Broken netbook frustrates San Jose family

April 21, 2011 6:09:07 PM PDT
Netbook computers are getting more popular all the time. But one a South Bay teenager bought didn't work almost as soon as it was out of the box. And when he couldn't get it fixed, he turned to 7 On Your Side.

Johnathan Dalldorf received a new computer from his dad before he started his freshman year at San Jose State University.

"The purpose was primarily for school, but I also wanted something that could also play games," Dalldorf said.

He played games like World of Warcraft and others that allowed him to compete with players around the world.

"It was really frustrating because I could be in the middle of something important, I actually lost a couple of homework assignments too from the computer just shutting off randomly and me not getting a chance to save," Dalldorf said.

Dell was never able to fix the $1,100 Alienware netbook the family originally bought. The company even sent a technician to the home. Eventually, Dalldorf's father had to buy a new computer to replace the original one.

"Like he fixed it for a while, but the problems came back afterwards," Dalldorf said.

Dalldorf's father said things only got worse from there.

"It got to where it would open up about 60 degrees; you couldn't even see the screen, that's where we tried to escalate the problem with the tech support people," Felix Dalldorf said.

Dell instructed the family to send the computer back to the company for more repairs.

"And the next thing that I saw was an email from Dell saying that they're going to refund the money. so we assumed that there was a problem with it that they couldn't repair," Felix Dalldorf said.

But more than a month went by, and Dalldorf had no refund and no computer. That is when Dell told him the promise of a refund was a mistake made by an employee.

"After exhausting about 30 phone calls to India and not getting anywhere I finally called 7 On Your Side," Felix Dalldorf said.

7 On Your Side contacted Dell and the company credited all $1,154 back to Dalldorf's credit card.

Dell did not respond to a request for an interview.

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