Dell faces probe for making false representations on monitors

The ACCC has instituted Federal Court proceedings against Dell Australia for allegedly making false or misleading representations regarding the price of monitors that consumers could add on to purchases of Dell computers.
Dell computer monitor
The ACCC is seeking penalties, declarations, consumer redress, costs and other orders from Dell Australia. There is no statistics available on the number of Dell computer monitors sold in Australia.

It is alleged that from at least August 2019 to 16 December 2021, Dell Australia made false or misleading representations on its website about the prices of monitors and the potential savings when a monitor was purchased with a computer.

When a consumer selected a Dell desktop, laptop, or notebook for purchase on the Dell website, the consumer was offered the option of adding a monitor during the check-out process. Often, the monitor was shown with a higher price in strikethrough, representing a significant saving.

The ACCC alleges the monitors were not sold for the ‘strikethrough’ price for most of the relevant time and, in some cases, the add-on price shown was more expensive than if the monitor was bought on a stand-alone basis.

“While the total number of misled consumers is unknown, we believe many thousands of consumers were sold an add-on monitor which was advertised with a representation that an inflated discount applied,” ACCC Commissioner Liza Carver said.

Among the statements made about the discounted price of add-on monitors on Dell’s website were “Total Savings”, “Includes x percent off”, “Discounted Price”, and “Get the best price for popular accessories when purchased with this product”.