But that's what Laptop Magazine says happened to them in this report: Dell Support Caught Using Shady Sweepstakes to Hawk Warranties.
Laptop's representative called Dell's tech support to ask a basic question -- how they could improve the battery life of their Dell laptop. They reached tech support in India. Instead of answering the question, the tech support representative claimed that the caller had won a prize in a daily drawing -- the chance to purchase an extended hardware warranty for the laptop for $317 instead of $512.
If you are familiar with the warning signs of sweepstakes scams, this should set off a lot of red flags for you. The first and most important is that you never need to pay money to receive a real prize win. Some sweepstakes offer coupons and discounts as part of their giveaway, and that's fine. But it's still a coupon or a discount, not a win.
Dell's tech support representative was hoping to use the excitement of winning to pressure a sale. And he didn't take no for an answer, continuing to pressure the Laptop Magazine representative to accept the "prize". This is another scam tactic, making victims feel like they'll miss an opportunity if they don't jump at the chance to hand their money over.
This just goes to show how very important it is to keep your wits about you whenever anyone claims that you've won, even if it's a company you should be able to trust. If they're just offering a deep discount, as yourself whether the price is worth it. The Laptop Magazine representative didn't want an extended warranty. Not for $512 and not for $317. The excitement of "winning" didn't influence them, and it shouldn't influence you in a similar situation. Ask for some time to think the offer over before responding. If the person tries to pressure you into making a decision right away, there's something wrong there; turn them down.
By the way, Laptop Magazine report says that Dell responded to Laptop's complaint about the shady sweepstakes by saying, "Daily drawings are not a regular practice nor encouraged tactic in technical support and we have used your feedback to reinforce this with our teams. Their only priority is to resolve our customers' issues." It's a shame that Dell didn't take a stronger stance on their representatives scamming the people turning to them for help.
More about Avoiding Sweepstakes Scams:
- Before You Respond to a Sweepstakes Win
- How to Decide Whether Sweepstakes are Trustworthy
- Understanding Sweepstakes Scam Tactics
- Many More Sweepstakes Safety Tips
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