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When does zero equal 23? When you are in the finance organization that supports Dell computer sales.

Now it’s one thing to get busted by a state attorney general and then found guilty of fraud and false advertising. That might just hurt your public reputation just a bit. It may cause people who could become customers not to trust you. Indeed, they may avoid you when it comes to buying their next PC.

But when the customers that you allegedly defrauded start crying foul in public forums, well, that just fans the flames.

The New York Attorney General had accused Dell of pulling a bait and switch on customers with financing deals. Customers would apply for the company’s zero percent financing and buy the computer. Then, after they’d gotten the machine settled in its new home, maybe installed a game, and pretty much considered the machine their own property, the customer would receive the bill for his first payment and see that the rate was not zero percent at all.

Apparently the fact that the NY attorney general brought a lawsuit was not enough to persuade Dell to stop doing this. Just today there’s a new post at I Got Got about how Dell promised a customer zero percent financing and when the invoice came in the mail the finance rate was 23 percent. Other customer complaints follow the first post – one who never got the promised free printer, and another who never got his $150 rebate.

Have any of your customers encountered this? Were you able to fix it for them?