What's The Hangup Here?

After purchasing and being pretty well pleased with my new Dell Dimension 8300 computer, I am now giving some serious thought to acquiring a new laptop. It's not that my present laptop is unusable, but the backlighting in the display is shifting color and dimming. I suppose I could just put a new display panel on there, but odds are at this point many panels will have color shifted in much the same way. Almost all of the active matrix spares I have on hand have color shifted or are rather slow to "warm up" to the right color balance.

I was/am giving serious thought to purchase of a Dell Latitude D800. Due to lack of an internal floppy drive, I didn't want an Inspiron. Using Dell's web site, I configured a machine just how I wanted it to be. When I was pleased with the result, I decided to go ahead and just buy the thing outright. And while I have the money to just pay for the machine, I wanted to pay for it over time.

I should mention that the Latitude notebook computer is considered to be a "business machine" by Dell, whereas the Inspiron is seemingly their home line. I didn't want an Inspiron because it could not have an internal floppy drive. While I do operate a small computer service business, it isn't officially organized as such and usually I just purchase the things I need in my own name.

This is where things went downhill in a hurry. I called Dell on the phone because nothing on their website concerning financing looked very promising. I figured that if I approached Dell with some competing offers that they would make me an offer I could not refuse.

Ever the wishful thinker I. I was about to find out how wrong this idea was.

I called Dell on the phone.

First I got Dell Home sales, and was promptly/properly informed that they could not sell me that computer. So I called Dell Small Business (1-800-901-3355) and spoke to Matt at extension 56813. (My apologies to Matt if he ever reads this and I spelled his name incorrectly...it happens.) The call did not go well. I found the experience confusing, and Matt at Dell sales had trouble locating what I had built on the website. Finally he found it and things got worse.

I asked about financing the purchase and mentioned that I could get anything from six to eighteen months interest free if I were to purchase a computer from most any retailer in my area. Rather than even consider this, and make a counter-offer, Matt told me that those things were personal financing and not business financing. I have my doubts, and as a single person wanting to buy this Latitude computer for my own personal use, the difference was irrelevant to me. After a little more conversation I found out that the only option that made any sense was to "lease to own" with an interest rate of just over 15%. I figured it up, and that was some $400 extra in interest/financing charges. Yeah, right. I asked my employer about a loan and got a more reasonable 10%, but I'm probably not going to take them up on it.

Here's my point--I'm firmly of the belief that if Dell Computer had really wanted to sell the computer to me, that they would have done so come Hell or high water. I am surprised and highly disappointed by their take on the sale of the computer. It is very possible that I will not buy this notebook computer from Dell for the very reason that they seemed to be utterly unwilling to deal with me.
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