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Censorship Your Rights Online

Getting the Best Deal From Dell — Or Not 207

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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  • 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 []. 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).
  • 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.


  • 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...
  • by alen ( 225700 ) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @09:25PM (#19545693)
    because no one complains to the CEO of Pfizer when their Viagra doesn't work that well. if your PC crashes and you can't understand tech support and everyone knows Michael Dell's email, his mailbox is going to get pounded with thousands of help me messages and he may miss something important
  • 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.
  • Re:wtf? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TheoMurpse ( 729043 ) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @11:38PM (#19546581) Homepage

    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!
  • 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 try to keep your account open for 2 years after its paid off. If you select that, read the fine print online. You will find out they can charge you inactivity fees.
    4. They find ways to fee you when you get below $1000. They lose payments. They process them incredibly slow.
    5. If you use the check free payment method, be sure to pay very early. The speedy processing option costs $10 extra and they still wait to process it to auto fee you.
    6. Your interest rate will keep going up. In general interest rates have been rising, but Dell likes to stay ahead of the curve.

    I strongly recommend that everyone stay away from DFS. My experience was very poor. I financed a Dell Precision 650 refurb a few years ago. The computer is great, but the DFS account was terrible. If you don't beleive me, google it.
  • by Red Flayer ( 890720 ) on Monday June 18, 2007 @08:40AM (#19549421) Journal

    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 required!). If they hold your check, you have proof that they receivd the check on time. Then call them and offer to fax the delivery receipt; they will refund the late charge. I suspect they also then note the account, because I've found that subsequently, few checks get held.
  • by dAzED1 ( 33635 ) on Monday June 18, 2007 @03:04PM (#19554951) Journal
    you're talking about a business model that has been around for thousands of years. Go to any restaurant, what happens? They ask you what you want. They give you a menu of options, and you select the one closest to what you like, do a little fine-tuning (from fast-food places where you tell them "mustard, hold the pickles," to elegant places where you can pretty much just describe what you want or tell the chef to make anything that doesn't have mushrooms).

    That business model is ancient. And the phone/catalog thing? Ever hear of Sears & Roebuck? Yeah, phone/catalog is so innovative...

If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments. -- Earl Wilson