Dell: charging customers for free software

7 March 2014

dell-logo_0 Mozilla are currently hopping mad and investigating claims that Dell have been charging users to install Firefox for them. One report states that people have been asked to cough-up £16.25 to have the browser installed on their new computer.

Of course, Firefox is open-source and completely free. And it is an absolute doddle to install as well. Mozilla have said that there's "no agreement" with Dell to permit this fee.

"Our trademark policy makes clear that this is not permitted and we are investigating this specific report," said Denelle Dixon-Thayer, vice-prez of Mozilla's general counsel.

If you look at Mozilla's policy document, it says: "If you are using the Mozilla Mark(s) for the unaltered binaries you are distributing, you may not charge for that product. By not charging, we mean the Mozilla product must be without cost and its distribution (whether by download or other media) may not be subject to a fee, or tied to subscribing to or purchasing a service, or the collection of personal information."

So what is Dell's excuse? Well, they've said that they're simply charging for time and labour: "In this particular situation, the customer would not be charged for the Mozilla Firefox software download, rather the fee would cover the time and labour involved for factory personnel to load a different image than is provided on the system's standard configuration."

Are Dell just exploiting the dimwitted or is this an outrage? Comments please, readers.

TOPICS:   Scams


  • Al
    If you sell car shampoo, you can't prevent someone charging you to wash your car with it. Even if washing your car is a doddle. You could stop selling your car shampoo to that particular person of course. Would be interesting if Mozilla changed to T&Cs to prevent its download by Dell though.
  • God
    Dell nicked the idea from Halfrauds, who charge £5 to fit a £0.39 bulb. BTW, my local garage are offering FREE light bulb fitting; I may take along my ancient Sony tuner and ask them to replace the bulb. It could be interesting on several layers, not only do I suspect the garage mean CAR bulbs (although the ad doesnt mention them), but Sony stopped making spares for this tuner in about 1979.

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