Uomo Urges Consumers Victimized By Dell's Deceptive Business Practices To File Complaints At www.nyagdell.com

NEW YORK, NY (May 28, 2008) - Attorney General Cuomo today urged customers who were victimized by Dell’s deceptive and negligent business practices to file complaints at www.NYAGDELL.com, a website devoted exclusively to addressing consumer issues with Dell. This action follows a court decision that Dell and its affiliate Dell Financial Services, LP (“DFS”) will have to provide restitution to its customers and forfeit unlawfully earned profits to the state for engaging in fraud, false advertising and failing to provide consumers with promised services.

The Attorney General’s Office is collecting consumer complaints in order to assist the court in accurately determining how much restitution Dell and DFS owe customers. The court is planning to hold further proceedings later this year on the issue of restitution and the amount of profits Dell unlawfully earned that must be forfeited to the State.

The court decision affirmed claims brought by the Attorney General, based on hundreds of consumer complaints, that Dell fails to provide adequate technical support, leaves consumers who call the Dell helpline on hold for hours and pressures consumers to disassemble their own computers to avoid providing promised "onsite" repairs. The court also found that Dell and DFS engaged in abusive debt collection practices, misled consumers about the financing terms for which they had qualified and failed to provide consumers with promised rebates.

Attorney General Cuomo said, “Huge companies like Dell cannot continue to walk all over their customers and get away with it. All consumers who were left on hold for hours, promised “onsite” repair service only to be pressured to take apart their computers themselves, and subjected to numerous other negligent and abusive practices should register their complaints at our website so we can ensure the Dell is held accountable for its failed promises.”

Yesterday’s decision by the Albany County Supreme Court resulted from one of the first cases brought by Attorney General Cuomo in 2007.

Justice Joseph C. Teresi said in his decision, “Dell has engaged in repeated misleading, deceptive and unlawful business conduct, including false and deceptive advertising of financing promotions and the terms of warranties, fraudulent, misleading and deceptive practices in credit financing and failure to provide warranty service and rebates.”

According to the decision, Dell failed to provide consumers with the benefits and services to which they were entitled by:

  • Repeatedly failing to provide timely onsite repair to consumers who purchased service contracts promising “onsite” and expedited service;
  • Pressuring consumers, including those who purchased service contracts promising “onsite” repair, to remove the external cover of their computer and remove, reinstall, and manipulate hardware components;
  • Discouraging consumers from seeking technical support; those who called Dell’s toll free number were subjected to long wait times, repeated transfers, and frequent disconnections; and
  • Failing to provide rebates that were promised to consumers.

This case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Amy Schallop of the Consumer Frauds and Protection Bureau, under the supervision of Mark Fleischer, Deputy Bureau Chief of the Consumer Frauds and Protection Bureau, and Joy Feigenbaum, Chief of the Consumer Frauds and Protection Bureau.