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Dell forum: My Ongoing Dell Horror Story

by: Kenowhereman December 18, 2012 8:50 PM PST

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My Ongoing Dell Horror Story

by Kenowhereman - 12/18/12 8:50 PM

Hello everyone! I will do my best to keep my story short, as I often have trouble getting to the point. With that said, here is my ongoing Dell horror story.

I bought an Alienware computer through Dell's financial service in early September. This was a top of the line model with a GeForce GTX 690. At the end of November my computer started going through crashes and reboots while I was playing games and the following day would not start at all.

I immediately called Alienware's tech support and began to troubleshoot my computer. To specify, this is a desktop. I was experiencing a 5 beep error on start up and the computer itself would not load. No boot screen, no visual on the monitor at all. According to Dell, this error represented a CMOS batter issue. They walked me through multiple attempts at fixing it, none of which worked.

At this point they sent out a technician with a new battery and a new motherboard. He also failed to fix the issue and when he reported in to Dell on the phone, Dell insisted that the motherboard or battery was the problem, while the technician felt it was the processor. Days later, Dell told me they must have sent a faulty motherboard replacement and battery and would be sending another technician.

The same technician arrived with the new, new parts and attempted to fix my computer. He went the extra steps to test the video card, the motherboard, my RAM, and just about anything he could with the tools and replacements he had. He concluded again that he felt it was the processor, and after reporting in to Dell again he told them as much. They still insisted he was wrong and that it had to be the motherboard or battery.

After this I didn't hear from Dell for a few days and my calls were generally rebuffed, ignored, or they tried to lead me on by telling me I would get a call the next day. I was even told once that they would never, under any circumstances, replace my computer and they would continue to send technicians with replacement parts until it worked. That guy was wrong, as the next time I spoke to Dell they began processing a replacement for me.

The replacement actually showed up quite fast. So fast in fact that they had never told me they shipped it or gave me any sort of expectation for when it would arrive, let alone a tracking number. I missed it the first day and had to take a day off for it the second. After getting my replacement I discovered that it wasn't even the same specifications as my original PC. They had changed the case, they had changed the processor, and even worse, they had changed the video card. The replacement was even a refurbished unit even though my original was less than three months old.

So what did I get? Well, they sent this replacement with a Radeon 6870. For those of you unfamiliar with this card, it retails for $169 on My original video card, the one I ordered my PC with, was a GTX 690, which retails for $1049 on They had just tried to downgrade me over $800 with my replacement computer.

Since then, I have been dealing with Dell now in an attempt to get my replacement computer replaced with a computer of the actual specifications I ordered. I have called well over a dozen times since it originally broke on 11/29 and I have spent over 2 hours on hold. I have talked to almost as many different reps as I have made calls.

I have been told on different occasions that they would not replace my computer, I have been hung up on, I have been told that I will not receive compensation for my troubles, I have been passed from one person to another repeatedly, and generally speaking - I have been treated terribly. I have especially not been treated like a customer that bought an expensive, new computer.

There have been some small bright spots, or at least a couple of reps that I felt talked to me like a normal human that was concerned with my issues, but even their platitudes of potentials like extending my warranty by two months, or that my new computer was going through dispatching now, all ring hollow when compared to the negative issues I have had up to this point.

As of tonight I was told that with everything going as it should it could be the middle of January before I receive the computer replacement that I should have had in the first place. It will place it in the 40+ day range without the computer I ordered. I am still expected to pay my monthly fees for this phantom PC, and there does not appear to be any compensation for me on the horizon.

The only course of action I've been able to take outside of Dell has been to post here, as well as file an official complaint with my state's Consumer Protection Agency. I also filed a complaint with my local news station that handles these cases and have gone so far as to make a formal complaint through Dell's unresolved issues service.

I'm a bit worn down by it all, but I'm sticking to my guns. I feel like they've treated me pretty poorly and I want the computer I paid for.

Thanks for listening! I'll try to post any major updates if they come along.

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