#DellFAIL

Update: This is now also a permanent page: Do NOT Buy From Dell!.

I’ve earlier recounted how my Dell computer has failed:

A Broken Heat Sink Can Shut Off Your PC!

Which turned out to be a known issue with this Dell PC, as recounted in many threads across the Internet, one of which I referenced here:

Heatsink bracket disintegrating

And at that forum, others wrote:

I feel it must be a ‘latent’ defect. The black plastic “Heat Sink Retention Module” had three broken spring attachment points.

And:

I was online going to order the part when I read the thread here; it empowered me to call Dell and complain, saying a lot of others were having the same problem. Apparently they have had a lot of other complaints, so all you need to do is raise this as a latent defect issue and they’ll send you the part for free, no shipping costs either.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

And:

I called Dell. At first they tried charging me $30-some for the replacement parts (the warranty expired 3 years ago). I said heck no, the problem was due to a latent defect in their product, the least they could do is mail me the cheap plastic replacement part (which will probably just melt again) for free, and THEY DID.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

Others have raised this same issue — and in that thread you can see one guy stated he’s seen this issue with Dell’s Optiplex GX50.

It’s clear that whoever did this part for Dell gave them shoddy and defective merchandise. And then Dell went on to sell it to other people.

It could be this is a minor run of the part that is bad, but still, no one buys a computer agreeing to a self-destructing time bomb like this!

It would be one thing if this was a moving part, like a fan, or even a chip that went blooey.

But this is a plastic-molded bracket that is entirely stationery and is never, ever touched unless it has to be.

As shown in photos here at Dell’s own Community Board! — which is the second search result under Google for “dimension 2350 heatsink dell.com” — you really have to want to get to that retention module!

I finally got around to calling Dell today. I got India. Lots of miscommunication over a bad trans-Atlantic connection and bad — to my ear — accents.

And basically I got a No Way Are We Making This Good For You.

I’m told:

I’m out of warranty. So what? So were others!

It’s not a defect or there’d be a recall. Bullshit! Recalls can still happen. Want me to keep raising a stink? How many years did it take for heart pacemakers, automobiles, and lithium batteries to be recalled?

It worked for all this time, it can’t be defective. See above!

I finally tell them I’m sick of them not understanding American commercial law regarding the legal definition of “latent material defect” and I’m contacting Dell Corporate.

So I get Michael Dell’s email address and this is the email I sent:

In short, the machine is known to have a latent material defect in regard to its heatsink retention module. This module is known to rot away due to improper thermal tolerances. It manifests itself after several years of use, with people reporting problems as late as this year.

Latent material defects manifesting themselves only after several years are nothing new. It has happened with heart pacemakers, automobiles, and lithium batteries, to mention three widespread examples.

Here is one such report about the defective heatsink retention module, identical to this case in question, with photo evidence on Dell’s own community board:

http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/desktop/f/3514/t/19274994.aspx

And here are stories of general stonewalling from tech support in India:

http://www.motherboardpoint.com/heatsink-bracket-disintegrating-t47766.html

Apparently some people were able to get Dell Support to admit this was a latent material defect. But since that time the script over there has been changed to one of stonewalling with no customer satisfaction as its goal.

I don’t want to believe this is an attempt to cover up what deserves to be a mass recall. I’d like to believe that a small run of these modules were improperly manufactured and it was the luck of the draw that the machine I’m writing about got one of those.

In any event, I believe it is incumbent upon Dell to do the right thing here and to supply a replacement part for no cost.

The record for this machine is:

Service Tag: [redacted]

Express Service Code [redacted]

If a replacement part will be supplied, it can be sent to:

What does Michael Dell himself do? He palms me off back to India where I’m given the same stonewall again!

I told them the precedent has already been set with Dell acknowledging this is a latent material defect and sending out a free replacement part. I refuse to be treated less than that way.

They stonewalled again and again and again and wound up I using the word “fucking.” They said if I used the word “fucking” again, they’d terminate the call. I said they could do whatever they fucking liked! Click!

Now I get this bullshit email in my box from India!

Dear Michael,

This email is with reference to the escalation that was received at our corporate office. Please accept my sincere apologies for any disappointment you may have experienced during your transactions with us. Once again, I thank you for sharing your experience with us. Whether the feedback we receive is positive or negative, it remains a crucial tool for determining how we can best improve our products and services. We truly regret any inconvenience or frustration this matter may have caused. We value you as our customer and your satisfaction is very important to us. If you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Regards,

Vinay Kesavan

What insulting robotic boilerplate garbage!

Dell will never get another penny from me.

And if you’re smart, you’ll stay the hell away from them too.

Not owning up to a bad part and alienating a customer for a total parts and shipping cost of less than $10.00? And after the profit they made from this machine? And after having to replace the parts for others — and who knows how many people that’s been across all models of Dell computers! — yet never notifying other owners of a possible problem?

No wonder Dell has been in trouble.

This is not a company that deserves to prosper and remain in business.

It has the attitude of the crooked stockbrokers and bankers of Wall Street!

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