Update: January 16, 2008—Mike Bukowski, a Technical Analyst from our Dell Customer Advocate team recently published a post that discusses other potential causes of vertical lines on notebook displays.
Earlier this year, members of our Customer Advocate team posted a message that still resides front and center on a site called dellverticalline.com. That note says we were aware of some user complaints about certain notebook displays. Since then, the Customer Advocate team has coordinated with other Dell groups to help figure out what was happening with some 17" notebook displays.
Here's what they found: on some 17” LCD displays shipped with Dell Inspiron 9200, 9300 and Dell XPS Gen 2 notebooks, a one pixel wide vertical line may develop across the LCD screen over time. Systems that may be affected by this issue shipped from Nov. 2004 through Oct 2006.
Here’s what we’re doing: for affected systems, Dell is offering to replace any LCD that develops a vertical line within three years of purchase, at no charge for parts and labor. Also, Dell will offer refunds to customers who paid Dell to replace defective LCDs with this issue.
Dell values our customers, and we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
We will send letters to all potentially affected customers whose systems are out of warranty. We have already begun mailing them—letters will be sent to our customers at their last known address.
To summarize the key criteria:
Not all systems are affected. U.S. customers who are experiencing this issue, or who have paid to replace an LCD for this issue can call 1-800-624-9896.
For customers outside the U.S., please contact Dell by phone:
Note: I've amended the previous two paragraphs with updated information. Rather than strikethroughs, I edited the original text to help eliminate any confusion.
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I think it is great that youare actively taking care of your customers when a problem develops. Keep up the good work.
Lionel, can you please shed some light on reports that the Dell Axim line of Pocket PCs has been discontinued. I looked for a press release that announced the decision, explained the rationale, and the plan for ongoing support -- but I found nothing on the Dell corporate website.
For the record, my Axim X30 (and assorted accessories) is one of the most useful mobile computing products that I've owned, thus far. Granted, those of us that use Pocket PCs are early adopters, but I was hopeful that these devices would eventually become a mainstream product.
We let everyone in the Dell sections at NotebookForums.com know. They are going to be thrilled to hear the solution you are implementing.
I read consumers stating that this is a great gesture on Dell's part, indicative of a company that cares about it's customers, when the fact of the matter is that there was a time only weeks ago when every single Dell employee ever asked about this issue denied ever having heard of the problem.
It simply became too large for Dell to ignore, that's all.
This solution is unacceptable for no other reason than that it restricts the coverage of LCD replacement panel costs solely to those who chose to have Dell replace their panels. When taking into consideration the facts that Dell chose to pretend this was not a problem to begin with, Dell's rather high price tag for a replacement LCD, and the fact that the replacement panel would be coming from the same source (Dell) as the faulty component, I must conclude that a rather significant portion of us customers chose to install panels from another source. Why the hell wouldn't we?
...But then, the good folks at Dell already knew that.
Dennis: Thanks for your comment. Obviously, I'm a bit biased on the topic, but I have a less cynical view of this than you do. Lots of people here are committed to doing what's right for our customers. Sometimes it may take us longer to get there than our customers would like. I agree and can tell you that we're working to shorten the time it takes for us to implement a solution in situations like this.
In the meantime, I'll continue to publish the positive and negative comments that come along.
Well I'm glad Dell is finally owning up to their flaw in some systems but I don't think their scope is broad enough. Obviously based on the complaints from consumers this issue applies to other notebooks besides what is listed.
I e-mailed and called Dell several times last year about this issue and just got the run around from them. I gave up for awhile until someone at work pointed on the ugly vertical line on my notebook screen. "Chris, what's wrong with your screen?" I replied "Oh, that's Dell's crappy workmanship Victor, don't ever buy a Dell!" Anyway he got me worked up about it so I decided to check out dellverticalline.com hoping that something had developed. To my surprise there was a "Response from Dell - 02/06/2007" so I shot off an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. The next morning someone from Dell contacted me, I was actually quite surprised at the turn around time and that the agent was based in the US (kudos to you). I told her my sob story then she put me hold for what seemed like 10 minutes. When she came back she told me that my Inspiron 8600 was not part of the recall, ugh.
It's too bad that Dell has decided to leave me with a defective LCD. I am the "techie" of the family and because of me they have sold two Inspiron 6000s, one Inspiron 8600, and one desktop to my family/friends. In the future they can be sure that I will be buying Thinkpads from now on and that I will no longer recommend them. Word of mouth is what can make or break a company but what do they care... they are already a Fortune 100 company.
Here's a pic of my screen: http://pub.ck84.ws/8600_vertical_line.jpg
This is my last resort,
Chris: Sorry to hear about the issue with the display on your Inspiron 8600. From the analysis we've done up to this point, this particular issue (which is a panel defect on some 17" displays) appears to be isolated to the Inspiron 9200, 9300, and XPS Gen 2 notebooks.
That said, we are interested in looking at your specific issue. I've forwarded your e-mail and above comment to someone in Technical Support who can help.
I agree with your view on word of mouth... I can say we're keenly aware of how its positive or negative comments affect us. In my view, word of mouth has an impact on a company of any size.
I have an Inspirion 9300 with the vertical line problem. I am glad to hear the Dell plans to address the issue. However, to date, no one from Dell has got back to me. I sent 2 emails to email@example.com with 'Dell Vertical Line outreach' in the subject, as requested by Dell. First email was sent on 2/19/07 and the second was sent on 4/07/07. Also, I have left a voice message at ext. 723-9429 yesterday as requested above. I am hoping to hear from someone soon...