1 Copper

Support Under Warranty - What do you think?


I am just wondering what anyone would have done in a case like mine outlined below?

I purchased a Dell 15-3555 Inspiron on March 4th, 2016 with the basic warranty, 1 year with send back to repair depot option.

3 mornings ago turned on the laptop and it immediately went to a black screen.  Yep immediately when turned on, you do not get to the BIOS loading and the Dell logo.  The black screen appears within 1-2 seconds after pressing the power on button.

The error appearing on the black screen is: "No boot media device detected, check the connection cables and reseat the device.  If this message persists, contact the manufacturer."

Two mornings ago I called Dell tech support and ended up in the India support call center.  After 2 hours of testing, most of the time lost as at every step I was put on hold for 10-12 minutes and advised I will get back to you after I check my other resources.  Finally 2 hours later I requested to speak to the reps manager who can on the line.  He advised me he needs to obtain the Dell diagnostic error code, but I told him that is what we have been trying to do for the past 2 hours.  The diagnostic routine would not run to completion without the laptop turning itself off or lock up, thus starting the diagnostics all over again ... again .... and again.

Then I was told that without the Dell diagnostic error code there was nothing further that can be done and when I do get the error code call back.  I tried for over 2 hours after this call, but I could not as either the process locked up of the laptop rebooted itself.

That same evening I called back into Dell tech support and this time ended up in the Philippines support call center.  The Setup options were reset and the system rebooted only to have the same black screen error.  The rep now facing this advised me the laptop will have to go back to the Dell repair depot for repairs and provided me the dispatch number and case #.  She said an email would follow shortly with shipping instructions and a shipping label.  This never came.

The following morning, July 17th I called back into the Dell support group and again ended up in the Philippines call center.  I got another rep who advised me the dispatch had been cancelled and no warranty work could proceed as no Dell diagnostic error code number was provided and the issue was classified as a software issue and had nothing at all to do with hardware.

I went through all the testing done the day before with India and he stated that case # was cancelled so we have to start and perform all the testing again.  4 hours later it came to the same end result.  We did after 4 hours get the Dell diagnostics to complete, but it showed no error code and said testing successful. The laptop still immediately went to the black screen when powered on.

at this point . . .I sent emails off to my Dell sales reps here in Canada and as well into Dell's executive complaint group on this one.  The sales folks here in Canada did refer my concerns off to a fellow who called me and said he would look into this and ensured me this would not happen again.

I had strongly argued the full retesting and advised the support rep that an immediate black screen 1-2 seconds after powering on with no BIOS screen and Dell log appearing and already checking that the BIOS setting were correct, well there are only a few thinks that could cause this.

I advised the tech that in a case like this the only possibilities are. . .

a)  The motherboard is defective.

b)  The hard drive is defective.

c)  Or both a) and b) above.

With the tech still on the phone we went into Setup and ensured the BIOS was set back to factory defaults again and that had been done at least 4 times prior to this with other support reps.  He asked to dismantle the laptop and pull out the hard drive and reseat it as that is what the black screen error message was advising had to be done.  I was advised this was required in order to know what the real issue is.  Unfortunately on the Dell 15 Inspiron the keyboard has to come out, the keyboard ribbon cable detached.  The top assembly removed.  The laptop then turned over and all bottom casing screws removed and finally the bottom casing detached.  So I did all this and reseated the hard drive and reassembled the laptop.  After rebooting it, still the same black screen with exactly the same error.

In the middle of all of this I also downloaded the Dell factory OS image for this laptop's tag number and prepped a bootable 8 GB USB memory stick.  As expected, as soon as it tried to touch the hard drive, the reinstall froze up totally.  No error message just locked up the laptop.  Trying to reinstall from a Windows 10 install DVD, same scenario as soon as it tried to do anything on the hard drive, in this case I immediately receive and I/O error and the reinstall fails.

I was given another case number, but with the comment from the rep ... "With no Dell diagnostic error code there still could be the chance this dispatch will get cancelled!"

I was advised again an email would follow shortly with shipping instructions and shipping label.  Now 1 full day has passed and nothing has been sent to me about shipping back the laptop.

I called back into the Dell support center today around 11:00AM and apparently the hold up now, this case is under review by the dispatch center in the US.  I was told that this case still shows notations this is a software issue, so that is why the dispatches keep getting cancelled.  The view is that since no diagnostic error message can be provided or sensed, then there is no hardware issue; hence there is no reason to send this unit back for repairs.

To make a very long and painful store short, after now 12 hours in total dealing with 5 different people within Dell tech support, I still am sitting in limbo.

Now come the kicker on this one . . . I am a Dell register partner and sell and provide maintenance to Dell business customers across my geographic area here in northern Canada.  I have heard many horror stories from some of my customers about support problems they encountered, but this is the first time I personally have gotten into something as poorly handled as this one.

So this afternoon I pulled a new 500 GB 2.5 inch Sata laptop hard drive off my shelf that comes with an Inpiron 15-3555 laptop, dismantled the laptop and installed the new hard drive.  Stuck in the same bootable memory stick with the Windows 10 OS on it that froze 100% of the time under this same laptop with the old hard drive in it.  Now reinstallation of Windows10 went just fine.  So now I have the laptop up and running 100% on my workbench behind me.  Boots up and shows activated since I used the Dell Windows 10 .ISO image for this laptop downloaded from Dell.  No drivers to install, nothing else to do.

I am of course out $59.95 for one new 500 GB, 5400 Sata 2.5 inch hard drive and 15 minutes to reinstall the Windows 10 operating system.  The bad news is the enormous time I spent within 2 different Dell support call centers.  Mega time was spent and wasted on something that was very obvious to anyone that knows anything at all about computer hardware. If I was in charge of this I sure would be concerned about the hours and hours of time spent by Dell support staff not to mention the frustration level that practices that I see being applied would inflict on anybody calling in for support.  Yikes this was almost unbelievable.



"How can a black screen advising of a "boot media detection failure", one or two seconds after powering on a laptop; ever be classified as an operating system software issue?  This is absolute nonsense.  You do not even get to the BIOS screen and the Dell logo?

On a good note, at least consistency existed throughout the past 3-4 days by the Dell support team in sticking to their guns that my issue is software related.  I of course make this statement in total jest!

All I can say on this one is . . . "Dell Support - Shame On You !"

On an ending question to anyone that can offer a suggestion . . . . .
 "Gees how to I get my $59 bucks back?  


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