1 Copper

Dell Reliability

Hello everyone,
My name is George and I was the unfortunate owner of a Dell Inspiron 9300.
At the begining I let myself dragged in the salesman web of promises of quality products and outstanding customer support, but what I got was a system that performed lower than my 5 years laptop and I "enjoyed" the so called "award winning customer support  from Dell" which means being on hold and passed from one department to another.
The only thing I have to say is buy a Dell only if you want to get ripped off and enjoy staying on the phone with represantatives who are almost powerless!
P.S: I have another two friends with similar problems regarding desktops.
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6 Replies
4 Germanium

Re: Dell Reliability

so are there any specific problems you might like help with or are you just venting?
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4 Germanium

Re: Dell Reliability

Dell does offer excellent value by virtue of quailty versus price, and "award winning" service, but the vast majority of their customer base has immediate access to system administration resources. Most of the PCs delivered are by Dell are tested and configured by an IT department in accordance with the organizations stated policy before delivery to the end-user.

The design architecture of the I9300 is quite impressive, and the build quality is good. You should be able to achieve substantial benchmark scores. Dell provides a diagnostic utility to verify the system hardware, and you can expect and demand excellent service for any in-warranty failure that can be isolated to the hardware.

Dell offers additional software support for a fee, but that may or may not be your best alternative. If your needs demand immediate productivity and you are not an expert XP system administrator, finding a local shop with competent personnel to get your system set up for security, performance, and reliability might be the most feasable. If your needs are less immediate, you can get help in these and other forums for a variety of common problems, and some not-so-common.

If your new Dell seems relatively slow, it is likely that the configuration is set up for the mythical "everyone". Many users have long recommended a clean install to rid their system of unnecessary extras, and I do not recommend reducing your security, but there are several users who noted an additional impact due to the default configuration of Norton Internet Security, which is commonly included with new Dell systems these days.

After considering the array of protection this suite offers, the impact may be understandable, though certainly not desirable. There are some features that a careful and experienced user may not need after studying the threat and protection matrix, and features can be adjusted for each user independantly. It's a brave new world. Some components in the NIS suite have not really matured, and there will likely be improvements to it's efficiency over time, but it can prevent a lot of common problems, particularly for households with inexperienced or younger users.

All of us filter internet content to some extent, and as a suite this package may not be the very best in each component category, but it is quite an array. I was disappointed to hear of the troubles people were having with it, and I suspected Symantec was on the wrong track, until I studied the features a bit more and realized the purpose. I don't use it and I don't want it at this point, but if I had children in the home I would be installing it now.

But, maybe you just got a lemon and your system performance has nothing to do with software.

As for salespeople, well don't get me started. I try to make it a point to know more than the useless third.

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1 Nickel

Re: Dell Reliability

Add me to the list of unhappy Dell customers.  I second your comments regarding Dell's customer service.

I recently purchased a 600M and while the performance is as expected, it does have a problem with the chassis design or heatsink as the left side of the touchpad gets uncomfortably hot after only 5-10 minutes under normal operation.

It has been sent in for repair and returned with the exact same problem.  I received a replacement system today and guess what..same exact problem.

Getting the repair and replacement took several hours and several attempts to get in touch and stay in touch with a Dell representative.  At one point I kept asking to speak to a supervisor, but think I was just transferred to another representative.  The information discussed was not documented properly.  They ask for your phone number and e-mail address, but I was disconnected a couple of times, but did they call me back? 

I also found it frustrating that no one was able to provide a phone number to contact Dell Corporate.

Just my opinion, but I can't help but think the cost savings from outsourcing customer service to India will eventually have a greater impact on their home sales than their savings.

I do find it interesting that customer service and tech support for the business systems are fluent American speaking english personnel.  That tells me that they look at the home PC market as a much smaller, less important than business systems.  Guess what Dell, home users become business users.

Also, how can Dell get away with stating they offer a "21-day trial period" when the evaluation period starts on the ship/invoice date?  With the UPS 3-day option, that is technically only an 18-day trial period.  Even if the priority or overnite shipping option, it is still only a 20-day trial period.  Isn't that false advertising?

I attemted several time unsuccessfully to return this Inspiron 600M within the trial period, but I either was on hold for an hour only to get transferred to a different department and/or disconnected.  I also tried the Dell Chat, but when I did get connected to a representative and explained what I wanted, the chat was terminated.

I am extremely disappointed with Dell and feeling the heat  on my left hand everyt ime I use my new 600M just reminds and reinforces my feelings about Dell, not to mention when I make the monthly payment.

Just my .10 cents
1 Copper

Re: Dell Reliability

Ohh man, let  me tell you my side of the story.

I had an Inspiron 9300 totally custom with all top of the line, and the price tag $4800.

First the design makes it look very cheap, second the DVD burner (which I advise anyone do not buy one of this brand) was NEC and it took somewhere between 1-2 hours to burn a DVD which I found outrageous, and the third is that the Ultra X Brite display they offer you it's not exactly that ultra, the image is not that crisp (comparing with Toshiba Qosmio it's just a fake shadow).

So I called the technical guys and they send me a new laptop with offcourse the same problems.

Called again the technical guys and they implied that it's actually my fault because I am not used with the software (wich by the way I am doing video editing for 5 years now) and blahaa trallaalala, but I told them straight that their "plastic case" will be returned (that was on 32 day that I bought it). Ofcourse they try to tell me that it might not be possible but I told them that I will file a complaint with Better Business Bureau, Consumer Protection, and any other association that protects consumers from being ripped off.  They accepted it right away.

As for asking for supervisor forget about it they always hang up on me. I  even filed a complaint online with Dell. Do you think they ever replied? No.

So I will say to everyone,



1 Copper

RE: Dell Reliability

Every year I have more and more trouble communicating with Dell tech support, they are unable to listen and speak clearly, they just pass you to another rep, which means longer on hold. And ultimately you never get the support we used to get 17 years ago when Dell was an awesome company that employed Americans.

8 Krypton

RE: Dell Reliability

Seventeen years ago an average notebook sold for $2,000-2500.  There was plenty of room for support in that figure.

Today an average notebook sells for $500-700.  Some of that price drop is due to technological improvements but more is due to shorter warranties, limited support and of course off-shoring consumer-level support (business support is still available in the US, though at extra cost).

Not coincidentally, the company with the "best" support sells an average system for much closer to what others did in 2000 -- and not surprisingly, it can afford US-based support (that's Apple).

Bottom line:  just as is the case with airline seats, you can pick your level of service -- and pay accordingly.

You don't get high-end support with any consumer-level system any longer unless you pay for it.

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