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Dell accused of 'dishonest business practices'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 24 Aug 2009 15:16 User comments (31)

Dell accused of 'dishonest business practices' The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has accused the computer manufacturer Dell of 'dishonest business practices' this week, claiming that the company does not always honor its much advertised 'next-day parts and labor warranty.'
CREW has created a new website as well with the banner posted below, and has asked any user that has been wronged by Dell to post any similar issues. The group has also formally complained to the DC Attorney General.

The group says that the manufacturer is advertising false claims and specifically notes a recent $3.35 million settlement in January over similar issues.

“According to its website, ‘Dell puts you back to work fast.’ But for many customers, including me, that simply is not true. If Dell won’t honor its warranties, CREW, with help from the public, will hold Dell accountable. When a consumer pays for next day service, she should receive next day service,” says CREW executive director Melanie Sloan.

“If people in 34 states had enough problems with Dell for state attorneys general to step in, and Dell still refused to honor my warranty after the company settled that matter, then other people likely are having problems with Dell right now. Honoring a warranty is a matter of ethics and at CREW, we take action when confronted with unethical conduct. We hope D.C. Attorney General Peter Nickles will share our concern that Dell is engaged in deceptive marketing practices by failing to honor its warranties and launch an immediate investigation.”


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31 user comments

124.8.2009 16:38

what a surprise.

224.8.2009 17:45

Just in june I received excellent service actually. My warranty was going to be up in a few weeks and I was trying to replace some old/broken parts. I received a new dvd burner drive, lcd casing, and bottom half. While the first two were broken and definetly under warranty to be repaired the bottom half had a small crack, yet they replaced it for me. Tho I did have them ship the parts and I replaced it myself, I did think they were very nice, and they sent the parts fast.

This was for a 4 year old laptop. I did use the online customer support rather than a phone. It just a lot easier.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 24 Aug 2009 @ 18:10

324.8.2009 17:52

bought my first dell 3 months ago and well my first dell is my last dell the thing is a big pos 350 watt psu random reboots with vista 32&64 only os that it likes is xp 32 ...india tech support? i am going to need to gut the pc and save the cpu ram and hard drive and replace the mobo and psu

424.8.2009 17:52
varnull
Inactive

Seems to be a mixed bag with dell these days.. ever since that horrid e-machine abortion of a thing. Strange how many old dells I have still going strong.. new ones are junk. No wonder they bought the alienware fashion statement bottom end brand.. goes with the rest of their business output nicely.. must be nice buying fujitsu-siemens lappys for $399 slapping a bit of paint on them.. crippling the bios so only dealers can repair them for a charge then slapping a $1099 price tag on them..

524.8.2009 17:57

Originally posted by varnull:
Seems to be a mixed bag with dell these days.. ever since that horrid e-machine abortion of a thing. Strange how many old dells I have still going strong.. new ones are junk. No wonder they bought the alienware fashion statement bottom end brand.. goes with the rest of their business output nicely.. must be nice buying fujitsu-siemens lappys for $399 slapping a bit of paint on them.. crippling the bios so only dealers can repair them for a charge then slapping a $1099 price tag on them..

yea dell bios's are a joke

624.8.2009 19:07

From experience I have never once had a problem with Dell. I have a 16 month old XPS notebook, and the keyboard was kinda warping due to overheating, they came replaced the mobo, heatskink, keyboard, and full case, for free, and within 1 day. Being XPS owner I get American CSRs which is a plus as well.

724.8.2009 19:49

Hmmm Never had an issue with Dell in 10 years and we have thousands of Optiplex Computers of Various Models in my school. We get the onsite warranty but not the Pro Business warranty because most of the time we order our own parts through Dell Warranty Parts direct and they are always there the next day if the order is placed before 2 -3pm. Not saying this is not true but in my experience many consumers are quick to attack the computer maker for their own self caused problems. How many consumers do not use or use a cheap surge protector and get a small power surge or brown out and that causes problems with the computer? How many people eat, drink, or smoke near their computer? I am sorry but every computer brand has the potential to break but in my experience over 80% of the people I have helped do not treat the computer like it should be treated. All computers should have a small battery backup of some kind if for no other reason to keep the power steady. Computers and electronics are very sensitive to power fluctuations and surges and many times that decreases the life of parts such as Power Supplies, motherboards and hard drives. Dell generally uses top brand parts (Intel Motherboards, Crucial Micron Ram, Drives from Western Digital, seagate or maxtor. No different than most other computers.

824.8.2009 20:16

if you have service contracts and warranties or even bought a dell you deserve to get screwed

924.8.2009 20:23
varnull
Inactive

Guess you get a different view when you work in repairs.. old dells are a dream.. I have a few gx series and dimension series I look after for people.. solid machines..

Then we come to those nasty cheap e-machine things a few years ago.. just junk.. since then the new dimension machines seem better apart from seeming hellish slow for the hardware they are supposed to have in them.

Can't comment on the warranty situation.. people here have more sense than to pay for something which is traditionally never honoured.

1024.8.2009 20:44

I have a 2 and a half year old Dell XPS laptop. I have not had any problems that wasn't fixed by dell under warranty. I also always get American CSRs. Their customer service model is excellent. I had some paint come off of the front media buttons, even though it was cosmetic and wasn't covered, they sent a service technician and he replaced the entire front part of my computer. I love dell's service!

1124.8.2009 21:05

Originally posted by Hopium:
if you have service contracts and warranties or even bought a dell you deserve to get screwed
And just what computer brand do you recommend?

1224.8.2009 22:59

Good point! If i don't go dell what do i do just head over to apple? Thats kinda it! PC - Dell, HP, who else is there? Acer, IBM, & a few others that really aren't any better in my opinion! My fe has an HP laptop works great older unit never an issue, i have a 3 year old Del XPS i have swapped out half the stuff but for the sake of upgrades not non operation. my sister has had 2 HP Laptops in 3 years 1st video card went out & HP wouldn't warrant it was with in a few days b4 it had expired but no go! so i really dont see where you win! We BEG for cheaper PC's & when summon goes wrong or they cripple the bios or make ou go to them for a repair so they can make a buck to stay open we bit(h! so i dont know what to say!

1325.8.2009 0:30

My personal opinion with all name band PCs is they are over priced. I've built my own machines for the last 15 years. When i first started i would normally pay 1000 for a state of the machine that would cost 3000+. While now i don't save as much but still save a decent amount. Over that time I've build about 10 machines and have only encountered one pair of bad memory chips and one bad DVD drive, so returns were minimal. On the flip side i pay less for a machine that i can easily cannibalize the parts from and build a new machine. Also i get top end
components and usually thinks just run like a dream.

At work i have a Dell, i think the POS is from HELL or belongs in HELL. Talking with Dell support people i said up front i have model "xyz PC with this video card, where can i get video drivers for it?" was exact about that i had and asked them where do i find video card After being strung along for 30 minutes the reps finally said sorry your machine isn't supported will need to contact sales and get a new machine. Strange the Dell i have at work is probably less than a year hold... Interesting i have older machine i built myself that would have no problem running what i wanted to on the Dell.

That is the other point i think entirely miss here... Dell machines are most often closed boxes, meaning you must use only there components and they tend to be over priced, and i've found when needing to slip in a drive, the Dell boxes have cables long enough only for what you have. Often you'll need new cables,

My suggestion to everyone that buys name brand PC's... learn how and build your own machine that you can later upgrade , swap stuff out or cannibalize for you next system. Most people probably know a friend that could help you and they would be willing to help...

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 25 Aug 2009 @ 0:31

1425.8.2009 2:12

When ever purchasing a desktop I do prefer to build it myself as it's cheaper, and way more fun. However I always buy my laptops from dell. If you talk directly to a seller rather than using the online builder you can get it much cheaper for more power. Only real complaints I have from them are that when ever I did call for support I could never understand the god awful accents of person. So I just use the online chat support, works much better imo. And the bios are usually limited, very limited.

1525.8.2009 3:28

Dells costumer service is great, but there PC's suck balls. then again i always build mine from the ground up. my only OEM computer was an ASUS.

I've worked on some gateway machines, and there about as solid as it gets. if you do run into a problem with a gateway, go talk to a brick trust me it gets you further than there tech support.

1625.8.2009 6:07

Originally posted by SomeBozo:
My suggestion to everyone that buys name brand PC's... learn how and build your own machine that you can later upgrade , swap stuff out or cannibalize for you next system. Most people probably know a friend that could help you and they would be willing to help...
+1 as far as desktops go. I've always put together my own computer from the ground up, haven't had any real hardware problems yet and put together a better computer for less than a name brand pos would cost.

For laptops you're kinda screwed into shopping for name brands though.

1725.8.2009 8:12

I have an inspiron 8500 thats 8 years old, besides small cracks in the LCD Bezel works great never want to give it up, In the past when I filed on warranty exchange for a new Keyboard, Harddrive, CD Burner (Spreadout through a few years) They were right on it and got it done quick so I'm happy dell customer for laptops

1825.8.2009 11:51

where im from practically EVERYONE builds theyre own pc or go to a pc guy and ask him to build it for them (he gets extra credit like that). people rarely shop ready made pcs cuz theyre not suckers..its much easier to have some store holder in the neighbourhood give you warranty for the work of building your pc and repair it if something goes wrong then getting one from HP and such..ive always build my own pc with parts i chose and i only gave the specifications for the guy and he gave me warranty for the job for 2 years and had individual warranty on all the parts. but as far as laps, i wanna get one but im very wary about it..the fact that its not recommended and sometimes not possible to tweak it and add addons like more space or better graphic card scares me. and reading what i just read about dell with the addition of stuff i saw on youtube of fiorious XPS owners raging about the poor performance of the late company flagship laptop. im gonna be flying to the US and buy the HDX18 HP pc , as in my country it costs almost 3 fold than what it costs there.
peace

1925.8.2009 12:11
H08
Inactive

Originally posted by DXR88:
Dells costumer service is great, but there PC's suck balls. then again i always build mine from the ground up. my only OEM computer was an ASUS.

I've worked on some gateway machines, and there about as solid as it gets. if you do run into a problem with a gateway, go talk to a brick trust me it gets you further than there tech support.
gateway customer service is a joke, $60 for 30 minutes for "support". i would never pay for that

2025.8.2009 14:55

Originally posted by SomeBozo:
My personal opinion with all name band PCs is they are over priced. I've built my own machines for the last 15 years. When i first started i would normally pay 1000 for a state of the machine that would cost 3000+. While now i don't save as much but still save a decent amount. Over that time I've build about 10 machines and have only encountered one pair of bad memory chips and one bad DVD drive, so returns were minimal. On the flip side i pay less for a machine that i can easily cannibalize the parts from and build a new machine. Also i get top end
components and usually thinks just run like a dream.

At work i have a Dell, i think the POS is from HELL or belongs in HELL. Talking with Dell support people i said up front i have model "xyz PC with this video card, where can i get video drivers for it?" was exact about that i had and asked them where do i find video card After being strung along for 30 minutes the reps finally said sorry your machine isn't supported will need to contact sales and get a new machine. Strange the Dell i have at work is probably less than a year hold... Interesting i have older machine i built myself that would have no problem running what i wanted to on the Dell.

That is the other point i think entirely miss here... Dell machines are most often closed boxes, meaning you must use only there components and they tend to be over priced, and i've found when needing to slip in a drive, the Dell boxes have cables long enough only for what you have. Often you'll need new cables,

My suggestion to everyone that buys name brand PC's... learn how and build your own machine that you can later upgrade , swap stuff out or cannibalize for you next system. Most people probably know a friend that could help you and they would be willing to help...

Amen... If I can build my own rig anyone can.. for those of you who have never heard of geeks or newegg you should google it...

2126.8.2009 11:21

im sick of people flaming people for not building there own systems.. shit some people work for a living and do not want to spend there free time researching parts, building, testing...more testing if a person wants a store bought pc let them have it

2226.8.2009 12:00

Clueless says:

Originally posted by Josherrr:
im sick of people flaming people for not building there own systems.. shit some people work for a living and do not want to spend there free time researching parts, building, testing...more testing if a person wants a store bought pc let them have it
Well like PT Barnum said, a sucker is born every minute. Who flamed anyone for not building their own machine? If you want to be flamed.

<flame_on>
Building a machine is simple, i've help oodles of people build there own too, all have been happy. Many sites exist that have pre-made machine recipes, if you are so slothful to be wasting you time here reading these comments, eh? Should we call you a hypocrite? At most it takes about 2 hours to assemble, you are so busy you don't have 2 hour to spare in a week? Don't make excuse for your laziness or encourage others to not build their own machines.
</flame_on>

Don't be an idiot or encourage others to be as stupid as yourself. I could almost guarantee you i have less free time than you, a short work day for me is 14+ hours.

Just curious you work at Dell? I work for a little company that does windows in Redmond.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 26 Aug 2009 @ 12:03

2329.8.2009 10:36

Never buy the consumer brand for any name brand computer. Dells are good if you buy an Optiplex/Precision or Latitude. Three year warranty and next day parts or a tech will come and fix for you. Also you get good phone tech support. At work we have 100s of Optiplexs and get parts the next day. They cost more for a reason and if all you care about is price then you will get what you pay for. Save $100 and pay with a cheap PC with hardly any support.

Also for the build it yourselfers what are you going to do if you end up with a defective part in 6 months? Unless you can troubleshoot a PC you are on your own or you will have to take to a local PC shop. Those aren't cheap and if you have a hardware failure your only course of action is to RMA the part and wait for a new one. Build yourself is a terrible idea for any computer neophyte.

2429.8.2009 19:42

Originally posted by Chroma45:

Also for the build it yourselfers what are you going to do if you end up with a defective part in 6 months? Unless you can troubleshoot a PC you are on your own or you will have to take to a local PC shop. Those aren't cheap and if you have a hardware failure your only course of action is to RMA the part and wait for a new one. Build yourself is a terrible idea for any computer neophyte.
Fair point while i did direct the neophytes to get a friend to help them.

I've never been one to encourage people remain ignorant about things they need. But consider even with a name band PC, both people will need the same skills?

Consider Mr. Murphy shows up right on time Saturday afternoon when you need to get you stuff done by Monday... Name brand or build your own you'll both need to trouble shoot and figure what you need.

I would say the do it your selfer here would be in a far better position to handle it. First whoever helps them build it should educate them as they build it. Additionally, I have various parts from many old machines just about anything could go out on me, i'd be able to diagnose it, replace and be up and running hours before Dell would come to help, or the point of the article here, from the time they were suppose to be there...?

Name brand FTL!

2530.8.2009 1:51

I kind of recollect at some point in the past Dell guaranteed service within 24 hours while IBM promised service within 3 days.

The best part of this was Dell was almost guaranteed to require it while IBM almost never needed it till the day you got tired of looking at the old machine and were ready to junk it!

2630.8.2009 23:29

Quote:
Fair point while i did direct the neophytes to get a friend to help them.

I've never been one to encourage people remain ignorant about things they need. But consider even with a name band PC, both people will need the same skills?

Consider Mr. Murphy shows up right on time Saturday afternoon when you need to get you stuff done by Monday... Name brand or build your own you'll both need to trouble shoot and figure what you need.

I would say the do it your selfer here would be in a far better position to handle it. First whoever helps them build it should educate them as they build it. Additionally, I have various parts from many old machines just about anything could go out on me, i'd be able to diagnose it, replace and be up and running hours before Dell would come to help, or the point of the article here, from the time they were suppose to be there...?

Name brand FTL!
Yes but name brand comes with tech support which build yourself does not (begging friends doesn't count). There is definitely an advantage to buying name brand and it's support. When I visit my parents they always ask me about building them a computer and I always just help them buy a name brand PC. They don't have the technical skills to fix it and I can't help them from another city. Everybody should know how to fix things but we all don't have the time to learn to fix everything and PCs are no different. I can barely fix my car or half the electronics I own either and that's why there are warranties.

Also IBM were very good PCs but as stated you pay for what you get; IBMs were much more expensive.

2731.8.2009 0:24

Quote:
Quote:
Fair point while i did direct the neophytes to get a friend to help them.

I've never been one to encourage people remain ignorant about things they need. But consider even with a name band PC, both people will need the same skills?

Consider Mr. Murphy shows up right on time Saturday afternoon when you need to get you stuff done by Monday... Name brand or build your own you'll both need to trouble shoot and figure what you need.

I would say the do it your selfer here would be in a far better position to handle it. First whoever helps them build it should educate them as they build it. Additionally, I have various parts from many old machines just about anything could go out on me, i'd be able to diagnose it, replace and be up and running hours before Dell would come to help, or the point of the article here, from the time they were suppose to be there...?

Name brand FTL!
Yes but name brand comes with tech support which build yourself does not (begging friends doesn't count). There is definitely an advantage to buying name brand and it's support. When I visit my parents they always ask me about building them a computer and I always just help them buy a name brand PC. They don't have the technical skills to fix it and I can't help them from another city. Everybody should know how to fix things but we all don't have the time to learn to fix everything and PCs are no different. I can barely fix my car or half the electronics I own either and that's why there are warranties.

Also IBM were very good PCs but as stated you pay for what you get; IBMs were much more expensive.
if your a do it yourselfer that knows what he's/she's doing then support from a Oem would run out before you have an issue with you custom built pc.

283.9.2009 10:22

Originally posted by Hopium:
if you have service contracts and warranties or even bought a dell you deserve to get screwed
I have 2 Dell Studios. 1 Core 2 Duo, 3 gig mem and 1 Pentium Duel Core, 3 gig mem. Both have well built cases with easy access to preform maintenance. Vista 32 bit Home Premium on Pentium Duel Core. Vista 64 bit on the Core 2 duo. Both preform well. A few weeks ago the slot drive DVD burner on mine took a dump. I went to chat support on Saturday Night at 11pm. 20 min I had them agree to ship me a new Burner and I had that Monday. An upgraded drive built by Sony. I installed. Although not a job for novice I had no issue with how this was handled. Infact it was on of my better experiance with any manufacture ever. Both LapTops are my first Dells. No Interest finance for 9 months. The Pentium 15 inch Studio with finger print reader and many other nice features was 600 bucks. The Core 2 Duo same set up as other 675 bucks. They may not be the best but certinally not the worst. I have owned many computers over the years. I have built my own desk tops for 20 years. From my experiance so far I will purchase Dell LapTops again when needed.
Both will play NetFlix streaming movies in HD with out issue on my 50 inch Plasma Big Screen. Handle multi task well, came with ample software. I love the finger print readers for all my pass words.I bought both of these on sale. Reg about 800 to 900 bucks. You get what you pay for in laptops. The case on the Dell Studios is best on market hands down.
JP

293.9.2009 23:09

Quote:
If your a do it your selfer that knows what he's/she's doing then support from a Oem would run out before you have an issue with you custom built PC.
And if you do have a problem? I just had an issue with a Dell Optiplex 330 CD-ROM being stuck open, probably a student broke it, and called tech support at 3:00PM. At 10:00 AM the next day I received a new drive with a return UPS label. You tell me which OEM company will pay both ways shipping and send you a new part within 2 business days? The fact of the matter is that if you buy enterprise/corporate PCs from dell the support is much better than OEM.

303.9.2009 23:20

Dell is an OEM, i also never said there Support was bad.

if anything i was defending the DIY point of veiw.

314.9.2009 0:35

Quote:
Quote:
If your a do it your selfer that knows what he's/she's doing then support from a Oem would run out before you have an issue with you custom built PC.
Most often 99% of the time if things will go bad they will do so at one of two times. Either immediately when you get the new components, main reason to run burn in test to ensure you test/stress the system when you get it

The other time is well after the warranty.

From previous experience, given i have built a machine for myself on avg every 15 months, as well 2 machines per year for friends for the past 15 years, interesting only asus components have ever gone bad on me, two mother boards, one video card and one network card card, all asus, before switching to asus and after switching away from them, no other things have ever gone bad for me.

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