20 June 2007

Dell Refuses a Sale

At a non-profit, someone decided a new Dellbuntu would be a good computer for their next purchase. When the person called to order it, though, Dell refused to sell it. They said only home users can buy it, and they won't take a tax-exempt business credit card from a home-user. Apparently businesses can only buy the much more expensive Red Hat workstations or Windows Vista workstations. Check out this thread for the story. Also, Digg it. Maybe they'll change their policy if a big deal is made. Finally, vote for it on IdeaStorm. Why would Dell do this? No, it is NOT because of tech support. That has been suggested, and it cannot be right because Dell doesn't do any tech support on the Ubuntu boxes. Canonical does it. This just means they have less possible customers, and that's absolutely stupid. "I want to sell a bunch of computers to make money, but not to anyone who has enough money to buy a lot of computers," is the attitude they're displaying (yes, the limit is 5 boxes for a home user see: IdeaStorm). That's one way NOT to make money.

Again, I find myself recommending System76 over Dell. I would really like to be able to endorse Dell to show that Linux is worthwhile for OEMs, but it's not working. A while back, I compared Dell and System76 prices. The System76 was about $100 more than the Dell, and I mentioned that with Dell if you kept Windows, there's more costs associated with that (since the average user doesn't know about OpenOffice.org or free anti-viruses), and if you removed Windows in favor of Linux you'd lose tech support with Dell. One thing I just noticed is that System76 includes a 1 year warranty with 1 year free tech support (and tech support is extended with the warranty, so if you up the warranty to 3 years, you get 3 years of tech support). If you get a Dell and want a year of tech support, you're paying Canonical over $200. I guess that makes the System76 cheaper by over $100. So, no, it doesn't show the big players in the game like HP and Gateway that Linux is worth their while if you get a System76 instead of a Dellbuntu, but it does help a small company grow. And hey, if System76 gets bigger as a Linux-only retailer, that'll be better proof to the other big companies that Linux is worthwhile than if Dell just supplements their Windows-based income with a few Linux-based computer sales.


7 comments:

Cheesy Bread said...

I just ordered a Dellbuntu, but more and more I'm starting to regret it... I've primarily been a Windows user the last few years, but I'm starting to get more and more into Linux, so I thought it would be a good idea. Anyways, I have been reading your blog for some time now, and I really like it. Take a look at my blog at http://techappy.blogspot.com/ and if you like it, drop me a comment and let me know. If you want, I'll add a link to you on my blog. Let me know. Thanks!

Jack said...

Hmmm. This could just be another case of an uninformed Dell employee. I seriously hope that is the case again - just like their accidentally drop of the extended warranty.

Michael Siegel said...

Hmmmm. Now, I wonder why they'd do that...to keep M$ from retaliating?

Darn, and I thought I was doing good in my very recent order of a Dellbuntu....

RichardatDELL said...

Hi Mckenzie,
thanks for the perspective you offer and I understand some of your concerns. You might find the perspective of this blogger a little different and I have also offered some comments. The link is here:
http://nosrednaekim.wordpress.com/2007/06/21/dirty-dell-or-deliverer-dell/#respond

We are working on solving the issue with the customer you mentioned.

We also DO offer several enterprise-ready options for business users.

With respect to small business and global availability, let we say we are currently focused on delivering what we have promised in terms of Ubuntu....More news to come as we see how things shape up

Nathan said...

I came so close to getting a Dell machine pre-loaded with Ubuntu...and while I'm glad they made the move to offer these computers, I'm also glad that I went with MadTux instead. They specialize in budget computers with pretty much whatever distro you want pre-installed, and their customer service was GREAT.

Mackenzie said...

Thanks. I've added a link to MadTux on the links bar on the left.

Bobby Butane said...

I'm just glad that they are offering more choice for Ubuntu supporters to choose form now.