Compensating for a website blunder which offered PCs for just £1, Compaq is offering customers a free printer, but only if they buy a PC at the usual price.
More than 100 customers took advantage of an embarrassing error that offered Compaq iPaq Legacy Lite PCs for £1, instead of £530, from Compaq's UK website. But the vendor insisted it was unrealistic to expect it to honour the deal. A Compaq representative said: "The problem arose because data on a testing site was transferred to our online site due to human error."
But Ajay Patel, lawyer at the UK Consumers' Association, said a deal can be legally binding even if money does not change hands. He added, however: "Advertising on a website for sale at a certain price is not legally binding."
A recent case against retailer Argos was dropped before it got to court, after the store refused to sell televisions advertised on its website at £2.99 instead of £299.99.
- Compaq rejigged its enterprise hardware division last week, following the resignation of Enrico Pesatori, the unit's former senior vice-president. Pesatori, who joined Compaq through its acquisition of Tandem, has joined Synaxia Networks, a networking startup.
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