Dell fined in Taiwan over online pricing mishaps

By on July 30, 2009, 12:30 PM
Earlier this month Dell’s Taiwanese online store inadvertently began selling $150 LCD monitors for $15, and repeated the mistake roughly a week later by pricing a $1,900 notebook at around $600. As you might expect, both cases triggered an influx of orders before the company could detect the issues. Dell apologized and while not outright offering to honor sales, it promised “reasonable discounts” to those who ordered the incorrectly-priced products. Naturally, complaints ensued.

Now Taiwanese authorities have levied a fine against the Round Rock, Texas-based company for alleged customer rights infringements. Chen Poh-ching, the city's senior consumer rights official, said Dell must pay NT$1 million in accordance to Taiwan’s Consumer Protection Law. While that converts to roughly $30,000 U.S. dollars – a mere fraction of what it would cost them to make good on the orders – authorities said they would consider imposing repeated fines or even barring Dell from selling its products online if the company fails to provide a more satisfactory compensation package within two weeks.

The PC behemoth would not reveal how many orders it received at the erroneous prices, but it’s been estimated that 26,000 people placed orders for nearly 140,000 displays and that 14,943 orders were received for a total of 49,884 E3400 notebooks. Fair Trade Commission officials have also launched a probe into whether Dell is guilty of deliberately misleading customers and could fine the company with up to 25 million Taiwan dollars.




User Comments: 4

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raybay said:

Ah ha... but not required to honor the $600 price.

viperpfl said:

I don't think anyone in there right mind should expect Dell to swallow 64.8 million dollars. That's the amount for the laptop mistake alone. Don't get me wrong, Dell made a mistake and they should have to answer for it. They are answering it by giving discounts but not a $1,300 discount that people expect. If the government made a mistake on your taxes in your favor, the government wouldn't disregard the difference you would of had to pay. Why should we expect a company to do the same?

strategic strategic, TechSpot Paladin, said:

If the government made a mistake on your taxes in your favor, the government wouldn't disregard the difference you would of had to pay. Why should we expect a company to do the same?

In North America, as I understand it, if a price is incorrectly advertised, you basically have to bite the bullet and stand by it until it is caught. It's most likely the similar situation in Taiwan otherwise Dell would never have been fined. Unfortunately, the government is 'perfect', they don't make mistakes (even after they do). This '2-stage' law system is interesting...

Docnoq said:

strategic said:

If the government made a mistake on your taxes in your favor, the government wouldn't disregard the difference you would of had to pay. Why should we expect a company to do the same?

In North America, as I understand it, if a price is incorrectly advertised, you basically have to bite the bullet and stand by it until it is caught. It's most likely the similar situation in Taiwan otherwise Dell would never have been fined. Unfortunately, the government is 'perfect', they don't make mistakes (even after they do). This '2-stage' law system is interesting...

I'm not quite so sure about that. Deepdiscount.com incorrectly applied a discount to their gaming systems a few weeks back and was selling a new PS3 for $299.99 and a Wii for $186.00. Long story short, they caught the mistake and canceled many, many orders for people who tried to purchase them. Link:

http://forums.slickdeals.net/showthread.php?sduid=0&t=14
5757

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