Since the last update another Unisys engineer has been on-site and replaced the motherboard (again) and the entire LCD and the issue as described here still exists.
Another long story short but 3+ hours on the phone and (I have it well documented this time) speaking to ten separate people from Dell and I think we finally have a solution which should be a full refund within the next day or so (still waiting, after 3 days to actually get confirmation of this).
In addition to this, Dell Customer Care (that’s the oxymoron of the century) sent me one final email explaining that there was no way in hell I would be getting a refund based on receiving the wrong laptop, like so:
Thank you for contacting Dell Customer Service.
Apologised for the late response
We have checked again from the online order and 17” Widescreen WUXGA CCFL(1920×1200) TFT Display with TrueLife(TM) w/o WebCam has been selected
We do have models that comes with and without webcam as an option.
Therefore, if you still want to return, $174 will be incurred.
As for technical issue side, I believe you have already spoken to technical support and have already provided you with a solution.
To which, full of (controlled?) venom I replied:
Thanks for your late reply. If you actually read the case you would know that tech support have tried and failed to rectify the technical issues with this laptop and after a total of 14 hours on the phone, two new motherboards and one new LCD screen the problem is still there and I am in the process of having them approve a full refund.
Had you just approved my original request to return the laptop and waive the fee you would have saved Dell the cost of two new motherboards, one LCD screen, the time and materials of two local Unisys engineers and 14 hours of phone support, not to mention the time it would have save me.
The end result of all this is a lot of bad feelings from me towards Dell which will no doubt end up costing you way more than $1241 because I personally will never buy another Dell and I will never recommend Dell again and I will take every opportunity I can from now on to warn anyone I come in contact with to never touch anything from Dell ever again.
In fact, as my first step towards this goal I purchased an iMac on the weekend and I am confident that I will be able to recommend Apple to all my friends, family and work colleagues from now on.
So, thanks for nothing, really.
On all accounts I should really be genuinely thanking Dell for driving me towards Apple, I’m picking up the iMac today so we’ll see.