Thursday, January 5, 2012

Dell laptops are terribly low quality and you shouldn't buy one

I bought a Dell laptop at Thanksgiving and received it on December 3. Three weeks later the monitor failed - - the display was reduced to a bunch of pink smears. It worked fine if connected to an external monitor, and there were no visible cracks or other defects on the laptop.

I contacted Dell through their online support and was directed to ship the laptop back for repairs. Three days later, I received a FedEx box for shipping and shipped the laptop back to Dell.

Three days ago, Tuesday, I received an email from Dell informing me that the repairs would not be covered by my warranty, and directing me to call to find out more information.

I called Tuesday afternoon and was told that the LCD was broken and that my warranty did not cover fixing it. I pointed out that the laptop was only three weeks old, and was clearly defective - - I had never dropped it, and indeed had never taken it out of my house. The service agent was unmoved and told me that he would do me a favor and only charge me $200 to fix the screen (instead of the actual cost of $400).

I asked to speak to a supervisor, who told me that "LCD leakage" occurred, and that such a problem was not covered by my warranty. I asked what would have caused such a problem, and he told me it was likely caused by opening or closing the laptop. I told him that a brand new laptop that breaks on account of its intended use was defective, and thus any needed repair was covered by my warranty. He insisted that I would have to pay for the repairs. I asked to speak to his supervisor. He told me that no supervisor was available, but that one would call me on Wednesday.

As you can imagine, I was frustrated. And stunned.

On Wednesday morning, I received an email from Dell saying that "repairs had been completed" and that my laptop would be shipped back to me. I also received a call from FedEx to expect the laptop today, Thursday. I missed a call from a Dell manager Wednesday afternoon. The voicemail he left for me simply expressed regret for having missed me, and otherwise indicated that he had no familiarity with the situation, and had no idea why I wanted to talk to him. In light of the email, and vague nature of his message, I decided to wait to receive the laptop instead of calling him back.

So, I didn't know whether the laptop was really being shipped back to me, and if so, whether it had been fixed.

Today, I received the laptop. The LCD has apparently been replaced, and the monitor seems to be fine. Of course, I am extremely reluctant to actually use my laptop as a laptop since I assume closing the screen could break it at any moment.

In sum, think long and hard before buying a Dell.