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2D Rail: Dell accused of bait and switch service tactics

By TBASSINGERN
Published May 18, 2007


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NEW YORK

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has accused Dell Inc. and its financial services affiliate of "bait and switch" advertising practices and failing to deliver on promised customer service. The lawsuit claims that Dell and Dell Financial Services LP engaged in fraud, false advertising and deceptive business practices. It accuses Dell of luring customers with ads for zero percent financing and then, at the time of purchase, tricking buyers into higher interest rates, often without their knowledge. Cuomo also accused the company of selling "onsite" computer repair plans but failing to deliver, at times requiring customers to disassemble their own computers. Dell spokesman Bob Pearson denied the charges.

WASHINGTON

Bernanke low key on subprime mess

Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke says the central bank is considering tougher rules to crack down on abusive practices by mortgage lenders. But he says the economy should escape without significant harm from the problems in the subprime market. Facing criticism from members of Congress about lax regulation, Bernanke said Thursday that the Fed was reviewing all of its options from bolstering disclosure requirements on what lenders must tell prospective borrowers to writing tougher rules to guard against fraud. Bernanke said regulators need to be sure that any rules they imposed did not stifle the market for legitimate loans.

Daimler makes $1B pension pledge

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., the federal agency that insures private pension plans for millions of Americans, said Thursday that DaimlerChrysler AG's Daimler unit had agreed to pay $1-billion into Chrysler's pension plan if it is terminated within five years. Vince Snowbarger, interim director of Pension Benefit Guaranty, said DaimlerChrysler and Cerberus Capital Management LP had made "significant financial commitments" to ensure the pensions of Chrysler workers as part of the agreement. DaimlerChrysler announced Monday that Cerberus would pay $7.45-billion for an 80.1 percent stake in Chrysler.

LOS ANGELES

Court lets Google off copyright hook

A federal appeals court said Google Inc. does not infringe the copyrights of adult entertainment company Perfect 10 Inc. by displaying thumbnail versions of its images in search results. But the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Wednesday a lower court should reconsider whether Google helps violate copyrights by pointing people to sites that display unauthorized photos.

WASHINGTON

Jobless claims fall to 4-month low

Newly laid-off workers filing applications for unemployment benefits fell last week for a fifth consecutive time, pushing jobless claims to the lowest level in four months. The Labor Department reported Thursday that jobless applications totaled 293, 000 last week, down by 5, 000 from the previous week. Analysts expected claims to rise as a result of the economic slowdown from the housing slump.

Times wires

[Last modified May 17, 2007, 23:39:22]


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