M1 makes "free phone" blunder; honors deal

A common glitch faced by online vendors is putting the wrong price tag on goods. Mobile operator M1 made this mistake on Sunday, but decided to honor the deal by giving away 120 free phones.

SINGAPORE--A common glitch faced by online vendors is putting the wrong price tag on goods. Mobile operator M1 made this mistake on Sunday, but unlike other e-tailers, who have balked at stumping up the goods at ridiculously low prices, it decided to honor the 120 orders for free phones.

The phones in question are not chicken feed, either. They were the Samsung N200, Singapore's slimmest and lightest WAP phone, which were launched here on August 10.

The phone was advertised as costing S$428 for customers who subscribed to a one-year plan, and S$0 for those who took up a two-year subscription. This was an error--M1 had wanted to indicate that it was not available for the two-year plan.

Before the glitch was discovered, visitors had gone to the site and found the bargain, and it also appeared at gadget and tech site hardwarezone.com, which provided a link to the M1 site.

While there was some speculation in an online chatroom as to whether the offer was good, those who put their faith in M1 were rewarded.

M1 spokesman Chua Swee Kiat told The Straits Times that while the company had initially planned to offer its N200 customers a 15 percent discount, it finally decided to honor its S$0 price out of goodwill.

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