Dell sued over bait-and-switch marketing tactics

“Two Dell customers in California have filed class-action lawsuits against the company for what their lawyers call bait-and-switch marketing tactics,” Michael Singer reports for Internet News. “The complaint alleges that Dell preys on unsuspecting consumers with its scripted sales force, ever-changing ad offers and highly promoted “preferred” rates and “easy” financing packages which, without notice, then are changed to include much higher interest rates and hidden charges. Specifically, the suit claims Dell violates California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA), the California Business and Professions Code and the Unruh Act.”

“‘Dell offers one low-priced product and then substitutes a higher cost or lower quality item,’ Reed Kathrein, a Lerach partner whose firm is best known for filing stockholder lawsuits, said in a statement. ‘Dell promises ‘easy’ credit but no one qualifies. It then charges unconscionable high interest and other credit charges.’ Kathrein told internetnews.com that Dell responded to the law firm’s initial letter but could not confirm if Dell has seen the legal filing. He also said his office had received close to 100 complaints since August 2004,” Singer reports. “‘We received too many complaints to ignore,” Kathrein said. Dell spokesman Lionel Menchaca said the company would not comment on pending litigation.”

Full article here.

21 Comments

  1. Can’t speak for the other allegations, but a quick check of the Dell website shows that their financing is done by a third party. Unless this lender is owned by Dell, they have no say in financing qualifications.

    *Not a defender of Dell, just a defender of the truth.

  2. hahahahahahahahahah. Dude, I’m getting screwed and don’t know any better. How ironic, a Mac friend of mine (who is quite good on Windows) has been saying for ages that Windows people are too cheap to buy Mac, now look at what’s happening to them….. Save your money and buy a Mac…..

  3. *Not a defender of Dell, just a defender of the truth.

    ok, while that may speak about the financing…. who would be at fault for the actual “bait & switch” of product ???

    I wouldnt think that, too, would be the financers fault…. would it ?

  4. Lerach (the law firm suing) are simply money-grubbing extortionists. Anyone sued by them deserves support, even Dell. My, admittedly quick, review of the facts here suggests there’s no real basis for this suit. For example, Dell is clear that customers must apply for the lowest financing rate (or even to get financing), then they’re clear when customers qualify only for the higher rates. Relying on the legal system to deal with cheesy, but perfectly legal, marketing tactics is crazy and will simply result in higher prices for all of us. I guarantee that if Lerach wins here they will turn around and sue Apple on the basis of similar claims. BTW, if Lerach wins, the so-called victims will see pennies while Lerach will rake in millions.
    From one who knows about these folks…

  5. Ah, yes, the truth is out! I’ve gone to Dell’s web site many times (I have to purchase lots of machines for work), and never get the deal they quote in advertising.

    I too am surprised it took this long for a law suit like this to happen!

  6. The huge percentage of Dell customers that this lawsuit pertains to are the tight-wade, technically challenged, losers who think that Dell’s next-cheap-ass-product is a real value. As far as Windows PCs go, Dell make some good ones and some garbage and many in betweeen. I would say that Dell probably has a hard time communicating anything to the dim-wits who have to apply for financing for a $400 computer. Their customers may feel like they are getting the shaft, when in all actuality they are just idiots who don’t understand what they are being told until they’ve had time to mull it over for a while. I’m sure any company that deals with as many people as Dell does probably has this same problem. In my opinion, they’re just asking for punishment when they buy a PC, not matter what brand they get. There is no need for them to take out their frustrations on their PC vendor, or is there?

  7. Californians = Dont know there asses from a hole in the ground.

    Just like they complained for getting “overcharged”” for windows. then when the case was settled, knowone even tried to get the money that MS put up for them…Morons people, Morons.

  8. Everyone knows Dell uses bait and switch tactics but if you insist on buying their dirt cheap POS istead of the upgraded POS they want to sell you, you can buy it.

    Even after they tell you the free upgrades and the free printer doesn’t apply to the very low cost POS you want you can still buy that dirt cheap POS.

    Even when they tell you that the free shipping dosen’t apply to the very low cost POS you want and the shipping for your unit is $100 more, you can still buy that dirt cheap POS.

    Dell is a very honest company and Michael Dell is the most respected corporate leader in America.

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