View Full Version : Dell Computer
February 26, 2002, 01:36 PM
I am writing this because I feel every Firearms owner should know this story.
I placed an order for a Dell notebook computer on February 13 on line with Dell. I was given a tentative delivery date of February 21st. I was watching the order through the Dell on line tracking system; I also opted for the automatic email notification of when the machine was to be shipped. Well the 21st came and went, I am a Pistolsmith I know things can happen. I made a phone call on the 25th, did a voice mail message for my salesman to get back to me and I was looking for the delivery date. The 25th came and went with no callback. On the 26th I placed another call this time to cancel the order. After a few hours I got a call back, with this amazing reason for the delay. It seems someone in Dell had already canceled my order, when I asked why I was told Dell was afraid I was going to use the machine for illegal purposes. When I asked why someone would think that I was told it was because of the name of my business “Weigand Combat Handguns Inc.”. Because I am involved in firearms I might be doing something illegal. Now keep in mind I was never called or informed of this decision the order was just canceled. Many of you know me personally and know I run my business about as squeaky clean as possible. In addition being the President of the American Pistolsmiths Guild I am under additional scrutiny as to how I run my business, if I am not clean how can I be the President of an organization that promotes just that! I was informed by a Dell supervisor not long after all of this the reason I was refused was because of their post September 11th policy of screening buyers.
I would like to respectfully ask the firearms community to do the following. If you intended to buy a Dell and because of this letter you do not, email Dell and let them know why. Feel free to distribute this account to all you know in the Firearms community, I think they need to know. I for one am sick and tired of people assuming just because we are involved with firearms that we are doing something illegal. I also do not believe Dell deserves our business if this is how they intend to treat us.
American Pistolsmiths Guild Inc.
February 26, 2002, 01:54 PM
This should be tacked for all to see.
BTW, this is a local to SLC guy, but check him out.
He delivers top service, has top quality products, and besides owning an extremely fast growing computer business he just bought a gunstore and range and rents FA hardware.
Read his customer letters section to get an idea of his quality and service.
I just wish this guy would go public so I could dump money on his stock.
February 26, 2002, 02:00 PM
BTW, he gives a discount to cops, military, and CCW holders.
February 26, 2002, 02:57 PM
Thanks for the heads-up, Jack. I am buying a computer within the next month, and Dell was on my list of "possible, maybe probable". I'll be taking my $1500 elsewhere, and I'll be letting them know why.
February 26, 2002, 05:36 PM
Damn. I've probably sent them $40,000 dollars worth of business in the last year (2 servers, a bunch of desktops.)
Sounds like I need to make a phone call. :(
February 26, 2002, 06:24 PM
Anybody can register and post with any name. I've just emailed Mr. Weigand to verify this story.
Please stand by...
February 26, 2002, 06:38 PM
Whoa! That was quick! I looked Jack up on the Pistolsmith's website so that I would KNOW I was talking to the real thing.
He confirmed the story. Let's turn up the heat on Dell!
There are now FOUR threads on this subject!
February 27, 2002, 09:47 AM
They used to have good customer service also.
Now it is absolute dog doo-doo.
They laid off many people to cut costs and now you wait on hold for hours, only to get some smart assed little punk who doesn't know anything.
This "screening" of buyers is a load of crap. Jack is a good guy with a completely legal business.
This sounds like plain old liberal gun bashing, hiding under the guise of 9/11 paranoia.
What morons like that don't realize is, WE the gun owners of this country have in our posession, the tools to PREVENT terrorist activities.
February 27, 2002, 01:54 PM
I bought a new Dell in December. Just got off the phone with them after letting them know that it was going to take much more than "it was a breakdown in communication" to get me to buy anything else from them.
February 27, 2002, 03:53 PM
A little update.
I was contacted by Dell this morning, a MR. John Hood. He explained the following.
He expressed Dells sincerest apologies for the problem I encountered.
He said that Dell would be reviewing and possibly changing the screening policy.
Dell also offered to send me the machine I had ordered at no charge, I politely declined the machine. I would never want this to be turned into me posting this to get a free machine. Secondly for obvious reasons I am not interested in doing business with Dell.
Dell is sending me a statement to post on my web site sometime tomorrow explaining what they are doing and what they intend to do concerning this issue.
I know not all agree with my not accepting the machine from Dell but this is a decision I need to be comfortable with. My main issue was to get the screening policy changed.
Thank you all for the overwhelming support you have given me, over three hundred emails worth and only one negative, LOL!
February 27, 2002, 09:21 PM
I think you did the right thing, Jack. And it looks to me like an honest screw up on the part of a company that is big enought that the law of averages dictates that they will screw up once in a while. AND, they have these idiot laws to help trip them up.
1 honest mistake with an honest effort to rectify it. Did I read that right, Jack?
If so, we need to call off the dogs.
February 28, 2002, 03:27 PM
I got the same letter you see above that Michael Dell wrote forwarded to me from John Hood.
I would like all to go to this link and come to your own conclusions about where Dell stands with gun owners.
I stand by my original decision not to deal with Dell. I will also say I am a little embarrassed that I did not know about Dell and HCI before this.
I thank each and every person who has contacted me, negative or positive, free speech rules!
February 28, 2002, 03:50 PM
Jack, Dell is not a contributor to HCI.
I did some digging on Dell's charitible contributions. Some of this is duplicate. People with more enthusiasm than sense have created too many Dell threads, so I'm going to copy and paste.
That's just an affiliate program - anyone can join it. If you buy a computer from that link, HCI gets a commission from the sale. On one of these Dell threads, someone found and listed several pro-gun sites that do the same thing.
Funny, one of those links is for an outfit called "Fragcity"! Dead link, though. BTW, someone also pointed out that that page is very old - hasn't been updated in quite some time.
In fact, according to Dell's website:
Becoming a Dell Small Business Affiliate is easy, fast, and FREE. Dell has partnered with Be Free, a leader in affiliate marketing programs, to make it easy for you to become a Dell Small Business Affiliate.
Did you catch that? It's handled by a middleman. Dell probably doesn't even KNOW who is on the program. And doesn't care.
The ONLY giving Dell does, according to their website, is to some fairly local community stuff and the usual large bland charities, and their Dell Foundation policies specifically exclude political organizations.
Foundation giving does not extend to individuals, academic or research projects, civic, religious or political institutions, school fundraisers, capital campaigns, sponsorships, marketing opportunities or sports events
They also encourage philanthropy and volunteerism among their employees. In doing so, some have donated time and money to some bad choices like EarthShare and United Way, which likely gives money to HCI. But it's a looooong stretch from that to say that Dell is in the anti camp.
We could push them there, though, by being unreasonable. What better confirmation that gunnies are the knuckle dragging, beer swilling, rednecked idiots that Sarah tells them we are?
February 28, 2002, 06:01 PM
A few years ago I bought a $3500 laptop directly from Dell. The thing didn't work too well. The screen only had one resolution, which was barely OK. When I complained, the "tech" person asked me not to spread this around. I thought that rather lame. The computer had numerous problems and became unfixable, that is, they wanted the price of a new one to fix this piece of garbage. After the screen stopped working I went out and bought a desktop at a local mom and pop for 1/3 the price of their little gem.
I've worked in numerous Fortune 100 companies that have used Dell with bad results. My currenty employ is stocked with Compaqs which seem to be the choice these days. Personally, I wouldn't buy one of these either. Just bought a Linux box for $800.
Dell. Don't look back.
March 1, 2002, 01:19 PM
The problem is not with whether they support HCI or not. This is a much broader issue. Don`t get side tracked by HCI, true or not. Regards LTS
March 30, 2002, 11:54 PM
Anyone have similar problems with Gateway, Compaq, HP, or any others. Not going to buy a computer for college from dell for another reason, so has anyone had a problem with these companies. Regarding screening processes or similar problems with Mr. Weigand?
April 6, 2002, 10:07 PM
I've made my living from computers for 20 years. I've purchased many brands of computers for home and business over that time. I would strongly recommend Gateway over Dell any day of the week (even prior to this latest stupid move by Dell). Their computers are usually faster, you get more for your buck, and the customer support, though not excellent, is much better than Dell's.
April 12, 2002, 07:45 AM
I have spent a fortune on computers since the first Apples hit the streets in the early 80's. I have finally learned the solution to these computer quandries, have one built. The only thing you can usually upgrade on these proprietary machines is the memory, sound and video cards. When the time comes to uprgrade the processor or mother board, you can upgrade alright, with their products only, which will cost you a ka-zillion dollars. Built my own and I will never go back.
You say, what about support? If you are new to computers and can only turn it on, buy a factory one cheap, learn it well, and plan for a custom next time. The support from these companies will usually entail, "oh, that's a hardware problem, no that's a software problem". Now that you have spent 30 hours on the phone with no results, have one built...
BTW, that was a lame excuse Dell had to rectify their snaffu, I would call it pathetic.
April 12, 2002, 12:39 PM
The question is, if someone who wasn't in Jack's position was affected by their screening policy, would they have given a damn? Betcha not.
Never owned one, can't see why I would buy one now, "dude."
April 17, 2002, 12:04 AM
News, insights, opinions and oddities
By Paul McNamara
Network World, 03/11/02
Dell couldn't have picked a pricklier bunch to tick off with slipshod customer service. In fact, on any list of business gaffes best avoided, riling the National Rifle Association has to rate up there with egging on the IRS.
Granted, a slice of the blame for this fiasco must fall on the U.S. government and its often-silly technology export restrictions, but that wasn't going to help Dell calm the NRA's notoriously militant foot soldiers.
Here's the short version of what happened:
Jack Weigand owns a gunsmith shop in Mountaintop, Pa. His business specializes in the customization of target weapons.
Last month, Weigand decided he needed a laptop and ordered one online from Dell.
It never showed up. When Weigand called to ask why, he was told a software-based screening process designed to help Dell comply with export restrictions had halted his order because the name of his company - Weigand Combat Handguns - triggered an alert. The word "combat" raised a red flag, Weigand was told. (You can read the details on his site.)
"I was told Dell was afraid I was going to use the machine for illegal purposes," Weigand says in his online account. "When I asked why someone would think that, I was told it was because of the name of my business ... Because I'm involved in firearms I might be doing something illegal."
That's when the fuse was really lit. Weigand fired off missives of protest to online gun forums, and before you can load a revolver, Dell was being lambasted by NRA members far and wide for allegedly looking to rip laptops from the hands of law-abiding gun owners. The uproar reached such a pitch that Weigand found himself having to deny - quite vehemently - that he had accepted a free machine from Dell as a peace offering. (Why NRA types would see that as a sin escapes me, but I'm no gun owner.)
Anyway, Dell's public relations team eventually quelled the uprising by copping to "an unfortunate misunderstanding." The company says Weigand should have been called after his order was flagged, and that such a call would have cleared his delivery. But that call fell through the cracks.
The good news for Dell - and perhaps others - is that the lessons here are clear, and the mistakes correctable.
For online merchants it means making sure your humans do a good job of backing up your inherently fallible software.
For the government it means recognizing the futility of most technology export restrictions in a world where you half expect to find anthrax for sale on eBay. If Osama bin Laden really wants a Dell, chances are he'll find one with or without the company's help.
April 17, 2002, 12:17 AM
What's funny about this is If your gonna screen computer purchases for questionable business names like so an so's combat handguns, Do you think you are really going to catch the terrorists trying buy at "Osama's WorldWide Jihad Limited. LLC"
I swear people are dumb sheep sometimes.
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