Re: Dell orders can be shortened
Oh God, HP in the UK (as compared to APEC) almost drove me to murder the fucking PMs who where ordering stuff.
The PMs ordered based off the parts list, and no-one thought to confirm that it would be assembled by HP, or that it would actually work. So I get handed a pile of boxes, and told "build teh servers!". They all came with redundant power supplies, but without the conversion kits to be able to mount them, which turned out to cost ~20% of the total cost again.
Then about 40% turn out to have been returns, where they flake out after being powered on for 20-60 hours. Luckily I still had my HP technician details from when I used to work for them, so I managed to convince them to accept returns after about a week, since each "fix" needed a couple of days to test.
HP then shipped us replacements. Which turned out to be the *same* units. Because their technicians couldn't replicate the fault, it tested fine, so ship it back as new.
Don't know what the rest of the world is like, but I've been sold too many things "new" in the UK which where IMHO refurbished or repaired.
Personally I'll always by second hand or refurb kit for anything that I expect a decent lifetime from. I think the only new power tools I've got are gifts, and they are often better (light industrial versus consumer) than what I could pick up at my local DIY store. It's just a pisser when they don't get returned, since I can't just go and grab another one for the same price.