Misery loves company

One of my colleagues brought this article to my attention. Dutch only, I’m afraid, but I’m linking anyway in the interest of getting as wide as possible a dissemination of it. Apparently, Dell has admitted to at least one construction problem with their Inspiron 5150 laptops (of which we have two), and has offered to replace motherboards for free.

Or so I thought… I called Dell on the special number this morning and was connected to a friendly man who, on hearing I had a broken 5150 connected me through to technical service, all the while reassuring me that everything would be fixed, no hassle, no problems.

But the young man at the technical service desk, a certain Yussef or a least his name sounded a lot like that, told me he couldn’t do anything for me since I couldn’t perform his diagnostic tests. Well, I’m in Amsterdam at the moment, and the laptop is in Deventer, and besides, I know what’s wrong with it. But no, no tests, no replacement. And when he heard that the computer wouldn’t start at all, replacement was out of the question. He’d decided that the
wrong thing was wrong with my laptop, so I would have to pay for it myself.

Couldn’t help me, couldn’t connect me to his boss, and if I wanted replacement parts for Irina’s 5150 I would have to call the special phone number again. The only thing he could do for me was to have someone call me back within a few days.

I don’t understand Dell: they have blundered already, and instead of doing some damage control by replacing all motherboards, no questions asked, they tell people they won’t replace a broken motherboard because it’s broken for the wrong reason. Apparently they don’t realize that if they have to do replacement for one design error, they will have to do it for all faults caused by all design blunders in this misbegotten chunk of plastic.

So, I called again, the replacement parts should be sent out today for Irina’s laptop — the man who answered the phone told me he could only deal with laptops that are not broken yet — and I’ll be called within half an hour about the broken laptop. We’ll see… To be updated soon, I hope.