I bought a refurbished XPS M1530 from Dell on July 31, 2008. This was a very expensive computer, but I got for $955 dollars. At first it was working pretty good, except it ran extremely hot. Sometimes the computer would shut off when it got too hot, and I had to put it on another surface other than my lap because it ran hot enough to burn me. I bought a laptop cooler, and that seemed to solve the overheating problem a little. It ran hot, but not as hot as before.
Then another problem started. I began getting video hardware failure messages from Windows frequently. The screen would go black in the middle of me doing something, then it would come back on with a message from Windows saying the video hardware had crashed and recovered. One day around June 2009 while I was using it, and the screen started bleeding these green streaks of color. I got freaked out and turned the computer off. When I tried to turn it back on, it would't come on. The screen went white, then faded to black, and I could see these dots all over the screen. I was very upset because my warranty had expired, my computer was dead, and I had school in a month. I needed that computer to do my work.
So I called Dell tech support anyway, and they told me they had extended my hardware warranty because of a defect with the Nvidia graphics card in my laptop. Because the computer ran so hot, it caused the graphics card to become disconnected. The graphics card was soldered onto the motherboard, so the whole motherboard had to be replaced. Dell neglected to inform me or any other owners of the laptops affected by the defect that they would be extending the hardware warranty. I was just lucky enough to call in time. Nvidia was paying them to fix the computers because of a class action lawsuit, and they couldn't be bothered to inform anyone? I guess they just wanted to keep the free money for themselves if no one reported a problem.They send me a prepaid box to send my computer for repair. The next day, I call their repair department to make sure they are giving me good parts free from the defect. He assures me they should be free from the defect, though they might be refurbished.
I get My laptop back, and it is working again, but with two minor problems. I would hear this weird, rapid clicking noise occasionally when I would use it, and my wireless card wasn't working correctly. I have read this is a side effect of the overheating. On August 25, 2011, I put my computer on hibernate to move to another room in the house because my adapter no longer charged my battery. When I try to turn it back on, I get a black screen again. The lights flash briefly, and the hard drive is running, but the screen stays black. I perform a diagnostic test by pressing and holding the power button and function key, and of the 3 lights that are in the top left hand corner of the computer, 2 remain lit and one is flashing. I have read, that usually indicates a motherboard problem, the same problem Dell so called "fixed".
My extended warranty has expired, and I didn't renew it because I couldn't afford it and I though the problem had been fixed. I look for the email addresses of Dell executives online, and email them about my situation. I get a response back from a Vijay Kant that says since I am out of warranty, Dell cannot do anything for me. He then refers me to the out of warranty department. I tell them my problem, and the guy there says it usually costs over $400 to replace the motherboard and repair the computer. Then he pretends like he's negotiating with his supervisor over the price, when he's really just consulting his manual on how to rip off Dell customers. He then tells me they can offer it to me for $300 plus 3 months warranty. I say no, then he "confers" with is supervisor again and finally lowers it to $199 plus tax, plus 6 month warranty. I tell him I will think about it, while he keeps trying to pressure me to accept the offer.
I try to negotiate will the Dell exec, but he won't budge. At first he says I have a month to accept their offer, then he lowers it to a week! I decided not to accept it. I refuse to give Dell anymore of my money. I have researched the Nvidia Defect, and this problem can't be fixed. It's only a matter of time before the GPU fails again because the computer still overheats. A 6 month warranty won't do any good since it clearly takes more than 6 months for the problem to occur. Plus they stopped manufacturing my brand of computer, so any existing replacement parts will most likely still have the defect. Dell and Nvidia have acknowledged they knew about the defect in the graphics card and in certain lines of their computers, though Nvidia takes no blame for the problem.
Most people have accepted getting swindled out of their money by Dell, but I'm not going to go away. I will file a complaint with any organization I can, and will take them to small claims court. My state has a lemon law, so hopefully I can get my money back or my computer replaced. Don't buy anything from Dell, unless you're buying from their business line. It is clear they do not care about consumers.