I just got finished reading a article over at The Consumerist in which a professed ex-employee of Dell shares some of his insider secrets. Though some of the tips are common sense, others extended warranty information I found worth reading. All in all there are some 22 tips provided which may just help you get a better warranty, better pricing on your next purchase and just could get you tech. support from a English speaking person. That in itself would be worth a pound of gold! 🙂

I always felt that extended warranties, from what I have read, are a money making proposition for the manufactures. They know how long a product should function properly and also know that their risk of product failure vs honoring a repair via a extended warranty is beneficial to their bottom line. However, the writer of this article states that it is his belief that when it comes to laptop systems, a extended warranty is the way to go. He also states that accidental insurance should also be purchased as well. Interesting concept. This is all dependent on how long you think you may be keeping the lappy for.

Some other tips I found interesting were:

Small business is better than home and home office – Small business typically runs a few dollars more than the home office, but you stand a better chance of getting domestic tech support rather than non-native English speakers. As an added perk, small business promotions are occasionally better than home.

Play with the web site – There are many different pricing packages for the same product throughout the various sections, typically three or more per segment. If you’re buying a Dell soon, configure a unit from a link off the main page, from the product listing on the drop down and from the “As Advertised-Newspaper” drop down. Configure the same system each way at the home, small business and the Direct (kiosk) site (http://www.dell.com/directstore). It is very likely you will end up with nine different prices.

Warranty Repairs – On all but the two lowest warranties (90 day and 1 year limited), warranty repairs will be done in the home. The repair techs are only required to replace the broken part. They are not required to do anything else. If they replace your hard drive, they are not required to reinstall your OS or drivers. Most will do it if you’re nice, but don’t expect it. If you’re clueless, there are tutorials all over http://support.dell.com that tell you how to do it yourself.

Promotion cycle dates – Thursday is the first day of new promotions. If you go to the web site at 11:45 p.m. on Wednesday night and again on 1 a.m. on Thursday morning, the promotions are different. The catalog promotions run from the start of the month to the end. Additionally, on holiday weekends (Memorial Day, 4th of July, etc.) there may be special sales/coupons for the three-day weekend.

Overall I found the entire article very interesting. It also makes one wonder how many other companies follow similar tactics in selling their computer products online. One thing I do have to agree with is the pricing schemes. I have gone to the Dell site before and have come up with different pricing for the same machine. Naturally buying the product you want on sale is also a huge benefit, especially if it comes with the same warranty period. I also liked the fact about buying business systems vs home. Interesting that you get a real English speaking person when you buy a business system. 🙂

More information can be found here.

Comments welcome.

[tags]dell, insider, view, computer, system, [/tags]