Dell Settles Misleading Financing Complaints

PC buyers who complained that Dell Inc. misled them about financing and service will be reimbursed for their trouble. The company will pay $3.85 million to at least 46 states that filed complaints on behalf of consumers.

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

And let's go back now to the United States, where Dell has agreed to pay nearly $4 million. This $4 million is to settle claims by consumers. The accusation is that Dell misled consumers about financing and service offers. Here's NPR's Jim Zarroli.

JIM ZARROLI: The money will go to reimburse consumers who say they were misled by Dell, and to individual states to pay their legal costs. The settlement was announced by Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, but multiple states signed onto it. Blumenthal said Dell had been guilty of bait-and-switch tactics. He said Dell had promised zero percent financing to customers who nevertheless had to pay high interest rates and fees. State officials also said some consumers had trouble getting warranty service or didn't receive rebates.

Dell said yesterday that it was pleased by the prompt and reasonable settlement. A spokesman said the number of consumer complaints represented only a very small percentage of the tens of millions of consumer transactions that Dell was involved with. But the company did agree to provide customers with more information about financing, and to fulfill its warranty obligations. Consumers who believe they were misled by Dell are supposed to file claims with their respective states within 90 days. Jim Zarroli, NPR News, New York.

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