Years ago, my husband and I bought a Dell desktop for our home computer. Despite having all the latest security software, it caught multiple viruses and malware. Their customer service/tech department was absolutely worthless and unhelpful. We had to hire someone locally to remove the malware each time.
The third time this happened, we decided to not pay someone to remove the viruses, and instead use the money we were wasting on the Dell desktop to buy laptops from Toshiba instead.
We never had a problem with viruses again.
“We will never again buy a Dell!” we said.
When my Toshiba laptop died after many years of service (fair enough), I bought a Lenovo laptop to replace it. The Lenovo runs like a dream (I’m typing this on it right now) but I ordered a 17″ and it’s the largest 17″ laptop I’ve ever experienced. Like holding a very quiet, flat baby on my lap. (My old 17″ Toshiba laptop fit inside it with inches to spare on all sides? The Lenovo is big!)
My husband is 6’5″ and a big laptop suits him fine, so I passed the Lenovo onto him, and began my search for an affordable 14-15″ laptop for myself.
The news reported around this time that Lenovo was sending out computers with malware pre-installed, so rather than buy a smaller Lenovo, I shopped other brands for a smaller laptop.
I found a Dell laptop in my price range, and my husband ominously warned me: “Remember all the problems we had with the Dell desktop! DON’T BUY A DELL!”
But it was cute. I liked the keyboard, with the large “Shift” key, rather than the annoying chopped in half and shared by the “up arrow” keyboard design utilized by Lenovo.
Plus, the price was right.
Forgetting that you get what you pay for, I bought the Dell that seemed like a good deal.
I immediately noticed something was wrong when I turned it on for the first time, and it flashed a bright light in my face. I get migraines that can be triggered by a bright light in my face, so I learned to turn my head to the side and close my eyes tightly every time I needed to restart the Dell laptop.
I didn’t call Dell for this issue because I figured it was a quirk. It seemed a bit ominous, but I didn’t want to have a stranger poking around in my new laptop trying to troubleshoot.
I think we can all agree that in a world full of identity theft, having a stranger remotely connect to one’s computer full of personal information and stored credit card numbers is not desirable or safe.
So I dealt with the flashing light upon every Dell laptop start up. I should have recognized it for the piece of junk it was and sent it back for a refund right then. If you have bought a Dell laptop in the last year and are still under warranty, I’d suggest you do exactly that.
Around this time, we switched Internet carriers, because the one we’d been using had become so popular in our neighborhood that we were competing with many, and could barely get on the Internet.
My Dell laptop had been dropping my Wi-Fi connection, then picking it back up over and over again. This was frustrating, but because our poor Internet connection, I assumed it wasn’t the machine’s fault.
When we got a different and better Internet provider, the Internet improved, and I could stay on for 5-10 minutes at a time before the Wi-Fi dropped me.
This problem slowly, gradually became worse, until I could barely stay on the Internet for a few minutes without being dropped. The Wi-Fi reconnects the Dell laptop to the Internet, then it drops it 1-3 minutes later.
This repeats until after losing my email, Facebook comment, or the writing on which I’ve been working, I finally give up and shut the computer, frustrated and disappointed.
On the positive side, I’m wasting less time on social media because it isn’t fun anymore. So… bright side?
My Dell laptop year warranty ran out in March. This means my computer, as of this writing is a few months past a year old. And it is completely worthless.
That’s right. The Dell Inspiron laptop I bought a bit over a year ago is now worthless.
This is not fair.
Dell seems to think this is fair, and that I should spend more money on the piece of junk they sold me. Strange, yes? I’ll explain…
I searched the Internet for a solution and when I put “dell laptops+dropping wifi” into the search engine, endless results appeared. This is a flaw, apparently, for Dell laptops in general.
Search it if you don’t believe me. I was blown away by all of the people explaining all of the very technical things they’d done and parts they’d replaced to try to fix this problem, all of the stories sounding exactly like mine:
“My Dell laptop started dropping the Wi-Fi connection, this got slowly worse and worse until I can no longer get on the Internet for more than a minute, and there is no solution.”
This is so depressing. We are not rich people. We cannot afford a new laptop, and I’m homeschooling my son next year. This means our family will share my husband’s Lenovo… for EVERYTHING.
I don’t know what we’ll do if something happens to this laptop.
I’m going to take a minute now to thank Lenovo for their vastly superior product to the horrible Dell product. I bought this Lenovo long before the Dell, and I can’t get on the Internet anymore with the Dell, but I’m typing this and I haven’t once lost the Internet the entire time.
I think that says it all.
Lenovo = quality.
Dell = crap.
(Lenovo stopped adding the malware mentioned above… they will get my money next time we can afford a laptop.)
When I warned friends to not buy a Dell laptop on Twitter, Dell reached out to me. After I gave them my computer’s Service Number, they told me sorry, you’re a few months past warranty. Call our out-of-warranty number.
Wow. Thanks for nothing.
When I called the Dell out-of-warranty number, an employee named Kunal offered to sell me a year extension on my warranty for $269.
His phone was cutting out so badly during all of this, so I couldn’t hear every other word. I had to keep having him repeat everything, and he became frustrated as if this was my fault. My cell phone works great and I’ve never had this problem ever. It sounded like this guy was operating out of a tent in the middle of nowhere. Bad sign.
I told him I don’t have the money to replace my laptop, which is why I’m upset; because a laptop should last longer than a few months past a year, and a company with any integrity at all should stand behind the quality of their products.
I told him I don’t have $269 to spend on a warranty, and if I did, I wouldn’t spend it on a company that has sold me a faulty product. This product should be recalled and replaced: I should not be asked to spend more money on this faulty product.
I told him I was only calling to see if Dell had recalled this laptop, as the Internet is flooded with people having the same problem as me. I’m not calling to be sold more things
He got grumpy, telling me, “I work in tech. I’m not a salesperson.”
Gee, that’s funny. Because you’re definitely trying to sell me something. You’re asking me for what will be after taxes around $300 added onto a product that has broken and is worthless after barely over a year. I don’t think so, buddy.
I told him, “I think we can both agree that a laptop should last more than barely over a year?” He didn’t respond.
He then went to “check with his supervisor,” and I felt like I was buying a car. But remember, Kunal is works in tech. He’s not a salesperson.
When he came back on the phone, the non-salesperson tech employee offered me a “deal.” He told me I could pay $129 for a 3-day warranty.
No, I’m not kidding.
So I called Dell to find out if they’ve recalled this broken laptop or would replace it because it is worthless after only a few months past a year from purchase, and all they can do is try to get more of my money?
I asked him how we were going to replace a broken/faulty Wi-Fi drive long distance, in 3 days? He then told me he’d get access my computer remotely and try to repair the drive.
So I get to let a complete stranger into my Dell laptop that shouldn’t be broken for only $129, and if it’s deemed unfixable, I’m out of luck and 129 more of my dollars?
What a great deal!
In short: I have a worthless Dell Inspiron 15″ laptop that is a few months past 1 year old, and Dell is a company without the integrity to stand behind their products.
We all know a laptop should last longer than a year. Don’t play dumb, Dell. You know this is wrong. You are thieves. You took my money and sold me a product that should generally last 5 years minimum, and it lasted barely over 1 year.
I repeat: Dell, you are thieves.
The employee kept repeating that if I’d just called before the warranty ended in March, he could fix or replace the laptop. And I kept repeating that I thought the problem was the Internet, not the computer, which I think is a pretty common assumption.
I now think Dell is counting on people to assume the problem is with their Internet connection, long enough that by the time they figure it out, their warranty is expired.
And who wants a stranger tinkering around in their personal computer? Not me.
So I am writing this caveat emptor piece to warn others: Dell laptops are inherently flawed, and the company does not stand behind their product or have the integrity to replace what has always been an obviously flawed and broken laptop.
Buyer beware: Dell is fully aware their laptops are flawed, and their only solution if you are barely past a year with one of their crap products is to try to get more of your money.
And this is why you should never buy a Dell computer.
Also, I had to say to my husband, “You were right and I was wrong. This Dell laptop sucks and I never should have bought it, just like you warned me.”