Do Not Buy A Dell – Here’s My Story

I had ordered a Dell Studio 1555 because they are the only company in India that I know of who offer customizations on orders. I received the product on the 14th of November, 2009.

I was very happy with the order and delivery process. They were very nice and fast. On my first run I noticed a dead pixel on the WLED screen. So I mailed the support team asking for an explanation as I found the dead pixel on the first run of my brand new laptop. Alas, I got no reply.

The problem did not finish here. After a few days I noticed that the charger adapter would make sparkling sounds once the laptop’s battery finished charging and then it would become so hot that one could make a hot cup of soup on it. So, on the 4th of December I called the Dell Support as the last time I did not get a reply through email. They were ready to replace the battery adapter but were not ready to replace my WLED screen(now that explains why they didn’t reply to my previous email) as they claimed that 1 dead pixel is not covered under warranty and that it is a factory standard to have 1 dead pixel. Alright wait a minute here, I have been a Compaq, HP, and Acer, Sony, Samsung and LG customer for many years now and have never ever seen a single dead pixel even after using them for long periods. Apparently, Dell laptops have Samsung’s WLED screens.

Coming back to the topic, the customer care representative explained that I needed to have at least 6-7 dead pixels on my screen to get a replacement. Hearing this I reminded them of one more incident. My uncle has bought the same Dell model a couple of months before me and he too had a dead pixel on his laptop’s screen in the first run. For his case too, Dell was not ready to replace his laptop or even the screen for the first attempt from him. When he asked for a money back, they said they cannot do that as the 30 day money back period was over. Kindly keep in mind that it was the Dell guys who took more than 30 days to solve his problem. After he sent a long email to Dell USA’s top executives(don’t ask me how we got their emails) explaining about their service, a few people from Dell started calling him and offering a full product replacement. Look at the sudden change in their attitude. My uncle realized that for a high-end product which cost him near about USD 2,000 Dell created so much issue solving a small problem that too in the first month using the product, what would they do after the warranty gets expired, so he asked for a money back and went on to buy a HP laptop again as we have been a customer of HP for a long long time.

After hearing this the representative I was talking to, did not have anything to say and asked me to be on hold while he spoke to his senior. After a long hold, he agreed to send me replacement of both the power adapter and the WLED screen.

The replacement arrived on the 8th of December and a technician came to my office to replace the WLED and the power adapter. So the real story begins here!

The engineer who came was a newbie sort of a guy, he was damn slow at his work and at every step on opening my laptop, was figuring out what to do next. Anyway, I just sat there staring at what he was trying to do and he replaced the WLED after about 45 minutes or so. When he handed me the laptop to check it out, I noticed that He had not fixed the WLED cover and my keyboard properly. So I had to point it out all to him and he was looking a bit surprised on how he missed fixing those properly.

After the technician went I noticed that he had left lose a small portion of the WLED cover which I hadn’t noticed before. So I called the Dell customer care helpline and they said that they would send yet another replacement to fix the problem. I had made them aware of their technicians professionalism and had requested them not to send the same technician the next time.

It had been 5 days now and I hadn’t heard from anybody regarding the new replacement which was supposed to come in 2 days as said by them. On 12th December I received a call from Dell that they were short of supplies so they were not able to send a replacement. He said that the replacement would be shipped soon and that I would get it on the 14th positively. On 14th I got a call from them that they yet again had a problem with the supplies so I would get it on the 16th.

Today, 16th December, I finally get the replacement but guess what? Even after me requesting not to send the same technician who had come before, they sent the same technician. Anyway, that was not a big issue. The time the technician had come was 10:30 am.

Now the technician started opening my laptop and while replacing the old WLED panel with the new one, the technician pressed the screw on one side of the WLED so hard that the screw got hollow in the middle and got stuck. Great! Now the technician was trying to take the screw out with a scissor-plas. I was so surprised at this, I called the Dell customer care right then. I explained the whole story to them about what had happened till now and the representative asked me to hand the call over to the technician at my place. The representative had asked the technician his name and his employee id and then asked what his problem was. The technician was now literally shaking and sweating. He could explain the problem properly so I had to explain the problem to the representative. After hearing me, the representative asked me not to sign the service paper if I was not satisfied with the outcome.

While I was talking to the Dell representative, I saw that the technician was literally trying to pull of the WLED panel out by his hand. I am pretty sure he broke something inside while doing that. I asked the almost crying technician to put back the old components of my laptop and go as I would not be signing the service sheet. He asked me give him just a few more minutes so that he could solve the problem. I said OK. While yet again trying to fix the problem, he broke the inside plastic part of the display cover. Now I was tearing my hair apart. He then tried hiding the broken piece from me and called by some senior guy. Somebody came after about half and hour, and they were discussing what had happened. After some time, the senior technician fixed the problem is just under 15 minutes with the old components of my laptop. He did not use the new replacement parts which they had bought.

I was finally relieved that I could get back to work. The time now was approx 1:45pm. Basically Dell cost me almost 5 hours of time and money which I would have rather used doing my business if I had another company’s laptop.

When I was checking my laptop this time, I noticed that the display panel’s cover was still a bit lose but I didn’t say anything as I did not want to go onto yet another adventure. And when I closed the screen and picked it up vertically I noticed that the display panel was now a bit loose – the display panel would try to open itself a bit when picked up vertically. I pointed that out to the technicians and they said that was not a new problem and that happened with every laptop available in the market. NO! It doesn’t happen with any of the laptops I have used yet and it did not happen with this laptop before these guys came today. Anyway I was happy that my laptop was now atleast in a working state so I did not tell them anything.

The whole story in a few lines: I get a dead pixel on the first run of my new Dell Studio laptop. I complain about it through email. Get no reply. The power adapter has a problem after a few days. I call Dell to replace that, they agree but not for the display panel. They claim dead pixel counts under 5-6 are not covered under warranty and are according to the factory standards. I tell them my uncle’s experience with his Dell laptop which is returned back eventually tired of Dell. They agree to replace my WLED panel too. A technician comes but does not do the job properly and leaves the panel loose. I call and complain to Dell about it and they send another replacement taking a week. The same engineer comes and this time he stuck a screw while replacing the panel and breaks a plastic part which is inside of the panel cover. He calls for another technician who comes and fixes the problem with the old panel and does not use the replacement part which had arrived. They leave the display panel loose this and claim it is normal. They leave after about 5 hours of wasting my valuable time. The problem is solved (oops, I am lying )

Now Dell, I must say you guys do a great job providing customized solutions to your customers and I find your products a great value for money, BUT. After I spend a hell lot of cash from my pockets to buy your laptop, you provide me with a very bad customer support. Is that a good sign?

I was about to place a bulk order of desktop computers and laptops to Dell for my new office but I don’t think so I would go with you guys now. I would rather go with HP or even somebody else with whom I have had very good experiences in the past with not a single problem, and an adventure like this.

Just trying to open your eyes.

To my friends out there, for now, do not buy Dell. For now. Its just an advise. All up to you. But here I am, one unhappy customer.

Signing off.

A not-so-proud customer of Dell.

One customer lost, a hundred customers lost.

Anybody who wants to discuss about this can contact me here.

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  1. i guess you should again call them… and complain the same… in a way u should ask for whole laptop replacement. it is just starting dont know what will happen tomorrow…

  2. When i was looking for a new laptop… i faced horrible pre-sale support from Dell Thailand… that explains the kind of after-sale support id expect…

    Thus im a proud owner of a Lenovo

  3. Wow! Cannot believe it happened with Dell. I've had the worst customer service experiences with the Koreans and hence avoid Samsung, LG, Hyundai, etc. at all costs.

    I do believe you should escalate it further and ask for a replacement. Try Consumer Court too for starters and explore other options too.

  4. Good that I read this post. Though I love HP laptops, I was interested in going for a DELL lappy for its better prices in India and customization. Though there aren't enough service centers in Tamil Nadu, I presumed I wouldn't end up with issues, but seems like I was wrong. Thanks to you, Archit. *phew* You saved me

  5. thats y i got the HP lappie…
    dell has lost itself in the world of mass production….in india how r they working God wonders…
    i am having a real good time with HP….no issues n they provide real value for money now n even after sales…all my friends have bought HP…all r happy…

    sry to hear ur case man..
    hats off to ur patience…
    had it been me i wud have thrown the lappie on their face after 2 tries…no matter if they returned the money or not…

  6. Looks a bad story and I suggest you to go to Consumer Forums and file a complaint against the dealer or the manufacturer whosoever is giving that warranty.

    And if that doesn't helps then you can tell your problem to CNBC Awaaz TV Channel show(not knowing that show name). This shows deals with all consumer related problems and in all the industries. The show directly asks the company about the problem you are facing and I have seen many people getting good response after the show to their problem.

    I will also suggest you to post a pic or video with your cam about your problem which will highlight the problem more better to your blog readers. As I don't know what and how dead pixel looks like. Posting a pic or video may help to understand better.

  7. We have lenovo, HP, Acer, Dell, LG laptops ..

    Dell is working good for us but lenovo is giving big time problems with flickering

  8. @Happy I'll call them this week. That is if they do not call me back for this.

    @Sajal Aha! Seems like Dell India aren't the only bad guys out there from Dell.

    @Rajiv Yup. I'll now have to ask for a replacement only as I wouldn't want a brand new piece who's parts have been replaced 2 times in a month and now a loose panel. If every other thing I am going to try next doesn't work out, I'll definitely go to the Consumer Court.

    @Joseph My pleasure!

    @Yogesh Even if they replace they give me a full replacement + some reward, they have lost me as a future customer.

    @Typhoon Thanks for the tip! Consumer Forum is already an option. The CNBC Awaaz show you are talking about is I guess "Pehredaar" – This show offers consumers a platform to discuss their grievances and have them redressed. Right! Thanks for reminding. That's also on the list now!

  9. Well that was a major mess.. To be honest 1 dead pixel technically is not a manufacturing defect.. so Dell's ok there.. But not in the gross negligence of customer service.. I've always got and had mixed reactions about Dell's Service.. I've seen Dell customer service guys replace HDD's and DVD Drives for free just because of a bit of noise(which they're supposed to have) or slowdowns.. and that too in my hostel which is like in the middle of nowhere,so kudos to them.. On the other hand Dell's Tele Support guys are undertrained…, believe me i've had to deal with them..
    Even I have a Dell Laptop and my Uncle's had one for 6 years and recently bought a new one.. god forbid we haven't had any problems..
    It wouldn't be fair to say that situations like this will not happen with other companies since India has a problem with proper training of support representatives.. But considering Dell's prices, which are way higher than competition.. they should be expected to provide better services than the rest. Dell is supposedly known to build robust systems and they should stick to that.

  10. I had planned on ordering Dell, had actually placed the order online too.

    They were supposed to contact me within 1 working day to finalize the payment details, but alas (or should I say thank heavens), they call never came!

    After waiting a whole 5 (!) business days, I said, wow, these guys don't even care about people who want to buy their laptops, what happens to those who need getting things fixed?, so I went out, bought a HP.

    Have to say, I'm glad I made this choice, have not had a single problem in the last 4 months since buying the laptop, and am a satisfied customer. I have no idea how a service interaction would go, but… what can I say. At least saved from 1 disaster!

  11. Thanks a ton Archit ,

    I had decided to order Dell Desktop by 2nd of 2010.

    Now I am left with thinking, where to buy customized Desktop in India ?

    orelse I will have to take all pain to move in and around Bangalore to get the things that I want, and better assemble it myself.

  12. Thanks Archit… The information is quite handy for my next purchase from any Vendor.

    FYI, I got this post from .. My earlier experiences with companies is that they take notice if you post your message on

    Do try if you can

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