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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

I bought a Dell Desktop, and on the back it seems the thin metal next to the PCI slots is bent a little.






Everything else seems to be good, and it's only this small problem.

Is this something that I can easily fix myself?
Or I should return it?

I have 10 days to return it if I don't like it.


Thanks for your time.
 

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If it was a laptop, a return would be easy, but your desktop is so hard to ship, I'd ask if they would allow a local repair.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Corday, thanks for replying.
They are in another town, it took 3 days to arrive, so if I decide to return it I would have to ship it back to where I bought it from.

It's an old used PC so it's not new. Dell Optiplex from 2012-2013.
Their policy is: If I open the side door they will not return it, so I haven't opened it yet to see how it looks from the inside.

You think it could be fixed easily?
I don't know if this is permanent damage that would require new parts to fix. Would I have to order some new parts (PCI Blank Slot Covers, Retention Bracket) and replace the parts that are bent?
Or I can carefully bend it into place from the inside with dull pliers or something?

Any advice is appreciated.
 

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Their policy is: If I open the side door they will not return it,
That is not a legal policy anywhere in the United States! I believe the same "consumer protection" laws exist in Canada and many EU countries (if not the entire EU) too. Where are you?

As a custom PC builder and computer repair shop owner for many years who took several small business law classes to learn my rights and my obligations to my customers, the laws on this are actually clear. Such a "Do not open" policy is only legal when there are "No user serviceable parts inside."

For example, you void the warranty if you open a power supply case because there are no "user serviceable" parts inside a PSU. Same with a hard drive.

But for a PC case, they are designed to be opened so users can add another expansion card, or install another hard drive, add a SSD, or upgrade the RAM. Not to mention, for PCs, it is a user responsibility to keep the insides clean of heat trapping dust. This is why many PC cases come with thumb screws for the side panel - to make it easy to open up.

So even if this was a brand new Dell, you most certainly are allowed to remove the side panel.

There is one exception and one caveat. For the caveat, any maintenance you do inside must be done correctly. So, for example, if you try to add another RAM stick, it must be compatible RAM. And if you use too much force trying to insert a stick backwards, you void the warranty. Or if you try to add another case fan and break the motherboard's fan header pins, you void the warranty.

The exception is if the seller provides 100% of all maintenance "free of charge" for the life of the warranty - including all labor for any reasonable optional upgrades and cleanings you as the consumer desires.

Note such prohibitive tactics are considered unethical by legitimate shop owners! So if there is a "Warranty is Void if Broken" seal on that computer case, you can ignore it, then sue the pants off the shop if they give you grief about it. You will win.

And if that shop really has such a policy, and refuses to perform requested services free of charge (or in a timely manner) NEVER do business with them again. They are scumbags and cannot be trusted! And tell all your friends what scumbags they are too.

Why is this policy there? Well, sadly, there are some unscrupulous consumers who abuse the system. :( They open up things they shouldn't, break them out of carelessness or total incompetence, then claim "it was that way when I got it" and demand their money back. If there is no way to prove the user didn't mishandle the product, the shop is stuck, and out of money. Sadly, that is just part of doing business.

This is not new, BTW - but it is an on-going problem. It started long ago when car makers tried to void warranties when "backyard mechanics" simply wanted to do their own oil changes and other "required" maintenance. Or if buyers wanted to use their local mechanics instead of taking it back to the dealer. Apple has finally buckled and is now allowing 3rd party shops and even consumers to do some of their their own repairs. Apple is claiming this is out of the kindness of their hearts but that is total PR hogwash too. They knew Congress and the EU were about to slam the hammer down on them.

***

You think it could be fixed easily?
I don't know if this is permanent damage that would require new parts to fix. Would I have to order some new parts (PCI Blank Slot Covers, Retention Bracket) and replace the parts that are bent?
Or I can carefully bend it into place from the inside with dull pliers or something?
This clearly looks like the case was dropped - perhaps during shipment to you. Or maybe long before and the shop sold it to you "as is". Was the shipping box damaged when you got it?

You are not going to find replacement parts - except for slot covers. You have a couple options. (1) Leave it alone. (2) Try to bend it back in shape. Or (3) buy a new case and swap all the components into the new case. This being a used (refurbished?) computer, if me, I would leave it alone - assuming it is working fine otherwise.
 

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Yeah, the problem is, those shop owners (even some computer manufacturers) use intimidation to instill fear and doubt in their customers. :( We rely on our computers for work, school, and even to help manage our own personal lives. So when problems arise we have become (or believe we have become) at their mercy. Plus it is just a HUGE and very time-consuming inconvenience to sue someone over these type issues, so we consumers just put up with it. And that is exactly what those shop owners are counting on. And they give the rest of us shop owners a bad rap! :( :mad:

Last year I bought a new MSI notebook. It came with 8GB of RAM and I wanted to bump it up to 16GB. The published specs for that model clearly showed it came with 1 x 8GB installed and that there were two slots on the motherboard. Covering one of the screws on the bottom of the case was one of those little stickers saying void if broken. I didn't hesitate to poke a hole in that sticker with my screwdriver - confident my warranty was still intact.

Now for sure, I am not suggesting everyone simply jump in and start digging around in your electronics. If it plugs into the wall, it can KILL! You still need to know what you are doing, and you need to do it correctly. But if not sure, or just don't want to, there is no shame in taking it to a qualified, and honest tech.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
@Bill_Bright, thank you sir, I really appreciate it.

I am in the EU.

Yes I agree that their policy is a bit fishy. It has a sticker seal on the side door so if I open the side door it would break/damage the seal.

The shipping box doesn't have any marks on it, so I think it was sold to me "as is".

It is a used (refurbished) computer.

I have used it non stop for the last 2-3 days and it works normally, no problems, so I don't think this directly affects anything, I don't know if I can put a GPU without a problem because I don't know if the mechanism on the back (Retention Bracket) that locks things-in-PCI-slots into place works normally and is not damaged from this "physical problem".

The only weird thing I noticed is this:
When I plug the Power Supply, the PC turns itself ON automatically for 2 seconds and then turns itself OFF again.
When I force Shut Down, by holding the Power Button for 5-6 sec, the PC turns itself ON automatically for 2 seconds and then turns itself OFF again.
I haven't had a Dell Desktop PC before so I don't know if this is normal operation for these types of Desktops.

So you advise me to keep it and try to fix it myself?
I still have the option to return it, and they will send me another Desktop of the same model. I don't know if the new one will have any unexpected malfunctions though.

So what do you think I should do? Keep it and fix it myself?
Or send it back and hope the new one they send me is better than the one I have right now?
 

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Now that you see other problems a replacement might be in order, but who's to say that one will be perfect?
 
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Since the box has no damage, I agree that indicates it was damaged before shipment. And since you do have the option to return and exchange it, if me, I would return it for a replacement.

However take pictures of the box too. That way you have proof it is not damaged now and they cannot come back and claim you smashed it.
 
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Many branded desktops will appear to startup like that and then shutdown when you first plug in the power plug,
that is not unusual. Some actually bootup all the way just by placing cord in. I never worry about that.
 
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