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Carrier honors free phones after glitch

Mobile telecom operator M1 honors 120 orders for free Samsung N200 phones after customers discover an error on the site.

SINGAPORE--E-tailers putting the wrong virtual price tag on goods is no longer an uncommon occurrence in the Internet world.

But although mobile telecommunications operator M1 made this mistake earlier this week, it decided to honor the 120 orders for free phones, something other e-tailers have not done.

The phone in question was the Samsung N200, Singapore's slimmest and lightest WAP phone, launched here Aug. 10.

The phone was advertised for $248 (S$428) for customers who subscribed to a one-year plan, but free for those who took up a two-year subscription. The error came in that M1 had wanted to indicate that the phone was not available with the two-year plan.

Before the glitch was corrected, visitors to the site found the bargain. It also appeared at gadget and tech site, which provided a link to the M1 site.

While there was some speculation in an online chat room 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 the accidental free offer.

Staff writer Susan Tsang reported from Singapore.