More than 1000 consumers have joined the #AfectadosDell movement created by FACUA

The association has reported Dell to Consumer Affairs in Madrid for refusing to deliver laptops that were bought from their website for 35 and 39 euros even though they had confirmed these orders.

More than 1000 consumers have joined the #AfectadosDell movement created by FACUA

More than 1,000 Dell laptop buyers have joined the movement created by FACUA-Consumers in Action in the face of the multinational company's refusal to deliver the products they sold from their site for 35 and 39 euros.

The #AfectadosDell movement had amassed 1,256 consumers at 9am this Monday. FACUA set this in motion to inform them of their rights and bolster their claims directed at the American multinational in order to make the company comply with contracts of sale and deliver the products to the consumers. The subjects of this dispute are eight Dell laptops, models Inspirion 5000 and 7000, that were on offer on May 23 for 35 and 39 euros. Users can join the movement through the website FACUA.org/AfectadosDell.

FACUA filed the first complaint against Dell last Friday before the General Directorate of Consumer Affairs of the Community of Madrid, where the company has its head office in Spain. This week several more shall be lodged with other regional administrations of consumer affairs, that have the power to sanction the company for infringing consumer protection regulation by unilaterally cancelling contracts of purchase signed with a multitude of users.

Although Dell claims that it offered products at such low prices as a result of an error, FACUA considers that it is obliged to deliver them. And not only were the purchases processed automatically from the company's website, but after several hours it sent an email to each user in which it communicated a "confirmation of order", the technical characteristics of the product purchased, the clauses of the formalised purchase agreement and the delivery date.

Dell's contractual conditions

With the intention of avoiding possible errors, the company reserves the right "review" each order made through their online store and considers a "contract to not be formalised (...) unless or until Dell has accepted the order via written confirmation of the order". Although FACUA considers this practice legally questionable, it is a key element to argue that the company precisely reviewed all the orders of laptops sold at bargain prices and formalised the contracts by sending each buyer a message several hours later to inform them of the "confirmation of their order".

In their report to the Community of Madrid, FACUA argues that "even allowing the possibility that an employee made a mistake while adding the price to the product description on the online store (a human error that could be avoided by allocating more resources to the task), it does not seem reasonable that such an error could also pass through the orders’ 'review' process, since it apparently has no other purpose than to control the price and availability of products".

FACUA argues that the orders formalised by the users met all the requirements contained in the Law of Electronic Commerce and Information Society Services, the regional and state laws of consumer protection and the Civil Code to consider Dell is obliged to deliver the laptops at the prices offered.

Violation of Consumer Legislation

Additionally, the association notes that the breach of the contractual obligations undersigned by Dell with the buyers of the products implies a violation of consumer legislation was committed, which ought to be subject to economic sanction on the part of regional authorities of consumer affairs, which also have the power to impose on them the delivery of the products.

In addition to the fines, FACUA recalls that the state legislation for consumer protection grants regional authorities the power to force companies to comply with their obligations. In this way, Article 48 of the revised text of the General Law for the Defence of Consumers and Users establishes, in accordance with the text provided in Article 28 of the Law on the Legal System of the Public Sector, that "in the sanctions procedure the offender may be required to reset the situation altered by the infringement of its original state and, where appropriate, to compensate for damages proven and caused to the consumer".