Friday, April 13, 2007


Well, it IS Easter after all.

Carol pushed the "on" button this morning and the computer booted up as if it had never had a problem in its "life." Resurrection!

But meanwhile, at work, I logged into the Dell web site hoping to find some kind of discount offer or special sale or coupons for $$ off the system I had put in my wish list. Alas; nothing.

But I noticed a little blurb offering a live "chat" with a Dell sales professional if I had any questions. I clicked the link and entered my question: "Hello. Are you able to talk about any possible upcoming specials or sales for the system I have in my wish list?"

My sales professional (named Syed) asked for my email address so he could access my wish list and see what was there. I typed it and waited.

His response was simply, "I can offer you $100 off if you order it now."

I thought, gee, THAT was quick! I wonder how much MORE I might be able to get!!

I replied, "Well, thanks. But I was hoping to get the total purchase price down to... (I put in a price about $400 below the list price.)"

He came back with, "I'm sorry. I can't discount the system that much."

Disappointed, I began to type, "Well, how about... ($200 below list)." But before I had finished he came back with an offer to "throw in" for only $100 MORE the 3-year warranty priced at $200.

I thanked him, but told him no. I was trying to reduce my total out-of-pocket cost. I had already selected the standard 0ne-year warranty for that reason. Then I asked, "Is there any way to get the price any lower?"

He typed, "I can discount the system by $150. That's the limit."

I thought about it. I typed, "How about free shipping?"

He said, "OK."

I typed, "Let's do it!"

He wrote up the order and emailed it to me, but said his manager wanted to call me. I said that was fine and gave him my work phone number.

Well guess what the manager wanted to do?

He offered me the FOUR-year, IN-HOME warranty for FREE if I'd pay the original list price!

I explained (politely) that in my experience, most electronic components that fail do so in the first 90 days of operations. If they last a year, they almost always keep running for MANY years. (I did NOT mention or give ANY credence to the "C" word that all of you are familiar with!) So, thank you, but that 4-year warranty does not have any perceived value to me. I just want the one-year regular warranty and the lowest price I can get.

He gave up and sold me the system for $150 off list price.

Now, could I have gotten in cheaper? Maybe. But I doubt it.

Did I screw up by NOT taking the 4-year in-home warranty? (Under that contract, if your system doesn't work right Dell will send a technician to you home the next day to fix it!) Well, I guess only time will tell.

But I learned that you can bargain with Dell and get a better price if you just ask for one! And I also learned that their pricey 4-year in home warranty is available for NO CHARGE if you just hold out for it!

So I got what I wanted, saved $150, and got free shipping ($35 value).

Meanwhile, my old computer is still running just fine. But I'm going to turn it off before I go to bed tonight. We're forecast to have a line of possibly severe thunderstorms move through here by morning, and I don't want a repeat of the "big sleep" I sweated through last time.


Peter said...

Hey, sounds like you had a win to me John, hope the new system is a good one.

kenju said...

My mama always said it is the squeaky wheel that gets the grease! Congratulations.

Anonymous said...

John, that's great. What color is the computer?

Duke_of_Earle said...


I had a feeling you might be interested in this post, given your recent experiences with Dell. Who knew you could bargain with them?

Anyway, the box I bought is supposed to be black. Once it's delivered (early May -- there's a hangup in the delivery of the video card; and it's not even a special order item; just the standard card!) I'll take a picture or two and post it/them.

Oh, and I specifically asked about instructions on getting cold beer from the machine. They haven't answered that one yet.


schnoodlepooh said...

Good job on the bargaining and YAY for a new computer. I hate that sales pitch crap though. Why can't they just let it go? You're buying their computer, for pete's sake. Why do they always have to sell more more more? I guess it's your job to keep as much of your money as you can and it's everyone else's job to try to take it all away from you.

Anonymous said...

Chortle. Thanks, John.

Badabing said...

Way to go, John. I think you were absolutely right about the warranty. And, such a "bawgannuh" you are...are you sure you're not from New Yawk? ;-)

Duke_of_Earle said...

Badabing: Not FROM there, but I've BEEN there a time or two.