Dell makes contracts fairer to consumersComputer giant makes agreements more transparent

07 July 2006

 

Computer giant Dell has agreed to change its terms and conditions to make to it clearer what consumers are buying.

The move comes after the (OFT) said it had identified a number of terms that it considered to be inconsistent with the requirements of the relevant legislation and therefore unsuitable for use in consumer contracts.

The online IT retailer said it will now improve the transparency of its agreements with consumers and take steps to address the OFT's concerns.

This will see Dell separate its consumer and business terms, and change the small print which had limited the company's liability. It will also remove some of the 'unreasonable' obligations it placed on consumers trying to return a faulty product.

Christine Wade, OFT Director of Consumer Regulation Enforcement said: 'Distance selling, be that by mail, phone or the internet, does not exclude businesses from ensuring their contracts are fair to consumers and compatible with the law.

Hundreds of complaints

'I'm pleased that Dell has worked with the OFT to modify important aspects of its terms and conditions, such as those relating to time of delivery and liability for faulty goods, in the light of the OFT's concerns.'

From March 2005 to March 2006, Computing Which? logged 576 complaints from members about technology retailers.

The magazine has investigated the tricks that these companies get up to. They include denying responsibility for faulty goods, telling customers to pay for repairs, refusing refunds, misleading sales assistants and not listening to complaints

Jessica Ross, Computing Which Editor? said: 'There are a variety of ways that technology retailers are able to sidestep their responsibility to consumers. Of the complaints received about technology retailers Dell came up as the worst offender, so we appreciate any work with the OFT to improve the consumers' position.

'Computing Which? welcomes the decision by Dell to change its terms and conditions to make them fairer to consumers.'