Dell Faces Litigation Over Fake Monitor Discounts

judge with gavel
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

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.


(Image credit: ACCC, Dell)

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.

Ash Hill
Contributing Writer

Ash Hill is a contributing writer for Tom's Hardware with a wealth of experience in the hobby electronics, 3D printing and PCs. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting while also finding the best coupons and deals on all tech.

  • As per the report, consumers paid more than A$2 million ($1.32 million) for add-on monitors between August 2019 and mid-December 2021. Ouch ! o_O

    The sure-fire way to ensure you're getting a good price is to compare rival products. Just because a Dell monitor, for example, is technically discounted from its recent MSRP, it doesn't mean it's the best value among monitors with similar specs.

    Btw, I've seen various vendors on Amazon claim that a years-old price is the typical price of a product. Doesn't come much of a surprise though.

    The Australian Federal Court also found that Dell's Australian website used deceptive language, like "Includes x% off," “Total Savings" plus a dollar amount, “Discounted Price” and a dollar amount, and "Get the best price for popular accessories when purchased with this product."
  • PlaneInTheSky
    The shocking part is not that Dell tries to rip off customers, that's normal for Dell.

    The shocking part is that Dell is still in business.
  • mac_angel
    Good!!! They do illegal crap all the time!!!! They seriously need to be charged with criminal activity