Dell / Latitude Laptop / failure to repair laptop under warranty

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My daughter has a Dell Latitude laptop under warranty for on site repair through July 2011. The computer stopped working in early august, after several days on the phone with tech support, a technician came to our home and determined the hard drive was not functioning- despite a return visit the computer still didn't work- upon his advice Dell sent a box to our home and we were asked to ship the laptop to a repair depot and assured the laptop would be repaired and returned to my daughter at her college address within 5-7 business day. The laptop was sent as requested using Dell's box and shipping label on August 18. We heard nothing for weeks. On august 26 I called Dell after several hours of lies: eg no such computer, computer isn't a laptop, computer has already been repaired: Dell acknowledged the laptop had been sitting at the depot since the 21st and had not been touched. On august 28 I was advised the laptop was repaired and was being tested to ensure its repair. On September 1st I was advised the laptop had been sent to my daughter- despite daily phone calls and a notice taped to the laptop asking the laptop be shipped to my daughter's college address; the laptop was shipped to our home address! On September 2 my daughter received the laptop- the hard drive had ben removed and was placed in a separate envelope labeled "broken hard drive" THE LAPTOP DID NOT CONTAIN ANOTHER HARD DRIVE!
Dell 's current position is that it will take 48 hours to evaluate the situation. they say a replacement hard drive will not be available until September 10. My daughter is a college junior who is unable to do her college assignments without the computer. We purchased the latitude because Dell advised us this was their premium/workhorse system and that with the extended warranty she would be assured of a functioning computer during her 4 years of college. WHAT A LIE!
DAny and all help/advice would be greatly appreciated!

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  • M3
      Sep 23, 2009

    I have yet to hear of a college or university that did not have a computer lab. While these labs are quite often over-crowded, it is still possible for one to get one's work done without a notebook; even if it means waiting for 2 hours for a computer. Been there, done that.
    As far as Dell is concerned; this is fairly typical for any large company that has grown beyond the ability to manage its resources efficiently.
    I've seen Dell hardware failure rates as high as 78% in 6 months of ownership (varying by model and installation) at some business sites my business services. That is, after a company has purchased a Dell product and owned that product for a period of 6 months, 78% of (for example) the computers purchased, have experienced a hardware failure. That's a lot of down time and it's costing businesses and governments a lot of money. Personally, I think Dell, HP, Lenovo, et al should be liable for that down time. Considering that most of these so-called computer manufacturers and VARs provide less expensive (and therefore degraded quality) hardware to the consumer market, I would never purchase from a company like Dell, HP, Toshiba or even Lenovo (high failure rates on all four in my observation). One caveat, Dell has been making a fantastic server product.

    If Dell did not provide an SLA (service level agreement) stating that the notebook would be properly functioning within a certain amount of time, then as long as the issue is eventually resolved, they have still held up their end of the deal--just not to your liking. If an SLA limiting the amount of time Dell has to resolve the issue was provided, then you have a lawsuit and I strongly suggest you file.

    I don't think it is fair that any business treats any customer this way. We are all people, none more important than any other. My best advice to you in this situation is to be very friendly with a service agent so that a relationship develops between you two. Remember, they are people too and when a person feels like they have made a friend, they will go out of their way to help that new friend.
    You make more friends with honey, than vinegar.

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