Ding Dong with Dell!

  Shirazz 16:06 12 Dec 2008

If I get through this without another crash (5 today already) I'll tell you about Dell's 'customer service' but just so you aren't hanging on - I'm about to take them to court so if anyone has any advice, I'll be glad to hear it!
In brief, this XPS 630i began crashing almost as soon as I got it. I tried all the usual diagnostics, including Dell's own, to no avail and finally contacted their tech help a day or so past owning it for one month. They were intially helpful but soon got to the point of asking me to get inside the box because the diagnostics wouldn't run. I said I wasn't happy to do that as I'm wise enough to know what I could break and so, on the basis of no diagnostics, they want to replace my hard drive. Not only is there no guarantee that this is the culprit but in doing so, I lose the factory image AND have to reinstall all my software and connections etc. Don't ask about back-ups - it crashes too often to get them finished! I say they can't repair this to the standard I expect of a new machine and they say the factory image doesn't matter. I say it does, not only because I understand its function but also because Dell sales told me so only yesterday. I'm aiming for the small claims court so if anyone has experience of this with a company the size of Dell, I'd be grateful for some tips.
Thanks - I feel much better now!

  namtas 16:59 12 Dec 2008

Contrary to what some will tell you making a claim through the small claims court can be quite time consuming and some might find it quite stressful

For advice
click here

You will need to produce hard copy evidence showing that you have taken all reasonable steps to reach a satifactory conclusion before commencing a claim.

You should also be prepared to meet a cost in bringing the claim - first step is to cousult CAB

If you then feel that you wish to procede you may consider sending one last wake up call which is to complete and send a copy of your court claim stating out that unless you receive satisfaction forthwith you will (on date) start a claim for full retribution cost plus damages.

Good Luck

  ventanas 17:04 12 Dec 2008

I've had plenty of experience with Dell, I presently have 27 of their machines, and there is nothing whatsoever wrong with their support.
It is standard practice for Dell to replace any faulty component with one that may have been refurbished, as in the motherboard on this machine I'm using now, which failed after two days, and was replaced next day. And the factory image does not matter.
Give them time and they will fix it, I can assure you. To think of taking them to court over this is nothing short of ridiculous.

  Shirazz 17:35 12 Dec 2008

An interestingly diverse response set! We were several weeks into this issue before anything was offered at all and so I am not experiencing the kind of service ventanas clearly has. The difference may be that I am a home user - with 27 machines, I have to assume ventanas isn't - and so not only am I getting a less prompt service, I am also offered one that means taking time off work and since I am an NHS consultant, that isn't really feasible even if the solution were based on evidence, which it isn't. Obviously I would much prefer to have this resolved without resorting to court and I take on board the advice from namtas who either knows a thing or two about the business or has been there already. I should add that a conversation with Dell's tech support has done little to redeem their reputaiton as the individual concerned spent much of the time shouting and making accusations that bordered on the defamatory. That is not the issue at hand though, just the matter of decent customer service.

  spuds 18:11 12 Dec 2008

Even if you do take court action and win your case, Dell may still not comply to the courts ruling, and you will have to take alternative actions.

Having stated that, I would suggest that you contact you local trading standards or Consumer Direct click here for further advice.

  Shirazz 20:23 12 Dec 2008

I have kept trading standards informed all the way along. They suggested going to court as Dell was not being helpful and said that only a judge could decide whether or not what they were offering was inadequate. The situation is that I will have to buy a new machine whatever eventually happens as this one is unusable in its present state and my argument that Dell's behaviour breaches their own terms and conditions will have to be evaluated as and when. Thank you everyone for your contributions. Every perspective helps.

  al7478 02:45 13 Dec 2008

Its very common here to get wildly differing perspectives on some of the big companies. with dell especially, one usually finds that one view comes from someone with dozens of their machines at their workplace, and the other view comes from an individual home user.

Thaqts not to say im a disgruntled home user. I've had to consult them about serious issues a couple of times recently, and, while not 100% happy with 100% of their service, my complaints are fairly minor.

by the by, do think carefully about whether it is worth the fight.

Sorry i couldnt help more.

  ventanas 10:34 13 Dec 2008

From a home perspective, the keyboard on my Inspiron laptop failed while it was under warranty.
One phone call to Dell to establish the problem, and a new keyboard arrived by courier at 8.00am next day. Two minutes later it was fitted.
Why not just ask them to send you a new hard drive and fit it yourself. They should not have problem with that. And yes, it could well be a refurbished item, but that is how they keep costs down.
Also please remember that you have not done as asked, and checked the inside of the machine. Why is there a problem with this? They probably wanted you to check the various connections, as I had to do with the faulty motherboard.

  cactusjack 10:56 13 Dec 2008

What type of warranty do you have on your machine Shirazz? - is it an onsite warranty?

  cactusjack 11:10 13 Dec 2008

Sorry forgot to add:

"I said I wasn't happy to do that as I'm wise enough to know what I could break and so, on the basis of no diagnostics, they want to replace my hard drive."

I am a little confused: if Dell think it is the hard drive, then have they asked you to replace it? or is it that you are against replacing it due to losing software that came with the machine?

1) If they have asked you to replace it and you have an onsite warranty, then if you do not feel comfortable dabling with internal PC parts, surely Dell would be required to send an engineer round?

2) Regarding losing the factory image, I would imagine things should be ok providing you have the CD that came with the machine (containing all of the software, etc)??

  Shirazz 14:01 13 Dec 2008

These are all reasonable points. Let me clarify: Dell don't know it's the hard drive but they want to replace it anyway which is a bit like me suggesting your thyroid might be making you ill so we'll remove it and put you on medication without doing tests for other possible ocnditions.
I drew the line at going inside the box because I have no skills with the jphysical elements of computing. Like my car, i know how to drive it effectivley and what makes it work. I also know a enough about the mechanics to use them properly, maintain them and keep them running but I don't know how to adust the fuel injection system or the brakes.
They will certainly send an engineer but only in my working hours when I am not there and until I'm on leave with no health service duties, that's not going to be possible. I'm aware of how inflexible that might sound but I am responsible for a specialist clinical service that books up months ahead and cancelling something for this kind of purpose is not really acceptable. If Dell knew and were 'confident' (their Ts&Cs)that this would effect a repair then I could consider making a sujitable arrangment but they cannot offer that because of the lack of diagnostics.
the factory image is important to me because, in the event of an OS failure - and who is not concnered about that with Vista's rapidly fading reputation - it would reduce the time involved getting up and running again by hours, not just minutes. It is also a major selling point for Dell as evidenced by their own sales representative.
That said, I know it is unusual for Dell machines to fail. Friends have them and we have all Dell machines at work. This is about customer service in the end.
I have to buy a new machine whatever the outcome and will do so from the local shop I've used since 1995 with this one exception. I will think carefully about the points made here - they are all extremely helpful and I thank you.

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