Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Is your laptop a fire hazard?

Dell rushes to address battery issues

Dell, the world's largest personal computer maker, announced on Tuesday its biggest recall in its 22-year history, saying the lithium-ion batteries made by Sony could smoke and catch fire. The recall involves 4.1 million notebook computer batteries.

The action could cost Sony Corp. anywhere from 10 billion yen to 50 billion yen ($85-$430 million), hurting the Japanese electronics maker's short-term earnings and its brand image, analysts said. Yet, as it mobilizes to execute the largest PC recall in U.S. consumer history, Dell is getting high marks from marketing experts for the speed and efficiency of its response. Videos of computers erupting into flames recently began showing up on websites and making viral rounds.

Company executives have posted several long blog reports. On the company blog, executives have apologized to "all affected customers" and invited comments. So far, the site has received several responses.

Dell, previously slow to respond to consumers, has quickly mobilized a massive effort to address its customer's computer battery issues. The company's moves to quickly to correct the problem may even result in long-term benefits for the brand, according to Advertising Age .

Notebook users whose batteries have been recalled will find it challenging to go mobile. But as long as you're using your AC power cord, you're safe.

Related: List of Dell laptop batteries recalled, Dell replacement laptop batteries to take weeks to arrive

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Alina said...

This is indeed excellent customer care! Quickly finding a solution will always keep customers happy, no matter how scared and frustrated they have been when seeing their computer in flames or when finding out it could happen at any time.

carlo60 said...

Companies should always think of their customers as their main priorities. In the case of Dell an Sony it is indeed a nice gesture on their part to let their customers know that a part of their product is defective. At least they are honest about it and they are willing to tackle the problem head on.

Georganna Hancock said...

Wonder why Dell is the only company issuing the recall, because the Sony LION batter is used in a variety of other laptops, I heard in an NBC report. If I had one, I'd be prying the back off mine!

Jaimie said...

thanks for the info.

i've always had a mac desktop, but my school this year gave us all laptops. love it! fire hazard? had no idea.

hi deb! missed you!

Dennis Fermoyle said...

It just so happens that I am typing this on a fire hazard. I always felt like my comments were pretty hot, but this is ridiculous. (Yeah, I know; that was a pretty weak pun.) Never fear, though. I am using my AC Cord.

defiant goddess said...

I saw a really funny cartoon this week. A woman was on a plane commenting about how much safer she felt with no carry on liquids aboard. Then she looks at the guy sitting next to her with a Dell laptop on his lap and says, "Uh oh."

Deb S. said...

Alina and Carlo60: I agree 100%. Carlo60, welcome!

Georganna: The issue you raise is a good one. Hmmmm. I wouldn't be suprised if a lot of people are prying off the backs of their laptops!

Jaimie: I've worked on Macs as much as I have on PCs - Macintosh desktops and laptops. I use a PC for my work now, primarily becasue that's what most of the business world is using, but I do miss working on a Mac.

I'm just as surprised as you are. Who knew a laptop could potentially burst into flames. I've seen some of the video of such incidents. Amazing!

BTW, I've missed you, too, and I think of you often.

Dennis: I read your message and laughed. LOL If I were still working on a Dell laptop, I'd be using the AC cord, too. You're a smart man. :-)

Deb S. said...

Renee: I wish I had seen that cartoon. How funny!