Vodafone stops sales of Dell 3G netbook after mixup

Australia’s first 3G netbook bundle has come undone with Vodafone putting a temporary stop on sales of Dell Inspiron Mini 9 netbooks designed to run on the carrier’s 3G HSDPA network.

The reason? The netbooks supplied by Dell were fitted with only an 8GB solid state drive rather than the standard 16GB drive as promoted by Vodafone. The netbooks also lacked the promised copy of Microsoft Works Suite 2009.

Customers who signed up for the 3G netbook on a $69/month contract over two years were surprised to discover the half-sized drives which leave little elbow room alongside the pre-loaded Windows XP SP3 operating system.

The first batch of Inspiron Mini 9’s sent to Vodafone and then sold to customers were fitted with only an 8GB drive instead of the advertised 16GB SSD

Greg Spears Head of Public Relations for Vodafone Australia confirmed there was “an issue with the configuration of the first shipment from Dell”.

“The first batch of Dell Inspiron Mini 9 netbooks sold by Vodafone Australia since December 1 were installed with (an) 8GB Solid State Drive rather than the 16GB SSD hard drives specified by Vodafone” Spears told APC.

“Vodafone has temporarily suspended sales of the Dell netbooks and will replace all units in stores and those already held by customers.”

According to Spears Dell has assured the carrier that replacement stock fitted with the 16GB drive is being shipped to Australia and will be available before Christmas.

“Replacement netbooks will be sent directly to affected customers by courier” Spears told APC. “Customers are advised to remove and retain their Vodafone SIM for use in their new netbook.”