Originally Posted by Element
Dell's techs must be idiots if they don't catch someone trying to scam them by putting back in the original part if something goes wrong. It's obvious to a tech (I've caught many a people trying to do the same thing) if a chassis has been opened and parts have been replaced.
It sounds like you have experience as a technician. Would you still say the above is true if YOU had opened a chassis and replaced parts, but reversed the process, then sent it to Dell? I'm pretty sure you would claim that they would not be able to tell, given your experience and all...
With the right knowledge and experience, it's COMPLETELY possible for a user "trying to scam them [Dell] by putting back in the original part if something goes wrong" to be completely successful.
I have also worked as a tech and caught/suspected many people trying what you have described. The trouble is that most of the time, without blatant evidence, you/your company will give the customer the benefit of the doubt. If you had no evidence, you would be accusing them of something that they MAY not have done at all - it could very well have been another official tech that tampered with the product before it left production. It could all lead to very bad publicity for your company.
It is very easy to suspect something, but actually proving this can be quite hard.
It's a case of moral hazard, something which insurance companies are very familiar with, and will have built in an excess over the actuarially fair premium (with profit) to cover such situations. Big companies (like Dell) will no doubt have this excess warranty cost factored into their prices. Therefore, it's not a case of Dell's techs being idiots, it's just that their business guys have already accounted for these situations.
So, back to the original point. I would say that if done properly, the chassis can be opened and parts be replaced, without affecting warranty, given that the original parts are also put back properly. Dell may suspect
something, but will most likely give you the benefit of the doubt.