In what I found to be an interesting read, Dell has responded on their blog, to the capacitor problem they had experienced in their OptiPlex computers. The company stated that this was an industry wide problem involving capacitors from one the leading suppliers for all computer companies. The faulty capacitors were made by Nichicon between 2003 to 2005, and not all computers that had the capacitors failed. It seems that according to Dell, it was an issue of how many of the faulty capacitors were used on a particular motherboard that determined how soon the board would fail;
Dell states these points:
- This is an issue we addressed with customers some years ago. The Advanced Internet Technologies lawsuit is three years old and does not involve any current Dell products.
- Dell did not knowingly ship faulty motherboards, and we worked directly with customers in situations where the issue occurred.
- This was not a Dell-specific issue, but an industry-wide problem.
- Dell extended the warranty for up to five years for customers who had affected machines.
- This is not a safety issue.
The blog post goes on to state further evidence from Dell that they took the proper actions and repaired the faulty computers in a timely manner. But not everyone who read the blog post agreed:
The quote “Emphasize uncertainty” is the most troubling. Dell knew there was a problem and rather than be open and forthcoming about potential issues, they chose to leave their customers in the dark. It’s not like the failure rate was 5 or 10%, we’re talking about problems occurring in 97% of the Optiplex machines containing the effected capacitors over a 3 year time span. This number comes straight from a Dell study.
Another reader posted this comment:
Dell “addressed with customers” the problem?
It did not. I am sure there are many, many customers who had no idea there were any such problems until reading this article, or probably still do not know there were any problems. I had a desktop in the time period completely melt down due to overheating, never happened before on over a dozen Dell machines.
Never heard once about a recall, any faulty parts, or any steps I should have taken to fix it.
You can check out what Dell also had to say in their defense. I have no opinion whether good or bad about the situation since I personally had no issues with Dell systems failing. These machines were usually used by government and businesses.
Source – Dell Blog
Between May 2003 to July 2005, Dell allegedly had sold some 11.8 million computers to various business and government clients. But what is now coming to light is that the company knew the computers could fail, yet they purposely continued to sell the faulty models. These models that Dell sold were their OptiPlex desktop computers designed specifically designed for business and government use.
In one allegation, from the University of Texas, Dell stated that the computers failed because the machines were subjected to an overload of mathematical calculations. Duh! Isn’t that what computers do? LOL It seems that these millions of bad boxes were sold to anyone and everyone including the lawyers who are defending Dell, who also were victims of the bad computers. I guess sharks all gather together when the money is good.
In a recent article it went on to state:
Documents recently unsealed in a three-year-old lawsuit against Dell show that the company’s employees were actually aware that the computers were likely to break. Still, the employees tried to play down the problem to customers and allowed customers to rely on trouble-prone machines, putting their businesses at risk. Even the firm defending Dell in the lawsuit was affected when Dell balked at fixing 1,000 suspect computers, according to e-mail messages revealed in the dispute.
The documents chronicling the failure of the PCs also help explain the decline of one of America’s most celebrated and admired companies. Perhaps more than any other company, Dell fought to lower the price of computers.
Its “Dell model” became synonymous with efficiency, outsourcing and tight inventories, and was taught at the Harvard Business School and other top-notch management schools as a paragon of business smarts and outthinking the competition.
A study by Dell found that OptiPlex computers affected by the bad capacitors were expected to cause problems up to 97 percent of the time over a three-year period, according to the lawsuit.
But Dell employees went out of their way to conceal these problems. In one e-mail exchange between Dell customer support employees concerning computers at the Simpson Thacher & Bartlett law firm, a Dell worker states, “We need to avoid all language indicating the boards were bad or had ‘issues’ per our discussion this morning.”
In other documents about how to handle questions around the faulty OptiPlex systems, Dell salespeople were told, “Don’t bring this to customer’s attention proactively” and “Emphasize uncertainty.”
I don’t think that Dell will ever be able to shake off this image of knowingly selling faulty systems. But what is incredible is that they thought no one would notice. Hello! We are talking about almost 12 million computers.
To be fair, one must consider that other companies also had similar problems that were attributed to bad compositors. But Dell was expected to handle this situation differentially since consumers had placed so much confidence in the company and their computers.
Source – NY Times