"Free monitor upgrade" dirty trick

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

Two days ago I configured two Dimension 9100 systems and put them in my
online shopping cart. The system with the features I really wanted came to
$1677. I already have a nice monitor, but part of the base package was a 17'
CRT which I decided to accept because there was only a $20 reduction for not
taking it. I figured I would give it away to a relative or sell it at a
garage sale.

Today while Googling for something completely unrelated, I stumbled on a
Dell page offering Dimension 9100 systems with free monitor upgrades that
now included a "19 inch E193FP Analog Flat Panel" and a "17 inch UltrasharpT
1704FPT Digital Flat Panel". Wow, that's much more interesting than a free
$20 CRT, so I go back to the Dell site, log on, and open my shopping cart.
Immediately two messages flash by saying "system is invalid" or such, and my
shopping cart magically is empty. No big deal, I think, it's just a web page
screwup and it will only take five minutes to configure another system.
Going through the process, I see that the price of every single enhancement
I wanted has gone up, a lot. Even the $8 operating system backup CD is now
$10.

Bottom line, my $1677 system is now $1857. If I go for it I'll be stuck
with a $200 flat panel screen I don't need instead of a $20 CRT.

I think for Dell to do this is sleazy marketing, and bad customer relations.
This would be my 4th Dell system, but now I'm not sure I want it.
17 answers Last reply
More about free monitor upgrade dirty trick
  1. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    Cliff Chinaski wrote:
    >
    > Two days ago I configured two Dimension 9100 systems and put them in my
    > online shopping cart. The system with the features I really wanted came to
    > $1677. I already have a nice monitor, but part of the base package was a 17'
    > CRT which I decided to accept because there was only a $20 reduction for not
    > taking it. I figured I would give it away to a relative or sell it at a
    > garage sale.
    >
    > Today while Googling for something completely unrelated, I stumbled on a
    > Dell page offering Dimension 9100 systems with free monitor upgrades that
    > now included a "19 inch E193FP Analog Flat Panel" and a "17 inch UltrasharpT
    > 1704FPT Digital Flat Panel". Wow, that's much more interesting than a free
    > $20 CRT, so I go back to the Dell site, log on, and open my shopping cart.
    > Immediately two messages flash by saying "system is invalid" or such, and my
    > shopping cart magically is empty. No big deal, I think, it's just a web page
    > screwup and it will only take five minutes to configure another system.
    > Going through the process, I see that the price of every single enhancement
    > I wanted has gone up, a lot. Even the $8 operating system backup CD is now
    > $10.
    >
    > Bottom line, my $1677 system is now $1857. If I go for it I'll be stuck
    > with a $200 flat panel screen I don't need instead of a $20 CRT.
    >
    > I think for Dell to do this is sleazy marketing, and bad customer relations.
    > This would be my 4th Dell system, but now I'm not sure I want it.

    Did you print out your original quote? If so, I'd imagine/hope that Dell would
    honor it.

    Give them a call!

    Notan
  2. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    "Cliff Chinaski" <CliffC@nospam.net> wrote in message
    news:X4RKe.5426$rY.646@trndny03...
    > Two days ago I configured two Dimension 9100 systems and put them in my
    > online shopping cart. The system with the features I really wanted came to
    > $1677. I already have a nice monitor, but part of the base package was a
    > 17' CRT which I decided to accept because there was only a $20 reduction
    > for not taking it. I figured I would give it away to a relative or sell
    > it at a garage sale.
    >
    > Today while Googling for something completely unrelated, I stumbled on a
    > Dell page offering Dimension 9100 systems with free monitor upgrades that
    > now included a "19 inch E193FP Analog Flat Panel" and a "17 inch
    > UltrasharpT 1704FPT Digital Flat Panel". Wow, that's much more interesting
    > than a free $20 CRT, so I go back to the Dell site, log on, and open my
    > shopping cart. Immediately two messages flash by saying "system is
    > invalid" or such, and my shopping cart magically is empty. No big deal, I
    > think, it's just a web page screwup and it will only take five minutes to
    > configure another system. Going through the process, I see that the price
    > of every single enhancement I wanted has gone up, a lot. Even the $8
    > operating system backup CD is now $10.
    >
    > Bottom line, my $1677 system is now $1857. If I go for it I'll be stuck
    > with a $200 flat panel screen I don't need instead of a $20 CRT.
    >
    > I think for Dell to do this is sleazy marketing, and bad customer
    > relations. This would be my 4th Dell system, but now I'm not sure I want
    > it.

    It's Thursday. IIRC, Dell updated their special in Thursdays. For future
    reference, print the config or create a PDF and in most cases Dell will
    honor the configuration sometimes as long as 30 days from when you priced it
    out. (at least business sale does) Yet another reason to always buy from
    the business side of the house.

    --

    Rob
  3. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    "Cliff Chinaski" <CliffC@nospam.net> wrote in message
    news:X4RKe.5426$rY.646@trndny03...


    Cliff,

    Try again from here. Maybe you'll wind up with a 20"LCD instead of a 17" or
    19" :

    http://www1.us.dell.com/content/products/features.aspx/outrageous_desktops?c=us&cs=04&l=en&s=bsd


    Stew
  4. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    How, exactly, were you getting to the page to configure your system?
    Through the Dell Outrageous Deals link, the Dell Outlet Store, the Home and
    Home Office link on the Dell home page at www.dell.com, or some other link?
    You will find that the system price will depend on exactly how you got to
    the system and through which links were used to get you there.

    "Notan" <notan@ddress.com> wrote in message
    news:42FBE3BB.D38D88A9@ddress.com...
    > Cliff Chinaski wrote:
    >>
    >> Two days ago I configured two Dimension 9100 systems and put them in my
    >> online shopping cart. The system with the features I really wanted came
    >> to
    >> $1677. I already have a nice monitor, but part of the base package was a
    >> 17'
    >> CRT which I decided to accept because there was only a $20 reduction for
    >> not
    >> taking it. I figured I would give it away to a relative or sell it at a
    >> garage sale.
    >>
    >> Today while Googling for something completely unrelated, I stumbled on a
    >> Dell page offering Dimension 9100 systems with free monitor upgrades that
    >> now included a "19 inch E193FP Analog Flat Panel" and a "17 inch
    >> UltrasharpT
    >> 1704FPT Digital Flat Panel". Wow, that's much more interesting than a
    >> free
    >> $20 CRT, so I go back to the Dell site, log on, and open my shopping
    >> cart.
    >> Immediately two messages flash by saying "system is invalid" or such, and
    >> my
    >> shopping cart magically is empty. No big deal, I think, it's just a web
    >> page
    >> screwup and it will only take five minutes to configure another system.
    >> Going through the process, I see that the price of every single
    >> enhancement
    >> I wanted has gone up, a lot. Even the $8 operating system backup CD is
    >> now
    >> $10.
    >>
    >> Bottom line, my $1677 system is now $1857. If I go for it I'll be stuck
    >> with a $200 flat panel screen I don't need instead of a $20 CRT.
    >>
    >> I think for Dell to do this is sleazy marketing, and bad customer
    >> relations.
    >> This would be my 4th Dell system, but now I'm not sure I want it.
    >
    > Did you print out your original quote? If so, I'd imagine/hope that Dell
    > would
    > honor it.
    >
    > Give them a call!
    >
    > Notan
    >
  5. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    It's not exactly a dirty trick here. Dell changes the pricing and special
    offers (e.g. free shipping, free memory upgrade, free monitor, ad nauseam) on
    its web site VERY frequently. I'm not sure what sort of algorithm is in place,
    but it's obviously computerized and it takes into account customer demand on one
    side and whatever is being milled out on the assembly line on the other side.
    It surely takes into account the changes in their buying prices of commodity
    items such as CPUs, hard drives, etc.

    I think the intent here is to get people to buy in impulse when they see what
    they think is a really good deal. But it may also encourage people to put off
    buying, waiting to see the next special offer.

    This very flaky pricing scheme does not exactly give a warm feeling, does it?
    Nor does one get a warm feeling when the price of a computer at the "factory
    outlet" is higher than an EXACT model through the regular on-line "store".

    .... Ben Myers

    On Thu, 11 Aug 2005 23:22:31 GMT, "Cliff Chinaski" <CliffC@nospam.net> wrote:

    >Two days ago I configured two Dimension 9100 systems and put them in my
    >online shopping cart. The system with the features I really wanted came to
    >$1677. I already have a nice monitor, but part of the base package was a 17'
    >CRT which I decided to accept because there was only a $20 reduction for not
    >taking it. I figured I would give it away to a relative or sell it at a
    >garage sale.
    >
    >Today while Googling for something completely unrelated, I stumbled on a
    >Dell page offering Dimension 9100 systems with free monitor upgrades that
    >now included a "19 inch E193FP Analog Flat Panel" and a "17 inch UltrasharpT
    >1704FPT Digital Flat Panel". Wow, that's much more interesting than a free
    >$20 CRT, so I go back to the Dell site, log on, and open my shopping cart.
    >Immediately two messages flash by saying "system is invalid" or such, and my
    >shopping cart magically is empty. No big deal, I think, it's just a web page
    >screwup and it will only take five minutes to configure another system.
    >Going through the process, I see that the price of every single enhancement
    >I wanted has gone up, a lot. Even the $8 operating system backup CD is now
    >$10.
    >
    >Bottom line, my $1677 system is now $1857. If I go for it I'll be stuck
    >with a $200 flat panel screen I don't need instead of a $20 CRT.
    >
    >I think for Dell to do this is sleazy marketing, and bad customer relations.
    >This would be my 4th Dell system, but now I'm not sure I want it.
    >
    >
  6. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    On Thu, 11 Aug 2005 19:09:13 -0500, "S.Lewis" <stew1960@mail.com>
    wrote:

    >
    >"Cliff Chinaski" <CliffC@nospam.net> wrote in message
    >news:X4RKe.5426$rY.646@trndny03...
    >
    >
    >Cliff,
    >
    >Try again from here. Maybe you'll wind up with a 20"LCD instead of a 17" or
    >19" :
    >
    >http://www1.us.dell.com/content/products/features.aspx/outrageous_desktops?c=us&cs=04&l=en&s=bsd
    >
    >
    >Stew
    >

    I've been holding off replacing my 4550, but.....hmmmm......
  7. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    Dave wrote:
    >
    > On Thu, 11 Aug 2005 19:09:13 -0500, "S.Lewis" <stew1960@mail.com>
    > wrote:
    >
    > >
    > >"Cliff Chinaski" <CliffC@nospam.net> wrote in message
    > >news:X4RKe.5426$rY.646@trndny03...
    > >
    > >
    > >Cliff,
    > >
    > >Try again from here. Maybe you'll wind up with a 20"LCD instead of a 17" or
    > >19" :
    > >
    > >http://www1.us.dell.com/content/products/features.aspx/outrageous_desktops?c=us&cs=04&l=en&s=bsd
    > >
    > >
    > >Stew
    > >
    >
    > I've been holding off replacing my 4550, but.....hmmmm......

    There's alway going to be a better deal, tomorrow.

    If you wait, you'll never buy anything!

    Notan
  8. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    Thanks for all the good advice. I'll probably be calling Dell to ask for the original $1676 pricing
    from 8/5. Luckily I did do a 'Print Cart' that day. I didn't know about the many entrance points
    into the buying system you guys pointed out, so I made a comparison spreadsheet. This is not exactly
    an apples-to-apples comparison due to some mouse and service plan selection differences, but you can
    see the pricing of each item for each plan. Item prices vary and of course free monitors aren't
    really free. As Ben commented above, this marketing approach does not provide a 'warm feeling'.


    Columns 1 & 2 are Home and Home Office, prices from a straight visit to dell.com. Column 3 is from
    the Outrageous Deals link given by Stew. Column 4 is from Small Business, from a straight visit to
    dell.com, with only a 1-year warranty selected.

    Sorry about posting in HTML format, it's the only way I could get the columns to line up.


    ORIGINAL
    NEW
    "OUTRAG-
    "SMALL


    PRICES
    PRICES
    EOUS DEALS"
    BUSINESS"


    8/5
    8/11
    8/11
    8/12

    PENTIUM 4 3GHZ W/ XP HOME


    BASE PRICE
    1034
    1078
    936
    706


    MAIL-IN REBATE


    -100


    2 GB MEMORY
    338
    450
    420
    420


    17' CRT FREE
    YES


    19' OR 17' FLAT SCREEN FREE

    YES


    20' FLAT WIDE SCREEN FREE


    YES


    NO MONITOR


    -279


    DELL COLOR PRINTER FREE
    YES
    YES


    256MB ATI VIDEO CARD
    0
    0
    40
    40

    250 GB HARD DRIVE
    60
    80
    140
    140

    3.5 FLOPPY
    30
    40
    30
    30


    DELL USB MOUSE
    0


    LOGITECH OPTICAL MOUSE

    50
    50
    50

    DATA FAX MODEM
    0
    0
    20
    20

    DUAL 16x DVD, 48x CD-RW
    0
    0
    69
    69

    NO SPEAKERS


    MS OFFICE BASIC
    112
    149
    149
    149

    NO SECURITY


    BACKUP OPSYS CD
    8
    10
    NONE
    NONE


    3YR WTY, AT HOME SVC
    59


    3YR ON-SITE ECONOMY PLAN


    149


    1YR WARRANTY

    0


    "NO EXTENDED ON-SITE SVC"


    YES


    SURGE PROT
    35

    35
    35


    TOTAL
    1676
    1857
    1938
    1659
  9. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    Sorry about that mess, you can find the speadsheet nicely aligned in newsgroup alt.test since I
    can't figure out how to do it here. Same subject line over there.
  10. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    "Cliff Chinaski" <CliffC@nospam.net> wrote in message news:Rm3Le.18$Pm3.0@trndny08...
    > Sorry about that mess, you can find the speadsheet nicely aligned in newsgroup alt.test since I
    > can't figure out how to do it here. Same subject line over there.
    >
    One more wrinkle - if you Google for the subject line and click on the entry in alt.test Google
    shows, the spreadsheet is still messed up. If you use IE and look at alt.test directly, it formats
    fine.
  11. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    "Cliff Chinaski" <CliffC@nospam.net> wrote in message
    news:_93Le.9$Hf6.8@trndny07...
    | Thanks for all the good advice. I'll probably be calling Dell to ask
    for the original $1676 pricing
    | from 8/5. Luckily I did do a 'Print Cart' that day. I didn't know
    about the many entrance points
    | into the buying system you guys pointed out, so I made a comparison
    spreadsheet. This is not exactly
    | an apples-to-apples comparison due to some mouse and service plan
    selection differences, but you can
    | see the pricing of each item for each plan. Item prices vary and of
    course free monitors aren't
    | really free. As Ben commented above, this marketing approach does not
    provide a 'warm feeling'.
    |
    |
    | Columns 1 & 2 are Home and Home Office, prices from a straight visit
    to dell.com. Column 3 is from
    | the Outrageous Deals link given by Stew. Column 4 is from Small
    Business, from a straight visit to
    | dell.com, with only a 1-year warranty selected.
    |

    Beating a dead horse, a more permanent simple JPG of the spreadsheet can
    now be viewed at
    http://www.pixentral.com/show.php?pic=13uxbW0IZC3m6tHwXMb911ZEDTntJe
    - or -
    http://tinyurl.com/djmza
  12. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    "Cliff Chinaski" <CliffC@nospam.net> wrote in message
    news:X4RKe.5426$rY.646@trndny03...
    > Two days ago I configured two Dimension 9100 systems and put them in my
    > online shopping cart. The system with the features I really wanted came to
    > $1677. I already have a nice monitor, but part of the base package was a
    > 17' CRT which I decided to accept because there was only a $20 reduction
    > for not taking it. I figured I would give it away to a relative or sell
    > it at a garage sale.
    >
    > Today while Googling for something completely unrelated, I stumbled on a
    > Dell page offering Dimension 9100 systems with free monitor upgrades that
    > now included a "19 inch E193FP Analog Flat Panel" and a "17 inch
    > UltrasharpT 1704FPT Digital Flat Panel". Wow, that's much more interesting
    > than a free $20 CRT, so I go back to the Dell site, log on, and open my
    > shopping cart. Immediately two messages flash by saying "system is
    > invalid" or such, and my shopping cart magically is empty. No big deal, I
    > think, it's just a web page screwup and it will only take five minutes to
    > configure another system. Going through the process, I see that the price
    > of every single enhancement I wanted has gone up, a lot. Even the $8
    > operating system backup CD is now $10.
    >
    > Bottom line, my $1677 system is now $1857. If I go for it I'll be stuck
    > with a $200 flat panel screen I don't need instead of a $20 CRT.
    >
    > I think for Dell to do this is sleazy marketing, and bad customer
    > relations. This would be my 4th Dell system, but now I'm not sure I want
    > it.
    >

    The key statement here is "Two days ago I configured two Dimension 9100
    systems and put them in my
    online shopping cart."

    Face it, the sale was over and a new one had started. This is not uncommon
    (especially in product markets as volatile as PC and parts).
    Anyone that has been dealing with PC's for very long knows the rule that 'if
    you are wait for the best deal, you will never get it!'
  13. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    "PC Medic" <not@home.com> wrote in message
    news:KeHLe.1046$Ix4.935@okepread03...
    >
    > The key statement here is "Two days ago I configured two Dimension
    > 9100 systems and put them in my
    > online shopping cart."
    >
    > Face it, the sale was over and a new one had started. This is not
    > uncommon (especially in product markets as volatile as PC and parts).
    > Anyone that has been dealing with PC's for very long knows the rule
    > that 'if you are wait for the best deal, you will never get it!'
    >
    >

    I haven't called Dell yet so this point may turn out to be moot, but
    when my local supermarket has a sale on pork and beans, their flier is
    careful to state "Sale ends Sunday August 7th" to avoid disappointing
    their customers on Monday. Shouldn't Dell have similar standards? I'm
    not looking for the "best" deal, just the one they offered me and that I
    put in my shopping cart on 8/5.
  14. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    "Cliff Chinaski" <CliffC@nospam.net> wrote in message
    news:8TJLe.553$xl.107@trndny02...
    >
    > "PC Medic" <not@home.com> wrote in message
    > news:KeHLe.1046$Ix4.935@okepread03...
    >>
    >> The key statement here is "Two days ago I configured two Dimension 9100
    >> systems and put them in my
    >> online shopping cart."
    >>
    >> Face it, the sale was over and a new one had started. This is not
    >> uncommon (especially in product markets as volatile as PC and parts).
    >> Anyone that has been dealing with PC's for very long knows the rule that
    >> 'if you are wait for the best deal, you will never get it!'
    >>
    >>
    >
    > I haven't called Dell yet so this point may turn out to be moot, but when
    > my local supermarket has a sale on pork and beans, their flier is careful
    > to state "Sale ends Sunday August 7th" to avoid disappointing their
    > customers on Monday. Shouldn't Dell have similar standards?

    Yes, and they do.
    Click on the offer details link or check the fine print at the bottom of the
    page. This in any case I have ever seen on Dells page always indicates the
    FROM/TO dates of the particular price point.

    > I'm not looking for the "best" deal, just the one they offered me and
    > that I put in my shopping cart on 8/5.

    You got the one they offered and you put in your shopping cart. What you
    were looking to do is add the flat panel for free on the already discounted
    order. This usually can not be done and your option would be to cancel the
    original order and re-submit a new order under the new pricing. Keep in mind
    that just like any place else, this may not result in the better deal.
  15. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    "Cliff Chinaski" <CliffC@nospam.net> wrote in message
    news:8TJLe.553$xl.107@trndny02...
    >
    > "PC Medic" <not@home.com> wrote in message
    > news:KeHLe.1046$Ix4.935@okepread03...
    >>
    >> The key statement here is "Two days ago I configured two Dimension 9100
    >> systems and put them in my
    >> online shopping cart."
    >>
    >> Face it, the sale was over and a new one had started. This is not
    >> uncommon (especially in product markets as volatile as PC and parts).
    >> Anyone that has been dealing with PC's for very long knows the rule that
    >> 'if you are wait for the best deal, you will never get it!'
    >>
    >>
    >
    > I haven't called Dell yet so this point may turn out to be moot, but when
    > my local supermarket has a sale on pork and beans, their flier is careful
    > to state "Sale ends Sunday August 7th" to avoid disappointing their
    > customers on Monday. Shouldn't Dell have similar standards? I'm not
    > looking for the "best" deal, just the one they offered me and that I put
    > in my shopping cart on 8/5.
    >

    OK, continuing with your analogy, you go to the grocery on the 5th, put the
    asparagus that is on sale into your cart and then leave for a couple days.
    Do you expect that it will be waiting for you if you go back on the 7th?

    And all the Dell sales DO state the expiration date. They're very clear
    about that. Just go look at any offer on their site.

    Tom
  16. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    >
    > And all the Dell sales DO state the expiration date. They're very
    > clear about that. Just go look at any offer on their site.
    >

    True, if I come in by the "Outrageous Deals" link
    http://www1.us.dell.com/content/products/features.aspx/outrageous_desktops?c=us&cs=04&l=en&s=bsd
    given by Stew above, each of the 4 deals displayed clearly highlights an
    expiration date, for example today each is 08/14/05.
    BUT, if I enter as I did last week via:
    www.dell.com
    >Home & Home Office
    >Desktops
    >Dimension 9100
    and select (for example) the 1st system shown,
    then just 'add to cart' to keep the example simple, there is no
    indication of any offer expiration date anywhere along the way.

    My shopping cart was automatically emptied when I reopened it - I never
    had a chance to make any changes, and I don't think Dell could have read
    my mind. All I'm saying, as I did in my original post, is that it's a
    dirty trick for Dell to remove from a customer shopping cart an order
    that never indicated, anywhere along the ordering path, that it had an
    expiration date.

    I'm spending too much time on this subject, so let's just leave it at
    that.
  17. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    "Cliff Chinaski" <CliffC@nospam.net> wrote in message
    news:EhMLe.584$286.168@trndny09...
    > >
    >> And all the Dell sales DO state the expiration date. They're very clear
    >> about that. Just go look at any offer on their site.
    >>
    >
    > True, if I come in by the "Outrageous Deals" link
    > http://www1.us.dell.com/content/products/features.aspx/outrageous_desktops?c=us&cs=04&l=en&s=bsd
    > given by Stew above, each of the 4 deals displayed clearly highlights an
    > expiration date, for example today each is 08/14/05.
    > BUT, if I enter as I did last week via:
    > www.dell.com
    >>Home & Home Office
    >>Desktops
    >>Dimension 9100
    > and select (for example) the 1st system shown,
    > then just 'add to cart' to keep the example simple, there is no indication
    > of any offer expiration date anywhere along the way.
    >
    > My shopping cart was automatically emptied when I reopened it - I never
    > had a chance to make any changes, and I don't think Dell could have read
    > my mind. All I'm saying, as I did in my original post, is that it's a
    > dirty trick for Dell to remove from a customer shopping cart an order that
    > never indicated, anywhere along the ordering path, that it had an
    > expiration date.
    >
    > I'm spending too much time on this subject, so let's just leave it at
    > that.
    >
    >

    Oh please. Did you expect it to last forever?
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