Continual Problems with Dell Laptop - At What Stage Can I Ask for a Refund?

Hi guys,

If this is long and winded I apologise but I want someone else’s thoughts.

A couple of months ago, I decided to upgrade my aging 2013 MacBook Pro. Apart from the fact it was getting old and slow, it was a faultless workhorse.

I bought the OzB favourite, the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 gaming Laptop through the Dell Australia eBay store.

It has given me nothing short of problems. In fairness to dell, their support has been really good but I am just over it for the reasons below. I’ll do a TL;DR at the end.

Headphone jack didn’t work. Spent an hour with Dell support over the phone, they eventually took control of laptop remotely and thought it needed drivers. Spent an hour doing this to no avail.

They thought the motherboard was faulty, so took half a day (only time they could come) off work, for them to come and replace it. The tech said on leaving ‘it should be right’. It still didn’t work, he didn’t even check it.

They then express posted a flash drive with a clean copy of windows 10, and instructions on how to wipe the drive and start again, now thinking it was a software issue.

This FINALLY allowed the headphone jack to work. But now wifi didn’t work. Gave them a call, spent another hour on the phone trying different things, to then be told to borrow a laptop from somebody, download certain drivers, install them onto the Dell and that should fix it.

This did fix it. Spent a solid several hours setting my laptop back up / installing basic apps like office suite, steam etc… and putting all of my personal stuff back on to it, basically making it how it was again.

I’ve then gone into settings > update & security > windows update and downloaded applicable updates which asked for a restart.

As I’ve restarted it as it asked for, an error came up on screen asking to repair an error. It failed, asked me to restart again.
Did this, then several errors saying ‘an app default was reset’’

Now all my apps have been deleted, all default setting put back to windows default settings!! Like a fresh install.

I’m regretting leaving Mac, and want to go back. I have given multiple opportunities to fix this and been more than reasonable. At what point can I ask for a refund? Or am I dreaming? I want to go back to my trusty mac.

TL;DR Sold macbook, bought Dell, nothing short of problems and hair pulling. Is it unreasonable to now expect a refund?

Appreciate all help.

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  • Welcome to the world of windows where a corrupt driver can f up your day

    They thought the motherboard was faulty, so took half a day (only time they could come) off work, for them to come and replace it.

    The tech said on leaving ‘it should be right’. It still didn’t work, he didn’t even check it.

    Sounds like you didn't test it before they left…? I wouldn't have let them leave until I had tested the headphones for a good 30 minutes.

    Anyway sounds like you've been given a lemon. Luckily Dell support is actually pretty good and once you get through their overseas call centres and if you manage to get onto the Aussie based team ask for their direct number.

    I think the (unspoken) rule is 3 repairs then a refund.

    I'd call support on Monday, ask for the manager and ask what sort of remedy they can provide. Tell them you are disappointed with the quality of Dell and you want to know how you would go about getting your money back.

  • Sounds like it should be replaced. Was it faulty on arrival?

    Talk to Dell and ask them to replace it or collect it and refund. Sounds like a major fault and as such read up on your rights under the ACL.

  • Thanks guys

    Alright, I’ll see if I can get through to a manager of some description on Monday. It was faulty on arrival, took me a few weeks to get around to addressing the issue due to full time work / part time uni commitments taking priority.

    Hopefully I can get a refund, not trying to sound like an ass, but I’ve been more than reasonable with all faults and repair processes.

    I would rather pay more, to go back to what is trusted and reliable, for more money, and arguably less features….

  • +1 vote

    Problems like this are why I learnt to build pcs to start with, laptops are trickier.

  • I had problems with Dell, their customer service is (profanity) shocking. I went back and forth for a while and then they just flat out ignored me. I was never anything but polite and helpful, they never have me a 'we're sorry there's nothing we can do' response, just flat out stopped responding.

    I eventually gave up because it was just too hard…I regret that now though.

  • When you say the headphone jack isn't working, is it not working at all or you can't use a headset with microphone?(eg. like the ones that come bundled with phones)

    My microphone wouldn't work on both of my dell laptops then I found it was actually me that turned off "Allow apps to access your microphone" which caused the problem. Turning this back on fixed the problem.

  • Dell have a 14 day return policy in case you bought it recently.

  • Fool me once, shame on me, fool me twice, shame on you.

    Same saying more or less applies to hardware IMO. Broke once, might be my end, broke twice, it's your end.

    (So if you've called em put twice and it's still faulty, ask for a refund or a proper device switch).

    As with mac to windows. Windows has issues, but long term'll probably be better. Apparently apple devices are…..bad, nowadays, and windows devices are definitely vastly cheaper.

  • Wow they have made you jump through hoops. Start demanding a refund, they are taking you for a ride because they have noticed you are quite tech savvy. They have sold you a laptop with problems and are asking for you to fix it.

  • Go for a refund.Even I had major issues with my dell xps15 1TB/32GB 4k. It just died the very second day and didn't switch ON. Dell tech support offered next day onsite visit..I deferred it as I was not comfortable to have a serviced laptop having paid more than $2.5k+ and asked for a refund. They said some other team will call and process it. Waited for the call for a couple of days.. nothing proceeded forward. So I opted for a refund through ebay and it was processed at ease. Will never deal with Dell again. I wonder how those laptops skip their QC department.


    Dell originally wanted me to try to reinstall the updates as it would ‘ be hard to press for refund’. And ‘if problems still persisted we would revisit the case’

    I literally could not. Not only had the failures deleted both chrome AND the default Edge app, I couldn’t get back to wifi as it had deleted the drivers for wifi to work, again.

    I sent them a firm, but fair, email explaining this is not satisfactory and to escalate the request, as I’m sure the ACL would side with my rights after several software and hardware issues.

    I’ve just gotten an email back saying my my request has been approved, they have forwarded this to the correct department to begin organising.

    Thanks for all your help! It was greatly appreciated, and I may not have gotten the above outcome without it.

    PS. If you read the above, I’m probably going to drop about $4k on the top of the range MacBook Pro, as I will get 4-5 reliable years out of it.
    Unless someone else has any other recommendations?
    A) has to be on ozbargain level
    B) high specs AND reliable
    C) will spend up to $4k, but if I can save money I will.

    • Curious why you bought an Inspiron?

      Are you using it for gaming or do you need graphics power?

      I was provisioned with a top of the line Dell Latitude 13 7390 2-in-1 (7000 series, top model) for work.
      Was so impressed with it that I decided to buy 3 refurb Dell business grade laptops (all Latitude 7390s) and they have all been fine.
      Of those 3, 1 refurb was a lemon (touch screen was funny and tablet mode sensor on motherboard was faulty), took two tech onsite visits and now pretty much 90% of the unit are new parts.

      All were under $1300 each, all retail for $2.5K + $3k each, no visible signs of them ever being used.
      I will never buy a consumer grade laptop again.

      I've owned a Zenbook UX303, which was the Asus macbook air (but much more powerful), and the latitude 7000 series is on a whole new level of sturdy.
      I would class macbooks and macbook pros as prosumer, not business grade laptops in terms of build quality (I'm not saying they're bad, but true-business class laptops are on another level.

      Dell originally wanted me to try to reinstall the updates as it would

      Yeah that seems normal, reinstall updates, if not, factory reset. If still no result, supposed to be hardware replacement.

      If anything, have you considered a razer laptop? They're supposed to be the windows version of a macbook pro.
      What are your computing requirements?
      Do you need a dedicated graphics card?
      Have you considered perhaps getting a light well-built laptop with thunderbolt for external GPU?

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