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Dell Simplifies Pricing, Rolls Back Rebates

Over a 12- to 18-month period, the company will move to offer fewer special deals, while cutting back on the use of mail-in rebates, on products targeted at consumers and small businesses.

On Wednesday, computer giant Dell announced it would streamline its pricing structure for consumers and small businesses by slashing the number of special deals and cutting back on the use of mail-in rebates.

"It became increasingly clear that a simple pricing and sales structure would make it easier for customers," said Ro Parra, senior vice president of Dell's home and small business division, in a statement. "They told us what they wanted and we're delivering what they asked for."

The process will take 12 to 18 months, said Parra, and will result in a 70-80 percent reduction in the number of promotions. Dell is targeting its Dimension desktops and Inspiron laptops -- the lines aimed at consumers and small businesses -- in particular for the sales simplification.

Dell will also reduce the number of mail-in rebates over time; as of August 1, however, it will move to an all-electronic rebate process to eliminate paperwork and speed up delivery of checks to customers.

The move comes at a time when Dell faces slower growth, a sluggish PC market, the delay of Windows Vista, and a resurgence of its main rival, Hewlett-Packard.

Dell shares were up 8 cents by mid-day Thursday, to $22.46.

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