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Well, typically I build my own PCs. But, I needed something portable and easy to take around. I was recommended to buy a Dell laptop by co-workers and my parents. I was honestly going to buy an Alienware, but I found what I needed in the Inspiron 8200. I bought it back on December 29th 2003. It came loaded with a Pentium 4 3GHz processor, 1GB of ram, 60GB hard drive, GeForce 4 Go 64MB, and Windows XP Professional. Ever since I got the laptop, I've had problems with it. Luckily I had the 3-year warranty on it. It was early January and I called Dell tech support to have them send a technician out because the motherboard fried. I was having major heat issues. The laptop would get really hot then lockup. A tech came out that same day, replaced the motherboard on my office desk, and said it was working again. It did work. But the same problem occured again on the 18th of February. I called again, a little more upset and this time they wanted me to send it in for further investigation. 8 days later, I have my laptop back. Now, it's happening again. I noticed it getting really hot and I shut it off. I went to boot up this morning, it froze at the Windows login and it's been a black screen ever since.

Now this makes me very angry and frustrated... I call them up, and I get Robert from Brazil. He starts yacking at me telling me to run the Dell Diagnostic CD. How in the heck can I do that? It won't boot. So he transfers me over to tier 2 support and after about an hour on hold, they disconnect me. I was really pissed. I call back, and I get William from the Philippines. He tells me that I need to call the Customer Care Center and ask for a supervisor to set up a return. He also told me that when the techician came out the first time, I should have received a brand new laptop because the damage was done inside 10 days. Well, I never heard about that until today... Makes me even more upset. So now I call Customer Care. I get Michelle from Panama. She's the supervisor and trying to transfer me back over to a technician. (Let me remind you, I've been on the phone with 2 previous technicians for 3 hours and they sent me to her). I end up arguing with her because she won't listen to me and tries to send me to a technician that is "well trained" with overheating malfunctions. Well, after about 30 minutes of talking to her, she looks up my account in the system, sees that my computer has been serviced 2 previous times for the same repair, and also sees that I've been helped by 2 technicians. She then decides to set out an order for my computer to be picked up and replaced. She wanted to give me a refurbished one, but I demanded a new one because I don't want someone else's headache and I've had this computer for less than 3 1/2 months. I better get my new laptop. We'll see how it all goes.

So, I'll never buy a Dell again. I was on the phone with them yesterday for about 2 hours, and on the phone with them today from 9AM to 1PM. I just want this problem fixed for good. I'm frustrated and upset. I can't rely on my laptop at all...

I've been on hold for 4-6 hours with Dell. I've traveled the world with Dell Tech Support. They've taken me to Brazil, the Philippines, and Panama. It was a nice trip, but I didn't enjoy it one bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I don't want this to turn into a debate or anything, but what has been your experience with Dell? Am I alone on this issue?
 

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Dell's low price is at an expense of customer service. With all the heavy advertising Dell did, people forgot that there were Compaq, HP and IBM out there with great products. Never ask non-computer people opinions on what to buy.

AlienWare is just a re-badged laptop made by someone else.. Don't get excited over them!

I deal with Dell everyday and wish they would just go away. Compaq/HP has been hardware and their customer service is much easier to deal with then Dell. If I have a problem with a Compaq system, they take care of it right away. Dell wants you to waste time running their diagnostic util for hours. Plus they want you to send every nut and bolt back to them for inspection. I can understand they want to try to spare the expense of replacing good equipment but they take it to the extreme.

Sorry you are having trouble. DUDE, YOU GOT TROUBLE! (in the annoying Dell kid voice)
 

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we just had a special on the news here in philly about dell's call center. people complaining about the same thing. good luck with the problem though.
 

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I've got an Inspiron 1100. Works perfectly fine. Have had it since Dec. 20, 2003.

Now if I could only find a place to post this "Dude, You're Getting Owned" picture.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Originally posted by fordaspiregv@Mar 22 2004, 07:13 PM
Dell's low price is at an expense of customer service. With all the heavy advertising Dell did, people forgot that there were Compaq, HP and IBM out there with great products. Never ask non-computer people opinions on what to buy.

AlienWare is just a re-badged laptop made by someone else.. Don't get excited over them!

I deal with Dell everyday and wish they would just go away. Compaq/HP has been hardware and their customer service is much easier to deal with then Dell. If I have a problem with a Compaq system, they take care of it right away. Dell wants you to waste time running their diagnostic util for hours. Plus they want you to send every nut and bolt back to them for inspection. I can understand they want to try to spare the expense of replacing good equipment but they take it to the extreme.

Sorry you are having trouble. DUDE, YOU GOT TROUBLE! (in the annoying Dell kid voice)
That reminds me, lol... Dell wants me to return EVERYTHING I received. Including all the power cables, CDs, manuals, and if possible, the original packaging.

I spent a little over $2100 on this laptop with tax and shipping. Is it too much to ask for it to work properly? Heh heh.
 

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Its crazy and stupid corp IT departments/managers think they are the only game in town. It drives me nuts!

I USE:



And NOTHING ELSE!
 

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I have a Dell desktop, my friend's been buying their refurbished systems for a little over 5 years now and we both have no complaints. Personally, I hate having to deal with any customer service - you will always end up in buearacracy and red tape anyway.

Oh yeah, I think Alienware is way overpriced. Their systems perform just as well as anyone else's but its just glammed up with shiny bits to warrant a $1k premium over other systems
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Because laptops are more like appliances than actual PC's (in the way that you can't really upgrade them, or change anything significant to their systems because of the way theyre made), so maybe an IBM, Toshiba, Compaq, or one of the other big names will do it for you.

Oh, I just remembered, my best friend has had his Compaq laptop for about 2 years now - that one also has no problems.
 
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I would see if you can get them to give you your money back on the Dell - with enough fighting them they will do it. In all my consulting experiences I have had a lot of problems with everything Dell from servers to desktops, to their "Precision" workstations, accessories and laptops. Nothing but trouble. I have been through tons of returns. Anyways... if they will give you your money back I would highly recommend an IBM ThinkPad they are, by far, the best laptop out IMHO (I'm using one right now
). Not only do they seem to have superior products, but their tech support is awesome. They really do an awesome job of keeping the customer happy and delivering nothing but the best service and relations. Plus you'll never talk to anybody outside the U.S.
Good luck!
 

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Dell sucks some serious cajoñes. I've got 4 of their laptops in the "cage" at work, just waiting for me to come in tomorrow. And a desktop or two, I'm sure.

Jason's right, get your money back and get a Thinkpad. Best laptops period!
 

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I got a Dell Dimension 4100 that i bought back in Aug of 00. Ive had numerous problems with my video card that dell refused to help me fix. I finally ran outa warranty and just said screw it. Went out and bought an ATI 7500 and it works fine. Now the pc is making weird noises. As far as their tech support. They arent that much ebtter from the Mr. Attitude tech support i got from HP.
I called HP about some new type of standard comin out for PC's. I went around to 10 differnt people. I got some fool telling me i shouldnt worry about upgrading my pc for the future. Otherwise. HP/Compaq seem to be the best value. Dell seems a tad overpriced for what you get. I gave up on Gateway back in the early 90's. Enjoy the Dell dude!
 

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Sony Vaio is it for Laptops.. 16" of USEABLE screen, not widescreen so you can watch movies, and have a lot of empty space when surfing the web.
 

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Yes, Alienware laptops are usually rebadges of less-reputable manufacturers' laptops.

The best built laptops you can buy are IBM Thinkpads. They aren't laptops for gaming because most Thinkpads lack powerful videocards, but they are absolutely the best quality laptops on the market. There is a reason why Thinkpads cost significantly more than Dell and Compaq and Sony stuff.


I have taken apart about 8 Thinkpads of various vintages, talk about precision and workmanship. I can't emphasize how awesome Thinkpad's quality is compared to other laptops.
 

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I also have the Dell Inspiron 1100 laptop, and have absolutely no problems with it. It runs like a dream. I got it through a student program at my school for $500...brand new, 2.6 GHZ, 512 MB Ram, 40 gig harddrive, free CD/DVD rom/recorder. I won't complain.

I've also heard bad things about their tech support, which is why I'm fortunate enough to be an IT dude who knows how to fix all his stuff himself.

The laptop that REALLY gave me problems, which I owned the past 3 years, was a Toshiba Satelite. That thing broke down constantly. Yuck.
 

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Ok dell laptops are decent quality...

Compaq is ok with laptops... i dont know about HP

Sonys are good laptops but pricey... Ibms are good laptops, and umm toshibas are good too.. thats my .02
 

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I've got an Apple 15" PowerBook, and let me tell you, it's a dream machine. But hey, let's talk about service instead of bickering about how superior Macs are and how inferior Windows is *ducks and hides*

I had two problems with my PowerBook: one asthetic, one functional. Both were reported to Apple as seperate cases. The first one was the fault of the LCD manufacturer, causing a bunch of bright spots on the screen. I called up Apple about a week after I got my laptop, waited for about five minutes, a rep got to me and shipped me a box, which happened to show up the next morning. I ship it off the same day and the laptop was back two days later. Two days! Hot diggedy. To make it sweeter, Apple shipped me a copy of the newest revision of their operating system for free. (I got my laptop about two months before Panther came out, so that's why I didn't have the "latest and greatest" to begin with)

My second problem was a funky battery- some times random dialogues would show up telling me that I'm running on reserve power. I let this go on for a while before I called up tech support, and the problem hadn't happened in a while, so needless to say, I forgot a bunch of the details: what situations, etc... I called up Apple again, waited five minutes, again, and started telling the tech my problem in very, very vague terms. Somehow, though, the tech knew what I was talking about, and knew the keystrokes I should try right off the top of his head (there was no possible time for him to search the knowledge database or leaf through a book). We tried things for about half an hour until he just told me he'd send me another box. Once again, two days after I ship the laptop out, it came back, cleaned and fully functional. Tech support at Apple is some of the best that I've worked with. The only other company that comes close is IBM.

Now there is a tradeoff to this wonderful tech support: Apple machines come standard with 1 year send-in warranty, and only 90 days phone support. You can buy an extend service plan that bumps that to 3 years/1year, but it'd be nice if it was included with the purchase of a (relatively) expensive machine.

Anyway, my experience with Dell tech support has mainly been BOFH-ish. They know more or less nothing, and the only thing that they do to give you answers is to look up in their own online knowledgebase- so basically anything you can find on your own, they'll tell you. And forget about shipping your machine in for service- that's a joke too! They'll turn a couple screws, call it "fixed" and that's it. My worst experience with Dell came when my machine would randomly turn on at midnight every day. It ended up being something in the BIOS, whcih I found myself, but I will never forget what the tech said to me:

Tech: "Are you sure that it's turning on?"
Me: "No, I just dream that the damn thing starts beeping and churning away. Of course it turns on at midnight every day. If I wasn't sure, I wouldn't be calling you."
Tech: "Hey, just checking. Well, that sounds like a very interesting problem. I've never heard of that happening before.

As it turns out, it's a very common feature to most every computer... being able to set a time for it to wake up, that is. To make it even better- he almost flat out refused to support my case. I bought a laptop preloaded with Red Hat Linux: something which Dell did about two years back. I had a piece of paper which said that I was covered under phone support, but the damn tech barely knew what Linux was. He claimed that since it wasn't Windows, he could not help solve my problem. Customer service, right there. Brav-o Dell.

So In short: Apple rocks. Their service is very quick, and the techs are very knowledgeable. Hell, you can talk to them about running stuff in the command prompt, and they'll know just about anything (very impressive). Dell, on the other hand, sucks the big one with service. The techs know nothing, and if you ship your computer off to them, it is repaired by wild (not even trained) monkeys. If you want to stay with the PC world, go IBM for service and support. It's very good, trust me.
 
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my girlfriend has a dell laptop and she's had a problem with it for teh past couple of months. One day, she turned it on and got a fatal error message. Some operating file had been deleted or couldn't been found. We didn't delete any files what so ever. The computer will boot up all the way to the desktop but then freeze. No buttons or anything will pop up, only the desktop background. Has anyone else had this problem?
 

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OK, here is my insight on Dell products.


Do some Extent, you get what you pay for with Dell. Perhaps more accurately, I think the quality and service of what you buy is fit on some type of bell curve. Let me explain...

Dell has two basic classes of machine weather you are looking at Desktops or Portables.

The first set is for Home users. Dell I think banks on a home using being more willing to wait on something to be repaired or replaced then a business user and in addition has less power to bring any real trouble to the table. As such, thier lines such as the Dimension and Insperion machines become somewhat of thier "test bed" machines. You will be able to get the latest and greatest bleeding edge technology on these machines, but you also don't have the level of stress testing and tried and true power that you get when you purchase a higher end machine. I think the Optiplexes are somewhat in the same catagory as the Dimensions.

At work, I use primarily the second class of machine. The high end business workstation. We buy Precission Workstations and Lattitude series laptops. I support a facility that has around 35 Desktop workstations as well as 65 laptop machines. The laptops are run around 8 hours a day about two or three times a week, though some times a week at a time. I generally have about 3 failures a year on these 65 laptops that are ran to death and about 2 failures a year on my desktop machines that are run constantly. All the machines have three year gold service contracts and are replaced every two to three years. Usually when I log a call on a machine, I have the replacement piece the next day. Most of the dells I've used are pretty easy to service, but rarely need more then a new keyboard for a laptop, or a replacement removable disk drive on a workstation.

Sorry you're having such problems with them. And you're right, 2K is a lot to spend to have this kind of headacke with a machine.

For those considering a Dell, I urge you to consider the high end models Precision Workstaions and Latitude notebooks. At very least, get the most comprehensive warrenty you can. I think the highest level warrenty has a 3 hour on site service. This means you can have a tech on sight in 3 hours and they can get your a part shipped to you within three hours. Our dell servers have this type of warrenty, so in the event of a hardware failure, we can usually have the system fix and up and running again the same day.

-Dan
 
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Originally posted by civicex@Mar 23 2004, 01:01 AM
Yes, Alienware laptops are usually rebadges of less-reputable manufacturers' laptops.

The best built laptops you can buy are IBM Thinkpads. They aren't laptops for gaming because most Thinkpads lack powerful videocards, but they are absolutely the best quality laptops on the market. There is a reason why Thinkpads cost significantly more than Dell and Compaq and Sony stuff.


I have taken apart about 8 Thinkpads of various vintages, talk about precision and workmanship. I can't emphasize how awesome Thinkpad's quality is compared to other laptops.


I have experienced the same level of quality with every IBM I have ever had or used. I have ordered 5 of the ThinkPad R40 laptops at work now - they are the cheapest ones that IBM has - like $850 with a Celeron processor, which I usually hate. But, I've had them for several months now and they have been rock solid and lived up to the IBM name. So if you're looking for a good, reliable, cheap, high quality laptop that's the way to go IMO.
 

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I am on my second Dell Latitiude Laptop. The only problems I have with them is the keyboards. I usually need it replaced on a yearly basis. My Laptop is running 7X24. I only shutdown when I make a customer visit and usually its running when I am making a visit. I also have the laptop running connected to my cell phone so I can still get my email while on the road. I also have two Dells at home for my daughters. They are approaching 3 years old and I have had only on failure on a hard drive which I replaced with a 200GB (my daughter downloads tons of anime). These Dell desktops run 24X7. I also have a Dell PE server in the garage that has been running for months on end. I just got a Refurbished Dell 8300 Desktop for me (3.4Ghz, 1GB memory, Radeon 9800 Pro, 2-120GBHD, DVD-ROM, and DVD-Burner for under $1200). I was going to build another PC like I did before, but the Dell cost me $200 less than I could build one with the same components. I have had to fix serveral Compaq PC that friends and relatives have purchased.

Bob
 
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