Court Docs Reveal Dell Sold Computers It Knew Would Fail

Seem Dell has a hell all of its own. Newly unsealed court documents show that Dell sold computers knowing they would go kaput. The documents reveal that Dell sold nearly 12 million Optiplex machines between 2003-2005 with leaky capacitors that caused problems in 97% of the cases in over three years. Leaky capacitors lead to device failure, and can even cause the computer to become ablaze with fire.

One email exchange unveiled involved customer service workers saying, “We need to avoid all language indicating the boards were bad or had ‘issues’ per our discussion this morning.”

Other documents about the situation had Dell sales staff being told, “Don’t bring this to customer’s attention proactively” and “Emphasize uncertainty.”

Internal memos circulating into 2008 had sales people worried that their clients could “justify their job” by telling their companies about the computer failures and recommending other brands.

“To counter such lingering bad impressions, Dell salespeople were told to emphasize that the company’s direct model allowed it to identify and fix problems faster than competitors,” NYT reports.

The Optiplex computers were mainly sold to businesses and government customers.

In Suit Over Faulty Computers, Window to Dell’s Fall [NYT] (Thanks to everyone who sent this in!)

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.