Alas, you are not alone in this situation. I have also been a victim lately.
Specifically, my Hitachi hard drive on my Dell Dimension 4600 died shortly after the expiration of the one-year warranty and even though the manufacturer of the hard drive guarantees it for three full years, Dell only stands ready to send me a new drive at 3 (read three) times the cost they sell in retail stores. Not to mention of course the lost data -- 14 months worth of information now irreversibly lost. Worse than that: the Dell help line, which I initially called, gave me exactly the wrong advice on how to deal with the problem, so that after their intervention my chances to ever recover that information had essentially become nil.
I wrote to Dell in my country but to no avail: they did not even care to acknowledge that they received my letter. I then contacted Dell's headquarters in the US but so far have only received desultory feedback, of the sort "provide your service tag and customer number", which had already been provided. OK, I realise Dell hardware is cheap, and that's why I bought a Dell machine, believing that it offered value for money. But like you I am terribly disappointed.
I feel your pain friends! - I too am a disatisfied paying customer, My 4600 lost the hard drive just after the one year warranty expired, and after trying to get help on the phone for 40 minutes, pushing this button for this and that button for that, and being transfered around the world - I was hung up on.
Great service Dell, I'm glad I'm not paying your phone bill - I thought the TV ads said they had
"Award Winning Customer Service" Ya right, Maybe if you have a couple thousand to spend.
Call me crazy, but isn't a PC suppose to last longer than a year without replacing major parts?
Maybe I'll call Gateway or IBM and ask them.
Needless to say the customer service is a waste of time. Not one of them had a clue what they were doing, Its all about keeping the call time as low as possible. Forget the customers needs.
Sorry to hear they doubled charged you - I hope the BBB looks into it - Maybe Mr. Dell himself will realize all his unhappy customers made him rich!!!
Good Luck -