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Getting the Best Deal From Dell — Or Not 207

Posted by kdawson
from the consumer-advice-or-proprietary-information dept.
Nom du Keyboard writes "When The Consumerist published 22 tips for getting the best deal from Dell Computers, according to a self-described former Dell sales manager, Dell fired back with a take-down notice. You might want to look quickly, in the event it does get taken down. The Consumerist's lawyer's initial response was to deny the takedown request."
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Getting the Best Deal From Dell — Or Not

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 17, 2007 @06:18PM (#19544575)
    Full text from http://consumerist.com/consumer/insiders/22-confes sions-of-a-former-dell-sales-manager-268831.php [consumerist.com]
    Anon because I'm not a karma whore and because I add nothing to the post. Enjoy :)
    ***
    A former Dell kiosk manager writes us to share helpful tips about doing business with Dell. He has no particular problems with Dell, he just wanted to share some helpful tips for consumers looking to get the best deal. He includes info on getting the best deal from the website, different kinds of promotions the Dell offers, insider details on how the kiosk sales reps are compensated, what coupons and deals they have to offer you to close the deal, the email format for Dell in case you're thinking of launching an EECB, where to take your Dell credit card complaints, which extended warranties to avoid, how to get a domestic tech support rep... and more. It's very comprehensive. Enjoy!

    I am a former Spherion rep that later became a Dell Branded Rep (manager) of a Dell kiosk in the Philadelphia, PA region. To work at one is to work at all, and I worked at four different kiosks in the region. I worked from July 2005 until October 2006, but keep regular contact with some of the guys I trained and brought up. Other than the usual complaints, I have no problem with the company.

    Things most people know already:

    1. Small business is better than home and home office - Small business typically runs a few dollars more than the home office, but you stand a better chance of getting domestic tech support rather than non-native English speakers. As an added perk, small business promotions are occasionally better than home.

    2. Play with the web site - There are many different pricing packages for the same product throughout the various sections, typically three or more per segment. If you're buying a Dell soon, configure a unit from a link off the main page, from the product listing on the drop down and from the "As Advertised-Newspaper" drop down. Configure the same system each way at the home, small business and the Direct (kiosk) site (http://www.dell.com/directstore). It is very likely you will end up with nine different prices.

    3. Extended warranty for laptops - Do it for as long as you feasibly see using your laptop, and include accidental. Two years is typically the lifecycle from "new product" to "no longer produced/no more refurbs" though YMMV. Once your model is off the refurb site, drop it. Voila! New laptop. The standard warranty will not cover any screen defects.

    UPDATE: Current Dell rep says: If a system is no longer shipping a used/refurbished is always sent, though the refurb should be equal or better as far as hardware is concerned. As of this writing if a system is exchanged, via either Complete Care warranty or concession, and the system is still a currently shipping model a new system is to be sent.

    4. Extended warranty for desktops - There is nothing in a low end desktop (non XPS) that is worth the price of the warranty should you have to replace it. Only pick it up if you have absolutely no clue what you're doing once the case is open.

    5. Tech support phone - If you do go with the home/home office/direct route, tech support is outsourced (duh!). The tech support instant messenger typically provides a calmer, more understandable conversation due to the fact that accents are taken out of the equation. Think back to high school Spanish. It was always easier to translate the foreign language you were reading than if you heard it. Same concept applies here.

    6. Tech support web site - If you're having a common problem, hit the product forums (however crippled they may be now). It is very likely your question/problem has been resolved before, and usually a domestic tech rep posted a solution there.

    7. Warranty Repairs - On all but the two lowest warranties (90 day and 1 year limited), warranty repairs wi
    • by jellomizer (103300) * on Sunday June 17, 2007 @08:42PM (#19545443)
      Dell is on a major decline. Back in the late 90s everyone wanted a Dell although they cost more then then others. But they were good systems... Dell sense has lowered the quality of the systems and made purchasing one a major hassle. Right now Apple is taking Dells spot as Yea it cost a bit more but it is worth it. PC.
      • I haven't ever had a problem with their monitors. On most deals forums many people chime in to skip the "deal" and just get a dell xxxx monitor. Their 20, 22, and 24s, are recommended that buying someone else's is usually reserved for super deals.

        As for their PCs, well I build my own and my recent laptop was not a dell? Why not? Simple - I got one of those super stupid open-box but new in box machines from Best Buy when Vista rolled out simple because it wasn't pre-loaded with Visat (1999 original P105-
      • by zoney_ie (740061)
        Apple are not competative (at least in Ireland) for anything but higher end systems. Indeed, in that area they are problematic too, as you perhaps won't find one that has beefier components in quite the right areas.

        I find Dell mid-range with components beefed up to be a winning choice. I like things too such as having 4 year on-site warranty on a laptop that had better components than anything I could find at the same price range elsewhere (€1200 incl. dedicated graphics - X1400). My desktop was a grea
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by laffer1 (701823)
      A little extra on Dell Preferred Accounts.

      1. Do not pay by snail mail. They will hold onto the check without cashing it to give you fees as you start to pay down the balance.
      2. Whatever they tell you the interest rate will be, its going to be higher. Wait before buying the PC to see what your rate is. Its a hassle to send the computer back.
      3. When you finally pay it off, a rep (indian) will beg you to stay. You have to convince him you want it canceled and expect to wait on the phone 20 minutes. They t
      • Then I usually mail my payments the next day after receiving my statements. I do the same for any credit card I cannot easily pay online. I never had them late apply anything and I always buy with DPS when shopping with Dell as the 2-3% is a nice topper on most purchases.

        I do believe DFS is actually handled by a real bank, at least at the time I opened my account with Dell the information was picked up by an organization that wasn't named Dell nor based where they were, could be a front.

        I find that with m
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Red Flayer (890720)

        1. Do not pay by snail mail. They will hold onto the check without cashing it to give you fees as you start to pay down the balance.

        Anyone who deals with business leases or other financing knows that this is standard for the industry. I am forced to issue lease payments 10 days before they are due to ensure I am not assessed late fees. This is annoying for cash flow.

        The other solution I've found is to send a couple payments a year via certified return receipt (make sure to mark that no signature is requi

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by dugn (890551)
      Dell rescinded. They say they blew it by threatening a takedown. http://consumerist.com/consumer/takedowns/dell-adm its-error-in-asking-consumerist-to-remove-post-269 653.php [consumerist.com]
  • wtf? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by User 956 (568564) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @06:19PM (#19544587) Homepage
    When The Consumerist published 22 tips for getting the best deal from Dell Computers, according to a self-described former Dell sales manager, Dell fired back with a take-down notice.

    When are these companies going to learn that trying to suppress information on the internet just makes it multiply?
    • Re:wtf? (Score:5, Informative)

      by qbwiz (87077) * <`moc.ylimafnamuab' `ta' `nhoj'> on Sunday June 17, 2007 @06:31PM (#19544685) Homepage

      When are these companies going to learn that trying to suppress information on the internet just makes it multiply?


      Yesterday. [direct2dell.com]
      • Re:wtf? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by farrellj (563) * on Sunday June 17, 2007 @07:41PM (#19545123) Homepage Journal
        Mr. Dell has realized that big business companies cannot compete in the computer field. I'd swear that he's been reading Toffler, and is trying to change direction of the monstrous ship called Dell. It's slow and ponderous, but it seems to be happening. Other than IBM, no other major computer company has made as public a commitment to Linux and Open Source as Dell has. HP will have to do something soon, if only to keep mindshare.

        HP is going to be at a disadvantage because it has the same corporate setup that it has always had, no one person can step on and change the direction of the company like Jobs and Dell have done. In a world where change happens hourly, a bureaucratic organization is always going to be slower to change than a company where a person with a vision can cause change. It happened at Apple, and hopefully, it is happening at Dell.

        ttyl
                  Farrell

        -----
        FLIEGENDE KINDERSCHEISSE!
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        That webpage says "We goofed", but I don't see the most important part of an apology.
         
        The "These are the steps that we have taken to insure that this does not happen in the future" part.
        • by michrech (468134)
          That webpage says "We goofed", but I don't see the most important part of an apology.

          The "These are the steps that we have taken to insure that this does not happen in the future" part.


          Not only that, but it reads like a big advertisement..

          "We goofed. We admit it. Here's all the stuff we want you to look at while you're considering buying another computer..."

          Not good. I build my own systems, but guess where I *won't* be sending friends/co-workers/family in the future?
        • The "These are the steps that we have taken to insure that this does not happen in the future" part.

          It's in there, just a little obscured. If you look at their link to IdeaStorm [ideastorm.com] you'll see that they have implemented that user's idea which changes their response policy to blogs revealing "confidential" information.

    • Re:wtf? (Score:5, Funny)

      by shirai (42309) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @06:50PM (#19544813) Homepage
      My favorite part in the take-down notice is this:

      Thank you. Note, though, it has been almost nine hours since we made the request, yet the posting is still up, with the number of hits growing logarithmically.
      I think what they meant to say was exponentially. Logarithmic growth means it is slowing down really fast.

      Note: Seems whenever a take-down notice is given, the number of hits grows... exponentially.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Hatta (162192)
        I think what they meant to say was exponentially. Logarithmic growth means it is slowing down really fast.

        Actually that's exponential decay. Logarithmic growth is growth, but very slow growth. Slower than linear growth.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by TheoMurpse (729043)

          Logarithmic growth means it is slowing down really fast.
          I think what the poster was trying to say was that logarithmic growth is growth which is slowing down. As in, a decelerating growth. When I car slows down it is still moving forward, but the speed is decreasing.

          Oh wow, an adequate car analogy!
    • Re:wtf? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by dsginter (104154) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @07:40PM (#19545115)
      When are these companies going to learn that trying to suppress information on the internet just makes it multiply?

      This is already well documented as the Streisand Effect [wikipedia.org]. If I were Michael Dell, I would fire whomever sent the take-down notice. The outcome was quite predictable by anyone with half a brain (especially after the very recent AACS fiasco).
      • by jamesh (87723)
        Or promote them.... why is everyone assuming that Dell didn't know what they were doing when they submitted the take-down notice???

        I doubt this would have made it to Slashdot, or at least wouldn't have been nearly as interesting without the news of the take-down notice. This way Dell gets a whole load of people thinking that they now know how to screw Dell on their next purchase. It's even possible that the original blogger was astroturfing on behalf of Dell.
      • If I were Michael Dell, I would fire whomever sent the take-down notice. The outcome was quite predictable by anyone with half a brain (especially after the very recent AACS fiasco).

        Did you stop to think that might be exactly what they wanted? Nothing moves units like when customers think they've beat the system or found some angle on a promo, like combining a promo with a sale price etc.
    • Re:wtfraud? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Harmonious Botch (921977) * on Sunday June 17, 2007 @08:01PM (#19545227) Homepage Journal
      I'm goig to buck the slashdoxy and defend Dell. Please read the full post before modding down.

      Doesn't #3 bother anyone else? It is explicit instructions on how to commit insurance fraud. If I were Dell management, I'd want it taken down for that reason alone. ( How would you feel if someone posted your bank password on the net, thus enabling any reader to defraud you? )
      • Is #3 really insurance fraud, or just advice on what insurance not to buy? Maybe telling the world that most laptop lines are only supported for two years is more than Dell would like to admit, but it's not like any informed consumer think that any laptop is going to up to date for more than a few years. This was no great secret.
        • Re:wtfraud? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Harmonious Botch (921977) * on Sunday June 17, 2007 @09:25PM (#19545695) Homepage Journal
          As you say, other parts of the same paragraph may indeed offer advice on what insurance to buy or not buy, but quoting from item #3 of the website in question: "Once your model is off the refurb site, drop it. Voila! New laptop."
          This looks pretty clear to me. On a certain date, deliberately damage the merchandise, and the insurance that you bought will get you a new one. This part is advice on how to commit fraud. Surrounding it with other advice doesn't change that.
          • On a certain date, deliberately damage the merchandise, and the insurance that you bought will get you a new one.

            OK, yes, I completely understand your point and I wouldn't do it myself. On the other hand, the contract says "if you pay us money and break your laptop, we will replace it". I'm not really sure if I'd consider it fraud if someone does exactly what their contract permits them to do. Sleazy, sure. Fraudulent? I don't know; Dell wrote the contract and those are the terms they offered.

            Now,

          • Yeah, we could all get a lower price on Dell computers if everyone skips the insurance fraud, otherwise EVERYONE pays for that new laptop...one way or the other.

            Transporter_ii
            • Yeah, we could all get a lower price on Dell computers if everyone skips the insurance fraud, otherwise EVERYONE pays for that new laptop...one way or the other.

              Doubtful. Dell isn't in the insurance business per se - they probably have an underwriter take care of it for Dell - insurance is tricky business involving actuaries and probabilities and all sorts of lame stuff a computer company shouldn't be involved in.

              Considering this is an optional warranty coverage that you pay extra for, the cost of that war
        • by falsified (638041)
          This will (rightly) be considered redundant but it bears repeating twice lest someone tries this:

          This is the exact definition of insurance fraud. Buying a policy with the explicit and premeditated goal of causing damage in order to collect on the policy is exactly what insurance fraud is.

          • Actually, insurance fraud doesn't require the decision to be premeditated before the purchase of the insurance policy. If I torched my house tomorrow & tried to collect my homeowner's insurance, it would still be fraud, even though when I bought it several years ago I wasn't intending to burn it down.

            Also, fraud requires deception. If my insurance policy didn't exclude damage intentionally inflicted by me, I could burn it down & it wouldn't be fraud. So, really, the requirement is lying in ord

      • by schwaang (667808)
        Yes it's unethical. I'd never do that on purpose myself, but it's good to know anyway.
      • by 1u3hr (530656)
        Doesn't #3 bother anyone else? It is explicit instructions on how to commit insurance fraud. If I were Dell management, I'd want it taken down for that reason alone. ( How would you feel if someone posted your bank password on the net, thus enabling any reader to defraud you? )

        Yes, it's dishonest, but it's not at all comparable to exposing a bank password. It's more like saying "you can stuff a packet of smokes in your pocket at a supermarket and sneak out without paying". Dishonest, but anyone who was d

    • by mpe (36238)
      When are these companies going to learn that trying to suppress information on the internet just makes it multiply?

      When you see an honest politican riding on the back of a flying pig over a snow covered Hell...
  • by Urusai (865560) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @06:24PM (#19544641)
    • According to that link, Michael Dell plays WoW - anybody know which server/faction? Only question is do you twink or grief?
  • nice try (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 17, 2007 @06:26PM (#19544647)
    good idea because take down notices sure do work well. 09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0
  • by drDugan (219551)
    Oh the Tragedy!

    Somebody lets the cat out of the bag about the crap and value within a company product suite, and they go back to DMCA and takedowns.

    We are reaching the middle of the sigmoid on information exchange - until now many have still been in the old model, and moving forward there will be more activity in the new (open free information exchange) model. Old-style enterprises are pissed off by the new model. How DARE they tattle on where they make some extra money at te expense of their cusotmers.
    • It wasn't even a DMCA takedown threat. They simply stated that the article included proprietary info and had to be taken down.
    • by megaditto (982598) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @08:02PM (#19545237)
      FTFA:

      3. Extended warranty for laptops - Do it for as long as you feasibly see using your laptop, and include accidental. Two years is typically the lifecycle from "new product" to "no longer produced/no more refurbs" though YMMV. Once your model is off the refurb site, drop it. Voila! New laptop. The standard warranty will not cover any screen defects.
      That's not "keeping people honest," that's encouraging fraud and abuse of the warranty system. Also see their suggestion on how to get Dell reps to steal printer ink for you ("offer cash")
  • by Aphrika (756248) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @06:31PM (#19544687)
    Get the 1 year return to base support when you buy the PC.

    About 2 weeks after you receive the system, you'll get a phone call and an offer to upgrade to the full 3 year on-site support for around £30 ($60). That worked out at about a third of the price than if I'd bought it.
  • Insurance Fraud (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kebes (861706) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @06:34PM (#19544715) Journal
    I'm all for trying to get the best deal you can on any purchase. However one of the recommendations is:

    3. Extended warranty for laptops ...Once your model is off the refurb site, drop it. Voila! New laptop.
    So, basically, the recommendation is to purposefully destroy your laptop, and then file a claim under the "accidental damage" provision of Dell's extended care insurance. The insurance, by the way, does not cover purposeful damage to the property. So basically this 'tip' is "commit insurance fraud."

    Will this work? Yes. I knew a guy who did this with Dell's plan... got a nice upgrade for "free." I'm not convinced, however, that insurance fraud is really such a great idea. Nor am I convinced that this guy should be encouraging people to commit crimes.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by froschmann (765104)
      Telling people to buy printer cartridges from kiosks by "seeing if the employees seem cool" and "paying cash" for items that aren't in inventory also seems a bit below the board.
    • Re:Insurance Fraud (Score:5, Insightful)

      by RickRussellTX (755670) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @06:52PM (#19544827)

      Agreed, and it makes me wonder if The Consumerist read the article carefully. They're pretty aggressive about bad behavior [consumerist.com] by companies [consumerist.com]. So it's OK if a consumer steals for personal gain?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by networkzombie (921324)
      I agree. The author is condoning fraud and should be taken down. I purchase 10K worth of stuff from Dell each year and although I scream at their tech support for being idiots about twice a year, they still offer a great deal. If you intentionally rip people off, you are a criminal. If you tell other people that it is okay to intentionally rip people off, you are also a criminal. The article should be called - How to be a burden to society.
      • by Jeremi (14640)
        If you tell other people that it is okay to intentionally rip people off, you are also a criminal.


        Is that true? I know that doing the above is unethical, but is it actually illegal?

    • Re:Insurance Fraud (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Mistlefoot (636417) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @07:12PM (#19544933)
      I can see it now...... Some honest people with laptops that are broken will be hassled more while trying to get a replacement as safeguards are increased to try to remedy this.

      And yes. The price of insuring your laptop may very well go up. Insurance companies aren't in the business of losing money. At the end of the day the of insurance fraud will be paid for by honest people.
      • ... I still get a brand new laptop right?
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Jeremi (14640)
          ... I still get a brand new laptop right?


          Yes, but the downside is that you'll have to spend the rest of your life with a known criminal: you. Personally I think that's too high a price to pay for a lousy Dell laptop.

    • That and douchebag ideas like this make it so that consumers pay more for their product. Most of the cost of auto insurance is not because of risk of accident or liability, but the risk of fraud.
    • by fermion (181285)
      Honestly, what does Dell expect. This is a business decision that Dell has made. If they are going to cover accidental damage then they also must cover deliberate damage as there is no way to tell the difference, and sometimes it is blurry. Is improper packaging accidental? Is leaving it outside knowing it might rain accidental? Clearly dropping it on purpose to get a new computer is fraud, but what of it?

      If they wanted an honest class of customer that was willing to pay a reasonable charge for a qua

    • obligatory IAALIA (Score:5, Informative)

      by Travoltus (110240) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @11:24PM (#19546497) Journal
      (I am a licensed insurance agent)

      You're right. It's called a moral hazard.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_hazard#Moral_Ha zard_in_Insurance [wikipedia.org]

      The writer of this article needs to apologize publicly for encouraging this.
  • by Blahbooboo3 (874492) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @06:36PM (#19544729)
    It's such a hassle to get a good deal from Dell. Between their rebates, coupons, instant discounts, and special offers the entire process is like buying a car!

    If dell is trying to figure out why its market share is declining, it is likely because of the difficulty in knowing what you are buying is the best price. I don't think HP makes people go through all this nonsense.

    Oh and also the whole small business vs. home office crap. What an annoyance how they both contain the exact same machines with just very slight differences.
    • by MasterC (70492)

      Oh and also the whole small business vs. home office crap. What an annoyance how they both contain the exact same machines with just very slight differences.
      I bought an Inspiron 1501 a month ago. Small business offered it with Vista and XP; home offered only Vista. Simple question: why? :)
      • by Surt (22457)
        Because lots of businesses have purchase policies that specify XP, whereas not many consumers have purchase policies at all. And giving a consumer an XP system means having to deal with more support calls, and not getting a kickback from MS.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tknd (979052)

      It's such a hassle to get a good deal from Dell. Between their rebates, coupons, instant discounts, and special offers the entire process is like buying a car!

      I haven't seen a rebate on a Dell deal yet (though I may be wrong) though they do have just about every other type of discount: coupons, percent off threshold, dollars off threshold, special base configuration prices, certain upgrade promotions (double memory, upgraded hard drive, upgraded CPU, etc.) and so on.

      While you can relate the process t

  • by Spazholio (314843) <slashdot@lexalIII.net minus threevowels> on Sunday June 17, 2007 @06:43PM (#19544779) Homepage
    Just in case, coral cache of the article here [nyud.net].
  • Thanks for that.

    Can we have one of these only for Apple?

  • by Dr. Photo (640363) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @07:11PM (#19544927) Journal
    Dell already apologized: http://direct2dell.com/one2one/archive/2007/06/16/ 18397.aspx [direct2dell.com]

    And this article was posted to Slashdot AFTER that happened, and there is STILL no "Update: Dell actually apologized before we posted this article, 'cause we're dumb."

    You're doing them a huge disservice by letting this stand uncorrected, kdawson.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by zen-theorist (930637)

      And this article was posted to Slashdot AFTER that happened, and there is STILL no "Update: Dell actually apologized before we posted this article, 'cause we're dumb."

      You're doing them a huge disservice by letting this stand uncorrected, kdawson.

      dont worry, slashdot editors usually include this information by the third dupe.
  • by jcr (53032) <.jcr. .at. .mac.com.> on Sunday June 17, 2007 @07:33PM (#19545065) Journal
    Being cagey about their pricing only pisses off the customers and makes dell look like a fly-by-night operation.

    -jcr

  • by FuryG3 (113706) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @08:10PM (#19545281)
    That advice was given in the article. I'd add to that: check your states lemon laws.

    I bought a Dell Inspiron 8200 when they first came out. I bought the extended warranty (3 years) and was very glad I did. Dell laptops are going to break. I had the little clip which holds the battery on break three times, the hard drive fail twice (and then the pins broke on the replacement hard drive, counting as a third breakage), I had it serviced for LCD-related issues three times, and there's some other problem I forgot about. This all happened over 3 years, and Dell was very quick on the gun to get my stuff fixed, usually sending replacement parts in 24 hours. I would have been screwed if I hadn't gotten the extended warranty.

    As my warranty period came up, I started to get worried. The laptop was going to break again, and I'd be out in the cold. Turns out, in CA, if you get a computer serviced 3 or more times for the same problem, you can demand your money back. After some arguing with the Dell guys, they sent me an 8500 (refurb). My 3 year warranty expired the next week.

    Point is: Paying the extra couple hundred bucks for the warranty saves you from buying a new laptop. After a feeling of joy, I felt a bit guilty about getting 2 laptops for the price of one. Then again, Dell chose to make laptops which fail constantly, not me...
    • Yes, but as a consumer did you choose the Dell unit because of the low price or you liked the actual design/functionality?

      Point is we consumers do it to ourselves. We want the cheapest possible product, then wonder why the quality is low. This is with all things nowdays, ESPECIALLY airlines!

      Sometimes you do get what you pay for :)
      • by Sancho (17056)
        I chose Dell because of the design/functionality. I love the 15" Latitude/Precision keyboards. Page Up/Page Down are in the right place, as are Home and End, and it has the nubby eraser mouse (which I like more than the touchpad for most things).

        Lenovo has similar keyboards, but doesn't tend to have notebooks with decent video cards.
      • by akintayo (17599)
        I chose Dell 3 times because I am cheap. Which laptop brand would you recommend on quality ?
        • I chose Dell 3 times because I am cheap. Which laptop brand would you recommend on quality ?

          Quality or price? how about Quality and Price. Just look at the dell product get nearly exactly the same specs at a whitebox mom and pop shop. Although the margin has closed between dell and the white boxes. It used to be a good 20-30% cheaper now it's closer to 5%.
    • We order about a dozen or more Dell Latitudes every year, and we don't have problems like you describe. Even our older D800s and D600s are working well, and they're out of warranty. We still have inevitable things like hard drives dying and batteries going flat, but that happens to everyone.

      Now, they had bought some Inspirons before I started there, and some of those are getting a bit naff; we've had a few docking stations go bad, for example. But the Lats are business-class and the Inspirons are consume
    • You must be one of those guys that has a bad case with lemons. My experience has been totally different. My Dell 600m is more than 2.5 years old now and has had zero problems since I bought it. The only portion that really "broke" on the machine was the rubber feet things below the laptop. The glue was wearing out so they're starting to come off. I don't care too much about them because the actual functionality of the laptop is unaffected.

      The only part that started to show serious defects was the batter

  • Dell's attorney (Tracy Holland) was told that he would be contacted by the attorney representing Consumerist. This indicates that Consumerist is represented by counsel. In most states, the bar rules prohibit an attorney from directly communicating with represented opposing parties.
  • "1. Small business is better than home and home office "

    This is one prime reason why I never order online from dell. I just have this deep feeling that they shouldn't care about why I'm buying this computer... just give me the best deal, which frankly, ain't gonna very that much whether I'm a big company or joe blow. (Yes, I know bulk purchasers et bulk discounts, but still)

    So that, plus, call me old fashioned, but if it's a model I don't know, I need to touch and feel the formfactor first hand, especially
  • #6 in the kiosks... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Aladrin (926209) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @08:38PM (#19545423)
    #6 in the kiosks section is my favorite: "Don't be surprised if the salesman asks really base/borderline-insulting questions if you act interested. They think you're a secret shopper."

    Nothing like pissing off legit customers so you can score a little higher on a phony performance score. A store I worked at dropped the mystery shopper crap while I worked there, but never explained the reason. I strongly suspect it was because the test isn't grounded in reality, but in the random chance of a single shopper once a month. They replaced it with a survey system, which is probably almost as bad... Surveys only get the best and the worst answer... Why would someone take the time to fill out a 'I got pretty normal service' answer? They don't, even if you offer $$$ prizes randomly.
  • A Few More Points (Score:5, Informative)

    by chill (34294) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @10:02PM (#19545923) Journal
    Dell's business sales reps work on quarterly quotas. The closer you get to the end of the quarter, the more they're willing to give you. The trick is, their quarters are shifted by one month. Instead of Jan-Feb-Mar, their quarter is Feb-Mar-Apr. So if you can get quotes in the first week of April, then hold off until the last week, they'll call you and offer all sorts of incentives to close the deal.

    Same goes for July, Oct and Jan.

    * * *

    ALWAYS check the website for deals. Probably 1 in every 5 times I've gotten quotes from our Small Business Sales rep I've found better deals online. Tell them and they'll match or beat it.

    * * *

    Get your Small Business Sales Rep to set you up a custom page with the equipment you normally order, INCLUDING ADD-ONS. For over a year I was able to purchase 15K RPM SCSI drives off of the custom page for 1/3 the price quoted on the normal site. Ditto for rack rails, RAID kits and extra CPUs.
  • by erroneus (253617) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @10:22PM (#19546055) Homepage
    ...the rest might be garnered from experience and understanding of how their business model works.

    I didn't realize, however, that there would be a noticable difference in cost depending on which type of shopping you do. I will keep that tip in mind.

    As for the warranty stuff? Definitely. And *USE* the warranty. I must say, I feel a little guilty if I were to intentionally break my laptop at the end of the warranty. That's just plain abusive and dishonest. But on the other hand, if I have an actual accident, I like knowing I can get it fixed. That said, I bought my current Dell laptop some time ago and I had forgotten that I had any warranty at all. When I realized that I was good until 2009, I called support and told them my keyboard needs to be replaced. Okay, so not really... I mean it's "worn" but it was functional. (Except when I've been playing UT2004... then sometimes the keyboard doesn't seem so responsive... but maybe that's me.) But I ordered a new one anyway. I do think my processor cooling fan is making a bit more noise than it did when it was new so I will probably make another warranty call some time before the warranty is out as well. And I ask myself once more... would I really "drop it" to get a new laptop? No... I just can't bring myself to even think about it. It's sorta sacriligeous doncha think? Who knows... I might change my mind when the time comes.

    Lately, I have found that the last few calls I have made to Dell support has gone through central America and their accents were more than acceptable. I was very pleased with Dell's selection. I mean I'd prefer that Dell hired college kids for their support... fairly bright and fairly inexpensive. But I could barely detect much of an accent from the central Americans that I heard and they also had no difficulty understanding me.

    Dell's service and pricing options are good especially when consumers know about it. Frankly, even though it's a guide to abusing Dell's good faith, it still shows Dell in pretty good light since they do offer these kinds of options for people. After all, even at the cost of giving bad people good service, it still offers good value to good people and I want to believe good people are in the majority.
  • I was shocked when I was shopping for a new digital camera and found the best deal at Dell. This was for a Canon PowerShot S3 IS. Everyone and their dog was selling it for between $300 and $400. Then out of the woodwork comes Dell, $239.

    I have no idea why it was so cheap from Dell but I am not going to complain. I have no intention of ever buying anything with the Dell brand name on it, but I have no problem buying non branded peripherals from them on the cheap. $60 off a normally bottom-dollar-$300 pr
    • by Surt (22457)
      I found a similar deal at dell for my Powershot S80. Everyone was at $450-$500 at the time on pricegrabber. $300 one week at dell.
  • Text of Dell Apology (Score:2, Informative)

    by tcrown007 (473444)
    Dell's 23 Confessions

    Now's not the time to mince words, so let me just say it... we blew it.

    I'm referring to a recent blog post from an ex-Dell kiosk employee that received more attention after the Consumerist blogged about it, and even more still after we asked them to remove it.

    In this case, I agree with what Jeff Jarvis had to say: instead of trying to control information that was made public, we should have simply corrected anything that was inaccurate. We didn't do that, and now we're paying for it.

    I b
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Phoenix00017 (1017168)

      I'm going to both commend Dell for this move and attack them for turning it into a crappy promotion for themselves. Yes, they made a mistake. Yes, they listened and responded well. Bravo to them and their PR department for realizing the blunder and admitting to it (because, let's be honest - those 22 confessions were ways to get better deals on DELL systems: it was a giant ad for Dell anyway, I can't believe they decided to try to challenge it). However, the 23 "confessions" that Dell posted are utter P

  • by TClevenger (252206) on Monday June 18, 2007 @02:41AM (#19547485)
    There are lots of sites; I use hot-deals.org [hot-deals.org]. They come up with deals that are hard to find on the site. (For instance, a slim C521 with an Athlon 3600 dual core, 1GB of RAM, 160GB, DVD burner and a fax modem for $219 with free shipping.) They also come up with great ideas I didn't think of (for instance, about a year ago, they configured a normally $2,100 dual-processor mirrored-RAID dual-power-supply server by buying two $600 servers and cannibalizing one for parts.)

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