UGH! HAD it with Dell...!

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Dave Mack, Dec 23, 2005.

  1. Dave Mack

    Dave Mack Producer

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    Hey guys, computer opinion needed.

    My girlfriend has a Dell Inspiron 1150 that is about 15 months old and luckily she bought the 4 year extended warranty because there have been major problems and now we're talking about selling it privately and ditching Dell once and for all.
    From what I can tell from online forums, this model has terrible problems with overheating due to bad design and Dell just won't admit it and keeps having consumers do the repairs by sending parts and links to sites to follow for directions. http://www.officinado.com/new-review...iron-1150.html

    The latest saga is that about 2 weeks ago the laptop just switched itself off (as it often has been doing from overheating.) But this time windows was damaged and there was an error message that a windows driver was damaged and windows needed to be reinstalled. Turns out the computer came with windows installed so Dell had to ship the CD to reload. The IT guy at my girlfriend's job has been kind enough to help and backed up everything onto a DVD, photos and all. Dell actually sent a tech to put in a new heatsink fan but on that day the backup had not yet been done so she didn't load windows. Meanwhile the IT guy thought the hard drive might be fried and a diagnostic we ran ourselves had a few errors come up, so my girlfriend emailed dell tech to ask for a technician to come and install a new hard drive and end the ridiculousness. Meanwhile Dell's solution was to offer to ship a new hard drive and sent the usual links to their site explaining the supposedly simple way the consumer can repair the product. My girlfriend was so pissed at this point that she called Dell to complain big time about unacceptable customer service where the jist is that the consumer is supposed to do the work for Dell. The Dell rep was nice but ended up walking her through the windows reinstall and drivers reinstall, taking about 2 hours from her workday. This is what paying extra for an extended warranty is good for?
    What's annoying now is the computer was purchased with Microsoft Works Suite ($129 extra) and my girlfriend can't find the disk to reinstall and thinks it came installed anyway. Regardless as far as she remembers the computer was not shipped with the disk and Dell's customer service rep suggests simply borrowing the program from someone else to install.
    Basically, the design of the unit is faulty, Dell does not take responsibility, and Dell uses the bandaid method of trying to soothe the customer by saying how easy it is for any person to fix his or her own computer. Sorry, but paying $1500 total for a package including extended warranty shouldn't mean taking a screwdriver to one's own equipment and hoping for the best.
    So now we're seriously thinking of writing a long complaint to Dell for one last try to see what they'll do before losing customers, but then selling the laptop privately and buying something new and comparable but better, maybe a Toshiba. We have now lost about 2 weeks worth of home computer time and are lucky to have access from work, but as you all know, living sans computer in this day and age is terrible.
    Long rant, I know, but this shit is ridiculous. Any suggestions folks?

    Thanks!
     
  2. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    As far as I know, Lenovo (formerly IBM) ThinkPads are the way to go. They may seem overpriced, but the build quality and support are very good from what I hear. Support may be different now that it's in the hands of a new company. In case you didn't know, IBM sold off its desktop and notebook departments to Lenovo (a China-based company) a year ago because it didn't make enough money for them.
     
  3. LewB

    LewB Screenwriter

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    Slight correction. The PC company didn't make any money for IBM, lost money actually.
     
  4. Rommel_L

    Rommel_L Second Unit

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    Sounds like you had a lemon. Any possibility to get a replacement?
     
  5. Dave Mack

    Dave Mack Producer

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    Thanks for the sympathy guys. I don't think that ours is a lemon. I think it's a really poor design on this and other inspiron models. In the above linked thread, 2/3 of the people who posted had the EXACT same issue. Dell won't admit the design is bad. They just keep sending out band-aid solutions like swapping the heatsink fan for a new one. But the potential problem is still there. The thing still runs WAY too hot. They suggested getting a "cooling pad". And once you're out of warranty, they cut you loose.

    Joanna's IT guy at work says that with the newer DELL laptops, he ALWAYS see problems. He reccomended a Toshiba.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. PeterTHX

    PeterTHX Cinematographer

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    Any laptops NOT made in China?

    One reason for the slide in Dell quality is where they source their parts from.

    Just make sure it's a Centrino and not made in China. [​IMG]
     
  7. Dave Mack

    Dave Mack Producer

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    Well, here we go again. We've had the new fan/heatsink thingy installed and after only 1 and a 1/2 hours, the back of the damn computer is getting hot again. It's right by where the power adapter plugs in so that cord starts baking after awhile.
    Here's another site I found...
    http://www.mikeshardware.com/howtos/...erheating.html Just type in "Dell laptop overheat" into a search window and check out the amount of hits!
    I'm sick of this crap. When it gets hot, the damn computer slows to a crawl and the CPU usage shoots up to 100%.
    Dell blows IMHO. Not because maybe they had some bad product design, but that they won't admit it and make the customer jump through hoops to even be able to properly use their damn computers!

    grrr.....
     
  8. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    ehh My sister's Toshiba is finnicky. Keyboard has a mind of its own and it's EXTREMELY annoying. Poor build quality, though I admit it's one of their lower models.

    My bro's 2 Thinkpads are reliable, sleek, and loaded with features. [​IMG]
     
  9. Fredster

    Fredster Stunt Coordinator

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    We have 4 Dells at home, 3 desktops and an Inspiron (2200) laptop. While I'll agree that Dell's support could be a bit better, we've had very few problems over the years that required support. The laptop (which I'm using now) runs pretty cool. The fan rarely even turns on.

    Based on my experience and what I see at work (over 1000 Dell desktops) I'd still recommend Dell PCs.
     
  10. todbnla

    todbnla Screenwriter

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    I am a dell user too and yes, out sourced service is bad and all the bloatware is no fun. Although, let me suggest a little program I ran across several years back. I use a freeware program called "Fan Gui" on all of my Dell laptops. This program lets YOU control the fans and the speed they come on. I have never had any overheating problems with neither of our Inspiron's (8200 and 6000). Try it and see if it helps!

    MERRY CHRISTMAS

    Fan Gui Program


    Edit: I see an Inspiron 1100 series on the site but no 1150? Perhaps research this thru the info on his site/faq/forum or email him directly...
     
  11. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    I have an Inspiron 5100 that suffered from the same issues. The problem stems from a very poorly designed CPU heatsink that tends to gum up easily and over heat. It took me several total rebuilds to get it working properly but since then its been fine (~1 year ago). In spring i gave the 5100 to my wife and picked up the 6000 which is a much better built model and has fixed all the issues I had with the 5100. Anyway keep at it and get it elevated to a Level 2 tech and things will happen much more easily.
     
  12. Dave Mack

    Dave Mack Producer

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    Thanks for the advice, guys!

    Happy holidays!

    [​IMG] d
     
  13. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Dave,

    Sorry to hear of your poroblems.

    In the day, Dell was the amongst best you
    could buy.

    I just got rid of my Dell desktop earlier this year
    (it crashed often) and went with an independent
    company to build my new computer.

    I will never go back to Dell. The difference is
    night and day.

    I will also not buy from any company that outsources
    their tech support.

    Let us know how you make out with your situation.
     
  14. Linda Thompson

    Linda Thompson Supporting Actor

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  15. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Did she buy the onsite-service warranty? I'd be pretty upset if Dell didn't honor the warranty paid for. (But if not, why would you expect more than having to repair it yourself? Computer warranties have worked this way for over a decade.)

    Regardless, it's disappointing to hear Dell has lost its service edge. They used to be second only to Apple, and they treated me very well in the past.

    However, Dell's business user, onsite-warranty is top-notch. Almost immediate service: I had a failed motherboard replaced by four hours after making the call.
     
  16. Dave Mack

    Dave Mack Producer

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    Hiya Dave,

    My gf did buy the full extended warranty, the best one offered. They explained that certain fixes or repairs would have to be done by us,(but of course later on way AFTER the purchase)
    Since the swap it has been better but still gets pretty hot and will occasionally just freeze up for a minute or so. Eventually I fear we'll have the same problem again. Poor design, crappy customer service.

    Oh well...

    d
     
  17. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I'm surprised to hear that -- I would expect that the onsite warranty would be just that. It's misleading to later tell you otherwise. [​IMG]

    I'm shopping for a PC; I'll think twice about Dell (or at least their warranties).
     
  18. Bryan X

    Bryan X Producer

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    I'm not trying to single out Dell. This is typical of probably all the big corps.

    Anyway, Dave, I hope you get your problem resolved with Dell. Nothing worse than buying a product that costs that much and then having problems with it.
     
  19. Jordan_Brulotte

    Jordan_Brulotte Stunt Coordinator

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    Working as a computer tech, over half of the systems that came in for repairs were Dell. Their re-installations cds are pretty worthless too. I advise people to look elsewhere when Dell comes up in conversation.
     
  20. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    Just to add..

    we had a total of 3 brown outs in the office one day in January. The actual power loss seemed less than a second, but all the Dell systems shut off and rebooted. Each time, the Mac systems stayed on like nothing happened. Really shows the quality of the PSUs they have in there.
     

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