1 Nickel

Inspiron 15 7000 Screen Cracks Upon Opening

I bought the new Inspiron 15 7000 series a few weeks ago. Touch-screen, light, SSD - worked really well.

However, after a few weeks light usage I picked up the closed laptop. I heard a crack and, upon opening the lid, noticed a hairline crack across the top of the screen. This is exactly under the area of the laptop I used to pick it, roughly where the touch-pad would be if it were open - but it was closed.

There is a lot of flex on the rear of the screen. It's a plastic construction but is very thin, unlike all the other Dell laptops I have bought over the last 15 years. There is also a small gap of a couple of millimetres between the screen and the keyboard when the laptop is closed. The combination of a lack of protection on the rear of the screen, allied to the gap, combined to transfer sufficient force from just picking up the laptop to cause the crack.

I immediately messaged Dell. I was asked to send photo's of the crack, which I did. I was then told that, don't worry, Dell will take care of it and my laptop needs to be sent back for repair.

It was picked up and queued for about a week or so before it was looked at. The Anovo tracking said there was an issue. I contacted Dell, who told me on 2 separate occasions - in writing -  that they had authorised the repair and it should be back with me soon. I even had an unsolicited telephone call from Dell, telling me the laptop was fully fixed.

Imagine my confusion when, upon opening the laptop today, I discovered the screen was still cracked. No repair was undertaken as it was deemed "Out of Warranty". Absolutely no communication at all, no explanation, nothing. I was dumbfounded. 

Contacted Dell, I was told that as the screen had cracked and I had no accidental damage warranty, I'd have to pay close to £200 to get it repaired. I pointed out that the damage was not due to an accident - the screen cracked simply by picking up the laptop under utterly, completely normal usage. I'm not a body-builder, my grip strength should not be sufficient to crack a closed laptop screen!

I was basically told that I was lying. Dell laptops never crack, it was accidental damage and I had to pay. Dell has sold millions of laptops and this kind of thing has never happened before. Not even once. There is no design fault, it's all my fault. 

Well, that's an outright lie, as a quick Google shows more than a few people complaining of exactly the same issue. Or perhaps we are all fibbing? I'm a chartered accountant and I run my own business. Believe me, I don't want the hassle of pursuing Dell for the repair cost, as it's going to take a lot of time and effort that I should be using to earn fees. I'm not doing this to save money, to avoid the cost of repairing a laptop I somehow dropped or hit or whatever Dell thinks I did. I'm doing it because Dell are wrong. I'm not used to being treated like a liar and it's utterly unfair of Dell to attempt to avoid their responsibilities by refusing to believe my explanation.

The lid of the Inspiron 15 7000 is thin and it flexes. A lot. I've never had a Dell that did so before, and I've had more than a few.The gap between the lid and the keyboard is not good. It invites a movement of the delicate screen towards the very solid keyboard. Such a movement results from simply picking up the laptop and gripping it with the thumbs over the lid and finger underneath the base. It's not a great design in terms of protection, and very un-Dell like in my experience.

So, the upside of this sorry saga is that Dell will only repair the touch screen it for £197.75 Sterling. As I paid close to £1k for the laptop and it's only a few weeks old, it's a shocking state of affairs.

The fact that it broke so easily was not good. The "customer care" I then experienced was basically a series of lies, promising me that the repair had been authorised and the required parts were to be ordered. I then had no word that the repair would not be carried out. Indeed, I had a phone call today - before the laptop arrived - to tell me it's all fixed. The laptop was with Dell for a day short of three weeks. And then it's returned un-repaired. Three weeks. Three whole weeks.

What a state of affairs. 

Out of principle, I refuse to pay for the repair as it's not my responsibility. The laptop is very clearly not fit for purpose, as picking up a laptop without the screen cracking is a reasonable expectation. If I'd dropped it, I would accept my error and pay for the repair. However, I am angry at Dell for doubting me. I am taking small claims court proceeding against Dell. I worked hard for my reputation and it's important to me, as is my laptop. I am not prepared for Dell to impinge both, especially as I paid them a not inconsiderable amount of money only a matter of weeks ago. The cost will be the repair cost, the cost of the action, plus my time invested in useless phone calls and emails to Dell in India.

It's also worth noting that there was another problem with a buzzing noise from underneath the keyboard. This only happens when it is plugged in and fully charged. I was also told over the phone today that that issue was also fixed.

Needless to say, the laptop started buzzing after it was plugged in and reached full charge.

It really is terribly bad customer service from Dell. No managing of expectation, no belief in the customer, very, very poor communication, outright lies - in writing - followed by being doubted and, to all intents and purposes, being called a liar. It's one thing to have a product that fails to reach expectations, but to then refuse to stand behind the product as well is the sign of a very poor organisation with questionable moral standards.

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2 Replies
1 Copper

RE: Inspiron 15 7000 Screen Cracks Upon Opening

I have an Inspiron as well  and its lid recently broke.  Now I have had it for a few years but all I did was open it and the left had side broke. I did not handle my labtop any differently when I open it.  I can no longer close the lid in fear that the break will grow.  It in great condition and there is no reason I need a new one except for the lid.  TORN!

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1 Copper

RE: Inspiron 15 7000 Screen Cracks Upon Opening

I bought a Dell Inspiron 5000 series laptop less than a month ago.

To my horror when I recently opened the laptop it's screen was cracked. I didn't do anything to crack it. Since it was less than a month old I was obviously using it very carefully.

I called up the customer care, they transfered me to another department and told me that I will be made aware of all my options there. The other department just heard cracked screen and categorized it as accidental damage and told me that I will to pay what is 1/4th of the cost of the laptop to get it fixed. Not only this fixing it will take around 12 business days. For a student like me this time frame is highly inconvenient.

I was really disappointed with Dell. I didn't expect a company with such high value to give a product that would get damaged in less than a month.

Another surprising thing is that just like mentioned by Dekenba my laptop too had a buzzing sound when it was charged for a longer time.

It's really sad that Dell has such a narrow  reference system for customer issues. Yes, mostly of these issues fall in the same category but sometimes they don't.  And instead of figuring out what went wrong and fixing it to improve their product, they expect the customer who was handed with the faulty product to pay a hefty sum for it.

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