My inbox this morning was flooded with tips that Dell was offering their entry-level Inspiron 1525 for just $399 online thanks to a $300 cashback offer. By the time I went to check it out for myself, the offer was nowhere to be seen, having disappeared into the ether faster than a summer storm.
I contacted Dell for clarification on the issue and they promised to get back to me, but while I was (and still am) waiting, tipster Adam (who purchased the deal when he could) has since informed us that no, Dell will not be honouring the deals.
Anyone who purchased the bargain notebook has apparently had their money refunded, with Adam being told that Dell takes a loss of $70 per $699 unit, so they would be losing $370per unit if they honoured the deal.
Until we hear back from Dell directly, there's no word on whether they'll offer these disappointed customers any form of compensation in the form of free upgrades or similar like Lenovo did for their online customers recently. But you shouldn't hold your breath...
UPDATE: I've just spoken with the guys from Dell, and if you happened to purchase using EFT, you could be in luck...While they don't know exactly what caused the error just yet, it was an inadvertent mistake to offer the laptop at such a discount. Because it was early in the morning, only a small number of people took up the offer - of those, whoever paid using EFT will have the deal honoured if the EFT payment was accepted by Dell. Everyone else will be (or has been) contacted by Dell to either refund their purchase or proceed with the order at the correct price of $699.
[Thanks Adam for the tips and the screenshot!]