Dell faces legal proceedings in Australia for allegedly misleading customers about the prices of monitors bought as add-ons for computers. The number of customers affected is unknown but could run into the thousands.
The case comes from (opens in new tab) the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, a body tasked with enforcing laws promoting competition and fair trade in the marsupial-stricken country. It claims that from at least August 2019 through December 2021, Dell Australia made false or misleading representations on its website about the prices of monitors and the potential savings when a monitor was purchased with a computer.
This means that when you bought a computer from Dell while on the southerly island continent, you were offered a monitor at a discount, with a higher price shown with a line through it. "The ACCC alleges the monitors were not sold for the 'strikethrough' price for most of the relevant time and, in some cases, the add-on price shown was more expensive than if the monitor was bought on a stand-alone basis," ACCC commissioner Liza Carver said.
“These proceedings are also significant because the alleged misleading conduct related to the online marketing of computers and monitors at a time when many families were in Covid lockdown. We know that many consumers turned to online purchases to buy equipment for working and schooling from home,” Carver continued.
The ACCC is seeking penalties, declarations, consumer redress, costs and other orders from Dell. Dell told Reuters that the issue affected roughly 2,100 customers due to an error involving its internal systems that set prices. This alleged error led to the incorrect monitor pricing displayed to customers.
The company added that its systems would undergo programming updates to prevent these mistakes from happening in the future.