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Censorship Your Rights Online

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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  • 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?
  • by Urusai (865560) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @06:24PM (#19544641)
  • by drDugan (219551) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @06:27PM (#19544661) Homepage
    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. This will only increase and radically change the nature of business activity for the better, so long as people really can continue to exchange information and know who each other really are.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Re:Insurance Fraud (Score:3, Insightful)

    by froschmann (765104) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @06:51PM (#19544823)
    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:Insurance Fraud (Score:3, Insightful)

    by networkzombie (921324) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @07:02PM (#19544873)
    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 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: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.
  • Re:wtf? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 17, 2007 @07:30PM (#19545045)
    19) Dell offers choice. Our customers can order systems with Windows XP, Vista, Ubuntu, or no operating system at all. If Steve Jobs ever changes his tune on OS X, we'd probably offer it too.
  • by jcr (53032) <jcr&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

  • Re:wtf? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by innocent_white_lamb (151825) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @07:42PM (#19545127)
    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.
  • 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? )
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 18, 2007 @12:03AM (#19546729)

    I hope China does not have to offer us an alternative to Dell.

    Where exactly do you think the parts in your Dell come from?

  • Re:But... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jeremi (14640) on Monday June 18, 2007 @12:52AM (#19546979) Homepage
    ... 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.

  • by tknd (979052) on Monday June 18, 2007 @02:49AM (#19547545)

    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 to buying a car, the nice thing about Dell is that it is all online and it is fast. The online portion is great because there's not a team of salesmen trying pull a sale out of you; it's just you and the website and a simple click ends it all. And because it is online, the smart people postpone buying until they've found a deal they like. It is very advantagous to you (the consumer) because Dell cannot sit a sales rep that will try every trick in to the book to get a profit off you right at that moment. Instead, you can just go to the website, see what's offered, and compare their offer to others on the internet. If you like it, you buy, if you don't, you just close the window. All they can do is keep putting up different offers hoping that you'll eventually bite. But sometimes, they screw up.

    For example, just last week they made a small boo-boo and priced a Dell C521 with an AMD dual-core, 1gb ram machine for $219 [slickdeals.net]. As a side note, the deal was posted 12:17AM early Friday morning which happens to match a certain piece of information in the article. The mistake was quickly fixed but not before it had spread the internet and was posted on various websites. Many users reported their sales going through (shipped) while some reported some orders getting cancelled.

    Anyhow, the point is the system actually works for you as long as you're willing to wait a bit (there are typically good deals every couple months) for a deal that suits you. If you're extremely wealthy on time (waiting about a full year), then you can eventually hit one of these rare deals and come out on top. Some people have been able to get a good car sale, but it requires a lot of preparation and research beforehand, and it requires that you know exactly what you want to buy. With Dell, you can just check the website once every day (only takes a minute) to see if a deal suits you. (But smart people will just check deal websites so that they only get fed the times a good Dell deal comes up ;)

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