Dell customer service/support - advice please!

  [email protected] 11:00 28 Sep 2004

I am self-employed and work from home. In July I purchased a server from Dell with the standard 1 year, next business day warranty. All went well until 5th September, when the server locked up and then refused to restart.
On the 6th I went through the symptoms with the server support team, who diagnosed it as either motherboard or cpu failure. On the 7th, a technician sub-contracted by Dell came out with a new motherboard, cpu and heat sink. He replaced them all one by one, but still no luck. The technician called Dell support; they decided that the motherboard must have been "DOA" or dead on arrival.
So 2 days later they came out again - this time a different technician from the same company. He had been told the history, so brought with him another motherboard and CPU. But he took one look at the server and said it was a power supply failure (though of course he did not have a spare power supply with him). He tried the new motherboard and processor anyway, and sure enough they didn't fix the problem.
So he phoned Dell to ask why they didn't immediately diagnose it as a PSU failure, to which they had no response. They only asked to speak to me. They told me that unfortunately they would be unable to send a new PSU out, and would instead replace the server. That would have been fine, except that they said it would take "several days" before the server would be ready. I repeatedly asked them to clarify how long “several days” in Dell speak are, but they refused to speculate whether that meant a few days or 2 weeks. I asked them could they not send out a new power supply and I would fit it myself, but they were not interested. As I had no alternative I had to accept the swap, but asked Dell to confirm this by email, which they did.

The sub-contracted technician explained afterwards that have a policy of only paying for 2 onsite visits, after that they will only replace the server, as it is cheaper.

2 weeks later, still no server and no further contact from Dell. So I rang them (on the 24th). Server Support apologised and said they would find out what was going on. Late on Friday afternoon they emailed me back to say that they were still looking into it... Yesterday (Monday) I called them back again, and they said they would come back to me in 5 minutes with an answer. One hour later still no word, so yet again I called them... To cut a long story a bit shorter, I have still had no ETA for delivery of a new machine.

So, the question I am asking is: What are my rights and what can I do to get my server this week??

  JonnyTub 12:37 28 Sep 2004

I feel for you mate, it's seems they have you by the short and curly's and there's not a whole lot you can do about it. Get back on the phone and log an official complaint (if you haven't already done so), tell them you want refunded for your one year standard warranty as it was supposed to be "next business day" and you've been waiting a whole lot longer than that, they'll probably argue that it's in your t&c'c but make a fuss of it and someone may pull their finger out.

Sorry I can't be much help. :-(

  rbt 12:52 28 Sep 2004

I think you would have grounds to reject this and ask for a full refund. The server is obviously not fit for use. Also, if you paid by credit card you could also write to the credir card company as they are jointly liable for the faulty goods.

Normally, if you write to the company, mention the Sale of Goods Act and that you are rejecting the goods as they are not fit for use, the company would accept this.

Also you might consider Citizen's Advice Bureau

Good luck

  [email protected] 13:06 28 Sep 2004

Thanks JonnyTub and rbt for the advice. I will try all of the above, and report back to the forum when I get this resolved.


[email protected]

  Urotsukidoji 13:48 28 Sep 2004

I may be wrong but i think the sale of goods act only applies for consumer purchases not for business purchases, which by [email protected]'s post this server is for.

Also I doubt the CAB would go near business law etc as they only deal with civil matters.

it may be worth looking into the business side of purchasing law etc rather than the routes already suggested

as i say i may be wrong, I am not a lawyer so am only guessing.



  spuds 18:57 28 Sep 2004

You may have a claim against Dell via The Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982.

You can check your rights click here

  961 19:12 28 Sep 2004

Try the "contact the forum editor" link on the top left of this page

He knows how Dell works and he knows the Boss

But for goodness' sake don't say I told you!

  Brundy 19:49 28 Sep 2004

Your story sounds very similar to mine!! I Contacted Dell technical support over 2 weeks ago who confirmed a faulty graphics card, a technician arrived the following day with a replacement which was DOA, a new order was placed, since then nothing, despite numerous calls to 'tech support'. All e-mails to customer care, tech support & complaints have been unanswered. Like you we work from home & this computer is an integral part of our business.
The only help I have had is by visiting the 'Dell Community Forum' & I have received several messages from the 'forum moderator' who has said he will try to help. May be worth you trying. Good luck, if you do get any joy please post here as I really dont know what more to do.

  [email protected] 23:08 28 Sep 2004

I have raised a formal complaint against Dell, and copied in the Dell Server Support staff that I've been corresponding with.

The issue really is why Dell are not able to repair or replace the server in a reasonable amount of time, not that they WON'T replace it, so I guess I can use the Supply of Goods Act as a stick to poke them with, at any rate.

It's one thing for a "home user" who doesn't use their computer to earn a living to be without a machine for 3 weeks, but I, like Brundy, run a business off it. I'm lucky enough to be able to take out the server's hard disk and put it into another box so that I can pretty much work as normal, but if I was, say, running a mail server off it, or using it as a firewall, I would have had to have bought a replacement or go on holiday for a month!

Surely there's a good enough reason to either give me a refund, or provide a new server and some money back to compensate me for selling me goods that haven't been up to scratch.

Thanks for all your posts, I'll see what Dell have to say in the morning, and let you all know.


[email protected]

  [email protected] 08:27 30 Sep 2004

All I have managed to find out is that there is a delay in Server production at the moment. Though what i believe has actaully happened is that they lost my original order in the system, so a new one was raised last week (hence the new order number), which suggests that I'll be waiting at least another 10 working days before I get my machine.

Incidentally, I have had no response to my complaint 40-odd hours after posting it, even though they aim to reply within 24 hours.

Once again, someone is getting back to me by mid morning after speaking to the New Servers department, but no doubt they will not have heard anything more.

In retrospect, I should have just bought myself a new power supply 3 weeks ago, so I could carry on using my server until the replacement arrived. For £45 it would have been worth it.

  LANDCRUISER 16:11 30 Sep 2004

After seeing your post i had to reply,i have a mesh pc & had varies problem that took a lot of time to resolve, i feel that most company do not care about the customer,first you cannot get hold of them on the phone ie waiting, then they try to resolve it over the phone which is no good at all to most people because the do not under stand the workings of the pc if they did they would fix it themselves & then they try to work out what the problem is, then they send the engineer out with half the parts he needs they then say i have not got the parts,they then say try phoning the manufacturer, you will have to send it back to them, now you back to square one again ie telphone waiting,if any manufacturer out there ever wanted to increase their sale and the word got out that they looked after there customer they would make a fortune, why they cannot get it right i do not know,this is how to do it, first you tell them you hae a problem, 2 they send a engineer to you with all the part he may needs. if he cannot fix it then sack him because he no good as a engineer,

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