Dell…Dell, dell, dell, dell, dell….

This is going to be long, so bear with me…

Well, last weekend (the 26th, 27th) my computer decided to up and die. It wasn’t a quick death…it was a slow death over the weekend, but alas, it ended in death. After a week or so of testing, I’ve determined it’s either the MoBo or CPU. I kind of got sick of testing out any further…so I’ve stopped testing.

In the interim, I’ve rebuilt my Media Center PC to tide me over until my new toy gets here. ‘What’ you may ask ‘ is your new toy James?’. Well, I’m glad you asked.

Here she is: the Dell XPS M1730 Gaming laptop.

This is what I got in her:
OS: WINDOWS XP
Processor: 2.4G 4M MEROM
Video: NVIDIA SLI GE 8700MGT (G84) SLI
Physics: AGEIA PHYSX ACCELERATOR
RAM: 2GB,DDR2,667MHZ,2 DIMM
Storage: 400G (2X200) 7200 RPM
Network: INTEL 4965 802.11A/G/N
Bluetooth

and the picture that will go on my mantle:
My New Toy - Dell XPS M1730

Well, onto the meat n taters of the real story.

This is a big step for me. I’ve always stayed on the side of the ‘build your own desktop’ fence, but with the technology getting close to on par with what you can get in a desktop, I thought I’d cross the fence. Plus, I really wanted this laptop. I’ve been looking at it for a while but never thought I’d have a chance to play with one, but as luck would have it, I ordered it on the 29th.

Well, I tried.

Now, I don’t have $3,715.44 (after taxes) to drop, and being your average North American male once I’ve made up my mind to get it, there was no turning back. I figured I’m going to pay for it the same way most people do – financing. We go through the process the first time and I’m denied…because my addresses looked funny. I changed my addresses with the bank and credit card company, called Dell this time (instead of using the so-called quick and easy web processing) and was approved! I was ecstatic! Unfortunately, being new to this whole financing thing…I don’t think I asked the right questions. Here are the questions I did ask:

What are my monthly payments going to be?
for 4 years?
for 3 years?
When do they start?
What is my interest rate?

You’ll notice I bolded and reddened the interest rate question. Well, this is where I felt a little duped. Be it my naivety with financing or my trusting nature from someone who I thought was a) supposed to inform me properly and b) knows more than I do about this stuff. When I asked the question, I was told 2.4%. I was blown away! I was thinking that this company was the shit! They cared…they really did care! I told them to sign me up!

Well, I get the paper work and this is what I see for my payment schedule:

Payment Period Principal Interest
1 45.2% 54.8%
2 42.5% 57.5%
3 45.4% 54.6%
skip a few skip a few skip a few
34 93.3% 6.7%
35 95.4% 4.6%
36 97.7% 2.3%

Well, it turns out – after looking at this highly confusing chart, where some of the rows don’t even add up to 100% ?? – that I had inadvertently agreed to pay 2.4% per month!! Which works out to be 28.99% per year. Which incidentally works out to be a 50.84% profit for them, which works out to be an extra $1,889.04 that I pay on top of my $3,715.44 (after taxes) for a grand total of…drum roll…$5,604.48.

Now, call me a sucker…cause that’s what I am, but if I had been given proper information – i.e. the interest rate being 28.99% per year instead of 2.4%, I probably wouldn’t have agreed to this deal…probably.

But now I’m locked in. Luckily, Dell has been so kind as to allow me to pay it off early if I so chose to, at no extra charge. I will probably choose to, but I won’t be happy about it, and I probably won’t tell anyone else to go with Dell if they were thinking the financing route.

I guess, what I am saying is this: Michael Dell, I feel that I’ve been duped by your sales team and I’m not happy about it. The trust I had in your company is greatly diminished. In a sense…I feel like I’ve been financially raped.

How can I feel better about this? I don’t know. Lower this rediculous interest rate. Tell your ‘Sales Professionals’ to not be so shifty with the information. I don’t know. I’ve gone from being a loyal Dell tech/pumper of your products to being an embittered customer.

Please fix our relationship!