We had a brand new projector die at church last week. It was a Dell 2400MP 3000 lumen projector that we use with our children’s ministry. It had less than 2 hours on the unit and one of the fans went out so that it overheats within about 30 seconds and then cuts off. I was able to call one of our members who had a projector from work that we could use as a backup.
I spent 45 minutes on the phone with Dell on Monday and they agreed to send a replacement. The tech rep was very helpful and courteous, but of course I had to go through the whole, “have you tried this?” routine. I received the replacement yesterday and noticed the big “refurbished” label on the box. That didn’t really surprise me, but still disappointed me. When I hooked it up, I went straight to the lamp hour reading and found that it had over 1000 hours on it. So I buy a brand new projector, it goes bad, and is replaced with one that has been well used. The $400 bulb only has a life of 200o hours, so in effect I received a $1000 unit that needs another bulb soon. Something about this isn’t right. When they replace a bad unit, it should be new or at least one with similar usage.
Anyway, I have emailed them back asking them to please send a new replacement unit. I know I could also switch the bulbs, but what if something in the bulb is causing the overheating problem? This is why computer companies have such bad reputation for customer service. I’ll post an update with how they respond. Problems like this are definitely turning me against dell for all our church purchases.
UPDATE: after being on hold again for 3o minutes, I finally talked with a person. They told me that they couldn’t exchange it for a new one, even though it was brand new. I have had it for 31 days, which is longer than their allowed 21 day period to receive new units. The guy was nice, but that will be the last Dell projector our church buys. I was nice as well, even though it was hard, but I did let him know that Dell did not do the right thing. He did tell me to exchange the lamps on the projectors, but now I have a entire projector that has been refurbished with the included refurbished sticker all over the bottom. I payed full price and received a refurb. Not Good. Dell definitely dropped the ball on keeping this customer satisfied. And unfortunately, it’s not the first time. End of story and a loss of a long-time customer. There’s only so much bad customer service you can deal with. That’s just good stewardship.