Updated 3/02/02

Please view updates at the bottom of the page.
Addressing the Dell Issue. 2/26/02

This is the letter I posted in a few Firearms Forums and sent via e mail.
This is a true account of my dealings with Dell over the past few weeks.


I am writing this because I feel every Firearms owner should know
this story.
I placed an order for a Dell notebook computer on February 13 on line
with Dell. I was given a tentative delivery date of February 21st. I
was watching the order through the Dell on line tracking system; I
also opted for the automatic email notification of when the machine
was to be shipped. Well the 21st came and went, I am a Pistolsmith I
know things can happen. I made a phone call on the 25th, did a
voice mail message for my salesman to get back to me and I was
looking for the delivery date. The 25th came and went with no
callback. On the 26th I placed another call this time to cancel the
order. After a few hours I got a call back, with this amazing reason
for the delay. It seems someone in Dell had already canceled my
order, when I asked why I was told Dell was afraid I was going to
use the machine for illegal purposes. When I asked why someone
would think that I was told it was because of the name of my
business “Weigand Combat Handguns Inc.”. Because I am involved in
firearms I might be doing something illegal. Now keep in mind I was
never called or informed of this decision the order was just canceled.
Many of you know me personally and know I run my business about
as squeaky clean as possible. In addition being the President of the
American Pistolsmiths Guild I am under additional scrutiny as to how I
run my business, if I am not clean how can I be the President of an
organization that promotes just that! I was informed by a Dell
supervisor not long after all of this the reason I was refused was
because of their post September 11th policy of screening buyers.
I would like to respectfully ask the firearms community to do the
following. If you intended to buy a Dell and because of this letter you
do not, email Dell and let them know why. Feel free to distribute this
account to all you know in the Firearms community, I think they need
to know. I for one am sick and tired of people assuming just because
we are involved with firearms that we are doing something illegal. I
also do not believe Dell deserves our business if this is how they
intend to treat us.
God Bless
Jack Weigand
President
American Pistolsmiths Guild Inc.


The above is the only letter I have written. I have written comments on email I have received (that number is now in the hundreds). I would like to add the following.

I have spoken to Dell today 2/26/02

They informed me that the reason my order was cancelled was due to the new post 9/11 screening policy. The word
"Combat" in my company name is what triggered the cancellation of my order. The cancellation was triggered automatically. When I asked why I was not called to clear this up I was told there was a breakdown in communications on Dells part.

Just for the record so everyone knows where I stand.

I have no intention of further dealings with Dell, they don't deserve my business.

I want nothing from Dell but I would gladly accept an apology to the Firearms community in general.

I posted this expressly to warn firearms owners of Dell policies PERIOD.

There are those that think I did this to generate traffic to my web site. All this traffic just made it hard for my customers to shop this evening. If you will notice there are no advertisements on my web so traffic is not a factor. It has also generated hundreds of email that I personally answered. Just so you all know I am not smart enough to do a publicity stunt of this magnitude on purpose, LOL!

I would humbly request the following.

Please, please refrain from making personal attacks on Michael Dell. I have received hundreds of e mails attacking Mr. Dell, please do not do this. I know we are all passionate about our right to keep and bear arms but please be as professional as possible.

I thank all of those that took the time to confirm that this story was true before spreading it, you all are to be commended!


Update 2/27/02

After fielding hundreds of emails and dozens of phone calls today my heart felt thanks to all who responded.

I was contacted by a Dell representative this morning a Mr. John Hood. John made the following remarks.
                            He extended Dells sincerest apologies for the incident.

                            He said Dell would review and possibly change the screening policies to prevent this from happening                               again.

                            Dell offered to ship the machine I ordered to me at no charge, I respectfully declined the offer.

                            John told me he would have a statement sent to me sometime Thursday morning the 28th stating Dells                               position on this issue for me to post here for all to see.

I will post the statement as soon as I receive it.


2/28/02 Update  Statement from Dell

To Our Valued Customers and Friends:
U.S. export laws restrict the sale of technology to terrorists and to people
in countries that support terrorism. These laws also prohibit computer sales
to people who will use the technology in developing biological or nuclear
weapons. Dell strictly complies with our country's export laws in order to
ensure the safety of our customers and citizens around the world. When there
is reasonable cause for concern, we carefully review customer orders for
prohibited destinations and activities.
When additional follow-up on an order is required, our sales representatives
ask our customers four basic questions:
1. Who is the end-user?
2. Where will the product be used?
3. What will the product be used for?
4. What type of business or industry is involved?
The answers to these questions, like all customer information we gather, are
confidential and are not shared outside of Dell.
We recently received an order from Mr. Jack Weigand, whose company name,
"Weigand's Combat Handguns Inc." included the word "combat." We cancelled
the order to give us enough time to follow up with the customer and be
assured that the sale would be in compliance with U.S. export law. However,
we failed to contact Mr. Weigand, and as a result, we did not deliver the
order as promised, and the customer did not know why. Once we discovered our
error, we apologized to Mr. Weigand for this misunderstanding, as well as
the inconvenience caused by the delay. This is not the service standard that
we hold ourselves to at Dell. 
We at Dell feel a strong obligation to uphold our federal law, but we have
just as strong an obligation to be responsive to the needs of all our
customers.  We want to assure you that the company does not discriminate
against any business, regardless of the products or services they sell, nor
do we discriminate against individual consumers. We do, however, sometimes
make mistakes - as we did in this case.
Thank you for your support.
Sincerely,
Dell Computer Corporation


This is the link that has been circulating
http://www.progressivefunds.com/hci/

I felt it was my obligation to post the following
The following is a portion of a Dell statement that addresses the above link    This was added 3/02/02

We appreciate the opportunity to clarify the facts regarding a customer
issue reported in the media and Dell's position on political or social
issues that many of you care deeply about.
Regarding Handgun Rights/Handgun Control....
Dell is a publicly-traded, customer-focused company with customers,
shareholders and employees on both sides of many public, social and
political issues. Our place is to serve our customers rather than to
endorse or support one position over another in public debates outside the
scope of our industry.
We do not discriminate against any business, regardless of the products or
services they sell, nor do we discriminate against individual customers.
We do, however, respect the right of any organization or individual to
have their own point of view. We follow all laws, rules and regulations.
Regarding allegations that Dell supports Handgun Control organizations
through the Dell Affiliates program...
Dell as a company remains neutral on handgun rights and handgun control.
Dell customers can support causes and organizations, if they choose,
through Dell's affiliates program and charitable websites such as
igive.com and progressivefunds.com. These sites feature links to Dell's
website. Dell's affiliates program provides a way for customers to support
the cause or organization of their choice through their Dell purchases.
Affiliate participants, such as igive.com and progressivefunds.com,
include organizations and causes on different sides of nearly every social
issue.
Some of the organizations participating through Dell affiliates such as
igive.com and progressivefunds.com., promote handgun rights, others
promote handgun control. Handgun Control Inc. (HCI) has been reported as
one organization that participates in this program. Others including The
Gun Owners Foundation and the Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun
Owners Foundation, Inc. also participate through Dell affiliate igive.com.

The only organizations prohibited from participating in Dell's affiliates
program are those that promote sexually explicit material; promote
violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion,
nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or promote illegal
activities.


3/01/02    Update

The free computer offer from Dell is a hot topic in much of the email I have received to date. I have since purchased a notebook computer elsewhere so I hope that issue is settled.

Again I thank everyone for your thoughts and comments. I will say I don't agree with some of the letters but we are Americans, we have the right to free speech.

Please keep in mind when reading postings on my site. I have no public relations department to draft and polish my postings. I think long and hard about what needs to be said and I post it. Please forgive me for being a little crude in my writing, keep in mind I am a Pistolsmith not a writer.

I am doing my best to keep up with the email, over 1000 to date. I read every email I receive and respond to 99% of it.


3/02/02 Update

Please go to the following link at the NRA/ILA web site

 http://www.nraila.org/ActionAlerts.asp?FormMode=Detail&ID=101
Title: DELL AND OUR RIGHT TO ARMS


  
Dell has issued a second statement, many of you have received via email. The letter contains the following statement:

"We have tried to make it right with our customer by giving him a free computer for his trouble and inconvenience."

I have not accepted a computer from Dell. I have purchased a computer from another manufacturer.


Again I thank the Firearms community as a family for being so willing to come to my aid.

God Bless
Jack Weigand
President
Weigand Combat Handguns Inc.