It started with the delivery of my Dell XPS M1330 laptop, being delivered over 3 weeks later than the already long build/delivery date projected, when I purchased this unit. I chose not cut any corners on a fast, small laptop for travel and selected all the performance options and paid, considerably, for this configuration. Since this model was only available with Vista, I chose to support the RED program and got the included special edition of Vista Ultimate.
Each time Vista updated, (frequently), something would go wrong. Often this was a total blue screen situation. Dell blamed Microsoft and Microsoft blamed Dell.
Like everyone else in the world, not on Microsoft's payroll, I found Vista to be clunky, slow, finicky and frustrating, to the extreme to use.
I spent endless hours, the day before I was going on the first of several planned trips, for which I'd purchased this computer. With a phone glued to my ear, working with both Dell Support, out of the Far East and Microsoft Support, out of the Far East, to restore my frozen system and restore all my lost business email, took literally nearly 20 consecutive hours! Subsequently I turned off auto updates from Microsoft. All clunked along until the computer simply stopped working one day. It was shipped to Dell's depot and returned very promptly. They had replaced the motherboard, LCD cover and webcam. However when they reinstalled Vista, not only were some features not properly configured, Windows Updates where left on automatic. The first time I started the system, it updated and crashed. This was resolved with many more hours phone time with Tech Support.
Four and half months later the system was dead again. When my system came back from the depot, the second time, they had replaced the Memory, CPU Fan, Heat Sink, Motherboard, Hard Drive and Bottom case. Since it was still running Vista, I booted it up without internet access and immediately disabled updates.
On each of many occasions I had to deal with Tech Support, I pleaded to dump Vista and install Win XP. I was consistently assured that this unit would not run XP, since many components had no available drivers for XP. After having done lots of research I found many others had been successful in dumping Vista and getting the laptop to run far better and faster on Win XP. I partitioned the drive, from Vista and found all the required drivers, except the graphics card driver on the Dell website, (mostly from other Dell laptop model driver download pages). The graphics card driver was downloaded from the graphics card manufacture's website. I bought a copy of WinXP and used a Linux based utility, to very stably manage a dual boot system. After a year of getting only endless frustration and no functional use out my costly Dell, I was able to feel like it was not so bad after all...no thanks to Dell!
Almost exactly a year after the last depot trip, the new harddrive failed! I have been around PCs and Apples for going on 30 years and have marvelled at how much more reliable all components have become. So, I am wondering where Dell is sourcing their components. For a single computer to have two motherboards and two harddrives fail, within a span of under two and half years, is as outrageously ridiculous as it is frustrating.
Now when I call Dell and ask to speak to someone about this totally unreal experience, I am shuffled off to some offshore call centre where I am simply told that Dell's policy is there is no financial adjustments made on lemon systems or in any case. When I ask to speak to someone who makes such policy, I am promised a supervisor will return my call. I guess those offshore lines only go one way, since I have had no call. Any decent, ethical company would offer to, at the very least, dump Vista and give me complimentary upgrade to Win 7 or offer me suitable replacement unit or, or nominally, a substantial reduction in the cost of such. However, it seems that Dell is not interested in standing behind their products, when they have something fundamentally wrong with them, nor will they accept any responsibility for adopting Vista, when it was not fit for service.
There seems to be no way to find someone at Dell corporate to talk to about this.