Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Another Visit From Dell

Well, Dell computers came to visit me again today. To be more specific, the Dell installation technician came to visit me again. If you read our Blog in April, you know that I bought an extended, four-year, at-home warranty on my Dell computer. I cannot tell you how glad I am that I made that decision!

In April, Dell replaced about $1,200 worth of parts in my laptop...motherboard and heat sink (i.e. cooling fan). It was free to me because of the warranty. Well, I started having trouble a couple weeks ago when working on my showed it was running on battery power and not on AC power even though I had the AC cord plugged in. After much wiggling of the power cord, I got it to work again. This week, same problem. I called Dell...CORRECTION, I did online chat support with Dell. (That is a whole other chat is easier because if you call, you are literally transferred to a call center in India. The techs there are very nice but have such a thick accent it is hard to understand them). The short version is, they told me they would replace my motherboard and the bottom plastic part of my laptop case. Of course, this was supposed to be done in one business day according to my warranty, but it took two.

So the guy shows up (after miscommunication on Dell's part as to which phone number and address to give the technician). As I watch him take apart my laptop (absolutely fascinating!), I notice the "new" motherboard has a big sticker on the bag which says "refurbished". I'm thinking to myself, "What in the world can you refurbish in a motherboard?" So I asked the guy. Guess what parts are refurbished? How about the little plug in know...the part that went bad on my motherboard so that the AC cord would not work.

Maybe I'm just being pessimistic, but I'm thinking in the two (or is it three?) years I have left on my laptop, I'm going to be calling Dell again and getting a fourth motherboard put in! I certainly don't want to call again as it is somewhat of a hassle to get them out in TWO business days, but I haven't done too well with refurbished motherboards.

Do I still recommend Dell? Yes, I'm know you can find "horror stories" on the Internet on just about any brand computer. And to their credit, Dell has made it right with my laptop, it's just been a hassle. I can tell you this, I sure am a big fan of extended warranties. Brooke's Toshiba has no warranty and it is at least three years old with no problems, but I'll never buy another laptop again without an extended warranty.


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