I am sure that this is exactly the opposite of what Dell has been trying to do and that is to gain consumer confidence. But when the state of New York sets up a website dedicated just for complaints against your company, in this case Dell and it’s financial services, it becomes obvious that all is not yet well. The web site not only is geared to take on complaints against the #3 computer maker, but also has horror stories of victims who have been duped by Dell sales people. Some stories are:
58-year-old Paul Reisner, a computer programmer from Westchester County, had a stellar credit history when a Dell sales associate “baited” him to apply for Dell’s preferred no interest and no payment financing offer. When Dell’s sales associate assured him he had qualified for “Dell’s Preferred Account,” Mr. Reisner made his $1500 purchase. Two months later, Mr. Reisner discovered he had been switched to a regular plan with DFS, Dell’s affiliate, at an interest rate of 29%. Mr. Resiner says his regular credit card would have charged no more than 8%.
When 67-year-old Barbara Williams, President of the Crochet Sewing Guild, bought a Dell computer, she also purchased 3 years “on site service.” When Ms. Williams’ computer crashed, she called Dell’s technical support. Ms. Williams says Dell simply abandoned her for 2 months before agreeing to send a technician to her home.
But it gets worse for Dell. The state of New York is also suing Dell and states:
Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that his office has filed a lawsuit in Albany County Supreme Court against Dell, one of the world’s leading computer companies, and Dell Financial Services, LP (“DFS”), an affiliate that is a joint venture between Dell and CIT Bank, which offers financing to consumers for their Dell purchases. The lawsuit accuses Dell and DFS of engaging in a “bait and switch” marketing strategy and failing to provide their customers with adequate customer service. It also charges Dell and DFS with perpetuating numerous other deceptive business practices relating to their technical support services, promotional financing, rebate offers, and billing and collection activity.
Attorney General Cuomo said, “At Dell, customer service means no services at all. Dell’s consumers were intentionally misled, and they had to pay for that privilege. I hope this lawsuit sends a message to companies large and small that delivering a product is simply not enough; the promises they make must be delivered as well.”
If history has taught us anything it is that it will only be a matter of time before other states follow the lead of New York. Times are still going to be tough for Dell now and in the future. I bet that Acer is relishing this site since it has it’s sights set on bumping Dell down to #4.
What do you think? Does Dell deserve this bad rap or is the company just being picked on?