Dell Australia Fined $10M

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Sydney, Aug 14: Dell Australia Pty Ltd has been ordered by the Federal Court to pay a $10 million penalty following the finding that it engaged in false and deceptive conduct on its website regarding discounted prices for additional computer monitors.
In response to enforcement actions brought forth by the ACCC, Dell Australia admitted to providing misleading information to customers regarding the pricing of a range of monitors that could be bundled with desktop, laptop, or notebook purchases.
The monitors were frequently promoted with a higher “strikethrough” price, implying substantial savings when paired with other computer items.
The company acknowledged that it had exaggerated the discounts offered to customers, as the monitors were often not actually sold at the stated strikethrough price during most of the relevant period. This led to instances where consumers paid more than they would have for the monitor as a standalone product. Over 5,300 monitors were sold to consumers with these inflated discounts.

The misleading ads by Dell.

Dell Australia further confessed to misleading customers through various statements, including phrases like “Total Savings,” “Includes x% off,” “Discounted Price,” and “Get the best price for popular accessories when purchased with this product.”
ACCC Commissioner Liza Carver emphasized the significance of this outcome as a deterrent to businesses engaging in false price representations, underlining that accurate pricing information is vital for consumer decision-making.
She urged businesses to exercise caution when advertising discounted prices to ensure transparency and compliance with consumer protection laws.In a prior ruling this year, the Court ordered Dell Australia to reimburse affected consumers, issue corrective notices, and assess its compliance program.
The company was also directed to contribute to the ACCC’s costs.
Throughout the proceedings, Dell Australia cooperated by admitting its breach of the Australian Consumer Law, collaborated with the ACCC on penalty considerations, and started offering refunds to certain consumers prior to the Court’s orders.
Dell Technologies Inc, a US-based technology company operating globally through its website, is responsible for the development, sale, repair, and support of computers and related products.
A Dell spokesperson told “We are pleased that this is now behind us, and our focus can return to serving our Australian customers.
“As we acknowledged in November 2022 when the ACCC commenced these proceedings, due to an error in Dell’s pricing processes, there was incorrect information displayed on our website about the pricing and savings associated with certain monitors.
“We have fully cooperated 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.”
Dell Australia, headquartered in New South Wales, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dell Technologies.

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