The Dell Saga

As those of you who follow me on twitter know I have been very disappointed with Dell’s handling of my new PC order, which ultimately ended up in me canceling the order. Below is my letter to the FTC explaining how I believe Dell is abusing the “Mail Order Rule.” Feel free to use it as a template if you feel that you’ve been a victim of this as well.

Matthew Walsh
(address removed
for privacy)

March 15, 2009

Federal Trade Commission
Consumer Response Center
600 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.
Washington, DC 20580

Dear Sir or Madam:
I recently purchased a computer from Dell Inc. (One Dell Way, Mail Stop 8129, Round Rock, TX 78682). Two weeks after I placed my order they informed me through email that my order would be delayed another week. At the end of this week, they again informed my via email that my order would be delayed another week. This email also mentioned the FTC “Mail Order Rule” (Part 435) and gave me until 9pm that evening to respond or have my order canceled automatically.
I understand the nature of this rule, but I believe that Dell Inc. is using this to their advantage to keep from having to fulfill orders that they deem unreasonable.
First, I believe that the approximately 12 hours between when I received my second delay notification and the time I needed to contact them to continue my order was unusually short. This second email did not state that I would have the option to cancel up until the time that they ship my PC, if I had agreed to the delay. Because of this, I felt that I was being pressured into making a decision to wait indefinitely for my new PC, or cancel and loose out on the deal that I had waited to find through their web site.
Second, at the time of the second notification, the price for the PC I had ordered went up nearly $400 (per their web site), thus I believe they are using this rule as a way to ensure they maximize profits on each of their sales, by saving the components that would have gone into my PC for another customer who was paying more for it.
I have done business with Dell in the past, and have been very pleased with their products, but the handling of this particular delay, in my opinion, was very unsatisfactory.
My account information with Dell is as follows, if needed: (removed for privacy). Enclosed are my order confirmation, first and second delay notices.

Thank you for your time,
Matthew Walsh

Posted on March 15, 2009 at 6:39 pm by Matt Walsh · Permalink
In: Blog

2 Responses

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  1. Written by jack
    on March 21, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    Sounds like a scam

  2. Written by Jon
    on July 17, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    I ordered a computer that was delayed by Dell. They never told me it was late and never gave me the option to cancel. I just called the FTC and filed a complaint. I suggest everyone do the same…they said they hold all complaints and only investigate if enough people complain.

    The url for the FTC rule is:

    At the bottom is a phone number you can call to file a complaint.

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