I purchased my Dell 3660 Precision 4 months ago. I needed a high performance PC running Ubuntu Linux 20.04 to enable me to conduct research in astrophysics. I am a post-graduate research student at a UK university.
Only 3 weeks after I started to use the system a routine update message from Dell appeared on the screen asking me to perform a critical firmware update. I did so. The result was a fatal crash, the system refused to re-start and eventually a Dell engineer had to change the entire motherboard. Apparently the firmware is held on an on-board module. The system was down for 1 week. Although my data is all archived the software installs all had to be repeated which was time consuming.
On Friday 16th June another critical firmware update message appeared on the screen. I was wary of agreeing to do this but went ahead since it was described as 'critical'. Surely Dell had tested the update I thought particularly in light of the previous system collapse. I proceeded with the firmware update and again the system irretrievably collapsed. I was promised an engineer would visit with parts to repair the system on Friday 23rd June only to be rapidly informed that parts were not available. I was told I would be informed when the parts will be available and when the engineer will come. The system is down again and I cannot progress with my research using this very expensive system.
What is disturbing is that on both occasions the system collapse was caused by Dell themselves through their release of firmware updates which are clearly untested before being released to the user community.
What is also disturbing is that Dell Technical support appear to believe that telling me to be patient and wait for some future message about the availability of parts is a satisfactory response. There is no means to escalate my issue. There is no means to resort to any form of emergency process.
Meantime, I as a user, having spent a considerable sum of money am expected to remain calm, unstressed and accept a somewhat matter of fact, uncaring attitude.
Does Dell not realise that I am a paying customer expecting only that my system does what it is advertised it will do reliably and that I don't expect untested routine firmware updates to render my system unusable not once but twice.
There is no means to complain which is why I have resorted to posting here. Under the most basic rules of computer science firmware changes and software changes must be tested. This is basic. Under the most basic rules of computer sales the customer is the most important person.
I have no idea when my system will be fixed not even a friendly estimate. I am now left wondering what course of action I can take.