Dell admits misleading consumers about monitor prices

Consumers who purchased monitors from Dell as an add-on to a desktop or laptop were misled about prices and charged inflated rates.

Details suggesting monitors could be purchased individually for higher prices, and that computer packages represented significant savings were false and misleading.

The company sold more than 5300 add-on monitors with overstated discounts.

Dell made these admissions in the Federal Court on Monday, saying the false claims were made because of an “unrectified error” on its part.

The firm had been sued by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which is seeking penalties.

“We have fully co-operated with the ACCC throughout their investigation, have been working with impacted customers to provide appropriate refunds plus interest, and are taking steps to improve our pricing processes to ensure this sort of error does not happen again,” a Dell spokesperson said.

“Dell has deactivated that functionality on the website and we are actively working to update our systems to prevent the error from reoccurring.”

The court ordered the firm to undertake a redress scheme to refund customers affected by the falsely inflated rates.

Dell has so far compensated over 4250 individuals.

ACCC Commissioner Liza Carver said the consumer watchdog had brought the case because it was concerned about statements Dell was making about its prices.

“In some cases, consumers paid more for the add-on monitor advertised as ‘discounted’ than they would have paid if they had bought it as a standalone product, which is shocking,” she said.

“This case serves as an important reminder to businesses that suggestive upselling or bundling of products must not mislead consumers as to the deal they are getting.”

A hearing on further relief sought by the ACCC will take place on August 14.

-AAP

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