A couple of years ago I purchased a Dell XPS M170 laptop brand new on ebay for $1755. It came with an extended 3 year warranty, and it wasn’t until I received my laptop that I realized the extended 3 year warranty wasn’t through Dell, it was through a 3rd party warranty provider named “Mack Camera and Video“. My XPS M170 has the same issue thousands of them do which is severe overheating, and powerjack problems. Before I sent this in, I did some google searches on Mack Camera and Video, and based on horrifying consumer feedback, I felt it was a complete gamble to send it in. I’ve read information ranging from Mack waiting weeks to acknowledge they even have the unit, to it being returned unfixed, blaming the sender for the condition of the laptop. One even claims they sent the unit insured, and it was damaged in shipping or in the hands of Mack Camera, and Mack sent it back via a different carrier in a different box therefore voiding the insurance claim of $1500 by the sender.
Why am I willing to risk sending my $1755 laptop under these circumstances? It’s simple, I’m unemployed and do not have the luxury of paying for a repair. Also, why should I have to pay, the thing is under an extended warranty?
To be fair to Mack Camera and Video, I can’t take the information I’ve been reading as the gospel truth as A.) There are always 2 sides to a story, and B.) There have been some postings of people who were very pleased with Mack Camera and Video, and those who are satisfied usually tend not to post about it, it’s always the people who feel victimized.
I’m going to update this during each step of the process and hope to provide some reassuring news to anybody thinking about using them… But time will tell.
12/31/2008: Sent the item via USPS insured for $1500
1/5/2009: Happy New Year! Received a confirmation Monday morning the unit has been received. I like the responsiveness in the early stages!
1/6/2009: Entering the Repair code on their website gave me a new update:
|Notes||Parts, manuals, etc. have been ordered to complete the repair.|
To me, this is good news. It indicates they aren’t sitting on their hands, and at this point I’m only seeing professionalism. Also, they take blogs seriously. It took them about 30 minutes from the time my Blog started to respond to it.
1/7/2009: Yet another update via email from Mack Camera:
We have ordered the parts to complete your repair.
It can take up to fourteen business days for us to
receive parts depending on availability. We will
notify you when your repair is completed.
They aren’t keeping me in the dark. Mack Camera has been professional during each step in the early going. I’d anticipate that I won’t have any updates for a little while based on time needed to receive parts.
1/9/2008: I was expecting silence for at least a couple weeks, and was surprised to see this update:
|As Of Date||01/09/09|
|Notes||The parts required to repair your unit have arrived and the unit will be repaired shortly.|
Also worth mentioning, before I went to the www.mackcam.com website, I got an email from their technician Scott advising the computer is expected to be repaired by the end of today or Monday. I still don’t have my laptop back so I can’t give a final analysis, but what has started as a huge gamble is starting to look like the best warranty service I’ve ever experienced. I’ll keep posting until the process is complete.
1/12/2009: Again, no need for me to go to the website for an update, I got an update via email from Scott. The first email was advising the work is done on the laptop and it was at his desk for testing, and then a follow up email stating the laptop is in their shipping department and will be returned to me shortly.
This is almost unreal.. It’s been SEVEN business days since I sent the laptop in, and it’s ready to be shipped back to me? I’m starting to sound like a pitchman for Mack Camera now.
Got an email with a UPS tracking #. I’d expect nothing new will happen for about a week.
Got an email from Scott advising by mistake they left the PCMCIA cover at their location (forgot to put it back in the slot). They are sending that part seperately. I appreciate being told this before receiving the item.
Received laptop right on schedule, powered it up via the AC adapter showing that it does work now. Looked at the invoice which explains the repair, and here is what it said:
“Removed cleaned, reinstalled heat exhanger (pix on file). Replaced DC connector Assembly. Heat Exhanger was clogged with debris. No good for Computer. DC connect was broken off board. Not MFG defect. Courtesy Repair”.
There was one hiccup which was I could not get my computer to recognize it had wireless capability at all. I didn’t even get an option to view wireless networks in range, it did not think it had wireless. I sent an email to Scott at Mack and he gave some suggestions and his personal extension to call for help. It turned out somehow the driver for the internal wireless was removed. It took me about an hour of playing around to figure this out. Was able to burn the driver to a disk on my desktop, install it to my XPS, and now it recognizes the wireless capability (which is how I’m able to finish this blog on my fixed laptop).
Based on the lightning quick responsiveness and service, and not to mention the courtesy repair on the broken DC connector, the hour I spent figuring out the wireless is really nothing to complain about. At this point, “Stellar” is the only word I can use to describe the service I received. Out of thousands of repairs I’m sure they perform, there are going to be issues, and those issues are the ones you will see posted on the internet. I couldn’t be happier. Thanks Mack Camera!