Why Do I Have To Hand Over My Personal Information Just To Get A Price Quote From Dell?

Joe wanted to find a new battery for his daughter’s Dell Mini Inspiron 9 laptop computer, as the original couldn’t hold a charge, so he checked out the company’s website for a replacement. He didn’t have any luck, so he began chatting with a customer service rep online, which turned into one of those roundabout ordeals no one likes dealing with.

By the time Joe waded through a few conversations with different reps just to find out if Dell even made the batteries any more (they’ve stopped selling the Mini models, as Consumerist reported earlier), he thought he was at the end of the search, finally.

He writes:

After going through two reps, the third rep happily said she would look for the part. After waiting a few minutes, she came back and told me she could not quote me a price unless she set up a profile for me. She asked for me name, phone number, billing address and e-mail address. At that point, I ended the chat.

Is there really a reason they need all of my personal info just to quote me a price?

Joe included a screen grab of the chat, where the agent says, “For me to be able to check the price on the battery, I need to create a profile.”

We’re not sure why such personal information would affect the cost or availability of a product, either. Unless it’s just another way to get a customer’s info into the system, which should be an option, not a requirement.