Following on Dell’s recent announcement about simplifying pricing, I got an email from the Texas computer company telling me:
New simplified prices on Inspiron notebooks.
The end of system mail-in rebates, the start of a great experience.
We’ve listened to what you want and are pleased to introduce
simplified pricing on Inspiron™ notebooks. All Inspirons start
out nicely equipped and can be customized just for you. All
are simply priced, with no system mail-in rebates and no hunting
for specially advertised discounts. You get the same price,
just a simpler way to reach the bottom line. It’s part of our
ongoing commitment to serving you better. Now more than ever,
it’s time to add Inspiron to your life.
Funny thing is, if you click on the link, the title of the page is “Special Deals!”, which calls to mind the elaborate array of promotions and rebates that Dell is trying to eliminate. Pricing is much simpler. The only “special deal” is a free “skin” for the computer. Not sure whether this should really be free, since this should be an area of value-add, like the holders for cell phones and iPods, and something strangely missing from the computer world.
Meanwhile, in the UK, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled that a Dell television ad including misleading pricing information for Inspiron laptops. The ad claimed that a laptop was available for £299. Online, the laptop was £349, because Dell had selected additional service options by default. While users could remove the options, and the website mentioned how to do arrive at the advertised price, the ASA deemed that this was not acceptable advertising after receiving 23 complaints. While Dell is technically correct, the ASA decision upholds the spirit of fairness.