Dell doesn't honor warranties

Fri, Feb 19, 2021 3-minute read

In late August 2020, I bought my kid a new Dell SE2419HX monitor for his birthday. School was starting back and his laptop’s built-in screen was turning out to be too small for him to use for remote schooling. (If you’re reading about this in the far future, this was the year of COVID.) It arrived a few days later and we plugged it into his computer, sat it on his desk, and watched him happily use it for the next few months.

In February 2021, the monitor stopped working. Although it would still turn on, it had a little window on the screen saying “No HDMI signal from your device”. I swapped in a few known working HDMI cables and even tried connecting it to another computer. Nothing worked, so it seemed clear that its HDMI port was busted. We gave the kid an older TV to use temporarily while I worked through Dell’s warranty process. This involved a few days of back-and-forth with their support department, and they eventually asked me for two pieces of information:

  1. The receipt from purchasing the monitor
  2. A photo of the support case number, my name, and the current date written on a piece of paper and held next to the monitor’s serial number sticker to prove that it really existed

The next day they replied with a terse email:

We have received an update from our internal team and unfortunately, we are unable to process the request for the Monitor replacement as the account information of the system does not match with your information.

Please contact the store/person where you purchased the system for further assistance. Proof of Possession seems to be Invalid/tampered with/fake.

What? I replied that this must be a mistake and asked them to review the evidence again. I got back a nearly identical copy of the prior email, with an apology “for any inconvenience this may have caused you”. I replied again: yes, but there’s been a mistake on Dell’s end, and please fix this. I got back another nearly-identical with the same apology, plus a cryptic “WE have limited access”.

At this point my confusion was turning to anger. I replied to insist that they fix my broken monitor, problems on their end be damned. The same support supervisor replied:

We apologize but we cannot warranty support this monitor with the available information.

At this point I vented a little on Twitter, and the @DellCares account replied to me to ask me to send them a direct message. I did, explaining the situation. They replied with a copy-and-paste of the last unhelpful email I’d received.

The happy resolution to Dell’s utter failure to honor their warranty is that Amazon made good on it. Even though the purchase was outside their normal return window, because Dell was so horrible, Amazon made an exception and allowed me to return it for a full refund. For that, I greatly thank them.

I have a guarantee of my own: under no circumstances will I allow Dell junk into my home again.