Dell. misleading adverts

  dane 1 22:58 11 Dec 2003

Has anyone else had the same problem as me?
I saw an advert in the Daily Mirror 26/11/03 for a Dell 2400 with 17" total flat panel screen, 512 ram, 40G hard drive, so I ordered one putting the e.value code in and asking for an upgrade to 80G drive, floppy disc drive and a multi media keyboard, and instead of 3 years warranty, just 12 mths. Dell rang on Mon 8/12/03 said it was being delivered the next day (Tues)sure enough, it arrived, but when I came to unpack it, lo and behold, it was just an ordinary 17" monitor. I rang their customer care line to advise them and they said it was what I had ordered. Obviously I have disputed this but they say they will not change it unless I cross their palms with more silver. I have made numerous calls and they say they will ring back (but never do)All day Weds on the phone, no joy. Thurs, called again, no joy so I got in touch with Trading Standards who say I may have a good case against them for not supplying the goods they have advertised.

  powerless 23:12 11 Dec 2003

Ah, but it could mean TFT or CRT.

  plsndrs3 23:23 11 Dec 2003

Did you receive written acknowledgement of the order, usually by email? What does it say on there?

The issue is, as Powerless has said, that a flat panel screen could be TFT or CRT and, unless it specifies TFT on your order then I am surprised at the advice from Trading Standards. A CRT can be classed as a flat screen by those people who did not understand your specific requirement as it could be termed as flat/without a large curvature like some monitors.

Anyhow, how much silver are Dell looking for on top of the agreed price? I assume that this will involve return of the one you have at the moment?


  Forum Editor 06:54 12 Dec 2003

I would tend to agree with Trading Standards on this - you may have a good case against Dell for not supplying the goods as described.

The term "Flat panel screen" would, in my opinion be construed as meaning a TFT screen by many - if not most - people. Had the wording been "flat screen" I would be in no doubt that a CRT monitor was being described, but that word "panel" is the clincher - no way could a CRT monitor be described as a "Flat panel".

You'll have to decide what to do about this of course, but if I was in your shoes I would pursue the matter vigorously with Dell. You relied on their description when placing your order, and you thought you were ordering a TFT display - tell them that.

  dane 1 11:52 12 Dec 2003

They want £400 + vat

  tenplus1 12:31 12 Dec 2003

Dell, like many other companies are playing with the wording of the advert so you think one thing but it's really another...

Personally I wouldnt buy anything from a dealer and build my own pc... That way I know exactly what I'm getting and it's cheaper...

Most PC Hardware stores will charge between £15-25 quid to build a PC to YOUR specifications...

  wags 12:43 12 Dec 2003

tenplus1, with respect that's interesting, but not very helpful to dane 1 and his current problem.

I agree with FE, the word "panel" would to the 'reasonable man', imply a TFT and not a CRT with a flat screen.

'PC Hardware stores will charge between £15-25 quid to build a PC to YOUR specifications...' Are you sure tenplus1 ? - that sounds a bit cheap and like a quick way to go out of business !!!

  Stuartli 17:56 12 Dec 2003

They would also make a profit on individual items of hardware, components etc supplied for the system.

I'm with the FE and others over the word "panel" - it is never used in conjunction with a cathode ray tube monitor.

Most important is to make sure you have the actual copy of the advertisement to back up your claim.

It could also be worth making an official complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority (click here) and letting them take the matter up; like Trading Standards the authority takes a dim view of misleading advertisements or product claims.

It administers the British Code of Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing (The CAP Code) to ensure that advertisements are legal, decent, honest and truthful.

  Stuartli 18:00 12 Dec 2003

Checking the ASA's adjudications lists at its website, I found six cases in the last two years where Dell has been the subject of an investigation by the authority, including alleged false claims in national newspaper advertising.

  Gaz 25 03:44 13 Dec 2003

Just been looking at the ASA's adjudications.

DSG retail - thats Dixons group, owner of: Dixons, PC world, Mastercare, Freeserve, etc...

They are complaining ALL the time about other companies adverts. LOL

  ronh 04:17 13 Dec 2003

Unfortunately, even with trading standards, you need evidence that you can show to someone whomay not be technically knowledgable. The key word is "panel". If you can prove that this was in the ad's description, go to Dells site. If you print out the descriptions and specs for both Dells 17" CRT monitors, and their 17" LCD monitors, you can show that the word "panel" is only used as a description of LCD panels, and never for CRT's. (There arn't even any 17" Flatscreen CRTs in Dells current range, although other manufacturers have monitors with that description). If you don't have a copy of the original ad, you can easily get back issues of newspapers for a small fee, and some libraries keep back copies for a while. With an ad saying "panel" and Dells descriptions of their products, you will be in a stronger position to have a go at Dell.

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