Customers cash in on IBM pricing blunder

Australian and New Zealand buyers took advantage of a pricing blunder on IBM's Australian Web site, landing ThinkPad notebooks at 10 per cent of their normal price.

Last month the company advertised ThinkPad R40 notebooks on the site for $201. The price should have been $2049 including GST, says IBM Australia spokesman Glen Thomas.

The promotion "was only up for about a day and a half" before the mistake was realised, but in that time 220 orders were placed.

Ten were New Zealanders, says Thomas. The rest were Australians.

IBM decided to bite the bullet and honour the orders at the advertised price. The difference amounts to $406,000.

Thomas says the decision to stand by the incorrect pricing was based on IBM's belief that it's what customers would expect. He gave no direct reply to the question whether an effort to recover the money or cancel the orders was contemplated or likely to be successful in law.

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