Dell Customers Complain Their New Laptops Smell … Bad

Dell Customers Complain Their New Laptops Smell … Bad

Sometimes customer reaction to a new product or service comes as a complete surprise.

That’s something Dell has learned the hard way over the last few months.

No sooner did customers start unpacking their brand new Latitude 6430u laptops earlier this year, than some started to complain. There was an odor coming from the computers…a bad one!

It’s a smell users have chosen to describe in the most picturesque of terms.

For example, after unboxing a new laptop, user Three West took to the official Dell Laptop forum to complain:

“So a few weeks ago I got a new Lattitude 6430u for work. The machine is great, but it smells as if it was assembled near a tomcat’s litter box. It is truly awful! It seems to be coming from the keyboard. Anybody got any advice on removing the smell?”

Other customers said they were embarrassed to take the computers to work or to meetings with clients because of the stench.

After some investigation, Dell said recently that it had discovered a specific manufacturing process was responsible for the smell and had discontinued it.

But on Direct2Dell, the official Dell corporate blog, Kevin Dane, executive director of commuter hardware pledged to fix the problem for customers who already had their machines too.

In the post, Dane said the company will replace the palm rest assembly on all affected computers, too. (This is apparently the piece from which the unpleasant odor emanates.) Customers are encouraged to call 1-800-456-3355 or visit Dell support for more assistance.

Dell’s reaction is a good one for all small business owners to emulate. When you get a complaint, be sure to investigate. Find a way to make things right. It’s the best way to protect your business and brand.

Bad Smell Photo via Shutterstock


Shawn Hessinger Shawn Hessinger is the Executive Editor for Small Business Trends and a professional journalist with more than 20 years experience in traditional and digital media for trade publications and news sites. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and has served as a beat reporter, columnist, editorial writer, bureau chief and managing editor for the Berks Mont Newspapers.

12 Reactions
  1. Hi Shawn ,

    If there’s a problem and Dell have said they will replace the part then that’s pretty much all there is to it ain’t it ?

    I signify they have tackled the difficulty when the inquiry was inquired of them so in my eyes that’s rather noble of them.

  2. Wow, that’s a new one about a laptop, and a Dell one at that. Never knew laptops could, well, smell bad. It’s good the way Dell seem to be handling the feedback though, that they took it onboard without they’re egos coming into it, and are keen to fix the problem.

    • sorry, I meant THEIR egos, not *they’re*.

    • But I wonder what made it smell bad. I am waiting for it as I read this article but I guess their PR must have handled it pretty well so that the public would not know.

      • Your guess is as good as mine. You’ve made me curious about the reason too, since, like you say, there’s no mention of what it was exactly. Whatever it was, for it to smell as bad as what the customers said it did, it’s gotta be pretty bad.

  3. Shawn,

    Yes, they handle this matter well. But then, what happened with the QC?

  4. Thank must be an issue with the power supply or fan. I love my Dell. no issues at all.

    • Hi Mike,

      I have had several Dells and never had a problem like this. But … I had to laugh in spite of myself — a laptop that smells? Glad they fixed it though, because it’s the kind of thing if not nipped in the bud can get out of control.

      – Anita

  5. That stink! 😉 This will not become another version of “Dell Hell”? Maybe an app for that? Candle flavor USB?! 😉