Dell Build Quality (Six hardware failures in 18 months)

I have had a terrible time with Dell over their build quality and I feel I should let people know what happened so that they can make more informed choices about who they purchase from.

As a business user who has had many Dell systems in the past, I purchased last year a new Dimension 9200 for £1,110.

Hardware Failures

Since then I have had 6 (six) hardware failures…

  1. Excessive system noise and vibration (this was in the first week), result: System replaced

  2. Video card failed, system inoperable, result: eventually replaced, but with a re-furbished part.

  3. Speakers failed, result: replacement speakers sent out, again re-furbished parts

  4. Video card failed (the re-furbished one from failure 2), result: I informed Dell and purchased a card myself (I couldn't afford any more down-time)

  5. Speakers failed (the re-furbished set sent for failure 3...are starting to see a pattern?), result: Dell sent a new set as a "token of good will"

  6. Hard Disk Failure!, complete loss of all data, result: Dell say tough...it was out of warranty

Warranty

 Now Dell have a point...it was out of warranty, but I feel strongly that when you buy electronics from a reputable manufacturer, you should expect that the purchase will last longer that a year. The fact that over 18 months I had 6 hardware failures on this system makes me feel that the warranty period should not be taken into consideration...the thing was never right in the first place.

Customer Service

I've tried to talk to Dell about this and all I get are stock cut 'n' paste answers and lot's of "have a nice days", the last email I got contained this statement,

“electronic equipment and software may occasionally fail like any other electronic appliance or manmade component. Unfortunately, there is no way to test every hardware or software configuration in the market place” (I've included the email below for anyone unfamiliar with Dells support style)

What are they saying here...do they not know what they're building?

I asked them if 6 hardware failures was normal for a machine in less than 18 months, they wouldn’t say…probably because if it was normal then they’re admitting their systems are shoddy and if it wasn’t normal, then their admitting that my particular build was sub-standard (something they don’t want to do.)

As an I.T. consultant I am frequently asked to raise purchase orders for computers to serve projects I'm working on.
Over the years I've put tens of thousands of pounds into Dells pockets by recommending that we purchase from Dell. That has now changed.

How can I recommend a company who will not take ownership when they produce a sub-standard piece of equipment?

Oh one last point…I told Dell that I would be posting the email transcripts of all our dealings and was warned that as a business customer I had no right to compensation and that any emails posted could be used in evidence!…how’s that for customer service.


Dear Mr. Taylor,

Thank you for contacting Dell E-mail Hardware Technical Support.

I apologize that you have had issues with your Dell Computer.

Although, we, at Dell, extensively test components and software prior to shipment; electronic equipment and software may occasionally fail like any other electronic appliance or manmade component. Unfortunately, there is no way to test every hardware or software configuration in the market place.

We are truly sorry that your experience with Dell did not meet your expectations. We hold ourselves to a high standard and apologize for falling short in addressing your needs. We thank you for your comments and input and will strive to improve our service in the future….starting with this e-mail.

Thank you for choosing Dell.

Have a Good Day ahead.

Regards,

Vandana Verma

Dell EMEA E-mail Hardware Technical Support.

Case # 616395051

Original Message Follows: ------------------------

I don’t want compensation, I want you to acknowledge that your system, that I purchased new, has suffered the following and that you do not think that this is out of the ordinary or unusual for a new Dell system....

Excessive noise (system replaced)

Graphics card failure (card replaced)

2nd graphics card failure (I replaced at my own cost)

Speaker failure (system replaced)

2nd speaker system failure (system replaced)

Hard disk failure resulting in complete loss of data and a bill of over £1000 (I can send you the invoices if you’d like).

I know that the system is out of warranty...what I’m trying to understand is this...are your systems so shoddy that you cannot reasonably expect them to work for a 18 months before they experience catastrophic failure?

As I’ve said before, 1 hardware failure I can live with, but SIX.

p.s. I find it insulting that you state “there will be a nominal charge to diagnose the hardware failure”, you’re not doing yourselves any favours!

John Taylor

From: UKI_TS_Dimension_Support [mailto:UKI_TS_Dimension_Support@dell.com]

Sent: 28 November 2008 15:59

To: John Taylor

Subject: RE: Case # 616395051 (KMM18432148I57L0KM)

Dear Mr. Taylor,

Thank You for contacting Dell E-mail Hardware Technical Support.

As a response to your E-mail sent previously my supervisor tried contacting you lots of time however, you were not available.

We requested you the best time to reach you which you have not responded.

I can understand that your new Dell system had noise issue however; the replacement computer was given to you to retain your satisfaction with Dell.

As the video card failed in the system we replaced it with the warranty period.

I am with you that video card failed quite early however since it’s an electronic device; we cannot really define the life of the hardware component.

While giving you the replacement speakers as a gesture of good will we requested you to upgrade the warranty on your Dell system which you have not done so far.

Mr. Taylor, I can certainly understand that you had lots of issue with this system in past as well as in present however, if you would have upgraded the warranty we would have definitely be able to replace the parts free of cost for you.

I am afraid to inform you that we cannot offer you any compensation or replacement for any hardware components failing in the system.

In past you have spoken to customer relationship manager and supervisors and the same has been communicated to you from them as well.

Please, contact Dell Expired Warranty Support team on 0844 338 1000, between 8:00AM – 8:00PM GMT, Monday to Friday for any further technical issues.

I would also like to inform you that there will be a nominal charge to diagnose the hardware issue.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Regards,

Vandana Verma

Dell EMEA (E-Mail Tech Support)

Case # 616395051

Original Message Follows: ------------------------

Can’t someone just reply via email?

As a recap here’s how your system faired:

Hi, recently I was touch regarding the appalling build quality/reliability of my dell system purchased last year. You may remember that since purchase the following had gone wrong...

a) Complete system replacement after 2 weeks due to excessive noise / vibration.

b) Graphics card replaced after 6 months due to hardware failure.

c) Speakers replaced after 14 months due to hardware failure.

d) 2nd set of speakers need to be replaced due to hardware failure

e) 2nd graphics card fails resulting in me buying a different type due to lack of trust in the supplied cards.

NOW FOR THE LATEST!

2 weeks ago one of the hard drives you supplied in the system failed. As the system was raid 0, I have lost all of my data. (I would have emailed sooner, but I had to wait for the data to be recovered before I could rebuild the system)

I has cost me £890 to recover the data, plus a further £120 for new drives.

I have also lost all of the software that came with the system.

As a result of the poor reliability of your system, I am out of pocket over £1000

Words fail me. This system has been a complete waste of my time and money since purchase. I own quite a few web sites, and know my way around the google ranking system. I am going to make sure that anyone who searches on "Dell" and reliability or quality find details on the heap of steaming rubbish that you sold to me as a well built reliable system.

I am disgusted.

Now, how are you, as a company going to respond to my complaint that the system is unreliable and shoddy?

From: UKI_TS_Dimension_Support [mailto:UKI_TS_Dimension_Support@dell.com]

Sent: 09 September 2008 10:13

To: John Taylor

Subject: RE: 616395051 (KMM16756313I57L0KM)

Dear Mr. Taylor,

Thank you for replying Dell Hardware Email Support.

I have checked your system records and understood your concerns regarding the issue with the Dimension 9200 system. I apologise you again for the inconvenience caused due to hardware failures happened. I deeply regret for the same.

I have consulted this case with our manager and with my team. As per the update I would like to inform you that the warranty on the replacement part is for 90 days or warranty of system whichever expires latter.

We had already replaced the Speakers and the dispatch details were given in the previous mail.

As per the system records the Collect and Return hardware warranty on the system is expired on 17/04/2008. So if you would like purchase or renew the warranty, please call our Part Sales department between 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM BST during weekdays on 0870 907 5083.

It is our pleasure to help you out in any hardware issues related to your Dell computer. We assure you that we would be trying our best to get any issues fixed for you in the future as well.

Dell is committed to provide the best customer experience to all our customers.

Thanks and Regards.

Sreekumar Sivadas

Dell Hardware E-mail Support

UK & Ireland (Monday - Friday)

Case # 616395051

(Any inconvenience is regretted due to delayed reply as we follow first in first out process.)

[NOTE: Please do not change the subject line while replying. Please also do not delete any mail conversation] For Live Chat Support visit www.dell.co.uk/chat | Hardware Support (UK) 08443381000, (IRE) 1850 543543 | Software Support (UK) 08443381600 (IRE) 1850 200 421

Original Message Follows:

------------------------

The hardware warranty has not expired on the graphics card...the card in question was itself a replacement for a card that failed about 6 months ago.

So to recap on my system since purchase...

a) Complete system replacement after 2 weeks due to excessive noise / vibration.

b) Graphics card replaced after 6 months due to hardware failure.

c) Speakers replaced after 14 months due to hardware failure.

d) 2nd set of speakers need to be replaced due to hardware failure

e) 2nd graphics card fails resulting in me buying a different type due to lack of trust in the supplied cards.

It doesn't read as a glowing endorsement of Dell build quality.

I would like someone from customer services to contact me about this because to be quite frank...this has been ridiculous.

As support staff you have always been friendly and willing to help, but I shouldn't have suffered FIVE hardware failures on a new system.

John Taylor

-----Original Message-----

From: UKI_TS_Dimension_Support [mailto:UKI_TS_Dimension_Support@dell.com]

Sent: 08 September 2008 11:40

To: John Taylor

Subject: RE: 616395051 (KMM16733781I57L0KM)

Dear Mr. Taylor,

Thank you for replying Dell Hardware Email Support.

I do appreciate you updating me regarding the issue with the system. I regret the inconvenience caused due to the delay in the replacement service.

As per your reply regarding the faulty replacement speakers, we have disppatched the new speakers under the reference number 04024684037, on 02/09/2008. You will receive this new speakers on or before 15/9/2008 at the following address:

Mr. John Taylor

xxxxxxx

xxxxxxx

xxxxxxx

Phone: ######## ###

Also I apologise you for the inconvenience caused due to the faulty graphics card which was replaced once. Unfortunately, we could not replace it since the hardware warranty of the system has expired.

However we assusre you that we will continue our hardware support irrrespective of the warranty status.

Dell is committed to provide the best customer experience to all our customers.

Thanks and Regards.

Sreekumar Sivadas

Dell Hardware E-mail Support

UK & Ireland (Monday - Friday)

Case # 616395051

(Any inconvenience is regretted due to delayed reply as we follow first in first out process.)

[NOTE: Please do not change the subject line while replying. Please also do not delete any mail conversation] For Live Chat Support visit www.dell.co.uk/chat | Hardware Support (UK) 08443381000, (IRE) 1850 543543 | Software Support (UK) 08443381600 (IRE) 1850 200 421

Original Message Follows:

------------------------

No, the problem is not rectified.

You still have not sent me the 2nd set of replacement speakers, and I have replaced (at my own cost) the graphics card that broke. Please note, the graphics card that broke is itself a replacement for one that failed about 6 months ago.

John Taylor

-----Original Message-----

From: UKI_TS_Dimension_Support [mailto:UKI_TS_Dimension_Support@dell.com]

Sent: 05 September 2008 18:44

To: John Taylor

Subject: 616395051 (KMM16705711I57L0KM)

Dear Dell valued Customer,

Thank you for contacting Dell Hardware Technical Support.

I wanted to confirm that the issue you reported has that been answered to your satisfaction and is the issue resolved. If you still require any help please reply to my email so I can get this resolved.

It’s a pleasure to have you as our valued customer.

Thank you for choosing Dell.

You may also receive an electronic survey from DELL to provide your feedback on the service provided by us on this email would appreciate your participation in the survey as your feedback provides us with an opportunity to improve our services and customer experience

Regards,

Sreekumar Sivadas

Dell E-mail Hardware Support

UK & Ireland (Monday – Friday)

***please mention the case number or the dell service tag in all your contacts with Dell**