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Mistakenly priced items


mjmooney
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How does the law stand on items advertised for sale with a price which is clearly a mistake? I just saw this online - the actual price is over a thousand quid - clearly somebody's put the decimal point in the wrong place. If I just order it for £1.01 are they obliged to honour the deal? 

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Bear in mind that I only studied Contract Law as part of an accountancy qualification so am not really qualified to answer but ..... I think you will find that an article offered for sale is called 'an invitation to treat' . So you (as prospective purchaser) make the offer and the vendor accepts. The case I remember was Fisher v Bell and related to a flick knife. Hope that helps and is actually correct.

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^that.

The price is only an invitation to treat, it's entirely at the vendors discretion to sell to you at that price.

I do seem to remember something about the product of it is mis-priced had to be removed from sale from a certain period of time.

But yes, you can offer to pay that amount, but they can also (and almost certainly will) just cancel the order and apologise for the mistake.

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For most retailers, it'll state in their t&c's that a formal contract for the sale of the goods is only reached when the goods are delivered and until that point the retailer can cancel at any time

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23 minutes ago, veloman said:

Bear in mind that I only studied Contract Law as part of an accountancy qualification so am not really qualified to answer but ..... I think you will find that an article offered for sale is called 'an invitation to treat' . So you (as prospective purchaser) make the offer and the vendor accepts. The case I remember was Fisher v Bell and related to a flick knife. Hope that helps and is actually correct.

Ahh that brought back memories.

I did A level law just out of interest once upon a time. My fave case study was Donoghue vs Stevenson 1932. I can remember it now without even a quick refresh google.

 

Anyway, on the subject of mistaken prices. I also watch out for the everyday rip offs in supermarkets.

Today, in Waitrose: 3 courgettes in a pack, £2.35 (not organic or duchy or anything in any way different)

Individual courgettes, 42p

 

I used to get angry at the forced closure of the docks and being bullied by the police. Now it's the pricing strategy for courgettes in Waitrose. 

 

 

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I won't bother then. Although, a couple of years ago, somebody on here pointed out that Amazon were advertising this for (iirc) £1.50, clearly a similar cockup. I bought it at that price, too. Went back up to over a hundred the next day.

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EDIT: Would make sense of Xela's post about delivery (above) - being a download, it was mine (and several other people's too, I should imagine) before they could stop it. 

Edited by mjmooney
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yep, sometimes they don't notice, there's a good chance an Amazon item will be a completely computerised process right up to the point a picker collects it and posts it - and a picker ain't going to query the price, they need that extra 7 seconds checking would take to save up and be allowed a full 5 minute 3:00am piss break

 

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Contrary to popular belief There is no obligation to honour pricing errors whether instore or online but the contract online doesn't properly start until the goods are shipped so they will just cancel it.

Same as instore the retailler can just refuse to sell it at the wrong price, withdraw it from sale and correct the pricing error. People will shout and scream about knowing their rights & trading standards but they are wrong.

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I remember working in Scoops in Merry Hill and customers would just move stuck on price tags to more expensive items then demand that we had to sell it for that price because of some made up law.

Always had to wheel the manager out to tell them there's no such law and we can choose not to sell any item at any time.

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I worked in an independent off license for a while. There were two things we would do as a matter of course.

First one, almost always have larger bottles and kegs at a higher price than smaller versions, i.e. 330ml bottle of something £1.00 each, litre bottle of the same 'just £3.50'. People would almost always go for the litre bottle.

Second one, something was expensive and not selling, not a problem, drag out the big guns. Not selling that one bottle of £30 champagne? Get your neon coloured star shaped piece of card, write '£33 last one at this price' it would usually be gone same day.

It was like working at Arkwright's. But it worked 99% of the time.

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On the other side I always take screen shots of any items i buy online, Ebay or Amazon marketplace especially, two examples where this has saved me the trouble of having to involve ebay or amozon are as follows.

1) bought a pair of etymotic in ear noise reduction plugs at what appeared a reasonable price, expensive enough that it didn't raise alarm bells, what i got delivered was a pair of inferior plugs that i could have bought elsewhere for about £10 cheaper. contacted the seller who first insisted i was mistaken had actually recieved etymotic plugs, when clearly i hadn't and went on to prove they were not, and had then insisted I must have confused the pricing of two different products on different listings but obviously not before they had changed their listing, So i sent them the screen shots of all the pages including the order page, Funnily enough they told me to keep the plugs and gave a full refund.

i don't believe it was a deliberate or planned attempt to cheat anyone, just a case of they had mis-described the item realised and instead of admitting the error when i contacted them they decided to just see if they could hide the evidence of their mistake and hope i just accepted their explanation and wouldn't kick up a fuss . They did ask me not to report the incident to ebay, even cheekier was to ask me to give them positive feedback. so i waited until my refund arrived then reported it with copies of ll screen shots and emails.

2) bought some goods online they were described as a pair of XXXX, i ordered two pairs as it worked out substantially cheaper then buying 4 singles, I recieved only 2 off, contacted the seller who insisted their listing was for a singles one (which now made then more much expensive than i could have bought elsewhere) and i had ordered 2x this and that is what i had recieved, They provided a link as evidence of the now updated listing. once again provided a screen shot of the original listing as proof and final order page, they had even sent an email confirmation the order clearly showing 2 x 2 pairs. once again I think it was an error they were trying to hide after the fact rather than contacting me to admit they made an error in their listing. Ended up getting refund of half the order value.

 

Edited by mockingbird_franklin
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The other thing to note in addition to the invitation to treat rule covering price tickets is that there is no set jurisdiction covering the internet, you are instead bound by the jurisdiction of where the website is hosted i.e. Japanese law covers Japanese websites. It doesn't matter what country the buyer is based in (ignoring the complexities of international trade agreements).

A lot of sellers will often honour miss-priced items wherever possible to try and create customer loyalty.

 

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I remember getting a razer headset once for 10 quid

It was a mistake on their part and there was a coupon code for 90% off their website went down because everyone was using it

They actually honored everything and i got it at that price not that i actually think it was worth more than that anyway

Edited by AshVilla
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The unexpected bargains are often the best. A few years ago on my hated annual clothes shopping trip,  I saw a rather nice jacket, originally £150, reduced to £75. I was tempted, but resisted. Went back the next day, it was further reduced to £25. I grabbed it and took it to the till. The girl scanned the tag and said "It's coming up as £5". So that's what I paid. 

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A while ago on EE's website, they had an EE sim-only mobile phone contract for £0.00 upfront cost and £0.00 monthly fee (12 month contract, 500 mins, unlimited texts, 1GB data).

I bought 2 of them.   The next day EE sent an email saying that they had mistakenly quoted the wrong price, and the day after that they sent an email saying they were going to honour the mistaken price. 

I've been using that Sim card for over 2 years now - I paid £0.00 for the first year, then it increased by RPI and went to 19p a month (not sure why a % increase on £0.00 changes the price).    Its been at 19p ever since.

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