Dell Laptop Repair

I’m having the strangest experience.  I’m sitting in my living room here in Krungthep, Thailand and across the dining table from me, a Dell computer technician is taking apart my Latitude 610 laptop, replacing the LCD and the mother board.  All under warranty at no cost to me.

I know that Dell hasn’t had the best customer service reputation but, except for the fact that the conversations have had to be entirely in Thai (you’d laugh if you heard the translation of how I explain the problems my laptop is having), their service has been pretty amazing.

Of course, the repairs are still underway.  We’ll see what happens when he’s done!

This is my work laptop, provided by my employer back in the US.  Hopefully my IT department doesn’t read this as their suggestion was to ship the laptop back to them.  Last time I sent a laptop FedEx between continents the cost was ultimately north of $400, thanks to various “customs charges” and “convenience fees” that get charged here on the Thai side.

The problem (most of you may not want the technical details, so you can skip down a paragraph or two) is that the external video signal cuts out intermittently.  To spare my eyes, I use a 17″ LCD monitor resting on a small altar table that straddles the laptop keyboard.  In essence, a homemade docking station.  But the image cuts in and out and some tests suggest that the problem is the computer, not the monitor.

Also, when using the built-in LCD, sometimes the image jumps for a second and I’ve had a few stop errors in the past week, leading me to believe that bad things are coming

My in-house IT guy’s response: if it isn’t a company external monitor, it isn’t my problem.  Thanks.

So I called Dell’s local service number Friday and explained in a rudimentary way what the problem was.  The agent took my information and said he’d have a technician call on Monday.  Monday morning I received a call, which I had to forward to Tawn once it became a little complicated.  But by the late afternoon the technician arrived with two boxes in hand: a replacement LCD and a replacement motherboard.

Since the computer was still under warranty, they figured the safest thing to do was just switch all the potential trouble parts out.  Makes sense, right?

0 thoughts on “Dell Laptop Repair

  1. Dell have an amazing customer service in India as well. You call them and the technician will arrive at your home or any other place you request the very next working day. However, when I was in the US I was annoyed with them; Carey and I had to keep calling them a million times. Even though my warranty was an international warranty, they couldn’t find my service tag number in their database (because my laptop was bought from India)! Ultimately, a week or so and a million calls later, the problem was sorted out and the technician was sent to Carey’s home where I had left the laptop.

  2. Wow good for Dell.  I have had pretty bad luck with Dell Service in the past.
    I’m just wondering if you were at J-Avenue around 2pm in front of Au Bon Pan wearing a yellow t-shirt sitting down doing somework?

  3. Totally makes sense to replace both the motherboard AND the LCD haha… Anyways, I think it’s actually more of a US vs. out-side-of-US customer service problem, sadly enough… They don’t have uniforms???

  4. I had the same problem before. Replacing the mobo/video card solved it. To be honest, I don’t think I’ll ever buy a Dell again. In 2 years my last work dell laptop, went through 4 motherboards, 1 hard drive, 1 screen (from heat damage), 2 batteries, and 1 set of speakers.The thing I hated most was dealing with the Indian call centers. They never understood the problem.It actually got to the point where my repair tech and I were on a first name basis.Either way, I hope your laptop is healed!

  5. @jandsschultz – I just bought a mac and we’ve been to the store three times to resolve problems: the movie player wasn’t launching correctly and their fix has resulted in us having multiple user profiles, which seems unnecessary. 
    To top it off, I went there to buy a converter to plug a typical LCD monitor into the computer (because, of course, we wouldn’t want the mac to actually have a VGA plug since 99.5% of all monitors use VGA cables) and it turns out that each mac model uses a different type of converter and they didn’t have the one I need in stock.
    Mac isn’t winning in praises from me, yet.

  6. @LostSock21 – Wow, sounds like you went through a turbulent relationship with Dell.  Until about two weeks ago I was actually saying that I’ve had no problems at all with this computer in 2.5 years of using it, compared to IBM, HP and previous Dell computers I’ve had from my company, where I had problems at the 1 to 1.5 year mark.
    In this case, though, that may be because my laptop stays put on my desk and doesn’t really suffer the bangs of travel.

  7. Yikes! Surgery on the kitchen table – looks risky to me. I only deal with things that actually bleed so the electronic innards of computers scare the bejesus out of me. Hope your computer is healed and you are able to get your work done without hiccups.

  8. Actually, I have to admit that the fellow we use for our work, when it needs to be done, is quick to say that the frustrating thing about Apple products is that you buy a peripheral and then need to update OS to run it. That isn’t so user-friendly, as I found out myself when purchasing an iPod that needs Leopard…our iMac is the previous generation and doesn’t have the Intel processor necessary to run Leopard. There are a lot of “should haves” in this story, I know, but it is still frustrating and one of the things about technology that has always made me angry. Oh well….

  9. I hope by now your partially ‘new’ laptop is working fine! I heard a lot of complaints relating to connection parts with the Mac. But I do have to update my system software periodically. That’s the inconvenience so far with my Mac laptop.

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