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Date Issue Title
11th Aug 2006 Questionable Practice Dell sued over 'false' ads claims

Report
Dell, the world's largest computer maker, is facing legal action in China over allegations of false advertising.

The group has been sued over charges its laptops contained a different, cheaper chip than those advertised.

According to state media reports at least 20 lawsuits have been filed against the Texas-based firm.

In a statement on its Direct2Dell website, Dell admitted it had made an "unfortunate and unintended marketing mistake" and apologised for the error.

Dell said had contacted customers and explained the difference between the two chips and offered full refunds to any customers who were still unsatisfied.

Spokeswoman Sharon Zhang said the error took place after the firm began to switch the chips used in certain laptop models, but sales brochures and order forms were not updated in time.

The problems centre on Dell's Inspiron 640M laptop, according to marketing materials the model was fitted with Intel's T2300 chip which allows a computer to run multiple software applications at the same time.

However, in China, and some other countries Dell instead fitted the laptops with the T2300E chip which did not support this function. The chip also costs $32 less than the T2300.

A report in the China Daily newspaper said the first case accusing Dell of false advertising had been filed in Shanghai on 26 July, and a further 19 were filed on 8 August in Xiamen.

The court action could hinder Dell's attempts to lure customers away from rival Lenovo, the market leader in China.

Source: BBC
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4785641.stm

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