Day 18 of D-E-Double Hockey Sticks

Over the last eighteen days, I’ve begun to understand “Dell Hell.” Currently, my laptop is in Memphis for repair for the third time since it died in April. During its first repair attempt, Dell replaced the fan and heat sink. When I received the laptop back, I was able to recreate the problem in 50 minutes. When I called, Dell admitted that its staff turned my computer on and let it run for 45 minutes before sending it back. They didn’t bother to examine the laptop to determine a cause. The hardware technician did not diagnose anything beyond what the phone representative imagined as the cause, hence the limited, ineffectual repair.

On its second attempt, Dell replaced the fan, heat sink, and CPU. I do not understand why they believed that a part they replaced a few days before would be the cause of the original problem. The phone representative noted in my case that the next repair attempt should include the motherboard. This did not happen, as I said. When I received the laptop from the repair depot, I managed to kill it in 35 minutes, replicating the original problem by playing a DVD.

So now my laptop is on its third journey. I have no faith that my laptop will be fixed whenever it returns, but that’s mitigated by the knowledge that Dell must continue trying until the problem is resolved. Of course, I have to remind them of that every time I’ve called them, which is frustrating. Why no one at Dell can grasp the simple concept that, because my laptop failed during the warranty period, it is irrelevant that my warranty has since expired if the original problem hasn’t been fixed. Especially when they’ve admitted that they didn’t bother to run a thorough diagnostic or post-repair test.

I’ve learned a few things during this ordeal. Dell is clearly incompetent, which I think is all that works as an explanation. There is an upside to this: my laptop will have all new insides by the time this is resolved. It’s unfortunate that I’m not earning frequent flier miles for all the trips the computer is making to Memphis.

I won’t be buying anything from Dell in the future.

Post Script: Composing anything worth reading on a PocketPC is still virtually impossible, not to mention the hand cramping it causes. Regular blogging will resume soon.

One thought on “Day 18 of D-E-Double Hockey Sticks”

  1. Service quality has declined drastically since HP and Compaq merged. I have had similar experiences with my Compaq laptop, IBM server – and don’t even bother with Toshiba.
    I’m not sure the merger was the cause of the decline (I suspect it was the .com bust) but the timing sure did correlate enough to stick in my mind.

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