We've all been there: A less-than-tech-savvy friend or family member asks for help with their computer and is stunned when you fix the 'problem' in just a few minutes. Indeed even the simplest of tasks can seem impossible if you don't know what you're doing and Dell is apparently all too aware that there is money to be made from these situations.
The Register today reports that the company is offering customers buying new computers the option of having Firefox installed for them as a piece of additional software. For a fee of £16. The site was forwarded a screenshot of the option by a reader who encountered the 'offer' while buying a new machine. These little service seems exclusive to Dell UK.
Dell isn't commenting on the incident, and sources within Mozilla said the foundation is investigating as this kind of behaviour is outside of its terms and conditions policy. Speaking to The Next Web, Mozilla's Vice President and General Counsel Denelle Dixon-Thayer made it pretty clear that what Dell is doing is not okay.
"There is no agreement between Dell and Mozilla which allows Dell or anyone else to charge for installing Firefox using that brand name," said Dixon-Thayer. "Our trademark policy makes clear that this is not permitted and we are investigating this specific report."
We've contacted Dell for comment, so we'll update if they decide to open up on the reasoning for this.
[Update] Dell sent us the following statement:
Dell Configuration Services, including the application loading service, ensure customers have a complete, ready to use product when it arrives. In this particular situation, the customer would not be charged for the Mozilla Firefox software download, rather the fee would cover the time and labor involved for factory personnel to load a different image than is provided on the system’s standard configuration.