Dell refuses to repair damage done in their repair depot

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weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
1,600
1,564
113
Maui Hawaii
#41
I'd just like to say that I really appreciate everyone taking the time to try to understand and respond to my issue. I value and am seriously considering your feedback before I take further action.

I concede the easy thing would be for me to spend $100 for a single stick of memory and be done - trust me, I've considered it - but I'm not entirely convinced it's the right thing to do. If everyone did the easy thing, this website wouldn't be necessary, I think.


I truly appreciate your responses, as they give me the opportunity to think things through that I otherwise may not have. I used the you-broke-it-you-fix-it reference for brevity in this forum. I never thought you were accusing me of anything. I welcome any advice.
The right thing to do may still be your ultimate loss. Are you will to take a day (or several days given postponements and continuances) to go to small claims court to fight this for the price on one DIMM. You may ultimately "win" at the cost of several days off work, since courts do not work weekends or evenings/nights. If a 16 GB DIMM in slot A will solve your problem you might think about it. You also may find you need to file in court in Texas where Dell is headquartered.
And although your argument that you added memory and a hard drive may work in this forum, from Dell's perspective they will only warranty/certify the config they delivered.
 
Jan 6, 2015
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#42
"the hardest part for me is distilling 3 months of frustration down into a non-accusatory, concise list of issues and requests"

This is the challenge for all of us. But it works, over and over again. When executives' time and consideration are respected, they often respond with swift and meaningful actions. Just hearing your "received, crash, send back, tested without memory, worked before, deny, deny deny" should be enough to make them think "What is going on here? Why are they doing this? He has a warranty. He is the customer."

Is that reaction guaranteed? No. But if/when we make inflammatory statements, however true or innocent, they might receive that as an emotional customer with unrealistic expectations. The facts, briefly stated, will often (but not always) rule the day. Check out the link that Neil posted.
 
Likes: jsn55
Mar 23, 2019
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#43
The right thing to do may still be your ultimate loss. Are you will to take a day (or several days given postponements and continuances) to go to small claims court to fight this for the price on one DIMM. You may ultimately "win" at the cost of several days off work, since courts do not work weekends or evenings/nights. If a 16 GB DIMM in slot A will solve your problem you might think about it. You also may find you need to file in court in Texas where Dell is headquartered.
And although your argument that you added memory and a hard drive may work in this forum, from Dell's perspective they will only warranty/certify the config they delivered.
I'm a stay-at-home dad. My time is cheap. I also have a massive problem with large corporations strong-arming the little guy. Dell's average consumer review rating with the BBB is 1 star, which I know is totally subjective, but I'm living proof that they've earned it. Their A+ rating with the BBB stems from the fact that they bend over backwards to keep their enterprise customers happy. If I fight this fight and get no relief, and I'm still stuck with a crippled laptop, I'm only out the cost of computer diagnostics and $30 court fees. At least I will go down fighting.

I did the research - I can file in Washington if I so choose that route.
 
Jan 6, 2015
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#44
Terry, in light of your frustration, I read through your posts and created a "draft" of what I would send to the first level shown in our Company Contacts. It reflects not only my own style of writing, but the principles I eluded to earlier. Feel free to use all, part, or none of it as you see fit:

Mark O'Loughlin
Customer Care, Senior Manager
mark_oloughlin@dell.com

Subject; Support Issue

Thank you for your time and attention. I recognize and appreciate that you have many other important things to do.

I am writing to advise you of my recent support experience and to ask for your help in achieving a satisfactory resolution. My efforts to resolve this through normal support channels has failed. This is the timeline of events:
  • January 22, 2018: I purchased a gaming laptop from Dell
  • March 15, 2018: I purchased an 8GB memory DIMM from Dell, which I installed myself
  • January 4, 2019: The right-shift key stopped working, so I sent the laptop in to have the keyboard replaced (January 7th)
  • January 24: The laptop is returned to me but when powered on it crashes. Per Dell I ship it back.
  • January 31: I receive the laptop with the memory stick from slot B taped to lid. When I reinstall it the laptop again crashes. I email Dell with a request to speak to a manager.
  • February 1: Your Advanced Resolution Group (ARG) tech calls and informs me that the aftermarket memory in DIMM Slot B is the problem. He will not replace or repair my PC.
  • February 2: I respond via email that I bought the memory module from Dell, and request a replacement memory module, as it has a lifetime warranty. He does not respond.
  • February 3-6: After some independent troubleshooting, I determine that the issue is actually DIMM slot B (system board issue). I email my findings to ARG and receive these responses:
"...when you sent the system to our depot, they could not find any issue with the computer after the third party memory was removed. Hence the computer is working as per design."​

"As discussed, since there are no hardware failures on the computer, we will not be able to get it to our depot again. For any software issues you can contact our software support team , their toll free number is 1.877.790.3355, it is paid support."​
  • March 17: I email a repair estimate from a PC repair shop, which confirms my claim that the system board needs to be replaced. ARG rejects this diagnosis, and further states that installing memory into my computer voided my warranty.
  • March 22: After another call from the same ARG tech, I email him informing him that installing memory does not void my warranty. I have documentation to prove it. Here is his final response:
"I would like to inform you our depot has informed that there is no issue with the computer, it is working as per design. We go by what our depot has informed. I would also like to inform you that Dell does not support any upgrades on the computers."​

I have offered to a) exchange my laptop for a new, comparable model and to pay any price difference and b) to send my laptop in for a refund. The answer to both was no.

From my perspective I have been quite patient and flexible throughout this process. I have requested a seemingly simple and reasonable fix for an issue that was not pre-existing . And all my hardware was purchased from Dell.

The right thing to do seems straightforward to me. Replace the system board and/or the two memory modules. The unit is under warranty.

Can you help?


Sincerely,
Terry
 
Mar 23, 2019
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#45
Terry, in light of your frustration, I read through your posts and created a "draft" of what I would send to the first level shown in our Company Contacts. It reflects not only my own style of writing, but the principles I eluded to earlier. Feel free to use all, part, or none of it as you see fit:

Mark O'Loughlin
Customer Care, Senior Manager
mark_oloughlin@dell.com

Subject; Support Issue

Thank you for your time and attention. I recognize and appreciate that you have many other important things to do.

I am writing to advise you of my recent support experience and to ask for your help in achieving a satisfactory resolution. My efforts to resolve this through normal support channels has failed. This is the timeline of events:
  • January 22, 2018: I purchased a gaming laptop from Dell
  • March 15, 2018: I purchased an 8GB memory DIMM from Dell, which I installed myself
  • January 4, 2019: The right-shift key stopped working, so I sent the laptop in to have the keyboard replaced (January 7th)
  • January 24: The laptop is returned to me but when powered on it crashes. Per Dell I ship it back.
  • January 31: I receive the laptop with the memory stick from slot B taped to lid. When I reinstall it the laptop again crashes. I email Dell with a request to speak to a manager.
  • February 1: Your Advanced Resolution Group (ARG) tech calls and informs me that the aftermarket memory in DIMM Slot B is the problem. He will not replace or repair my PC.
  • February 2: I respond via email that I bought the memory module from Dell, and request a replacement memory module, as it has a lifetime warranty. He does not respond.
  • February 3-6: After some independent troubleshooting, I determine that the issue is actually DIMM slot B (system board issue). I email my findings to ARG and receive these responses:
"...when you sent the system to our depot, they could not find any issue with the computer after the third party memory was removed. Hence the computer is working as per design."​
"As discussed, since there are no hardware failures on the computer, we will not be able to get it to our depot again. For any software issues you can contact our software support team , their toll free number is 1.877.790.3355, it is paid support."​

  • March 17: I email a repair estimate from a PC repair shop, which confirms my claim that the system board needs to be replaced. ARG rejects this diagnosis, and further states that installing memory into my computer voided my warranty.
  • March 22: After another call from the same ARG tech, I email him informing him that installing memory does not void my warranty. I have documentation to prove it. Here is his final response:
"I would like to inform you our depot has informed that there is no issue with the computer, it is working as per design. We go by what our depot has informed. I would also like to inform you that Dell does not support any upgrades on the computers."​

I have offered to a) exchange my laptop for a new, comparable model and to pay any price difference and b) to send my laptop in for a refund. The answer to both was no.

From my perspective I have been quite patient and flexible throughout this process. I have requested a seemingly simple and reasonable fix for an issue that was not pre-existing . And all my hardware was purchased from Dell.

The right thing to do seems straightforward to me. Replace the system board and/or the two memory modules. The unit is under warranty.

Can you help?


Sincerely,
Terry

It's unfortunate that I can only 'like' this post once. You have gone above and beyond what I'd hoped for in this forum, and I thank you for your dedication in helping me resolve this mess. This is a great start.
 
Aug 9, 2017
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#48
Problems created by memory chips are often very difficult to diagnose. I would suggest that one of two options be done:

1. Remove the memory chip from slot B and verify over an extended time that the problem is resolved.

2. Leave the suspected chip in the slot, and run one of the free online utilities that perform test on RAM chips. Windows for instance has the utility available (or built in depending on version). See https://www.cnet.com/how-to/test-your-ram-with-windows-memory-diagnostic-tool/. One thing that is critical is to run the test for several hours.

Just as a point of interest, what is the brand on the memory chip. If it is 3rd party, Dell takes no responsibility for their use. They remove them from the PC/laptop, retest and if the device works properly, then put the brunt of the blame on the memory chip. They should not be thought of as a repair center for 3rd party add-ons.
 
Mar 23, 2019
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#49
Problems created by memory chips are often very difficult to diagnose. I would suggest that one of two options be done:

1. Remove the memory chip from slot B and verify over an extended time that the problem is resolved.

2. Leave the suspected chip in the slot, and run one of the free online utilities that perform test on RAM chips. Windows for instance has the utility available (or built in depending on version). See https://www.cnet.com/how-to/test-your-ram-with-windows-memory-diagnostic-tool/. One thing that is critical is to run the test for several hours.

Just as a point of interest, what is the brand on the memory chip. If it is 3rd party, Dell takes no responsibility for their use. They remove them from the PC/laptop, retest and if the device works properly, then put the brunt of the blame on the memory chip. They should not be thought of as a repair center for 3rd party add-ons.
I've chosen to omit the testing specifics in this thread. It was determined by my testing and a reputable PC repair shop that the memory itself is not the problem. The problem consistently reproduces when memory, either the original system memory or the third party memory is installed in slot B. My system will run fine for days if the 3rd party memory is installed in slot A.
 
Mar 23, 2019
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#50
I need some advice. I just got a notification from the BBB about my complaint. What action do you guys think I should take? Should I reject or accept Dell's response and move forward with an executive email? What would you do? Here's their response:

"I am writing on behalf of Dell Inc. in response to the complaint filed with your office by the customer. Thank you for providing a copy of the customer’s submission.

A Dell representative, xxxxxx has been in contact with the customer regarding their concerns. We regret any dissatisfaction the customer may have experienced and appreciate the Better Business Bureau’s feedback. xxxxxx has informed the customer that the Dell repair depot found no issues with his computer and Dell does not support any upgrades a customer may add to their computer. Should the customer have any additional concerns they can reach out to Dell by phone, email or chat by visiting www.Dell.com/Contact or for online assistance at www.Dell.com/Support. Dell now moves to close this matter regarding Incident ID: 39901243. "
 
Jan 6, 2015
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#54
Bottom line: they sell a laptop that is capable of memory and storage upgrades, but when said upgrades are attempted, one of them (memory) crashes the system. That makes the hardware defective, and requires a fix. Proceed with emails . . .
 
Mar 23, 2019
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#55
Bottom line: they sell a laptop that is capable of memory and storage upgrades, but when said upgrades are attempted, one of them (memory) crashes the system. That makes the hardware defective, and requires a fix. Proceed with emails . . .
Agreed. I'll just accept Dell's response and close the complaint out and add it to my pile of evidence. Worst case scenario is that Dell refuses to respond and then I move forward. I'll post a draft of my letter in the next few days. I need to take a break from this aggravation. Thanks!
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
17,678
15,942
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#56
Terry, it doesn’t hurt to finish out the email contacts we have if you haven’t hit the CEO yet. The worst that can happen is you get no’s all the way up the line but you never know- one might actually take time to really read and help. If you don’t try you will never know.

We’ve recently had two cases that seemed to be straight out “tough luck” cases fixed for the consumers by a well written letter finding the right executive. You’ve gone this far- finish out the list.
 
Mar 23, 2019
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#58
Bottom line: they sell a laptop that is capable of memory and storage upgrades, but when said upgrades are attempted, one of them (memory) crashes the system. That makes the hardware defective, and requires a fix. Proceed with emails . . .
I've taken your "template" and have rewritten it in my voice (thanks again for that!). The question is, in your experience, is email effective, or should I send it via snail-mail?

Here it is:

Dear Mr. O’Louglin,

First, I’d like to thank you in advance for taking the time to read this. I understand your time is a precious commodity, and I take that very seriously, so I shall be as brief as possible.

I’m writing as an appeal to achieve a satisfactory resolution to my most recent support interaction with Dell. My efforts to resolve my issues through the normal support channels have failed. I have outlined the timeline of events below for brevity.
  • 1/22/2018: I purchase an Inspiron 5577 gaming laptop from Dell
  • 3/15/2018: I purchase and install an additional 8GB memory from Dell. This doubles my system memory. PC runs flawlessly.
  • 1/4/2019: The right shift key on my keyboard stops working. Tech support has me mail it in for warranty repairs. I ship it on 1/7/19.
  • 1/24/2019: The repaired laptop is returned to me. It has a new issue where it crashes. I contact tech support and they have me ship it back to fix the crashing issue.
  • 1/31/2019: The laptop is returned to me with the memory I had installed taped to the lid with no explanation. I reinstall it and my crashing issues resume. I email tech support to speak to a manager.
  • 2/1/2019: I’m contacted by xxxxxxxx xxxfrom the Advanced Resolution Group. He informs me the memory I had installed was the problem. He will not repair, replace, or refund my laptop.
  • 2/2/2019: I respond via email that the memory was purchased from Dell and has a lifetime warranty and requested a replacement. He did not address this request.
  • 2/3 – 2/6/2019: I perform independent troubleshooting and find the problem is DIMM slot B, and not the memory. I email my findings to xxxxxxxxxx. I receive these responses:

    "...when you sent the system to our depot, they could not find any issue with the computer after the third party memory was removed. Hence the computer is working as per design.", and:

"As discussed, since there are no hardware failures on the computer, we will not be able to get it to our depot again. For any software issues you can contact our software support team , their toll free number is 1.877.790.3355, it is paid support."

  • 3/17/2019: I email xxxxxxxxxx a repair estimate from an independent repair shop, which confirms my claim that the system board needs to be replaced, as having any memory installed in DIMM slot B causes crashing issues. He rejects these findings, stating Dell does not accept 3rd party diagnostics.
  • 3/22/2019: xxxxxxx calls to respond to my complaint to the BBB. He wants to run remote diagnostics on my laptop. I tell him I need to move the memory to the faulty slot before he did so. He rejects this and tells me user installed upgrades are not supported. I tell him I’m merely moving the original system memory to the faulty slot, and not adding the 3rd party memory. He tells me this will void my warranty. My system crashes twice while he’s trying to run his diagnostics. The phone call ends with the issue unresolved.

    I feel I have been very reasonable and flexible in my requests to have this situation resolved. I’ve offered to return my laptop for a replacement while paying any price difference. I’ve offered to return it for a full refund, and I have offered to send it in for repairs a third time. Every request has been summarily denied.

    All I’m asking for is to have my laptop running as well as it did before my keyboard was replaced. I purchased it with two functioning DIMM slots, and I now only have one.

    I would deeply appreciate anything you could do to help me get this situation resolved.

    Thanks very much,
    Terry Larimer