Laurie’s New Purchase: Opting for a Dell Computer

Indeed, today’s discussion revolves around Dell and their perplexing pricing and financing strategies, particularly how they differentiate between “Home/Home Office” and “Small Business” customers. And yes, there will be a slight detour into how this relates to Apple towards the end. So, let’s dive in.

Here’s the scenario: I was in the market for a new flat panel display due to a mishap with a previous purchase. I’ve always found Dell’s LCDs to offer great value — they’re bright, sharp, and reliable. While they may not have the aesthetic flair of Apple’s offerings, they are perfectly adequate for my needs.

Given this, I decided to use my Dell Preferred credit account to purchase a new Dell UltraSharp 1905FP Flat Panel for my office.

Upon visiting Dell’s website, you’re greeted with options to shop under different categories: “home/home office“, “small business“, and “medium/large business“. As a registered small business owner, I qualify for the small business category, which offered the monitor at a $100 discount compared to the home office category. Naturally, I opted to purchase through the small business store.

However, during checkout, I encountered a snag — my Dell Preferred account was not eligible for use in the small business store. This led me to contact Dell’s customer service, where I was informed that to avail the discounted price, I would need to either apply for a business line of credit or use a different credit card. Interestingly, the type of credit card didn’t matter; it didn’t have to be a business-specific card.

This loophole means that essentially, anyone could exploit the small business discount, regardless of actual business ownership.

Despite the temptation to use a regular credit card and save on the spot, I decided to apply for the business credit line, which was promptly approved. I completed the purchase, but not without a plan. Shortly after receiving my order confirmation, I contacted Dell Financial Services and paid off the entire balance, ensuring I wouldn’t incur any of the high interest rates associated with the credit line.

While some might view my actions as overkill, it was gratifying to know I had navigated around their financing quirks. It’s a small victory, but a victory nonetheless.

Switching gears, imagine if Apple employed a similar pricing strategy — the uproar from the Mac community would be palpable. Apple does offer various discounts, but nothing as blatantly skewed as Dell’s approach.

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Jennifer is a dedicated writer for TUAW, bringing a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm to the world of Apple news. With a deep love for all things Apple, Jennifer covers everything from the latest iPhone and iPad releases to the newest features in macOS and watchOS. Her insightful articles and engaging style make complex tech topics accessible to everyone. Jennifer’s expertise and genuine interest in Apple products shine through in every piece she writes, making her a valued member of the TUAW team.