MADIGAN, 33 AGs REACH AGREEMENT WITH DELL RESOLVING DECEPTIVE PRACTICE CLAIMS
Dell to Pay $3.35 Million to Refund Consumers, States for Misleading Promotions
Chicago - Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced a $3.35 million multistate agreement with Dell, Inc., that settles allegations the computer manufacturer used deceptive financing and warranty practices.
The settlement concludes an investigation into the company's allegedly deceptive financing promotions, in which Dell promised consumers zero-percent financing and then charged them higher interest rates. Consumers also complained that they never received promised rebates and experienced difficulty obtaining warranty service on their Dell computers.
"This agreement is intended to help consumers who were harmed by Dell's conduct and ensure that Dell will change its financing and warranty practices," Madigan said. "I urge customers to contact my Consumer Fraud Bureau if they have purchased a Dell product or experienced problems with financing and want to determine if they are eligible for restitution as part of this agreement."
As part of this agreement, the Texas-based manufacturer and its subsidiary, Dell Financial Services, LLC, will pay $1.5 million in restitution to eligible consumers who mail claims by April 13 to the Attorney General's Consumer Fraud Bureau. Consumers can download a claim form from the Attorney General's Web site (www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov) or call the Consumer Fraud Hotline at 1-800-386-5438 for more information.
Consumers may be eligible for restitution (1) if they file a claim with the Attorney General's office within 90 days of today's date and concerning a Dell purchase made between April 1, 2005, and today or (2) if the company owes them money. Eligible consumers who already filed complaints with the Attorney General's Office after April 2005 will receive claim forms in the mail. The company also agreed to pay $1.85 million to the states for reimbursement of legal costs. Illinois will receive $75,000.
Importantly, as part of this settlement, Dell also agreed to make significant changes in the way it handles financing and warranties. Specifically, Dell agrees to:
FINANCING AND CREDIT OFFERS
WARRANTIES AND SERVICES
ADDITIONAL PROCEDURES AND POLICIES
The following states also participated in the settlement, which was led by Connecticut and Washington: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia, Vermont and Wisconsin.