WhY can't I buy a DeLL PC online without having to buy McAfee too? I know that I can buy the same PC via phone and not be forced to buy McAfee.
Many of Dell computers come with a 30 day limited version of McAfee. You can uninstall McAfee, and install any Anti-virus software of your choice. You should check McAfee site for removal software.
I usually buy my computers online, so I can check, and double check what I am buying.
Depends on your choice of model. Special offers with set configurations might have McAfee installed. If you start from scratch instead of a special, you usually can get it without any security software.
It doesn't matter to me what PC I want to buy I don't want McAfee ever. I started with an Inspiron 14 as the base model, and modified that. So I'm not sure what you mean by starting "from scratch". Because there was no option to buy without McAfee !
I want to buy an an Inspiron 14" laptop for my wife and the shortest time period for McAfee was 15 months. I don't to pay for anything that I want to remove as soon as I receive the unit!
That is not the problem! Certainly it is easy to uninstall software. The issue is that DELL gives your credit card number, without your knowledge or consent, to Mcaffee so they can bill you automatically at the end of the subscription period. I have bought a number of computers from Dell because they are generally pretty good and well supported machines, but they have done this with every single one I bought. There was even a lawsuit in New York state against the anti-virus companies Symantec and McAfee (see http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9134221/Symantec_McAfee_to_pay_fines_over_auto_renewals).
When McAfee was caught doing this, they said something to the press that was profoundly arrogant: people need their software so badly that they could not afford a gap in coverage that would occur if they had to take the time to actually order their software.
Before they started doing that, they did the same thing with AOL's worthless dialup service from the 90's. Several times I called AOL when they billed my credit card, and they tried to suggest that "someone fished a credit card receipt of mine out of the trash, got my credit card number from it, and used it to buy - not jewelry or other goodies - but a dial up subscription. This was years after people stopped using imprinters for credit cards.
So the real question is - is it possible to buy a computer from DELL without having them give your credit card to some unwanted third party who can do whatever they want with it.