Last June we knew that Dell was going to trial in Australia for offering false discounts to thousands of customers. Specifically, the company offered numerous bogus offers, resulting in thousands of scammed users. The reason was inflate the prices of their computers and monitors to make users believe that they were buying products with discounts of up to 60%.
Two months later, we already know the result of this lawsuit, and it is that the Federal Court of Australia has sentenced Dell guilty of having deceived customers by making “misleading representations on your website about discounts or prices“.
Dell Australia: 5.90 million euros for deceiving its customers with false discounts
Thus, in a legal action taken by the country’s competition regulator, the Federal Court found Dell Australia misleading customers about monitor prices or discounts on their official website. Therefore, the Court today ordered the local unit of Dell Technologies Inc. to pay a fine of 10 million Australian dollars (6.46 million US dollars or 5.90 million euros to change). This payment is linked to the concept of fines for make misleading statements on their website about discounts on computer monitors.
“This result sends a strong message to businesses that misrepresenting prices or inflating discounts is a serious breach of consumer law and will lead to significant penalties,” said Liza Carver, Commissioner of the Australian Consumer Commission. Competition and Consumers.
Thanks to these deceptions, Dell Australia managed to sell more than 5,300 monitors by exaggerating the discounts between August 2019 and December 16, 2021. The lawsuit states that Dell will work with affected users to offer them the relevant refunds. While refunds were indicated, it is truly unknown how much money on average will receive each affected buyer.
“Dell will contact affected customers to provide them with an appropriate refund, plus interest. We are taking steps to improve our pricing processes to ensure this type of error does not happen again,” a Dell Australia spokesperson said in a statement to Reuters.
Cheating with offers is not an isolated case
Basically, you will already be thinking about the Black Friday or Prime Day. In some cases, as the day of the offers approaches, the prices begin to experience price increases. After this, the discounts are applied and then it ends up costing the same as it did before, or hopefully, a little less. But of course, the trap is that cheating on the discount percentage making believe that it is a better buy. In this way, you always have to look carefully before buying.
Another case is noticeably inflate the base price of the product without discount. With this, the user is deceived into believing that the price reduction is much greater and that it is a purchase that they are obliged to make. This is what Dell did, listing monitors for as low as $2,400, when they had gone on sale for around $800. The reason was that, after COVID-19, everything had gone up in price and this monitor had gone up to close to $1,000.