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back to article Dell faces fraud case

Dell is facing a lawsuit from Andrew Cuomo, the New York Attorney General, on behalf of consumers in the state. The computer maker, and its finance wing, are accused of fraud, false advertising, and failing to honour warranties and service contracts. New York state is seeking an injunction against Dell to stop it continuing …

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Anonymous Coward

Finally!

It's about time.

Dell's service to home customers has always been borderline criminal in my eyes - it is about time it crossed the border.

In two instances that I can personally claim knowledge to, people I know bought Dell home systems which were lemons, and then spend 3 weeks on the phone trying to get Dell to fix it. By the time they gave up and said "just take it back," Dell said "Sorry! Been 21 days! Too bad for you!"

Both parties went to their credit card companies to halt payment and fight for them, and eventually got Dell to take their lemons back.

It was amazing to watch - long waits on hold to discourage the customer, start with basic stuff that isn't going to fix anything, and just keep stalling ... stalling ... stalling ... until the magic 21 days is up. I guess they figure most people won't try to fight them.

I'm not really convinced it was a hardware issue - but rather that atrocious image that came installed on the box. I didn't mess with it, because I wanted them to have the ability to return it without Dell howling about it being "non-standard."

No wonder why Dell is plunging faster than a sub with a stuck rudder.

Dude! Don't buy a Dell. You get what you pay for.

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Well Deserved!

Yep, nailed at last! Very misleading selling warranties offering "on site" service when there's less than a snowball's chance in hell of ever getting a tech to come and fix granny's PC.

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Anonymous Coward

it's about damn time!

I have access to platinum corporate support, but when I contact consumer support when assisting friends, it's a frigging nightmare. As I have stated before, Dell's support is subpar to AOL, which makes me feel sorry for the poor bastards who purchased Dells and then signed up with AOL as their ISP...

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Sales as well as Support

I've found Dell support to be lacking for a long time. But lately I find that even the Sales group is screwed up.

One of my clients tried to buy a couple workstations recently; the same model that they had purchased about six months ago and with which they were very pleased. Although the model is still shown on the website, the salesperson first said that they hadn't sold that model in months, then tried to convince me that I had been reading the "refurbished units" part of their website, and finally admitted that the model is still available but only to large enterprises, not SOHO customers such as my client. WTF?

The same client tried to buy direct replacements for some propriatary components in their 4-yr old high-end Dell server and learned that some of them were no longer available. I can accept second rate desktop support but servers are "sacred" and I don't think that 4 years is an unreasonable period for them to stock replacement parts, especially when there are no alternatives.

I could go on but I won't. And we didn't. I've advised my clients to look elsewhere in the future.

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Horror stories

I've helped out friends with Dell systems too. I may not see the good ones as thier owners woun't be searching for help, but that said what I have seen has been a series of disasters. One defective modem, not a big issue in itself, but the year of "tech support" that hadn't identified that as the reason for the random blue screen errors seemed a bit much. Another system, supposedly new, that demanded payment for the anti-virus software as the free trial had expired, and a printer that printed one test sheet and then wouldn't respond to anything. That was a battle to get fixed under warrenty, finally returned for a refund. A laptop with a dead ccfl tube one month out of warrenty, with the only repair option being a new display for more money then an equivalent new laptop. In that case I replaced the tube.

I wonder how much it costs to advertise compared to the dammage negative word of mouth does them, and what it would cost to actually put some effort into customer support. Every manufacturer will have broken product, and there are going to be some bad examples of support too, we are dealing with humans at both ends after all. Dell does seem to stand out as a bad example though.

In contrast, while it's not a computer company, I've seen Black and Decker replace equipment that was three months out of warrenty, just gave a new unit and cut the cord off the old one. I go out of my way to buy from them now.

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POLITICAL INSPIRATION

Service--

Dell knew service was poor and had already pledged before this suit to spend $150 million more on service, add 2,000 technicians,retrain 5,000 more.

That Dell had farmed out service to the lowest common denominator in the past was,from my experience, true-- but unless an actual service contract

was broken the NY consumer will gain little in this states legal

action--unless that customers ear rotted off from having a phone stuck

in it for extended periods.

Sales Financing--

New York state seeks $500 payment--TO THE STATE--for each violation

arising from any provable claim when Dell (operating a joint venture

with CITI--that did sales/financing) caused consumer injury when CITI dangled a "no interest" loan offer to customers then denied 85 percent of those.Those CITI screened and rejected were then offered Dell Financial loans averaging over 16% a year. In both instances a customer could say NO. Normal customers with good credit paid 8%.

In both venues Dell sought to shift the work load --on service to Bangladesh--on sales/financing to a sly financial firm. DELL forgot the old rule--If you want something done right -do it yourself.

What's actually in the suit for NY consumers if CUOMO is successful?--

1.a whopping legal bill for the states legal expenses

2.NY will enjoin Dell from making such offers in future

3.actual affected customers will get "unspecified" refunds.

In other words -affected consumers will get little

-the suit is just a NY tax on Dell and Dell investors. The case will probably be settled out of court with a token payment to consumers and a surplus for the politicians-- that view all surpluses in a budget as a "deficit of spending". Been there--done that.

Dells defense--use me for example--I had a credit score of 768 when I

sought to purchase a high end Dell notebook last year-and was being be

steered to a poor rate--at that point I could have simply said NO to

the sale as should any customer --I chose to write a check--without

incurring any interest. It was CITI making the lowball offer to these

NY consumers and then rejecting them--(skimming the cream off the top) where are they in this suit?

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