Dell Dollars - Fine Print Sucks - Laptops with XP are Hard To Purchase

I am pricing laptops after the Dell C640 died Monday night. I want a the new Mac hardware with Leopard on it. So far, there have been various delays and with the Dell finally going to that great /dev/null in the sky, I believe my hand is forced.

I own a very fine HP laptop and would like another. The problem being HP only offers Vista on their new hardware and I refuse to be a Vista Owner. (If you care why, listen to episodes 73-77 on the SecurityNow podcast. Very enlightening stuff.) Because of my preference, I am limited to the following Laptops:

  • Vostro 1000
  • Vostro 1500
  • Latitude D520
  • Latitude D531

As a Red-Blooded Card-Carrying Capitalist, I am offended to be limited to 4 laptop models. We live in a 'Free Market' Society. The last time I checked, there were 4 Major Laptop vendors and a smattering of lesser known/quality manufacturers. Surely one of them (preferrably HP) can offer XP on their computers.

So after swimming through the injustices and trade offs, I finally select a laptop, configure it to my satisfaction and begin selecting the support options. I normally decline support, but Dell offered a very interesting deal:

view plain print about
1Get $70 Dell Dollars w/3Yr Ltd Warranty and Next Business Day On-Site Svc [add $169]
2Apply Dell Dollars coupon to your next purchase! Discount Details

So I get Three Years Support for essentially $100? Lemme check the fine print:

view plain print about
1With a Dell Dollars coupon*, you can return to and redeem your coupon to purchase any products and services through the Dell Small Business online store. You will receive your Dell Dollars coupon with redemption information 4-6 weeks after your order ships.
3*One coupon per customer, one time use only. Coupon expires 120 days from date of eligible system purchase.

So they will send me a coupon for 70$ off my next purchase. It will take 4-6 weeks after my order ships. This $70 coupon expires 120 days from "date of eligible system purchase".

I am no expert in accounting, but if there are 10 days between the date of the system purchase and 28-42 days required for arrival of said coupon, there will be somewhere between 68 - 82 days to use the coupon. Man, gotta love fine print.

So for now, I am going to put away the credit card, cancel my $1,400 order from Dell and keep it just me, the HP, the old MacBook, and my new Coaster, the Dell C640. There has to be a better way. I appreciate all advice on the topic.

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2/27/08 1:05 AM # Posted By Richard Abernethy

HP is selling some Compaqs with XP at

5/2/08 4:34 AM # Posted By giyim

Why do you need 3 laptops?

11/19/08 8:41 AM # Posted By J Payne

I recently purchased a
dell lap top and was given
100 dell dollars. Upon
received the dollars
, I ordered $120.00
from the dell store.I
received 2 of the ordered
items but dell cancelled
my order for a 3 user
McAfee anti virus,2009
and I was told to re order
Now comes the kicker.
Once the dollars have
been applied,they can't be used again. I've been in touch with
dell several times ans
always get the same story.
Sorry for your inconvience
but that's just the way
it is. So don't the promise
of dell dollars sway you
when making a purchase