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When Dell let me down!

Dell, as we all know is an International house-hold name for quality computer products. But what we don’t know is the fact that, Dell have become complacent off-late and are concentrating more on quantity of sale, rather than the quality of the product.

There are people who have purchased Dell’s standard model laptops and sat back contently for the rest of the product’s long life time. There are also people like me who have gone in for so-called premium products (actually, experimental) and are doomed to suffer for the rest of product (short) life time.

I purchased a Dell machine 2 years ago. It was the top end machine at that time. Its the Dell XPS M1210. You can just google for its specifications, if you really want to. I preferred it over other products just for 2 reasons.

  1.  Reliability on the Dell Brand name.
  2.  Portability w.r.t. to its size (12″)

I did a thorough market research before I made the decision. I browsed a lot, I asked questions at forums, chat with people who have got laptops recently, hunted for information and quotations in almost every computer shop in Chennai and finally made the worst decision: to stick with Dell. In spite of the fact that, I don’t get to see the product, before I make the purchase, I went ahead and procured the consignment.

Until then, the customer service and sales personnel were very cordial and helpful. Exactly one year later, they started showing their real face. The scornful capitalistic empty-your-wallet plus-your-life-savings kinda face. 
The battery failed me. Instead of the promised 3 hour backup, I got only 45 min or less. Then six months later, the battery went completely dead. I found out that the warranty or the extended warranty would not cover battery. (They were aware that it would fail in 1 year) And Dell batteries are not cheap.

Six months from then, out of the blue-moon, the graphics card crashed. I had no clue why it had happened. The Dell technical assistant over the phone asked me to run a few tests and declared that the graphics card has crashed and told me in a relaxed cool tone that I have shed a fortune to get it fixed. Eyebrows raised, I asked him the reason. He told that the graphics card was integrated with the motherboard and the entire mommy has to be replaced. I was not sure as mine had an Nvidia GeForce 7400 and it must be an add-on card. But the Mr.Knowall-tech-assist insisted that I must pay a shit-load to get my lappie bounce back to life.

To my bitter surprise, I found that many people who had purchased the XPS series had similar problem and I was not alone. The problem is with the heat sink design. The laptop design is so bad, that the processor’s heat dissipates via the motherboard to the vent. That’s a serious flaw in the design and this causes the circuits to fail. Unlike the famous “burning-laptop-battery” issue, this issue is not common in all the laptops they build, but only in a few. I believe that’s the reason, Dell has not called for a mass-recall.

If such a flaw has been detected on their standard laptop models, then they would have panicked, as the corporate bigwig customers would rap the knuckles hard on Dell. But XPS product line is not purchased by corporate houses, instead by single customers like me.

Yet, I strongly believe that Dell must have taken responsibility and must have come forward to solve such known-issues. But they didn’t. All they want is the customer’s money and not their satisfaction. I still can’t digest the fact that Dell has let me down and many other customers. Never again would I go for a Dell product. Not even for a mouse. Many of my friends ask me for suggestions and I have recommended Dell to them. I would never ever do that mistake again.

This time am not gonna pay Dell, instead, Ill try to fix the problem on my own. If not successful, I would ditch the laptop and get rid of the last Dell product among  my processions.

Update: Adding a few links to validate the point that, I am not alone –

ITWorld – Dell takes heat for faulty Nvidia chips

Flaw in XPS M1330

The Dying Vdo Card

A lucky guy and his cheeky tactic

M1210 Specs

One response

  1. Dell has been slipping over the years. and resorting to dirty tricks…i too have heard a lot about del… why the company laptops are designed to fail after an year.. Keys fail. battery fails.. heating problems.. dont know what up with those guys

    March 31, 2009 at 6:58 AM

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