The Australian arm of Dell Inc. has been found guilty of duping customers with fake discounts on add-on monitors that customers could include as a bundle with computers. Dell Australia has also admitted to the wrongdoing and will refund over 4,250 customers in the country, news from Reuters reported.
Dell Australia dupes customers
The Federal Court of Australia issued a decision declaring by consent that Dell Australia misled consumers on discount bundles such as what has been mentioned earlier.
“We brought these proceedings because we were concerned that Dell Australia had misled its consumers with false representations about its pricing and discounts,” ACCC Commissioner Liza Carver said. “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 stand-alone product, which is shocking.”
ACCC stands for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. It is the chief competition regulator of the Australian government and is under the country’s Treasury Department.
Dell Australia offered over 5,300 add-on monitors sold as a bundle with overstated and fake discounts. Consumers could add these monitors to their purchases of Dell computers.
“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,” Carver further pointed out.
Dell admits wrongdoing
The case against Dell Australia for allegedly making misleading or false representations on the prices of monitors part of the purchase bundle has been running since November of last year. The period of the purchases was from at least August 2019 to December 16th, 2021.
During that time when the case was first brought up, Dell’s Australian arm was accused of making false or misleading representations on the prices of these monitors, as well as the savings consumers can get when they purchase them with a computer. Often, the monitor was allegedly shown with a higher price struck through, denoting a considerable saving the customer could get.
Now, the technology company admitted those monitors were not sold for the original price struck through, with the add-on price even more expensive than if a customer bought the monitor separately.
Dell Australia also admitted it made misleading statements on the discounted prices, particularly the usage of the terms “Total Savings,” “Discounted Price,” “Get the best price for popular accessories when purchased with this product,” and “Includes x percent off.”
“This case serves as an important reminder to businesses that suggestive upselling or bunding of products must not mislead consumers as to the deal they are getting,” the ACCC Commissioner added.
Penalties will be heard at a later date.