A New York judge has ruled that Dell and Dell Financial Services engaged in fraud, false advertising, deceptive business practices and abusive debt collection, reports Reuters.
The judge ordered Dell to make plain to customers that most people don't qualify for free financing or get "next day" repair service, contrary to claims in attractive promotions offered to "well qualified" or "best qualified" customers.
The Associated Press, in a story in The New York Times, quotes the state's attorney general, Andrew M. Cuomo, as saying:
For too long at Dell, the promise of customer service was a bait and switch that left thousands of people paying for essentially no service at all.
Cuomo sued Dell last year. He had 700 complaints against Dell when the lawsuit was filed in May 2007 and has received more than 1,000 since, the Times story says.
Dell spokesman Jess Blackburn told the Times that Dell disagrees with the judge's decision, but has not decided whether it will appeal. Further hearings will be held to determine any further restitution Dell must make to consumers.