Saturday, May 29, 2010

Our Bitter Experience of Building of a Relationship with DELL

Our first experience of Laptop was a DELL make Notebook came into our hand as and when it was first launched in INDIA through receipt as a Gift. For a long rough use it for over a decade; we never faced any problem in the Machine except small capacity of the Hard disk and carrying of a weak Battery for which were forced to buy an external Hard Disk.

With that experience in hand, we had bought the second DELL Machine namely Studio 1555 on April 9th, 2009 expecting that it shall provide us the same Service and in-fact met the entire expectation of our son for playing Games continuously, together with using it for Educational purposes but the Machine started giving us problem after 6 months of use reasonless of getting warnings of Low Battery Charge. When it was checked by DELL Service Engineer remotely, it was found that the Battery was almost in dead condition which was accordingly replaced by them free; considering that the Battery was supplied defective. When we noticed that same problem reappeared with less frequency after a month of use, we suspected a fault in the Power Cord. No sooner we found the exact cause; Power Cord suddenly got burst while connecting to Power due to internal short circuiting but luckily none got hurt during the accident. Although it happened very much within the warranty period, we had to bear the cost of the Power Cord as it was told to us that the Warranty Policy of the Company was revised to cover for 5 years for all major parts but it doesn’t cover consumables like Battery and Power Cord even if it is a manufacturing defect.

Accordingly Company had delivered the Power Cord through Courier Service in packed condition with no packing damage. Although it was an internal Manufacturing defect of the Power Cord to cause the first Battery go bad so quickly and it almost damage second Battery too, we at a loss to find the reason why DELL charged for it!

Although we had received the Power cord duly but it was of wrong specification of 65 W instead of Laptop’s requirement of 90 W which caused the Computer getting repeatedly shutting-down automatically while working with it for more than 10 day’s time. After 1-2 weeks of use when we noticed more serious problems surfacing on the Laptop on each day of use. On checking when it was found that the Power Cord which was supplied to us was of wrong specification, Company replaced the same at utmost speed. But during this short period of use, the Notebook became fully unstable to the extent of causing an irreparable damage to the Computer to see unexpected shutting down of the Notebook even though all other items were in order. Believing that it shall become alright over time, we continued with the problem without raising an issue with the Company on the Subject. It was in-fact happening so until we tried to upgrade it.

In the meantime when ‘Microsoft’ issued a closer notice of VISTA updating without Service Pack-2 available, from May 10th, 2010; we requested DELL to provide us a free Copy of Windows-7 which too Company agreed as the Operating System provided with the Machine was without a Service Pack to make the reinstalling from Recovery console null and void. Although it was supplied very much within the warranty period, we took a permission from DELL to upgrade it to Windows-7 to a later date as and when our son’s University Examination shall be over to avoid facing of any possible installation issue in view of the instability of the Computer of getting frequently shutting down; often accompanied with flashing of blue screen which had happened purely due to use of Power Cord of much lower capacity. On May 22nd, 2010, about one and half month following expiry of the warranty, we started installing the Window-7 over Vista at night time to ensure constant supply of Power into the Machine following the exact procedure or instruction issued to us by DELL for doing the correct installation with some reservation in mind towards the health of the Laptop which surely shall require a replacement sooner or later even if we changed all the major parts. Also as the cost of warranty is almost triple than other Computer manufactures, we try to delay it as much as possible to become somewhat sound financially for bearing the cost comfortably.
We had earlier faced with a similar problem with HP too when we bought a Compaq Notebook (Model: V3122TU) during March, 2007 of which the Battery was found under similar condition but when we intend to exchange it from the Dealer after a week of purchase, the Dealer refused to exchange it but requested us to visit their Service Centre who found that the serial Number of the Battery is tampered with and orally asked the Dealer either to exchange it or issue a higher Model after directing the Dealer to return the Laptop to HP . Accordingly we bought a HP Pavilion dv2124 Notebook PC paying the difference in cost but found the system not that much robust for playing Games as hence sold-off after 2 years of use to buy the DELL Laptop. Facing of this situation is ruled out with respect to DELL being their Notebooks are home delivered directly from the Factory but using a 3rd Party Courier ‘Blue Dirt’. When nothing can be kept secure now everywhere within the Globe without happening of a leak; no matter how much security is in place, how one can be so sure such Machines cannot be fallen into the hands of Bad Elements to make an exchange on transit? However, the more we able to protect our design from Duplication, the more the Company has command over the Product to retain its ‘Hallmark’ intact in the Market. Hence the procedure is to an extent flawless.

Also, after noticing an external damage of Power Cord in the 2nd HP Notebook after a year of use; when we contacted HP to replace it against cost; they suggested us to buy it from outside with an additional socket. On minute inspection we found that the port for the Power Cord of the Notebook was at the bottom of the body with a slant as much as 15 degrees downwards to take the load of the entire Notebook by it, if placed at Table Top while playing games and hence the providing of the addition Socket removed the problem altogether. But in the DELL Notebooks, the port for the Power Cord is at the top of the body and it never require undertaking of any external load from the Laptop at-all to cause a failure of the Power Cord under such circumstances. Therefore the damage of the Power Cord of Studio1555 was a manufacturing defect only.

When we attempted to up-grade the Studio 1555 on May 22nd, 2010; the Operating System suddenly became fully unstable and following restating it, the Windows prompted us to upgrade the ‘Bio’. Since the incident happened at night time, we unable to contact DELL to inform about the situation but took the risk of upgrading the Bio since all prompts were issued from the DELL’s web help and on the strength of the instruction issued to us to follow the Screen direction by DELL to upgrade it but in-between the operation we found that the Machine got shut down by itself without updating the Bio and later found that the Mother Board of the Notebook got crashed. Since we are constantly doing of updating of Bio in our other Computers without facing a single problem during Installations, we suspect that the crash of the Mother Board of Studio 1555 was in-fact happened due to running of the Notebook on a much lower capacity (65 W against the requirement of 90W) as supplied by DELL against bearing of cost although the Machine was very much under warranty as well as providing of iritic Power Supply to the Notebook due to the faulty Power Cord that came with the Machine which was used for almost 9 months.

Had we upgraded the Notebook from Windows VISTA to Windows-7 during the time of receipt (within warranty period); we would have claimed the free replacement of the Mother Board being it was sure to face the same problem being we are carrying a damaged Machine in our hands which happened due to manufacturing defect in the Power Cord as well as due to wrong replacement of the Power Cord of lower capacity by none other than DELL itself which automatically embraces the Company i.e. DELL to take full responsibility of it even if it happened inadvertently being we are the injured one or victims of the said action of DELL. Further when I cited the conditions of the new warranty Policy which was intimated to us by DELL recently, they asked for a Copy of it while rejecting our prayer for repairing the same. The Company warned that unless I buy the warranty for which I unable to bear the cost in view of my facing of current acute financial Crisis, my Notebook shall remain unattended forever as no parts of it are sold in the Market. But when I cited the following clause of warranty on 27/05/2010 for purchasing Mother Board instead of the warranty to save about Rs.5000.00, after locating it in the mail box; they offered a different explanation of it nonetheless wordings are clear and absolute.

• Dell can support hardware up to 5 years from date of manufacture/shipment.
• Batteries and other consumables are not covered under warranty.

The first points clearly mentioned that all major parts like Mother Board, Processors, and Hard Disk etc are available to the Customers against purchase even if it is not under warranty since no DELL Products are available in the market for spot purchase and hence a Customer need not have to consider the Products purchased from DELL as scrape if extension of warranty is not opted for and the Products purchased faced with a sudden failure. As DELL wrongfully interpreted the clause to mean that DELL can accept warranty up to 5 years from the date of Manufacture and not beyond that to receive a supply, we are at wit’s end to find a solution out of it and ultimately we had to buy the warranty immediately not to disturb our son’s Education order No.406901 and Transaction No. INSO 3661850 on 28/05/2010. According to DELL, the clause never guarantying a Customer to buy Products of his or her choice against paying cost price without the warranty purchased and hence must forget the Machine once something goes wrong for whatever reason without a warranty available in hand. While the cost of Mother Board is Rs.9000, the cost of purchasing a warranty is Rs.1440.00 which is a very heavy amount for us to bear being belonging to the category of most ordinary persons and yet had to scramble to the pressure to keep the Notebook running somehow. This means indirectly that a DELL’s ordinary Laptop costs (14,440x4=57,800+45,000) =Rs1, 02,800.00 in reality against a cost of below Rs.50, 000.00 for similar products from other reputed Manufactures. A single year warranty cost of DELL is almost ¾th Price of my HP 520 Notebook which is running without facing a single problem for the last three years.

As per as second point is concern, there is no consumables in a Computer unlike printing add-ons etc to a Computer where ink cartage is a consumable product. The first one of the DELL make Notebook ran for more than a decade without the requirement of buying a single additional item and with no warranty opted. Then, where from the question of consumables come into a Computer if a Computer runs twice its life without an additional requirement? A consumable must a part of a particular product without which a Machine cannot run. The only consumable in a Notebook is Power Consumption to run it and all others are most important accessories only made by 3rd Parties carrying a similar warranty.

Now find what exactly a Computer is? A Computer is nothing but an assembly of many assorted Machines put together, the result of which is fed into a very small chip with some inbuilt codes within it to cause it to behave in a particular manner of our desire or choice to produce an image in a Screen. Therefore, the Chip within the Computer follows some complex commands to work on our behalf. Therefore the Battery and Power Cord are 2 different Machines to become an integral part of the Computer. Unless these are supplied defective, a Computer cannot go wrong other than facing of normal wear and tear. If we consider these as consumables, the ‘Hallmark’ of the Company itself shall be in doubt being it shall constitute procuring these items from an unreliable sources which might subjected to continuous failures as admitted by the second clause of the warranty. Why DELL is protecting the interest of the 3rd Parties who are supplying these items to ignore an assured quality supply being these Companies too are govern by such rules to instantly replace a defective part supplied? As and when we don’t follow the written down order through doing of a wrong interpretation, all the Computers from all across the Globe shall also stop functioning by following haphazard command from outside. Therefore tomorrow we might see Computer is no longer a companion of us but it shall deliver the reverse to destroy us. We have a HP 520 Notebook bought much earlier than purchasing of DELL’s Notebook without opting for even 1 year warranty even to save Rs.2000.00 but it is running perfectly fine still without requiring of an extra attention for the last 3 years. Why is the difference between the two? Therefore there exist some unseen vested interests within the command line to derive a benefit out of wrongful interpretation of the warranty to make a huge profit out of the Company. Each individual major Products within the Computer i.e. Mother Board, Processor, Hard Disk etc carry their own warranty of 3 years apart from Power Cord and Battery of varying duration which however can be altered by the concern Computer Manufactures who assemble it to make the Unit complete. Since Battery and Power Cord is external, the warranty entered into by a Computer Company with the supplier must be passed on the Consumers at-least partly but justifying the action taken unilaterally by the Company shall tantamount to misuse of Business ethics to acquire a Tag of unfaithfulness to Consumers.

As far as installation of Windows-7 over Vista is concern, since images of the Operating system is kept secured in the Bit Locker for both VISTA and Windows-7 differently for both to keep secure the Operating System under complete health and intact allowing none to alter it, a Bio updating is an absolute necessity once the Operating System is upgraded from VISTA to Windows-7 through making available 2nd Bit Locker in the same Machine for replacing the former, it always run with the risk of crash. Since the Windows-7 was without a Product key, none can format the Hard Disk to install afresh the Windows-7 after removing the ‘S’ Bit Locker Drive. On intimating DELL about it, DELL had asked us to continue with the installation of Windows-7 in-spite of the presence of ‘Bit Locker’ of Vista which caused the Operating System become fully unstable to continue starting and shutting down automatically. At last when the Windows prompted that you must update the ‘Bios’ instantly to create a separate or making unusable the existing ‘Bit Locker’ where the image of Vista is kept intact, the Notebook faced with a complete failure beyond repair. This is surely not a fault of us but happened due to lack of instruction during supply of Windows-7


Since the ‘Bit Lockers’ of both Vista and Windows-7 are different; any availability of both within the same Operating System through superimposition of one over the other, shall result in a fatal failure of the System in the Computers in Machines where ‘Bit Locker’ has been activated while using Vista earlier. Therefore one requires formatting the Hard Disk prior to installation of Windows-7 which option is not available in the CD supplied by DELL and hence it was purely a fault of DELL for not issuing the correct instruction for installation of Windows-7 over Vista. The Company is still insisting that it shall work even though ‘Bit Locker’ is activated when we cannot even reinstall Vista in Vista Operating System without removing ‘S’ Drive followed by thorough formatting or else 2 ‘S’ Drive shall appear to raise conflict with each other not allowing the operating system to work fine .With one ‘Bit Locker’ available within the Recovery Capsule and the other outside it within the Operating System as supplied with the Machine i.e. Windows Vista , the upgrading cannot rewrite the content in the ‘Bit Locker’ to raise an instant issue of conflict of both Windows . The Bit Locker of Windows Vista always remain intact in the hard Disk in-spite of crashing of the Operating System unless it is fully formatted prior to reinstallation of Window7 after duly removing Bit Locker Drive which could not be done by us as the CD supplied by DELL was without a Product key available to see a total crash of the System. Therefore it is highly risky to install Windows-7 over Windows Vista as and when Bit Locker is enabled by one to make the Operating System more secure as done by us. A simple deletion of the Drive ‘S’ cannot ensure a correct installation of Windows-7 over Windows Vista. That is why we are facing this problem from all across the Globe but resorting to above we can possibly overcome it at ease.

Under the circumstances I am bringing the matter into the notice of Highest Management of DELL as well as other Customers of DELL, how a reputed Company like DELL can misinterpret the content of the clause of warranty to act otherwise to panelize a genuine Customer who is intending to build a great relationship with them? This write-up is never reflecting the efficiency or delivery of goods to its wide range of customers from all across the Globe, but to point out some deficiencies on the part of the professionals within the Company for not differentiating one case from the other being everywhere exceptions are available to see and address some critical issues differently for enhancing the name of the Company. We even find that the Company was monitoring the issue from abroad but constrained by compulsion not to act on my behalf just for wrong interpretation of the warranty clauses under force within the Company.


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