As we all half-suspected, Dell's offer of a $20 Wireless N Router was too good to be true. Dell has officially withdrawn the offer, blaming a typo, while promising to sell the router for $229 to anyone who tried to buy it at the incorrect price.
Dell this afternoon began emailing customers saying that the offer had been a mistake, while including the $229 offer. A quick search on staticICE suggests that's still the cheapest price available for that model, albeit nowhere near as impressive a deal and one you have to complete by phone rather than online.
Lifehacker was curious as to why the offer was withdrawn so quickly but it took 72 hours to contact customers and let them know. A Dell spokesperson told us: "We take these matters very seriously — we had to analyse the error and the customer data associated with it."
Here's the full email as sent by Dell to customers (and thanks to all the readers who sent it in or added it to the comments):
Dear Dell Customer
We are writing to let you know that there was an inadvertent error on the http://www.dell.com.au online store on 7 November 2009 that saw Dell list the Linksys WRT610N Dual Band Wireless-N Router for $20.90.This was a genuine mistake and the correct price is $280.90 including GST. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused.
While we make every effort to check pricing and other errors, inadvertent errors do occur from time to time. For this reason our standard terms and conditions of sale on the http://www.dell.com.au store state that Dell reserves the right to decline orders arising from such errors.
As your order has not yet been confirmed, your order has been cancelled and we will not process your credit card payment.
As a gesture of goodwill, Dell would like to make the router available to you at a special price of $229 including GST. If you wish to buy the router at this price, please contact Dell by phone at 1800-810-289 by 8th December 2009. Please note that there is a limit of one router at this special price.
We again would like to apologize for the inconvenience caused.