My Dell Experience

William Chambers

April 12, 2019

To whom it may concern,

In mid-to-late 2017 I decided to go to college and knew that if I would be spending long hours on campus that I would need a reliable laptop with a dedicated video card and good battery life to be connected and productive. After extensive research and comparison shopping I settled on a Dell XPS 15 due to it having a dedicated video card, quality keyboard and decent brand name. Apparently I was mistaken.

Upon getting my first laptop from Micro Center, admittedly refurbished, I was forced to return it within 24 hours due to existing screen damage and paid the difference for a factory new XPS 15 9560. From there I thought my worries were behind me and indeed, for a time they were but given my concerns with reliability due to its importance in my day, I made the mistake to email requesting warranty information. In response I was put on a spam mailing list and received not less than SIX separate emails, each with growingly dire warnings of LAST CALL Perhaps the Dell representative knew something I didn’t as not three weeks later, my screen stopped functioning with a huge, black line down the bottom.

I immediately documented the issue to get it repaired and called Dell to find out my options and was told the cost of a new screen, surprisingly reasonable, and the cost of a warranty which, given my experience, was a better choice for peace of mind even though on a device of this price I should not need one. Onsite repair was important as I had heard plenty of horror stories of laptops going to Dell repair facilities only to return with additional damage to them. After extending the warranty and calling back I was told that, upon providing photos of the screen, the repair would be the full screen price as it was accidental damage to the screen. Note he did not explain this and simply quoted me the price, I had to ASK why my warranty I had just bought was worthless. I literally had to beg the representative to please, let me send a different photo, as he misidentified the reflection of a yellow bag as a crack which, on a side note, goes to show you how horrible the screen glare is. Thankfully he changed his mind, all the while making me feel like I was the one in the wrong warning me several times if I was lying I would pay the price for it.

After a long ship time for the part, the tech himself was quite nice and replaced the screen. I was satisfied enough that, despite waking from sleep often not working and a couple black screens, at least these were software issues I could remedy myself and not hardware defects. I felt gypped at the price of the device but I was willing to own my mistake and move on.

This was until I noticed the screen seemed to be falling out of the case. Dell support was, this time, super fast at responding however when the tech arrived he advised me that it appeared to be just the way it was made and not to worry about it. I was left unsatisfied but he seemed a reasonable enough fellow and maybe I was just paranoid from my last screen issue.

Now we come to 4/11/2019, yesterday from the time of this writing. After I arrived on campus and setup my laptop It woke from sleep and let me login before, moments after moving the mouse, blacking out. When trying to start it I got a flashing light error code indicating memory errors but I remembered the day before the battery was low so I plugged it in. The indicator on the front did not light but after a few minutes it powered on, light and all, and started to run a windows check disk. It froze at 1% which I left for 10-15 minutes before forcing a restart. This time the check completed with no errors found and upon booting windows I ran an additional check disk which also reported no issues. I played a card game for a couple hours and all seemed well. Yay, I do not have to warranty it again, right?

Today, 4/12/2019 I sat down after class and powered my laptop on. I logged in without issue however upon moving the mouse this time the screen tore, flickered with colors and went black. Moments later the screen returned but the keys and mouse did nothing to interact with the display.

This is my birthday, a day I intended to relax and see my friends. Instead after a headache, work and classes I sit down to a broken laptop and am forced to contact support and sit knowing I do not have a working device and likely will not for several days to come. This is unacceptable. In the end, this device cost $1,599.99 in addition to the clearly mandatory $352.85 extended warranty. This is not including the constant stress of babying the device, making sure nothing happens to it and being scared it may just stop working for no apparent reason.

Before I bought a Dell I held it in decent regard as a quality company that made decent products and stood behind them. Now I tell my friends to buy literally anything else but a Dell and those in my campus honor society and technical circles have witnessed the issues I have had. I am embarrassed to have recommended a friend buy this same device who has also had numerous issues.

Thank you for your time,

William Chambers