Dell’s daylight robbery

When one purchases ‘theft cover’ for a product one might assume that it ‘covers theft.’ False advertising laws usually assure such fair assumptions but what if the company has done the dodgy with fine print? What if that company is Dell?

Dell’s XPS M1210 notebook: Great when not stolen.

When Adam and Jenny Bolte purchased a brand new XPS M1210 notebook in October last year for over $3000 they opted to pay extra for protection from theft with Dell’s ‘CompleteCover Guard.’

It turns out that was a waste. 

Two months later when the pricey machine was swiftly stolen from under their noses Adam and Jenny found out the hard way that Dell’s fine print should be read extremely carefully.

“I was typing on the laptop while sitting down at a local restaurant at a fancy part of town when two big guys came running past the table and grabbed the laptop from behind” says Adam Bolte.

“I chased the thieves two blocks before they were able to give me the slip. The whole thing was on security camera (in daylight) and the police informed me that they had a clear picture of the entire incident.”

Upon a quick read of the agreement the Boltes learned that they would be left in the red by Dell. The theft cover agreement demands that a theft must be “accompanied by forcible and violent entry.” Even with videotaped evidence Dell won’t cover theft in a public area (even according to Dell locked hotel rooms.)

However Adam and Jenny weren’t prepared to give up that easily.

Upon carefully reading the supplied agreement the Boltes discovered the coverage for their stolen notebook an XPS wasn’t limited under the agreement. Only two notebook ranges are specifically limited under the agreement: Inspiron and Latitude. No mention of XPS.

Even with this knowledge his claims were consistently knocked back by Dell — that’s if someone responded.

“They said their service was so good but they never return our phone calls” says Jenny Bolte.

One of the Dell representatives that eventually responded via email admitted to the fault albeit with broken English.

“Thank you for highlighting us that the XPS model does not states in our Complete Cover Guard’s agreement.” The representative then says that the policy will be updated.

But that isn’t the policy to which the Boltes agreed.

So we spoke with Dell and outlined the issues. A senior Dell representative then called Adam Bolte.

“This is the first person at Dell I’ve spoken to who natively speaks English” declares Bolte somewhat elated. “What a breakthrough!”

As requested Bolte sent in an email much like many before it which detailed his situation. He included all previous correspondence a Police declaration among other relevant papers.

Bolte was then promised he would hear back from Dell over the weekend or at the very least on the following Monday.

Tuesday arrives and he hears nothing so Bolte sends in a reminder. The senior representative responds saying he was sick and would get back to him that same day.

Two days later and still not a word so he fires in a morning reminder. Perhaps the dog ate Dell’s homework.

He is told that someone will contact him ‘within the next day.’ Three full days later and nothing but silence.

Shall we blame the weather this time?

The Boltes with all their patience are understandably miffed at the lack of professionalism.

The appalling customer care is what I find most disturbing in all of this. Is Dell trying to rob itself of customers?