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By | Chris Mellor 27th July 2009 13:41

Taiwan consumer org 'froze' Dell bank account

Incompetence followed by indignity

Taiwanese authorities froze one of Dell's bank accounts for two days during a consumer law suit about pricing fiascos, local media report.

The account lockdown was part of the fallout after the company's Taiwanese online store incorrectly priced 19-inch LCD monitors at only $15, instead of $148. Twenty-inch monitors were also priced wrongly.

Some 140,000 very cheap monitors were sold - to 26,000 customers in total - before, eight hours later, Dell Taiwan realised it had posted the wrong prices and corrected the mistake. Showing a lack of understanding of the need to stop digging when you find yourself in a hole, Dell then proposed giving buyers of these monitors a mere $30 discount.

There is also a report of a subsequent notebook pricing error, with the Latitude E4300 notebook priced at $562 instead of $1,850. That was later corrected too, with Dell offering a $600 discount instead of honouring the displayed price.

The refusal by Dell to take its mistakes on the chin and sell the ordered goods at the displayed prices has caused damage to its reputation in Taiwan.

The local Consumer Protection Commission has said these were legally-displayed prices which Dell had to honour, and that the company faced a fine if it did not stand by them.

The bank account, frozen as part of the law suit, is apparently one used by Dell to pay money to its partners and suppliers in Taiwan.

Dell reportedly admitted that the bank account was in hibernation for two days, but says that normal operation was then restored. ®

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