Report: Dell Sold 12M Faulty PCs, Deceived Customers

Dennis Faas's picture

Papers used in a court case against Dell Computer have revealed that the PC maker sold millions of computers with parts it knew were faulty. According to the New York Times, the 'OptiPlex' PCs in question were sold between 2003 and 2005, most of them going to schools, major corporations like Wal-Mart or Wells Fargo, and well-known groups like the Mayo Clinic.

Reports say an internal study revealed that the OptiPlex line was structurally weak, with expectations being hardware problems would afflict an estimated 97 per cent of all units over a three year period. (Source:

Dell Coached Employees on Motherboard Flaw

Rather than confront the issue and maintain a reputation for selling dependable PCs, Dell skirted the issue. Court documents indicate that the company tried to hide the hardware issues, which included faulty capacitors on motherboards. The company reportedly told its customer support representatives to "avoid all language" that might suggest there were any problems with the parts.

In fact, court documents show many Dell employees were discouraged from sharing information "proactively" when it came to the OptiPlex issues, being told that they should act as if they weren't aware of any problems with motherboards. (Source:

Dell Initiates Damage Control

Dell reportedly reserved $300 million in 2005 to help fix the problem, but this did not stop Internet services company AIT from launching a lawsuit. The media has speculated for years as to what was behind the suit, and only this month have documents been made available to the public.

Dell has been careful in handling the news, making sure consumers know the problems don't affect current PC models. "The AIT lawsuit does not involve any current Dell products. Dell is responsive to customer issues and we continue to remain focused on our customers, their needs, and our growing record of superior customer service," the company said. (Source:

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