back to article Dell guilty of defrauding New York customers

A New York state judge says Dell and its finance wing are guilty of making false promises to stir up more sales. State Supreme Court Justice Joseph Teresi ruled the #2 computer maker repeatedly engaged in fraud, deceptive advertising, and failure to honor its warranties, service contracts, and rebates. His judgment bars Dell …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    You deserve it

    Any who buy a Dell system deserve to be con. Unles there is a real fine (billions, not millions) this will only be a tiny fraction of what Dell actualy stole from its consumers.

    If this is not a good deterrent not to buy Dell (beside the low quality of the harware) then nothing will.

    Paris? because she probably own a Dell.

  2. Repo
    Thumb Down

    HP are doing a similar thing in the UK.

    I've placed two orders for HP kit and for no good reason the mail in rebates have not been honoured. This is sharp practice akin to that employed by the dodgy cash back mobile company contracts. I know from various posts on other forums that I'm not alone in this experience.

    I spend six figure sums on ICT every year; for the sake of scamming me out of £300 HP will get none of that either this year or any year in the future.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    @other Anonymous Coward

    My thoughts precisely! Of the few learnings I've obtained in my life, one of them is one doesn't buy Dell. You just mustn't. It is asking for trouble.

    Mine's the one with the motherboard made from twinkie wrappers and the BIOS and internal-hardware driver bugs which never got a fix, ever.

  4. Kanhef

    @ AC 2

    You forgot the dodgy power supplies.

  5. tempemeaty

    Buy local.

    I keep telling people not to buy these mass market brands. Buy only at a reputable neighborhood shop that builds-to-order. Have someone you can take it back to who will take care of you.

  6. John Lodge
    Black Helicopters

    Never again

    I ventured twice into the murky world of Dell. The first time was pretty much a success, bought a mid range rack mounted server, arrived on time, with the right spec and works, and still is, working fine.

    The second venture wasn't so good. I was after some cheap disposable PC's, real bottom end stuff plus another reack mounted server. I asked the corporate blokes from Ireland for a quote. This duly arrived, long and complicated with the kit totalling the advertised price, with a humungus delivery charge attached - like 25% of the order was delivery!

    Didn't bother responding. Dell emailed a day or two later and asked why I hadn't placed the order. So I told them. They offered a requote and I thought what the hell. Some time later, the quote arrived, again big and beefy and guess what, the carriage charge was now much more reasonable but when I actually totalled the complicated list, the price was exactly the same - they had increased the price of the hardware and reduced the price of delivery. Next day bought an HP server, better spec less money and a shed load of Lenovo's (which are suprisingly good for £180 ea ex VAT!)

    Never again will I request a price from Dell.

    BTW I have always got the rebates from HP, never gad a problem with them

  7. stizzleswick

    It's not just Dell, really... Repo said, HP do it, too, as do Acer, Lenovo, Toshiba... the lot. I have observed all of them wriggling out of service terms and promotional offers. As for Dell, ever since my previous employer bought a Dell server that was dysfunctional out of the box because the SCSI card was fighting a long and unsuccessful war with the IDE controller (you could basically choose whether you wanted to use the IDE optical drive or the SCSI RAID; whichever was booted from was the only option available until the next reboot), I won't touch their boxes with a stick.

    Well, with a sledgehammer, maybe I would.

    Mine's the blue overall with the tool belt.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    caveat emptor

    I'm sorry if I end up as the lone dissenter on this thread BUT

    I have bought both Dell and HP kit at very reasonable prices but, and probably the most important point is, I knew exactly what I was buying... only once was I a little disappointed with Dell, when my Inspiron 9300 screen developed a fault a little over a year after purchase and I was then pleasantly surprised that because it was known issue Dell replaced the screen FoC (including collection and delivery) which is not bad for kit out of warranty...

    I would say all big companies try sharp practices to increase profits at some time or other so quit bitching about it or become a communist...

    I await the insults with bated breath ;-)

  9. Tall


    All you losers should stop bitching and go buy an overpriced PC from "friendly neighbourhood shop"

  10. Jamie

    OEM computers

    They all do it not just the big name OEMs but also the retailers like PC World, Dixons, Staples, and not just computer retailers but also cameras, mobile phones, and even car dealerships.

    When I purchase something the amount that they offer as a rebate has no factor and I have actually walked into stores with the intent on purchasing something for the price advertised only to be told that that price is after the rebates.

    Purchased a Canon EOS 400D from Jessops and they tried to pull that on my, started making noise and talking loudly then the manager came over and I got it for the advertised price.

  11. Stephen Gazard

    DELL bashing

    Perhaps I'm in the minority, but I've had fantastic turn-around times with Dell, the hardware worked (none of the aforementioned hardware/driver bugs), and quite good prices on my laptops.

    I've admittedly gone for the international warranty (next day on site service), which has been pretty much up to scratch, save one time where they had to get the part, and they were honest about that (it was a motherboard that went pop probably due to noisy/badly filtered electricity).

    I'm not a fan boy, but I'm quite happy with them

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "His judgment bars Dell from any further service contract deception "

    Bars Dell from..... WTF, they shouldn't be deceiving in the first place, how the hell can you be barred from doing something illegal.

  13. Steve
    Paris Hilton

    Not just me who doesn't like Dell then?

    I agree completely with the advice of tempemeaty; get one built to order from a friendly local place.

    Dell was used in the office years ago, because they were "good value"... Hmmm. They supplied a couple of machine without sound cards due to a shortage, and sent an engineer to install them on-site several days later. Someone had to show him how to install said sound card.

    Then of course, there's the machine that went faulty within a few weeks. The engineer came on-site and agreed it was faulty, then reported it was fine to his line manager. This went on for a couple of weeks, until they blamed the attached development hardware as being incompatible. Only after I suggested I tell the manufacturers of said hardware (two 'small' Japanese companies names ending in ony and ega) that Dell have said their system can't be used with their development kit did Dell replace the machine (rather rapidly too for some reason).

    Glad they're finally receiving a slap of some sort :)

    Paris, because she knows more about plugging things in than Dell's 'engineers'

  14. Ron Shiel

    In Support of Dell in UK

    I've been a Dell dealer for 7 years and whilst Dell have blown hot and cold on having dealers, their service record has been exemplary. For Example, I supplied all the Dells for the St Pancras Station project and received nothing but praise from the customer regarding both reliability and support. Of course properly specified hardware tends to be a lot more reliable that "cheapo of the week".

    Of couse they will speak to you over the phone to try to diagnose any problem and ask you to see if you can fix it yourself.(Wouldn't you?) If not an engineer is there on site next day without fail.

    Dell in the UK is excellent compared to many in the UK that I have dealt with in the past.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Never had a problem with Dell ....

    But this court case was in US and maybe UK Dell works better. Lucky New Yorkers are so forgiving that maybe most will not bother to claim against Dell (taking tongue firmly out of cheek).

    Paris, because she knew when she was being screwed.

  16. Steve

    HP are doing a similar thing in the UK.

    "for the sake of scamming me out of £300"

    Try the small claims court, for that amount it should be free. The best thing is, if they ignore you, you get a default judgement - which means you can send bailiffs round if they don't pay.

    You can do it online hear;

  17. A M Street

    Dell service

    I was working at a large company in Shannon, about ten miles from the Dell factory in Limerick. We had just ordered a large consignment of Optiplexes for the call centre when the HDD started dropping like flies, about thirty to forty percent were dying on us only a few days after the were delivered. At first a technician arrived with the replacements, we did not need him to do the swaps as we were fully qualified to do this, but it was a nice gesture. Eventually, however the HDDs were delivered by our Dell account manager who explained that the problem was not Dell's but was with the HDDs, IBM, if I recall correctly, some of you may remember this fiasco. Well, anyway, Dell not only replaced all the faulty drives with WD ones but upped the spec. on them as well, so we were pleased by the level of service, still I suppose working for GE Capital didn't hurt.

    Having said that the build quality of the Optiplexes was a bit iffy, looked and felt like the cases were made of cardboard and they bowed under the weight of the monitors unlike the Compaq Deskpros they were replacing which were build like battleships.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    No problems

    with Dell. I have used Dell laptops for 4 years now, carting them on trains & planes frequently. My D800 gave sterling service until last year when the HD started to get a little flaky. Only an occasional problem, but as a business machine it was enough to get it replaced. The problem I have with my current laptop is that it is an XPS. It's a great machine powerful and capable, but it is not a business machine, no docking station. It came with Vista and initially I couldn't install XP due to no drivers. Dell put the drivers onto their website and not this is running XP.

    I use Dell desktops and servers (racked & tower) and have had very little problems with them. I had more problems with fewer Compacs (when they were Compacs). So overall I am happy to continue buying Dell.

  19. Scott Mckenzie

    HP From a Reseller

    That's how i buy.... then when anything go wrongs i contact our reseller/supplier who liaise with HP, that way everything gets sorted quickly and promptly - we may pay a little more but it's branded kit, all works well and the service is second to none.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ah, Dells. Computers for people who shouldn't be buying computers

    Done a lot of work with Dell, both hardware and support, mainly through working at a number of hosting companies (often the end customer gets to specify or supply the hardware so they often go Dell cos it is cheaper than real servers).

    I must say Dell is my least favourite of the big hardware manufacturers. The kit is not that much worse than anyone else's, especially if you just stick it in a rack and don't mess with it any more, but when things go wrong the support is awful. At least HP just replace it and IBM just replace it after 2 simple questions.

    And they don't listen. Had a number of conversations when arranging delivery of kit on the line of:

    Me: Yes, that is our address, and you need to come here first, but the stuff has to go to a datacentre that is about 400 yards away.

    Dell: OK, you have the address?

    Me: *gives address*

    Dell: OK, thank you.

    Me: You are definitely aware that the final destination is X even though our office address is Y and you need to come here first?

    Dell: Yes got that, delivery to X after attending Y.

    Me: You are certain? you always get it wrong in the past?

    Dell: *slightly offended sounding* we can do as you ask, that is no problem, I have made a note and it will all be OK.

    Me: OK, but if you turn up to the datacentre without me they won't let you in.

    Dell: We *do* understand, sir, to you first then to datacentre.

    Me: Thank you.

    Then one of the following scenarios would always occur:

    (1) Me, sitting at my desk, working away quite happily:

    *ring* *ring*

    Me: Hello

    Security: This is the datacentre. We have a Delivery truck with lots of Dells but the guy won't go to your office as the kit is to be delivered here.

    Me: OK, I'll be there in 2 mins.

    *2 mins later*

    Me: Where's the truck?

    Security: He left as I wouldn't open the door.

    *2 mins later, back at my desk*

    Me: Hi, Dell? Your delivery driver left without delivering.

    Dell: Let em check. OK, it says you refused delivery.

    Me: what?

    Dell: Refused delivery. He went to X but you refused to let him in.

    Me: I told you to come to Y first. I said security at X wouldn't let him in. Why didn't he wait for me?

    Dell: Let me check. Nothing about that on the notes, it just says deliver to X.


    (2) Picture again, me sitting at my desk, working.

    *ring* *ring*

    Me: Hello?

    Reception: Hello, this is reception. I have a delivery for you.

    Me: be right there.

    *15 seconds later*

    Me: Hello, Dell kit?

    Delivery dude: Yes.

    Me: Excellent, the datacentre is just up the road, you want to follow me or shall we both go in your truck?

    Delivery dude: Address is here though.

    Me: and then delivery to datacentre.

    Delivery dude: sorry, can only deliver to the address I have here.

    Me: can you phone Dell.

    *guy phones Dell*

    Delivery Dude: No instructions on any delivery other than here. Where do you want it?

    Me: Datacentre up the road.

    Delivery dude: Sorry, only somewhere here

    Me: Nowhere to put it here and I'm not carrying 12 racks and 120 servers up the road.

    Delivery Dude: Just sign here to refuse delivery then.

  21. Ian Michael Gumby

    Silly boy! Tricks are for kids..

    The trouble with any publicly traded company is that they constantly have to look at the short term in an effort to keep their stock price up.

    Sales down? Cut costs. Only what happens when you can't cut costs?

    Answer: You go on a building spree of new centers in economically depressed areas in an effort to get tax credits so you can reduce your operating costs.

    After that, you move your call center to India. Ooops! There's a negative backlash. So then you segment your product line, so that the PCs on the low end, you have to call India for support. The higher end (read higher priced) you can get on-site and US based support. (OK, so I'm an American. So that would explain the American centric viewpoint. ;-)

    The point is that while I'm talking about a Dell, this could be true of any PC maker.

    As someone pointed out earlier... If you're not in a position to build your own box from scratch, then you should buy the machine locally. Then you have a guy whom you know and trust (maybe) to fix your machine. I did this for my dad, and my uncle when I bought them their pcs. (Saved me from trying to fix their machines remotely.)

    With respect to the article, I don't think that NY is wrong and I do think that Dell will have to eat some crow before this is over. The longer it lasts, the worse the PR gaff.

    Its also important to point out that to get a good PC, you're still going to have to shell out $1,000.00 (USD) or so regardless of the brand. (That money covers the machine, the OS (Windows NT, not Vista) and some basic Microsoft Office. Again, if you want to build your own, you'll end up spending your savings on more memory, upgraded video cards, better disk subsystems, etc... Oh and for free, Open SuSE or Ubuntu.... ;-)

    But hey! What do I know? My first "pc" was an Ohio Scientific C3a. Oh and the factory happened to be a 20 min drive from home. (circa 1978)

  22. Law
    Paris Hilton


    Lex Luthor uses a Dell laptop in Smallville - so they must be evil!! :)

  23. Gis Bun


    Lee: Put the blame on the delivery guy - unless you stipulated at the time of the order to ship elsewhere.

    Anyone: Have had people buy Dells [partially on my recommendation]. First, you get what you paid for. If you are playing retail games, buying a PC with a cheap integrated video card or stereo audio card isn't the right thing to do.

    That said, i hate when Dell limits things. I've seen PCs with memory limitations. Or when the mobo originally had an IDE controller but they removed the connector [so you can only use SATA].

    Or why you can get immediate support on a corporate line but can wait 20 minutes to get some guy from India [sorry India but we can't understand half of your support people].

    At a time when they could use the extra support, Dell decides to kill off 2000 support jobs in Canada - with one just after opening last year in a new building!

  24. Anonymous Hero
    Paris Hilton

    Dell kit not bad, Dell sales crap

    I've bought plenty of Dell gear in the past, usually refurb or excess stock from places like EuroPC and to be honest the gear is pretty good and often has a Dell warranty (the newer metal chassis Precision workstations are built like they could survive being attacked by RPG's).

    Earlier in April I needed a new Precision workstation but couldn't find a matching spec other than from Dell so I thought "what the hell" why not have a nice shiney new box direct from the mfr.

    The experience was hellish. The order stayed in pre-production for 3 weeks and as each week passed they kept bouncing it back another week. Upon calling their customer services (in some far away place) I got vague excuses as to what the holdup was from it being that the hard disks are out of stock to Vista 64bit doesn't isn't compatible with any of their supplied optical drives...

    In the end I cancelled the order, and bought another refurb box from EuroPC with 3yrs onsite NBD warranty and for 600 (exvat) quid less than the same box from Dell. I'll never buy direct from Dell again.

    Paris, because even she's not as vague as Dell's customer service.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    What do i get when i buy a computer

    Dell, HP and other "brand Name"

    Low end compoment (strip down version of popular motherboard/video card)

    low price, almost no tech support, Kiss your computer good bye for a long time in case of problems

    Local Store, Mom & Pop, "beige" tower

    High Quality "hand built" computer, Choice of harware, High end parts, Human from my own country on the phone. higher Price (but also higher quality), Local Repair

    Who is the dummy?

    Paris? because she was also "hand" built, but the guy was drunk

  26. Schultz


    A few years back, we tried to use a Dell with some specialized PCI data-acquisition cards (science...). After long trial and error we learned that Dell doesn't conform to the standards properly, and we had to get a different compter for the task.

    Never tried Dell again, but if in doubt, I'd go for the local store. They can't afford to mess with the hardware too much.

  27. Daniel B.
    Thumb Down

    Please type the letter "bye"...

    "After that, you move your call center to India. Ooops! There's a negative backlash. So then you segment your product line, so that the PCs on the low end, you have to call India for support. The higher end (read higher priced) you can get on-site and US based support. (OK, so I'm an American. So that would explain the American centric viewpoint. ;-)"

    I don't live in the US, and yet I much prefer to have someone from the US on the line, than someone in India. I once endured the pain of one such call, where I couldn't understand the guy, and I was the only native English speaker in my company! My co-workers had an even harder time with that call. This guy tried to spell a password on the phone, but I got lost after being told to type the letter "bye".

  28. Roger Sacilotto

    My experience with Dell.

    It's about time that Dell is going to pay for their deceptive practices. I have spent over 20 hours on the phone with someone in India about problems I was having with a 6 month old computer. I had paid for "on site service", but when I inquired about it, the technician told me that it only included installation of a component once the component was found to be the problem.

    Also the terms of the purchase were not represented correctly, causing me to pay a late fee.

    I would discourage everyone to NOT purchase a Dell product!

  29. Dan Kitchen
    Thumb Up

    @ HP doing it in the UK

    I've had all of my rebates from HP so far, a good £5k worth, took some chasing but I got it...

  30. Jesse Zappa
    Paris Hilton

    Several Experiences...All Bad

    I worked for a business with one server and three workstations. Over the course of one year EVERY machine blew out the hard drives. The company had paid for what was supposedly "premium" service but each and every time I called I was on hold for 20-30 minutes. Each time I explained several times what I had done to test the machine, each time I was required by the Dell Rep in "some" foreign country to go through the exact same sequence of tests I had already done. When FINALLY we each arrived at the conclusion I had already given at the beginning of the lengthy call, they would decide to send a new HD. Fine. Several weeks would pass and the drive would arrive. REFURB! Now, a refurb mainboard or card, fine. A HD?? NO FRICKING WAY! We finally just started buying our own drives locally.

    Paris, because her dog probably listens better than Dell tech support.

  31. A. Coatsworth Silver badge


    Add a cattleprod or two and you've got great material for a BOfH

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