This is more formal than most of my other posts. I'll simply play this one straight.
Dell has reached a settlement agreement with 47 U.S. states related to certain past consumer practices. The initiatives, which were offered up to four years ago, included a no-interest financing plan, next business-day service contracts, warranty services and rebates.
Under the agreement, Dell will pay the 47 states a total of approximately $3.85 million to cover both costs of the investigation and refunds to customers. Dell worked cooperatively with the associated state attorneys-general and their staffs and thanks them for their prompt and reasonable approach to resolving these past issues.
The issues represented only a very small percentage of the tens of millions of Dell consumer transactions in the states during the four-year period. Dell had previously addressed the issues directly with many of the customers involved and many were satisfactorily resolved prior to the states' involvement. Under the settlements, Dell has agreed to additional customer disclosures to make sure that customers are fully informed about its financing and service offers. Some of these changes had been implemented prior to this agreement, and some of the practices at issue are no longer relevant.
Dell's goal is to provide the best customer experience possible. Over the past several years, Dell has invested millions of dollars in customer service and technical support to improve customer experience. Among results of that effort, the company was cited in 2008 as the top provider of customer service among Windows-based PC Makers by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). Dell also has opened several lines of communications, including a Web site called Web site called Ideastorm, Dell's community forums or Direct2Dell for direct customer feedback.