Dell Ordered To Honor $15 LCD Monitor Price Mistake, Set To Lose $19 Million

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 (read our other dell desktop reviews) 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.


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Christen Costa

Grew up back East, got sick of the cold and headed West. Since I was small I have been pushing buttons - both electronic and human. With an insatiable need for tech I thought "why not start a blog focusing on technology, and use my dislikes and likes to post on gadgets."

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  1. I call it a scam. Dell offer them “discount” coupon, problem is even with the discount the monitor still cost more than other brand. Last I check, Dell Monitor isn’t NAME BRAND compare to… say… BenQ or ASUS, which are both Taiwan Company.
    So they scam you into “giving you” coupon, and probably are hoping you’ll fork over some cash just because you have discount coupon.

  2. uh c’mon, Dell’s cost price really is not above Dell’s cost… you really think anyone can make that much profit ion this market whre everyone competes for every dollar???

  3. Strange? I am in Taiwan and this is what i heard and see so far:

    On June 25th around 10 pm, people notice on DELL Taiwan website,
    all Monitor is having “NT$7000″ online discount!
    That meant 19” monitor sell for NT$7499 is now NT$499!
    However, for monitor that priced lower than NT$7000 no discount are given.

    People spread this discovery via popular web site like Mobile01, PPT, Plurk.

    Some people try to warn DELL than realize there is no way to contact DELL!

    DELL finally rectify discount error on June 26th 7am and automated email were send to customer saying their order has been cancelled and each will be contact individually.

    Some customer than realize some cancelled order were not their own but other people’s order with banking detail.

    DELL post response to this accident for very short period of time than take it off website.

    Taiwan’s Consumer Protection Commission (TCPC) “sponsored” by Government receive complaint from customer and got involved.

    DELL start negotiation with TCPC by suggest offering 10% discount which is rejected by TCPC

    TCPC “suggest” DELL honor first LCD on each customer’s order and is rejected by DELL.

    So far still no official DELL statement and no single customer has received phone call from DELL concern this accident.


    Lastly TCPC has no legal power to “ORDER” anybody to do anything.
    Latest negotiation with DELL has been unsuccessful
    and TCPC is now suggest consumer to sue DELL themself.

    Time now is July 2nd 7pm and still no official statement from DELL…

  4. I would like to explain something about this event. Waiting the response from Dell for about one week, the customers got nothing! No phone call or a “courteous e-mail” to tell the customers that they made a mistake on their web site and they are sorry for that. NOTHING we got in the past week. Dell had chance to said sorry and made some action but they didn’t. That’s why people in Taiwan angers about Dell.

  5. It will not happen.

    So far DELL has been very quiet about whole things.
    (A brilliant tactic in my opinion.)

    So far they refuse to make any official announcement.
    Only thing customer (and not all of them) received is automated “your order been cancelled” email.

  6. Who knows… $15USD is probably above their cost price so they might’ve still managed a profit? Moving 140 000 monitors in 8 hours is brilliant – might even inspire Dell to venture into the ‘cheap’ shop market!

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