I purchased a Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming laptop on April 3rd, 2018. On December 15th, 2018, in less than a year, the laptop stopped booting up, and Dell's SupportAssist feature said the hard drive needed to be replaced immediately. I called Dell's Repair Service number, and the tech advised me that a hard drive replacement was covered under my warranty and should be sent in. However, I informed her that on my end, the Dell repair website suggested I put in for a new hard drive to be sent to my home address and have it replaced her, but she was urgently pushing for me to send my laptop in and "let our technicians fix it properly" and that she'd expedite the repair. I was skeptical, but I proceeded to ask if the repair technicians could extract my files from the old hard drive so I could still access them; she said yes and put that note in my repair order. To ensure this information was correct, I filled out the service order paper and specifically asked for the file extraction, and if it was not possible, to "send the original hard drive back to me".
The laptop was shipped out on December 18th and made it to the facility on the 20th, and I received a notification from the Dell Repair Service Tracker to verify this. However, I did not receive another notification that following day, so after checking it myself, I noticed that the repair was suddenly on hold because "the repair required for your system is not covered by your current warranty and will require additional payment." Seeing as though my repair should have been covered by my warranty, I called immediately and demanded to know what the holdup was. The man informed me that it was because of the "additional service" I had requested with sending back my old hard drive. I assumed that they were unable to extract the files and it was because I would have to pay to ship the old hard drive back to me, but he proceeded to tell me that I would not be getting the hard drive back without paying $49.99, basically buying something back that had MY files on it that I have ALREADY PAID FOR. I told him that there was no way I was paying that for something that belongs to me and was furious that they'd hold my laptop for ransom over MY property. The man continued on saying, "It's fair and square, you can't get two hard drives." I responded with, "Yeah, maybe not two BRAND NEW hard drives, but one is mine and the other is your obligation to give me under my warranty." At this point, I'm very angry and ask to speak to a supervisor. The supervisor then proceeds to tell me the same thing, "It's not fair for you to get two hard drives back" and adding, "We replaced your defective hard drive with a refurbished one and the old one will be formatted and used elsewhere." I hooked onto the word "refurbished" and demanded why they didn't they replace my old one with a brand new one. He backtracked and said that Dell's definition of refurbished simply meant "out-of-box" and nothing more; I thought it was fishy that a) my laptop's hard drive crashed within 12 months of purchase, b) they pushed so hard for me to send my laptop in instead of receiving a new hard drive for free to replace locally, and c) they are using old hard drives and equipment to "use elsewhere". I asked to speak another supervisor because I wanted my hard drive back and was not paying for my property twice; he agreed to have the escalation team contact me within a few hours (around noon that day), and I waited.
I received a phone call around 10 a.m., but I believed it was a spam number so I did not answer. I did no receive a voicemail, text, or email regarding that phone call, so when noon came and went, I called the number back and got in the loop of Dell's tech support again. The 3rd man I had spoken to that day said that "They called you ten minutes ago and a voicemail", which was an outright lie because no new number came through on my phone screen nor was their any notification that I received a voicemail. When I tell him this, he puts me on hold and comes back with the supposed contact information of the person trying to contact me from the escalation team. I take down his name, number, and email, calling the number as soon as I get off the phone, but it was a spam number, filled with telemarketer menus about "free vacations", "health insurance", and other surveys.
At this point, I'm livid, and I call the Out-of-Warranty number again, demanding to speak to a higher up with no intention of dealing with the runaround. It wasn't long before I was on the line with the senior tech adviser, and I go through the entire story of how I ended up there. Afterwards, he simply says that "there is nothing we can do", and I either pay the $50 for my old hard drive back or relinquish it so my repaired laptop would be sent back immediately. I tell him the same thing I've told the other techs on the phone that it's not fair to hold my laptop for ransom just to get my property back or just let them take it and use it in some other poor soul's laptop marketed as a "new hard drive". I told him, "All I want it my files, can I at least have that? If my old files can be recovered, I don't want the hard drive - that was the only reason I wanted it in the first place." He answered, "Well, I don't know who gave you the impression that we do that kind of thing, but we don't." I explained that the very first repair tech I talked to said the exact opposite, and his response was, "Oh, well it must've just been misinformation." When I asked him why I wasted my time sending it to them when I could've just had a new one shipped to me for free, he suggested they send me back my laptop with NO repairs done and "I could just do it my way." I'm realizing that all this was a ploy just to hassle people out of their old equipment, and I said, "It's sad when my local computer repair shop did service on my old laptop, and I didn't have to ask them to send my old hard drive back - you guys have awful customer service and I'm never buying anything from Dell ever again." He then gets annoyed and says "Oh, well we don't live in a perfect world! I live in the same world YOU do, and stuff is broken everyday! There's no way you're getting two hard drives back free of charge - that's not happening!!" I said a few choice words after that and told them to just hurry up and send my laptop back REPAIRED."
I received my laptop on January 3rd, and to my surprise, my old hard drive was included in the box. No $50 charge, nothing on the service report, but there it was. How it happened, I don't know, but I'm still making this complaint because of the horrible customer service and their clear anti-consumer policies. I want for Dell Inc. USA to see that this is not how to treat their customers. You don't squeeze them of their property by trying to back them into a corner or confront them with a paywall when Dell is currently offering sub par products with hardware that has increasingly suspicious origins and an investigation on their true definition of "refurbished" and if they are screwing their customers over on their warranties. I want for them to change this policy and train their tech support staff on what is correct information regarding the types of services the Dell Repair Service can do.
I put in an official complaint to the Better Business Bureau, so we'll see where that goes, but from now on, Dell has one less customer.
First off, I DID back up as much as I could before the hard drive crashed, but even so, how bad does it look that a $700 Dell gaming laptop crashes out in less than a year...? Also, don't compare aforementioned $700 laptop to a shirt. I get the exchange analogy, but a shirt, more than likely taken back because it either doesn't fit or the customer doesn't like it, does not have a warranty or holds private information and files that BELONG TO ME. I still don't understand why Dell thinks that they are OWED the old piece because the laptop was malfunctioning - THAT IS DELL'S FAULT. A warranty is defined as, "a written guarantee, issued to the purchaser of an article by its manufacturer, promising to repair or replace it if necessary within a specified period of time"; so, because I received a faulty part in the laptop I purchased from Dell, it is therefore on the COMPANY to fix the issue for the customer who has already paid for the product. That is not an exchange - the warranty is the company's obligation to fix what is wrong with the product within a certain time frame - not try to convince the customer that they are owed back the faulty part. You sold a bad product - you don't get to have it your way or "fair and square". Again, the customer should not owe Dell ANYTHING for receiving a bad product!
Again, this policy is purely anti-consumer and still makes me raise eyebrows as to why it suddenly becomes Dell's property when my local repair shop handed the old hard drive of my last laptop to me after a replacement with NO QUESTIONS ASKED. Just because it IS Dell's policy to take the old hard drive as their property (when again, it is not since I PAID for it, is has MY files on it, and a replacement is on the company as per the warranty), doesn't mean it should REMAIN the policy.
You can try and sugarcoat it all you want to "the people reading", but the BBB will keep this incident in their records and so will Dell Inc. There's no confusion around you guy's having horrible customer service and trying to ransom the CUSTOMER'S PROPERTY if they want what something that they ALREADY PAID FOR back so they can "clean it up and use elsewhere". If you can't see how shady that is, you're blind. Honestly, as soon as I got my laptop back, I started looking for another laptop because I know that the "refurbished" hard drive that serves as the current replacement will probably bust in a few months. Never buying from this awful company EVER AGAIN and I'm sorry I ever did.