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Faulty Dell laptop back from repair with more faults - ***Solved***

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Hi all,

Been a while since I posted here - enough time to not realise things were bad finance-wise on here so will drop a donation around payday this month.  Hopefully it is not too late 

 

I wanted to ask for some advice with an issue regarding a laptop I purchased from Dell.

 

Dell XPS 13 - Purchased back in early 2018 for £1500 - it had on the whole been working well with the usual niggles that were resolved by software/bios updates.

Around Feb 2019, I started to get a bios error but aside from the annoyance, it still booted.  BIOS updates would also fail as a result.  Aside from the annoyance and a few seconds delay while the message was up, it still functioned.

Too much was going on around that time (namely job move so I needed it more than ever) so when I should have got in-touch with Dell, I did not get the time until Mid-November.

 

Contacted Dell via the forum + private message to Dell support.  Went through the basic troubleshooting and within a few days, accepted this was most likely a board issue and so they collected it from me to replace the board under warranty.

Pick-up Date: 26/11/2019

Parts replaced: Motherboard

Returned:10/12/2019

Result: This fixed the initial issue of the BIOS errors but introduced a new issue with speakers. 

On return of the laptop, Dell engineers had scratched the screen, not put the panel back together so the touchpad had big gaps and the overall laptop was in a filthy condition with greasy fingerprints all over the screen and white powder on the keyboard area.

Total days without laptop: 14 Days

 

Laptop sent back to Dell after they said it was not an acceptable "repair"

Pick-up Date: 13/12/2019

Parts Replaced: LCD, speakers, palmrest

Returned: 03/01/2019

Result: This resolved the scratched LCD from the Dell engineer/s.  This also resolved the issue with palmrest/touchpad gaps.  The speaker issue however has not been resolved and the imbalance is still there.  Dell support got me to test it on headphones and the same exists so this is looking like the sound chip/motherboard again.  I have also noticed the power button is at a slant and depressed slightly - enough to see the flex ribbon connector for it.

Total Days without laptop: 21 days

 

Total days so far without laptop: 35 days not including the days going over support/trial and error/troubleshooting via private message on the Dell Forums.

No. of Parts replaced: 4 – every major component.  Only original replaceable component left is the bottom cover and SSD and there is still 2 faults outstanding – both introduced from the initial repair.

 

From what I gather, the Dell policy is 4 parts or more would result in a replacement system.  Is this where it would stand legally too?

I didn't really want a butchered £1500 laptop but that is where I am now and their policy is that anything after the 30 days means refurbished components are used - I could have got this laptop second-hand for £1000-£1100 if thats what I wanted but went new...and I've ended up with a secondhand one anyway.

Currently if I wanted yet another repair, it would be 2 weeks + of sending it back in, most likely a new motherboard again and potentially a new palm-rest again assuming the issue is with some sort of bracket holding the power button up/flush towards the palmrest.

 

I know forums have become a venting place but I have to say the Dell forums especially around the Customer Care section is awful - the worst I've seen for any company especially for someone so big.  Their use of refurbished parts is also not a good policy clearly as I'm not the only one who has had a laptop back with more faults than it went in for.

 

 

Thanks in advance

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Just did a bit of digging and it seems they have replaced the original SSD with a refurb.  I can only assume the refurbished motherboards they hold in-stock have the SSD with it (it is removable).

Bit of a kick in the teeth as it has around 14114 hours of use (588 days if used continuously) which is impossible if you equate even the basics such as 30 days in total holiday without laptop since ownership, 21 days just with dell and UPS, travel time to/from work and at the very least 6 hours of being off in a bag while I sleep.  At home it does not get used much as I have a desktop so I tend to use that if I need to.

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Firstly, thanks for the offer of a donation. Gratefully accepted – but maybe you should wait until you get result.

In terms of your story, is quite long so I'm reading it through. Please monitor the thread.


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Thank you for a very clear and concise explanation.

Where are they? Presumably they are in England.

You're absolutely right that you are entitled to proper repairs, not a pattern of shoddy repairs which then have to be remedied each time. Also, you are entitled to a disc which is equivalent in quality to the one which was replaced and that means that in terms of hours of use it should be broadly the same.

Presumably you have got printouts of the disc use so far.

You ask whether their policy forms part of the contract and the answer is yes it does. If they have a policy that after a certain number of repairs they have to replace then when you contract with Dell all of those policies are implied into your contract.

Have you got a copy of this policy?

 


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Thank you for your reply and re donation - I'm not doing it based on the result :)  This site whether by ways of a personal thread or someone else has helped numerous times!

 

When you say where are they - do you mean Dell?   The laptop was sent to a Dell repair site in Germany however but I purchased the laptop from Dell.co.uk so I'll assume this is who I am dealing with.

re Disc - I think this is going to be difficult to prove - more on that below...

 

Finally, in regards to the policy - unfortunately not although I am going to dig around more.  The only reason I mention it is Dell reps on the Dell forum mention it a number of times:

2013 - does not work for Dell but is a "dell Rockstar": https://www.dell.com/community/Customer-Care/is-there-an-exchange-policy/td-p/4104977

And more recent 2018 by someone who works for Dell: https://www.dell.com/community/Customer-Care/Exchange-Faulty-XPS-13/m-p/6147639

(funnily enough, the same laptop)

 

So around 4:30, I got a call from the guy I have been chatting to from Dell Advanced Resolution Group.  He basically stated the laptop had a 1 year warranty and this expired in March.  I did mention this from the start way before the initial repair was booked and I even asked again once I got it back the first time to which I got "Yes, this was covered under the country's STAT rights "  At this point, I was very impressed with their service!

However as the laptop is faulty based on the repair undertaken, he is prepared to send an on-site repair technician to my house/work to have all the components in question replaced.  I said I'll get back to him as I am not prepared to have it opened yet again and parts put in that are clearly not being QA'd.

 

The follow-up email is as follows after the usual sorry about the issues etc

Considering the case, Dell is offering free onsite service for issue resolution though the system being out of warranty since March 2019.

 We are confident with your cooperation we can resolve the reported issues on the system.

 

He also said on the phone regarding the SSD that as far as he can see in the records, only the motherboard was replaced the first time and the drive would be what I originally had.  I just don't get how physically this is possible given the hours but it's going to be their word against mine.  I did not take a snapshot of the drive usage before sending it in - I took every picture possible but I did not consider this could have been an issue.

I do have a snapshot now however but a little too late :)

 

So this is where it stands at the moment - I am to get back to him confirming Friday.  What I don't know is if I reject Friday, what happens then...can I reject the laptop altogether?

If not based on the 1 year warranty issue (I'm now hoping CA 2015 kicks in here), then Friday would be the only option.

 

 

Thanks again:)

 

 

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Sorry I don't quite understand the snapshot of the disk usage. Where is the computer now? How did you obtain a snapshot of the disk usage? And why do you say that might be difficult if you have it already?

Yes your complaint would be against them in UK.

Please will you make sure that you download any useful information such as the policy which has been referred to – even if you can't find an official version somewhere. This is all important stuff.

I think you will have to give them one further opportunity to repair – but I think that you can do that in a letter of claim. In other words, you give them 14 days to agree to repair and to carry out the repair and to return it to you in a condition which is completely satisfactory to you or else you will begin a county court claim against them without any further notice.

The question is – how much to claim for. Frankly I think I would go for the replacement value even though you have had some use it. I can't imagine Dell really want to muck around. They must have loads of these things around. Presumably there is a new model – you might even go for that, especially if it turns out to be marginally cheaper than the one you paid for.

I'd like to understand more about the evidence you have about this disc. How can you be sure of the number of hours it has had on one hand – and then in the same thread say that it is going to be difficult.

Don't worry about the warranty. It is all subject to your statutory rights anyway – regardless of what they say. Warranties are just a trick by retailers or manufacturers to lull innocent consumers into thinking that once the warranty has expired then they have lost all their rights. Frankly warranty should be made completely unlawful.

You have reproduced a message from them saying that they are offering on-site resolution – so you can refer to this in your letter of claim and tell them to make an appointment with you. Make it clear to them that it had better be within the 14 days because otherwise you will be issuing the papers.

However, can you please clarify this whole business of the disc. I think we better also make it clear that if they carry out a repair – exactly what you want. Certainly a much newer disc has got to be a starting point – possibly a completely new one


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Sorry sometimes the typing works faster than the brain sometimes here

Laptop currently is with me as per the last update in the original thread (

Returned: 03/01/2020)  (just noticed my original thread states 2019 but I meant 2020!)

 

I have taken screenshots and PDFd the various links above stating the policy - thanks for the heads-up on this.

 

In regards to the disc - Let me start again on that one.

I had not taken any details down about the disc originally before sending it to Dell on the 26/11/2019.  I should have.

I know they had done something as the disc had been restored to factory Dell image when it was returned the first time - this is fine and I was advised of this.  Was this a replacement disc they keep with a factory image on it or was it my own and they applied the image on it...who knows.  By the time it went off for the second time, I had reinstalled Windows 10 and when it was returned on the 3rd, the same reinstalled version was there (same demo user account I had created, it joined my temp wifi network etc) so I know between repair 2 and now, the drive is the same.  

What I don't know is if the first repair (motherboard replacement), did the drive get swapped - this is where it is difficult to prove.

 

The hours usage mentioned earlier is something I did today using CrystalDiskInfo. This currently shows 14119 Power On hours and 365 Power on Count.

Hope this clears up the confusion.  What I will be unable to prove is whether this drive is the same as what I sent in originally.  But looking at the number of hours, it just does not tally up to my typical use of the machine.  Maybe it CrystalDiskInfo (and HWiNfo as I have just checked) cannot read this drive correctly for power on hours - who knows.  I think this is currently the least of my worries as the drive luckily is a user-replaceable component unlike a lot of these ultrabooks.

 

So I think bottom line, letter of claim to agree to repair and to carry out the repair and to return it to you in a condition which is completely satisfactory to you or else you will begin a county court claim against them without any further notice.

I'll mention the 14 days although he has said Friday is possible (thursday at the earliest but I can't make this one).

 

Thanks again

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I expect that if you can produce evidence of the number of hours on the disc then that will be sufficiently persuasive to move the court in your favour. I don't understand what "365 Power on Count" means.

So let's just recap, you had about 18 months plus of use from it before you first reported any fault. I'm afraid that we will properly have to go from that date even though you suggest that the. It occurring earlier.
Then from November 2019 to January 2020 they have had three attempts to repair it. Each time they have carried out the repair and return it with a different fault. Each fault is evidence of shoddy work and poor QA.

You have the laptop back in your possession but still with yet another fault and also you have now discovered that the disc is a very much older disc and has got a substantial number of hours on it – well over 14,000 hours and given the age of the laptop and also the amount of time you use it because your main PC is a desktop – indicates that the disc has been replaced but not with a new one but one which has had substantial use.

You now want the laptop properly repaired and a disc commensurate with your actual use which you estimate to be –??? hours?

 

The laptop cost you £1500. You have been deprived of it for at least 35 days – plus you have had to work around various faults. Have you also been saddled with the cost of returning it or packaging it et cetera?


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Power on count I think is literally how many times from sleep/shutdown state it has powered on.  

 

In short - yes/spot-on.... almost :-) 2 physical repairs of where it has gone away to Dell.  And numerous troubleshooting type steps over the forum via Dell support staff (ie, try this driver, try this bios, download that file etc)

The third would be this Friday if I go ahead with it.

 

Other than that yes - 

estimated hours... on the basis of the 18 months you mention....

Hours in 18 months (according to Google)= 13140

Days in 18 months (according to Google) = 547

Even if I say 10 hours per day / 7 days a week... that would be 10*547 = 5470 hours usage.

Even at 15 hours a day/7 days a weel, still looking at 8205 hours 

Hopefully my math is correct - Took far longer than it should have to work that out :- )

 

No cost in returning as they have picked up however ... brace yourselves....

Between Dell and UPS, the second repair return...UPS lost the package.  It was supposed to be delivered to a UPS drop-off shop, it didn't.  Ended up having to drive to Croydon to pick it up...after 2 hours of standing/waiting, they gave up saying it was lost so went back home  (40 mile round trip). it then ended up going to the drop-off shop when Dell apparently said it couldnt due to high value item in package.

But anyway... I'll let that fiasco remain in 2019!

 

And just to finalise, I do have to give them this final chance?  the 2 repairs/4 major components is not sufficient to request refund/replacement?
 

Also the concern with replacement will be apparently according to the forums, it would be another refurb so only someone upstairs can even guess what condition they're in however thats another fight for another day.

 

 

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No. Don't let the fiasco go. It's all part of the leverage that you have. Are Dell aware of this at all? Please come up with a value in terms of actual costs to you and then also an estimate of time spent and value of that time. I understand that you use this laptop professionally sometimes.

However, let's confirm that you did purchase the laptop as a private individual. If you bought it as a commercial trader for the purposes of your business then it might make litigation a little more difficult.

I think you do have to give them a final chance. However I think I would make it a very clear 14 days and that on day 15 the papers get issued.

I think you should set out very clearly exactly what has happened – in the way that you have described it here.

Set out very clearly what is still wrong with it and the problem of the disc that clearly it is not the original disc and they have now palmed you off the disc which is much older than the one which was originally on the machine. I think you should also remind them of the cost to which you put in terms of money and time as a result of the failed delivery by their agent UPS and that you want compensation for this.

Lay out the history of the repairs.

I think that you can inform them that you are also aware of their policy replacing the laptop after replacement of four parts – but beware, they may want to say that it is after four repairs.

Then I think that you should say you understand that they are proposing to provide an on-site repair and that they should contact you immediately to arrange this because if the laptop is not prepared to your satisfaction including a replacement disc which is either new or commensurate with the condition of the disc which was originally machine – approximately XXX hours (you will have to estimate this – and I suggest that you underestimate) that you will start a county court action for the cost of a new replacement laptop plus interest plus your costs at the expiry of 14 days. Make clear that your claim now is not only for the repair of the laptop but also for the reimbursement of expenses to which you have been put and end you will be bringing your court action in respect of any aspect of their claim which is not satisfied.

Make it clear that you are not prepared to get involved in any further correspondence or communication about this. Your demands are completely clear

If you want, reproduce your proposed draft here so that we can comment.

Frankly I think they will be hard-pressed to get round to you within 14 days and I fully expect that you will issue the claim on day 15.


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Well you're not wrong in saying it is for personal use.  I use it at work but for personal use and personal development 

The UPS mess - Dell are fully-aware - It was the fiasco that pushed me into contacting the advanced resolution team in the first place last week.

 

Thank you for all the advice - I will type up a draft tonight and post back on here.

RE the final comment you made - remember they have held this Friday as the on-site repair slot for me so well within the 14 days.  I was just talking to the OH earlier about how even if Fridays repair goes well - I just dont know whether I can "like" the system again as I have for the first year.  Real shame the whole mess it has turned into.

 

And on my final note for now, I assume if after parts are replaced the engineer makes me test it there and then, I can say I am happy to sign it off subject to proper testing and use?  What I don't want to do is sign something that I am accepting this as a successful repair and all issues are fixed when in actual fact something else is hiding and will come out as / when I use it more.  The speaker issue only showed its face when I was playing a movie...normal system sounds did not make it at all obvious

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Yes, you sign it off on your own terms. if he says he is not prepared to accept a conditional signing off, what's he going to do? Remove all the parts? Take it away? He's got no choice and he probably doesn't care. He's just a mechanic following his instructions.

what you might want to do is have a recorder going in the background somewhere so that if any comments are made as to the quality etc etc then you have it all.

Anyway, nobody would expect a short test of a computer to be sufficiently rigorous to be able to tell whether it was going to stay the distance. It will be totally unrealistic and I can't imagine anybody obliging you to do that. Sign it off subject to further testing

Although the time has been booked in, are they ready to deal with the disc problem? Don't forget you have to make it clear to them that if there's any aspect of the repair which hasn't been carried out to your satisfaction then on day 15 you will send them the glad tidings.

 

 


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Also 1 more thing has since cropped up.  While I was typing the reply, I raised the laptop slightly as you would when sitting on the sofa ... fans when at what sounds like 40% spin are emitting grinding or rattle sounds.

 

Right ... hows this?  And I am assuming this is meant to be a long reply based on you saying all the facts need to be stated!

ok so the LONG draft:

Quote

 

Following our conversation earlier today, the current timeline for the laptop is as follows

 

Fault reported via Forum: 19/11/2019

Troubleshooting via Forum: 19/11/2019 – 26/11/2019

Pick-up Date: 26/11/2019

Parts replaced: Motherboard

Returned:10/12/2019

Result: This fixed the initial issue of the BIOS errors but introduced a new issue with speakers. 

On return of the laptop, Dell engineers had scratched the screen, not put the panel back together so the touchpad had big gaps and the overall laptop was in a filthy condition with greasy fingerprints all over the screen and white powder on the keyboard area.

Total days without laptop: 14 Days

 

Laptop sent back to Dell and returned

Reporting state of laptop and new issues: 10/12/2019 via forum including pictures sent in to sos@dell.com

Troubleshooting speaker issue: 10/12/2019 – 11/12/2019.  Booked in to be sent to Dell repair again.

Pick-up Date: 13/12/2019

Parts Replaced: LCD, speakers, palmrest

Returned: 03/01/2020

Result: This resolved the scratched LCD from the Dell engineer/s.  This also resolved the issue with palm rest/touchpad gaps.  The speaker issue however has not been resolved and the imbalance is still there.  Dell support got me to test it on headphones and the same exists so this is looking like the sound chip/motherboard again.  Also it seems the power button in the new palm rest is not aligned properly this time and is slanting to the top left leaving a noticeable gap on the right and bottom. (picture sent in on 6/1/20)

Finally at the time of typing this email (21:00), it seems yet another fault has now come up with the fan making a grinding noise when the laptop is slightly elevated on my lap.  I have only noticed this as this is the first time the fans have spun or spun quick enough to hear.  A video recording has been taken to demonstrate this.

Total Days without laptop: 21 days

 

Total days so far without laptop: 35 days not including the days going over support/trial and error via private message on the Dell Forums.

No. of Parts replaced: 4 – every major component. 

 

I am aware from the Dell forum/Rep Dell-SreejithR  that the Dell policy is to replace the system after replacing 4 components – please be advised this laptop currently already has had 4 components replaced and still has issues outstanding.

 

 

We have also today (6/1/2020) discussed my concerns about the SSD drive being swapped as the power on hours is far too high for the age and use of the laptop as per below:

***Added picture from Crystal Disk here showing serial number of SSD, and usage in hours*** 

 

Simple maths suggests the laptop would have had to be on 24/7 for 588 days out of the 600 or so days of ownership.  I can only assume Dell replaced the motherboard with an SSD already mounted on the board. 

At an average of 10 hours a day over 7 days, this would be 6000 Power on hours.  35 of those days (840 hours) have been in transit and in possession of Dell for the two repairs.

 

UPS Delays

As you also know and this is the initial reason I reached out to you, the fact Dell failed to redirect the return of the laptop via your agent UPS due to the address being closed for the holidays meant the package almost got lost.  Ample notice was given but ignored.

 

Summary of UPS events:

11/12/19 - advised office will be closed from the 20th so if return date is that week, change address to home address.

23/12/19 - UPS SMS to advise it will be delivered within 4 working days.  This puts it to be the 30th due to Xmas holidays meaning missed delivery.  Advised address cannot be changed.

23/12/19 - Called UPS to advise of closure, nothing can be done until package is handed over and so far, it was not.

30/12/19 - Missed delivery.  Called UPS if driver is around destination and I will drive up / meet with him.  Advised he will drop it off at a UPS drop-off point @ 4pm.

30/12/19 - Drove to destination area anyway looking for the Brown UPS van.  No sign after 2 hours so went back home.

30/12/19 - Went back to destination (ups drop-off point), UPS had been (typically in a white van as it was a subcontractor), but no package for me.

30/12/19 - Spoke to Dell who said they would reschedule delivery for the 2/1/20 despite telling them to change the address for delivery on the 31/12 to a drop-off OR to keep in Croydon if it goes back.

30/12/19 - Called UPS again, told to go to Croydon (20 miles+) as it was on the way there and I could collect between 6pm and 8pm

30/12/19 - Went to the UPS centre in Croydon for 6pm.  Waited 2 hours 25 minutes in their waiting room before being told they could not find it.  They rang the driver and his boss, found the van, found other packages but not the laptop.

Went back home empty handed.

31/12/19 - Escalated to Dell advanced resolution team (ART) for help

31/12/19 - Dell ART respond saying UPS have told them they have the package now and is scheduled for delivery on the 3/1/20.

02/12/2020 - Suddenly get alerted to package being delivered but signed by someone I do not recognise.  Turns out it went to the UPS drop off point despite Dell instructed (according to UPS), due to the high-value item, it could not be delivered there.

02/12/2020 - Box is crushed but laptop seems ok visually and externally.

 

All this could have been avoided if Dell simply listened to my instructions about it not going to the address due to the office being shut that week.  This in total cost me the entire 30/12/19 hunting for the package, waiting in a cold waiting room for 2+ hours along with:

2x 9 mile journey from home to UPS drop-off point and back (fuel costs and time)

2x 30 mile journey from home to UPS Croydon and back (fuel costs and time).

 

 

Taking into consideration the multiple attempts at repairing the system and the number of parts already replaced, the laptop remains in a state where faults are pending.

Therefore, I will allow Dell 14-days to agree to the repair of this laptop and carry out the repair in such case where it is completely satisfactory to me.  Failing to do this will initiate a county court claim against Dell without any further notice.

You have e-mailed me on the 6/1/2020 “Dell is offering free onsite service” – with this in mind, please contact me immediately tomorrow to book this in.  As discussed, I am only available 10/01/2020 and will have to take time off work to accommodate this repair.  This does once again put a cost of a days unpaid leave as it is too early in the year for me to book a paid day off.

 

The conclusion of the on-site visit will result in the following known issues repaired:

  1. Power button alignment
  2. Fan noise rattle/grind resolved
  3. A replacement 512GB drive.  I will check the usage of this post installation to verify this is indeed a new replacement or in-line with what the original SSD usage was – around 5500 hours.
  4. Resolution of the speaker imbalance initially reported on the 10/12/19.

 

The final repair will be signed-off subject to verifying all faults current are fixed and no new faults are introduced – this will be by ways of using the system until expiry of the 14 days from this email.  If existing or new faults do occur, I will start county court action for the cost of a new replacement laptop plus interest plus costs at the expiry of the 14 days of this email.

 

 

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Quote

Dear XXX



Letter of Claim – reference number XXX

 

I'm writing to you to offer you one further chance to repair my laptop or to replace it and also reimburse me losses which I have incurred as a result of your negligent handling of my computer, failing which I intend to bring legal proceedings against you.

 

As you know, I bought a laptop from you on XXX date – make/model et cetera.

As you are also aware, the laptop develop faults on XXX date (dates faults first occurred) and was returned to you for repair on XXX date.

The laptop was returned to me on a XXX date but with further faults. It has then since been returned to you on three occasions and each time has been returned to me with further problems and which a reasonable observer would put down to shoddy work in poor QA by yourselves.

Furthermore, a most recent check of the laptop disc shows that it has been powered on for over 14,000 hours and has been switched on and off at least 350 times. I'm sure you will appreciate that as I have only had the machine for just over 18 months, this kind of usage by myself would not be possible. It therefore follows that at some point you have replaced the disc with an older unit which you have had on your premises.

For your information, an approximate timeline of events is as follows: –

Fault reported via Forum: 19/11/2019

Troubleshooting via Forum: 19/11/2019 – 26/11/2019

Pick-up Date: 26/11/2019

Parts replaced: Motherboard

Returned:10/12/2019

Result: This fixed the initial issue of the BIOS errors but introduced a new issue with speakers. 

On return of the laptop, Dell engineers had scratched the screen, not put the panel back together so the touchpad had big gaps and the overall laptop was in a filthy condition with greasy fingerprints all over the screen and white powder on the keyboard area.

Total days without laptop: 14 Days

 

Laptop sent back to Dell and returned

Reporting state of laptop and new issues: 10/12/2019 via forum including pictures sent in to sos@dell.com

Troubleshooting speaker issue: 10/12/2019 – 11/12/2019.  Booked in to be sent to Dell repair again.

Pick-up Date: 13/12/2019

Parts Replaced: LCD, speakers, palmrest

Returned: 03/01/2020

Result: This resolved the scratched LCD from the Dell engineer/s.  This also resolved the issue with palm rest/touchpad gaps.  The speaker issue however has not been resolved and the imbalance is still there.  Dell support got me to test it on headphones and the same exists so this is looking like the sound chip/motherboard again.  Also it seems the power button in the new palm rest is not aligned properly this time and is slanting to the top left leaving a noticeable gap on the right and bottom. (picture sent in on 6/1/20)

Furthemore, this week  the fan has startedmaking a grinding noise when the laptop is slightly elevated on my lap. 

 A video recording has been taken to demonstrate this.

Total Days without laptop: 21 days

 

Total days so far without laptop: 35 days not including the days going over support/trial and error via private message on the Dell Forums.

No. of Parts replaced: 4 – every major component. The present situation is that the laptop is now in my possession. It is faulty as described above.
I'm quite sure that the way that my computer has been handled by Dell falls well below the standards that you would wish to uphold and it is certainly completely unacceptable to me.

I have received an email proposing that the machine be repaired by one of your engineers by means of an on-site visit. However, I'm sure that you won't be surprised to learn that I have lost confidence.

Additionally, I have incurred additional losses because of the botched attempt by your UPS agent to deliver and apparently repaired machine to my home on XXX date. This involved failed deliveries and eventually I was obliged to drive over 80 miles in a frustrated attempt to collect the unit from your agent only to find that it was not waiting for me as promised.

You have already been informed of this by letter/email dated XXX.
My losses in respect of this are £XXX



Accordingly, I'm giving you 14 days notice of legal action. to carry out on-site repairs then please make arrangements with this as soon as possible but the laptop must be fully repaired or replaced within the next 14 days or else I shall issue legal proceedings against you in the County Court and without any further notice.

Please note that if the repair is carried out, if the laptop then demonstrates further faults, then you should understand that I reserve my right to bring proceedings against you.

 

 

 

I tried to shorten it somewhat. Please have a look and correct anything that's wrong and then posted up here. I don't think you need to go into every painful aspect of the UPS failure. – Unless you want to tell us that you haven't informed them about it.

 


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Thanks again - will send this off now

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Have you quantified your losses? What are they?

Don't forget you have to add this so that your letter of claim explains exactly what you're looking for in order that they can avoid a legal action.

Once you have sent the letter, spend the time looking around this forum for information how to start small claim. Register on the money claim website and start preparing your claim. You can save the work ready for the big day. Post a draft of your claim here so that we can have a look.

I think we can keep a very short because we can refer to this letter that you have sent and previous letters by means of the case reference number. I'm assuming that there is a reference number


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So I added only the fuel cost for 80 miles *..45 as per hmrc rates currently. I assumed that section was only for the ups mess and not for the laptop costs itself as that is already mentioned in regards to replacing it... Or was that a wrong assumption? 

 

So in this case £36 for the travel

 

The small claim part I am fine with as I had to do one a while back after a bad ebay purchase 

 

As for reference number, I used the reference of the support ticket they have opened for it and which the dell advanced resolution team use in their subject email header 

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Whatever you consider your losses are. It's up to you – but I would go for maximum. The more you try to claw back what you have lost, then the more you have got to give away if it comes to negotiation. If you have something in reserve to give away then that gives them Face.

If they walk away with Face and you walk away with a new laptop, then that sounds like a very good deal to me


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The Dell Advanced Res person called @ 12:06 but missed the call.  He did leave a voicemail essentially saying regarding your email he wanted a conversation etc.  So this to me is acceptance of the email we sent earlier.

 

He rang back at 13:48 just to go over what is going to happen next and that is an engineer will be on-site on Friday to replace the parts mentioned so far / parts assumed faulty based on my fault listing.

He then re-iterated that the ssd is still the original and was not swapped/changed.  I asked whether their motherboard stock for this model already contains the ssd but he denied this.

I would be surprised if they removed it each time simply because it would require thermal tape to be removed etc so it almost makes sense keeping it married with the board but who knows.

The engineer on-site will re-check the SSD.  The ONLY potential bit of evidence I >might< have is a bit of digging I did.  Bit extreme but I ran a data recovery tool last night.  The issue is the drive has been repartitioned a few times from the factory image so it is difficult to find anything in an older structure but ... a Folder called Canon S1011 popped up.  This is a scanner of some sort but I've never owned this and yet a folder with files came back from some point in March 2019.

The reason I am unsure is I do own a Canon multifunction scanner/printer/copier so maybe it was part of the driverpack - not that I can find it again.

Unfortunately this is all that came back using the free tool. 

 

Final comment was really based on next steps should a fault remain or more faults crop up etc.  To this, he said it would then have to be escalated to his manager and go from there.

 

As I type this, a Dell service request has just now logged confirming :

 

Current Status:

This e-mail serves as confirmation that you have successfully scheduled an onsite service appointment for the following time :

10/01/20 08:00 to 13:00

 

 

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If I were you I would stick by your story that the disc has been replaced. Refuse to accept what they say. The evidence is with you – and if you put it to a court, the court will side with you. The evidence is too strong – especially as to the old Canon driver and also the 14,000 hours.

You should make it clear to anybody from Dell that contact you that your position as stated in your letter of action is firm and they will be no compromises and on day 15 you will be serving the papers.

Be completely resolute. Don't forget, even a completely new laptop is only pennies to them. Now they're simply in the business of Face


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 will do

 

Just got another email:

 

Dear...

We’ve now made arrangements for our onsite technician to visit your location coming Friday.

 

Technician would replace all necessary parts for fix, if the issue is persistent post service we will take it up with our management for alternate resolution.

 

We request you to observe the system over weekend and get back to us by Monday.

 

Also, we’ve attached the previous service reports for your reference, Dell hasn’t replaced hard drive on your system, we’re unsure why the hard drive usage is showing different records.

 

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I would respond to them telling them that if there are any further issues, then you will be suing them in the County Court and without any further notice. Tell them that this must be the final attempt to repair. Ask them why they have not addressed your points about the additional losses incurred by the failed delivery by their agent. Tell them this must also be addressed because otherwise on day 15 you will be issuing the papers for any outstanding losses.

Tell them that you do not accept their position in respect of the disc. It is clear that either the disc has been repaired or else it forms part of the motherboard unit which they have admitted has been replaced as a refurbished unit. Tell them that there is no other explanation for the 14,000 hours use that it has had – other than when it was supplied to you new, it was already comprised of refurbished parts. Tell them that whatever the circumstances, it is clearly not as described – not what we you could reasonably expect and if the matter is not addressed then you will be bringing your claim in the County Court.

Tell them that your requirements laid out in your letter of claim must be met completely and any outstanding issues will be addressed in the forthcoming court case. Suggest to them that they put pass your letter on to their legal department immediately


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I should add, that the more of the outstanding issues they get sorted during the 14 day period, when it comes to day 15, the value of your claim will be less which means your risk factors will be far less. It also means that Dell will have to start taking into account that even if they put their hands up, the losses will be minimal and that will also motivate them to settle more readily.

For this reason, I wouldn't let it go even for just a few quid. The other thing is that if you sue them for a small amount now, then if in 2 or 3 months you have further issues with the laptop, you can send them a threat and they will know that you aren't mucking around. I'm afraid that these people need a bit of staff development and you are in a position to give it to them


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Just to update you, 

Got an AM appointment for Friday but got a call from the engineer saying he was stuck on at a company where the server had blown so he won't make it until 1pm...1pm then turned into 2pm but he kept me updated.

Engineer himself - really nice guy and knew what he was doing.

 

Replaced motherboard (second one now), palm rest (also second one), speakers (also second), power button to fix the gap, audio jack.

It has fixed the speaker issue and power button gaps.

With SSD they did not budge however I did some more digging and it turns out if ANY power is going through to the laptop, the SSD power on hours counts up.  This includes if it is in sleep mode.  Well I rarely shutdown!  I only close the lid so this is what has caused the hours to bump up.  The scanner folder...?  I have no idea!

 

End result...it's fixed right?

Nope - life is not that simple

 

Fans still making a rattling noise - I captures it on video and uploaded to youtube to show them.

Today, I captures the screen just flickering between on/displaying to black.  Only stopped after a restart.  Again, captures on video and uploaded to YT

 

Finally, connected it to my Dell D6000 dock that we use for this laptop and another Dell Latitude.  The external monitor got some weird mirroring/artefacts on screen with some green fuzzy ghosting.  Had to unplug, restart, replug the dock.  Dock is fine- we use it daily between the two laptops.

 

Going to be a fun one tomorrow when the advanced res group calls to follow up.

 

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Assuming that you are still prepared to go ahead with your threat, I would email them this morning and remind them that the clock is still ticking because the laptop is still faulty.

It might be worth pointing out to them that the amount that they have spent so far on repairs and visits and general logistics is probably well above what it would cost cost them simply to have replaced the laptop – not to mention the value of their reputation – assuming that they place any value upon their reputation at all. Could point out to them that by the time they have decided to defend the matter in court and produce representatives at a hearing for a trial which they will inevitably lose, they will have spent the equivalent of at least half a dozen laptops in return for no discernible benefit to themselves.

I'm afraid many of these businesses are very stupid. This is the kind of thing that Currys do. The problem is that nobody at a sufficiently high level knows what's going on in the whole thing is being run by some junior middle management corporal who thinks that they are doing their employers a favour.


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