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Our organization has ordered several refurbished computers over the years and had not problem at all with them. When they arrived, we unpacked them, plugged them up, connected everything and downloaded our information. However, the last one we ordered did not work when plugged in. Fortunately, we had someone here who was able to check it out for us and found that the hard drive was not plugged in, the CD/DVD unit was not plugged in and it was very dusty on the inside. We were very disappointed in our experience this time. We would have returned it but needed it right away. I wouldn't hesitate to order again but might be a bit wary of the next one.
A few years ago I would have agreed with this article 100%. Our organization has saved a fair amount of money over the years from Dell refurbs that worked well. I do think the quality of Dell refurbs has gone down, however.
It seems (no proof) that Dell is turning around somebody else's problem equipment. For example, a small order of monitors in the past year included two problem monitors. A laptop in the past year has had to be returned three times for different problems. For the latest problem, their tech support supposedly cannot duplicate it, yet it persists. I have now contested this issue through the consumer protection agency of my state. I no longer will purchase refurb Dell products.
To The Re-use/Recycling Community: You would have an easier time selling your products if you used the terms RECONDITIONED or RESTORED instead of REFURBISHED. When I hear the word REFURBISHED, I think of a refurnished house. When I hear the word RECONDITIONED, I think of something that has been returned to original operating condition. When I hear the word RESTORED, I think of something that has been returned to original operating condition AND appearance. PLEASE SHARE THIS. email@example.com
I have been buying refurbished equipment almost exclusively for well over 15 years now - everything from desktops, laptops, tablets, server systems, networking gear, and even the occasional printer so it is certain that I agree with this article. It is important to realize that most refurbished equipment is not defective goods that have been sent in for repair; the vast majority of this equipment is "off-lease" equipment. Large companies usually don't buy their computer equipment; they lease it for 2-3 years after which is goes back to the lease company who sells it to refurbishment companies for pennies on the dollar.
Solid state electronic components generally don't fail -- moving parts do. The weak links in refurbish equipment tend to be the hard drives and fans -- mechanical parts that are subject to wear. Fortunately, most modern computer hardware has the ability to detect early signs of fan and hard drive failures and can alert you before catastrophe strikes. Check with a knowledgeable person to make sure that functionality is enabled on your systems.
I would encourage anyone purchasing refurbished computer equipment to give it a careful once over before turning it on. If there is evidence of dust build-up on the air vents or fan blades, tell your supplier -- cleaning should have been the first step in the refurbishment process. If you are handy with a screwdriver and want to open up the computer (NOT recommended for laptops!), I would encourage it unless doing so breaks a warranty seal. You might not be an electronics expert, but you can certainly tell clean from dirty. If it is dirty, call the supplier and tell them you want a replacement unit.
I posted earlier that I had no proof that Dell was taking somebody else's defective computer and pushing it out the door, but then I found proof. When you get a refurbished computer, you can contact their tech support to find out the service history for a particular device by giving them the service tag code. This includes the service history prior to your owning it. I was able to determine that the previous owner of my refurb laptop had sent it in for the same reason I had. The problem was never fixed, and I became the "lucky" recipient of a defective product.
Fascinating, ScotH. Very clever of you to get that information from Dell using the service tag code. If that happens to anyone with any of our RCI equipment, our refurbished computers have a no questions asked 14 day return policy.
I had four Dell products and all were defective and did not work--just lost that money--now will not purchase from Dell or refurbished. A small nonprofit cannot afford that kind of loss.
Oh my, SStock. I am so sorry to hear about your experience. Given that experience, your decision is understandable.
So you're saying Myth 6 is true?
Windows 10 was out for 9 months before this was written and Office 2016 was out for 7 months. You're bragging about having Windows 7 and Office 2010 (both of which were 2 versions out of date), plus this article is getting recommended to me in 2018.
Hi jo5112 - good point. We actually have an updated version of this article. Find it at: blog.techsoup.org/.../new-versus-refurbished-electronics-6-myths-busted
This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International License.
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