Austin TX Real Estate - Hill Country Austin Lakeway Homes for Sale: The DELL Conspiracy

The DELL Conspiracy

I think ordering a DELL computer online is a conspiracy.  I've had about 3 DELLs since getting into real estate about 7 years ago.  My first two DELLs constantly had problems and caused so much stress.  I never thought it worth paying the $350+ for the in-house warranty in case things go wrong, mainly because my step father is good and computer issues, and so is my husband.

DellWhen my last computer gave me the blue screen, and I did everything to save it and the harddrive, even freezing the harddrive like the myth says, I decided to order a new one.  That was 3 years ago, and I haven't had a single problem.  You know why??

I truly believe it's because I spent the $350+ for the in-house warranty for 4 years!!  I truly believe that as they build your computer to order, they purposely do something that ensures your computer will crash for some reason or another if you don't spend the extra money for the warranty.  When someone buys the warranty, they want to ensure that profit so they make sure the computer has no problems so they never have to send someone out to fix it.

Has anyone else had issues like this??  I trule believe this is a conspiracy.  At this point, I don't know if I "wasted" that money for the warranty since I've had no problems, or if I've gotten my money's worth because I've had no issues and therefore haven't had to buy a new computer for a while.

What say you??

Comment balloon 25 commentsDonna Harris • August 28 2007 08:51AM



My girlfriend is now waiting on a new motherboard for the Dell she purchased in November of 2006.  She has had connectivity problems since she has had the thing!  She didn't purchase a warranty... It's not just you!  I smell a conspiracy somewhere around here!

Posted by Rick Turner, Puts People In Their Places!! (Key Realty) about 13 years ago

Wouldn't that be a case for a class action suit.  There are bugs and viruses than can be implanted into a system that cause certain things to happen at certain times, but there is no way to prove it.  My knowledge of computers is enough to make me dangerous, but not enough for me to be any sort of expert.  I have built PC's from the ground up, and have installed all my own operating systems and the such.  It took me about 4 times to get the first one built properly and there are alot of things that can go wrong in the process to cause a slow pc, and the infamous blue screen of death.  

My advice is to store all you important files on a 2nd hard drive.  That way you can reformat the main hard drive without consequence so you won't have to buy a new pc when something goes horribly wrong.

As far as a Dell conspiracy.  From a profit making standpoint, it makes perfect sense.  From an ethical standpoint, why would they be that dishonest?  From a practical standpoint.. in the business world, God only knows...

Posted by Daniel Sundberg (Crystal Springs Real Estate) about 13 years ago

My final 2 cents.. don't buy dell.. find a little mom and pop computer store in town and have them custom build it.  Their reputation is on the line and you will have the best customer service you can ever dream of.

Posted by Daniel Sundberg (Crystal Springs Real Estate) about 13 years ago
Sorry to disappoint you, but I have three Dell Computers, ordered them online, did not buy any warranty and all of them are working fine. The one I bought in 2003 was running slow. It only had 256MB of RAM. RAM prices have come down substantially so I added 1GB of RAM and it is doing great now. Dell buys parts from different suppliers. Similarly, they buy software from different vendors, so I don't think they have many options to mess something up. Also, first they have 1 year standard warranty. How do you make sure the computer will not malfunction in one year, because if it did they will have to spend money to fix it.
Posted by Neetu Kainthla (BHHS Caliber Realty) about 13 years ago


This is so weird... I was just thinking the same thing about the Norton Anit-Virus Software.. I had thoughts of 1,000's of Internet based bugs just waiting in a holding gate that opens as soon as I thought that maybe I would go with someone else... low -n- behold my motherboard died the day it went out.

While you are not alone in your thinking... only the MIB's have the answers. *wink*

Good luck with your next computer. 

Posted by Shane Leady (Apella Business Solutions) about 13 years ago

Rick, Thank you for reassuring me that it's not just me...

Daniel, My husband also likes to build computers from the ground up, but I like to order them so I know I'm getting all the right parts and since they should have everything perfected, there should be less problems... but apparently that's only true if you pay for the warranty.  Of course, I don't have enough proof for a law suit, just my own personal experience... and my husband's company orders theirs through DELL as well and always get the warranty and he never has problems on his work computer either.  That warranty must have something to do about it.

Neetu, Congrats on your streak of luck.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - about 13 years ago
Shane, That could be true too...
Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - about 13 years ago
I have a dell and although we haven't had any problems in the past 3+ years I do hate having to order my ink only through them.
Posted by Nora Adkins (Realty Executives) about 13 years ago


I must agree. Their custmer service is horrendous!

Posted by Scott Daniels Florida Real Estate 2.0. Agents Earn 100% Commission. (Florida List For Less Realty, Inc. Broker/Owner. ) about 13 years ago
I believe it about the conspiracy...Let's see how well your computer fares after the warranty's up!
Posted by Danielle V. Lewis, DDR Realty (DDR Realty) about 13 years ago

Nora, I assume you're talking about a printer?  I've never had a DELL printer so I'm not familair with that, but it sounds like they don't like the refil companies.

Scott, Thank you, and I agree about their customer service!

Danielle, I have a few more months on the warranty, which is what made me think of this... was it a waste of money to not have to use it, or did I save hundreds by not having problems??  *arg* 


Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - about 13 years ago

It's sort of like umbrellas. If you carry one, it doesn't rain. If you don't, be you'll be certain that there will be a thunderstorm.

Personally, I'm a Mac user and love them!! I have a PC too, but I only use it when I have to.

Posted by Diane Adler ( about 13 years ago

I no longer buy Dell, nor do I recommend them.  This is being typed on an Acer TravelMate 4220.  This is not an advert for Acer, but check them out - a lot of computer for the $$.

Do a search for Dell Inspiron 5150 lawsuit.  I have a 5150.  I've had the motherboard replaced once, and now Dell claims the lawsuit only allows for one replacement.  The new mo-board went bad about 2 weeks after it was put in.  Inherent design flaw on ALL the 5150 mo-boards, hence the lawsuit.  So Dell agrees in the lawsuit to bump the warranty out til Sept. 2007 on all these machines.........yippee.  They know that they're replacing faulty parts with faulty parts, and that eventually all these machines will be so much digital scrap (remove the s from that word as you see fit).

I supported a large sales force for a huge national telco for close to 6 years.  Every computer was a Dell, and I could tell you stories for hours regarding service issues.

Dealing with Dell on service issues is a real joy.  Get ready to speak "outsource" if you have an issue.  And I'm not referring to a dialect, region or social trait.  Sure, you'll probably be dealing with someone from overseas, and you could find yourself mired in the digital mud worse than you were before the call.  That being said, if you're not too geeky, you might want to buy local.  You can get a better deal online, but you'll want to be able to take care of some support issues yourself.

One thing I did learn lately about Dell.  They are one of the few that are once again building machines with XP onboard.  It costs a bit extra (or is tossed in with an upgrade), but in the long run it may prove more beneficial than dealing with Vista.

Personally, if I had to buy another laptop for real estate it would be a tablet, and I'd probably implement the VREO paperless solution.  No matter what you buy, expect it to croak when you least expect it.  One word......BACKUP.

Posted by Mike Argyle (ClearStream Concepts) about 13 years ago
I'd hate to find out that truism!  There should be a website out there somewhere that could track such things.  Possible yes, probable no. 
Posted by Kevin J. May, Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida (Florida Supreme Realty) about 13 years ago
I ordered a Dell computer back in 2002 - top of the line - and it died within 2 years and I didn't buy the warranty.  I spent $600 to try and get it working again but it died within a month of the work.  So, I trashed it and bought a HP.  I haven't had any problems with my HP.  I'll never buy a Dell again.  The computer was good while it lasted but the problems during with the service department was terrible!!
Posted by Linda Box Taylor, Your Plano, TX Realtor (Castle Connections Realty) about 13 years ago

Donna: I'm sorry about your experience with Dell.

I on the other hand had great experiences with them. The only reason I chose Dell was because my husband's company (he is in the IT field) uses them back in the days. My Dell is 4 years now and knock on wood, still going strong.

My husband ordered it based on the configuration he wants and I believe at that time, we paid for a 2-year warranty for a 4 yr. That was the promotion at that time.

I am never a believer of buying warranties for anything. But I only do that for laptops (since I walk with it everywhere I go). Right after my 2-year anniversary, the fan blew out. All my husband did was to take it to work with him that day, the Dell Technician came out to his office and repaired it. It was back up and running in less than 12 hours. The fan died again 1 year later (I really believe it was more of me - I love to sit on my bed to work at night and it probably didnt give enough ventilation for the fan). The tech diagnosed and found out one other thing was going bad too - so he changed it out for me as well......

I love their support - they go wherever my laptop is. Even if I am on vacation - somewhere.

My warranty just expired. And when it does, I plan to get another laptop. My "want" is asking me to get a iMac (just because I love the looks and also I'm huge into photography). iMac gives me a dual boot - I can boot it up in Mac or Windows OS. So, my plan is to really use the Mac as a Windows laptop.

But my realistic mind is telling me to go with another Dell. And yes, I wouldnt buy it without the warranty. I think for $300 plus over 3 yrs, it's well worth the protection and headache. In 4 yrs, I was never really down. That's important to me. With electronics, you'll never know.

Alot of corporates are going with IBM too. You could look into that if you werent happy with your Dell. But get the warranty. I look at the $300 as transfering my headache to them. It's worth it! Something is wrong, I just pick up the phone, they fix it.

Posted by Loreena and Michael Yeo, Real Estate Agents (3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co.) about 13 years ago

Diane, True, very very true!!

Mike, that's great that you've had such good luck and good service.  I'm just jinxed!

Kevin, It's a study they should start doing.  Whenever someone calls in for a service call, they should ask if they bought the warranty or not. 

Linda, I feel for you, really I do!

Loreena, As I mentioned above, maybe I'm just jinxed!  In many ways I am... I just saw two doctors today and it turns out I'm allergic to my baby!!  Yes, I typed that right... I'm ALLERGIC to my baby!  Hopefully the new meds will help!

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - about 13 years ago
Donna, Are you okay?  Allergic to your baby, I've never heard that.  I hope the new medicine does help you.
Posted by Linda Box Taylor, Your Plano, TX Realtor (Castle Connections Realty) about 13 years ago

I would have never thought of this.  I own a Gateway which is still ticking after many years.  I did buy the warranty, but never had to use it.

I guess I would say that it would be crappy if they did intentionally build defective computers for those who didn't purchase a warranty.  To have a warranty which never had to be used saved you the hassle of being without one if you had to use it.

Posted by Debbie Johnson, Novi, MI Real Estate Professional (REMERICA United Realty) about 13 years ago
Linda, Hopefully I'll be ok.  The dermatologist said it's more common than you would think because most people will ignore it.  It's also usually only apparent in first time pregnancies as the body will remember the symptoms for the next time.  I can't imagine ignoring all this itching. I've slept 1 night in the past 5 days!  1 and a half hours of sleep last night!  Plus, I failed the glucose test and have to go take the 12 hour fasting and 3 hour blood test on Thursday.  Yes, I definitely hope I start feeling better.  It's all payback from the baby since I had it easy until about week 25 with no morning sickness or food aversion or anything...
Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - about 13 years ago

I'm not much into black helicopters and conspiracy theories.  I bought a Dell PC about 5 years ago.  After a year I had some major problems with it, they sent me a whole new machine (well refurbished anyway).  The new machine actually had better hardware installed than my original, so I was happy and to my surprise, the 3 year warranty was automatically renewed on it.  Well, two years into that machine I started having problems again.  They sent me a new video card, motherboard,  hard drive, pretty much a new machine again, just in pieces, this time the warranty didn't renew.

 Now, like I said I am not a conspiracy theorist, but my power supply then blew up on the exact day after my warranty expired.  Coincidence?  I don't know, you be the judge.

Posted by Steve G. Snarzyk (Realty ONE Group - Trademark) about 13 years ago

So.... you are a conspiracy theorist now?!?!?!

That preggo thing really has your wheels turning. LOL

Posted by Tom Burris, Texas/Louisiana Mortgage Pro - 13 YRS Experience (NMLS# 335055) about 13 years ago
I talked with one of my friends that is a computer software engineering major, and he said it would be nothing to place what hackers call a "Logic Bomb" on the hard drive of a pc that was bought without a warranty.  For those of you that don't know, a logic bomb is kinda like a virus that is has a trigger, like a certain date or a certain action.  he suggested buying from a big box store like best buy or circuit city.. the same product and the manufacturer doesn't have his hands on it after the big boy's get it.
Posted by Daniel Sundberg (Crystal Springs Real Estate) about 13 years ago

Spoiling your theory... I HAD a Dell, and a warranty, and my computer still crashed twice. I loved it to begin with, but then it overheated constantly, No one would work on it - I had some weird things happen, like my screen resolution settings would change all the time - and again No one could help...

I bough a Toshiba in its place, and love it - so far so good - and the best part - I don't have to send it off when I have a problem! I spent the money for the warranty again too - and it's got accidental breakage - which I need terribly - 3 cameras in less than 1 year... and not cheap ones either!

Posted by Leigh Bates, The Trinity Group (Atlantic & Pacific Real Estate) about 13 years ago

That is funny!

No conspirisy however, I bought my dell in 2002 and here I am still writing in it and I did not buy the protection plan. Knock on plastic.

Posted by Alan Kirkpatrick, Alan in Austin (Austin Texas Homes) about 13 years ago