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Thread: Hardware issue - Dell claiming not covered

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Ubuntu UNR

    Hardware issue - Dell claiming not covered

    I'm running the controversial Mini 10 on Karmic. With the backport video drivers all is working well.
    However, my battery life has plummeted (over the last 9 months i've had it) from 2 1/2 hours to 40 minutes.
    I phoned Dell today to ask for it to be replaced under the warranty, but they are claiming that 40 minutes for a 3 cell battery is "Industry standard" - and as i'm running Ubuntu, thats whats draining the power...
    Bearing in mind Dell's commitment to linux (and some of the mini 10's coming with ubuntu anyway!) what can I respond to this random crap that the tech man (and the manager) are coming out with?

    I don't like being lied to. I'm an excellent liar, I work in politics - and I take it on professional pride that I know when someone's lying.

    I'm furious that anyone could try and lie their way to not having to replace something covered by warranty - it's sold as a 28 watt hour battery, the computer uses 12.5 watts MAX, therefore should last for 2 hours MINIMUM -regardless of whether i'm watching HD videos or have it on standby, on Karmic or XP or Vista or Windows 9x.

    However, they just aren't listening.

    What can I do? Is there a complaints service for them (based in the UK)? The indian call centre is NOT meeting my service standards.
    ~I am the nemesis of the vole~
    Jack: The twisted lovechild of politics and perversity

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    La Crescenta (L.A. area)
    Xubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: Hardware issue - Dell claiming not covered

    Battery claims are always going to be controversial, IMO, since they are frequently explicitly excluded from warranty claims entirely (other than something like 30-90 days). It's like when your car starts to burn oil with no explanation. You take it to the dealer, knowing it's under warranty, and they inform you that it's perfectly within industry standards for a vehicle to consume as much as 1 quart (roughly 1L) of oil per 1,000 miles.

    Is this really related to Ubuntu? I would have thought it was more to do with ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface) settings, or whatever they are, which are recognized by Ubuntu just as they are by Windows. You could check this in your BIOS settings (check for performance settings vs. power saving settings, etc., involving the display, the CPU, and anything else that might seem relevant). JMO, however.

    Other than that, if they refuse to honor the warranty, and you are still convinced it's a valid claim after reading the terms & conditions of the sale, you could also take the matter up with (1) the retailer that sold the unit, if other than Dell, and (2) your credit/charge card issuer, if you paid for the purchase using one: they sometimes have warranty (and even one year extended warranty) clauses similar to their "free" travel insurance clauses.
    Intrepid User of Xubuntu & LXDE on:
    (1) Dell Latitude, CPi R400GT, PII 400 MHz, 256MB SDRAM, 66MHz.
    (2) Toshiba Portégé 3490CT, PIII 700 MHz, 256MB SDRAM, 100MHz.
    Both using NETGEAR MA521 Wireless PCMCIA (no issues!).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Kubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope

    Re: Hardware issue - Dell claiming not covered

    As a former Dell Warranty tech. Keep calling. Make a fuss. It's part of your warranty to replace the battery.

    Call different times of the day. You may get a rep form US who may be sympathetic.

    Good Luck
    Scientists dream about doing great things. Engineers do them.

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