Dell is Taking Back My Computer


Monday, 28 August 2006 at 5:00 am Pacific USA Time.

Funny that a post I’d written weeks ago and scheduled went up last Friday. It was about how much trust I’ve lost for Dell. That really escalated on Friday.

On Friday, I was sick of hearing friends and colleagues complaining about their Dell computers. And I got really sick of my brand new Dell desktop sucking. I’ve had it a few months, but I’ve had to put in so many trouble tickets, and there were new ones all the time that I hadn’t put in yet.

Meanwhile, none of them were getting solved. The DVD burner, which had worked, was now not burning DVDs. It’ll burn CDs, so the computer sees the drive, but it won’t burn DVDs. Yes, I upgraded the firmware and so on. Still didn’t work. The computer likes to restart itself while I’m working. Just randomly POW, my computer is rebooting, and I’ve lost everything I was working on. Sometimes, it would decide while I was working that it didn’t recognise my keyboard. First I’m typing letters. Then I’m typing and nothing comes up.

What was the last straw was that it started moving really slowly and not at ALL like a brand new, modern computer. I would be looking at my Outlook inbox, click on an email I wanted to read, and have to wait a full 10 seconds for it to come up. It shouldn’t take that long to show me 2K of text that I’ve already downloaded. I ran AVG antivirus, Norton antivirus, and Spybot search and destroy. All declared my computer trouble-free. Yet, when I would be doing nothing, my CPU was at 50% usage. Why?

Could Dell and their non-English-speaking support team have fixed any of these things? I don’t trust them to. Do you? Does anybody with a Dell believe that support fixes things? So I called in to tell them I wanted to return the computer. First, they didn’t want to take it back since it was past the 21-day return period. The guy told me to call Tech Support since he was sure they would fix my problems. Then I freaked out at him.

I started yelling and cursing about how awful the computer was, how none of my problems got fixed, and how could he really confidently tell me that Tech Support is going to help me? I told him he can patch me to Tech Support if he’s looking to get rid of me, but then my next call would be the Attorney General to discuss fraud. I told him I’ve been on computers since 1979, and I’ve never had a computer get so f’ed up so soon after buying it. I wanted to talk to his manager.

He put me on hold, and when he came back, he said that they’d take the computer back, but for a 15% restocking fee. I was OK with that since I wanted this gone. When I asked him how I was going to get refunded, he told me something that didn’t make sense. I’m financing it, so I’ve only paid $498 towards it, and he said that when I returned it, my $498 would sit in my financing account as a credit towards another purchase. I told him that he was lying to me. I told him that you can’t tell me that I’m going to be refunded 85% and then tell me you’re keeping my money. That’s not a refund. I asked for his supervisor again.

I got the supervisor. He explained that the money will go back into my financing account, and then I can close the account and have a check sent to me. OK, that’s fine. He said he’d give me a full refund and not charge the 15% restock fee. That’s even better. I turned on my voice recorder, put him on speaker phone, and confirmed everything he promised me. :)

The funniest thing the supervisor didn’t say had to do with how long it would take to process my returned computer. He told me that it might take 30-35 calendar days. "It normally takes 15-20 days," he tells me, "but…" And his sentence stops. And time stops. And I hear what he’s not telling me, which is that everybody is returning a Dell, so it’s taking much longer to process the returns. He continues his sentence. "I just think it’ll take longer." Brilliant.

So UPS is coming today to get the old computer. I had to erase it and pack it up. UGH! But at least it’ll be gone and in 4-6 weeks, I should have my money back.

Dell’s tanking, and no, this is not the time to buy stock. When a company’s stock lowers because they’re sucking, that’s not the time to get in! Looking at a one-year chart of their stock, it looks like they were in the mid 30s last September, and are now under $22. I expect them to completely go out of business within a year, though one of my staff thinks it’ll be a slow, two-year death.

Don’t buy a Dell unless you intend to barely use your computer. Then, it’ll probably serve you well. But the power users I know and I (as a power user) are just finding the Dells from the last year or so to be worth what you’re paying. Pay bottom dollar for a bottom machine with below bottom support.


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Categories: That's Bad Marketing

Comments Closed

3 Responses to “Dell is Taking Back My Computer”

  1. Russell says:

    Here is the great story about Dell. I buy a computer last year online from Dell for work purposes. I receive this great offer in the mail prior to me purchase that states, NO financing charges for 12 months for Preferred Customers. I purchased two previous computers from Dell which because of my previous purchases I now have my own account and credit limit of up too $2,000.00 as a preferred buyer with Dell.
    I bought the computer online using my preferred Dell account, 30 days later I get my bill and Dell is assessing finance charges? Not only finance charges but a interest rate that 25-30 years ago people went to jail for this type of loan-sharking 29.95%. Mistakes happen right? I call Dell and of course I speak to someone on the other half of the world who is programmed to say “ I’m so sorry” over and over again. They inform me the 12 months no finance charge only applied to Preferred Customers who were well qualified? Hmmmmmm, I was qualified to buy previous purchases with Dell right? I have a preferred account with Dell right? My credit score is close to 700 right? No one has checked my credit from Dell in 3 years right? So what the problem? The problem is Dell Scams people into offering them a product and service and then manipulates the system in charging a finance charge that is almost illegal? I wonder what interest rate they charge people have sub-par credit. I asked Dell that question and they would not answer me.
    I paid off the computer so I would not be assessed any finance charges. Anyone I know who wanted to buy a computer from Dell, I have talked them out of it. I have bought two other laptops since then and have let Dell know There scam probably cost them over $5,000.00 + in the past 2 years in new purchases.
    Its great getting even.

  2. Debbie says:

    Thanks, Russ. That’s a whole other scam, and didn’t happen to me even though I had used my Financing account. Supposedly I’ll see a check in a week or so. I’ll certainly blog if that goes according to plan!
    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Tommy says:

    Don’t ever buy from DELL! They have the dumbest refund policy of all other Company out there! If you ever need to return something, they alway make you pay for the shipping because they don’t want you to return it. They alway will tell you it can be solved be a Tech and even offer have one come to your house for services. But this Tech can’t do anything because their product is cheap and alway have trouble. If you ever decided to return DELL product for a refund, you are force to pay for shipping cost, then on top of that they tell you up to 30 days to get a refund!? WTF!? DELL is the first company that I heard this ridiculous time frame. 1 month to process a refund on a return.