Tue, Jul 07, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Control Yuan may summon Dell officials over prices

MARKETING TACTIC? After the computer company ‘mistakenly’ advertised ridiculously low prices for its products, Dell offered to sell the items at a discount

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Control Yuan member Cheng Jen-hung (程仁宏) said yesterday that he would not rule out summoning officials of Dell Inc for questioning after the international computer company once again mislabeled price tags for products on its Taiwanese Web site.

Cheng told reporters at the legislature that he would also call on the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) to establish a set of rules regulating online pricing practices.

“For example, companies should be required to ship a certain number of products to customers who place orders [on a Web site] or to give consumers a certain amount of compensation,” Cheng said.

“Similar problems have happened before. Consumers should not be forced to take responsibility for the mistakes of companies,” Cheng said.

Cheng made the remark in response to the mislabeling of prices for Dell’s Latitude E4300 notebook computer on its Taiwanese Web site on Sunday.

The notebook was listed at about NT$18,500 (US$564), down from the original price of NT$60,900, the Nownews.com site reported.

This was the second time in 10 days that the US PC vendor misquoted prices on its Web site. On June 25, the company advertised two liquid-crystal-display monitors at about 10 percent of their normal prices.

Dell Taiwan president Terence Liao (廖仁祥) told the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister paper) on Sunday that the prices had been a mistake and that the company had suspended online purchases pending a thorough review of the problem.

Cheng said yesterday he believed the government should “step up to protect the rights of consumers” on similar matters.

“This way, companies will not recklessly mislabel product prices as part of their marketing campaign,” Cheng said.

In response to its latest error, Dell said that it would offer discount coupons to people who placed orders.

The computer maker will provide a NT$20,000 discount to people who placed orders for the laptops, Terence Liao (廖仁祥), the company’s Taiwan head, said at a press conference yesterday.

In the earlier error, the Web site priced a 19-inch LCD monitor at NT$500, rather than its usual price of NT$7,500.

The company will give a NT$1,000 voucher for those who placed orders for the LCD monitors, Liao said.


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