Friday, December 29, 2006

Dell Outlet changes checkout. Is it for the better?

Dell Outlet has recently introduced a new screen to the selection of a system for purchase and checkout. This means that every time you want to purchase a system (or multiple systems) then you need to enter a verification code on what they call the "Add to Card Validation". Here is what Dell says about the page:

"Why do I need to type characters from a picture before I add a product to the cart? Typing the characters from a picture helps ensure that an individual, and not an automated program, is adding a product to their cart.

This is important because hackers use harmful programs to try to reserve large amounts of inventory, which then means inventory is unavailable to our customers. To protect the integrity of your purchase, we ask you to take this step. In most cases, an automated registration program can't recognize the characters in the picture."

You are then prompted to enter an eight digit alpha code. For all those "retailers" using scripts to grab large amounts of inventory and then sort through them while in your cart this will hopefully level the playing field for the rest of the regular users. In general this seems like a step in the right direction as I have purchased many systems off of their web site and have been frustrated more than once to see a system, selected it to add to cart to find out that it and all the rest of the items are all of a sudden gone. I only wonder if you are too slow on typing in the verification code if someone else can grab the system out from under you.

All in all I think this is a good step for Dell and I applaud them on this effort. Now if they can work on their support side I will be one happy camper!

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