hammer, you really need to read thru the other posts about the 9800 so you can get caught up.
You were charged because when you ordered you did not specify you wanted the upgrade option. Now, before you freak out, everyone here so far has said the same thing, where the heck was this "check box" when I ordered? So you are not alone, and you need to be constructive from here on.
I had called Dell's executive support line back in early August as all our initial orders were getting cancelled. I have since had an ongoing contact with a rep for the executives. Keep in mind, that also means this guy isn't a techy, and we all know more about the technical issues. but he has been in touch with the people in charge of the 9800 offer and I have been keeping him up on some of the issues.
Somewhere in the purchase steps there was supposed to have been a place to "opt in" for the upgrade. Between 30 and 40 people did so. That's it. Only 30 to 40 people received the emails from Dell about the upgrade, because only that group did it right. So where does that leave the rest of you? This is where tact and understanding come in. YOU need to contact Dell about your order. You need to explain how you ordered, that the main reason you ordered the XPS was for the upgrade, and NO WHERE did you ever see or were you ever asked if you wanted to "opt in" for the upgrade option. Be firm that you understood from all the information on the website that the upgrade was a benefit of buying the XPS, not that it was an optional item.
I've warned my contact that everyone I've seen post about the issue here has had your response. I've told him he should make sure to warn the people running this upgrade to be ready for people like you to call. As yet, I haven't seen anyone post they actually called and asked about getting the install charge removed because there was no place on the web order form to "opt in".
IF XPS owners will call and complain, not beligerantly, but respectfully and firmly, I think Dell will just offer the deal to all the XPS owners. As my contact said, it's their first time doing something like this so there were holes in their plan they didn't expect. He thanked me over and over for simply letting them know there WAS a problem brewing, because they can't fix the problem if no one tells them about it.
based on all the conversations, I feel Dell is likely to just give the install to all XPS people free, IF a good number of XPS owners call and complain. They have less than 40 people who officially opt'ed in. Fine, then if 30-60 people complain, they'll really get the idea that something was wrong. And considering the price they are charging for the install, I'm sure if you are respectful but angry (means no cursing on the phone AT the person) they will eat the install.
Do make sure you get past the reg sales or tech person though, you'll want this to be handled at the management level. Dell's managers are the ones who need to "know" about this issue, so they can come up with a plan of how to resolve it. If they think 1 person is upset they won't do anything. If they think 100 people are upset, they'll do something. It's only been a week, I only warned them last Thursday they were going to be flooded with complaints.
So, they are prepared to hear noise from XPS owners, so you need to log the complaint so it can be counted. If over the course of a couple weeks 50, 100, 200 people complain, they'll get the picture. Maybe they don't give in the first time you call. But simply, if the first person doesn't fold, respectfully ask for their manager, work the system. As you walk up the chain, someone is not going to want to deal with complaints, and after hearing the details is likely to just push a policy of give it to the XPS owners, it was implied everywhere. Just remember, that first or second person you talk with ISN'T allowed to make those types of decisions.