I had an Alienware M15x bought by a family member in the US (removed by admin, private information), whose ownership was transferred over to me in India.
On June 4, 2011, the laptop suddenly stopped working. I contacted Dell Technical Support in India, which promptly sent over a quotation for warranty renewal, as I had overrun the warranty period by a month. I accepted the quotation and renewed the warranty for 2 years with CompleteCover (removed by admin, private information).
Over a period of 2 months, I entertained 6 visits from Dell-authorized site technicians who replaced the motherboard 4 times, the power adapter 3 times, and several other parts including the graphic card, the HDD and the DVD-drive once. The original no POST issue with the laptop was replaced by several other issues, both intermittent and continuous.
After the battery of visits, I was advised that my laptop would be replaced, pending managerial approval. Over a period of 1 month, I made 20+ calls to Dell India, following which I was told that the replacement was approved on August 11, 2011.
I was informed by the case manager that my model M15x had been discontinued and that it would be replaced by the M14x. When I asked why I was being downgraded to a lower model, I was curtly told something to the following effect:
"Your laptop has an international service tag number. We don't replace models purchased in the US but we're making a special consideration for you. As it is, your warranty only covers part replacement, you don't have CompleteCover. If you are not willing to accept the downgrade, we'll shunt you back to Tech Support who will attempt to resolve your issues."
If there was an issue with the country of purchase, why did Dell India decide to offer me a 2 year extended NBD warranty with CompleteCover? In fact, the Dell support site randomly shows 0 days remaining in my warranty. When I call up the support line, they tell me I don't have CompleteCover or NBD warranty.
I tried contacting the Unresolved Issues team on the Dell support site, who sent over a quotation for the lowest configuration of M14x, as advertised on the Dell India site. The customer care executive stated peremptorily that the system that she was offering was an upgrade over my existing system. When I contravened that logic based on the inferior graphics card & screen size, I was told that the price of the next system available (M17x) was too high. I countered that the price of the system that was being offered was 25% lower than my current system.
Dell is not willing to clarify their basis of replacement: the price of my system or its specifications. Their offer doesn’t stand up to either count. Is it my fault that Dell decided to discontinue the M15x right when my system was up for replacement? If they can't offer the M15x, why do they insist on insulting the customer's intelligence with specious offers of equivalent replacements?
Have there been any such incidents related to replacements? How am I supposed to deal with this kind of “customer service”?
I don't know what configuration your m15x is, but the 14x is replacing the 15 with newer cpu and graphics. I assume, but could be wrong that the configuration of the m14x is on par or better than the base of the older m15x. like I said I don't know what type of m15x configuration you have. It does stink that you are getting a smaller screen if you would prefer something larger. I do game on my m14x the screen isn't tiny and it plays the games I have tried really well.
I use my M15x for gaming and, in general, the graphics card has always been the bottleneck for performance. GT 555M may be newer than the GTX 260M, but runs on a slower clock (both memory & processor) and has half the memory bandwidth & texture fill rate. Having DX11 and a few more CUDA cores may sound nice, but doesn't change the fact that I would have to play my games at medium-low settings. In the screen size department, the M15x blows away the M14x any day.
The main issue at hand is the inflexible & opaque nature of Dell Customer Support. They will agree that I have multiple issues with my laptop but won't allow me to get an upgrade, even if I am willing to pay for it. In every call to Dell Support, I was gratuitously informed about how my case was very unique and that I should be thankful that I am getting a replacement at all. This after paying for premium customer support and enduring 6 fruitless on-site repairs. Now it's as if it's my fault that the M15x went out of production.
The 500 family of graphics are much better. Don't look at clock speed. According to this review:
The GT 555M is 10% faster than the GTX 260M. But you can refuse the replacement and keep them coming over and over until they loose 10 X more money on servicing the computer than the cost of an M17x. Don't accept the replacement if you are not happy. I still have mixed feeling from returning my XPS 730x to end up with the Aurora R3.
Alienware Aurora R3
Core I7-2600K 4.5 GHz with 750GB Samsung EVO SSD, 16GB Corsaire Vengence memory..
EVGA GTX 780 TI SC on Booster X5 PSU.
Dell WFP3007WFPHC 30" monitor.