I’ve been a loyal Dell customer for over 5 years and I somehow felt I couldn’t go wrong again with a Dell, not to forget I even made my company buy Dell for all our resources and few friends as well.  So, I decided to buy a brand new Dell XPS M1330 after reading some great reviews and feedback from owners, and long standing trust with the product & brand.

I placed my order with Dell 11/June/08, and got a followup call from their Sales Rep, who was quite cold (coz he really doesn’t have to sell nething, just take payment details and process the order) with his approach of selling me a Dell and in a very proud manner waived off Rs. 3000 from my total cost saying “Since, you are buying directly from Dell. We are giving you this discount”. (I really had nothing to say to him, he was just doing his job.)

Well fortunately or not, Dell Distributor in a nearby market offered me a Rs. 5000 discount plus some goodies – didn’t take that one cause I had to customize my system. But whatever, I wanted a good system whosoever was selling it to me.

This is what I ordered.

The days of Blue Started from the day it was delivered to me. (Why ME!!!)

On 16/June/08, I received my Dell XPS M1330 in a nice black color and I was surely excited to be a proud owner. Moments later, the minute I pressed the power on button – I saw a smudge on the screen. I thought, it would go away or must b dust or something – but it wasn’t. The screen was damaged and I paid Rs. 4000 extra for the WLED screen and this is what I get.

I called up Dell Customer Care immediately (it takes time to get thru).

They sent an technician over to inspect the system the following day and he tells me that the system is working fine. Then, I had to really show him the problem.

After some 30 mins of waiting – we get the customer care person back on line to request for a repair or replacement. I opted in for a replacement and they agreed then. 3 hours down the line, they call me back and suggested, “sir, what if we repaired your system and gave you a 2 GB pen drive free!!!” .

Dell needs to have some real high-sense-of-customer-is-duh-people. A 2GB (some Rs. 800) pen drive for a damaged Rs. 4000 screen, which I am sure if I had to get it replaced otherwise would cost me some 20k!!! I needed a replacement is what I cared about. I can’t accept a system not even 24hrs old not inspected by me before purchase go in for a repair on day 2 – NOT ACCEPTABLE!

Eventually, I get a replaced system on 23/June/08. Since, I was away from home I didn’t get time to test the system. Two days later I get a chance to test my new replaced machine, only to be let down again. This time one of the USB port is faulty!!!

Customer Care, “ah, some bios settings needs to be changed for it to work. We’ll find a technician on the phone and get right back at you.” Never happened and if ONE of the USB port is not working it is not working – it’s as simple as that.

I registered a complaint with them on 27/June/08 only to be told that Dell XPS Support team works out of Malaysia and they work till 4pm IST.  From 27/June till about 1/July, they could not get me a tech support guy to resolve – can you beat that!!! And, this is Dell XPS Premium Support service!!! I wonder what happens post the service agreement expires.

Finally, I decided to return both the Dell XPS’s and get a refund.

Their sales rep called me to check if they can replace my system with an upgraded processor or something, but by then their supervisor decided to send me an email confirming a refund. And, I’ve had enough of Dell and I didn’t trust the quality of product being delivered. I am sure the customer care guys would have also got annoyed with me – that they also gave in. Here is an exerpt from the email which I got from Dell:

Dell Reply to my Emails & Request

Dell Reply to my Emails & Request

I logged my request for refund on 2/July/08 and they eventually picked up the system on 9/July/08 at 9:00pm, after exchanging a lot of emails & follow ups between Dell in Bangalore and Dell logistics in Gurgaon/Delhi.

And, now I await my refund which will take another 7 days to come through and I hope they would refund the complete amount.

I think Dell has done a fantastic job in getting the system to me and taking it back as quickly just to make sure I don’t get super pissed off (but i am).

It took both of us (Dell & Me) 1 month to get things moving and I am still left without a laptop to use & work on, not to forget the monies that are still pending from them.

I am not happy in the manner in which they are building systems in India. The built quality is very poor, the display hinge flexes, the plastic has dust on it, keys are not aligned properly on the keyboard, and the packaging is not strong enough to withhold the transit.

I am sure it’s a one-off-experience, but it has left me warned of Dell and resulted in this post.

Just check 1000 times before you buy a Dell next, especially in India. And, if it says “made in india” – you better do some double quality checks on the system. Preferably, buy it from a local Dell dealer in your city only draw back being you won’t be able to customize the system.

I continue to think Dell is a Dell, but for the time being I am not taking one.

Happy Shopping with Dell 🙂

Dell Time Line of Interaction (PDF)