Beleaguered Dell busted for using fake sweepstakes to hawk warranties

“Following our report on Wednesday about Dell Support using fake sweepstakes to hawk warranties, a number of other outlets jumped on the story,” Avram Piltch reports for Laptop Magazine. “Today, Dell responded to the controversy by posting a public mea culpa on its corporate blog.”

“‘The problems Laptop Magazine faced while trying to get basic support simply should not have happened,’ Dell Chief Blogger Lionel Menchaca wrote on the Direct2Dell blog,” Piltch reports. “Menchaca also wrote that the he checked with the support team leaders and verified that they do not ‘tolerate the use of daily drawings or other one-time offers as part of the support process.'”

Piltch reports, “He said that the company has reminded its support techs of this policy and continues to investigate the incident where an undercover LAPTOP reporter called support and was told he won a daily drawing that let him purchase a $500 extended warranty for the low price of $317. Dell is also offering refunds to customers who purchased a warranty as a result of a sweepstakes offer and want their money back.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Looks like Dell shut it down and is giving the money back to the sufferers. However, some things in Dell-hell just never seem to change: Beleaguered Dell engaged in repeated misleading, deceptive and unlawful business conduct, judge says – May 28, 2008

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Chris K.” for the heads up.]


  1. How did Dell get an A-, the same score as Apple and better than most of the PC vendors while using such a shady practice? Seems like the fix was in, I wonder if Laptop Mag receives a big chunk of ad money from Dell.

    1. To be fair, I think one tier of Dell support includes on-site service. For many people, this is a superior alternative to paying $300 or more for AppleCare for the privilege of tearing your 27″ iMac out of your system and dragging it into a store so you can walk around the mall for an hour while the service techs at the Apple Store do a simple hard drive, RAM, or logic board replacement.

      Please note that I’m not saying the actual service/support is superior, but the convenience certainly is. Yes, I know Apple does two-way shipping and all that, but you’re going to be without your machine for at least 2-3 days, so that’s not an option for some people, either.

      I love Apple and generally hate Dell, but service/support is one thing they actually do pretty well… Well, other than warranty lottery scams. 😉

  2. MacDailyNews Take: Looks like Dell shut it down and is giving the money back to the sufferers.

    Now if they would only shut down the company and give the money back (or what’s left of it) to the shareholders.

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