Dell offers to fix laptops that smell like cat urine

The Dell Latitude 6430u notebook computer. Many users have complained that it smells like cat urine.
<i>This post has been corrected. See note at the bottom for details.</i>

Everyone knows the Internet is all about cats, but Dell may have taken that too literally with one of its new computers.

The Texas company on Wednesday issued one of the funniest customer service notes in the world of tech when it offered to replace a part in laptops that smell like cat urine.

For months users have taken to Dell’s community forum to complain that the Dell Latitude 6430u laptop smells like it was assembled near a litter box. Many in the thread point out that they have had to apologize to their clients when they take out their laptop in front of them while others expressed their frustration with Dell because they have scolded their cats for the odor.

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“I have been blaming a new kitten who I swore was creeping into my closed back pack at night and magically only hitting the PC with a concentrated urine stream which then magically evaporated,” one user said. “Glad to hear I am not alone (people see me smelling my PC and think I am insane!) and my apologies to the cat.”

“If I leave my laptop out over the weekend the smell permeates the whole office,” another user said.

Fortunately for affected users, Dell responded to the complaints this week. The company said users whose computers have the odor can contact the company to have their device’s palm rest replaced. The smell appears to be the result of a manufacturing process related to the computer’s palm rest.

“We would like to reassure customers that the odor was not related to biological contamination nor did it present a health hazard,” the company said online. “The manufacturing process has subsequently been amended and newly purchased Latitude 6430us are not affected by the issue.”

[For the record, 2:22 p.m. Oct. 31: A previous version of this post said Dell offered to replace laptops that had this odor problem. In fact, Dell offered to replace only the laptops’ palm rests.]


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