Posted by: seasideviews | 04/02/2011

Dinosaur PCs or why you should buy Dell

I’ve just had a frustrating month or so with a new PC from a company who I’ll call “Dinosaur PCs” as their service was veeeery sloooooow, even though their machines are fast.  The machine was well built but boy did it take a while to arrive.  Quad core, with a graphics processor so just right for working on my photos.  It worked well; panoramas which used to have to be left running overnight took 20mins or so.  MS Publisher worked pretty well too.


Finally after a month of loading all the software and getting it set up just the way I like it, the PC went up in smoke … or more accurately a shower of sparks.  This was disconcerting to say the least as I was under my desk switching the power back on as it happened.

Here’s my complaint letter:

Without Prejudice

Dear Sir,

Order ID #####

To summarise the sorry tale of this PC:

  • It was ordered on 10th November 2010 and you quoted a 1-2 week delivery.
  • It was finally delivered 29th November
  • On arrival it would not start
  • Your engineer talked me through some tests to no avail
  • I had a final try the following day and the PC started
  • BUT there was a fault with the USBs on the front panel causing the machine to crash and then reboot.
  • The USB fault was finally pinned down and replicable on 14th December
  • A replacement was promised – twice before Christmas
  • … and twice this January
  • The replacement front panel finally delivered on Monday January 10th
  • Unfortunately the PC power supply had spectacularly failed on Sunday January 9th
    o   I had left it running
    o   On return it seemed to have shut down
    o   I tried starting it – nothing
    o   I replaced the fuse in the power lead
    o   On switching on the power at the wall a large number of sparks were ejected from the rear (My face was only 18” away)

I have spoken to your engineer who offered a refund subject to inspection.  I had no idea at the time that you were proposing to charge for the collection:

“This email is being sent to you as you have requested a refund due to the unit being unwanted. Unless stated otherwise you will be refunded less £40. This is for collection and original delivery costs.”

Under the circumstances I request a full refund and I trust you will agree this is due, particularly in the light of the email of 3rd December from Jonny ********** (see below).

Yours etc.

Well the shysters did finally cough up a full refund – otherwise I’d be naming them – but not in the five days they promised but in about ten.

Why Dell?

I hear people say their PCs are “bendy bits of plastic” and not well built like HP.  Here’s why:

It’s back to Dell, to be specific back to their Outlet Store.  I’ve bought a notebook which gave some trouble, and a desktop which has behaved perfectly.  Their after sales service has been exemplary with engineers calling as requested, replacing parts when needed (the notebook must have cost them a fortune, I’m surprised I’m not black listed).  On one occasion when I’d lost all the drivers a charming man from Mumbai spent six hours talking me though how to download all the drivers and rebuild the PC.

So I’ve bought a heavily discounted Intel i7 based system from the Dell Outlet store which is due next Friday … let’s hope it’s reliable and I’m not blogging again to tell you another tale of woe.


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