My recent exposure to Microsoft’s take on the heuristic “User Control and Freedom”, which essentially says, Don’t give users control and freedom. No control on updates and forced re-starts.
I had purchased my Dell Inspiron laptop last year. I was hardly using the laptop as i was in a 9-5 job and Ive made up my mind, no dell anymore. Why ? read below
The overall experience had been, like:
- Upgrade to Windows 8 > freeze
- Wrong steps provided by unqualified tech
- Bricking the motherboard
- Informing of followup but never giving a call-back
- All techs are in a hurry so they dont do extended tests, Neither Ask customer to do it.
- Microsoft support helps re-installing Windows 8, Problem still exists
- Running extended tests myself, voila its the HDD which was bad and not BIOS or OS Or anything else.
The Perception and the wrong decision to go with Dell
I always had the perception that Dell exceeds other manufacturers in product quality, service, efficient and knowledgeable dell support.
As a result i went ahead and finalized Dell laptop over other brands. Now, with my experience, i regret that decision.
Slowly things changed and i founded my own Startup and tried to get busy using my laptop as this was the time i needed it most, i had purchased it with the intention of my business as i already have a fully functional desktop.
However, all of that was an illusion. The product quality is cheap, nothing manufactured by dell. Moreover, inefficient and unqualified dell support staff, who go out of their way to make sure customer keeps quiet and mislead them
The Original Problem
My Dell Laptop is Dell Inspiron N5110 which has 2GB of RAM, 500 GB hdd and comes with Windows 7 Home Basic.
Per the recent upgrade offer from Microsoft, i paid for Windows 8 Pro upgrade and got an ISO of the Windows 8 Install.
Few incompatible apps and Windows 8 secure boot feature were not a concern for me which i ignored and made a Clean install of Windows 8 Pro.
However, Windows was freezing without even without any applications running, just after starting the Laptop.
I tried to troubleshoot the issue but there was no resolution.
The Worst Dell technician ever, you would encounter,
There are chances such issues are caused due to hardware error, so i considered contacting Dell support toll free number.
It was unfortunate that my call was routed to an Under Training Dell technician, Ravi. When i mean under training is because throughout the call he was putting the call on Mute for long periods and was surely asking the floor lead to guide him on how to proceed further.
During the call i had clearly informed the technician about my problem that Windows 8 Pro was freezing just after booting up.
After taking the essential information and running ePSA test (this is an inbuilt Diagnostic test which comes with All Dell systems), he instructed me to update the BIOS.
Yes, in certain cases updating the BIOS does resolve the issue. However, here the logical problem was with the process of upgrading BIOS.
The update procedure for BIOS is to be able to run the EXE file from the Windows interface itself, NO SANE Person would instruct a customer to download the EXE and run it knowing the fact that customer has complained for Windows Freezing issue.
I was skeptical about this hence, i confirmed with technician “are you sure updating BIOS is essential to resolve this issue”, after keeping the phone on mute for few minutes he replied in positive tone.
As instructed i ran the BIOS update utility and as the original problem existed, Windows froze while the update was running with no response from laptop. No key was working.
The tech Ravi, had no clue on what to do next. He kept the call on Mute again for minutes and later came back saying
“Sir, please remove the Power cable to turn off the system”
I had to remind him that its a Laptop and not a Desktop and that, removing the power cable will cause nothing to the state of the laptop. He then asked me to remove the battery.
After removing the battery, the system would not boot up, no post, no diagnostic.
Next time, some tech asks you to update BIOS for petty issues. Just think about it, this is their way of buying time to research the issue.
The Dell tech effectively bricked my motherboard, and then offered me a replacement.
Brick the part that had no issue and then Issue replacement with Refurbished part
I knew the replacement would be with a Refurbished (which has less life) motherboard. I told him that i wont get the motherboard replaced, and asked hime to send a technician to fix the current motherboard. He agreed.
At the same time i had sent an email to India Service head for dell, they gave me a call in evening regarding the issue and told me that i will receive a call on Monday morning 11 AM. Next day, i called up the support team as i did not hear from them. This time the rep, asked me that she would go ahead and issue a replacement.
I insisted that i don’t want a refurbished part and either want the current motherboard to be fixed Or replace with a new motherboard of equal specs.
She transferred my call to Sahil Arora, he informed me that All dell replacements are named “refurbished” for Name sake, as Dell gets new motherboards and installs own bios on hence its called as refurbished.
Hence, i agreed.
However that was a blatant lie, which was negated by DellCares Twitter handle via a DM reply.
“If you install Non-Dell RAM, you’ve void the whole System Warranty, i am dispatching motherboard as an exception”
He went ahead and told me that I have voided the system warranty and he is replacing the motherboard only as an exception.
All of this was NOT true, i confirmed it with DellCares Twitter handle, and they affirmed that System Warranty is Intact if other hardware is installed only that they would not support that hardware Or any issues caused due to that hardware.
Microsoft support was Awesome 🙂
Dell does not provide support for softwares which were not shipped with the system. Agreed. So i contacted Microsoft support, they were diligent and helped me out with re-installing Windows 8. But the problem still existed hence i ran extended tests.
In the End, i had to run the Extended tests, myself and knew that the issue was with Hard Drive and not any OS or Other hardware.
No technician took time or even asked me to run extended tests which could determine the exact issue. So i had to run it myself and came with the results.
Listen to Sahils conversation and decide for yourself, how sure he was and how nicely he was lying and attempting to fool and whether he was misleading unintentionally.
Note: I have only clipped the part with my address
Dell and its support have given me weeks of trouble and pain and then inconvenience is regretted only for formality. All my expectations with Dell have been let down. If you had any such experience/issue, do let me know that will lighten my pain :(.
All i will get is a replaced HDD, Not certain about the near future of my laptop :(, may be thats why Dell has Complete Care to offer.
Dell Support, please take a look at this issue and make sure, NO Other Dell customer goes through the same stuff.
Ive recently got Windows 8 Pro on my Desktop and I am really excited to use it.
The most notable improvements that I have observed are as below:
- Metro UI
- Mail, People, Messaging, SkyDrive and Social
- Apps, Sync and Login