Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2001/02/01/hp_coughs_to_ad_cockup/

HP coughs to ad cock-up

e-PC and LCD display for £727

By Lucy Sherriff

Posted in Business, 1st February 2001 18:12 GMT

HP has apologised unreservedly for an advertising error that offered rather more than it should have done.

A pull out campaign, running in several UK magazines, was promoting an e-PC and monitor at a special price. Just how special became apparent when we took a closer look at the specs.

The offer included a machine with a 633MHz Celeron, 128 MB memory, a ten gig hard drive, a whole load of other bits and pieces and a 15-inch LCD monitor all for the rather nice price of £727 including VAT.

Not at all a bad deal, given that a similar looking 15-inch LCD monitor costs well over £600 on HP's UK site.

HP ad slip-up

A vulture eyed reader sent us news of the mistake, and included a nib of information from HP's legal department. Apparently an advert is not a legally binding offer to sell at that price. "Technically," the legal eagles say, "An advert is an "invitation to treat" only, and does not oblige you to sell at the price advertised."

Clearly it was a bit of a mistake, and serves as a reminder that if the deal looks to good to be true, it probably is.

Meanwhile, HP has done the decent thing and coughed to it straight away.

It sent an email round to its channel partners warning them of the error, and has issued the following statement to the press:

HP acknowledges that there has been a mistake in this case and we are taking steps to correct the error and ensure that accurate information is made available to our customers and partners alike. We apologise for this error and any confusion that may have arisen. ®

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