Changing the Channel: Networking VAR news

Jun 30 2010   3:44PM GMT

Is your customer’s Dell not working? Check the capacitor

ElaineHom Elaine Hom Profile: ElaineHom

Wow. Everyone knows Dell to be the go-to vendor for cheap computers. But is the cheap price worth an exploding capacitor that will leak fluid and might start a fire? Probably not.

According to this story from the New York Times, Dell has known for years that it sold millions of computers with faulty capacitors in the motherboard. Internal emails suggest a cover up and urge employees to “emphasize uncertainty” to customers. A study from Dell suggests a 97% fail rate for computers with these capacitors.

That’s a lot of failing computers. And all of those businesses who purchased Dell computers with faulty capacitors are going to need someone to come in and save them. For partners of vendors like HP, this is a great time to start pushing your products. While the bad capacitor influx a few years ago affected all vendors, it appears that it has affected Dell far worse than its rivals. Hit hardest were Dell’s OptiPlex desktop computers, sold to business and government customers. And Dell did not issue a recall of any sort to alert customers that something may be wrong with their computers.

These aren’t customers who need their computers to upload pictures or other leisurely activities. With a business and government business at hand, it’s pretty important that the computer works. Even worse, customers allege that their data was lost, which Dell denies.

So partners out there had better roll up their sleeves and get ready to push some non-Dell products. This is prime time for Dell’s competitors to make a push for new business. What’s most interesting to me is the last paragraph of this story:

“Dell salespeople were told to emphasize that the company’s direct model allowed it to identify and fix problems faster than competitors.”

So fast, huh?  This went down in 2005.  It’s 2010!  Five years!  Besides the fact that Dell just thumbed its nose at its partners and their ability to fix Dell computers, five years is not how long it should take to fix this.

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