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.

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6 Comments

  1. downloadjunky
    January 7, 2008 at 8:06 pm — Reply

    My dell lasted 5 hrs ,im waiting to see if dell sends me a new or like you a used on.I have the same projector but only 1 day old.

  2. Solowiej
    February 5, 2008 at 2:22 pm — Reply

    Interesting, I bought twelve of these 2400MP units for the university I work at, installed them in ceiling-mounts in the classrooms, and EVERY ONE of them has given me this identical problem. Dell sent refurb units to replace the first batch that went bad, but the refurbs behaved exactly the same. Are we stuck? Sounds like a bad unit design to me. (((Class Action?…)))

  3. Greg
    September 3, 2009 at 5:55 pm — Reply

    I teach and have a dell mounted 2400 projoctor; SAME EXACT PROBLEM! I won't buy a Dell projector ever again.

  4. JAK
    December 28, 2009 at 9:44 pm — Reply

    Part II Very few vendors are going to send you a new one. In fact, a refurbed unit is sometimes your best bet because fixes will have been incorporated in the products firmware and hardware to hopefully make it run even better. Since receiving our refurbed unit AND after training everyone who uses it AND putting a instruction label on it, it has been working flawlessly. The only thing I would like to see them improve is the ability of the firmware in the projector to ping the computer more often – which means the computer can 'locate' the projector more quickly. Although frustrated at the time our Dell 2400MP has given us good performance!

  5. JAK
    December 28, 2009 at 9:43 pm — Reply

    I bought one for our church as it was the best priced unit with 3000 lumens around at the time. Our's lasted about 2 months before it died. I'm not so sure I can blame it on the projector as maluse is probably more blame. Too many people do not power these units down properly and if you don't you are going to have problems. The bulbs in these things run red hot and if you don't let the fans run after you turn them off you are going to melt some of the components inside. This includes some wiring and some components on the main control board. It may not happen after the first misuse but trust me inly after a couple of times this is going to cause the dreaded amber LED to be illuminated. We got a refurbed unit too – that's life.

    • December 28, 2009 at 9:53 pm — Reply

      Our refurb unit has been running for two years now with no problem. We currently have it ceiling mounted and it seems to be fine. I was the only one using the first unit and it was allowed to cool down after each use before unplugging. I'm thinking it was just a bad unit since it only lasted a couple of hours. Thanks for sharing your experience

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