightmare.
    So, I’m on my third installation of the OS, and Font Book has shit the bed again. And a friend of mine at Adobe has said to not even bother with Tiger yet, it’s worse than 10.3.9.
    So much for the best computer for artists. Unstable, unreliable, and non-existent font management. $2500 POS.
    As far as PCs go, find a local screwdriver shop and have them build your desktops. I have 7-year old machines still running Windows 98, built locally, and NEVER repaired, only added to. Your local shop will use quality motherboards, power supplies (Antec or PC Power & Cooling only), system clock chips, etc. Insist on Kingston or Crucial memory, and you’ll never have a problem (well, other than Windows itself).
    Laptops are trickier, but I currently use a 6-year-old Winbook for my main surfing and e-mail machine. The one I’m sitting at now. Runs Firefox like a charm, runs Yahoo Games Java craplets so I can play the occasional game of Euchre, and Outlook Express. A little slow for Photoshop 7, of course, but good enough for personal work, after I’ve shut down the home-office computers.
    My brother has one too, much more recent, and he’s never had an issue either.

  • I am on my third Dell laptop (first one died a natural death, second one death by coke), and I have had nothing but pleasant experiences. I have not needed tech support (which, for me, is even better than good tech support on an inferior product), and from what I’ve seen, Dell is consistently at or neat the top of the pile for PC customer service satisfaction. Yes, Apple is higher, but software compatibility, availability, and price are all issues with Macs. For all of the horror stories I’ve heard for Dell, I’ve heard just as many for Gateway, HP/Compaq, Toshiba, and Sony. Dell sells a LOT of computers, so they sell (proportionately) just as many lemons as any other manufacturer.

  • Cal

    Hey Alan Kellogg–
    There’s nothing to get over–that was just some admonition. I’m not offended or anything. As for your other infantile statement, don’t worry about that–I’m quite taken care of in that regard.
    Jesus Loves You!

  • Eileen

    Thanks for the education, All. When I’m in the position to buy a laptop, your comments will become even more valuable. Makes me think a blog devoted to ‘consumer reports’, fueled by consumer comments, might be beneficial for a host of categorized products and services..

  • Get a Mac!
    Dell is junk. For almost anything you need to do, a Powerbook would be a much better choice. Fewer headaches, better support, better build quality, better software quality. It costs more but hey, a Boxster costs more than a Sunbird.
    (and yeah, don’t go comparing Macs to BMWs.. Bangled BMWs are teh @$$ when it comes to their horrible, horrible, HORRIBLE styling…)

  • I’ve never had a problem with my Dell computers. Used to have one in my office and it ran beautifully…a lot better than these piece of crap IBMs they have in here now.
    I have a Dell Dimension desktop at home, about 5 years old or so. Over time, I’ve added another hard drive, more RAM, a CD burner, a DVD burner, a firewire card, an ethernet card, a wireless network card… I’ve run Windows 98, Windows 2000, and Windows XP on it over the years without issue. The only problem I encountered was a few years ago when my video card’s fan burned out. I called Dell Tech Support, explained what had happened, and they sent me out a new video card. Five minute call. That was it.
    I’m typing this on a 2 year old Inspiron 5100 laptop, also with no problems. I plan on upgrading the RAM up to 1 GB soon, but aside from that, it’s been solid.
    I’ve also owned a 30GB Dell DJ for about a year now, also with no problems.
    I’ve been working with computers since I was four years old starting with programming on a Commodore 64 – for about 24 years – so I’m not some oblivious computer user who doesn’t know how to edit his Windows registry, optimize his system, or whatnot. I fix more computer-related issues here at work than the IT department. I know what I’m doing…and my Dell computers have been FINE.
    As for all the people complaining about Dell Tech Support outsourcing to India…how the hell do you think they’re able to provide 24-hour tech support at a reasonable cost? When it’s daytime in India,it’s nighttime here in the States. Logically, it makes sense. Otherwise, your tech support availability would be limited to 9-5 EST like many companies…not very accomodating for most.
    When I eventually buy a new desktop/laptop, I’ll be going through Dell once again. Their customer service has been exceptional for me and their products have served me well.

  • James Douglas

    Doesn’t Ever Last Long rip me off also!
    I despise the company.

  • Michael Levy

    First: don’t let the trolls get you down. They sense frustration and know intuitively that this is the most effective time to tweak someone. Some of them are still mad about your stance on Nipplegate… you are experiencing the revenge of the nipplophobes.
    Your problem is not Dell’s apparently poor service, or that you trusted a warranty (which sets up an inherently bad incentive scheme because it asks them to act in their long-term interests rather than for an immediate cash payment).
    Your problem is that you left yourself reliant on a single computer. You need to make your personal files (your documents, mp3s, etc., as opposed to Windows OS and MS Office software) independent of any specific laptop or any single hard drive.

    The most obvious thing would be to make regular backups of your files from your laptop to a desktop computer somewhere. The downside to this is that you will only have whatever you had at the last backup, and nothing after that (such as your most recent files, which are probably what you want the most). You should be doing this anyway.

    A solution if you have only a small size of personal files (half a gigabyte):
    Use a CD-RW drive/disk in your laptop with DirectCD. Then if your laptop goes down, just get the CD out and you can drop it into any CD-RW drive. Make regular backup copies of the CD, of course (which is really easy, because you’re just making a copy). When you make the copy, keep the OLD CD for your archives and put the NEW disk into your laptop (because CD-RWs cannot be overwritten an infinite number of times).

    If you need more space, you can do the same thing with a DVD-RW. I haven’t used them, so I don’t know how reliable they are or how much storage you can get on them. Be aware also that there are two DVD-RW formats…

    A larger solution: remove your HD from your broken laptop, stick it into an external USB “hard drive enclosure” for laptop hard drives, and copy out all of your personal files (or just copy the entire thing).
    Then you stick the HD back into your laptop, and send it to the repair people (they will need the HD in the laptop because that has MS Windows installed on it). You could even wipe your personal files from the HD/digitally shredding them before you put it back it into the laptop, if you have security concerns.
    While they are fixing your laptop, you still have access to your important files. If you have a 2nd laptop, just pick that up and start using it.
    Don’t think of this as a setback: think of it as an opportunity to get your house in order so you can avoid this in the future, and to go shopping for a new laptop. (internet shopping! build-to-order PCs! what could be better?) If you get a tablet PC, by the time you get your old laptop back, you probably won’t even want it (the Toshiba Satellite series convertibles are relatively cheap /end geek plug).
    Caveat: if it’s your hard drive that goes down, the only thing that can save you is making regular backups*, so you have to be making those anyway. Luckily, this happens only a few times a decade, less if you buy new computers regularly.
    * can you get a RAID array going on a laptop? I’m guessing it’s not very practical, but it would certainly keep you in the game indefinitely.

  • al

    I would think that u would avoid profanity in a semi journalistic blog

  • Wow. I’m late on this one, but my home has three systems (two desktops and one laptop) all from the same manufacturer. One of the desktops had the hard drive go south after about six months. One phone call and less than 48 hours brought a tech to our home, who replaced the hard drive (with one 10 GB larger) with no troubles.
    The other desktop had a sudden total fan failure … about two months prior to warranty end. Again, one call, and less than 48 hours later a tech replaced it in my home.
    The laptop was bought about three months ago, and has yet to have even the tiniest problem.
    Judging from the above, I expect no one to believe me when I tell you they were all Dell computers (and I don’t work for them, either).

  • Be wary of the expiration date on your Dell’s personal service tag page… Based on the date displayed on my Dell’s service profile page, I was going to purchase an extended service plan, which had to be done before the old one expired… low and behold the date was incorrect — and my service plan *already* expired, thus locking me out from extending it. According to Dell, they can’t be held liable for incorrect information on their web site. And because of this, I officially moved to Apple and am loving it. Sorry Dell, you lose.

  • Veronica

    I also had an ABSOLUTELY AWFUL experience with my new Dell within my first 48 hours of owning it and my first experience with customer service. A friend told me she e-mailed “Michael Dell” at [email protected] when her customer service sucked. Well, I was so pissed I figured what do I have to lose, believe it or not I got a response from a US based support person, his name was Robert Quick at Executive Support ([email protected]) He helped a bit, but by that time I had figured out the problem myself. Still I took advantge of him & I just inquired about their “Award Winning Customer Service” seeing as its pure hyperbole. Which by the way-that award it turns out is over 5 years old from Computer Shopper Magazine. But Robert did offer to CALL and help and he was more knowledgeable and patient than the folks on the end of the 800 number. So maybe he can help you.

  • rodander

    OK, I’ll make everybody mad.
    I have a Dell laptop (inspiron 8200). Works like a hose (knock wood) after 2.5 yrs. I had to call India Tech Support once (early in its life) and the guy was terrific. Fixed me right up, by helping me run through the right diagnostic. Since then, no problem other than a little quirk with the CD/DVD drive (usually I have to open/close it twice to get a disk recognized). Meanwhile, my colleagues’ HP laptops bit the dust, hard, after 2 yrs. But I’m not going to press my luck, and a replacement will be coming soon.
    I’ve also been a Mac user. Both desktop and laptop. I came to realize that Apples are no more reliable than anything else. It is just that owner-loyalty-mystique that causes Mac owners to be more tolerant of failed hardware and software bugs (anyone remember extension conflicts?) than Wintel users. Perhaps the worst computer I have ever owned or used was a Mac 6502. My G3 PowerBook was no picnic either. But geez I was cool because I had a Mac and got to use the sexy interface and feel superior. And this persists — I really want to buy a new PowerBook, b/c all I need to do is walk down the hall to another machine when I have to run the couple of Windows programs that I need to each day. [somebody stop me before I fall for it again!!!]
    Except for the big IT dept’s, we all just have too small of a sample size to draw conclusions from about a whole company, esp. when there is so much variability from machine to machine and installation to installation. So everybody chill out.

  • Marisol

    Dell sucks, but people keep buying them. I guess they’re too cheap to resist.
    A word to anyone that buys Dell, don’t bother with buying the extra support. I fell for that 3 year “support” line and when I actually did need support for a cd-rom drive, they told me they would walk me through removing the cd-rom drive in order to troubleshoot it. By the way the cd-rom drive had to be removed with a screwdriver. The fuck? That’s what I paid them to do.

  • colleen

    Good grief,
    Earlier today I was bored and using a public internet connection to catch up on some blogs when I came across this post. Skimming through the comments, brought back familiar memories: I opened up my brand new Inspiron 1150 last November to find that my laptop’s battery would not charge up at all. A month and a half of phone calls to India later (where I received a hard drive instead of a battery, another battery–to no avail–and then had to send away my laptop completely), my laptop could finally function as such. Luckily, no problems since then..until the afternoon of this very day when, I went to try and insert a CD-ROM into the optical drive and it simply refused to open.
    I think reading these messages cursed it. Well, I have to go now, I have some phone calls to make… :(

  • colleen

    woops, i ment CD not CD ROM

  • Ken

    fixing the overheating – Dell won’t admit there’s a problem, which is that they put a CPU for a desktop (with lots of room) into a laptop (with no room), so it overheats.
    Here’s instructions on how to fix it – I had a laptop repair center do it for me. It took all of 40 minutes and cost me $20.
    “Below is the information on how to save your Smartstep 250N. I had exactly the same overheating experience, with no-warning shutdowns. I followed the instructions below (copied from a google-cached post by piphil on, and there are no more crashes now. In fact, the fan rarely kicks into high gear, and even the noise level becomes acceptable. So, before you throw out that 250N, give this a try.
    Buy a $5 tube of Arctic Silver, download the doc from, carefully disassemble your 250N (keeping track of the screws!), remove the aluminum foil Dell thermal pad which simply DOES NOT WORK, apply arctic silver (see for instructions), reassemble – you are done. The procedure took me about 2 hours. ”

  • Mike McDaniel

    I am a high school English teacher in a Mac-phobic district. As we’re in Texas, we end up with Dells, and I must use one in my classroom. I trust it only to do my grades (which I back up on disc daily) and attendance. As such, it works slowly and crashes 3-5 times weekly. For anything requiring actual computing and reliability, I use my own Macs, which I purchased and keep in my classroom. It has been my decades long experience that Apple does it first and best, and everyone else copies, and usually not successfully. You do indeed get what you pay for.

  • Uncle Fester

    If Dell sells an in-home service program that doesn’t service the product, I am pretty sure they have committed a fraudulent act.
    If they did it more than a couple of times it’d make for a nice class action suit.
    I think there’s room for a RICO action as well.

  • We are seeing a new “screw the customer” trend. Other companies (eg. HP) are no better. I would be happy to pay EXTRA to be able to deal with people in the US that are able to help me rather than transfer me back and forth to people who can’t. I saved $20 on my purchase, but wound up spending several hundred more to replace a nearly new printer because I could not speak to anybody at HP that could help (or speak understandable English), and their email system kept throwing errors. I guess cutting off all communications with customers is one method of lowering complaints. I am sure that was tied to somebody’s bonus.
    Sadly, many of the Big B-School MBA types that run these companies need a business 101 lesson. Price is not always the most motivating factor. In fact, for me it rarely is when it has to deal with my livelihood. I used to think highly of HP, but now will never own another of their products and have quit recommending them. I will probably avoid dell now too.
    After having many bad experiences with companies outsourcing overseas, I would be more than happy to pay more to companies that have customer service people that are just that. I hope companies start to advertise that they DONîT outsource because I will buy from them from now on. I am not opposed to outsourcing, just the crappy service that goes with it.

  • Joy

    Jeff, I wonder if you’ve had a chance to read a wonderful post written March 14th by Jory Des Jardins from Pause titled “A Letter to Michael Dell.” She writes of very similar frustrations with Dell customer service, the whole run-around, etc. and had so much response that she actually started an on-going series of posts called “The Corporate Shit List.” You’ll find the original post mentioned above under the category of Business as Usual….you might be amused.

  • TWM

    Next time try ABS (
    It is a company in California that makes great systems at great prices — what Gateway used to be.

  • Angelos

    “Price is not always the most motivating factor.”
    But Tyler, for 95% of Americans, it is. They don’t care about American jobs, they care about $3.99 t-shirts. They can’t see past today’s Dell “sale price” to three months from now, when the thing shits the bed.
    Hell, give a redneck a $3000 rebate and he’ll even buy a GM product! Or, horror of horrors, a Chrysler or Dodge.
    As a goof, two years ago I took apart my girlfriend’s Dell, to see what was in it. All crap.
    Then I looked at my screwdriver shop’s 8-page price list (they itemize every component they sell, for total customer choice), and priced out a machine with the same speed/memory/HD specs. For an extra $200, I could have built the same machine and it would have been a tank. Today, of course, the Dell is no longer with us.
    Granted, $200 is a large PERCENTAGE increase ($1000 vs. $800), but it’s peanuts when we’re talking about a 5-fold increase in quality, reliability, and longevity.

  • sharon

    i recently spent over 15 hours on the phone with various dell support (over the course of two and a half days)goons trying to figure out why my wireless laptop was no longer connecting to the server. i’ll spare you the agonizing details of my own fresh hell with dell but suffice it to say, when i finally broke down and called a friend for help, he fixed the problem in about two hours. he told me if i’d come to him right off the bat it would have been fixable in 3 minutes. instead, he had to spend the additional one hour and fifty seven minutes undoing the mess that the dell folks had made.

  • LEM

    I agree with DELL SUCKS. I just spent 4.5 hours with them over the last 2 days arguing a marketing promotion that clearly stated that I could get a specifically configured laptop for $749. Well, the originally price of the laptop was supposed to be $1499, however, when you go into the site, it jumps to $1855 minus the $750 = $1155. That is a lot F*&^ing more than $749!!! On top of that, I went into the site about 30 min prior to the start of the promotion and the same laptop was configured at $1588… as soon as the promotion started – it went up to $1855. BAD BUSINESS. I will never again purchase another dell. I am disgusted with their business practices and the inability of ANYONE in sales (online or home) or customer service to handle this situation. They would not even transfer me to a floor manager. They are going down….

  • agreed — Dell sucks. I worked in tech support for a university for 3 years, and I can’t even tell you how many hours of that I spent ON HOLD with freakin’ Dell while waiting for them to pick up, listen to symptoms, tell me what I *already knew* and get the damn thing shipped back. What a PITA. I bought a dell desktop for my mom years ago that’s worked fine, but I’d never buy one for myself. My little HP laptop works just wonderfully w/o tech support, thanks :-)

  • fpn

    A lot of people have suggested Jeff buy a Mac, and while they’re great computers, most people who have been using Windows for any amount of time are locked into that.
    Buy an IBM Thinkpad, Jeff. And do it NOW, before Lenovo craps all over the brand.

  • prior to making inflammatory statements about a company as a whole
    Well, I made the mistake of trying to buy an external floppy drive cable for a fairly old Latitude, and the number of times I got passed from clueless person to another clueless person was unbelievable. Basically each person was allocated 3 minutes per call – if I couldn’t be dealt with in that time then I was passed off to the next..
    I came to the conclusion that if they can’t even sell me a cable I’d buy my next laptop elsewhere. The point is that if I get poor service from one division I’m not about to phone up, say, the server division and see if they’re any better.
    Sadly, “tarring with the same brush” seems to be a phrase that comes to mind..
    Ironically, in the end I bought a Toshiba Satellite “Pro” and regretted it even more !

  • larusc

    I purchased a dell Dimensions 4700 with Windows media center, I could not get the TV tuner to work properly so I called tech support, it was all down hill from there. No one spoke English, no once cared and no one could solve the problem. They talk about service at every moment, while you are on hold for 40 minutes they talk about service but they never actualy provide any. Luckily I sent it back in less than 21 days, even though they kept trying to stall me past the 21 day mark. They suck.

  • r0b

    Hrmmm, Dell eh???
    Dell sucks. They don’t honor their work until you start to yell at them. That is bad for the ticker as it raises your blood pressure.
    Therefore, if you don’t want to hurt your ticker, don’t buy a Dell…
    Not to mention, when you call techsupport for replacement parts of the crap they peddled to you, even if you ARE a business, you still get to speak to those damn NON ENGLISH SPEAKING assclowns in India…
    “Thank you, come again…”
    Um, no thanks!

  • Marie Williams

    I’m typing this on a 5-year-old titanium mac powerbook. This baby has on the road for 4 months of every one of those years, planes, autos, tossed on top of the chicken bus in guatamala, banged around, cord tripped over repeatedly, plugged in in countries where this simply action sends sparks everywhere, you name it. I keep waiting for it to die so I can buy a new one. Really any year now, I really need a new computer. I can’t vouch for the customer support, I’ve never called them. I’d really like to call to buy a new computer. Any day now, I tell myself. Any day…
    Oh, that and I had a toshiba tecra suse linux laptop before this that went through the same treatment for three years before the power plug went out and I had to crack the case to solder it. It works again but it looks like crud. The common denominator: A hard-sided, slinged laptop carry case like Tom Bihn sells. Can’t over-recommend that for long laptop life.

  • I have been documenting gripes with Dell for a while at Click on my name for a live link to the page.

  • Deborah

    My story…
    I ordered a new notebook computer (600m) from Dell. Anyways, the notebook was delivered yesterday. I powered it up, did all the registration bs…and the display died. Okay, fine, this sort of thing can happen. Not a big deal. I call Dell tech support. I’m on hold for 30 minutes and then get a very foreign dude who agrees that the display died and I should get a replacement notebook. He transfers me to “Customer Care” where I’m on hold for 45 more minutes before someone answers. When they do answer, I can’t understand a word they say. I request someone who speaks English and they throw me back to the END of the queue. About 25 minutes later, I get another foreigner who is barely understandable. He says he will set up a “dispatch” to replace my notebook and to hold on. 40 minutes later, he still hasn’t returned. I hang up and I’m just spitting nails, I’m so pissed. Over 2 hours has passed and I’m not being helped!
    I go to their website and do the “live chat” thing with someone named “Sanheed” who wants to start with troubleshooting. I set him straight after 20 minutes of going back and forth and he finally agrees to replace my system. “I will call you in an hour with dispatch information,” he says.
    Of course he never called.
    I call Dell this morning and was on hold SEVENTY FREAKING MINUTES before reaching a human. This guy was foreign too, but spoke English quite well and had a freaking clue, it seemed. He said that a dispatch has been approved and they were waiting on one more approval and it would go out today. Yay!
    I ask for a “dispatch number”–he gives it. I ask for a way to track this dispatch–he gives me an 800 number to call. I’m thrilled, he’s answered my questions and things seem to be working out. I thank him profusely for having a clue and hang up.
    I then call that 800 number and enter my dispatch number. What does it say?
    Admit it, you’ve already guessed this.
    “We’re sorry, that number is invalid.”
    SON OF A [email protected]#$%!!!! I AM PISSED

  • RedSheep

    I have 2 Dell Gripes.

    The first is that my old xps M1530 had a habit of giving electric shocks if it was plugged in on a plastic surface, and after 3 years of it gave me an aversion to anything chrome ala psychological conditioning.

    The second is that after 3 years’ warranty I was phoned by a lovely hard seller about renewing my warranty for another year. The price quoted was 120 pounds and I decided to think about it. After an email quote I decided I might as well renew, and when I called up the next day the price leapt up to 258 pounds. I had already been quoted and apparently the price rise had happened overnight.

    In my mind Dell are a money grabbing sham of a company, and I shan’t be buying another.

  • ridgecrestca


    I bought an alienware in 2008 4yrs later video card went out, I thought it was the video card but didn’t have the money to mess with it. (I didn’t know when I bought my alienware that Dell had just purchased the company, I wouldn’t have bought it if I did. I thought I was buying a computer from someone who just built gaming computers). So Dell gives me credit so I purchase a desktop I was under the impression it was a 32 bit computer. Well Dell just likes to give impressions it wasn’t. I’m a gamer period nothing else, I own computers for that reason. Now my Dell win 7 can’t run skyrim, but my almost 6 yrs old alienware (that has no drivers because Dell cleaned house at 4 years old and threw them all away). Can run Skyrim, Dark Waters 2, Witcher 2 with no problem. But my Dell 7 I had to quit running because it kept coming up with the blue screen problem, I bought a Dell printer before all this @%$# three months old unable to print color just black, out of the box printing head would not stay seated. I was replacing my Canon that I had for 9 yrs and I probably only cleaned the ink head twice. I bought a 500.00 dollar laptop that was Dell I haven’t had any problems with it but my Mom plays her games that require nothing out of the computer that’s probably why. I read on the internet that microsoft and a few other companies bought Dell and they’re going to call it Dell Cloud something like that I hope they can repair the image that Dell has run into the ground

    • Aeon

      Who buys a laptop for gaming?

      But I agree, Dell totally sucks.

  • H2o

    Please everyone needs to post complaints at the Better Business Bureau.
    The have an A rating and with more complaints that will go to a F.

    I felt like the were an Angel of hope because I to had a lemon also.
    I got a full refund after 6 months of calls

  • just a review

    Hey i also had similar problems with dell is sucks like f***. If anyone thinks of buying del then just dont it sucks teribly it overheats and just goes off. It is better to buy win8 (which is the most retarded os ever seen in ms) computer than win7 dell crap.

  • Mria Gonzalez-Triana

    yes Dell sucks. The so called tech support that the claim on QVC that it’s U.S. is bullshit!!! I had to buy in 6 month’s 2 brand new laptops because Dell tech support in India and the Philipeans(not the U,S. as QVC tells the customers with no less a Dell representing the shittiest company I have ever dealt with they in my life. Oh, the first laptop in 5 month’s every time I called India they would screw something. They even removed my Trend virus protection and literally deleted the damn thing completely, they destroyed my web cam and installed I don’t know what the hell, they told me my computer caught a cold and charged me One time the 1st laptop they take to India another I was using my web cam and found strange bearded men fuzzy n the back speaking may be Arabic. I was horrified to say the least!!! Anyway supposively all the 5 month’s of over 50 calls to India is recorded(doubt it) and the biggest lie is that they documented all the shit that they did that destroyed my laptop. Of course they wrote what ever the hell they want! Oh, and when you call QVC they too don’t give a shit and when I told them the announcer and Dell represenitive told the audience it was U.S. tech support 3 people later they have no idea and are not taking any responsibility. I believe in this country they are misrepresenting themselves and I foer one am sticking a law suit for misrepresenting themselves to not only myself but the millions of viewers and QVC for allowing them to constantly air on National t.v. a bold face lie over and over again knowing and being very aware of the situation, It’s as if I got screwed with some crap ass ponsy sceam! Sined and very disscusted, Mrs. Maria Gonzalez-Triana

  • n33

    Dell Sucks. Each time you chat with some one, they either don’t know shit or things don’t belong to their department. If you contact suggested department, it does not belong to that department as well. I have received wrong information all the time. Fake promises. Rude customer care “Experts”. Dell used to be good. But it sucks now!!

  • Guest003

    I Ordered and paid on November 18, 2013 a new DELL XPS 27″ All-in-one. Delivery was scheduled to be on December 9. Few days prior to the 9th I got a message from Dell that they will deliver the PC somewhere mid-January.

    I requested to cancel the order and get the money back. They told me that the
    only way to get back the money was to refuse the shipment upon arrival at my
    home and then wait for the money-back… Somewhere mid 2014.

    My Christmas present is dead and we all know that in January prices are
    dropping dramatically.

    I feel cheated by DELL – which in fact they are (cheaters). They conduct business in a very unprofessional way and are liars. DELL deserves to go belly-up


  • qwerty

    Yes Dell lies. And they suck. both of these things have increased significantly over the years. It wasn’t always this way. I worked for Dell for several years back when they didn’t suck. Watched things change for the worse over the years and left. Recently returned and its worse than ever. They lie to employees as well. The entire culture is based on lying and avoiding responsibility.

  • Ana

    Dell still lies in 2014. I have been strung along and lied to for a month and still haven’t received my order.

  • Steve Ryu

    I agree,dell sucks

  • anonass

    I’m forced to buy Dell by corporate policy. Dell actually never managed to deliver all hardware we ordered in a working state. There is always something broken. Maybe a DVD drive, a laptop battery that’s DOA, a server that has a broken clock and resets it’s BIOS after each reboot – it took them 2 years(!) to finally just replace the whole thing, and the broken one is still sitting in our warehouse, >2 years already – so I absolutely loath Dell.
    Last upgrade round, we went rogue and HP. All 25 laptops and 10 desktops delivered worked perfectly out of the box. Our HP server is 7 years old, and survived two dell servers. We have also a 10 year old HP server acting as printserver. I’m not a HP fan boy, but I have to admit that they actually beat Dell on every aspect. HP is actually a good indicator of how much Dell sucks. Including customer support, which I had to call once in 10 years. Once. Broken mainboard. Replaced on-site same day. I personally like(d) IBM/Lenovo, their Thinkpad laptops. Expensive but rock-solid, performant and compatible (I use a lot of Linux and sometimes BSD). And if I build something for myself, it’s almost always based on MSI products, like MSI whitebook barebones and MSI mainboards. I actually never had to RMA an MSI part (but don’t buy their cheap stuff, go with the more expensive stuff).

    MSI actually build stuff for Dell, based upon MSI’s own designs and adapted to Dell specs, which means: replace solidcaps by crappy capacitors that leak after a few years, replace cooling fins by nothing and replace the VRM by something that should not be called VRM. Dell is cheap to buy, but it’s expensive to run. And yeah, unless you are a big corporate customer, their support sucks balls.

  • pinkbuttercup

    I will never buy from Dell again. I also got a junk lap top. From day one it never worked right they will not honor the warranty at all. I been trying to contact someone to help I am at my wits end with them. Worst company out there

  • out of saved cash in hawaii

    what should i do a person that i thought was my friend came over to download a bunch of angry birds games on my brand new laptop and he ends up pulling a switch and steals my new laptop and leaves in its’ place a piece of junk. Should i take him to small claims, he won’t answer my calls or talk to me at all. I know where he lives and i went there once and he just refused to say anything.

    • charlie L

      yes dell sucks big ones but my concern is a person that i thought was my friend came over to download a bunch of angry bird games on my brand new laptop and he ends up pulling a switch and steals my new laptop and leaves inits place a piece of junk. should i take him to small claims , i know where he lives and i went there once and he just refused to say anything.

  • Caleb

    Great read! Glad that there is great diversity now.

  • Kel

    We ordered 1900 worth of items, back in mid November. We didnt get what we ordered by christmas. In fact, they left it on the porch even after we asked them NOT to, where it was stolen. It took me over the weekend to monday to make a police report and email it to them. It took them until just before christmas to tell us they dont have those items anymore and are refunding us. I have logged 28 hours on “Chat customer service” and 18 hours on being on hold on the phone with them. I have contacted them numerous times and every single time I talk to them theres the same lies. We will call you back within 48 hours. Ive been told this 8 times now and I STILL have NEVER benn called back. I am amazed that Dell can even stay in business with the horrible customer service, or lack of. I will never buy anything from Dell EVER again. Kids didnt get their presents for Christmas, thanks a lot Dell!

    • Chris

      Not sure why you blame Dell for the items being left on your porch… that’s between you and the shipping company.

  • tim

    I ordered a Dell Inspirion for Xmas and it is the worst machine I ever had. Worst than that is Dell’s customer service. I’ve been trying to return my laptop for 45 days now and still Dell falls down. I’ve been on the phone with customer service for over 3 hours and 4 different occasions. After being told a label will be emailed to me in the next 5 minutes….nothing. I finally called visa and disputed my charge. My laptop locks up, even after I reloaded everything. They wanted me now to buy software warranty at 2/3 of what I paid for the laptop. DO NOT BUY A DELL AS THEY ARE MORE CONCERNED ABOUT GETTING YOUR MONEY THAT SOLVING YOUR ISSUES. I HAVE NEVER BEEN MORE FRUSTRATED WITH A VENDOR THAN I AM WITH DELL. (I’ m writing this from my old Lenovo that has never failed me.) DELL SUCKS.

  • Coletta Hughes

    I paid an arm and a leg for my Dell XPS 8700 system and have been treated rudely by Dell from the beginning to the end when I finally told Dell to close my DFS account and stop sending advertisements. I’ve owned Dells for over 20 years and this has been the worst experience. I’ll never buy anything with the Dell name on it again.

  • Larry Freeze

    I would send emails detailing your negative experience to everyone on this list, and repeat the emails until you get a response. Michael Dell

    Chairman and CEO

    [email protected]

    Donald Carty

    Vice Chairman and CFO

    [email protected]

    Ronald Garriques

    President, Global Consumer Group

    [email protected]

    Michael Cannon

    President, Global Operations

    [email protected]

    Mark Jarvis

    Senior VP and Chief Marketing Officer

    (Dude, You’re Getting An Email!)

    [email protected]

    Lawrence Tu

    Senior VP, General Counsel

    [email protected]

    Susan Sheskey

    Senior VP, Chief Information Officer

    [email protected]

    Andrew Esparza

    Senior VP Human Resources

    [email protected]

    Paul Bell

    Senior VP and President, Americas

    [email protected]

    Stephen Felice

    Senior VP and President, Asia

    [email protected]

    David Marmonti

    Senior VP, President, Europe, Middle East and Africa

    [email protected]

    Brad Anderson

    Senior VP, Business Product Group

    [email protected]

    Jeffrey Clarke

    Senior VP, Business Product Group

    [email protected]

    Martin Garvin

    Senior VP, Worldwide Procurement

    [email protected]

    Alex Gruzen

    Senior VP, Dell Product Group

    [email protected]

    Joan Hooper

    Vice President, Finance, Chief Accounting Officer

    [email protected]

    Alan Lafley

    Board of Directors

    [email protected] (bounces)

    William Gray

    Board of Directors

    [email protected]

    Judy Lewent

    Board of Directors

    [email protected] (bounces)

  • Rodolfo Villalta

    I am reading your book! Greetings from Costa Rica! Great for Dell!

  • Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba M

    I bought a XSP 13 laptop. The Bios was not suited for the keyboard, so a repeated letter would show up at any moment. The correction was to download and compile a newer version of the BIOS.
    After a year I forgot the current adapter in a train, to discover that Dell has no more adapters. Tech support claims that is not their problem, and send me to a chat where I am told that Dell has run out of those adapters. And encourage me to send a mail to [email protected]. I did but I never got a reply.
    The result is that I paid over 2000€ for a laptop that don’t work because Dell decided to make just as many adapters as computers they sold.
    Dell sucks so much!!



  • vicky

    Looking For Dell support? Dell printer is not responding well,
    print slowly, computer or system is not connected to printer or any other issue,
    dell support,dell printer support,dell helpline number,dell support heline number,
    dell computer support,dell computer technical support
    dell technical support

  • Be it about a software problem, troubleshooting, repairing of laptops or selling accessories, service centres are best in handling the tasks. With a team of expert networking people, the quality performance of the Dell Service Center in Sector-55, 56 Gurgaon is surely to create a space in the market.

  • Brett Yarberry

    Constantly have had issues with dell laptop chargers. I’d say on average they last a couple months at most. Always the same god damn issue of “plugged in but not charging”, yet the power chord supplied enough power to run with battery removed (and battery would always charge with a replacement charger). Complete pieces of shit.

  • max jet

    I have a Dell Inspiron (I don’t remember the exact one it is). I’ve had to have it repaired at least 9 times. A few times because the charger will stop working, and it will say “plugged in but not charging”. Other times the screen will freeze and become discolored. That and the mouse just stopped working for some reason. I had it repaired a few months ago, but a few weeks later the mouse just stopped working. The last time I had it repaired it took almost a month to get repaired, so I just sucked it up and used the touch screen instead of the mouse. Now some parts of the screen don’t even work when touched. One more problem and I’m trashing this piece of utter junk!

    F*ck Dell!