Dell tagline – Screw to Survive
My Dell XPS laptop is helping me explore and discover a lot of Dell’s business strategies and most of them are unethical. My previous post would detail the problem I am currently facing with my Dell XPS M1210. I knew that Dell would not help me unless I pay them what they demand. But still I wanted to check my Luck Quotient. I called up Dell and the executive (Mr trained-Smarty-dell-mouthpiece) spoke to me for about an hour. Let me give you the gist of the conversation.
I have recorded this in my mobile. I will post the audio clip soon.
Once I explained the problem, he asked me to be on hold for a while, so that he could check what best he can do for me. He came back on the line and told me that he is going to give me a break-fix-warranty.
Now what is a break fix warranty for me? Pay for 1 year extended warranty + engineer visit + spare part cost. That will be 19,000INR in total. I told him, that this problem is not only with my notebook. Many people who have got the same model have suffered because of the design flaw. This is Dell’s fault and Dell must absorb the cost and replace it without charging.
He accepted that its a design issue with the GeForce 7400 gfx card and Dell has automatically extended the 1 year warranty to an extra year for all the product with 7400 gfx cards. My laptop has cruised past 2 years exactly (on March 8th 2009) so Dell will not replace it for free.
I was pretty shocked. Hang on! One year ago on March 2008, I called you guys and wanted to pay for an extended warranty and no one told me that I get a free warranty extension at that time. You guys sent me quotes and if had gone ahead with the purchase, I would have ended up paying for a free service.
He justified and rolled back his statement that, these free warranty was only for systems with fault. Yes, mine is faulty as well. Only that the fault came to light exactly after 20 days of expiry of the warranty + “so-called-free-extended” warranty period.
Dell… the greatest customer screwing machine of all time… Ok! I don’t want to drift off-topic. Now, I don’t care about extended warranty. A company like Dell must take responsibility for its mistakes and take back the faulty parts it has sold.
His point was, the company has extended its good-will gesture for one year and my laptop had no problems during that tenure and now I have to pay for it.
And so forth and so on… the argument was going nowhere. The business strategy I learnt is, sell a faulty product to the customer and sell it over and over to the same customer, when the product fails. Nice strategy to make money, especially during the tough times of recession. I am sure Dell would not face any economic strangles with policies like this in place. Even if I pay for the service and get the Motherboard replaced, it is bound to fail in another year’s time.
Shall I or Should I not?