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smallbizmom
1 Copper

XPS Support? Still paying for burning computer?

I have a Dell XPS Vista that is so hot it actually has smoke that comes out of it!    There was pixilation and a flash on the screen when the first XPS Technical Support person took control of my screen in August- then came the smoke while he was on!  This is actually the replacement computer from an XPS 420 I bought earlier this year that had burning and smoke!  When I was shipped my replacement computer, I was assured this would never happen again and that I would get outstanding XPS tech support.   Now, I have spent 47 hours and 36 minutes (nearly $3000 of billable time) either on the phone or on hold with various XPS support personnel!  They have indicated that, since the computer is under warrantee, they will send me a new computer.  However, they provided me a dispatch number last week but keep prolonging the expected time frame on the configuration and thus delivery!    Now it sounds like it will be October or late September before they will even have it configured!

Each person in the process seems competent.  However, the tech support team managers indicate they have no access to who or when the computer will be configued.  They calmly say that, if I haven't heard anything in a week, they will personally call me back!  I heard this last week and the week before even!  So far, nobody has kept their word.  Since I am still paying on the smoking computer, I thought maybe I could get a credit toward a new one.  I was willing to pay MORE to get an updated one that the sales person configured for me and indicated COULD ship in one week.  However, the sales person did not have access to the appropriate Dell Financial person.  I thought perhaps I could get a credit through Dell Financial for the smoking computer in order to put that toward the new one the sale rep configured for me.  The Dell Financial person said that it is up to Customer Care.  Customer Care says it is up to XPS tech support.  Apparently, nobody is actually above all of these people.  They are completely separate with no access to each other. 

Is anyone in charge?  I bought this computer because I had had truly superb customer service from Dell in the past.  Their products were sound and their service was second to none.  I work with thousands of computer professionals in my job.  They use to praise Dell.  What happened?  Is there any point in paying for customer support when you could be without your home business computer for more than a month with no date in sight?   Is there such a thing as a cross-functional team to handle support at Dell?  Does anyone have any suggestions?  I was thinking about talking to the TV stations.  They have been doing lots of reports about computer professionals being out of work because demand is down.  They might be interested...   Does anyone have a more constructive solution?  Is there a manager there who can actually make anything happen in a timely way?  Does anyone know who that might be?

I can not do my job without my home business computer.  Is it possible for Dell to get me a computer that doesn't smoke within a normal business time-frame?  Help!?  Is anyone out there?

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3 Replies
The_Namek
4 Germanium

Re: XPS Support? Still paying for burning computer?

smallbizmom,
I can certainly understand your frustration/anger regarding this situation as I also run a small business and my XPS One, which is my primary computer, has been down all week due to a failed hard drive. Fortunately I'm a computer professional so resolving the actual technical issue isn't a problem for me, I'm just waiting for an external enclosure I ordered to arrive so I can get the data I didn't have a chance to back up off the drive.

In your case I can tell you with near certainty that XPS tech support can only exchange your 420 with an identical machine (or the next best comparable model if the 420 is no longer being manufactured but in that case the system you end up with is determined by whatever group actually fulfills the dispatch for the system exchange) due to the problem being a smoke/fire hazard. Once you get into dealing with credit for an entirely new computer or any other kind of monetary issues that takes the ball completely out of tech support's court. I can't direct you to any specific individual that will help you accomplish what you're after but I'd suggest contacting Unresolved Issues for the customer service department.

XPS One. Core2 Duo @ 2.2GHz. 2 GB DDR2-667. WD2500AAJS 250GB SATA. Intel GMA 3100 video. 20" WSXGA HD LCD. 2 Megapixel Webcam. 8X DVD±RW. 8-in-1 Media Reader. 802.11 a/b/g/n wireless. Integrated High Def Audio. Internal Bluetooth 2.0. NTSC/ATSC TV Tuner. Windows 7 Professional SP1.

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smallbizmom
1 Copper

Re: XPS Support? Still paying for burning computer?

Thanks for the thought.  I have tried the unresolved issues and, of course, nothing has happened at all.  I don't think the customer's time is valued at all by Dell.

This actually happened earlier in the year and Dell sent out a professional who replaced the mother board and power supply.  Then he saw the smoke phenomena happening and they sent me a new computer.  As you say, they sent essentially the same computer and now the same thing has happened.  Apparently the XPS 420's are a fire hazard.  I wish I had known this before buying this one.  I would have chosen another model.

The sales person I spoke to this week indicated that I needed a Studio 9100 or some more powerful box in order to prevent this from happening again.  However, the Dell Financial people can't credit the money toward that new system.  I thought I was being generous in offering to pay MORE to get a system that didn't smoke.  I thought this was a creative solution that would make all parties happier and would get me a computer more quickly.  However, that falls outside of normal "policy".  Normal policy apparently involves taking an indefinite amount of time to send a computer that will probably start to smoke in 3 months, if history is any indication.  Meanwhile, I have lost $4560 in income for the last few weeks without a computer.  I am a technical recruiter who recruits computer professionals.  I have 6500 contacts and feel the need to warn them to never get a Dell if they are telecommuting and actually need their computer to make a living.  Their living and especially their time is not of value to Dell.

It is really a shame that there isn't someone above the sales, tech support, customer care, and Dell Financial people.  Although these may be separate groups in separate countries to Dell.  As a customer, I deal with all of them on one issue in one day.  I thought perhaps there was one responsible executive in Texas who cared about how they work with each other.  I guess they don't have such a thing as "cross-functional".  Too bad.

Since there is no date in site, I will have to buy a new computer today in order to get back to work.  Any suggestions on brands that won't smoke and actually provide service?

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The_Namek
4 Germanium

Re: XPS Support? Still paying for burning computer?

Hmm, I guess the unresolved issues personnel are either overwhelmed with customer complaints or their service level is slipping for some other unknown reason.    I've never had to contact that group myself but other customers who were referred to them by several of the regulars here have reported that a rep from this group got in touch with them within a couple of days & actually followed through with helping them get their problems resolved. Yesterday afternoon I was able to get a tech agent in India to dispatch a replacement hard drive for my XPS One within 10 minutes via the online chat tool. Not bad considering s/he wanted to say the problem was an OS issue even after I explained in detail all the symptoms and troubleshooting I'd done to confirm the problem was in fact a hardware failure of the drive.

Although you've clearly had a run of bad luck with the XPS 420 I'm reasonably certain that every machine of this model isn't a fire hazard. Unfortunately the different departments within Dell use software tools that only allow them to do certain things that fall within the policies of each department. Technical support can dispatch replacement parts for systems that are under warranty and create system exchange orders for technical reasons but can't process orders to return an item for credit or assist with refunding any items then using that money to purchase upgraded merchandise. Dell Financial Services and customer service deal with those kinds of requests (again, within certain guidelines).

There used to be a group called the Resolution Expert Center that served as a final destination for escalated technical issues. They'd deal with Dell global security and even Michael Dell's office to get problems fixed for customers. If they said no, however, that was it & there really was no further negotiation or recourse. I knew some people who used to work in that group but as far as I know it was disbanded several years ago. There's still supposed to be a way to reach a level of escalation that gets the attention of people in Michael Dell's office but I'm not certain what it is. The only thing I can think of is that it probably involves writing a letter to Dell legal or the company headquarters in Round Rock.

The quality of technical support from OEMs is a mixed bag across the computer industry in my experience. I usually build my own desktops so I'm not the best person to ask about suggestions on brands. Perhaps someone else will chime in and provide info that will help you in making a decision about which new computer you'll buy.

XPS One. Core2 Duo @ 2.2GHz. 2 GB DDR2-667. WD2500AAJS 250GB SATA. Intel GMA 3100 video. 20" WSXGA HD LCD. 2 Megapixel Webcam. 8X DVD±RW. 8-in-1 Media Reader. 802.11 a/b/g/n wireless. Integrated High Def Audio. Internal Bluetooth 2.0. NTSC/ATSC TV Tuner. Windows 7 Professional SP1.

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