Wednesday, 18 August 2010

If Your Dell Streak is getting hot, its probably a hardware failure?

Excitedly I ordered a dell streak from the UK dell store on the Friday the 6th of Aug, the store proudly stated 'Ships in 24hrs' above the each of the streak options, basically black or red. I quickly received an 'order acknowledgement', which told me to check my e-mail regularly for a confirmation which would contain an est delivery date and means to track the order.

Later that Friday 20:00 hrs, the order conformation arrived and I was horrified to see an est delivery date of 2010-09-23, 6 wks ! I emailed order support that Sunday 9th and they replied late on Monday 10th at 17:00 saying streaks don't ship in 24hrs, the estimated delivery date may go down and that their working with the factory to improve est delivery dates!

Problem was I'd already called order support by 17:00 and told them to cancel it, the email also informed me that they'd seen that I'd tried to cancel my order but that it was to late, the order had progressed to far to be cancelled and I'd have to take delivery and pay the postage to return it!

On Monday I also received a reply from UK sales to my question posted using dell's contact sales support, web form on Friday. I'd asked for conformation that the streak as bought from dell UK on-line store would be network unlocked? They helpfully pointed me to the site where I'd failed to find any conformation and from where I'd posted my question to them!

So I had a track & trace number with Walsh Western, if you've heard of them your a step ahead of the dell support staff who hadn't and kept asking me if I knew who Walsh Western was! but back to the t&t number, which when entered simply displayed a message saying no data yet, as you can imagine I checked the t&t fairly regularly and called dell support twice asking why the t&t wasn't working, both times is was told that it should start working after 24hrs. Then at 8am on 11th t&t returned results, the streak was on the van! 2hrs later it was here, yippee! 2hrs notice of the delivery was nice :)

I plugged in my shinny new streak using the provided proprietary USB cable to the supplied dell USB power adapter, turned it on and was off installing needed apps, configuring and playing, I then did my first conference call on the new beast, checking e-mail and looking at PDF's all on the phone was cool :) everything was working nearly perfectly :) but then I noticed the streak was getting hot!

One thing I had commented on when using another streak was how cool it stayed even when being thrashed, so this streak getting hot seamed odd, then I noticed the battery level had stopped climbing and was going down from its high of 88%. Suddenly android popped up a warning message 'battery temperature abnormal please stop charging!', this was concerning so I did as told, disconnected the power and for good measure powered off the streak and left it to cool.

10 minutes later, I plugged the streak back in and held the power button with fingers crossed, the dell logo appeared as it should and then black! Attempting this obviously difficult power on several more times, it appeared to me that the remaining power was quickly being sapping out of the battery even though the power cable was securely connected! and the streak was again getting hot!

I left it to cool once more and upon trying in desperate hope to power it on again I witnessed a new trick, a black screen with the icon for a power plug in the center and a big ! and ? hovering over it, what could this mean i wondered ;) guess the batteries dead? :( I tested charging with another USB cable supplied with the car kit and with various USB power sources, nothing charged the battery :(

So I've had my streak 5 hrs and its a brick! calling dell tech support, lucky their open 24 and so far I've never had to wait for an 'Agent', as their system calls them. The 'Agent' quickly told me she'd arranged the dispatch of a replacement streak, which would be with me next working day. This sounded like good service so I was mildly reassured. I was told that there would be information in the box for arranging collection of the failed device.

The next day, Thursday the 12th I received an e-mail conformation of the dispatch with a dispatch # which should, when pumped into dells online dispatch status form, along with the streaks 'Service Tag', provide the user with an update on the dispatch. All I've ever got is 'Service Tag entered cannot be found'.

Dell support now told me they couldn't login to the UK dispatch system to check the status either because it had recently been upgraded and they'd not been furnished with new logins yet and didn't expect them soon! But they did reassure me that it had been dispatched and would likely arrived tomorrow, Friday.

Nothing had arrived by 17:00 Friday 13th (maybe this is where it all went wrong) so I again called dell support, they still couldn't tell me anything useful but suspected the streak would arrive Monday.

Monday 16th 17:00 again nothing, on to dell support once more, some suggestion that it may have been entered in the US dispatch system accidentally and needs to be re-started in the right system but I've never seen a new dispatch number so guess this was a rouse? 'Agent' offers to get to the bottom of this and call me back, no call materialized, not even a missed one!

Tuesday 17th midday, a guy from UPS knocks at the door and instead of handing me a working streak asks for the old one! Surprised, busy and irritated I send him away empty handed, 17:00 nothing, dell support 'Agent' again promises to get to the bottom of this and call me back, they're still saying 'its been dispatched'. Again no call back is received and an I haven't received an email on the subject since the 12th.

Having gone round the loop a few times I thought I'd try email, they replied the next day giving me the e-mail of the dell Service Request owner and telling me to contact her, I duly forwarded that message to her address asking for an update on the dispatch, dell's servers 'permanently failed' the delivery of the e-mail when sent from Gmail! I resent from a more obscure address and didn't receive a delivery failure but neither did I receive an update.

Wednesday 18th I really thought it might be delivered today, but again the UPS guy showed up to collect the dell brick, I was on a call and the brick wasn't packed up so I send him away again, doh. I ring dell support and after 5 minuets of asking me the same questions again and looking for the dispatch status which she still can't find, I mention UPS collection guy, stating that I was told the new streak would arrive first with instruction for returning the brick, giving me a chance to copy files etc.

She then announces that  'that's not how it works', now apparently the brick has to be collected first! I ask why I wasn't told this 7 days ago!? In fact why was I told the opposite more than once?! She can only apologize and tells me the collection guy will be back on Friday. She also tells me to only return the streak, its battery and the battery cover, should I believe this? Think I'd like that in writing!

I get the distinct impression that the dell support 'Agents' are making it up as they go along and that their customer relationship management systems are wildly inadequate. I told this 'Agent' that I was very disappointed and would be returning the streak once it eventually arrived and getting my money back but of course you've remembered, they make you pay postage for returns!

Current streak appears to be on its way to Hungary! and still no update from dell as to what's actually going on :(

Having now been back on my trusty Nokia E51 for 7 days and counting, I can honestly say that I don't miss the streak at all!

Disappointed Ex-Dell Customer

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