Dell, the new GM

Couldn’t happen to a nicer company:

Shares of Dell fell sharply today and led the Nasdaq composite index down, a day after the world’s largest computer maker said quarterly revenue had not grown as fast as expected, even though earnings rose 28 percent….

The company said late Thursday afternoon that weak federal government orders and aggressive discounts on computers sold to consumers slowed growth in revenue…

Just ask magazines and burger chains and car companies: You can’t make a business out of discounts. It was a coupon that got me to buy my Dell. It was bad products and customer service that made me return it.

  • Besides the quality and customer service issues, the trouble is Dell relies on an initial low price and then throughout the order cycle/processing pushes heavy on the up-sell. If people avoid the up-sell, Dell would have been in big trouble a long time ago. It’s all going to catch up with them.
    And, the Chinese can discount heavier. Are Dell’s glory days over?

  • have had a brand new dell latitude d610 for two months of fulltime blogging, and in that time have already worn down the plastic left clicker and shattered the screen by picking it up the wrong way. (my thumb pierced the membrane. needed to replace it) it is a cheap piece of equipment compared to my old ibm thinkpad, which was a brick, but a solid one.

  • Jon

    Dell’s products are shoddy at best. Their customer service is infinitely worse. Over the lifetime of my Dell Dimension, I’ve probably spent 48 hours on the phone with tech support people who don’t speak my language and who have inferior knowledge of the product than me (and I’m a writer, not a computer expert). I’ve had the DVD replaced three times, the motherboard once, the entire computer once, and the monitor once. I finally stripped the processor out and built a new computer – the thing really was that useless. I now use the case for growing, ahem, herbal remedies.

  • I’ve been a Mac user exclusively for 15 years. Month in and month out I receive a Dell catalog, which goes straight to the recycling bin. Maybe shares wouldn’t fall so sharply if Dell stopped wasting money annoying computer users who will never, ever, ever use their products.

  • Ruby

    NASA spends billions trying to fix a problem with shedding-foam which wasn’t solved. During the day those same people work at Dell “trying” to assemble computers that work. If your computer is shedding foam or anything else return it before it blows up.

  • ever noticed that dell tv commercials make posible buyers look dumb, because every in tv commercial they say that dell is not sold thru shops, but in their tv commercials future buyers still try to buy dell in a shop with a dell leaflet in their hands.

    in my opinion dell is suggesting that people can not read dell leaflets or dell leaftles are so bad designed that people do not see it! both making making buyers look sumb!

    I know this only one thing, but I bet it keeps hanging in back of some one’s mind

  • Mork

    Just ask magazines and burger chains and car companies: You can’t make a business out of discounts. It was a coupon that got me to buy my Dell.

    You’ve kind of missed Dell’s marketing strategy, there, Jeff. Dell doesn’t really sell anything at “standard” prices. Every couple of weeks, they juggle the collection of offers that is available: for example, in one period, a system will have a $200 discount, the next there will be no discount, but you’ll get a bunch of stuff free, the next period, the offer will be something like double the normal hard drive or whatever. Go to the Dell website now and see what I mean.

    The point of it is (I assume) that people don’t really follow their prices except for a short time every 2 years or whatever when they buy a new system. They then start looking around for ads, and, bingo!, they see that Dell has a special offer.

    Just because they say it’s a discount doesn’t mean that they are selling it at anything other than the price they meant to sell it at in the first place.

  • RC

    5 years and no problems here.

  • Punk Arse

    In reference to Pheloxi’s post:

    Dell still us “you can’t buy them in the shops” because punters still think you can get them from a shop.

    Since the last ads ran, sales have gone up and more punters recall the fact that you can’t buy them in the shops.