Dell Hardware Follies

Ten months ago, I purchased a PowerEdge SC420 server when Dell had one of their crazy one-time deals. I got a system with a Celeron 2.53Ghz CPU, 512M of RAM (since upgraded to 1G), 160G SATA hard drive, CD-ROM, and gigabit Ethernet for $265 shipped.

This morning I got an email from Dell, informing me that I’m two months from having the support contract (e.g., one-year warranty) expire, and would I like to renew? I’ve never needed to call them for service, but I thought I’d see how much they wanted out of curiosity.

I paid $265 for the system originally. Dell wants $295 for a two year warranty extension, believe it or not. I just don’t understand their economics. I can go to their website right now and buy a Dimension 1100 with pretty much the same specs (CPU-wise) as my SC420 for $299.

4 thoughts on “Dell Hardware Follies

  1. I think the comparison to the Dimension system is a little bit misleading. If you compared to a low-end server (the SC430, say), it would be $599 (ignoring their current rebate special).

    The other thing is going to be response time. How fast is the repair going to be versus the time to build and ship a replacement server?

    Even still, I think $295 is too much.

    I just paid about $100 for a one-year warranty extension on my Dell laptop. I figured it was worth it because the replacement cost would be about ten times that, and I don’t have the same service options that I do for a desktip. Turns out it worked out well for me. I had a keyboard problem and they express shipped me a replacement the next day.

  2. For my purposes (headless Linux, now Solaris 10, server) there’s no real difference between the SC420 and any of their other low-end boxes using the 2.53Ghz Celeron.

    I normally don’t buy Dell hardware, but less than $275 for all that hardware was (at the time) less than I could build it for using parts from Directron here in Houston.

    For a laptop, a service contract/warranty is almost a necessity and is well worth the money.

  3. We have lots of Dell shitheaps in our office. Some had failures that required a service guy to come out and swap boards per the service contract. A kid no older than 20 showed up wearing jeans and what appeared to be a womans blouse. He also turned out to be high on ecstacy and could not function.

    Dell wanted to charge us additional for requesting a different engineer. Moral of the story is if you use peecee hardware you get what you deserve.

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