The Australian Federal Court has published documentation about recent litigation faced by Dell Australia over falsifying discounts to consumers. Online shoppers were led to believe they were saving money by purchasing Dell monitors as add-on purchases at a discount. In reality, those monitors were never priced at the rate indicated by the strikethrough price on the product page.
This information comes to us from official court documents released by the Australian Federal Court earlier this week. In this document, it’s confirmed that some customers were even misled into purchasing the monitors at a higher rate than they would have paid, had they purchased the monitor by itself.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) raised these charges and provided additional details about the matter.
"As the Court noted, price and discounts are key differentiating factors for consumers deciding between product offers, and this case reinforces the importance of retailers displaying genuine ‘was/now’ pricing and accurate savings," ACCC Commissioner Liza Carver stated in a recent press release.
The ACCC also provided a screenshot with an example product page of what was displayed to customers, misleading them into purchasing the monitors at full price. The strikethrough price indicated that customers would need to buy the monitor as an add-on to avoid paying the full price. However, these monitors were never priced as the strikethrough rate.
The official court documents from the Australian Federal Court state that it is impossible to determine the exact number of customers who were affected by the misleading price mechanism. However, the ACCC claims that more than 5,300 add-on monitors were sold with overstated discounts. The Australian Federal Court has ordered Dell to offer refunds (full or partial) to customers affected by the situation.
If you want to read more about the legal proceedings, you can find the official court documents on the Australian Federal Court website and additional details from the ACCC’s media release. We always recommend verifying price history for purchases using third party tools such as PC Part Picker. Amazon product price history can be confirmed (to some extent) with tools such as Camel Camel Camel. You can also find monitor deals in our buying guide here at Tom’s Hardware where we regularly share genuine discounts on Dell monitors and other big-name manufacturers.