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Updated: May 27, 2014 8:31 AM | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Lenovo pricing error upsets customers with dishonoured deals



This April 25, 2014 photo shows the Lenovo Flex 15D laptop computer, in Atlanta. The Flex 15D has a touch-sensitive screen and can be positioned with the keybord facing down and act as a stand for touch screen use. (© AP Photo/Ron Harris)

This April 25, 2014 photo shows the Lenovo Flex 15D laptop computer, in Atlanta. The Flex 15D has a touch-sensitive screen and can be positioned with the keybord facing down and act as a stand for touch screen use. (AP Photo/Ron Harris) Ron Harris/Associated Press

Computer manufacturer Lenovo is in hot water with some of its customers for refusing to live up to a deal — laptops at extremely low prices — that was erroneously posted on its website.

On the weekend, Lenovo's website offered a "door-crasher" special 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 the next day informing them that the deal had been offered in error.

"Due to a pricing error on our website, we will have to cancel your order," the email reads. "We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this has caused, and would like to help you place a new order."

But customers are upset about feeling duped, and insist that the company must live up to the bargain it had promised — especially since there are reports that the offer was still online for new customers, even after customers who'd already signed up were advised it wouldn't be honoured.

"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.

Lenovo Canada did not immediately respond to requests for comment from CBC News.

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