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‘Super Dell’ irks mayor

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PROVO — Mayor Lewis Billings probably wishes he never proclaimed May 7 "Super Dell Day" in Provo.

That's the day Dell Schanze of Totally Awesome Computers gave Provo City employees a pep talk on customer service. Shortly after, Schanze became upset with the city's decision to buy new computers from another company — a decision he now harshly criticizes in a radio advertisement airing on six stations for the next two weeks.

Schanze, who is known for his overbearing radio and television ads, says Billings wasted $70,000 in taxpayer money by not buying new computers from Totally Awesome Computers to upgrade its network.

Provo spokesman Michael Mower says Schanze's claims are "totally wrong and totally inaccurate."

Schanze's response: "They're basically computer illiterate. They don't know what they're doing. . . . At this point, it's more important for them to save face than to save 70 grand. If they're not willing to change I have to ridicule them publicly."

The ads have angered Billings and Mower, who says allegations of wasting taxpayer money are serious and offensive. Mower says Schanze did not bid on the job to replace most of the city's computers, while 10 other companies did. The city went with IBM.