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Attorneys General, Dell Reach $3.35 Million Settlement

CONTACT: Elliot Burg, Assistant Attorney General, (802) 828-2153

January 12, 2009 - Vermont is a participating member in a 27-state settlement that has been reached with the computer company Dell, Inc., and its financing arm, Dell Financial, LLC, which will resolve consumer complaints about financing promotions, rebate offers, technical support and repair policies. The settlement addresses Dell’s advertising, warranty and complaint-handling practices, and requires the payment of $3.35 million to consumers and the states. The State of Vermont will receive $40,540 of that amount, plus its share of any funds not refunded to consumers. Commenting on the case, Vermont Attorney General William H. Sorrell noted that his office has received over 140 complaints against Dell since 2002; he hailed the settlement as a way of “getting Dell back on track in its dealings with consumers.”

Under the agreement, Dell will pay up to $1.5 million in restitution to eligible consumers. Vermont consumers may be eligible for a payment from Dell if (1) they file a claim with the Attorney General’s Office no later than April 13, 2009, (2) regarding a Dell purchase made between April 1, 2005, and January 12, 2009, and (3) the consumer had an out-of-pocket loss stemming from any of the following problems:

  • A problem with a Dell financing offer
  • A problem with a Dell rebate
  • A problem with Dell financing
  • A problem with a Dell repair, warranty, or servicing.

The Attorney General’s Office will make a determination of the validity of each claim. Eligible consumers who have already filed complaints with the Attorney General’s Office after March 2005 will be mailed a claim form. Consumers who have already received a payment for their claim are not eligible under this program. The amount of consumer payments will depend on the number of eligible recipients and the total amount claimed. Claim instructions are available online along with an FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) sheet.

Under the settlement, Dell also will have to provide key disclosures on promotional financing offers; fulfill its warranty obligations within 30 days of the date of notification or receipt of the defective product; expedite rebate claims; provide consumers with a right to cancel orders made with a Dell Credit Account; and substantiate any claims made about the quality of its customer service.

  Website consulting provided by The National Association of Attorneys General.