Lenovo offers $100 for laptop pricing glitch

Computer manufacturer Lenovo is offering customers $100 off the price of a laptop after a glitch on the company's website fooled many customers into buying an extremely cheap computer that the company later rescinded the offer on.

Company refunds website glitch that saw computers offered at abnormally low prices

The computer firm irked thousands of consumers when it said its computer advertised for $300 was a mistake, Aaron Saltzman reports 2:29

Computer manufacturer Lenovo is offering customers $100 off the price of a laptop after a glitch on the company's website fooled many customers into buying an extremely cheap computer that the company later rescinded the offer on.

Over the weekend and into Monday, Lenovo's website was offering a special price for the Y410P laptop of $279 — the regular price is $1,389.

Consumers were asked to enter the rebate code "DOORCRASHER" to access the deal. Many did, and received emails confirming their orders and processing payment, only to receive another email from the company later on informing them that the deal had been offered in error.

"The error mistakenly allowed a 'doorbuster' e-coupon to be combined with an instant savings discount price," Lenovo said in a statement Tuesday. "As a result, prices and the automatically generated calculation of discount percentages and savings appeared in error."

The company has cancelled all transactions that went through, and is offering any customer who made an order a $100 gift card on any new computer purchase.

"This $100 can be deducted from the total order amount regardless of any discounts already applied to that order through Aug. 3, 2014," the company said.

But some customers say the company hasn't gone far enough, and they want Lenovo to live up to its end of the original, erroneous bargain.

"Even upwards to 12 hours afterwards, the website was still fully functional and allowing more orders to be placed," customer Calvin Leung told CBC News.

"We believe that Lenovo should honour their pricing advertisement since they have already taken our money and kept the advertisement up for longer than an acceptable amount of time considering it occurred on business days," Leung added.

"Not only did Lenovo charge people's credit cards, but [they] have baited consumers to get their credit card and personal information," customer Emilio Lutchman said.

More than 2,700 people have signed an online petition asking Lenovo to live up to its end of the bargain. Many customers have complained to Canada's Competition Bureau — under Sec. 74.05 of Canada's Competition Act, companies are liable for a fine of up to $10 million for failing to prohibit "the sale or rent of a product at a price higher than its advertised price."

But the act specifies the provision does not apply if the advertised price was a mistake and the error was immediately corrected.

The Competition Bureau confirmed in an email to CBC News that it has received multiple complaints about the glitch, but stopped short of confirming or denying whether an investigation is underway. "We cannot speculate on whether or not the Competition Act has been violated, as we have a responsibility to do a thorough and complete examination prior to drawing any conclusions," a spokesman for the watchdog says.

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