By Patrick Avenell
Dick Smith Electronics has written to its customers apologising for advertising a 32GB MicroSD memory card for only $8, as revealed by UnderCurrent on Wednesday 6 March 2013. The product that was intended to be advertised at that price point was an 8GB MicroSD card. Dick Smith will not be honouring the offer.
In an email entitled “Oops… We would like to say sorry…”, and signed “The Dick Smith Team”, representatives of the electronics retailer said the offer was a mistake.
Dear Valued Customer,
On the 5th of March you may have received an email featuring a Dick Smith 8GB SDHC Memory card Class 10. However, this was incorrectly labelled as a Dick Smith 32GB SDHC Memory Card Class 10, and was sent in error. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
Dick Smith refers customers to its Terms and Conditions for an explanation of why it will not honour the deal. Section 4.1 appears to absolve Dick Smith on any responsibility to honour any offer at any time:
In certain circumstances, we may need to reject your order. This may happen where the requested Product is not available or if there is an error in the price or the product description posted on the Site.
Current.com.au has no evidence that this Term was changed between sending the original email and sending the apology.
Dick Smith’s decision not to honour this deal – or any similar deal advertised in error – contrasts sharply with online electronics retailer Kogan and Officeworks. As respected rival hack Angus Kidman has noted, Kogan’s policy is to honour deals offered in error and Officeworks once accidently sold cartons of facial tissues for 1 cent.
Since Dick Smith was sold to private equity firm Anchorage Capital Partners the company has refused my repeated requests for interviews so I am unable to discuss this or the many other issues affecting the company directly.
The traditional retailers have repeatedly complained to me about the practices of online-only rivals like Kogan — they dislike him and his ilk for devaluing categories, parallel importing and for generally being a nuisance. They’re allowed to like or dislike anyone they won’t — and I agree with them on some points — but in this instance Dick Smith it wrong and Kogan is right.
Note: Paragraphs in italics are direct quotes.