Dell seems to have got its sizeable knickers in a twist over where it stands with the recent heavily bemoaned vertical line problem affecting several of its notebook models. As we reported in January, the firm had been hit by a fairly widespread problem with what looked to be a dodgy batch of LCD screens affecting some of its …
On the Direct2Dell website, they give precise instructions on how to claim your fixage.
Such as emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
I would imagine that phone calling wouldn't be as effective, it's not like a low paid tech support cretin is going to be aware of every issue ever to plague a Dell machine ;)
"the direct2dell website was a third party website"
So "the direct2dell website was a third party website", eh? That's funny. According to WHOIS information, it's not. According to WHOIS (source: whois.markmonitor.com), both dell.com and direct2dell.com are registered to:
Dell Inc., One Dell Way MS 8033, Round Rock, TX 78682
And the DNS servers for both domains are ns1.us.dell.com through ns5.us.dell.com.
They're on different IP addresses, but registered to the same company, same address. Apparently their internal communication and training is of the same quality as their computers.
To save googling, here is the URL for the relevant Direct2Dell post:
Shouldn't have a leg to stand on
If UK trading standards laws have even the slightest credibility, then this is one issue that Dell simply shouldn't even *try* to get away with. If they don't fix the problem voluntarily, they will surely be forced to fix it compulsorily, with far more loss of face than if they owned up to it.
Trading standards are clear and simple, and if a significant number of buyers get the same fault its pretty without abusing the product, it is pretty self evident that the problem was caused by either defective design or defective manufacture. The product is not fit for its purpose, and it should make no difference how long it takes provided that the fault was indeed caused by defective design or manufacturing.
Normally, after 6 months the onus is on the buyer to prove that the product wasn't mistreated but in a case of epidemic failure like this, its surely self evident that the buyer didn't cause the problem and therefore the manufacturer virtually *has* to admit responsibility for fixing it.
Looks like I won't be buying another Dell
My Dell laptop is due for replacement, and I was considering another Dell.
I think I will try elsewhere!
Yes, Customer Service SHOULD Know!
With all due respect to our venerated first commenter, Dell's customer service people /should too/ be fully aware of this issue.
Every agent should have a comprehensive, searchable database of known issues. Even a Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet would be fine.
But there is no excuse for Dell not having completed a weekly update training of their telephone staff. And if they're not doing such training, well, then, they have no business even publishing a customer support or customer service telephone number.
Apple PB 17s have this Problem
I can't believe Dell is getting heat for a problem like this:
Apple Powerbook 17s - one batch of them, all with serial numbers beginning with w85, have had the exact same issue - pixel-wide lines appearing about 1-2 months after the warranty is up, laptop being rendered unusable shortly after - for months now.
Apple has deleted every thread that's started about it on their 'discussions' site and each time any user reports this to them, customer care pretends to start an 'investigation', then claims they find no evidence that it's not an isolated problem. Bring up the many threads posted on their own discussion site or the websites and Youtube postings about it and they'll tell you it's against their policy to look at the web. Hence every case they see is 'isolated'.
That may sound like some kind of joke, but it happened to me personally (I have the name and e-mail of the CS rep I dealt with) as well as many others I know about.
Several owners have written the press about this but it hasn't come to wide attention. Why doesn't El REg break this story? I know that several affected users are in Britain.
Here's a site that was started in response to Apple's censoring of the posts on it's 'support' website:
This is not an imaginary problem, and I have a $3,000 piece of junk on my closet floor to prove it.
Dell has admitted that the problem exists and is at least talking about fixing it? They're way ahead of Apple.
D2D site is correct
I work in support for Dell in the US and I can tell you that my department, at least, was informed about the issue. The information given on the Direct2Dell site IS correct, at least in the US. The issue is being covered under warranty for up to 3 years from the invoice date even if the warranty has expired and customers who have already paid for the repair can get refunded. I would assume that the same applies for other regions outside the US as well but I can't be certain.
My advice, if you get someone who seems clueless about it, is to have them ask their coach about it. Even if the tech isn't aware of it, the coaches should be. Worst case there is a link for unresolved issues on Dell's support website. Fill out the form there and someone should get back to you on it.
It's not just the 17-inch screens...
My girlfriend recently purchased a Dell Inspiron 6400 with a 15.4" widescreen display from an "official reseller for reconditioned Dell machines" (or somesuch) via Ebay. The same pixel-wide white line appeared on her screen after a couple of hours' use. She contacted the seller and an engineer came out inside two days and replaced the display... better service than if she'd bought a brand-new one from the sound of things! He told her he was doing ten or more replacements a week; and took the opportunity to offer an extended warranty - exactly the same as Dell's but at half the price - while he was at it.
It appears that Dell are perfectly aware of the problem and are even continuing to sell laptops with displays from faulty batches, on the grounds that many people won't bother to replace them or will be put off by the customer service tomfoolery!