In December, 2010, I purchased the new Inspiron Duo for my daughter. The waranty was/is good through December 5, 2011.
In mid November, 2011, I began to get an alert from the dell diagnostic program that the hard drive appears damaged and that I should back up my data imediately. After contacting Dell, I was advised that there were many hard drive problems associated with this unit and that I should return the lap top for hard drive replacement. As I was covered under waranty, a replacement hard drive would be installed at no cost. Fortuantely, I was barely within my period of coverage.
The front end of the process worked well. I got my shipping materials and prompty packaged things up. I expected that I would be without my unit for about 2-3 weeks.
Then the "wheels" came off.
I was advised by the customer service agent (from your India call center), that due to the supply issues with flooding in Thailand, that the replacement hard drive would not be available for 30 days. I was given the option of receiving a refurbished unit, which I gratiously declined, and expressed my interest in waiting for the replacement hard drive. Of note, this lap top was a present for my 16 year old daughter, who is meticulous about the care of her "stuff", and I was certain that the dell product was close to "like new". Additionally, I had user tested this product for 11 months, so I was fairly certain that this was the only problem with the product. Lastly, as the unit was approaching the end of it's warranty period, I was concerned that the refurbished unit would not be covered.
I gave the Dell rep three options:
1. I would wait for the replacement hard drive.
2. I would accept a refurbished unit if it was covered by a new 12 month warrenty.
3. I would accept replacement with a new unit.
To put this in perspective, the retail list for a new laptop is $499.
The service rep chose the firsat option. I expected that I would be without the unit for about a month, but supply issues occur, so I was accepting of the delay.
Since that initial communication, I have been REPEATEDLY contacted by the India call center with unrelenting requests that I accept a refurbished unit, without warrenty. No kidding, I get calls 2 to 3 times a week, "looping" back to this inital proposal, which I keep rejecting, for what I described above, good reason.
As of today, December 16, 2011 is the anticipated date for the new hard drive. I hope that Dell will simply do what they have committed to, and relace the hard drive and return the lap top as promised. I continue to hare serious doubts based upon the repeated pleas to accept a refurbished unit.
Someone in authority, with good judgement, at Dell needs to look at the service history of this request and ask themselfs the question, "is the cost of replacement of this unit for a new laptop verses a refurbished unit ($200?), worth the loss of customer goodwill? My experience with the India call center is so bad, I doubt I will ever do business with Dell in the future. EVERY time, I return a call to Dell I have to go through this history, when the service history is in the file in front of the rep.
This is a user-to-user forum.
With a standard warranty, your options are closest to #1.
It is also industry standard to offer to replace parts with refurbished or new ones at the discretion of the manufacturer.
That said, you are in a bit of a bind. It is true that hard drives are in short supply, especially 2.5" laptop drives. If you are pressed for time, you may be better off buying an aftermarket drive. One side benefit, you get to keep your old drive, as a warranty requires a one-for-one swap. If you have time, wait for the new drive to come.
I would not be afraid of getting a refurbished unit. I have purchased several refurbished units from Dell and other manufactures over the years. Each one has performed as well as the new units I have bought over the years.
8 days later and I have had two additional calls from Dell informing me that the hard drive replacement would be available on December 16, 2011. So, I advised, thanks and we will wait.
Here's what now fun. I received a call and e-mail yesterday that Dell has unilaterally decided to send out a refurbised model, which was in direct conflict with earlier commitments.
This is without the worst customer service imaginable. Dell forces service reolution through reps who are unresponsive, and frquently misleading.
Check what happened 5 years ago to Sprint. That company was almost bankrupted due to customer service issues. Took almost 3 years to barely recover. Dell is on the same path.
I PLEA WITH THE MONITORS OF THIS FORUM TO ADVISE ME OF A WAY TO RESOLVE THIS PROBLEM.
They apparently were trying to get you up and running since apparently they are unable to get you a new hard drive.
You apparently are stubbornly insisting on a new hard drive. Fine. This is what happens.
If it was me, and getting the laptop up and running was my FIRST priority, I'd buy a brand new hard drive.
And I don't know of any manufacturer that is going to give you a brand new unit for a 1 year old laptop. Your laptop now is a used unit. Try selling it on eBay and you'll see its TRUE value. (used Inspiron Duo have sold recently on eBay for about $300 MAX). The analogy is you have a one-year old car; no one is going to give you a brand new one as replacement.