Updated every Monday!   Subscribe to free weekly newsletter.

Dell: Unbelievable Deals*

Dell laptop deal

Dell widely advertised “10 Days of Deals”, with “unbelievable savings.” Today’s deal is on a Dell Inspiron E1505 notebook for only $633. A great price for a loaded laptop. All you have to do is enter the special coupon code when you checkout, and another $414 will be deducted from the price. Trouble is, their system won’t accept the coupon and therefore the real price is over $1000. Dell’s salespeople say this was a “marketing error,” and they can’t honor the price.

*MOUSE PRINT: “Dell cannot be responsible for pricing or other errors, and reserves the right to cancel orders arising from such errors.” [Dell website, April 2, 2006]

If Dell is not responsible for the prices they advertise, who is?

Share this story:
All comments are reviewed before being published, and may be edited. Comments that are off-topic, contain personal attacks, are political, or are otherwise inappropriate will be deleted.

20 thoughts on “Dell: Unbelievable Deals*”

  1. The Federal Trade Commission rules and regulations on advertising
    states that e-retailer is (see site)responsible. In a Q and A
    section it says just because there is a disclaimer does’nt mean
    it is correct or legal.

  2. This happens all the time. When it happens to me, I do not buy the product.
    Seems to me this is a version of bait and switch. I slao do not buy again from
    that store. If everyone said “keep it”business would soon stop these practices.
    But Americans are like lemmings, they just follow one another no matter what and
    no matter what the rip off. So who’s to blame–business or the consumer?

  3. Stores have disclaimers all the time, and they act as if a sign on the wall can excuse them from anything. If there is a law, I cannot change it by hanging a sign. If the Uniform Commercial Code gives me a warranty of merchantability, a store can’t say, “sorry, we have a sign.” But they do it anyway. It won’t pass muster in small claims court, but how many would go there?

    If were that simple, I’d put fine print in things letting people know that I can change the terms at any time without notice. Then I’d change the terms to say that I own their house, the money in their bank account, and their children’s allowance, and they agreed to it by continuing to use their prepaid cell phone.

  4. I have several DELL products, including the computer I found
    this site on. I have been satisfies with all these products.
    I saw the advertisement in question here but didn’t act on it
    because I didn’t need the laptop. STILL…it astounds me that
    DELL would resort to these tactics. Michael Dell, himself,
    should address this situation, correct it, terminate whomever

  5. When I decided to buy a computer my son-in-law saw an ad for Dell that offered a great deal. We called and asked for the package advertised. We had deposited the amount in a bank account with ample money available, gave the sales person the information to debit the amount and waited like we were told for a call back. None came. So the following evening we called them back and were told that the bank denied the debit. We called the bank…no such request for funds was made…we called Dell again they tried again…same scenario….three times we did this over the course of three days, each time Dell upped the price requested for the product, stating that the time had run out on the original offer. We finally told them forget it and went to a local computer store. The bank consistantly replied that no request was ever made for funds from our account. Dell is not a reputable company. I would never buy from them. Either their employees are incompetent or they outright lied to up the price asked.

  6. I am not at all surprised reading re another example of DELL trickery and

    clearly dishonest sales practice.I have tried repeatedly to order a computer online but had to give up because the final amount was always higher than I calculated because of add-on’s. Their “price winning” techsupport is rather poor. cmcodley

  7. Dell makes a good product but they are slippery in other ways too. They offer no interst deals for “well Qualified” applicants however in spite of great credit, several past purchases, equity up the yazoo, I d I am not “Well Qualified”. Give me a break, you sleezy, greedy bums!

  8. I “bought” a laptop through a similar ad from DELLs website. After several days, I called them up to find out that the order is cancelled because the product is no longer available, however, there is another similar product with slightly higher rates which is available. I was never informed of the cancelation of the order either and the tracker available on their website was still mentioning that the order is awaiting shipment.

  9. A different twist on a Dell misrepresentation…I purchased a Dell online during one of their 10-day deals. The system came with Windows XP, but not enough memory to run it! When I called to inquire why my new machine was so slow and why I couldn’t even use the internet, I was told about the memory problems. When I stated that’s how the system came to me, they would not believe or help me. I was on my own to purchase and install additional memory just to be able to run the internet!

  10. Though I truly appreciate this site and it’s efforts, this particular ad is a
    no-brainer. Even I can see that 1461 minus 414 is not 633 and would have questioned it from the start.
    Too many people try to work an honest mistake into personal benefit. If we’re going to force companies to be honest, let’s be honest ourselves first.

  11. The disclaimer means nothing. The seller is responsible for the prices they display. If they make a mistake, by law, they have to accept the price they advertised.

  12. I made the decision years ago to never to buy from Dell again.

    They put old parts in their new computers when they repair them and don’t tell consumers.

  13. Dell is a pretty screwed up company. I had ordered a monitor from their outlet store online. I requested overnight shipping. They billed my credit card for it. 5 days later no monitor. During that time I checked the price thru an employee purchase program and found it cheaper. I called Dell and canceled the original order and placed a new order for the same monitor. I recieved the monitor next day. 3 days later I come home from work and a Dell box is on the porch. You guessed it, another monitor delivered by DHL left unsigned. So I did the right thing and called Dell. After holding for qite some time and dealing with overseas customer service, I was able to get the monitor shipped back. They had set it up with UPS to ship it back. I sent it back. Dell then credited my account the cost of the monitor. Remeber I never paid for this monitor. They then sent a check to me for $100.00 for the cost of shipping. Dell paid for the shipping already when I sent the monitor back. Bottom line Dell paid me $100 to take their $900 monitor.

  14. I ordered an Inspiron E1505 in a 10-day sale, along with several pieces of hardware and one Quickbooks Pro (at a really great price, yes). Got the computer and hardware, pretty much at expected price, but they sent me the regular home version o fQuickbooks- retail at half of what I paid for Pro. After several go-arounds with their (self-vaunted) “award winning” customer support- inlcuding two or three of those “off-shore” personnel, one of their echat people and a “special” problem solver who assured me the powers that be had decided in my favor and that I would receive the correct software, I still have what they sent me of course. Even tryng to report a problem to them on line lead me to a closed and inescapable loop of q and a and sorry, we cant’ figure out what you want. Of course, the return policy is only good for 30 days- after their shipment date. I am sure that part of their strategy is that most people will give up trying to fight their way thru this fog bank and that 30 day period will pass and they have just made a little extra money on your order. This was only about, say, 2% of my total order- a small problem- but my “customer disatisfaction” with Dell is a good strong disproportionate 99%. Mr. Dell SHOULD be watching this- some one is ruining his business!

  15. Debra Carey,

    Interesting, I had the same exact thing happen to me back in 2001. Dell kept trying
    to say that the bank had denied the charges and my bank kept saying no charge was ever
    attempted. What I found suspicious was that I could never get to talk to any one at Dell
    During “normal business hours”. I left every contact number I had and never got a call back.
    (We won’t mention the voice mail limbo over at Dell). Whenever someone at Dell did call me,
    it was after 5pm Eastern time, after most banks close, which I suspected was because they
    didn’t want me to immediately check with my bank. I also finally cancelled my Dell order.

  16. My friend ordered a Dell by phone and, after setting it up, couldn’t get the
    Internet to come up. I had a look at the invoice to make sure she had all the
    required components. A modem was on the list, with the comment “not requested.”
    Would you, in this scenario, have specifically stated, “Oh, by the way, be sure
    to include a modem”? Imagine shipping a computer in 2005, complete with Windows,
    Norton antivirus, and misc. bundled Windows-specific software without including
    a modem — or even questioning that fact! Their ads imply that a techie will
    “personally” see that you get the custom computer you desire. Yeah, right. At
    the very least the techie should have a checklist of items to ask about, such
    as, “What speed modem would you like?” The solution? They sent her the missing
    modem, which my friend had to pay someone to install (she’s not hardware-savvy).
    I told her she should have insisted they replace the cpu in full configuration,
    but they gave her some song-and-dance and she capitulated. I swore I would never
    consider buying anything from Dell after that.

    By comparison, in my own experience, I bought an IBM computer from a magazine
    ad special. They honored their two-year warranty when the monitor failed 18
    months later, no questions asked. They shipped a new monitor in two days and I
    sent the broken one back to them by return UPS. Can’t do much better than that!

  17. Many comments are related to paying for “deals” and then not getting what was ordered. Presumably these deals were paid for with credit cards. Dell may say they limit returns to 30 days, but you have up to a year under Federal Law to have your credit card company cancel the payment. Getting your credit card to back you will require that you return everything that was shipped as part of the incorrect or incomplete order, but if people start sending Dell’s computer’s back after 10 months (when they are worth much less than they were new) and cancelling the payment (contact the credit card company for a “disputed charge form”) because the original order wasn’t delivered Dell would quickly change some behaviors. Keep documentation of the order–the email or print of web page from the original order, phone call times and dates, and copies of correspondence [when customer service is unresponsive use the U.S. Mail because it’s a “paper trail”]. Your credit card company has as many lawyers as Dell does, and credit card companies are prone to make the payment denial stick unless the seller can prove that they actually did accurately fill the original order.

  18. I saw a commercial on tv for this exact deal today! If Dell was a decent company,
    they should honor the price until the ads are corrected. I would never deal with
    Dell especially after this! We tried to buy a computer from Dell a year ago and
    they tried to pull a quick one on us with a “bait and switch” -of course we figured it out and canceled the deal. I’d rather communicate by morse code than deal with Dell ever again!

  19. Orederd Dell Inspiron 1520 notebook computer on December 10, 2007; got employee affilated discount, plus additional 15% coupon I sign up for at Dell website. I use option with additional discount to lower the cost, the 3 year in home warranty with lo jack norton intenet security also discount the system even more. I called Dell to see if I could do any better and they added a free all in one printer.

    To make a long story short I never got the computer system, they delay the shipment many times, they eventually cancel the order on January 16, 2008; the reason was because of mail order rule. Whenever I would call customer service to find out what was the hold up, the customer service rep had no explanation and was wery rude.

  20. I was purchasing a system online last year, and was interrupted during the process of choosing my option. I had to stop and leave the PC for about 30 minutes. When I came back and finished my options, the original “deal” I had clicked on was no longer available! I called Dell and got the same “marketing error” excuse, and canceled the order.

    About an hour later I went back to the Dell website and, what do you know, the original offer was right back on their homepage! I went in, again, clicking on the link for that offer, chose my options, and once I got to the checkout, the offer was gone!

    Needless to say, i didn’t complete that transaction, either.

Comments are closed.