Day 8 of the old coffee-in-the-keyboard trick

Day 8 of the old coffee-in-the-keyboard trick

Summary: Here's a quick status report for those following my adventures in Dell-land. It's now been 8 days since I sloshed coffee in the keyboard of my new Dell laptop.


Here's a quick status report for those following my adventures in Dell-land. It's now been 8 days since I sloshed coffee in the keyboard of my new Dell laptop. Although I had a next-business-day, on-site service contract, the machine was not repaired on site on the next business day. It was sent to the Dell service depot.

I've not heard a thing from Dell since it arrived at the depot on Day 5 of this adventure.

I've reconstructed one of the two missing files and will start on the next one today.

Thanks, once again, for all your encouraging messages. It appears that this is a much more common experience than I would have expected.

8:30 AM update

I just communicated with one of Dell's on-line agents. The machine has been shipped back and is currently at DHL's facility in town. So, I should have the machine back sometime today.

11:30 AM update

The friendly DHL man just stopped by to return my system. When I opened the box, I noticed that Dell kept my battery. I reinstalled the hard disk and dropped the machine into its docking station. I'm very thankful that the dock will power the machine. I connected with Dell's online support chat line and the service rep ordered a new battery for me.

While I was online with the service rep, I received an automated call from Dell telling me that the machine had been repaired and shipped to me. I think that notice was a bit late, don't you?

12:00 Noon update

Guess what? The repair depot put the wrong processor (a 1.66 Ghz) in the machine rather than the correct processor (2.16 Ghz)! I've called 3 different 800 numbers and can't get through to someone who can address this. So, the adventure continues.

12:20 PM Update

I've finally gotten through to someone. They're going to send out another technician to put in the correct processor

With no offense intended to real Keystone Cops, I wonder if the technician is going to show up dressed as a Keystone Cop.

I hope that YOU don't experience a similar ordeal.

Topic: Dell


Daniel Kusnetzky, a reformed software engineer and product manager, founded Kusnetzky Group LLC in 2006. He's literally written the book on virtualization and often comments on cloud computing, mobility and systems software. In his spare time, he's also the managing partner of Lux Sonus LLC, an investment firm.

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  • Huh? A week seems resoanable to me.

    Yes, on site can fix many things but there are times a field tech simply lacks the tools/parts/space to fix something. Replacing a keyboard on a lappie is not something I would expect to be done on site.

    A week to ship it, repair it, and return ship it, doesn't seem bad to me at all.
    • +1

      Other than the lack of communication from Dell on this, I don't get what the beef is about. ???
      • Cannot run a small business with that turnaround

        While 1 week may be fine for large enterprises with hotspares, or for personal users who dont live by their laptop 1 week is unacceptable for most anyone else.
        • Anyone betting their entire company on a laptop

          then they are a fool. What happens when its dropped, stolen, ran over by a truck, etc. ?
          • It's clear that's not true...

            Since I've continued to post about this incident, it's pretty clear that I have many other resources...
          • So why the complaint?

            Sorry but I don't quite follow you. Was it you that spilled the coffee on the keyboard? (Self inflicted.) As I noted in ohter posts, there simply is no way to tell in the field what otehr componets got the coffee treatment and it makes no sense to simply replace the keyboard and pray nothing else was dunked.

            Again, I don't think a week to ship, repair, and return ship is long at all.
          • You may have a point Axey BUT

            his point is that he had a next business day, on site service contract that didn't happen next day.
            He paid extra money, ion good faith, to ensure that he would have prompt service in getting his system fixed.
            Added to that he had to go though how many numbers and how many people before he even got the ball seriously rolling?
            While it is true that 7 days isn't too much in the scheme of things it seems that Dell really dropped their ball and didn't follow the terms of their own contract.
    • Keyboards are FSR

      Laptop keyboards are one of the easiest parts to replace on a laptop. I've done a number of keyboard swaps and it's fairly easy. With another company, we had to call Dell, who always shipped the keyboard out to us and the tech came in the next day and replaced it.

      Only thing I can think of is that if they know liquid was spilled in it, then they probably felt it'd be better to have it sent to them so they can test the whole system and make sure it was only the keyboard that was damages. I'm sure Dell would lose money if they sent out a keyboard and a tech to fix it, only to find that the motherboard also shorted and needs replacing.
      • True, coffee in the inards is not good.

        especially if had cream, sugar, whatever in it.
    • You're forgetting...

      ... that he paid extra for next day service. I guess I'd like to know what exactly Dell considers appropriate repairs for "Next Day" to determine if paying extra is really worth it.
    • Replacing the keyboard on a laptop...

      takes about 15 minutes. It's simple. It's reasonable to expect a 15 minute job to take a week when someone is actually paying extra for a high level of support? I'm guessing you're one of those people who think the business world would be just perfect if it weren't for customers. Always asking for things, expecting support that they've paid for...too bad you can't run a business without 'em.
      • Yes and no.

        Ok, so you pull the lappie apart to remove the keyboard, opps, now you see that there is coffee, sugar, cream, chocolate, whatever all over the electronics. Do you replace the keyboard and turn it on? Do you put it in the dishwasher to wash all the electronics?

        I agree, if it was something simply like a bad or sticking key its a simple fix, but when you dump coffee on the elctronics who knows what all is damaged or will go out later?
    • Keyboard replacement is an on-site service

      Been there - done that. Easy.

      It should be an on-site fix, if that is not possible, then a quick turn-around would be fine. However, I'm sure this user paid additional money for next day service. My feeling is they should get a refund on the upgraded price of the service since Dell cannot provide the service paid for.
      • *IF* only the keyboard is effected.

        But this is a case where coffee was dumped on the keyboard and certainly ran down on to the electronics. That is not an easy fix. Well, I suppose you can pull the MoBo, video, power supply, etc. and stick it in the dishwasher. ;-)
    • Good to know...

      ... that you're a **DELL** as well as a **Microsoft** fanboi. It all makes such **perfect** sense now...
      • Wow, what an interesting perception

        <set tone to sardonic/ironic>

        I'm surprised that you can tell so much about my office network, my skills and preferences from a few posts about one machine. You're amazingly perceptive. 8^)

        <set tone to normal>

        Just to set things straight, I have many operating environments represented on my office network. Yes, Windows is represented on the network. So is Linux and a couple of different types of Unix.

        I just found my experiences worthy of sharing and have gotten quite a number of really helpful suggestions from readers of this bog.

        Dan K
        • I think his clueless post was aimed at me.

          Not to worry, I've come to expect it from the slow ones.
      • Are you that clueless?

        What in the h*ll has Microsoft to do with spilling coffee in a keyboard?

        Tell you what, ship something cross country, give it two days for repair, ship it back. Bet it takes about a week...
  • Wow, just how much caffeine was in that coffee? :-)

    Maybe it was too much of a jolt for a Dell laptop...
    • Insanity - A week seems resoanable

      No_Axe and EJHonda, c'mon, seriously. Thousands of small businesses run this way. Just a bunch of company staff each with their own laptop. You don't really expect a 3 person company to setup a server room with several servers and a full time IT person do you? They MUST rely on a laptop to run their business. And in that case, they purchase the next day support for next day resolution. Hopefully, they backup their data and maybe even the entire laptop (I know, wishful thinking) and keep much of their data in webmail and paper files as additional backup just in case.

      Also, keep in mind that most of the work they do is letters, spreadsheets, accounting packages, web access and mail. We're not talking about running SAP or Peoplesoft on a laptop. We're not talking about WebLogic or Oracle or SQL Server on a laptop. So YES, relying on a laptop to get work done is reasonable. I think you folks really oughta get out and do some work in the real world for a while. The rest of us have been supporting small businesses relying on individual laptops and desktops for quite some time.

      A week is an eternity and is unacceptable. Both from the turnaround time and the lack of communication. I've had my keyboard and 1600x1200 screen replaced using on-site tech support from DELL on several occasions (including both replacements at the same time by the same tech) and had no problems. That's what I paid for and why I bought another DELL when mine finally became too underpowered (5 years, not bad, and note that the old one did NOT die). The next day on-site support is for those that do rely on their laptop and need it working right away. Dell recognizes the need and sells the support for that reason. This is nothing new and not unreasonable in any way.

      The only thing I don't get is your attitude regarding the bad service here and your surprise at the expectation that next day on-site service means next day and not next week.

      Just my opinion.