Dell Tech Support Woes

I bought a Dell Inspiron Mini 10 in October directly from Dell via the Dell Outlet.
After the usual few days it took to get all the service packs and fixes etc onto it I noticed that the screen resolution was incorrect. The screen has a maximum physical resolution of 1024×600. The properties only listed 1024×768.
When you used the laptop you were missing the bottom 168 pixels worth of screen. The desktop did not scroll. It was still usable, press the start button on the keyboard and the menu appeared, you just couldn’t see the task bar.
If I used the screen magnifier and dragged the mouse off the bottom of the screen, the magnifier showed me the area off the bottom of the screen (the missing 168 pixels worth).

Taking matters into my own hands I un-installed and re-installed the Dell drivers, assuming that this would fix the problem.
It did not.
I contacted Dell technical support who refused to help me as my name was not listed against my system. I supplied my customer number, invoice number and sales reference an they confirmed that they had sold it to me but as my name had not been updated on the tech support system they could not help me.
After four weeks of phone calls managed to get my details updated.

Unfortunately, in the meantime my laptop had started to work as expected. This made me uneasy as I had not done anything to fix it so I knew that it could “break” again with no warning.
Between Christmas and New Year, the original fault returned.
This time tech support would speak to me. We ran a diagnostic and the only error reported was “multi format card reader error – device not ready” (I’m paraphrasing the error). I explained that I did not have an SD card in the slot and that’s probably why the error was displayed. The engineer insisted that this was actually a hard disk error and that was the cause of the incorrect display resolution.
An engineer was dispatched, who replaced the hard disk, re-installed windows and confirmed that the fault still existed.
The engineer also highlighted that as the boot screen and the bios screens were running at the wrong resolution there was no way that it could be a hard disk, Windows or drivers issue.

He diagnosed the fault as a faulty graphics card, which is built into the motherboard.
A replacement was ordered.
The motherboard was replaced and the fault persisted.

The only component left (apart from the case) that had not been swapped was the LCD screen.
A replacement was ordered.
To replace a screen the laptop has to be completely dismantled, motherboard and everything must be removed.
Once in bits it was found that the wrong screen had been sent out.
The mountings on the hinges were completely different and the wiring was different.
A different LCD was ordered.

Again, the LCD screen was of the wrong spec and did not fit.
The response now was to return the unit to Dell for a repair.
I declined the offer and arranged for a full refund.

The laptop was scheduled to be collected that Friday and my refund would be processed within 5 working days.
The laptop was not collected on the specified day.

The laptop was scheduled to be collected the following Friday and my refund would be processed within 5 working days.
The laptop was not collected on the specified day.

The next time I called Dell they claimed that the reason my unit had not been collected was because they did not think I owned it!
Apparently this has now been resolved and the laptop will be collected tomorrow.

Only a day later than claimed on Wednesday 27th January at about 16:30 my laptop was collected by the couriers for returnin to Dell.

Watch this space.

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