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General Chat Thread, Dell Charging Users to Install Firefox in General; ...
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    Vasriel's Avatar
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    Dell Charging Users to Install Firefox

    Dell charging £16 to install Mozilla Firefox on New PCs

    £16 to install free software that takes minutes to download and install, wow

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    GeekyPete's Avatar
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    Firstly that isn't aimed at anyone with a modicum of computer awareness. We've had many discussions on here about what we charge for Private work. It tends to be in the region of £25-50/hour. £16, would that save you 15-30minutes to download and install it? Yes? Then the price is about right. Regarding the free software part, if you had a load of bricks and cement given would you expect a brickie to build you a wall for free? So on that basis Dell are quite within their rights to charge for this. In the same way that I would charge an hourly rate to update free plugins. I don't have an issue with this as such. However, I am still disappoint that Dell would charge this much for it and it tarrs them with the same brush as EasyJet for me, who chrage for refreshments and luggage. Dell don't spend 15 minutes installing it, They probably have various images. It will just be a case of applying image B instead of image A. There will be some cost involved in setting up image B but I'm sure they could afford to do it for free or for just a couple of quid and still make money.

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    Not a big deal IMO.

    Dell has responded by saying that this practice is okay because the company is charging for the service and not the product.

    "Dell Configuration Services, including the application loading service, ensure customers have a complete, ready to use product when it arrives", a Dell spokesperson told TNW. "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." (Source)

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    sonofsanta's Avatar
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    @Arthur - as the BBC News story quotes, though:
    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 you can't charge for it in any way, no matter what sophistry you employ.

    Knowing Dell, I imagine that the £16 fee goes to cover the cost of them posting you a memory stick inside a padded envelope inside a box to arrive two days after your computer that contains only an online-installer that grabs an old version from Dell's server and on first-run prompts you to update and takes you to the Firefox download page to get the newest version anyway.

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    So if I'm reading that correctly, next time someone says "can you come and install Firefox", I am to say "No because I can't charge you for my time", thereby meaning that Firefox doesn't get installed and they lose out on potential users? Kind of shooting themselves in the foot there aren't they?

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    TechMonkey's Avatar
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    As far as I can see it is a convenience charge. Yes it is easy, yes it is quick but if someone wants it done for them then it is going to cost. See also ready made pancakes, ready chopped ginger, etc etc. They aren't charging for the software, but the time saved for the customer.
    None of Mozilla's quote suggests this can not be done.

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    If you've ever used Premier Page you'll know that they also charge between £9 and £13.50 per setting to change options in the BIOS before they ship.



    If I were to select the options that normally take me less than 2 minutes to set per machine (including waiting for it to power on), it would cost me £36. I wish I was being paid £1,080 per hour.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Dell Charging Users to Install Firefox-bios.png  

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    Quote Originally Posted by sonofsanta View Post
    Knowing Dell, I imagine that the £16 fee goes to cover the cost of them posting you a memory stick inside a padded envelope inside a box to arrive two days after your computer that contains only an online-installer that grabs an old version from Dell's server and on first-run prompts you to update and takes you to the Firefox download page to get the newest version anyway.
    What a great business plan!!

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    d0pefish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sonofsanta View Post
    @Arthur - as the BBC News story quotes, though:

    So you can't charge for it in any way, no matter what sophistry you employ.

    Knowing Dell, I imagine that the £16 fee goes to cover the cost of them posting you a memory stick inside a padded envelope inside a box to arrive two days after your computer that contains only an online-installer that grabs an old version from Dell's server and on first-run prompts you to update and takes you to the Firefox download page to get the newest version anyway.
    That quote mentions the the product or its distribution cannot be charged. Dell are doing neither. They aren't charging you for Firefox and they aren't charging you to send you a CD or memory stick with it on. They are charging you for the actual labour cost of someone installing it.
    While the price might seem a bit high, I don't see any problem with how they are going about it.

    The product or distribution cannot be tied to a service fee, again technically they aren't charging you a fee for its distribution (as that would mean charging you for the installer, not the installed product) or for the product itself.

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    GeekyPete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sonofsanta View Post
    @Arthur - as the BBC News story quotes, though:

    So you can't charge for it in any way, no matter what sophistry you employ.

    Knowing Dell, I imagine that the £16 fee goes to cover the cost of them posting you a memory stick inside a padded envelope inside a box to arrive two days after your computer that contains only an online-installer that grabs an old version from Dell's server and on first-run prompts you to update and takes you to the Firefox download page to get the newest version anyway.
    They are not charging for it in anyway. They are charging for their time and effort. Lets say if they install a paid for app, there would be £X for the app and then £16 to install it. @Jawloms of course you can charge them for your time, but not to distribute it, download it sell it on a flash drive etc. But you can charge them for your time and effort.

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    sonofsanta's Avatar
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    Obviously Mozilla see it differently, will be interesting to see how it pans out.

    £16.25 is still a bit steep for the effort involved, though. Are they sub-contracting PC World to do the work?

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    d0pefish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sonofsanta View Post
    Obviously Mozilla see it differently, will be interesting to see how it pans out.

    £16.25 is still a bit steep for the effort involved, though. Are they sub-contracting PC World to do the work?
    Without it becoming very finnicky and pedantic, the way I saw it described elsewhere was say Dell pay employee X £12 an hour to do these things. They need to pay his wage, so this in part helps towards it. They also need to pay NI and possibly pension contributions too.

    If a person called you to their house to install Firefox and you said £5, is that steep because it only took you 2 minutes but you also had to drive there and back, plus you're charging for your experience and to a lesser-point the knowledge it will be done right.

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    GeekyPete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sonofsanta View Post
    Obviously Mozilla see it differently, will be interesting to see how it pans out.

    £16.25 is still a bit steep for the effort involved, though. Are they sub-contracting PC World to do the work?
    Or do they, the mozilla site has a Free Software link to what they mean by Free Software which states:
    “Free software” means software that respects users' freedom and community. Roughly, it means that the users have the freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. Thus, “free software” is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of “free” as in “free speech,” not as in “free beer”.

    And later it goes on to explain that you are also free to charge for it!

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