Latin America & Caribbean

Dell error hands Mexicans $33 laptop bargain

Anuncio Dell Image copyright DELL
Image caption The slogan for this bargain laptop, targeted at gamers, reads: "designed to cause damage"

Mexican officials have ordered Dell Computers to honour the sale of laptops that had been mistakenly advertised online for just 679 pesos (£27; $33).

The computers normally sell for up to 50,000 pesos (£1,990; $2,500).

But because of an apparent software malfunction, only the shipping costs - 679 pesos - were included in an advert published earlier this month.

When the US company realised the mistake, cancelled the sales and offered refunds, buyers complained.

Some created a Facebook group inviting other buyers to refer the case to Mexico's federal consumer protection agency Profeco.

Profeco agreed to consider the complaint and said on Thursday: "Dell will have to deliver the equipment offered to customers who received an email confirming the sale before the ad was withdrawn."

The agency also urged the company "to improve its customer service mechanisms".

Dell later acknowledged it had made a mistake and said it was "working with the relevant authorities" to rectify it.

It is not clear how many computers were sold before the ad was taken down.

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