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Dell knowingly shipped millions of defective computers?

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Are we really that surprised? Anybody that's done PC support in the last 10 years has known there were major quality problems with certain Dell products. My company has strongly advised against buying any Dell PCs since Sept/Oct 2003 because of widespread reliability and service support problems we were seeing at our client's sites.

I think I have an idea of what might have happened...

1) Dell went public with an IPO in 1988.

2) Dell made the Fortune 500 in 1992 at which point Wall Street started paying closer attention.

3) Since so much of their market value is now determined by stock analysts, business decisions are being made with an eye towards placating the investment community rather than doing what's right for their customers.

From my experience watching "high growth" tech companies, seeing something like this happen at Dell was only a matter of time. Sooner or later, most public companies resort to playing ill-advised 'games' to keep their valuations up.

If there is a surprise anywhere on this mess, it's just how egregious a violation of customer trust Dell's actions were.

Oh well...I guess it's all over - except for the lawsuits and potential criminal charges.

Like Vonnegut said: So it goes.  8)

This happens when a company becomes too big and hubris sets in.

Lawsuits are not a deterrent as following a lawsuit takes money and at the end is the lawyers that win big. Instead there should be laws that criminalize when people knowingly sell faulty equipment without first disclosing it to the buying party.

There are far too many CEO's out-there that are far more criminal than any person in jail. (BP execs come to mind)

^There are such laws.

Unfortunately (at least in the USA) private citizens cannot force the government to pusue criminal investigations.  They can only file charges and ask that they do. And even if there Is an investigation, it's up to the Prosecutor's office to decide when or even if a case will be brought to court.

If the governent declines to investigate or prosecute then your only recourse is a civil suit. 

You can buy a Dell (or HP or Gateway or Acer or....) cheaper than it would typically cost you to build your own PC.

Typically users who build their own PCs use high quality components.

I leave it to the reader to read between the lines and come to one's own conclusions.

Well crud, I was thinking the Dell Studio 17 laptop was looking pretty good, but this thread has only added to my serious doubts.  Evidently the overheating/fan issue mentioned by J-Mac is a continuing problem which persists on several models.

I had *thought* when Michael Dell took over the reigns a few years ago he would steer the company back on course. But it sure seems the ship is still sinking. :( It's just one lawsuit after another.


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