As long as the deal sites have existed, retailers have had the ill luck of occasionally posting the incorrect price for a product in the favor of the consumer. Many a years ago when I worked at Smartbargains, we sold a a diamond necklace for $20 when it was supposed to go for $200. Usually, though – Amazon does this all the time – the retailer cancels all the orders and sends out a courteous email to the shopper stating that a price mistake has been posted and that it will not be honored. Apparently that kind of tom foolery don’t sit too well with the Taiwanese government.
Last Thursday, Dell Taiwan posted a NT$4,800 ($148 US) 19-inch LCD monitor for NT$500 ($15 US). 8 hour transpired before Dell could address the mistake and more than 26,000 people had ordered 140,000 of the monitors. Dell quickly sent out an email to all 26,000 customers stating that they would not honor the beyond basement bargain price and would provide a ‘reasonable discount’ for those who would still like the 19-inch LCD monitor. As a result Taiwan’s Consumer Protection Commission received over 471 complaints and ordered Dell to honor the price mistake otherwise they would seek legal action against the company. For the record that’s almost $21 million in merchandise sold for $2.1 million.