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Dell Cheating on the Direct-Sales Model? 116

Posted by Zonk
from the i-won't-tell-if-you-won't dept.
capt turnpike writes "Despite its CEO saying that the direct model is the company's 'religion', according to eWEEK.com, Dell seems to be moving away from direct sales and working with value-added resellers." From the article: "Still, 'they'll never admit it or make [the channel] a formal program,' said one analyst who asked not to be identified. 'If you look at Dell's stock versus HP's, part of the difference has to do with Dell's reputation for owning the customer. There's a sense they own the entire margin and have higher profits because they sell directly. It makes them appear more valuable to Wall Street.'"
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Dell Cheating on the Direct-Sales Model?

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    They even beat Dell's direct sales price. Even espite the fact that Dell was cutting the price some for us because we were buying a lot of stuff.
    • They even beat Dell's direct sales price

      Basically, Zones is a Direct customer of Dell. Zones "buys" a crapload (technical term) more servers than you do, earning a bigger discount. they can then resell them to you for a small markup and still make money. This can save you a few bucks, but in my experience always complicates thing to the point of silliness and can cost more in the long run.

      Now, if you getting them as a true VAR (folks installing Exchange on them for you, etc), that could work out well

  • by Anonymous Coward
    The Dell model based on the "all capital gains, no dividends" business practice pioneered in the 1980s in Silicon Valley is 0xDEADBEEF.

    Companies like HP, IBM and Microsoft survive because they offer dividends to their investors. People get real returns: real money back quarterly that they do what they want with. Silicon Valley investors, on the other hand, are playing musical chairs and the winners are the managers of the companies who can time their exits exquisitely and dump their stock on the hapless,
    • by AuMatar (183847) on Thursday May 11, 2006 @02:24PM (#15310707)
      Remove MS from that list- MS didn't pay dividends until a year or so ago. I'm not sure if they still do.
      • I'm not sure if they still do

        Microsoft still pays out a $0.08 quarterly dividend. I am not a MSFT shareholder, but I found out in about 1 minute of searching. For those who would like to know, go to finance.yahoo.com [yahoo.com] and type in "MSFT", click on "SEC Filings", click on the full filing for the latest quarterly report, hit ctrl-f, type in dividend. You see that they declared a dividend on March 27, 2006 payable on June 8, 2006, and have been paying a regular dividend since July 20, 2004.

    • by syphax (189065) on Thursday May 11, 2006 @02:29PM (#15310767) Journal
      The Dell model based on the "all capital gains, no dividends" business practice pioneered in the 1980s in Silicon Valley is 0xDEADBEEF.

      I think that you are sort of right, but only accidentally. I'm talking a little out of my zone, but I think this is right (and Investopedia seems to agree [investopedia.com].

      If a company is confident that it can take a dollar of profit, invest it in its own operations, and yield a return substantially higher than an investor could by receiving that dollar as a dividend and investing it somewhere else (accouting for risk, task implications and such), the investor is better off if the company re-invests that dollar (which would ultimately lead to a more valuable company and thus capital gains). If a company is mature and/or can't generate a lot of incremental profits from re-investing that dollar, it should kick it out to the shareholders, and let them figure out how to allocate it.

      So as Dell's growth slows down [yahoo.com], it's ability to generate more profit through re-investment of profits diminishes (yes, it's a lot more complicated than that). So the logic dictating retaining profits vs. paying out dividends may very well change- let's see what Dell does.
      • That was the signal they were sending, but most of the retained profits at especially Microsoft and Intel, wasn't reinvested in the business (it wasn't needed). It was stockpiled in low return bonds and cash instruments. I'm not sure if they could have sold the growth story as well if they were returning all the excess cash they generated through the years.
        Basic business logic was developed when factories produced physical items not ideas. MS sales of windows XP don't depend on a huge factory that nee
    • Here's a multiple choice test:

      1: Which one of the following people advocates firms paying dividends?

      a) This A.C. poster
      b) Warren Buffet

      2: Which one of the following people has a greater net worth?

      a) This A.C. poster
      b) Warren Buffet

      All in all, it pretty much speaks for itself.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 11, 2006 @02:15PM (#15310623)
    "What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders."
    (Oct. 6, 1997)
    • But instead, Steve Jobs decided to invest in innovation, think outside the "dull little box" and re-imagine the music distribution industry.

      That in turn drove the value of AAPL (market capitalization) above that of DELL.
  • by JSBiff (87824) on Thursday May 11, 2006 @02:17PM (#15310640) Journal
    I just bought a new Dell LCD monitor through a reseller. I woulda been happy to buy it through Dell, but it was actually *cheaper* buying it from a reseller, go figure.
    • That isn't exactly what Dell is saying. Anybody can go out and buy things from Dell and turn around and resell them to make money. Most likely, this guy bought a large volume of monitors from Dell, therefore got a large discount, and then sold one to you charging less than Dell, but more than he paid for himself. This is not the same as Dell hiring the guy to sell his product. Gateway on the other hand, has a deal with best buy to sell their computers in their retail stores.
    • I use Dell Higher Education (I work at a University) and they will match any other price from a Dell reseller, or another Dell department (Small Business, Home) if you want to buy directly from them - I do it all the time.
    • You sure it wasnt just someone who bought a bunch of dell LCD's when they were cheap and on heavy discount and then sold it at a small profit?

      The dell LCD's get pretty damn cheap when you have the right set of offers going for you.

      Really though, for their computers, the direct model is really all that dell has going for it. You can buy online and get exactly what you want (though you usually pay tax now) delivered to your door for a decent price. The systems arent the quality they were years ago when

    • A Company I worked with bought dell pcs via a reseller (refurbed) like this way before, would i buy a dell pc (with microsoft tax) no.

      Dell pcs where ok, its paying the Dell 'Billy Tax' that I'd rather not pay that or $100 to put it in a box f**k off.

      Thats when a reseller has influnece - web pricing might be good for 1 off suckas, but multiple boxes its plain dumb. While I dont respond to bribes there are reseller out there who had to bribe government it employees with ps2's/xbox sort of thing to sell

  • the future? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by VoxCombo (782935) on Thursday May 11, 2006 @02:22PM (#15310694)
    Dell's supply chain model was so innovative when it was introduced, but that competitive advantage won't last forever.

    This new "secret" channel may be their way of testing a new innovative model.
    • To say it another way, cutting out the middle man is an obvious benefit that Dell was just the first to be able to do. Some of the older companies had various agreements and contracts with those middle men preventing them from doing the obvious.

      Time has passed and now everyone can offer direct sales. There has never been a time when all "middle men" were all useless pure-resellers. Often they value add, often they hit markets that the mfg can't reach. This is particularly true for corporate accounts. Dell u
      • The problem that Dell built a certain level of marketshare on the direct model, but ran out of room to grow. Large companies & government like the "full service" offerings like IBM, HP, etc provide... so to get that 20% of the market, Dell had to hire corporate salesforces and partner with VARs.

        Since Dell's inflated stock price is based on growth, they're kinda fucked, just like Microsoft.
  • by raitchison (734047) <robert@aitchison.org> on Thursday May 11, 2006 @02:24PM (#15310702) Homepage Journal
    This is nothing new, Dell has always been willing to go through resellers even in the 1990s. There are bsiness customers who have exclusive arrangements with VARs but still want to buy Dell. The solution is for the VAR to buy and resell the Dells, though typically the price was a little more after the VAR added in a percent or two for their troubles.
    • ... though typically the price was a little more after the VAR added in a percent or two for their troubles

      We have been a Dell shop for years. We've watched the quality of their support fall, and even ordering equipment can be a chore at times. But it's helpful to have a lot of hardware under one service agreement (the devil you know, etc.) We have been buying odd peripherals and software from a VAR, who recently told us they could process Dell orders for us as well. We were stunned - someone else deals
  • by i am kman (972584) on Thursday May 11, 2006 @02:26PM (#15310729)
    VAR used to mean you repackaged software and hardware and sold a more complete solution. These days, HW is often bid as a commodity line item so HW VARS often simply provide the HW as a convenience to their clients. Clients know Dell's prices and that's what they expect to pay so Dell's just using this channel as an extended sales force into clients that would've bought direct anyway - who cares?

    In fact, they're successful with this model precisely because they're direct channel models is so successful. With our customers, they often specifically request Dell computers and they generally know exactly how much they cost.
    • With our customers, they often specifically request Dell computers and they generally know exactly how much they cost.

      I thought Dell's pricing varied quite a bit, depending on which division of Dell you bought the unit from, by the day of week, by the volume sold on a large order and what other discounts you've managed to fenagle.
    • Having worked in Dell's VAR division, I can attest to the fact that very few VARs actually add any kind of 'value'. Worse, it doesn't even take much to be approved as a Dell VAR - just a signed agreement that you won't export product, sell to large Dell accounts, and that you will disclose the enduser every time you order. VAR division sales people generally have larger discretionary discounting power on the non-entry level lines; it's just a matter of finding the salesperson who will give you the price you
    • by RelliK (4466)
      Easy. Say before the VAR got involved the system cost $1000. VAR sells it for $1200. That $200 is uhhh.... "added value". See how it works?
    • It ran off with the O in OEM.
  • Dell has the "Direct Marketing" - and may not sell in stores... but they do have resellers: System Integrators, or Consulting firms that sign up with Dell receive something like 10-15% discound on product purchases.

    Company: I want a Dell XYZ for $1500
    Integrator: ($1500 x .13 = $$$ - $30 to actually order it = Happy Smile ;)
    Integrator: No Problem, we should order it by tomorrow.

    Plus, the Integrator/consultant that actually signs up with dell usually gets to avoid the script-monkey level of Tech Support.
    • I'm a sysadmin and if you're a company buying direct from Dell, you skip the Level 1 support. I don't like dell's "home" product line, but their "enterprise" line is pretty nice. They keep everything standard, so I've been able to run any linux I've wanted on them.
    • by a_nonamiss (743253) on Thursday May 11, 2006 @04:21PM (#15311977)
      something like 10-15% discound

      We used to move about $40k-$60k a year in Dell hardware (not huge, but not too bad for a small firm) and we got a whopping 3% discount. Not even close to enough money to cover my time spent jumping through the stupid hoops that Dell made us go through to be a VAR. Also, my "dedicated sales rep" treated us like crap. I mean, really bad. (He once told me "You don't move enough product to warrant my time right now. I'll call you next week when I'm not busy.") I know he probably gets six figure deals and we were peons to him, but honestly, with the way he treated us, I had no incentive to sell more of their merchandise. The $50k was only when people specifically asked for Dell hardware. Towards the end I stopped recommending it altogether, then we switched to other hardware providers. If my story is typical, then I can see whey Dell is sliding.
      • Because they switch the help desk outsourcer every time the outsourcer figures out how to correctly shortcut the script.

        EG: Dell sets up Latitude markX support in ???? with outsourcer. Outsourcer knows shit about the product & uses script extensively. Customers start complaining that support sucks (which it does). After six months of this two things happen: 1) Outsourcer has memorized the script & can shortcut it (this means better TS). 2) Dell (likely not liking the repair rate going up) states
      • So who are you going through now? For us hardware sales arn't a profit center, just a convienence to customers who are buying other services and frankly buying through Dell is a PITA. Unfortunately most of the other folks we've used have had inconsistant build quality.
      • You should have called that asshole's manager and told him you wanted a different rep. The Dell reps work on a funny commision system, but it's still based on what they sell.
  • by klubar (591384) on Thursday May 11, 2006 @02:28PM (#15310759) Homepage
    I've occasionally found good prices on Dell equipment (including laptops and monitors) at both Costco online and in the Costco stores. Their prices are often 15 to 25% lower than Dell direct (but probably still more than the lowest Dell corporate sales prices).

    Of course, no custom configurations...but the product does ship directly from Dell with Dell warranties.

    For some reason, Apple seems to dump EOL equipment thru Costco too.
  • build your own (Score:1, Interesting)

    by celardore (844933)
    I think that it should be basic high school education to learn to build a PC. Heck, the course would probably only take a week and would be useful for some time.
    I taught myself to build computers, and I look upon it like a jigsaw puzzle for 5+ year olds. It's very hard to do something wrong. And there's only one piece (usually) for one hole. (Save for the tough processor clips)

    Granted building your own box still takes more time than just taking one out of the store, but it's only like an afternoon if
    • Re:build your own (Score:3, Informative)

      by realmolo (574068)
      Blah blah blah.

      Building your own PCs isn't any great skill. Anyone can do it. But there's really no REASON to do it. It's *cheaper* to buy the pre-built machine from Dell. Building your own PC almost never saves you any money, and hasn't for years. Seriously, can YOU build a complete PC, with a monitor and a legit copy of Windows, for $400?

      Now, once you start spendig BIG BUCKS on a PC, then it can be cheaper to build your own. Sometimes.

      • The reason to build your own PC is choice, not about saving money - you get to pick each and every component that goes into the machine, and you end up with exactly the machine you want, rather than having to select from a limited list of options. The result is a machine that meets your needs much more closely than a pre-built machine, and that translates to a machine that is a great value.

      • I don't need any of these:

        keyboard
        mouse
        monitor
        speakers
        crappy sound card
        crappy onboard ethernet
        crappy custom case and power supply

        I don't need 3/4 of their 'system'. I either have good components and just need a new 'cpu' (mobo, cpu, ram, maybe case+ps). but buying dell often means a lower quality video card and all the rest.

        in the end, its MORE expensive to buy their stuff. unless you are starting entirely from scratch and have no components at all to start with.
      • It's my hobby, I enjoy doing it. I enjoy sifting between the different graphics cards etc that I could buy and install. Sure if it wasn't my hobby and I simply used my computer for something else then I would buy a Dell (or something else).

        Is it so wrong to enjoy assembling computers? It is, after all, grown up Lego with higher stakes for when you get it wrong...
      • To sister comments, the above post isn't about you building your own system because you enjoy it. And honestly, kids, the value-added reseller game isn't about selling quality parts anymore, either.

        This isn't a scandal on Dell's part; they've made their bed (creating the idea that a low- to mid-range computer should be as cheap as you can get them from Dell), and now they're turning tricks in it (whoring their cheap low- to mid-range computers to VARs), because it makes sense for them (they sell more compu
      • I bought a relatively high end (at the time) gaming PC from ABS Computers [abs.com] (December 2004).

        I spent $2600.00 on it. I've glanced at the price of individual parts (at their parent company which happens to be the geek shopping haven known as Newegg.com) [newegg.com] and based on my preliminary findings, yes I could indeed have gotten the parts for less money than what I paid having them put in a PC they built for me.

        For example, I noticed my video card (NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT) was about $80.00 less at Newegg. But here's
    • It's not a troll, but it's offtopic. Anyway yes, computers are easy to build but they don't come with support. Unless you have the troubleshooting skills (which you may need during your first start-up if you have bad components, or driver problems) you should not build a PC, you should buy one, from someone like Dell.

      Also, the fact that computers are easy to assemble is a new phenomenon. Before ATX you could hook your power cables up wrong and fry everything in your system. These days, as long as you pu

    • Re:build your own (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      In the 90's and maybe even the early 00's you could build your own machine cheaper, but I no longer believe this to be true. Lately I've found that it would cost me about the same amount of $$ to build a PC versus buying one from Dell. Especially when you're bundling monitors and such, there is no possible way to save hundreds of dollars rolling your own, sorry.

      Also, it's one thing to be able to assemble a computer from commoditized parts, but it's often a whole another thing to be able to get the parts w
      • In the 90's and maybe even the early 00's you could build your own machine cheaper, but I no longer believe this to be true. Lately I've found that it would cost me about the same amount of $$ to build a PC versus buying one from Dell. Especially when you're bundling monitors and such, there is no possible way to save hundreds of dollars rolling your own, sorry.

        It's pretty much true that you can take any random Dell, and so long as it isn't a high end machine, the comprable machine built out of components i
    • Assembling the computer is simple; slide in, screw in, lock in, snap in, done.

      It's the remaining part that is hard:
      1) Power up; diagnose any problems that prevent a full boot (bad RAM? bad motherboard? bad BIOS setting? bad HDD? bad ODD?)
      2) Install the OS; diagnose any problems that prevent a full install (motherboard drivers? GPU drivers? drive controller drivers?)
      3) Boot the OS; diagnose any problems that prevent a full boot (bad configuration? out of date drivers? bad component?)
      4) Install additional dri
    • Ahh, you younsters. In my day, when I wanted to build my own computer, I had to get individual ICs, resistors, diodes, capacitors, etc... You have it too easy, just slap a preassembled motherboard in a premade case and poof, a computer.

      Ok, ok, my first computer was actually a Heathkit, all the parts came in bags, and there were detailed instructions and troubleshooting guides. But I know a guy who put together his own Z80 based computer just by reading the spec sheets.
    • it's something I believe should be more commonplace than it is.

      The appliance model, home delivery, no assembly required, service under warranty, is what sells Dell to the middle class.

    • building your own pc is not just some "lets put together some legos and see if it works" kinda thing most of the time. you can go out and hand pick your parts and still run across a bad say...IDE cable and not know why the hell it won't boot. those type of people need to stay away from building and just go to that retail store ...get that HP or Dell and if it breaks...you have a WARRANTY. now parts manufacturers do have there own warranties on there parts but...what common person want's to wait weeks on end
    • Building your own is only proffetable if you do it in the "underground economy". If you have to pay rent on the facility, pay payroll and payroll taxes buy insurance, bussines licenese, pay income tax for the bussines and on your salary and so on and so on then you would find it would be cheaper to simply do all this work in China and deliver compleed units to people here.

      But yes, building one computer might save you money but building 10,000 willl cost you a lot more money. Bussiness don't buy one com

    • Am I allowed to accept defeat on slashdot? Because that's what I'd like to do.

      The posts after mine have given me a different perspective. I'm still for what I said originally, but you do gain a bit of perspective on a site like this.
      I got proved wrong, but gained some insight. Thats enough for me.
  • Feeling the squeeze (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Red Flayer (890720) on Thursday May 11, 2006 @02:32PM (#15310796) Journal
    The growth of the PC Hardware market is slowing. Dell's sales aren't going to increase if they don't get into the retail sales market (particularly as they lose market share to HP etc as mentioned in TFA), and the only way for them to do that effectively is through resellers.

    Anecdotally -- my employer (~90 employees) typically leases computers; at end of lease, we either buy at $1 or return if we have FMV purchase option instead on the computers. Past two years, we've not been leasing new boxes except for the art/design teams who need Macs. Instead, we've been replacing individual boxes as they go.

    We're still getting Dells -- but now getting them through a VAR (Zones and/or PCMall, if you're curious). Since we're not buying 20+ PCs, it's more expensive to go through Dell than through the VARs -- and honestly, more of a PITA, since the VARs bend over backwards for us.

    There are a ton of companies like mine, and Dell would be moronic to not want our business. If Dell needs to sell indirectly to get the business, they'll continue to do so.

    Of note, though, we still buy our service contracts direct from Dell -- and that's where they are making a ton of cash off us. And the poor VARs aren't making anything off us except for when we buy peripherals, since the margin in the boxes is almost zero, and we're going to Dell for the service contracts.
    • Let me start this off with saying I have been buying mail order computer for close to 20 years and have never been a big Dell fan. I disagree with the idea that they are in trouble, Dell has almost trained the guy on the street to pick up the phone and order a Dell when he is shopping for a computer. The price/performance numbers are just too nice, at work we recently purchased a handful of low end notebooks for a our salesmen (Inspiron B120/B130 Celeron 1400, 60 gig HD, 512 Meg Ram, DVD/CDRW drives, etc)
      • Not saying Dell's in trouble -- just saying that the market is no longer growing as fast as it has been. Dell doesn't want to maintain the status quo, they want to increase their sales.
  • Dude... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Churla (936633) on Thursday May 11, 2006 @02:33PM (#15310801)
    Dude... YOU'RE GETTING a sliding percent markdown based on your volume of purchases and need to bundle office software in a corporate environment !!!!!!!!!!!
  • One of the rent-to-own places sells dell computers, i think its Aaron's, they advertise them and they are about double what you should be paying.
    • One of the rent-to-own places sells dell computers, i think its Aaron's, they advertise them and they are about double what you should be paying.

      EVERYTHING at "Rent-to-own" stores is like that. For some reason people find it easier to pay $13/week for two years for a furniture set instead of setting aside the same amount for one year.

      Just another example of the poor being kept poor by lousy decision making skills. Another example is trailer houses that are so cheap to live in, but heating costs $650/

      • I knew someone who lived in a trailer and it wasn't cheap. Between trailer payments and space rental it was more than I paid for a small apartment. This was in Santa Barbara, so heating wasn't a big deal.

        It never made sense to me. It cost more than renting, and after 30 years you have a broken-down worthless trailer that costs $400/mo just to exist.

    • The overall cost of everything at rent-to-own stores is higher. However, they are willing to take a risk on people with no or horrible credit. They offer free delivery. They will repair or replace any items that break. And, if someone should have to return something, the renter can use the money they paid later on for something else. For those who can not get credit any other way, they are a good alternative. When your fridge has died, and you have no other alternatives, they will get it to you ASAP. Like a
    • Try about $3000 bucks for the low-end $499 system Dell offers. It's a shame that people don't realize that if they save the weekly payments for 3 months they could buy direct from Dell the same thing they're paying $40/week for 2 years for.
  • "Don't brand the cattle, brand the buyer; he's the one more likely to stray."
  • Yeah, I got owned (Score:4, Informative)

    by geobeck (924637) on Thursday May 11, 2006 @02:43PM (#15310898) Homepage
    ...part of the difference has to do with Dell's reputation for owning the customer.

    I think they mean pwning.

    Last year, I bought a new Dell workstation for work, the first of several workstations we were going to evaluate to replace our aging machines. Price on website: $1300 and change. But the website was flaky, and I couldn't complete the order. I called, got an "account manager", who took the product numbers I had written down from the website, and we ordered it--only to have the total come to $1400 and change.

    I called back to complain, and the account mangler very rudely refused to do anything to help resolve the situation, boldly lying about one of the options I had purchased as an add-on supposedly being included in the base price. Eventually he said, "I don't know what you expect me to do about this," and wouldn't say anything else.

    Needless to say, today we are an all-HP shop. We have a local reseller who provides excellent on-site service, and who I can reach directly; no IVR, no switchboard; I call my tech directly.

    This site will never buy another unit from Dell.

    • Last year, I bought a new Dell workstation for work, the first of several workstations we were going to evaluate to replace our aging machines. Price on website: $1300 and change. But the website was flaky, and I couldn't complete the order. I called, got an "account manager", who took the product numbers I had written down from the website, and we ordered it--only to have the total come to $1400 and change.

      I ordered a Dell 20" widescreen display; but I missed a deal posted on hotdeals by a few hours, so

    • Needless to say, today we are an all-HP shop. We have a local reseller who provides excellent on-site service, and who I can reach directly; no IVR, no switchboard; I call my tech directly.

      I have HP equipment and can say the same about support.

      HP has the best support staff and excellent equipment (higher end for me).

      I'm a very happy customer, but they make it hard to buy their equipment for some reason, maybe I need to find a reseller?

  • by Wiseleo (15092) on Thursday May 11, 2006 @02:44PM (#15310909) Homepage
    When a customer flashes an ad at you with a $399 (after rebate) system complete with XP Home and a 19" LCD, what can you do?

    My experience with Dell servers is not positive. Call it anecdotal, but I see amber lights on Dell equipment more often than on every other piece of equipment in the datacenter. This is true for Dell shops and mixed shops. This is also true where there are only maybe 2 or 3 servers from Dell in the mix of other stuff.

    Motherboard failures, PERC failures etc...

    When I sell an HP server, I sell something that I can trust. The truth is, however, that corporate desktops are throwaway boxes. I don't care if one of them dies and keep a spare at hand.
    • I'm confused. Are your customers running $399 desktops with XP home in their datacenter?
      • You are not confused.

        Two issues are discussed.

        1. I won't sell Dell servers unless not doing that will cause me to lose a deal. I'll assist my customers to order from Dell, but I don't see a point in having a channel relationship with them like I do with HP. I've talked to enough Dell resellers...
        2. I I have a really hard time selling HP workstations when Dell basically gives away their equipment. Corporate hardware is overkill for most users, so it simply doesn't matter. I have to explain that there are no
    • We have a lot of Dell server hardware and it doesn't seem to fail any more or less often than any of our other equipment. That being said we _never_ buy PERC anymore... we've been burned by it too many times. Software RAID over 3rd party SCSI controllers is plenty fast for most jobs... if its not we go buy RAID offload enclosures from Xyratec or somebody.

      PERC... good hardware plus shitty Dell firmware. What were they thinking?
  • ...they just can't put the Dell logo on the website. If you ever see "Mystery brand Speakers" on Woot sometimes, they're actually Dell speakers. There's just some law/rule/corporate BS preventing them from actually putting the name up there. They can do everything short of that; even in the description, it says "Dude, you're getting speakers!" So Dell's been doing this for at least a year.
  • Not for long... (Score:2, Informative)

    by The Spoonman (634311)
    ...we've put an official decree down that we're not buying their crappy, crappy crap anymore. We finally convinced the higher-ups that when they save a couple of hundred bucks on a server, they lose it all in downtime. Who'dathunk you had to explain money to accountants?
    • Who'dathunk you had to explain money to accountants?
      Actually, that's a pretty common requirement. The job of accountants is to record money flows, and partly because of the antiquated way in which they do that, they're often very bad at understanding the relationships between transactions.
  • here's the problem (Score:3, Insightful)

    by scronline (829910) on Thursday May 11, 2006 @04:28PM (#15312055) Homepage
    When you base a company's "value" on their stock price and not on the product(s) they produce and the service/support they give said products you're making a HUGE mistake and you will probably end up getting fleeced sooner or later.

    Nothing more to really say, I'm sure everyone reading this has had trouble with Dell support by this time.
  • If you look at Dell's stock versus HP's, part of the difference has to do with Dell's reputation for owning the customer. There's a sense they own the entire margin and have higher profits because they sell directly. It makes them appear more valuable to Wall Street.'

    If Wall Street really believes that, then that just shows how stupid Wall Street can be.
    • In a sense, the whole purpose of Wall Street is to be stupid. Analysts encourage herd behavior which creates distortions which the smart people (mostly brokers and other insiders) can profit from. If you read Wall Street analyst reports and take them at face value, you're a mark who's probably already being fleeced. OTOH, if you read the reports and think to yourself "OK, what are all the other marks going to do as a result of this report?", that's a good start towards success in the market.
  • Big vs. Small fish (Score:3, Informative)

    by edlong (457259) on Thursday May 11, 2006 @05:38PM (#15312900)
    If your a small fish, you probably won't get the service you think you deserve from Dell, that's my experience. Now that I spend a few million a year with Dell, while it may not be Dell's biggest account, we get some more attention.

    I hope Dell's listening, because I've been buying Dell personally for a long time and my XP400 while a good machine, didn't come with a restore disk (lame) and had so much 'trialware' running it was killing my performance. I just had to wonder what a non technical person would do. Is it about the price or the customer? IMHO Dell's going to lose market share.

    Here's a good war story, my 5160 laptop USB ports went dead, I think due to a power surge. I called and spoke to 'India' to a very very pleasent person, but couldn't do anything outside of the script. They finally agree to replace the motherboard (after having me check lots of things). I travel a lot, so the local VAR calls me and we make an appt. for 2 weeks out. He calls back and says that he had to return the part because the ticket was open to long per Dell. I had to call Dell support again, and again go through the script, and they wanted me to do every test again (30 minutes). I played along, because I needed my ports and there was that this guy was going to comprehend the situation. After both the Dell calls, they ask, would you talk to a supervisor about your experience. I did both times. But, the second time, I told them the story and I don't think it meant anything to the guy, because it probably didn't impact his pay. I got a 'ok thanks'. (No thank you)

    So Dell had to take two calls at 30+ minutes a pop. Dell mailed the motherboard twice to the VAR and 1 time back to Dell. I had to sit on the Dell support line for an additional 30 minutes, but luckily they gave me another code, the VAR got the motherboard back and he fixed my laptop before I headed on another trip.

    Did Dell save money on that transaction by outsourcing? Probably, but it's short term IMHO

    For more discussion on Dell negativespace2005-Dell at yahoo dot com

  • I stopped buying Dell for several reasons. First let me say Mr. Dell is brilliant and truly did like Mr. Gates build a great company. Dell caved to greed and lost it's "the customer is always right" feel IMHO.
    BTW
    I'm currently dual booting on a Shuttle box that has XP Pro and Red Hat FC5 for 64-bit AMD. The XP Pro is such crap with all of the security patches and Norton that I could get quicker responses out of my old 486 Gateway running OS/2 or Windows 3.1 but enough of that.

    Dell stopped giving me
  • Considering that Dell is a respected name, I was wondering how they could make money selling good PC's. A bit of research revealed that the weak links in a Dell purchase are:

    * Cheap/overpriced video card
    * Cheap/overpriced hard drive
    * Integrated (i.e. cheap) motherboard

    Thus, if you want a Dell with nVidia GeForce 7900, you're going to pay $500 instead of the $400 cost. Same for the hard drive...upgrades to Raptors are more expensive than the price differential. It's all very clever, but it amounts to exto
  • According to TFA:
    'If you look at Dell's stock versus HP's, part of the difference has to do with Dell's reputation for owning the customer. There's a sense they own the entire margin and have higher profits because they sell directly. It makes them appear more valuable to Wall Street.'
    What?
    http://www.google.com/finance?q=HPQ [google.com]
    http://www.google.com/finance?q=DELL [google.com]
    Last time I checked HP's stock is HIGHER than DELL's. What gives?

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