{{ searchResult.published_at | date:'d MMMM yyyy' }}

Loading ...
Loading ...

Enter a search term such as “mobile analytics” or browse our content using the filters above.

No_results

That’s not only a poor Scrabble score but we also couldn’t find any results matching “”.
Check your spelling or try broadening your search.

Logo_distressed

Sorry about this, there is a problem with our search at the moment.
Please try again later.

The holidays are a time for generosity. But unless Michael Dell is trying to play the role of Santa Claus this year, even the holidays rarely see the type of generosity that appeared on the Dell website a day ago as users of SlickDeals.net started noticing significant pricing 'errors' on the Dell website.

These included pages of heavily-discounted prices on CPUs, namely dual and quad core Intel processors for under $20.

It didn't take long for SlickDeals.net users to place their orders, and it only took a little bit longer for Dell to pull the prices. Needless to say, some unlucky Dell employees will experience reduced holiday cheer as they deal with the orders that aren't going to be honored.

Some have suggested that the pricing errors are the work of disgruntled Dell employees. Dell just announced plans to lay off 700 workers in Malaysia, but that was a manufacturing plant so I think it's premature to assume that the pricing and the layoffs are related. That said, the nature of the errant pricing is suspicious, although not all of the errors were generous (one hard drive was listed at $21,000). As I write this, Dell has yet to issue any statement about the cause.

Regardless of the cause, however, this situation isn't pretty. If intentionally made, the pricing changes would highlight a severe breach of security protocol given how many products seem to have been affected. If actual errors, it would seem that Dell's system has a serious flaw somewhere.

In either case, this came at the worst time of year for Dell, and not only is it embarrassing, it comes at a real cost as Dell employees will have to find, cancel and possibly refund orders that took advantage of the errant pricing.

That said, it's the holiday season so I'm sure all will be forgiven and hopefully the real Santa will deliver some just-in-time deals of his own.

Photo credit: Matti Mattila via Flickr.

Patricio Robles

Published 18 December, 2009 by Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles is a tech reporter at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

2377 more posts from this author

Comments (0)

Comment
No-profile-pic
Save or Cancel
Daily_pulse_signup_wide

Enjoying this article?

Get more just like this, delivered to your inbox.

Keep up to date with the latest analysis, inspiration and learning from the Econsultancy blog with our free Daily Pulse newsletter. Each weekday, you ll receive a hand-picked digest of the latest and greatest articles, as well as snippets of new market data, best practice guides and trends research.