Dell is reportedly offering customers in the U.K. the option to have Mozilla’s Firefox internet browser pre-installed on their new computers. There’s a catch, though, in that the small service costs an extra £16.25 (about $27).
After The Register caught on to the questionable offer, Mozilla told the British paper it’s looking into any possible legal violations, adding that it never agreed to any installation fees. A bit later, Dell told The Next Web that it’s not doing anything wrong. The company argues it’s actually charging for the act of installing the browser rather than the software itself.
“In this particular situation, the customer would not be charged for the Mozilla Firefox software download,” a Dell spokesperson told TNW. “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.”
Beyond any legal implications, Dell’s offer seems designed to take advantage of its customers considering it only takes about a minute to install a simple piece of software like Firefox, and most of that time is spent sitting and waiting. The offer is available for certain models in the U.K. but doesn’t appear as an option in the U.S. If you do spot it though, definitely don’t check that box. The fact that you made it to this site means you can probably handle installing Firefox yourself.