Tech company Mozilla is investigating reports that Dell is imposing users a fee to install the Firefox browser.
One user told the Register website that he paid £16.25 (approximately $27.20) for the installation of the browser.
Firefox is a free, open-source software.
Mozilla said that there was “no agreement” between them and Dell that authorizes the latter’s alleged charges.
“Our trademark policy makes clear that this is not permitted and we are investigating this specific report,” said Mozilla’s general counsel vice president Denelle Dixon-Thayer.
“The Mozilla product must be without cost and its distribution (whether by download or other media) may not be subject to a fee, or tied to subscribing to or purchasing a service, or the collection of personal information,” read Mozilla’s policy document.
‘Time and labour’
Dell argues that the fee was for labor costs.
“In this particular situation, the customer would not be charged for the Mozilla Firefox software download, 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,” wrote Dell in a statement.
Dell’s action drew flak online, especially on Twitter.
“Shame on @DellUK for selling @Firefox to customers,” said one tweet.
“That’s £100 per hour to install free software,” commented another.