Image via WikipediaLast year I purchased a used Dell XPS M170 laptop on eBay. I checked with Dell before bidding to ensure that the warranty was still valid and that the system had not been reported stolen. I was told the extended warranty was transferable to me. Soon after I received the laptop, Dell replaced the power brick for me. Today I requested replacement of the cooling fan, but the representative I spoke to said he couldn't help until a hold on the account was resolved. Dell had placed a hold on all computers handled by a service technician who had requested replacements for laptops and then sold the laptops instead of returning them to Dell. My XPS was one of those, so Dell now refuses to honor my warranty. Can you help?
Joe Hightower, Burien, Washington
OYS responds: After we contacted Dell about Hightower's problem, the company got in touch with him directly. A couple of days later, a representative informed Hightower that Dell had decided to lift the hold on his PC-reactivating the rest of its warranty-and to reimburse him for the cooling fan he had bought.
Purchasing used equipment from an individual seller, whether on eBay, Craigslist, or another online marketplace, is risky. To avoid a warranty dispute, we recommend doing as Hightower did: Get the product's serial number from the seller before buying or bidding, and check with the manufacturer to verify that the item was purchased legitimately and that the
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