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Cuomo unhappy with Dell

By John O'Brien | May 18, 2007


NEW YORK - Claiming it engaged in unlawful financing tactics and didn't provide adequate customer service, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo filed suit Wednesday against Dell, one of the world's top computer companies.

Cuomo said Dell and Dell Financial Services also perpetuated other deceptive business practices relating to their technical support services, promotional financing, rebate offers and billing and collection activity.

"At Dell, customer service means no service at all," Cuomo said. "Dell's consumers were intentionally misled, and they had to pay for that privilege."

Cuomo charges Dell with depriving consumers of the technical support to which they were entitled under their warranty or service contract by:

-Repeatedly failing to provide timely onsite repair to consumers who purchased service contracts promising "onsite" and expedited service;

-Pressuring consumers, including those who purchased service contracts promising "onsite" repair, to remove the external cover of their computer and remove, reinstall, and manipulate hardware components;

-Discouraging consumers from seeking technical support; those who called Dell's toll free number were subjected to long wait times, repeated transfers, and frequent disconnections; and

-Using defective "refurbished" parts or computers to repair or replace consumers' equipment.

Cuomo also said Dell did not follow through on its advertising promises of advertising "no interest" and/or "no payment" financing promotions. He says consumers with very good credit scores were denied the deals.

Other charges Cuomo makes include: Drawing in consumers with deals, then switching their interest rates to very high ones; incorrectly billing consumers on cancelled orders, returned merchandise or accounts they did not authorize Dell to open; harassing consumers; and harming consumers' credit ratings.

The lawsuit seeks restitution to affected consumes and civil penalties.

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