Dell hell: by the numbers

Matt Galloway tries to do some analysis of the blog bitching about Dell after I started complaining about my lemon.


Says Matt:

The interesting thing here is that once Jeff started attacking Dell – and others started talking about Jeff attacking Dell – the number of people that wrote post about Dell including at least one of Jeff’s negative words increased. Furthermore, these are generally not posts that are talking about Jarvis!

In other words, he says that it contributed to bad buzz about Dell. Of course, there could also be other coincidental factors (like Dell closing a customer forum). And I think that a blogger bringing up a complaint you already have gives you the peg to mention that complaint yourself.

Matt concludes:

So is Jeff Jarvis bell cow or bellwether? Either way, I think Dell would be better off doing more that just listening.

It’s cow week here at BuzzMachine.

  • jerry

    Cow? More like manure.


  • Mumblix Grumph

    Dell hell?

    That’s Swell!

    But needs more cow bell.

    Oh, well.

    I think I spent too much time in the boat today.

  • futurepastnow

    I don’t necessarily see correllation here. “Sucks” is a pretty obvious descriptor for an underachieving company, and you use “Hell” because it rhymes. You’re not the first person to talk about Dell Hell, AOHell, etc. There are spikes on that graph that predate your complaints. If Dell sucks, then people will say so regardless of what you think, Jeff.

  • Future: Yes, I doubt that this is a good test case. Still, Dell should measure and follow and interact with the chatter even if it’s only one unhappy customer.

  • Lordy! You really do believe too hard that the average shmuck in Parsnippiny gives a damn about you cableCrisco BS that now you are offering up charts?

  • Wow I just bought a new dell and it works great dont have AOL Hell but I am sittin gin dell heaven right now. Anyways just wanted to know how we got into charts and graphs on this one Also not to glad to be called a shmuck as I am sure the rest of the average joes and janes like myself dont.

  • Yeah, I have a Dell but it’s older. I think I bought it in 2000…800mhz, 128mb of ram. Still runs like a champ, knock on wood.

  • Nice timing, I sliped in my own little Dell comment just last night.

    Stating your name, operating system, and barcode over ten times to get a broken hinge fixed, ultimately leading nowhere despite holding a valid warranty? Three useless phone calls, over 30 minutes each, to a foreign call centre? Lies from technical support that they’ll email you back. That’s Priceless, Dell!

    I just heard a podtech podcast in which the VC was discussing a new form of shopping comparison site. Instead of comments from users on the site, it leverages the blogosphere to support shopping. So “the average person” might not be subscribed to a technorati dell feed, and comments like mine might not even go high in the google stakes, but anyone looking into a new product will be readily exposed to such content via the next-gen comparison sites.

  • Hairy

    I am a satisfied dell customer. Actually I have 3. An older desktop bought in 2000, a new desktop bought just last month AND a laptop that’s a couple of years old. They’re still running! Dell’s better than Gateway anyday!!

  • John

    I don't know whether to blow off your comments and laugh, or to try and help you.

    I grew up, and lived the majority of my life so far, in Houston. Currently, I work for Dell in Round Rock. You see those jobs at Enron and Compaq didn't last as long as I'd hoped. Se' la vive, try getting support for your old Compaq or even further back your TRS80.

  • Papa ray

    After nearly 40 years fixing computers (the first twenty five or so, only large systems,) The rest on Large,Medium,Small and PCs, I can say that the hardware on most are about the same. Of course, every mfg. gets bad parts sometimes. Some replace them free, others claim ignorance and make you pay for them.

    Where you see the difference in preformance and stability and such is after you install the OS and all the other crap you want to load your machine down with.

    And then of course, knowing no better you don't install a virus program (or if you have one, don't keep it updated). Of course you don't have a trojan killer or spam, adware, spyware programs or if you do, you just install them, never keep them updated, don't bother to learn how they should be set up or maintained.

    Then of course you surf all those neat websites and others that you should know to stay the hell away from and your pretty little computer suddenly turns into the beast from hell or the pretty paperweight.

    Oh, about hardware, don't shove your machine in a confined space with no air flow or in a room that makes you sweat. Don't let your machine build up enough dust and hair and lint to where you make it cook itself. Don't leave it plugged in during bad storms and don't operate it without a reliable surge protector.

    Oh..and don't eat or drink or do anything else messy around it and please don't kick or it it.. It is like a baby, it only knows what you have taught it and is only as good as what you have been giving it and feeding it.

    So remember, you computer hell is mostly your fault or the fault of the smart asses that wrote all that software you stuffed down your poor little puter's throat.

    Papa Ray

    West Texas


  • All this talk of Dell nightmares would be unnecessary if you would take the time to find a decent local compter store. I own a computer shop and sell great computers with a 3 year parts and labour warranty. I am also available to my customers for support either over the phone or in person. Take the time to get to know someone like myself who will give you the support you deserve. Support the little guy for a change. You won't be disappointed.

  • I posted a rant about Dell a few days ago but it had more to do with some guy in Bangalore switching me to a non-working support number than it did with Jeff's different problems.

    I'm a Mac guy myself. Make the move, Jeff, you'll be happier. Join us. . . join us. . .surrender to The Steve. . .

  • Dell's community forums are still open,


  • "now you are offering up charts"

    Timonthy Hitchens, LOL>


    All I have to say to all you suckers is, WHAT THE F DID YOU EXPECT? Your freaking computer is cheaper then a fing happy meal, did you think it was going to work like a real computer?

  • Dell sucks and so is Adil katrak , the manager at Asia Pacific line.

  • Shaun

    Dell no doubt makes horrible computers, they come loaded with crap just like every other manufacturer and see a great boost in performance just by reformatting on the first day you own it. However, who exactly are you going to pick as your PC building champion if not Dell? There is simply no other good PC manufacturing companies around. The only answer is to just build your own, but your average user doesn’t have the technical know-how to do that. Thus the computer industry is a crapshoot, all manufacturers are bound to produce a decent machine out of the thousands they make, but will you get it? Who knows.

  • Gaston

    That’s the problem of today’s industry.
    Would you expect that a public company will offer you blazing performance, rock solid hardware and drivers, and premium support when struggling with other companies and also while bleeding to the stockholders the money it should go into research, board and component-level testing, customer support and so ?
    For sure the stockholders would flee any company that doesn’t do that, to another that is stockholder conscious rather than customer conscious.
    And no, forget that of “caring of customers mean caring about stockholders”. Market shows the only valid policy is “caring about stockholder profit makes the day” and that’s it.
    Bean counters rules.

  • A Wallace

    Lot’s of bitching here… do we not remember e-machines? Spend the extra cash, get an IBM (Lenovo).

  • Nancy

    I love my Dell, I’m on my second and am thrilled with it’s performance and reliability. HOWEVER, I also am computer savvy enough to work on my OWN machine, should the need arise. I placed ONE call for service on this machine, got someone in India, couldn’t understand a word she said. Not ONE word. She was pleasant enough but uninteligible. I wound up just saying thank you very much, have a nice day, hung up and ultimately resolved the problem myself. It seems to me that this is something to keep in mind when the subject of an extended service contract comes up at the time of purchase (as it inevitibly does). Now why in the WORLD would I want to pay EXTRA for service from someone I can’t understand and consequently, can’t help me?

  • Hey — I am an IBMer. I have bought 3 dells in 4 years. They are actually cheaper even with the IBM employee discount.

    Dells work reliably, and don’t cost too much. Support is decent.

    besides.. .if you almost *NEVER* need “support” should you factor that as the one of the more important control point in your decision to buy a reliable computer? If reliability is almost gauranteed, cost has more weight in my book than the sometimes spotty accents of their foriegn support staff.


  • Neo

    Well, if you don’t like Dell, and you don’t mind flapping out the extra cash, you could of course always buy a pc from Alienware ;)
    Or a laptap from IBM, since IBM makes the best laptops around (yes I’m an IBMer, so i might be a bit prejudiced, but still)


  • dadofour

    IBM no longer manufactures desktop PCs or laptops. Lenovo Corp. of China does and they have permission to keep using the “IBM ThinkPad” label on their machines for a few more years. FYI

  • I hate to bore you with another Dell horror story, but that is exactly what I have. It all began when I wanted to add two 1GB memeory chips to my PC. I called the sales rep who determined what memory chips were required for my system. As I happened to be following on the Dell Website, I noticed that he had chosen the incorrect memory chips so I told him I would purchase the memory directly off the Dell Website, which I did. The next day I checked the status of the order only to find out the salesmen from the previous day had canceled my order and completed another order for me shipping the wrong memory chips, which I received. End of chapter one. The next week I called Dell support, India, who, like I, determined that the original order person had specified the wrong memory chips, I already knew that. They told me that they had identified the problem and I would receive the memory chips in a few days. I again checked the order the next only to find out that India had only ordered one memory chip! Why?? My system requires memory to be added in pairs. End of chapter two! The next day I called sales support once again to complain that only one memory chip had been ordered and another needed to be sent. Well this time the support person, Panama, could not handle the problem so he transferred me, without notification, to customer support. This person finally got it all correct. Finally!!! The correct chips in the correct number. Wow!! Two weeks to get chips from Dell and HELL to pay trying to correct their error. No more Dell please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Amanda

    I have worked as a customer support rep. for a company that performs warratee work for dell accross the US. Maybe I’m just jaded, but in my opinion Dell’s are the worst systems available. Over half of all of the customers that I talked to said that they had only had their system for a few months and even weeks. My favorite were the people who had broken computers right out of the box. This wouldn’t be such a big deal only I didn’t get to speak with the customers untill they battle through the overseas cluster **** they call support. I would speak to customers who had litterally been on hold for over 5 hours. Needless to say, they were less than pleased once I spoke with them. My company serviced Dell, HP, Compaq and Lexmark. Dell by far outnumbered the others. For every HP Compaq and Lexmark call there were at least 150 dell calls. That was one of the worst experiences of my life, and I will forever curse Dells name and warn any friends of their horrible quality and care.

  • SOFL

    I have no experience with Dell but I can say tha I have been very satisfied with IBM computers since the ycame out. I have had several over the years and currently have two (Laptop and Tower). They are every reliable. If you run updated antivirus software and the million MS security patches you’re covered. As far as the manufacturing being done over seas, they all are because we Americans make more in a week than most of them do in a year. Technology not labor makes the machine.

  • Killjoy

    This turned into a really long rant, so if you don’t want all the details, I’ve tried to summarize in the first couple of paragraphs:

    In general, when your machine works, you think that the company is wonderful. It is only when you run into a hardware failure that you have the chance to see how the company really treats their customers. Generally, I tend to disregard all the comments that begin with “I have never had a problem with my machine, and love the company” because they have never had to really deal with the company.

    My experience with Dell = 10+ calls 20-40 hours on the phone, no result, no tech was sent, no parts were swapped, as this problem was a little odd (spontaneous reboot every couple of days coming back up and not recognizing the harddrive). Had to go to the corporate office for any resolution and that ended up taking a paper letter, then many hours spent on calls and emails.

    I’m not trying to plug for them, but compare to IBM which I have more experience as a lackey, with a number of calls in the low hundreds (99% for a corporate account, but 6-10 on consumer owned systems; and as a whole, these machines apparently have one of the lower failure rates… we just have a large, large base of customers), only 1 problem that I can think of, and that was an out of stock part getting canceled and not getting any notification, I had to followup one time and got it resolved. Hopefully that won’t change with their transition to Lenovo.

    Also compare to third party warranty vendors who don’t care about the view of a brand, they make their money on the sale of the warranty, and keep it by outsourcing to the lowest bidder, and apparently denying service as much as possible.

    What it comes down to is this: To some extent you get what you pay for. These days, IBM, Dell, HP, etc. all cost the same base price. You pay a premium for extended warranty through the manufacturer. The manufacturer then makes a choice on how to handle support. IMO, Dell handles it poorly… very poorly. Third party warranty vendors handle it even worse as they don’t even care the small amount on whether it turns the consumer off to that brand.

    Unless you are a hardware junkie and have lots of spare parts and equipment, or you buy new machines all the time for faster, better machines, get the extended warranty FROM THE MANUFACTURER. The prospect of replacing a 2 year old motherboard for the price of a new cheap machine is frustrating if you planned to use the machine for a couple of years. Don’t rely on ads saying that their service is great. Look for info on whatever company sucks searches. Ask people you know who have had to have their machiens serviced. The people who have real problems tend to give you better examples of how their customer service/tech support will help you when you really need them. And when you need them, you generally really need them. Don’t go with a third party warranty vendor (extended warranties offered by the store) except as a last resort, because if you end up needing them you have to battle their profits to get support. Consumer Reports is decent, but tends to rely on surveys that can be biased by those who have not run into problems (sounds silly but true), and there are some industry polls out there that give info.

    Or you can go with a local company that uses all standard parts where if something fails, you might not have the warranty, but you can replace the one part and usually somewhat cheaply. It all depends on what you need from a system, and your tolerance/ability to deal with hardware problems and tech support.

    Now, the really, really long version:
    Most companies put the same basic parts into a different color (shaped) box. The difference between companies often comes down to how they deal with you when you have a problem. More specifically, when you have a *hardware* problem.

    For all people with comments about “I love my whatever brand, it works great”, you don’t understand the problem, because the problem is not with when the machines work, it’s with when they fail.

    I have had many machines from many different companies (mine and relatives who I have had the joy of being tech support for). Dell used to be touted for their great customer service, and for some reason still have this on their commercials, though I can only assume that this is using very old data.

    My as short as I can manage story: girlfriend got a top of the line Dell, every possible bell and whistle, max memory, etc for around $3500 2-3 years ago, so you can avoid the “well, you got it cheap, so what do you expect” nonsense. If you pay for something, it shouldn’t matter what you spend. Machine has hardware problems, Dell won’t send out a technician for her, has her stick hands into running machine where she gets shocked and is no longer willing to stick her hands into the machine to do the diagnostics for the tech folks, and this was after multiple calls for service. They decide to send a new system. Fine. New system works for 6 months or so, which is in the time where I meet her. Machine starts rebooting spontaneously, comes back up unable to see the harddrive, but after a cold boot comes back up and works. This happens every couple of days. After her previous dealings with Dell tech support, she doesn’t want to even call them, and wants to live with it until it aggravates her enough to toss it, even though the machine still has 1+ year left on the warranty..

    Being that I for better or worse do diagnostics every day on PCs at my job (admittedly with IBM), and deal with IBM’s tech support, I figure that she must be exaggerating. And it’s a $3500 1 1/2 year old machine still under warranty, so for her to buy a new one is kind of silly. So I offer to help, it seemed pretty straight forward, most likely a bad motherboard. Three months, around 10 rounds with their call center that typically ran 1-2 hours, pass, and The only thing I have learned is that you will be told that someone on their next level of support will call you back (they won’t), they will transfer you to another group (which is either into a dead queue (no one answers) or results in a hangup), they have no technical skill as they will walk you down the same path every time, refusing to even tell you what they are going to do or why (it’s because they don’t know, they are just reading a script), and refusing to even look at the last 10 calls to see what has happened up to this point, not putting documentation into their tickets when you ask, not even noting that you called, telling you that if you reboot and the machine comes back up then the problem is deemed fixed (this one was priceless… after a heated debate, apparently Dell tech support believes that if you can power off the machine and have it come back up into windows, that the hardware problem isn’t really hardware, or that rebooting is a suitable long term solution), and outright LYING* when their scripts don’t have a solution that can be handled over the phone. They had many wonderful suggestions such as to test the processor or memory, I should go out and buy replacement parts to put into the machine, if I don’t have a P4-3.0ghz processor just sitting around.

    *LYING = telling you that spontaneously rebooting every couple of days is normal, and that these machines are not built to be left on for more than 24 hours at a time. Double lying when asking to speak with a supervisor and having them tell you exactly the same thing. When asked for documentation or whether Dell is even aware of this, of course they had nothing to offer. I even asked how people could use these machines as servers if they couldn’t be on for more than 24 hours and from that point forward had to keep correcting people who thought that this was a *server*, and not a desktop unit… they don’t know the difference between a server (by hardware) and being used AS A server.

    Eventually their tech support stated that they would not send a technician, nor would they send any parts to swap, nor would they let her send the machine in unless I could show them *exactly* what part was going failing by their documentation/diagnostic procedures. This only really came to light when I got frustrated enough to force one of the tech support people to stay on the line for the 3+ hours to go through everything with that one person, who basically came back and said “oh well, it’s defined as intermittent so we can’t do anything about it.”

    I’m pretty stubborn, but eventually wasn’t able to get any further. This really only was resolved after a paper letter was sent to the corporate offices. Of course this took a couple of months and started well, with a responsive person, but when it came to getting the machine replaced/repaired phone calls weren’t returned, emails weren’t returned, etc. etc. Ultimately it took many many calls to this person to actually catch them so they couldn’t avoid the conversation. The upswing was eventually getting money back.

    I wouldn’t recommend Dell to anyone who can’t deal with hardware problems, or doesn’t have someone to tap who can provide a lot of help. On the side of fairness, I have only had dealings with them on the one machine, but had the joy of dealing with multiple people and had consistently horrible results.

    My only other dealings with direct warrant support is with IBM. I have always found them to be fairly straightforward, and they don’t seem to have the open ended diagnostics to make repairs. I have even had them replace motherboards (for no charge) that were out of warranty but had ECAs (engineering reports stating that the parts were defective) issued. It may help that I have gone through them so many times with corporate machines that I know how their system works, but generally it’s relatively quick and they are more interested in getting your machine up and running than in knowing the exact problem according to a script. As they move to Lenovo, only time will tell if they keep the same level of support. Several hundred calls, and I think I have had 1 problem with them where a call/ticket just got eaten by the system where the replacement part ordered was canceled for not being in stock and I was not contacted.

    Third party vendor support. I don’t want to give too many details as this one isn’t even complete, but: third party vendors (generally extended warranties through retailers, etc. that aren’t handled by the manufacturer) make their money by selling the warranty and not spending any money on repairs. Laptop had broken latches and a cracked frame due to failed hinges. The hinges are a known problem and covered under warranty. However, the keyboard was missing a key (a single key); which along with the broken latches and cracks in the bezel (due in large part to the failed hinges which allow the screen to freefall onto the base and scrateches on the top and bottom from using a metal book end to prop up the screen put the machine into the category of “having been abused.” This of course is not in the documentation you get, but rather is buried in an online expanded contract that you only get pointed to when this kind of issue arises. Please note that the brochure you get is somethng like 20 pages, so it’s not a short document. Result, service refused on the hinges (known problem) until the keyboard, cracked bezel, and scratched top and bottom are repaired/replaced by the laptop owner. Result: cheaper and easier to hunt down and replace the hinges myself. Screen problems eventually cropped up, went through cycles of it being “intermittent” in that you could reboot and it would go away for a while. After heated discussion with supervisors, they said I needed documentation and should call in when it happens. I do, they have me reboot, it goes a way for a while, and they call it done. Repeat conversation with supervisors, they tell me to just call and have them record the incident to “build documentation.” The first time I did this, the tech support person wanted to go through a lot of diagnostics, relayed previous supervisor conversation, they didn’t like the concept, talked to another supervisor, and finally got them to accept the problem. Machine goes off, comes back, they reseated the video cable (which I had already done) and out of the box it fails… and has a new problem where the backlight is now permanently on. Annoying, but at this point an issue that can go on the back burner. Several months later, follow up, machine goes in, comes back where the solution was “reseat cable”. Frustration, but busy, so a few months later the cycle repeats. Eventually the warranty is about to run out, call again, same cycle. This time, immediately call back, resend, same result. On 3rd call in the same 3 week cycle (now the machine is out of warranty), start getting into discussions about how to resolve the problem, and get a fair amount of hedging and runaround. Of course they need it sent in again, and again they just reseat something, this time the video card (which I didn’t think was separate from the system board on this model). Further discussions and making it clear that I wasn’t going to let it drop finally got it put in to review for replacement. That only took about 7 calls and as many hours.

  • ejazz

    Amazing if it was not Dell, but Compaq or IBM or Apple you guys would find something to bitch about. I myself own a Dell, my boyfriend had an Compaq, and let me tell you the Dell never came close to having the problems the Compaq had. He would complain, finally got the Dell and the Compaq is upstairs collecting dust!!! Dell may not be perfect…but then who is? you guys, I doubt it! So get off it, get a job! there is more to life then all this bitching! But then I guess.

  • MIKE

    I received a brand new Dell 400sc from a client who purchased 6 of the machines on e-bay. When I tried to register the machine Dell indicated that the machine was not paid for. I reviewed the invoice from the seller and determined that my client did in fact pay the seller. Apparently, the
    seller purchased the machines from Dell and after delivery cancelled his
    charge. ( a classic scam).

    Regardless, the system did not boot at startup (boot sector error). Since I
    could not get any help from Dell I went to my local Best Buy. They, confirmed the defective drive and indicated that they had a 80 GB drive
    on sale with $30 rebate and free installation. Since the machine did not
    come with an operating system, I installed Windows professional XP.
    In addition, I installed a sound card and a modem and the various software
    needed in my practice. After reading a short article in Smart Computing magazine, I downloaded the updated driver for the video card and all
    works fine. I also have a Dell laptop which a purchased used.

    I do not beleive that the problems encountered by some purchasers are
    statistically significant but agree that support is lacking.

    My first computer was a Compaq lugable that cost $5,200 in 1982 and which I used for seven years until is became technologically obsolete.

    I have had some minor problems with computers purchased over the years
    but most were resolved by researching on the internet or finding others who had the same problems.

    There is nothing wrong with the products from the quality companies other
    then their market segmentation ( brand name but lower quality to appeal
    to the discount shopper and bundling too much software with the system).

    I have clients that are running 5 and six year old Dell and Compaq systems
    with no problems.

    If you purchase a low end Dell or Compaq just to save a few dollars that’s
    where the problems begin.

  • Rob Geerlings

    Dell = Hell.
    Read our HORROR story.
    We bought 3 SX270 workstations and after soon had starting problems hanging systems blue screen etc, a long period of trouble shooting by various people in our companny and Dell telephone support guys followed and it was always something we had done. We have next business day repair and gold support but since they claimed it was our fold they refused to take back the systems and repair. we finally today found out after almost a year of going back and forward that it was a well know problem! Although we did not where aware of it I found out only today on the wonderful web
    that Dell has masive problems with wrong capacitors in their SX270 Dell kept us in the dark all this time and advised re-install all software, create new accounts, exchange hard drives and memory, DHMI scans etc etc. Finally they asked me to open the case and look at the capacitors it was really simple to see they were all blown-up in all 3 systems!
    Although they will repair all three motherboards they are not willing (yet) to pay back all the costs we had and made.
    It is a shame and they should be held liable and pay back all the costs!
    What a loss of our time, we will never buy a Dell again.

  • Leroy Brown

    Dell Sucks

  • Stephanie Covington

    I am in Dell Hell. I recieved a lemon and no help from the company just a paper trail and a runaorund. Dell sucks

  • Tom

    Dell is the worst company I have come across. One day, Dell says that there is a sale. Another day, the price of computers jumps another $100-$500. Most of the Dell computers I have used were defective and had some type of problem, either if it was the mouse or the hard drive. I will never buy from Dell if it is that last thing I do. No wonder they have such incredible sales. They are selling defective computers.

  • Joe

    dell suck (8:59pm EST Thu Dec 22 2005)
    i got my dell inspiron 6000… 2 days new. Keep asking me to fix system time and date after I left the system on and come back. Dell said it is a software relate and have to charge me $99 for software support. I was not aware of fee support for a BRAND NEW DELL. I would rather have that money to pay for the return shipping. NO MORE DELL… SUCK. – by Joe

  • Joe

    2 days brand new defective DELL

  • teykah

    I was financed through Dell with “no finance charges for a year”, during the first month my graphics card needed to be repalced. Of course I had to send back to dell because they have no service shops in any major cities. I missed out on 2 major accounts of mine of over $1,000.

    Well while Dell was repairing my computer that I had to ship back to them, I was late with the first payment which of course voided the “no finance charges”. I purchased a $1,500 laptop at 23%. I was sending over $100 a month and a year later I still owe $1,500.

    Now, a screw has come out of the screen of the lap top and NO ONE WILL touch it, GeekSquad or any other computer repair shop will not service Dell computers. After numerous calls to God knows where, I was told my warrany has expired and for X amount of dollars I can get another warran and send laptop top in for repair. Its a damn tiny screw, that I have tried to put back in but have not been able to. I’ll just live with it for now, hoping not push the screen back too far!!!!!!!!!!!!11

    Is there a class action suit yet, if so sign me up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • eddie

    i ordered a dell and they sent the wrong product , now i cant get them to exchange it for the right product and now they wont even take it back . and even if i pay for the shipping to return it they still want me to pay for it . whats up with that. I will never ever buy a dell again and i will not even recommend it to my friends and family . After i tell them my horrored story . i hope they take my advise.

  • James Fuller

    I purchased a Dell Inspiron 1150 Laptop less than a year ago. Normally I would build my own computer but I needed a laptop so I bought a Dell, I had heard they were a good company, I heard wrong. After about 3 months my computer had trouble seeing the power supply and would drain the battery even while it was plugged in. Although I thought I had a six month warranty I was told it was only 90 days and would have to pay for a new motherboard myself. The motherboard would cost $289.00. Fortunately the problem seemed to disappear then but recently it came back and with a vengeance. I have difficulty keeping my laptop powered for more then a few hours at a time because it cannot see the power supply and drains the battery. When I call tech support or customer service I am bounced around from department to department each time being placed on hold for 15-20 minutes at a time, sometimes being disconnected completely and I would have to repeat the same process. I have spent countless hours on the phone with Dell, I have been treated with ignorance, rudeness, and sometimes ignored to the point that I would hang up in frustration. Recently I reluctantly placed an order for a new motherboard which will cost me $307.00 by the time it is shipped to me. I have a serious concern however that this motherboard will fail the same as my current motherboard. To you people out there who say you have a Dell and like them and have never had a problem with them, well good for you, I hope your luck continues but please remember your luck with this company offers no consolation to the thousands of people this company has ripped off.

  • Arnie Diamond

    I use to be a “Buy Dell” kind of guy. I have now joined the “Don’t Buy Dell” contingent.

    I have an Inspiron 600 that sits permanently on a desk in my den. I opened it one day, turned it on and found a blotch in the lower right hand side of the LCD screen. The gentleman from some foreign country told me it is a cracked LCD and sent me the box and mailer to have it repaired.

    Two weeks later it is returned without being repaired with a note saying that since I did not send the $500 to fix the LCD, they are returning it to me. No one ever contacted me to either tell me it was not covered or ask me for monay.

    To make a long story short, after many hours of broken english, being put on hold, misdirected transfers, etc. I was told that LCDs are covered by the warranty I bought. I looked and the warranty says nothing about cracked LCDs not being covered. i also asked why the first gentleman said it was covered and even sent me the box and the mailer. They told me he was wrong and will be reprimanded. (I guess that guy was not told that Dell was making extra money by selling warranties and then not honoring them.)

    They said that it’s accidental damage which is not covered. I said there was no accident. They said,”tough.”

    I wrote a letter to Michael Dell and two weeks later received a call from an actual American man who basically said he was calling me to say, “tough-we’re not going to honor the warranty.”

    I’m complaining to the Texas Attorney General and the BBB of Austin but with Dell being a big taxpayer there, I doubt if they will do anything to hurt Dell’s profits. So, DON’T BUY DELL-Their products are garbage and they sell warranties that they do not honor.

  • Chris

    I bought three dell laptops two 600M and a 6000 both the 600M hard drives crapped out at two months old and then one of them kept going. A mother board a CD Drive and finally another hard drive crash. They sent me another computer and it was different than the 600m and cost $600.00 less than my orginal computer.The computer out of the box didn’t work and tech support told me I needed to buy a software warrenty for them to fix it. Denny a customer service manager from Dell says “if Tech Support sent you that then that is the way it goes.” Too bad that is illegal in the state of Minnesota and the Attorney General’s Office doesn’t like it either. I also complained to the BBB. I hope a class action lawsuit gets filed I am in. They have 5000.00 of mine and 200 hours I have two broken computer and another that is unstable. Hardly seems fair

  • jeff,

    being a computer user,, i prefer use Assembled PC rather the ones sold by a company.. if you are planning to buy one,better buy dell.. its very good and more reliable than any PC manufacturer as far as the support is concerned

  • BJ

    Must say…have a Dell Inspiron 1150 lap–just 2 years old–Hard Drive went down–although I was able to Chkdsk fix it and fix boot system routine–I could see it was a matter of time before ot went poof..

    Ran diagnostics–called Dell—in five minutes they agreed to send me NEW FREE Hard Drive replacement–No hassle–got here in two days

    Would only buy Dell till they give me reason not too..

  • Ken Spalding

    Having read many negative comments online about the ordeal of placing an order with Dell for a PC, I was not shocked when I realized I am unable to even navigate and negotiate Dell’s online ordering process! It seems each time I try to set up an order, at some point in the process I am whisked to a different Web page and have to retrace my previous steps.

    Moreover, I am disgusted and frustrated with a company that purports to be reputable, yet is too cheap to include a free mouse, keyboard, or printer cable with an order for a new PC package! What’s going on here?

    At a distance, Dell’s “order-by-mail” process always seemed to me a bit customer-risky. But now having personally experienced an inability to even PLACE an online order, I will continue to shop the Best Buys and Circuit Citys in my corner of the world. And I don’t feel up to speaking to a disembodied voice in telephone “sales.”

    I think there’s something to be said for doing this in person, on-site, confident that the computer and peripherals I place in my car will at least approximate what I want. And shipping costs, “free” or otherwise, are not an issue!

    Ken in Northern Virginia

  • I have tried four times to order a replacement power supply fan/shroud for my Dimension XPS. Tech support told me only a Dell replacement will fit my system, no other brand will work. First customer service rep told me they were out of stock. Second rep (2 weeks later) told me they were on back-order. Third rep told me they don’t have them, they don’t make them, they only reburbish them and don’t have any in stock. I will manage find one or rig something up but I will *never* buy another Dell. This last experience combined with their not honoring coupon codes printed in ads (twice — finally bought an iBook) did it for me. I used to be Dell’s biggest fan.

  • dell fans are horrible, they can go bad pretty fast. Go apple.

  • Emerson

    I have 43 saved emails from conversations I’ve had with Dell managers about a laptop I ordered. Long story short…I’m on the 3rd replacement laptop….which needs to be replaced again. This is by far the WORST computer experience I have ever faced. I’m 2 months into my graduate studies….and I have to deal with Dell on the side constantly. I’m amazed…they just produce garbage and send it out to consumers. Seriously….3 laptops?! You figure they’d get it right….oh by the 3rd time????

  • AK


    I would like to share my experience with you. I am currently working for HPCC but was with DELL for a couple of years.
    DELL is one of the PC manufacturing giants in the world as it is so called but how many PC buyers know that DELL doesn’t even manufacture a single pin. It’s all assembled. The spares are segregated from various vendors, assembled and then delivered as a PC with their brand name DELL. So why we call it as a global pc manufacturing giant instead global pc assembling giant.
    Secondly there is a lot of difference in the kind of service they provide for the home segment users and the corporate segment users. Corporate users are given the utmost priority while home users are treated like beggars when it comes to the support phase.
    Thirdly the people behind the support activities are mainly 10th standard failures, 12th standard failures and degree failures. Yes there are a couple of qualified professionals but very few. Therefore how can such failures contribute to the success of a global company.
    Fourtly there is lot of communalism leaving no space for the actual talent to make their way into DELL. It’s only a mallu or a muslim who can make his/her way easily into the company.
    Fifthly i would like to speak about some of the very popular personalities in DELL – Joe Thomas(HR Generalist), Adil Katrak(site director), Veena Balani(Area Manager), Ayesha Khan(Training), AK Mohammad(TSS), Satish PB(TSS Manager), Ashok Dhananjay(Analytics), KS Venkatesh(formerly Team Manager). Although i can write a thousand lines on each one of these i don’t want to waste the time of readers by boring them with the wonderful activities performed by the above said.
    It is beautifully said that “Employees quit their jobs not because of the company but because of their Managers”. I have noticed so many people resigning their jobs when they were working under the above said.
    Last but not the least i would suggest all the PC buyers not to buy DELL. Also i would suggest my other friends aspiring to join DELL that it is a bloody place to work with.
    Finally if any concerned person of the higher management is going through this mail, please sack each one of the above mentioned bastaards if you would really like to improve DELL, Bangalore.

  • NS

    Hi AK,

    Same case here, I was working with DELL Bangalore for more than 3 years. I had to leave because of dumb Manager called PB Satish.

    These managers are so chalu that they did not even setup a Exit Interview with HR.

    They were afraid that I will tell them about these managers.

    DELL Bangalore CallCenter and their managers sucks.

    DELL, Hire some good managers and technicians and provide them with sufficent training and lab sessions.

    Good luck DELL

  • I personally will never buy from Dell again after a few experiences with both customer service and their products.

    Maybe they can do us all a favor and load a little more junk on the PCs before they ship them out.

  • John Davies

    Now that I am a Microsoft certified systems engineer more and more people are asking me about buying a Dell.
    I am pleased to say that this year not noly did I directly turn about 50 people away from buying Dell but I had the opportunity to give a 15 minute talk to a larger group of senior IT Professionals on reasons why they should discourage buyers from Dell.
    Dell screwed me once but I work regularily to discourage buyers ending up with a Dell.
    I look forward to surpassing 100 potential customers from buying Dell.
    Remember when people said that a “a Ford is not a car” well
    “a Dell is not a computer”.

  • jackie

    Thanks, it was great to see this site. I am having trouble with the computer just past the 3 month mark, and was talking into signing up for the technical support. Wish I’d read this first. Am going to try to get out of the contract, since it sounds like it won’t do anything, and pay what I have to to get it fixed. This is my 4th computer, the only one I’ve had problems with. And to John, I had a Compaq for over 5 years, and guess what? I never needed tech support with it.

  • jennifer

    i have been to dell hell and back. and still, it continues. adding up all time on the phone with dell, i lost an entire month of my life. i have been transferred, hurg up on, yelled at, and promised things that don’t happen. dell needs to be accountable for all of this aggravation and make some sort of ammends. at this point, even getting a working system, IF THAT HAPPENS, does not compensate for they way i’ve been treated. i know i’m not alone, however, for all the research i’ve done on dell, i can’t find a single person treated this badly. how do they sleep at night?

  • Chris

    Does anyone here have Mr. Dells email or phone number?

  • I have to side with Kevin Sinclair on this one….I run a small computer repair and sales facility in a small town in Ontario Canada and make a living off of Dell, HP, Compaq and MDG machines. Usually just off of warranty.

    These companies believe in a corporate motto that has absolutely nothing to do with customer satisfaction. They are in the money business not the computer business and until the general public “gets” this concept, the various complaint sites will flourish and populate.

    When I build a machine, I choose a motherboard that I feel confident in. I choose my memory modules, graphics cards, hard drives, etc, etc., all for the same reason. I need to put a warranty on my machines that makes the customer feel like they are buying into a relationship that is intended to be long term. My price is not always the lowest on the market and I lose customers to Staples and Future Shop and, yes, of course the dreaded Dell Corporate Whores. That’s ok !! The customers that I have are loyal and happy. It’s kind of like doing business back in “the good old days” when there was intended to be a relationship between vendor and customer and I enjoy it. Dell understands that people are “market” driven and they understand the market. Big deal…I don’t give them credit for being charlatans.

    Impressive TV and Radio advertising and a pretty case loaded with inferior components. We in the repair business will meet all of these machines and their owner eventually and quite often we end up the ‘bad guy’ for being the bearer of bad news but part of the game, I’m afraid.

    Kevin is absolutely correct. Get to know your local builder. If it turns out you don’t end up liking him, get to know another. Small business owners are on your side more than you know. We depend on your business to survive. We will and do care about your experience with us. The corporate whores could care less if you live or die so long as they secure your money.

    Happy Computing…..

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  • Keith

    Here is my short Story…I can’t get anyone to help, care, return a call, I hate dell!!!!!
    I purchased a Dell Inspiron 2200 back in 2005 around May. I purchased this computer for school. In June of 06 my computer started to have issues and in Nov 06 I contacted Dell to tell them that the computer was not working properly. I dealt with several persons from India that was unable to help me. For several days I went back and forth with Dell and they told me that it was not a hardware issue and that they had no idea what was going on with the computer…I have a extended warranty service that I purchase in the beginning that runs until 2009. After two weeks of yelling and screaming, they finally gave me a new Hard Drive. I had spent over 30 hours of my time to get this first issue corrected. Later, in 2007, my Battery died, so I had to buy a new battery. I was told by Dell that a Battery does not last more than a year; I told them I have had two laptops and never had to change the battery (IBM and HP). In Dec of 07, my computer crashed again. It just would not work. I called Dell and complained to them, I asked them for a new computer or refund since I have had so many issues, they told me NO, I dealt again with people from India who do not understand what was wrong with the computer. I explained to them that back in 2006 the same things happened, I spend two days and 10 hours on the computer and again had to fight with them that I needed a new Hard Drive, Finally they gave me a refurbished hard-drive since they refused to give me a working computer or refund. Now my computer is again not working. The Wireless connection is not working. I called last night and spoke with a Wireless Tech and they told me that they could not fix it, that it was a hardware issue, so he transfer me to the wrong department, then I was transfer to the correct dept and spent 4+ hours to get my computer fixed, but they couldn’t, they wanted me to do this test and that test and the bottom-line was that the computer is now in worst shape now than it was before. I am angry and upset, I can’t get a person that has any ability to help me. I request to speak with an officer of the company, I am told that they will send a message to them that is all, will not copy on it or e-mail me anything. I have a computer that is not functioning properly and not willing to spend any more time on the phone with people from India that I can’t understand. I asked them to send me a field tech that they have sent in the past, but they refuse! I am seeking damages, I want a Full refund and Emossional distress, time wasted in fixing the problem, I have told the Techs on several occasions that I have done what they are telling me to do. I need someone to look into this and Help me with Dell, you can never get anyone on the phone that can help or provide a solution. So, Please Help me.

  • dellhell

    Dell will hire jackass dumb managers like adil katarak, sriram, ravi gv etc (all emea bastards) and pay them fat ass salaries for doing absolutely nothing. Few of these guys dont even know how to use a laptop properly and they run the so called call center business. They dont know any shit about the business and just know how to say “I want it and I want it now.” These are the misery days for dell. What goes around comes around………dell is paying the price now. Its going down the drains anyways

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  • Ronnie James

    Dell screwed me over, too!!!

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  • KW

    Oh, what do you expect when you buy a computer from such a “generic company” Dell SUCKS, the customer service dept and the corporate escallations dept are stupid asses and baby you can’t fix stupid :)

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