Thursday, January 24, 2013

Dell customer service and Dell Inspiron 17R SE review

Come gather round seekers of reviews for the Dell Inspiron 17R Special Edition, or model 7720, and prepare for a cautionary tale of woe. And frustration. And anger. And abysmal customer service. And awful product quality.

I don't usually put this sort of thing on the blog. In fact, I don't put much of anything on the blog nowadays unfortunately. But I have had such a shockingly piss poor experience with Dell and the Dell Inspiron 17R SE - the Dell model 7720 - that I want to write about it in the hope that someone else doesn't make my mistake and actually buy a Dell Inspiron 17R SE.

In case I am not being clear enough - this review is for Dell and the Dell Inspiron 17R SE. There, that should help the Google hits.

The Beginning

Back in July 2012 I ordered the Dell Inspiron 17R SE from Best Buy for approximately $1,000. At first the computer seemed to be doing OK, but I did notice some niggling issues. Yes it was (mostly) fast, yes the display was good, yes it was a big step up from my 6 year old Gateway MX6455. It was shiny.

I also noticed frame rate slow down when playing The Witcher though. And errors would pop up when viewing photos, and the errors caused a program crash. There were a few other annoyances as well, but nothing major - most caused by the Dell bloatware. That was, until October. I noticed a dead pixel just off to the right of the center of the LCD display. It was really obvious once I knew it was there, and a little more than three months after buying it made the annoyance pretty severe, especially on such a high end machine with a high end display. $1000 is half a months wages for me and I do a lot of word processing on it, so white backgrounds made the dead pixel really stand out.

Granted, one pixel doesn't sound like much but the bloody laptop was brand new. I looked after it, it hasn't been dropped or overclocked or mistreated in anyway and the screen was failing already.

Now. Industry standard for warranty repair of dead pixels ranges from there being a zero tolerance to over 12 dead ones, depending on quality of screen and location on it. Dell bases their warranty for dead pixels on sub pixels - each pixel is made up of 3 sub pixels - and they require 6 dead (black) sub pixels, which is different to stuck pixels, which are usually white. So I was half way there and figured that they would fix it (since Best Buy wouldn't because I didn't buy the extended warranty - which wouldn't have covered this anyway - another bunch of wankers).

So I called Dell technical support and was told no, they wouldn't fix it because their policy was 6 pixels.

And here is the first Dell customer service fail - the tech and his senior support tech, who he went away to consult, didn't even know their own policy on warranty repair of dead pixels. It is 6 sub pixels, or 2 full pixels. I had one dead full pixel, or 3 sub pixels.

I was annoyed but didn't say anything to complain other than something like "So you won't fix this $1000 computer even though it's only three months old?" No, they wouldn't. 6 pixels blah blah. Thank you and goodbye.

Now an aside here in defence of the guys on the phone - they have all, in every dealing I've had, been polite and well spoken and mostly helpful. Don't believe the racist asshats you usually hear complaining about Dell that blame it all on these guys just because they aren't from Texas. Most are better spoken than the average American in my experience, and they didn't build the crap that Dell sells, or come up with the policies Dell uses to hide away from its responsibilities to its customers (though it would help if they at least knew those policies correctly).

Anyway. I stewed over this for a week and started drafting a pretty tasty letter to send to Dell complaining about them not being prepared to fix this. Then, before posting this letter I tried once more to get in touch with tech support to have them fix this issue, but this time I used the online chat feature. Success! The tech guy I spoke to was very helpful, very apologetic and immediately opened a service ticket and arranged for the packaging to be sent and promised to get it all fixed under warranty.

Two weeks later I had the computer back, dead pixel gone and nice new LCD screen. I should have guessed something was up when I took the Inspiron out of the box and noticed that by one of the speakers on the front the case had not been put back together correctly. What kind of technician doesn't put a computer back together properly? Anyway, I fixed it myself ( just had to loosen a screw and it popped into place) and everything was fine.

Until I noticed the sound was starting to go.

The Middle

So, whenever I used Skype, or listened to music from YouTube, or watched an online video like a BBC news report, I would hear distortion coming from the sub-woofer. Like static from an untuned radio channel. I think the technical term might be crunch but don't quote me. So I started to research if anyone else with this type of Inspiron was having the issue. And there were, quite a few in fact. And there were lots of software update suggestions for fixing it, from the audio drivers to the graphics card drivers. And none of them worked. And I also noticed a popping noise whenever I entered or exited a web page that contained a video, even if I didn't actually play it.

The crunch sound was not constant so I ignored it at first, until Christmas rolled around and it started to occur whenever the speakers were in use. Then after Christmas I noticed yet another dead pixel. Then two more, then a whole line of half a dozen of them off to one side, then some in the corner. And was that a crack or a hair? What the hell?

At least a dozen dead pixels all told. Or alternatively, when they replaced the screen the first time they didn't seal it properly and dust or something was getting inside the screen, between the glass cover and the LCD panel itself. It looked like dead pixels to me though. Either way, that's another warranty repair - especially since they persuaded me to buy the extended warranty.

So I got back on the online chat and told them about the sound and the pixels. The tech support guy said it would have to go back to fix the screen, and after trying some software fixes that did nothing decided the sound issue needed a fix too. So the box came and I shipped the Inspiron 17R SE back to Dell, for the second time in six months. For a $1000 computer that was just six months old. Not cool. And if you do some research, apparently not unsual for the massively unreliable and inconsistent Dell Inspiron 17R SE.

I didn't hear anything much other than parts were on order, until the machine showed up on my doorstep last Friday (18th Jan 2013). I wasn't able to turn the thing on until the Saturday because of work commitments. I should have known something was up when I opened the box and taped to the top of the Inspiron was a reinstallation disk for Windows 7 Professional.

"That's weird." Says I. "They didn't send a disk last time. And I don't think I had Windows 7 Professional installed either." But I plugged it and switched it on and... Well, nothing. Apart from the "Operating System Not Found" error.

What. The. Hell?

I looked again at the piece of paper that was in the box. The piece that says, and I don't have it with me but I'll edit this later to get the exact wording, "We have fully tested your computer to ensure that the reported issue has been resolved." UPDATE 01/28/2013: It reads "Enclosed please find your repaired Dell portable. The system was diagnosed and extensively tested by certified technicians to ensure the problem you experienced was corrected." Oh really? Funny that Dell didn't notice THE COMPUTER WOULDN'T EVEN TURN ON during this test.

How, pray tell, did you test the sound when the computer won't boot up? And how did you test the pixels weren't dead by looking for black pixels on a black screen? And I looked at the parts they claimed to have repaired. A new motherboard. A new hard drive. A new screen. And "Others". What the hell is "Others"?

And how did you fix the speakers without, you know, fixing the speakers?

Now I was pretty pissed, so I got on the phone and was transferred to the warranty repair department and spoke to a very nice lad called Monaj who, after apologising for the fact that the computer had come back without the OS installed, looked up what had been done. He said the repair technician and found that the operating system was corrupt and that he had been unable to reinstall it so just put a new hard drive in.

Nonsense, the OS had been operating just fine when it left my house, and had the repair technician never heard of the "format" command? Again, Manoj apologised for the OS not being reinstalled but said since I had the disk he would help me reinstall it. So I told him OK, I do have the Windows 7 Professional reinstall disk. And he went quiet and asked to put me on hold. When he came back he apologised again, it was the wrong OS. It needed to be Windows 7 Home Premium because of a code embedded in the motherboard.

So let's recap this tale of Dell incompetence and Dell product quality:

The screen on my Dell Inspiron 17R SE had begun to fail twice in the space of three months, when the computer was less than six months old AND the sound had started to fail in the same period. When it went in for repair the technician put a new hard drive in, a new LCD panel in, a new motherboard in, and "others" - whatever that was. Dell then sent it back with a blank hard drive expecting me to reinstall the whole system. With a disk and OS that wouldn't work on the motherboard that Dell had themselves installed. And then Dell also included a letter saying the technician had tested the system to make sure all the problems were fixed - despite the fact the computer wouldn't even turn on properly!

Dell - you are incompetent and your product sucks.

And that isn't even the end of it.

The End? Not bloody likely

So Manoj apologised again, arranged for the correct disks to be sent out and said Dell would call me on the 23rd January to help reinstall, and that it would take about an hour.

So the disks showed up and someone called me on the 23rd and we started the installation. And then he said he'd call back on the 24th to help me reinstall the utilities and drivers because Windows would take an hour. It took about 20 minutes. And, lo and behold, the dead pixels were all still present.

From this there can only be a few conclusions. First - the technician did not replace the LCD panel, lied about that and then lied about testing the computer. Second - the technician did replace the panel and lied about testing it, and the problem is marks or debris on the inside of the LCD glass cover, between it and the LCD panel. Which he would have seen if he had actually tested the computer. Third - the LCD panel has failed in exactly the same places as it did previously and the technician lied about testing it to make sure the problem was gone. Fourth - the LCD panel failed in exactly the same places whilst in transit and the technician did correctly test it. Somehow. Magic, maybe?

Call me a cynic but I am going for option 1 or option 2. I haven't got to testing the sound yet, but I am not holding my breath. I will update this after getting the drivers and utilities reinstalled and being able to actually get the sound going. I could do this installation myself right now, I used to work in IT, but I am not going to give them an excuse to say I screwed it up. But, if the sound is not fixed then Dell actually managed to return my computer in worse condition than when I sent it too them, and lied about what their technician actually did.


Dell, you and your Dell Inspiron 17R SE are a disgrace. Poor quality, poor and incompetent - not to mention dishonest - service

And don't think that my experience is the only one - go and look at some of the horror stories listed in the reviews section on Dell's website. Just scroll down to see the reviews, mine is also on there for back in October/November 2012. Other people have had far worse experiences with this model, and yet others love it. I smell a rat.

I will update this with the results of testing the sound, and with the results of my complaints to Dell and the Better Business Bureau.

In short - don't buy the Dell Inspiron 17R SE (model number 7720) - it's junk. In fact, just don't buy a Dell. The horror stories you hear about their technical repairs are true.

UPDATE 1/28/2013:

Oh it just keeps getting better.

First, the sound does appear to be improved, but certainly not completely fixed. I still noticed some distortion on speech during a Skype video call this weekend.

However, that isn't the best of it. First I tried to use My Dell Downloads to install all the factory installed programs - and four or five of the downloads failed (I forget exactly right now). I haven't bothered trying to reinstall the ones that did work yet because I have a feeling there is going to be more wiping and reinstalling of operating systems because:

The solid state drive doesn't work! I noticed the machine was booting very slowly and so tried to look at what was on the SSD, thinking maybe I should have installed Windows 7 on that and not the hard drive. Only the SSD did not show in Windows Explorer. Or Device Manager. So I started an online chat with someone from tech support, and after an hour of reinstalling drivers, rebooting, checking BIOS settings etc she decided that the SSD might not be seated properly and the ten day old motherboard would need to be replaced. And since there is a technician coming to do a home repair for the LCD screen, again, there will now be another one coming to replace the motherboard, again. Because apparently doing it all at once would be too difficult or who knows what.

Dell: screwing up computers from the beginning. Anyone know a good lawyer?

UPDATE 2/7/2013:

Well isn't this fun.

So, both onsite tech visits occurred, both techs agreed that the LCD panel was not replaced by the repair depot, both replaced the parts they were supposed to. Motherboard and solid state drive are working, after I once again reinstalled Windows and all the drivers. The LCD panel is working, for now, with no apparent damage or dead pixels - further confirming it was never replaced at the depot. However - taking the case apart has resulted in three different broken sections! The keyboard no longer sits correctly because one of the plastic tabs is broken/worn down, so by the ESC key it bobs up and down with pressure applied, if not just unseating completely and popping up in that corner. Then the bezel that covers the front of the LCD panel is warped and no longer fits tight to the screen in the bottom right, as well as some more retaining tabs being broken. Finally, the case around the LCD panel doesn't fit together anymore because several plastic tabs are broken - so it leaves a nice gap that shouldn't be there.

A case manager called me on the 4th to see if I was satisfied and I told him of these issues and the answer was - not covered under warranty so we can't repair it. But I'll send a tech back since they broke it. But they won't be able to fix it because of the nature of the damage says I. I'll decide what needs to be replaced and call you in three days, says he.

And that's when I filed my Better Business Bureau complaint asking for a full refund. Watch this space.

Incidentally, the Dell repair provider has also broken Texas statutes for deceptive trade practices. The Texas statutes state in title 2, chapter 17, subchapter E, section 17.46 of the Business and Commerce Code: 

"(a) False, misleading , or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce are hereby declared unlawful..." then "(b) ... the term "false, misleading, or deceptive acts or practices includes, but is not limited to, the following: ... (7) representing that goods or services are of a particular standard, quality, or grade ... if they are of another ... (22) representing that work or services have been performed on, or parts replaced in, goods when the work or services were not performed or the parts replaced."

They managed to do both of these things. This could be interesting.


So I heard from someone at Dell calling herself Susan with regard to my Better Business Bureau complaint. Dell don't want to give me a refund. They say the refund period is 21 days from day of purchase. In other words, Dell only stand by their product for three weeks. Since it is outside that period she said Dell can't (and by that she means "Don't want to") give me a refund. They will however give me a refurbished replacement of similar or better specs. I kept asking if she meant "equal" specs and she kept saying "similar". Then she couldn't find anyone in the refurbishment department to tell us if there was even one available, so she is going to call back on the 8th.

At which point I will refuse the exchange and ask to speak to a manager. If they refuse to refund me then I will get their name and file a complaint with the Texas Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division and the FTC, since Dell's "repair" depot broke Texas state law. I'm not accepting a second hand replacement, of the same shitty type, for an $1100 computer I got just over six months ago, and that for approximately one month of that the thing has been at Dell or awaiting onsite repairs. Simply unacceptable.

UPDATE 2/9/2013:

Spoke again with Susan Thomas from Dell. They flat out refuse to do a refund and say the options are simply get a refurbished unit with equal specs or repair the one I have. In no particular order the conversation included: I asked to speak with a manager and she said that she was as high as I was going to get - she is at Dell corporate headquarters and her manager does not take calls. I pointed out that this model is clearly a problem and why would I want a used version that would have similar problems. She simply restated that was what there was and would I like more time to think about it. She did say it had been through quality checks and I pointed out that my unit was supposed to have gone through quality checks as well when it was repaired at their facility. She ignored that and reiterated that was all I could get. She tried to make a point that if they made an exception for me they would have to make an exception for every customer. She said they would continue with the repair request for the case if I wanted. I asked her to call back on Monday so I could think about what I wanted to do.

Her point about the exception causing a landslide of complaints is of course nonsense. First - is she saying that their product and behavior is so appalling that there are many other customers with similar claims to mine, the volume of which would bankrupt Dell? If there are then I suppose this would set a precedent. And it's therefore an admission of how shit Dell and their products are - and that they know this. Second - is she saying that somehow they would have to publish to everyone that this exception was made and therefore instantly people with totally different claims would be asking for a refund they would have to give? Third - is she arguing that it is impossible to handle issues on a case by case basis? Bollocks.

So, complaint with the Texas Attorney General Consumer Protection Division = filed. Complaint with the Federal Trade Commission = filed. Next, letters addressed to every corporate executive officer and board member. Corporate attitudes usually start at the top, and Dell's stinks.


  1. I can only commend you on your patience Jimmy!

    I bought one of these pieces of crap 3 months ago, and still haven't got all its problems sorted, despite spending nearly an hour on the phone to India (getting rid of a screen flicker on battery power, and enabling the touchpad to function properly).

    I've still got a NUM lock that turns itself on and/or off at random. Whenever I boot up, I don't know whether it's going to be on or off. Also, the mute key doesn't always work, which is a real pain when the phone rings.

    I'm also suffering from intermittent, bright, intensely white flashes from the panel. The entire screen turns white (no text or graphics) and it's like having a camera flash going off 50cm in front of your face! It doesn't happen for days at a time, then it can happen twice in the one hour.

    Not life threatening, LOL, but certainly disconcerting, to say the least. I couldn't get the DELL agent in India to comprehend the problem (because of the language barrier?) so I'm living with it. Sad really.

    And I agree entirely with your comments re DELL. I'd never buy any other DELL computer, and would also tell everybody else the same thing if they're looking to buy a laptop.

    —Cheers, Geoff.

  2. Forgot to add... the keyboard half of the case is warping diagonally, so that the front right-hand corner sits about 2mm above my desk top—which means if I rest my wrists on the keyboard rest, the whole unit moves, and causes the display to wobble.

    I've currently got a couple of cardboard shims under the rubber foot to stabilise it.

    And this is a $1300 machine? Ha!


  3. It's funny you mention the keyboard warping - mine does that as well and I haven't mentioned it to DELL yet. I've noticed it has to do with the angle of the screen - if the screen is almost upright the warping isn't there, but tilt it back a little and it gets worse the more you tilt. And it is warped in the same direction as yours so this is clearly a design issue rather than something else.

    Hell, at first I thought it was my desk, but if you set the laptop up with the screen back you can push down on the top of the right hand corner and watch the whole thing move!

    Piece of crap.

  4. Man if only i read this before i bought this shitty 7720 model
    now i have a 4 months old laptop that is not booting at all
    i thought i was upgrading by buying a Dell computer my old HP computer is 10 times better

  5. To be fair to Dell (not that they deserve it) I have been meaning to update the post for a while. After butting my head against them they finally - after another series of cluster fucks - agreed to replace the computer and I have a new 7720 with Windows 8 on it. So far so good, seems to be working.

  6. Glad you finally got sorted out. I have to say, I bought one in February this year and it's working flawlessly. I've added a second 1TB HD and a 32GB mSATA cache SSD and the thing absolutely flies!

  7. Funny i have yet to have any issues. I did my research before hand and decided half the price for a refurb was worth it. So far no issues other than those related to the crap they call windows 8. I switched out the original 1tb 5400 rpm HDD for a 7200 Barracuda and a 128gb ssd and it works phenomenal. No sound issues or dead pixels. I am very pleased with my purchase considering it was half the price of a higher end model toshiba i was going to get.

  8. You need to go to you local court house and file a small claims case against Dell.

  9. In my experience, large company's act like they are above the law, until you take steps to enforce the law. Then they instantly cave.
    And I also have one of these computers.
    They put wrong os on it. Win 8 std, not pro.
    So they had to replace the MB also, since win 8 key gets embedded in mb upon install of os.
    After MB replaced probs-
    1 / when booting off dell win 8 install DVd took at least 1/2 hour to go from boot off dvd to choose language ( should take under 5 minutes
    At 1st I thought the computer had locked up. I tried multiple times same result.
    took 2-3 minutes to read from dvd then zero activity for 1/2 hour. no hdd access...
    Since win 8 is new, I had no idea if this was normal. Turns out it was not.
    I then installed win 8. After installing, computer seemed a little slow for this class of machine.
    I ran some programs on win 8 , and installed a few others like office 2007
    ran 1/2 crashed when either installing or using them
    I then installed a benchmark software from internet - pcmag site.
    Ran that, said processor was 1,197 mhz ( is 2,400 mhz)
    called Dell support was told to try removing and reinserting memory chips.
    i removed one. rebooted, ran the bench mark software. reported speed 2,000 something.
    remove and try other one 1,197mhz
    each time I had turned off and waited a little then restarted , so I had multiple reading on same chip.

    Then I put both in and tested. Got 1,197 mhz repeatably.

    removed and tried the chips independently, got same readings per chip.
    Then I started to get 3,something being reported in the software.

    I booted off the dell win8 install dvd in 10 minutes.

    then shut off booted off the dvd this time in 3 minutes.

    played with memory, started getting inconsistent processor speeds being reported in the bench mark software .

    I suspect the MB or mem sockets had something wrong with them in a hairline crack.
    The dell diagnostics program is useless. it tests the MB in about 2 seconds and the processor in 1 sec. Not a very through check, prob only checks if a processor is recognized .

    Dell has me send to their repair depot.
    I included a page detailing what wrong, and how to test for it. I also put stickers on the paper work stating laptop has win 8 PRO, and multiple places on the laptop.
    Note this laptop is 1 month old and in clean mint condition, as I never really used it.
    Repair center sends back saying they replace the hdd, and reloaded the os.
    1) OS installed is wrong.
    2) problem still there. .
    3) screen came back dirty, not not just plain dirty. Take old cleaning rag with dust / mud/ Elmer's glue residue, wipe entire screen let dry. That is what my screen looks like. You can even touch the screen and feel the raised waves of dirt residue attached to screen. I have been waiting for the higher ups from dell to call me, but they send emails each day the last 3 days saying they will call next day. next day, next day.

    With the screen condition , I was floored on getting back in worse condition than sent in.


    1. My best advice is to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau - that's what I did. I also filed a complaint with their social media Facebook support people (I got the link from a Dell response to a customer review of this model on the Dell website) and the combination of both, and a refusal to accept anything that was not a perfect repair, caused Dell to eventually switch the machine out for a brand new one.

      That one seems to be working (with one hiccup concerning it not booting correctly, which I fixed myself) for now - although it is Windows 8 and I don't use it as much as I did the first one for fear it will just crap out again!

  10. For advertisers: Dell computers are shit, stop trying to push that crap here. Every comment with commercial links in or associated with it will be deleted.

  11. i just bought a dell inspiron 17 5455 through amazon. it was dead on arrival, meaning the screen is dead. works if i plug it into an external monitor...but not as a laptop, which is what i bought. pissed off, i only dicked around with it for ten minutes then promptly sent it back to amazon for a replacement. yes a replacement, b/c this is the pc i want. i have already disputed the charge with my cc company, stating the product was faulty and they are holding the charge until I get resolution (which I'm certain won't be a problem with amazon).

    talk about smelling a rat... when I unboxed the computer i was curious if it was new or refurb. i bought a new one not a refurb, but every other laptop i have ever seen comes with different kinds of plastic all over it, like covering the screen, or that almost tissue paper like shit that sits between the keyboard and the screen. this one had none of that. ok, maybe they realized that was a waste and changed their process. BUT, I also noticed scratch marks on the back near the hinges for the screen like it had been taken apart or something, and the case in that area had a gap in it where it wasn't seated properly. odd. lo and behold, the f*ing screen doesn't work. HDD lights and shit are on, you can feel the hard drive spinning, bu nothing on screen. adjust brightness, nothing. fumble with the projector/laptop screen toggle button (Fn F1), nothing. but plug in an external monitor using the hdmi port and voila...picture...asking me to complete setup of win 8. try again with a monitor attached to toggle the display to laptop only, but nothing. quickly decided this was all bullshit and sent the f*ing thing back. new one will arrive Saturday. if there are any scratches on the case, it will go back too w/o even trying to turn it on and I'll back up and punt with an HP or a ridiculously expensive apple or something.

    interesting thing about all this...this computer was first released in january, i think, but has already been discontinued. not terribly odd given the product lifecycle of pc's except...newer versions are essentially identical but have a different screen. yep, a different screen.

    rat anyone?

  12. Dell Inspiron 17R SE : Just received my 5th new motherboard in 7 months yesterday! Now the next problem appears: dead pixels.

  13. Wow guys I guess I'm lucky (knock on wood) I've had the 7220 for 8 months and its working like a charm

  14. thanks for the heads up much appreciated. excellent review

  15. I bought one in July and this is my second laptop with a bad mb, now there going to replace with a third one, there CG sucks, they discontinued the one with 3d, now what do they replace it with?

  16. Oh, who are you kidding Dell; you cant make computers. Shouldnt have let myself get hooked into this, normally I never buy stuff from them but...

  17. Oh, by the way, the display failure is due to loose cable. There's a youtube video about how to fix it. Just one of the countless problems.

  18. Jimmy, I purchased the Inspiron 7720 from 02/13. In the last three years I began wearing bifocals and I have an astigmatism so I needed visual clarity. I ordered the system with a 17.3 inch 3D 1080p with Truelife Display and Blue-ray combo. I didn't need the 3D but it came with the bluray, ok. About 6 weeks later the screen died. they sent a tech to my home to replace it. I called to say that it was too dark. To make a long story short they changed it 5 times in total. I did accidentally damage the headphone jack. they sent someone to replace the motherboard and the screen. He replaced the motherboard but was given the wrong part for the screen. He leaves but returned a minute later with Dell on the phone and said Dell wants to know if you would send the system to their depot for the repairs and I said yes. Got it back nothing works, no blue ray combo, no keyboard, no ports other than the headphone jack. They no longer make the 7720 in any form but I was offered the Inspiron 5737 I said yes even though it had nothing I wanted. I got it in a few weeks and unpacked it, it was ugly, turned it on the visuals were horrible. I couldn't see it was not visually clear without Truelife. I packed it up the next morning and sent it back. The famous Susan Thomas is handling everything. A few days ago she sent configurations for a replacement for the exact machine I sent back. Even with a generation 4 processor it's no good if I can't see what's being processed. I did file a claim with the BBB in Round Rock Texas. I don't want them to get away with this. You mentioned filing with the Texas Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission which is exactly what I am going to do. For $1,364.59 I've have gotten 5 screens, two motherboards, and nothing works in only 9 months. Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I want them to replace my system with the Inspiron 17 7000 because they boast that it is their sharpest and clearest display to date, it has Truelife, and I know I am going to lose the blue-ray combo because I've been told they don't offer that option any more. Your blog has helped tremendously. Thanks!

  19. I had an inspiron 7720 too, and the motherboard and hard drive had to be replaced 4 times, and i had to threaten to sue multiple times until they finally agreed to replace it with a new one. I'm supposed to receive a inspiron 5737 in a few days. Is it really that bad? And if i don't like it, can I return it?

    1. Yes the Inspiron 5737 is visually horrible. It is HD but without Truelife the images sort of bleed together. I filed a case with the Better Business Bureau of Round Rock Texas I told them my story and they contacted Dell headquarters which is located down the street from the BBB. I told Susan Thomas that I wanted the new Inspiron 17 7000 series and that's what I got, the Inspiron 7739 with touch screen 17.3 full high definition, Corning Gorilla Glass (the screen is beautiful), faster processor, and a few other bells and whistles. If you do not like the 5737 when you get it send it back, they will send you a return label, I think this is their standard replacement for everything (5737). Tell Susan that it is unacceptable and file a claim with the BBB in Round Rock, Texas. If you can check out the Inspiron 17 7000 series (7739) at Best Buy I don't work for them but that is where I first saw it and had the opportunity to play around with it and I liked it although I am not a big touch screen person it was likeable. Dell says that it has their sharpest and clearest screen to date and I wear bifocals and have an astigmatism, its very good. I will come back and hope to see that it has worked out for you.

      Good luck,

    2. Sherry: How did you get contact information for Susan Thomas? Also, do you know if BBB complaints need to be filed in TX, or the state you live in.

      Many thanks.

  20. Wow so you're definitely not the only person. I bought this as the primary laptop to run my company from so I have lost thousands of dollars, time, energy, etc..on this unit at multiple times with it not functioning properly. I wish that I wouldn't of sold my other laptop 2 days after I bought this one :(

    I wish I would have seen this post in April of 2013 before I bought this Dell 17R SE 7720 it's the worst computer and $1200 I've ever spent in my life. My 4 year old dual core HP was faster then this. I've already had to replace the memory, hard drive, still having GPU and motherboard issues and dell isn't trying to do a damn thing about it. Dell was able to weasle there way out of fixing my system. Dell also stated that they won't do anything at all since there are no errors code that warrant them to do anything... Be forwarned! I had hard fail code in the system post, and built in dell diagnostics...they forced me to update the bios and obviously no more codes in dell diagnostics, but still experienced all the same problems! It's making a random popping sound kind of like the older P3 Desktops that had the speaker attached to the motherboard when it would post. This sound can happen every few hours, to a matter of days doesn't matter if the sound is turned off or on. Everything seems to work with the audio with no problems. The more of a load the computer is under it gets worse and locks up more. I've also noticed if it's 68 degress or below the computer functions better, but at room temperature 72 degress it locks up a lot more and nothing is over heating either. Basically I'm running Windows 7 Professional 32bit no thanks to dell had to do it myself took a many months to find the right nvidia and other drivers that would work without getting BSODS all the time. It locks up randomly could be a few second to a matter minutes or upwards of 10 minutes. Background information I did replace the hard drive with a Western Digital 1TB 7200 RPM not the piece of junk 5400 RPM and put Crucial memory in the system only 4GB worth at this time instead of 8GB.

    My recommendation don't buy this piece of shit I want to run over with my truck literally!

    This is a slimmed way down review as I don't have time to go through everything that has happened like this original post, but MUCH longer!!!

    Does anybody have any recommendations for me. Let me know your thoughts Jimmy Blue!!!

    Thanks for your time.

    1. I am on hard drive #5, second motherboard, second screen, etc. My experiences with Dell have been horrible. I have spent at least 30 hours on phone with tech support. Fortunately, I got the premier service.

      Have you found any resolution? I am now using an external monitor as the screen is no longer working.

      Appreciate any help. We should start a class action for purchasers of this model against Dell!

  21. I just had the Dell tech replace the inspiron 17R SE laptop screen with a new screen. It still looks the same as before. The screen has a blue purple tint, the gray colors look like a blue/gray. So I have the computer plugged into an external monitor which looks perfect. The Dell tech say's it's the model. If I called to get another screen it would probably have the same problem with the blue tint. If I asked for a replacement laptop it would probably still look the same, put I could be worst off because the replacement model would have refurbish parts and may have other issues. So the only solution is to keep the laptop plugged into an external monitor.

  22. Do any of you guys have any heat problems of any sort? I am thinking about acquiring one, but I need an opinion. And by the way, my condolences for the issues with the Laptop.

  23. Do any of you guys have any heat problems of any sort? I am thinking about acquiring one, but I need an opinion. And by the way, my condolences for the issues with the Laptop.

  24. I have this laptop (Dell 17R Special Edition 7720), bought in July 2012. I'm typing from it right now, in fact. I had some niggly issues at first, such as a lousy trackpad , but things were eventually sorted with new drivers. I loved the original screen, however after 9 months, I had a line of green pixels, going 1/4 down the screen. I decided to replace it, since it was still under warranty, and I didn't want it to get worse. It was replaced by a technician, who did a fine job, but the replacement screen was clearly inferior to the original. The contrast was horrible, and vertical viewing angles were so bad, it was hard to use. It had no bad pixels, but I was very disappointed with it, and would have preferred the original screen, even with the dead pixels. After a year, I finally just bought a new screen online, and replaced it (again) myself. The replacement was a high gloss screen, and it looks better, but still not as good as the original. Other than that, the laptop has worked well, and it's been my primary work and home computer for almost 4 years. It does heat up a bit while playing games, and the fan can get a loud when stressed. I replaced the hard drive with an SSD, and installed a second SSD as well, so it is quite fast. I also upgraded to 16GB of RAM. I'd be perfectly happy if the original screen had held up. Otherwise, Windows 10 installed flawlessly, and I can't complain too much. I would probably buy it again, and hope the screen holds up.

  25. I have this laptop (Dell 17R Special Edition 7720), bought in July 2012. I'm typing from it right now, in fact. I had some niggly issues at first, such as a lousy trackpad , but things were eventually sorted with new drivers. I loved the original screen, however after 9 months, I had a line of green pixels, going 1/4 down the screen. I decided to replace it, since it was still under warranty, and I didn't want it to get worse. It was replaced by a technician, who did a fine job, but the replacement screen was clearly inferior to the original. The contrast was horrible, and vertical viewing angles were so bad, it was hard to use. It had no bad pixels, but I was very disappointed with it, and would have preferred the original screen, even with the dead pixels. After a year, I finally just bought a new screen online, and replaced it (again) myself. The replacement was a high gloss screen, and it looks better, but still not as good as the original. Other than that, the laptop has worked well, and it's been my primary work and home computer for almost 4 years. It does heat up a bit while playing games, and the fan can get a loud when stressed. I replaced the hard drive with an SSD, and installed a second SSD as well, so it is quite fast. I also upgraded to 16GB of RAM. I'd be perfectly happy if the original screen had held up. Otherwise, Windows 10 installed flawlessly, and I can't complain too much. I would probably buy it again, and hope the screen holds up.