I ordered a 17 inch laptop, with upgrades, from Dell. I paid by credit card.
When the computer arrived in 10 days or so, I started it immediately, and found it was defective. There was no sound from the speakers. However, one of the two headphone jacks would produce sound, but from only one side of the phones.
I called the technical service number provided and began the five hour long process of being shifted from person to person, and department to department. I probably talked to six different persons. I was cut off three times, and had to restart the process each time.
Two of the technical support persons connected my computer with theirs via the internet. On the first occasion, the tech downloaded 17 software "upgrades" to my machine. No luck, and still no sound.
She advised me that since the machine was brand new, I was eligible for a replacement. I was agreeable at that point. However, that had to be done through the customer service department.
When she attempted to hook me up with customer service, I was cut off. I started over, and called back. "Customer care", as they call it, said no, they could not authorize a replacement, as that was under the reponsibilities of the technical support department. They tried to connect me with tech, again I was cut off.
I started over one more time and called technical support. The tech said, nope, they couldn't authorize a replacement, that was customer care's job. However, if I would give them access to my computer again, they were sure they could fix it over the internet.
This time, they erased all data on the hard drive and returned it the "factory image". That took about an hour. After all that, still no sound. They wanted to send out a tech to make repairs. I balked at that, saying I had paid for a new computer in proper working order and would not settle for a "repaired' unit.
"Sorry", he said. No replacement would be forthcoming as I had a brand new computer, with just a few minor problems. He assured me that when the minor problems were repaired, my machine would be good as new.
Again, it was back to customer care, who referred me again to technical support. They were always polite, but would never budge in their refusal to give me a replacement.
The next day, I was back at them on the phone, and had similar results. I also tried contacting them their customer support department via e-mail. Using their form, I submitted a detailed letter, clearly stating the computer problems and the steps their techs had taken to try to resolve it.
The customer service guy wrote back and said I needed to talk to the technical support department. I wrote him back and advised him that he had obviously not read my letter in detail, as I had fully apprised him of my episodes with their technical support.
Each time I called the support telephone, the recorded message offered to let me speak to a North American technician for an "additional fee". Otherwise, I would be routed to their regular support team (in India, as I later found out). I did not opt to pay the fee, and instead, spoke each time to regular techs.
I began to search for consumer comments about Dell on the internet, and was surprised by the many negative comments I found.
I tried one last time to contact the customer support department. This time, I stated flatly that I wanted my money back immediately. The clerk gave me return authorization number and said UPS would pick up the machine tomorrow. After they got the machine back, it would take up to thirty days to get a refund.
I do believe, that under Texas consumer laws, they actually only have ten days to make restitution. We'll see what happens.
In conclusion, as soon as I get my money back, I will never consider buying or owning a Dell product again.
Mayhill, New Mexico
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