Syric
3 Argentium

Dell Alienware - Horrible Premium Warranty Customer Service Experience...

All,

(This is my 3rd attempt to post this message. It has been removed twice by Dell Mods w/o explanation; no warning; just quietly removed from the public. Why? It's not in violation of your TOS/ROC. There is no vulgarity, and you're welcome to contact me for further proof of evidence if you're having trouble believing my account of events. I saved every email, every phone call log, every forum post from the past, etc. I WANT DELL to make things right - but do they? MODS - if you're going to remove my post, at least give me an explanation as to what it is I'm doing wrong here by posting an account of my situation w/ your company.)

This is a formal complaint to you, Dell, since I get absolutely no where with your tech/customer support. They are good at apologizing for the debacle of delays I've experienced, but offer no true resolution to my situation (beyond wait it out). So, I'm going to break down my customer service experience here to protest my frustration, disappointment, and unacceptable resolution time I've endured - at my expense, my time, and my money.

I've taken the liberty of breaking this down point by point to keep it organized.

Part 1:

1. Purchased Dell Alienware 17 R3 laptop Dec, 2015. (retail $2,499 + tax ; on sale $1,999 + tax)

2. Within days of receiving it, random BSOD occur and I begin trouble-shooting the problem (I'm a 20+ year computer builder/tech guy)

3. After trouble-shooting with no result, and getting Dell involved, it is eventually determined that the BRAND NEW Alienware 17 R3 might be defective; an replacement is done by Dell. They ship me a Brand new Alienware 17 R3 (#2), and my defective one is sent back to them.

4. My brand new Alienware 17 R3 (#2) begins to have the same symptoms as before; random BSOD; finding that extremely strange and unlikely to have 2 defective BRAND NEW models in a row, I commence more trouble-shooting (mind you, this takes hours and days of testing and researching). I go the Dell forum boards, connect with other Alienware users (of my model make, and other Alienware model makes), and discover I'm not alone in having these BSOD.

5. More trouble-shooting (over the course of weeks now) leads to a breakthrough; after Dell forum posts, Intel forums posts, and finally contacting PC Doctor (who makes the SupportAssist utility for Dell), I make progress by exchanging logs, crash reports, etc. w/ PC Doctors tech support level 3 team. (I had narrowed it down to SupportAssist and Killer Network causing the random BSOD) PC Doctor's coding engineer team eventually find a deeply rooted memory leak/error within the code causing it to crash Windows 10. An updated version of SupportAssist is eventually submitted to Dell and makes its way to the public. Additionally, Killer Network drivers get an update, which finally removes the BSOD.

6. This took months to reach this resolution (I bought my Dell Alienware laptop in Dec, 2015, and it wasn't game ready and stable till approx. March/April, 2016). This should never have happened, I should have returned it and got a full refund, but I'm stubborn when it comes to trouble-shooting and figuring out why something doesn't work as intended; in that, I unintentionally become a free tech guy for Dell. Ok, np. My choice. Fine.

7. As unacceptable as that entire experience was, I (and others on the Dell Forum), rejoice over the news and updates that fix our random BSOD system crashes! All was good till....

Part 2:

1. My Alienware slips off my lap (early 2017), damaging the left I/O board side and external chassis. I had already purchased the Warranty upgrade (4 year Premium in-house support for $750; nearly 1/3 the cost of the laptop), so I reached out to Dell about the damage, and due to the nature of the damage it has to be sent in to their Depo for repair, as an onsite tech cannot be sent out to my home to fix said damages. Strange, no? Couldn't a external chassie just be sent to the tech, and it replaced on site? If you can replace a motherboard, display, etc. on site, why not the external chassis and a new MB + I/O board? Neither here nor there, I digress.

2. I don't like the idea of shipping it out, but there is no alternative choice. I back everything up, uninstall my programs and personal data, wipe the drives, and send it off (this takes several hours to do). This could have been prevented if the repairs could have been completed onsite at my location vs. shipping into a depo. It is what it is (don't let a laptop slip off your lap).

3. The turn around on service was great. Dell got it right, and I'm certainly going to give credit where credit is due. They sent out an over-night shipping label with the shipping box to keep my laptop snug n' safe. I shipped it out on a Wed or Thur (to the best of my recollection), and had it back in my lap by Mon/Tue. The point here is that the turn around was great, and I was impressed with how fast they handled my situation. Laptop was repaired, everything looked great, and my "baby" was back in my hands for more portable gaming.

Part 3:

1. A couple months go by and, during an extended system test ran by SupportAssist, it reports everything is ok except for the PCI Express m.2 SSD component. Strange...I follow the trouble-shooting instructions (shut the system down, unplug the power supply, wait, plug back in, reboot, retest). No error. Hmm.... I chalk it up to a "glitch," and with everything working fine I leave well enough alone (if its not broke, don't fix it!)

2. Another couple months go by (we're into Fall, 2017, now), and the same behavior appears again; SupportAssist reports that the entire system is good except for the PCI Express m.2 SSD . Hmm...re-run and it disappears again, reporting its fine. Ok......

3. Now we're into the end of Jan, 2018, and the results change. Now, SupportAssist reports the same error, but this time it remains consistent, regardless of a system reboot. A week goes by, I retest, and issue persists. On Feb 7th, I contact Dell Alienware Premium support to go over the issue and trouble-shooting I've done. They schedule a time to remote into my computer, and after about 30 minutes of system testing with me on the phone w/ Dell, it is determined by them that the m.2 SSD might be faulty. A replacement part is sent to me.

4. Received next day (great!). Immediately begin having issues with getting it to install Win 10 on the new m.2 SSD. Hours turn into days (work and taking care of a 9mo old get in the way) of me trying to figure out why I can't partition, format, and install Win 10. Reach out to Dell, and they e-mail me back, which states do not use their OUT DATED Win 10 SYSTEM IMAGE from that's sitting on their WEBSITE with the rest of my system drivers. Instead, they send me a link to download a Windows 10 image right from MS website. What? So, rather then remove an outdated Win10 system image, you leave it up there - why? This wasted hours of my time trying to get Win 10 installed correctly on the m.2 SSD. Furthermore, that image from MS, it wanted a Win10 key to activate it. Oh, but wait, Dell didn't provide me with a key, and customer service had no answer on this one. They suggested using their image because its tied to my specific laptop. SERIOUSLY?!?! I get no help from Dell, and proceed on my own in a desperate attempt to fix things myself and get my laptop back into working order.

5. Adding to the complexity of my situation, I catch something in my troubleshooting (why am I troubleshooting my laptop, AGAIN, for dell ?!?!?!). The m.2 SSD was disappearing from being registered in DOS/BIOS. Ok, that's a whole new situation. More troubleshooting; back on the phone w/ Dell. I explain the situation, and we both agree: it sounds like a faulty Mother Board at this point, and not the m.2 SSD component (as we originally thought). It should be noted I do FINALLY get Win10 installed using Dells OUTDATED image from Dell's website, but it keeps installing to the physical disk HD vs. the m2. SSD HD (which is where you want it for faster boot times, faster data transfer, etc.) . Somtimes Windows will load, sometimes BIOS reports an error that no OS was found. This further supported the idea that something was wrong w/ the motherboard/PCI Express m.2. components.

6. An onsite tech is scheduled to come out and replace the motherboard. Great! The turn around time for this to happen takes 3 days (weekend, tech has to get the replacement MB, etc). Tech arrives on a Tuesday, and spends a couple hours with doing the MB replacement. Finished, he starts the system, but much to both our disappointment - there's a new issue (are you kidding me?!) - some of the keys on the keyboard are not working at all. Prior to the motherboard replacement, there was nothing wrong w/ my keyboard, so now we have two possible scenarios here: A. The motherboard is defective B. The tech possibly damaged something during the repair, which created the keyboard issue.

7. The on site tech informs me that he can either return in a few days with a new keyboard AND new motherboard, or I can contact Dell to explore other options.

8. Let's recap: I'm now dealing w/ a faulty motherboard, faulty hard drives, and now a faulty keyboard. How did we get here; GRRRR!

9. Fed up with my time being wasted, I opt to send the laptop in to Dell's Depo and have Dell repair it at their facility vs. take my chances with having the onsite tech return, and there be the possibility of further failures or issues that delay my system being repaired any further.

10. Dell over-nights a packaging box w/ a shipping label. I was under the impression it was an over-night shipping label (last time it was; see Part 2 above). I come to find out - it wasn't - instead, it was regular ground shipping, and it takes 5 long days for it to go from NJ to TX. OMG! GRRRRRRR!  I send it out 2/22/18 . They don't receive it till 2/27/18

11. The online Dell Repair status website page reflects that they have not received my package, but looking up the tracking # on FedEx's website confirms that my laptop arrived at Dell's Depo facility at approx 7AM on Tue morning, on 2/27/18. I wait. The status on my laptop doesn't change later that day. I call Dell. I'm told it was received and work has begun on my laptop, regardless that the website Dell Repair status tool is not reporting that.

12. On 2/28/18, I call Dell again for an update. (The Dell Repair status website page hasn't been updated, and is still reporting that they haven't even received my laptop). I'm told its still being worked on.

13. On 3/01/18, Dell calls me between 1PM-3PM. The representative informs me what progress has been made, and what components have been replaced (MB, I/O board, hard drives, ETC. So, basically, you're gutting the system, replacing virtually everything, and sending me a fully refurbished laptop at this point....ok, NOT ok!). I ask when I can expect to have it back, and I'm informed most likely Mon/Tue. I ask why the delays, and the Dell representative explains that they are testing my system to make certain everything is working properly. So, my system is being tested over a 2-3 day period? How many tests and WHAT kind of tests are you running that it takes 2-3 days to complete? Again, GRRRRRR! Dell's representative cannot provide further info. NOTE: The Dell Repair status website page hasn't been updated, and is still reporting that they haven't even received my laptop).

14. On 3/02/18, I call Dell again for an update. (The Dell Repair status website page hasn't been updated, and still is reporting that they haven't even received my laptop). I'm told its still being worked on.

15. On 3/03/18, the Dell Repair status website still hasn't been updated, and still reflects they've never received my laptop. I called Dell, again, and was informed it remains in a repair status, that their DEPO is closed on the weekends, and so it won't be until sometime next week that I'll most likely receive my computer back. Really? Wow...

Part 4:

1. It is now MARCH 3, 2018, and my situation/issues began on FEB 7th, 2018. At this rate, it will be a FULL MONTH + that I will have gone w/o my laptop. This is absolutely unacceptable, and Dell refuses to take any further action to rectify this horrible customer experience.

2. I've flat out informed their Tech Support supervisor that, at this point, given EVERYTHING I've been through, I do NOT want a refurbished laptop that originally costs over $3000 (w/ the extended warranty I have on it), and I feel entitled to a full laptop replacement at this point. I even offered to pay the difference to upgrade to a newer model (that has a 1080 M GPU), and was informed that's not an option at this time. Really? I think it is - especially under my circumstances.

The End:

All in all, I've invested 100+ hours into trouble-shooting a premium Alienware laptop over the course of owning it, and I cannot ...absolutely CANNOT ....recommend ANYONE to purchase one of these laptops given my experience. Dell, you have an opportunity here to redeem yourself and do the right thing. I'm asking that someone from the customer service management team review my case, work with me, and set things right with me. Otherwise, you've lost a customer, and I will take my current and future business elsewhere (which includes my clients, friends, and family members as well - who rely on my recommendations for their laptop/computer/etc. solutions).

Disappointed & Beyond Frustrated,
Syric

10 Replies
Moderator
Moderator

Re: Dell Alienware - Horrible Premium Warranty Customer Service Experience...

Previous post already answered:

Dell - Why Do You Keep Removing My Negative Customer Service Post?


Alienware Arena

Alienware-Eimy
Dell | Alienware Technical Support
#IWork4Dell
Opening your case does not void your warranty! Check out Alienware Artificial Intelligence
I can't always reply to PM's, if you need extra assistance visit: YouTube Logo Facebook Logo Twitter Logo

0 Kudos
Tesla1856
6 Thallium

Re: Dell Alienware - Horrible Premium Warranty Customer Service Experience...

I actually read the whole thing  :Surprise: (quickly). 

Yes, some old versions of SupportAssist caused problems (why I don't use it). I'm pretty sure it got fixed. Remember that this software runs at a very deep level. We could chat more about it technically, but that's not the point here.

Yes, Killer Networking (or Rivet, or whatever they call themselves these days) drivers have been trouble since 2010. If you are in the business, you should know that. I used to really hate Killer stuff. However, I have had good luck with Qualcomm-Atheros (usually their preferred chipset) in various machines lately. The killer gigabit-ethernet in my Aurora-R6 seems to work ok, but I did have a serious driver issue once already.

Sounds like things were going pretty good (or as expected) until your dropped it and it got damaged. These machines are too delicate to be dropped. It's like wrecking your $40,000 car. It will get fixed, but it might never be quite the same as new again.

Obviously, we may never know if they missed a boarder-line part, or if the replacement parts were bad or went bad. Maybe it got dropped again?

Also, replacing the case on a laptop (on certain models) is a lot of work. Try it sometime. It's not really something you want done in a hurry on your kitchen table. 

I think that Dell only has to fulfill their obligation as per the contract. I'm pretty sure this includes using refurbished parts. If I were you, I would take the offer for a different (refurbished) but working machine. Yours would be old and used by now anyway.

 

 


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Like many of you, I can appreciate a good game-engine.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.
0 Kudos
Syric
3 Argentium

Re: Dell Alienware - Horrible Premium Warranty Customer Service Experience...

All,

Just to finish this w/ a follow-up:

- Received my Alienware 17 R3 back on 3/6/18. To recap, I was w/o a working laptop since 2/7/18....

- No emails from any of the Alienware customer service agents stating that it was fixed and being shipping back out to me. (They informed me that they would do this in an effort to keep me properly up-to-date)

- The Dell Repair Status online website tool STILL shows that they never received my package. At this point, its as laughable as it is just down right disappointing  *smh*

- YES, everything APPEARS to be working as intended - time will tell, but after waiting for just shy of a month to get it back fully repaired, the bitterness of this entire experience has certainly left its mark.

Tesla,

I fully understand that Dell is only held to contractually fixing my laptop, as laid out in the terms and conditions of the extended warranty agreement and level of service you opt to select for system/hardware/software repair situations, and yes, they upheld their obligation to see to it that my system was fully repaired, system restored, and my Alienware 17 R3 given back to me in working order. All that said, its besides the point I'm making here, which is 29 days to fix a laptop is an unacceptable time frame w/o extenuating circumstances. Additionally, Dell's complete lack of transparency adds insult to injury - no updates, no emails, no phone calls (one exception; see my original post), no Repair Status tool website update even after I reported that issue, etc. The lack of proper communication thorough out this debacle was just additional fuel on the flames, per-say.

I have taken apart laptops, and put them back together - I agree w/ you, not exactly a 1-2hr project by any means. Additionally, I've been building my own custom made PC home gaming rig for the last 15+ years. I'm not ignorant to what goes into fixing hardware/software, and if you read my entire complaint than you are aware that I'm reflecting on past and present experiences that account for over 100+ hrs of my life gone, lost, and that I'm never getting back over a $3000 system that should of spared me from such woes to begin with - w/ a hefty price tag comes hefty expectations. 

I agree w/ you - once you wreck that $40k vehicle, its never going to be the same, but in the realm of high performance gaming laptops, I expect to fully enjoy the value of its worth - not get lost in repair or trouble-shooting **bleep**. It should be noted my system only has suffered that one drop outlined in my OP. But, regardless of my personal expectations, facts are facts - that new car, laptop, suit, watch, etc....is only new once, and once used, that's all it will ever be from that point on.

C'est la vie (that's life!). It is what it is at this point - I've escalated my concerns and will see what becomes of it. In the meantime, happy gaming everyone.

Out Of Steam,
Syric

0 Kudos
Tesla1856
6 Thallium

Re: Dell Alienware - Horrible Premium Warranty Customer Service Experience...


@Syricwrote:

 

1. Received my Alienware 17 R3 back on 3/6/18 ... YES, everything APPEARS to be working as intended -

2. Tesla,

 


1. That's good news.

2. On the points your clarified, I understand. I think we agree on things mostly. I'm just glad you got a working laptop again.

If you read my other posts in this section, you will see I've been down a similar road with my X1-Carbon (but without a warranty, I considered my options and took a different path).


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Like many of you, I can appreciate a good game-engine.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.
0 Kudos
Highlighted
TC15
1 Copper

Re: Dell Alienware - Horrible Premium Warranty Customer Serv

Absolutely HORRIBLE CUSTOMER  SERVICE!!! I started a claim 3 weeks after purchase. We fixed one issue after another after another. Reinstalled windows 3 times. Reinstalled drivers and ran benchmarks over and over. Fast forward 8 months not a thing is fixed. I asked for a refund and they said im “out of the 30 day window” IM ONLY OUT OF THE 30 DAY WINDOW BECAUSE THEY KEPT SAYING “try this and get back to us”!! They stalled me out of the return time!! And won’t refund or repair or replace!!! Absolute garbage.

0 Kudos
alfao
1 Copper

Re: Dell Alienware - Horrible Premium Warranty Customer Serv

I have had the same experience. Difference, my laptop was not changed, instead change my MB for me and now since I am out of warranty asking for 900+ to change new one!! I am a 13 R2.  Please help?!

 

0 Kudos
dcconlee
1 Copper

Re: Dell Alienware - Horrible Premium Warranty Customer Serv

Sorry to hear about this but not surprised. I have my own issues with my Alienware 15 R1 laptop. The biggest issue I have with Dell/Alienware is they purposely make their laptops so that no one but a technician can repair them! Rather than having a simple cover to remove to replace say a battery you have to disassemble the whole darned laptop!

Then you get into trouble because the parts they use to hold the ribbon cables in place are so cheap they snap off with the smallest amount of pressure!

I spent $400 for a new motherboard, that fixed the issue for exactly the length of Dell's warranty on their repairs which is 3 months!

0 Kudos
RAlexandru
1 Copper

Re: Dell Alienware - Horrible Premium Warranty Customer Serv

I am the unlucky owner of an Alien ware R17 R04 covered will Premium Support for 2 years.

Complete Care            DELL  12/10/2016      12/10/2019      34

This is my second time that the Laptop was in service. The first time that the item was in serviced, because I was nt careful it came with some defective led on the side (it was my fault as I trusted Alienware to fix everything and I was not using light mode).

Because I have discovered later this defective part, I chose to send it back to them for warranty to fix the other small scratches that developed in time). During this offal period because I had to call them I was charged about 25 Euros because the help line is not free (and on the site it was not specified).

In my second attempt to send it, I was forwarded to different countries as the number for one country is not applied, and usually I had to wait for Hours to get to the right people. (I am calling from Austria, then being transferred to International, UK, Germany and other unknown countries).

Because I got premium Coverage, Alienware sent me a Package to ship the item back to them, but unfortunately the delivery was delayed because of shipment logistic problems (UPS was not able to deliver it, because the delivery car was near 100 m from my place and mine was not so important).

After some complains to Customer care, they provided me with a return label, but after I drove to a pick up location with my box containing the Alienware Laptop the shop laughed at me because the sending number was not good.

After another several attempts to call Premium Support the packaged arrived the second day. I have shipped it during the same day, when it was finally deliver to the dell.after market repair when I was informed: “The repair of your device is not covered by warranty – you will be contacted by our agent or you can contact Dell Support”. Also, I was covered by full warranty. I have tried several times to contact them via Chat and 1-2h over phone, I only got verbal confirmation that there is a problem with the website and they will fix it asap. After about 1 week the deadline was passed and there is no updates to the repair or the delivery estimation date.

 

 Complete Care DELL      12/10/2016         12/10/2019         34

Premium Support             DELL      12/10/2016         12/10/2019         34

 

 

 

Updated Time

29/10/2019 11:11 AM

Next Status Update

Unit Shipped

Created

16/10/2019 03:26 PM

Estimated Return

04/11/2019

 

Delay - Warranty Information Required

The repair of your device is not covered by warranty – you will be contacted by our agent or you can contact Dell Support

 

Call Inbound

Monday, November 4, 2019 5:08:31 AM (GMT)

Online User

Customer initiated phone contact.

Call Inbound

Wednesday, October 30, 2019 6:06:45 AM (GMT)

Online User

Customer initiated phone contact.

Call Inbound

Tuesday, October 22, 2019 7:35:44 AM (GMT)

Online User

Customer initiated phone contact.

Call Inbound

Tuesday, October 22, 2019 2:57:42 AM (GMT)

Online User

Customer initiated phone contact.

E-mail Outbound

Tuesday, October 22, 2019 2:53:37 AM (GMT)

Online User

Agent initiated email response.

Chat

Monday, October 21, 2019 1:30:13 PM (GMT)

Online User

Customer initiated chat session.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019 8:27:26 AM (GMT)

Online User

Break Fix

Wednesday, October 16, 2019 5:43:42 AM (GMT)

Online User

A parts and/or labor dispatch has been initiated for this support request.

Break Fix

Wednesday, October 16, 2019 3:21:20 AM (GMT)

Online User

A parts and/or labor dispatch has been initiated for this support request.

Call Inbound

Wednesday, October 16, 2019 3:04:59 AM (GMT)

Online User

Customer initiated phone contact.

 

 

I am afraid that they will keep my notebook until the warranty is expired and then lie to me once again about a * ... and I will be forced to make a legal complain to recover my broken notebook as dell is full of lies and bad service...

What can I do to recover my Laptop as I only got phone confirmation that they will personally take care and fox the webpage, but no written answers or updates with my delivery date?

Did somebody else got the same service quality as me? is this normal? what are the legal steps that I can do to recover my item?

0 Kudos
Revitpro
1 Copper

Re: Dell Alienware - Horrible Premium Warranty Customer Serv

I know....

....welcome to technical service

 

and their  answer:

 

it is not in your warranty

extend your warranty

 

and after you extended that............

it is not in your warranty

extend your warranty

 

and after that....

 

it is not covering international <profane>

so no warranty

 

extend that to international as well

 

you do that

 

answer:

in your country that is not possible

... not available

... not that service

... not ... everything

 

BUT

 

pay for extra warranty

 

fantastic technical service

0 Kudos