Originally Posted by nottenst
I wrote into Dish Network a few days ago telling them that my DTVPal/TR-40CRA runs hot and to my surprise I received the following email:
"Thank you for your email. It has been determined that the equipment needs to be replaced. There is a warranty on your account that covers replacement of your equipment including shipping and handling. To replace your equipment please call our customer service center at 1-800-333-3474 and we will be happy to replace your equipment for you. I apologize for any inconvenience this has caused."
The note continued with expedited shipping options and information on technical support.
In 2006 Dell replaced my Dimension 4700, a computer with the chassis cooling fan installed backwards resulting in abnormally high running temperatures. This 4700 had experienced frequent optical drive failure and repeated replacements of these and other component parts. This computer's case metal parts were too hot to touch even though the computer was used in an open, well ventilated area.
In my initial contacts with Dell Customer Service I was reminded that the warranty for this product had expired in late 2005. Then I asked them if they could assure me that my Dell 4700 computer would not catch fire and cause my home to burn down and my family members to burn to death. Of course I was transferred around and given the usual runaround where they "never heard of this problem." After a time of repeated calls over several days I was connected to a Supervisor in Dell's Escalation Department. By this time I had written a detailed letter stating that my complaint was not a "warranty claim" but was a "product liability complaint." I pointed out that the product defect had already been documented by many other Dimension 4700 owners posting on Dell's own Community Forum with their concerns about the very same overheating problem. I suggested that any family members surviving a Dell-caused fire would surely bring suit since Dell knows that this badly designed computer ran at excessive temperatures and so it was surely prone to catch fire; and all the while the Dell-employed Community Forum moderator continued to maintain that the cooling fan was purposely designed to work the opposite way than those in the rest of the Dell Dimension line. I pointed out that all our other Dell computers ran at much cooler temperatures.
My letter was printed and ready to be sent to Dell's Vice President of Investor Relations (as I happened to be a Dell stockholder). The letter included photographs illustrating the problem and copies of the Dell moderator's posts sidestepping owner complaints concerning Dimension 4700 overheating. I speculated that Dell's liability had the same litigation potential as a Ford Pinto or GM pickup with exploding gas tanks. I stated, as a Dell stockholder, that I believed that corporate posturing was unconscionable and I expected responsible action from corporate officers.
Instead of mailing the letter, I emailed a copy of my letter, with attachments, to that Escalation Department Supervisor. I suggested that this Supervisor contact the Dell Legal Department for advice before any further response to my complaint.
Within a week a Dimension E510 arrived, a computer of similar specification but of a very different design that provides efficient cooling.
Subsequently, following more difficulties with Dell, including but not limited to difficulties getting Dell to honor a warranty replacement of a defective part, I sold my Dell stock, taking a substantial loss on my investment. Since that time I have purchased new computers of other brands for household use but the computers my daughter and I continue to use are Dells. My Dell experiences have lost them other business as I exercise product purchasing influence with many others.
I will not go into problems with Ford Motor Company--a situation costing Ford many retail and fleet sales. In my metropolitan area three Ford and L-M dealers have now gone out of business this year alone. I am hoping that Ford may stay afloat, at least until my investment bond with Ford Motor Credit comes payable within a few weeks.