posted a question
Mary DeFontes bought a computer and a service contract from Dell Computers Corp. DeFontes was
charged $950.51, of which $13.51 was identified on the invoice as “tax.” This amount was paid to the
state of Rhode Island. DeFontes and other Dell customers filed a suit in a Rhode Island state court
against Dell, claiming that Dell was overcharging its customers by collecting a tax on service contracts
and transportation costs. Dell asked the court to order DeFontes to submit the dispute to arbitration. Dell
cited its Terms and Conditions Agreement, “ which provides in part that by accepting delivery of Dell’s
products or services, a customer agrees to submit any dispute to arbitration. Customers can view this
agreement through an inconspicuous link at the bottom of Dell’s website, and Dell encloses a copy with
an order when it is shipped. Dell argued that DeFontes accepted these terms by failing to return her
purchase within 30 days, although the agreement did not state this. Is DeFontes bound to the “Terms and
Conditions Agreement?” Should the court grant Dell’s request? Why or why not?