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Dell let off the hook

by on16 July 2007


Consumers should read fine print


The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that Dell was allowed to refuse to honor a price it accidently posted on its online site for Axim handheldpersonal digital assistants.The court said that arbitration was still a viable alternative andbesides, consumers should read the fine print.

Montreal's Olivier Dumoulin sued Dell because the company wouldn't honor incorrectly listed prices for Axims. The prices were $89 and $118, depending upon the model when the real prices were $379 and $549.

Dell claimed that in its fine print it had an arbitration clause was buried among terms and conditions not easily accessed on Dell's website.This prevented its customers from suing in a class action and mean that the case had to be referred to a more expensive, to the consumer,arbitration process.

Big business favours arbitration because it's done privately, it doesn't draw negative publicity and costs it much less.Recent laws in Quebec or Ontario now prevent Dell from using such clauses.

More here.

Last modified on 16 July 2007
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