Dell facing slew of Chinese lawsuits over CPU switcheroo
byEvan Blass||August 15th 2006 at 5:52amAugust 15th 2006 5:52 am
What a difference an "E" makes. Chinese owners of Dell's Inspiron 640m laptop are apparently furious over the fact that the company misleadingly equipped their new machines with Intel's Core Duo T2300E processor instead of the T2300 chip that had been advertised, and are lining up to sue over the alleged defrauding, according to news site China Daily. Since the only real difference between the T2300 and T2300E is the former's support for Intel's Virtualization Technology, the average consumer probably wouldn't even be affected by the cheaper processor, but customers are still understandably peeved that they're not getting all the functionality they paid for. The discrepancy was first discovered in early June by a single owner, who by way of an online bulletin board, learned that hundreds of other unhappy customers were afflicted with the same problem. The owner filed suit against Dell in late July after having apparently been rebuffed in an attempt to get the CPU swapped out (""I tried to negotiate with Dell and simply asked them to change the CPU, but they said there was no difference between the two and it was unnecessary to change," claims the owner); now 19 more customers have joined together for their own class-action suit, with many more waiting in the wings, according to lawyers handling the cases. For its part, Dell claims the mix-up stems from a failure to update its Chinese marketing materials, and has issued affected customers both an apology and an offer to refund the full price of returned machines -- but at this point, that doesn't seem to be enough for many of the folks involved. It's unfortunate that it took a big public stink for Dell to own up to its mistake and attempt a resolution, but as with the just-announced, historic battery recall, this incident proves just how powerful a determined group of individuals can be.