DELL online buyers BEWARE!

  usefulinfo 12:12 29 Oct 2009

The Dell online website has serious pricing issues.

Selecting the LATITUDE range of laptop E6500 or E6400 and attempting to customising it throws up huge pricing problems.

In particular when selecting the colour choice (red, black or blue) the website states clearly there is no increase no matter what colour you choose ie. the value of this option is included or in the price or is zero. However selecting red for eg. the subtotal increases by £108, £121, £187 and a wopping £195 (depending on model). Unless the customer is scrutinising the subtotal as he includes or excludes various options - the customer is easily fooled!

I reported the problem to the webmaster last week and also reported it to a sales rep. (Incidently, she confirmed there should be no additional charge if you chose either a red or blue laptop. ie. the colour of the laptop would not make a difference to the price.) Todate nothing has been fixed. I find this hugely unsatisfactory as they are simply 'conning' more money from their customers.

In addition there a numerous other faults/defects I found with their website and these were reported to the webmaster. Selecting the WIFI options is a complete mess - instead of incrementing the subtotal by £33 as it states against the Intel WIFI 5300 option, it increases it by £52! Toggling back to the default again throws up another inconsistent value.

This website seems to be littered with dodgey coding, pricing and inconsistencies. There is clearly no quality control or acceptance testing of any changes made to their website. A company the size of Dell should have core quality control processes in place if they even remotely value their customers and trading standard practices.

I have reported this to Consumer Direct who will pass it on to Trading Standards for investigation.

My concern now is for the thousands of customers who will be conned into purchasing these models (and possibly others) over the past week/s believing they have NOT paid a premium for a colour laptop. I suspect if/when they do get around to fixing it - they wont be freely offering a refund!

  interzone55 12:43 29 Oct 2009

If you select a colour the website changes the graphics card and optical drive. I have no idea why this is the case, and you can't you can't change these items back to the defaults either, so it seems the colour models are only available in higher spec...

I buy all my Dell kit via one of the enterprise account managers and I think they use the same system for specifying kit as the web-site because I sometimes have a hell of a job getting the system I need.

One time my account manager found out he could put 750gb drives in a server if I chose a particular CPU - ridiculous...

  interzone55 12:44 29 Oct 2009

that last line should read

"One time my account manager found out he could NOT put 750gb drives in a server if I chose a particular CPU - ridiculous..."

  Confab 12:54 29 Oct 2009

I had a similar issue when I bought my Dell a few years ago.

The pricing on the site didn’t quite work so it seems that they still haven’t sorted out the issue. All I would say is check your order then check it again, then put it away for a day and then check it again, and then finally get someone else to check it as well.

Having said the above when I received my machine I was (and still am) very very pleased with it.

My next PC will probably also be a Dell.

  Input Overload 16:54 29 Oct 2009

I don't think for one moment DELL have done this as a con as they have just about the best reputation along with IBM there is. I bought a desktop a few weeks ago & that went through fine with no issues so it's probably certain models.

But they really should have taken note of your observation & removed the items till fixed. Write them again & let them know the info is going on UK forums.

  Input Overload 16:59 29 Oct 2009

I would be careful of using the word 'Conning' on a public forum as that means they are deliberately getting money under false pretences & you could get a letter through your door. And I know DELL would not do that.

  usefulinfo 23:04 29 Oct 2009

If I may enlighten you 'Input overload'.

I suggest googling 'Dell Taiwan pricing fine' or 'Dell New York fraud' you'll find a plethora of sites (as recent as June, July and Sept) extolling the not-so-virtuous reputation of Dell....

I sense your allegience is strong, however the use of the word 'conning' in this light can be seen as an understatement. I think you'll agree.

  Forum Editor 23:59 29 Oct 2009

on an e-commerce site, particularly when a company the size of Dell is involved, but let's have no more talk about 'conning'. It's defamatory, unless you can prove beyond reasonable doubt that the company sets out to deliberately and fraudulently deprive people of money - and you have absolutely no evidence of that.

Dell was certainly found guilty of a fraud - we reported the fact here on this site in September click here but that has nothing whatever to do with the issue you refer to.

  xania 11:47 30 Oct 2009


If a company get something wrong - that's a mistake. If they ignore warnings about this mistake a kind-hearted person might be tempted to say that's incompetence. But Dell have already had one lesson - perhaps they need another. IMHO, the use of the word Fraud is not that defamatory. They have a duty of care and a company as big a Dell can rightly be expected to withdraw immedaitely anything that they know is wrong until its fixed, or, at least, to set up a work-around whereby any one ordering has the pricing double-checked clerically for these inaccuracies before any money is taken from their accounts.

I have never actually bought from Dell but I have bought from a number of other companies offering bespoking ( i.e. click here), and if they can get it right, why can't Dell?

  dobbin 13:02 30 Oct 2009

I saw an ad for a Dell inspiron 15 in this months Sky magazine in which it stated prices from £299 inc VAT and delivery. I went to their web site and could not even find a base price of £299 anywhere. The cheapest starting price for an Inspiron 15 was around £340. So I suspect this is fairly common Dell practice.

  Mr Mistoffelees 14:57 30 Oct 2009

On The UK Dell website, within 30 seconds, I found an Inspiron15 priced from £298.99 click here

Not so common practice?

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