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Dell Settles Mail Violation Claim

April 3, 1998

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Dell Computer Corp. has agreed to pay an $800,000 fine to settle claims it violated federal mail order rules in advertisements for one of its computer systems, the Federal Trade Commission said Thursday.

The FTC accused Dell, the nation’s largest direct seller of personal computers, of violating the regulations in its ads for Dell Dimension computers by shipping them to customers without the Dell Software Suite it promised. The company instead used another software system and included a coupon for the Dell software ``when available.″

Many consumers did not get the advertised software until after the computers arrived, the FTC said. Dell also failed to inform customers about the different software or give them a chance to cancel their orders and get prompt refunds.

The $800,000 penalty Dell agreed to pay is the largest civil penalty ever for a single defendant accused of violating federal mail order rules, the FTC said.

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