PC vendor found guilty of defrauding customers

Dell fined $4 million

Dell and its subsidiary Dell Financial Services have agreed to pay $4 million to the New York Attorney General’s Office to resolve charges of fraudulent and deceptive business practices.

The settlement followed a lawsuit filed by Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, which alleged that Dell had engaged in ‘bait and switch’ advertising practices with regards to its finance programme. According to the charges, customers were misled to believe that they had qualified for promotional financing, were inadequately informed of the terms of the ‘next day’ service contracts and not provided with promised warranty services and rebates.

The court also upheld charges that Dell failed to provide timely support to customers who had bought on-site service contracts, discouraged customers from seeking technical support and pressured consumers to remove the external cover of their computer and remove or manipulate internal components, thus voiding their warranty.

“Today’s announcement is the final step in ensuring New Yorkers harmed by Dell’s deceptive and illegal business practices are fully compensated,” said Attorney General Cuomo. “Going forward, this deal means that Dell will have to clearly and fully disclose the terms and conditions of their products and services, to avoid this kind of fraud at the consumer’s expense.

“My office is committed to ensuring a fair and honest marketplace across New York by rooting out these unlawful practices, and we encourage anyone who was ripped off by Dell to come forward and file a claim to get their money back.”

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