Misprices - HotUKDeals
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[admin]#1
I think we need to draft a standard "I was in a misprice now what?" thread with all the case history, orgs to appeal to, standard rights, etc. and then just point those threads to that and start a separate discussion in Misc for those who want to pursue.

How does that sound?
#2
that would be a good start. thanks for the quick response admin.

but also in addition to that, it would be nice if people could just let it go, as it could have simply been a mistake. Rather than making a huge deal about it.
#3
if you was to lock the thread after people start moaning, whats to stop them creating new ones?

I agree with "I was in a misprice now what?" go for it! :thumbsup:
[admin]#4
Well people will never let it go morales! That's the thing, so if we can redirect that somehow it will keep the Hot Deals forum clean for those who want to move on.
#5
Admin
Well people will never let it go morales! That's the thing, so if we can redirect that somehow it will keep the Hot Deals forum clean for those who want to move on.


i understand which is why i think for now it is a good idea. :thumbsup:
#6
It's not always just moaners though. There are occasions where the law is clearly on the side of the consumer and people have a legal entitlement to their deal being honoured. What the OP is suggesting is that as soon as a company says "No, sorry you can't have it" that everyone should just shrug their shoulders and walk away. Well, for starters, it's just not that simple and besides some of us don't appreciate being told what to do :) It's not just panic over potential future bargain-boasting being scuppered.
[admin]#7
I'm with you Flimber - if there's a legal foot to stand on push it as far as you can. I think the point millarcat was making was when a misprice happens and the deal is cancelled within trading rules and within the merchants T&C's. In those cases it gets a bit repetitive having the same conversation everytime.
#8
What is so annoying is that some actually believe that the order will be honoured after the misprice is all over the net and the company get the predictable massive demand for the product...sorry but the best policy is to turn a blind eye and let the ranters have their day...it's soooooo boring and so easy to ignore.
#9
Admin
I'm with you Flimber - if there's a legal foot to stand on push it as far as you can. I think the point millarcat was making was when a misprice happens and the deal is cancelled within trading rules and within the merchants T&C's. In those cases it gets a bit repetitive having the same conversation everytime.


I'm with me too :) But when is a deal really over ? Regarding the recent Littlewoods A100 fiasco, there is some concern about whether it was indeed a mis-price, legally speaking, as the seller is claiming. To some extent it's all semantics and minutiae but unfortunately that's precisely what the law is. I don't think people debating such intricacies are necessarily just moaning aimlessly even when they're flogging the proverbial dead horse.

The law has grey areas and even where deals are over it might not really be over; it can be worth pushing simply because to fight a challenge would cost the seller more than settling to the satisfaction of the consumer. I know many people did well out of Dell over their LCD TV Clearout shambles just about this time last year, didn't they ? That was worth fighting because Dell gave in in the end. Only in that case, the people who were the worse off were those who actually received goods as the sets were seriously flawed and Dell's attempt to get quietly shut of the lot of that at a knockdown price seriously backfired on them.
#10
Flimber
The law has grey areas and even where deals are over it might not really be over; it can be worth pushing simply because to fight a challenge would cost the seller more than settling to the satisfaction of the consumer. I know many people did well out of Dell over their LCD TV Clearout shambles just about this time last year, didn't they ? That was worth fighting because Dell gave in in the end. Only in that case, the people who were the worse off were those who actually received goods as the sets were seriously flawed and Dell's attempt to get quietly shut of the lot of that at a knockdown price seriously backfired on them.


You make a good point there.

My only doubt is whether this is really what hotukdeals is about. In my eyes it's not, the majority of people are here to take advantage of genuine deals, and not interested in trying to force or con the retailer into selling at a price they don't want to.
#11
Everybody seems to be getting on their high horse about 'misprices' but sometimes are they really a misprice or a stock clear-out with limited/promotional supplies. Here is my take in the A100 Littlewoods/LXDirect 'sale'.

We know the offer was released on a few websites that were ultimately owned by LITTLEWOODS. Now Littlewoods is primarily a catalogue sales company who we know offer all sorts of goods to the general public. Littlewoods use two types of distribution for their goods, direct sales to individuals and sales via their agents, who in turn get a commission. I don't like to classify people but the type of person who would buy from a Littlewoods catalogue or agent is a person on the lower end of the pay scales, what you might classify as the 'poorer' people in our society, maybe they are out of work or are on low income. These people cannot afford to pay £1000 for a plasma TV and are highly unlikely to get credit from the likes of Dixons due to their past credit ratings.

Littlewoods identified this person/persons are a target for extending credit terms on a low weekly amount that was affordable to them but in essences would pay double for the item when the amount was paid off, in terms of years and not months.

Here is an example taken today from LX Direct;

Purchase and immediate delivery of one Philips - 42ins HD ready plasma TV with ambilight back-lighting and Freeview - Price £1749.00. With an extended service plan of 4 years this will add another £291 to the original price. Post & packing is another £3.50. So far the total stands at £2043.50 (I cannot find out the weekly repayments on LX as you have to apply for credit and it is taken as an order subject to approval),but,

The same model is displayed in the Spring/Summer 07 Catalogue of Littlewoods (the parent company of LX Direct) and is priced at £1999. to accept this TV on their price plan of 5 years or 260 weeks you will pay just £11.78 a week, for 260 weeks giving the total repayment price as .... £3062.64 you might like to add an extra 2 years protection to your purchase which will be another £4.60 a week or £239.00 over the first 2 years. The total price payable for this set at the end of 5 years is £3265.64 (APR 29.9%)

Now if you were in the money and were did not need the charity of Messers Littlewoods & Co you could buy this TV from the likes of Empire Direct for £1380 or a Froogle search could get it from e-bay for £1200

If we go for the slightly more expensive option from Empire Direct you would have been able to save yourself £800 immediately or saved yourself a massive £1682.64 based on the 5 year option with the extended warranty. Therefore Messers Littlewoods & Co are nothing more than modern day loan sharks preying on the poor and venerable persons in our society.

Now that I have explained that, and hopefully you are still with me I can explain the A100 saga, as it was explained to me and you will see that the offer was not a misprice but a ....read on.

The offer of a A100 Toshiba laptop was announced and displayed on various websites belonging to Littlewoods group of companies on Tuesday the 30th of January. This is also the day that Microsoft announced to the World the official launch of their latest Operating System (OS) Windows VISTA which replaced the ageing Windows XP models. Microsoft have had a lot of trouble in bringing this OS to the market place due to various technical problems and this lead it being launched in January, much to the annoyance of the large computer manufacturers who had pushed Microsoft to launch it prior to Christmas 2006 so that there could be an even bigger sales drive to sell computers for Christmas equipped with VISTA. The OS was suppose to be available to the manufacturers from October in fact, which is why you see Microsoft is 'giving away' free upgrades to anyone who bought a computer since October 06 to March 07 (the time taken to clear out all old XP stock from warehouses). After March 2007 all computers hitting the shelves will be equipped with VISTA as standard. Why March? because Microsoft could not give a precise date when VISTA would be available. They told the World that VISTA would be on the shelves by March 2007 at the latest and we now know they were able to bring this forward by 2 months or so.

Toshiba Computers is one of only a few computer, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM's) who have committed to supporting Microsoft and delivering VISTA from day one of the launch. I know you will say companies like Dell are doing it as well but Dell make your computer for you, on the spot, Toshiba turn out computers for stock build up, they have a continuous production line churning out computers for any anticipated demand regardless of the OS or current sales. Places like PC World were depending on VISTA to move as much as 3 times the amount of computers they sold over Christmas versus the same period in Christmas 2005. This did not happen, PCW were looking at a grim future, other companies in the group were flagging with sales going down. PCW knew VISTA would take their sales up but could they afford to get over the Christmas period on the sale of peripherals alone? NO. They decided to go into the TV/home entertainment market and changed all their showroom around to give prominence to the TV side of things, which has had a bonus side to it in so far as sales have exceeded all expectations possible.

This is where the story all fits together. Toshiba had a load of laptops that they wanted to shift, Littlewoods and it's group of companies found itself in a position that it could afford to give someone like Toshiba a BIG bulk order, no PCW could not do that because it could harm the sales of brands like Packard Bell, HP and even their own brands, EI and Advent. So Littlewoods placed/committed to Toshiba, an order which would far out strip any other supplier with out harming the market place, remember Littlewoods make their money over a longer period of time than say PCW, so there would be no affect on the market place per say, because the market place would not be flooded with cheap machines. As part of this deal, some clever marketing went on between Toshiba and Microsoft for the benefit of Littlewoods, an inducement if you like whereby incentives where given.

The exact incentive details were not given to me but I can only surmise the following. The cost of the laptop, which was nothing special on the high street, was priced around £300 due to the bulk order Littlewoods was giving. Toshiba and Microsoft decided to throw some more incentives into the equation, which would cost neither company much in the short term but would secure greater exposure for the future. Toshiba as the manufacturer was able to offload a vast number of lower spec machines which otherwise would have been down priced in places like PCW anyway, to Littlewoods, for this contribution I would have said Toshiba 'gave' £100 off each machine. Microsoft on the other hand want to push the software angle, Littlewoods would have a target audience of lower paid families with school children, so Microsoft 'offered' their basic edition of VISTA AND the Student version of Office. This gives the kids a copy of Word and a few other programs they could use at school without having to fork out for the full blown packages. The cost of VISTA and MS Office is only about £15, no really it is. The price you pay is the price for the licence key, the true cost of these kits is; a CD/DVD @ 25 pence tops, a manual if it is not already included on the disk and a cardboard box which would be about £2. Add to this some shipping costs and your per item total is about £15. Now if Microsoft was to contribute another £100 to Littlewoods initial cost of £300, less Microsoft's £100 and Toshiba's £100 the laptop has cost Littlewoods £100.00 so to offer a web special of £129 or £149 was not an unreasonable price to pay, not a misprice and not a deal too unbelievable to believe.

The problem arose when so many people found the offer, that was only suppose to be 'visible' to Littlewoods own clan of customers, that a frenzied attack was launched upon them. Littlewoods were caught unawares, they quoted terms & conditions, they said credit cards had failed, they tried everything to stop the deluge of buyers that had descended on them, but the trouble was, Littlewoods could not now negate on the deal that had been struck with Toshiba and Microsoft, Littlewoods had to honour their order and still try and sell these laptops.

In all the panic that went on, Littlewoods staff were unaware of the deal that had been struck and as they were not privy to any of this higher management confusion, they remained pleasant and polite to all customers. Word came down from above that the items were wrongly priced and tell people they were very sorry for the confusion, luckily the 2 Microsoft packages were used as scapegoats and all web details changed to show that there must have been a genuine mix up and they got it wrong and we were mistaken. This ploy worked. By the way, this same Student package is available for sale in PCW priced at £99 so Littlewoods were still charging £30 more for it.

A further check on some of the other Brand names that Littlewoods owns shows some very interesting differences in these 3 products. The Brand names are Abound, LX Direct, Additions Direct, Choice, Choice for You,Great Universal, Great Universal Essentials, Kays, Lifestyle and Marshall Ward. Looking at the 3 items in detail across the entire range of Brands you can quickly see that the price of MS Office ranges between £129 and £149, MS VISTA between £219 and £249 and the A100 laptop between £579 and £779. Quite a difference for a company that is just marketing 3 products that concern us.
#12
I could not fit the whole story on one page so here is the rest.

Having explained the facts to you I hope that you are now of the same opinion as me that this 'misprice' was not a misprice but a genuine price offered by Littlewoods (or whichever company we saw it at) in an effort to shift laptops into the market place with the help of Microsoft and Toshiba sweeteners. Littlewoods had never expected this offer to reach the audience it did and they never expected the strong backlash that some people are still pressing on them. If this offer had never been seen by us, Littlewoods could have shifted a nice number of laptops for Toshiba through its different branch shops to people who would not have otherwise bought such an up to date spec machine.

I believe the price shown on Tuesday the 30th of January to be a true and correct price for the laptop and software shown and furthermore I believe that the web designers had prepared the web pages, days in advance, in anticipation of the offer as shown, confirming that managers had given their approval for these special prices to be shown to the public. Only confusion reigned in the hours that followed a mass onslaught of orders from the general public, the staff accepted all forms of payments as they only knew this to be correct while management hurriedly tried to get they web designers to withdraw the images as soon as possible to avoid an embarrassing showdown.

I rest my case and will allow you, the jury to see who has got this wrong.
#13
Have you been drinking ? :)

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