Dell Sales Wrong Information - Any Advice Guy?

  Sibbo 23:36 11 Jul 2003

Just prior to buying my Dell Inspiron 8500 Laptop computer I phoned Dell up and asked if it would be possible for it to connect to my broadband internet connection if I purchased their true mobile PCI card and router. At the time I stated that my internet connection was via NTL USB cable modem. They told me it would so I purchased the above items for approx. £180 excl. v.a.t. When I received my order I opene the box in order to set up the above only to find that connection could not be made via USB Cable Modem. The documentation and set up CD clearly state that connection can only be made if the internet connection is via Ethernet card. Also, all information on the website seems to indicate that you receive a full version of Norton Anti Virus software. You don't! You are supplied with a version that only gives you 3 months free updates. Is this a con or what? All correspondance with Dell to date has been fruitless. All suggestions appreciated.

  -pops- 06:39 12 Jul 2003

Did you get the modem connection information in writing? If not there is not much you can do about it - it's your word against theirs and they, of course, will deny it, even if you could find out who told you this.

On your second point about Norton, you say their website "seems to indicate". Well, I'm afraid this is how adverts are worded - to suggest the best possible deal or conditions. I've not seen the site in question but, have another look and check what it actually does say. It may be that on a subsequent reading, it doesn't seem so clear.

Sorry if the above comes across as me being on Dell's side - I'm not, I assure you but, what I am trying to indicate is that anything at all that you ask when buying things that involves buying extras should be confirmed in writing and also to read very carefully what the terms and conditions are on any special offers "given away" with your purchase. It may be, of course, you are right on both counts, in which case you should keep badgering Dell until you get a reply. I've heard that contacting the managing director of Dell UK and the CEO of Dell HQ in the USA can work wonders in sorting out problems but you should do it by snail mail and send it Special Delivery (to the UK address anyway).


  jnevill 07:55 12 Jul 2003

Providing you bought the parts as a consumer and not for business purposes you are covered under the Sale of Goods Act 1979. Section 15(3)states goods must be fit for their purpose and in particular any specific purpose the buyer makes known to the seller. As you made it clear that you wanted a particular connection the goods must be suitable otherwise you have the right to return them and claim your money back. If Dell refuse to refund your money consider informing your local trading standards office who can investigate cases of misrepresentation.

  -pops- 08:31 12 Jul 2003

jnevill is, of course, correct in an ideal world. Unfortunately, there is a burden of proof necessary and if this was all done over the telephone, you will have problems producing this proof.

  Sibbo 09:49 12 Jul 2003

I asked the question regarding the wireless router via the telephone but have various e-mails saved on my PC that have been sent back and forth between Dell and myself where I have asked why I was given wrong information. All of these communications are between myself and the original sales rep'. They have said that I should go and buy a Ethernet card to rectify the problem. I know these are fairly cheap but I told Dell that I thought they should give me one of theirs as a goodwill gesture as it was they who gave me the wrong information. Regarding the Norton AV, when you use the Dell configurator on the website to put your laptop together (and print out the results) it states "Norton Anti Virus". It does not have an asterisk by the side of it which normally means you have to look in the fine print. Where would I get the Managing Directors contact details from?

  -pops- 10:21 12 Jul 2003

From what you have written in your last post, it appears that you do not have any evidence that Dell told you the information you claim. A correspondence based on a conversation is not the same as having the details of conversation in hard copy and you would have difficulty in persuading the legal processes otherwise.

Regarding the Norton, this seems to be a case of caveat emptor - it is your responsibility to ensure that the item you are buying suits your purpose. If the advertisement said Norton Anti-virus without a specific license period and the item supplied was, indeed, Norton anti-virus, I don't think there is much you can do about it.

Again, this comes across as though I'm on Dell's side. I'm not, honest!

You can get details of their responsible officers from the Dell website, especially the USA one.


  Sibbo 10:40 12 Jul 2003

The e-mails that I have from Dell state that the sales rep apologises "if we got our wires crossed". I stated quiet clearly what I required, and state this in the e-mails that I sent to them following my telephone conversation with them. How are e-mails that I have from Dell "no proof"?

  davidg_richmond 10:49 12 Jul 2003

I'm afraid that the OEM version of Norton Antivirus always gives only 3 months' worth of downloads. The OEM version is what you get free with PCs, you would possibly have got the full version if you had paid extra for it instead.

It neither states that it is the full version or the OEM version on the site, from what I can see.

  -pops- 10:54 12 Jul 2003

If you have your requirements clearly stated in an email to Dell and a confirmation from Dell that your requirements are feasible, fine. Any other scenario, I would treat with caution.

  davidg_richmond 10:55 12 Jul 2003

The rep did get it wrong with the router and wireless card. Though technically you can use all that gear okay with the ethernet card, what you obviously wish to do is use the laptop on the net without your main PC switched on and for this purpose your NTL modem would need to use ethernet and not USB.

  jnevill 12:51 14 Jul 2003

Sibbo, when you called Dell was there a recorded message (like so many call centres these days) advising you that calls may be recorded for security/training purposes? If so contact Dell immediately and tell them to check their recordings for your conversation. I previously assisted a friend who was being brow beaten by a mobile telephone supplier. They disputed what had been said until we told them to check the tape or produce it in the small claims court. They soon backed down. As for Norton it appears you did receive a full version albeit only for a limited period, unless the offer said Norton would be for a full year you will just have to swallow it.

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