I am a home/personal use customer. I do not own a business nor do not have a business account with Dell. However, I have made nine computer purchases from Dell since December 1999, a sum of money that I most certainly could use in my own pocket rather than in Mr. Dell’s.
My association with Dell is over and I will no longer be buying Dell computers. The reason is simple: I happen to own a computer with a flaw that Dell is very much aware of. Yet, because I am ninety days over Dell's three year free replacement policy, I am out of luck.
I purchased a Dell Inspiron 9300 (17 inch laptop) in December 2005. The other day (Saturday March 7, 2009) I was using it and all of a sudden a thin purple line appeared on the screen that runs vertically from top to bottom about 2.5 inches from the right side of the screen. I am very careful with this computer. It has never been dropped and nothing has ever spilled in it.
After very little research, I found the following information from a Dell site: On some 17 inch LCD displays shipped with Dell Inspiron 9200, 9300 and Dell XPS Gen 2 notebooks, a one pixel wide vertical line may develop across the LCD screen over time. Systems that may be affected by this issue shipped from Nov. 2004 through Oct 2006. My system was shipped on December 5, 2005.
The article referenced above reads (from http://en.community.dell.com/blogs/direct2dell/archive/2007/04/09/10675.aspx):
Potential Vertical Line on Certain 17 inch Notebook Displays - Update: January 16, 2008
Mike Bukowski, a Technical Analyst from our Dell Customer Advocate team recently published a post that discusses other potential causes of vertical lines on notebook displays.
Earlier this year, members of our Customer Advocate Team posted a message that still resides front and center on a site called dellverticaline.com.. That note says we were aware of some user complaints about certain notebook displays. Since then, the Customer Advocate team has coordinated with other Dell groups to help figure out what was happening with some 17" notebook displays.
Here's what they found: on some 17 inch LCD displays shipped with Dell Inspiron 9200, 9300 and Dell XPS Gen 2 notebooks, a one pixel wide vertical line may develop across the LCD screen over time. Systems that may be affected by this issue shipped from Nov. 2004 through Oct 2006.
Here's what we're doing: for affected systems, Dell is offering to replace any LCD that develops a vertical line within three years of purchase, at no charge for parts and labor. Also, Dell will offer refunds to customers who paid Dell to replace defective LCDs with this issue.
Dell values our customers, and we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
This potential issue applies to Inspiron 9200, 9300 and XPS Gen 2 models only;
Only these three systems shipped from Nov. 2004 to October 2006 are potentially affected.
Not all systems are affected. U.S. customers who are experiencing this issue, or who have paid to replace an LCD for this issue can call 1-800-624-9896.
As you can read, Dell clearly acknowledges this problem. The bad news, however, is that my computer was 3 months and 4 days out of this policy replacement/grace period. Further, as you may have guessed, Dell will do nothing on my behalf. I brought up the fact that I have purchased nine systems Dell since Christmas 1999, but Dell will have none of it. They said, "If it was thirty days I could help you. But no one at Dell will touch it after 90 days." I even tried talking to a manager. Basically, I am out of luck.
In closing, I will soon buy another laptop to replace my flawed Dell Inspiron 9300. Needless to say, however, it will not be a Dell computer.