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Screen Shot 2013-11-07 at 6.01.05 PMRemember Dell Hell? Now Dell is dealing with Dell Smells – and not handling it well at all. Which stinks.

Dell – which has a long and rich history of ignoring consumer complaints until they reach crisis proportion – has finally admitted that some of its 6430u Latitude smell like cat pee.

In June, a user posted about the issue on a Dell Support Forum:

“The machine is great, but it smells as if it was assembled near a tomcats litter box. It is truly awful! It seems to be coming from the keyboard. Anybody got any advice on removing the smell?” And many others joined him.

After months of denials, Dell, in its inimitable manner, has agreed to replace the parts of the laptops that stink instead of just replacing the entire laptop with one that is not malodorous.

Dell suggested cleaning the keyboard, which, of course, didn’t help. Senior Technical Consultant Steve B finally began communicating with thread members in August and said in October that Dell believes they’re close to determining where the problem lies.

Waiting, and waiting….
On Oct. 14 Steve B said they were waiting on final engineering analysis, but “In the meantime, I’ll provide a few details of what we do know:
– The smell was related to a manufacturing process that has now been changed
– The smell is not in any way related to biological contamination
– The smell is not at all health hazard”

And, he added, dimly, “if you order an E6430u now, it will not have the issue”

“So when you write that the ‘problem has been resolved,’ do you mean that when I open my computer it will no longer smell like a pack of well hydrated feral cats have used it for target practice resolved, or do you mean that you have resolved the mystery of what has caused the problem?,” user holysmokecp asked.

Let me point out that four months of Internet time is roughly equivalent to 10 dog years. No company can take that long to resolve a widespread issue that is creating a firestorm in social media – unless they’re Dell. The company seems to have learned nothing from Dell Hell, which practically wiped the company off the map when it became mainstream news cover story.

Dell and social media #FAIL
How Dell, which has bragged about its social media responsiveness could screw up in this way is simply incomprehensible.

Dell uses social media to listen, learn and engage with our customers

Our customers have the best ideas and insights. Through social media, they take part in more than 25,000 conversations about Dell every day. What we learn from our customers online helps us be a better company and deliver the precise products and services our customers need to be successful. That makes us a better partner to them and their organizations.

For us, social media is far more than a tool — it’s an extension of our brand, which is all about enabling people everywhere to use technology to grow and thrive.”

Dear Dell, you can’t talk like that and act like this! But you knew that.