Misspriced item, letter from PC Pro watchdog. - HotUKDeals
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Misspriced item, letter from PC Pro watchdog.

£0.00 @
Please see first post below as I wanted to use formatting: Read More
Richierea Avatar
9y, 5m agoPosted 9 years, 5 months ago
Please see first post below as I wanted to use formatting:
Richierea Avatar
9y, 5m agoPosted 9 years, 5 months ago
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#1
[SIZE="2"]Was just reading a Watchdog letter in this months PC Pro magazine which I thought was quite interesting, as it was basically a missprice purchase.

I'll type out most of the letter below:

A reader ordered a Thecus N5200 NAS (Network Attached Storage) device from Microwarehouse, which was advertised as being supplied with a total of 2.5TB storage (five 500 GB hard drives). The unit arrived but lacked the advertised drives. Two further replacement units also lacked the advertised drives.
After contacting the company the customer was informed the item had been incorrectly advertised and the price did not include the hard drives.
Microwarehouse asked the customer to return the item for a refund. Instead he consulted Watchdog and a solicitor. His solicitor advised that by accepting money for the advertised product, Microwarehouse had entred into a ligally binding contract under the Sales Of Goods Act, and the goods delivered must be as advertised.

Eventually the company relented and sent the customer the five missing disks.

Response from PC Pro:
This is an interesting case centring on contract law. Specifically, a contract is formed on the basis of offer and acceptence. In this instance, an offer was made by the customer when he attempted to purchase goods based on a sales description found on the microwarehouse website. When such an offer is accepted, a contract is formed, and goods must be supplied as described.
How and when is an offer accepted? Well, acceptence can take several forms: it may be in writing; implied by conduct; or [COLOR="Red"]when the company to which the offer was made accepts payment[/COLOR].
Here, the company took payment, forming a contract. Additionally, the company supplied two replacement units - conduct implying acceptence - though the contract was anyway well and truly formed by this point.



What I thought was interesting from all the missprices there have been on this site, is that it states acceptence takes place when payment is accepted. How many times have people had money taken for a misspriced item, only to be refunded and sent nothing.

I also wonder what would have happened if this had been posted on this site and 500 people had ordered them, I bet it would have been spotted before shipment (but maybe not before payment taken) and none sent out....

I seem to remember reading many posts stating that the contract is not formed until the item is shipped, but thats not what is stated above.
Just thought it was an interesting read.

And that was one lucky guy, five 500GB hard drives don't come cheap, good on him :thumbsup:[/SIZE]
#2
Yeah, I read that the other day. Interesting :) Although, it's not all entirely true.

[SIZE=2] Here, the company took payment, forming a contract. [/SIZE]


This has not yet been proven in a court of law, with relation to internet sales.
#3
Agree with Emma, the acceptance of money isn't completely binding - the aspect that seems to come up is whether it's a reasonable price or not. For example a 300 pounds Kodak camera being sold for 100 pounds in a sale was seen as reasonable but Dixons refused to ship 1400 pound TVs for one pound delivered which if it came to court which wouldn't have been seen a reasonable, it's an obvious misprice.

John
#4
I want my dixons TV !!!
#5
Johnmcl7
Agree with Emma, the acceptance of money isn't completely binding - the aspect that seems to come up is whether it's a reasonable price or not. For example a 300 pounds Kodak camera being sold for 100 pounds in a sale was seen as reasonable but Dixons refused to ship 1400 pound TVs for one pound delivered which if it came to court which wouldn't have been seen a reasonable, it's an obvious misprice.

John


I agree with what you are saying, an obvious price error is different. But even when the price isn't so obvious there always seems to be confusion on what makes it a binding contract, thats all. Would have thought by now we would know where we stand, but it even seems every solicitor has a different view!
Maybe the problem is that no one is going to risk going to court over it.....

Guess the moral of the story is, if you find a missprice, keep it to yourself !
#6
Many companies have introduced an equivalent term like this: [COLOR="Red"][SIZE="4"]Please note that we reserve the right to cancel or refuse orders for items shown on our websites with an incorrect price or with any other incorrect information. No contract is made with you until we have dispatched your order. [/SIZE][/COLOR]

The beneficial effect is to protect the company from mistakes. This is why you will see them take away your money and then cancel your order and then refund your money.

However such a clause may very well be an unfair contract term under the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977. What the above clause does in red above is to take away your rights in contract law, see later below. The act of taking your rights confer by statute is illegal under some consumer statute and that's why you see often a statement which states : "This does not take away your statutory rights.". For example, if an item is faulty then the consumer is protected under the Sales of Goods Act. The merchant has to offer remedy at no extra cost to the consumer. For example, exercising a fee to repair an item that is not merchantable quality or mis-described under the Trade Description Act and having written this into a sale contract is not legal. Charging 20% for re-stocking a faulty item is also illegal.. and so on.

Taking your consumer rights away is unlawful. For hundreds of years (and some may say thousands of years) or even since stone age, a binding contract was already made when money (consideration) change hands. So if a supplier has taken your money (credit card company authorised payment) then a sale is made. However please note that a merchant may have taken your payment details rather than the payment itself.
banned#7
The whole area of internet sale is relatively new in the eyes of the law, and unfortunately the law is sometimes slow at keeping pace with changing times.

In the normal circumstances, if you got to a shop and purchase an item, the price stated is seen as "an invitation to treat". Us as consumers take our item to the til and basically are saying to the person at the till, I am willing to buy this item for the amount stated, will you accept my offer? So when the person accepts our payment, the contract is concluded. They are essential components to complete a contract i.e offer and acceptance. Here we are offering the buy the item for the price asked and if the shop accepts payment, they are accepting our offer. There is consideration i.e exchange of value. Each party has gained something and lost something.

I personally would apply the same principles above when dealing with internet sales. If the item on the website is a web mis-price (as far as I am concerned that their mistake) I still consider this as in invitiation to treat i.e its for me to say to the seller I will buy this item from you for the price asked (even if its a misprice). As a consumer when selecting the item and proceeding to checkout will be making an offer to the website. Now, if they process my card details and withdraw money from my account, to me that is acceptance of my offer. There has been offer and acceptance and there is consideration as they psyhcially have recieved my money. That is a binding contract.

The concept of ownership is a whole different area. In such case, even though there is a legal contract, ownership may still remaim with the seller until the item is recieved by you. But that doesnt mean the wesbite can say "oh its a mis-price, so we will return your funds as we havent sent you the item". My view this is nonsense. There is a leaglly binding contract. Ownership has not passed as they still have the item and the risk if the item is damaged.

Now if the website realises the mis-price before they accept your offer and take money from your account, then they are within their right to do so as they have not accepted you offer.

But its taking the mick if they take your money realise their mistake and ask for the item back. lol

Im positive that there will be case law on this position. I will research this when I have a moment spare at work. Sorry to ramble, its late. lol :whistling:
banned#8
splender
Many companies have introduced an equivalent term like this: [COLOR="Red"][SIZE="4"]Please note that we reserve the right to cancel or refuse orders for items shown on our websites with an incorrect price or with any other incorrect information. No contract is made with you until we have dispatched your order. [/SIZE][/COLOR]

The beneficial effect is to protect the company from mistakes. This is why you will see them take away your money and then cancel your order and then refund your money.

However such a clause may very well be an unfair contract term under the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977. What the above clause does in red above is to take away your rights in contract law, see later below. The act of taking your rights confer by statute is illegal under some consumer statute and that's why you see often a statement which states : "This does not take away your statutory rights.". For example, if an item is faulty then the consumer is protected under the Sales of Goods Act. The merchant has to offer remedy at no extra cost to the consumer. For example, exercising a fee to repair an item that is not merchantable quality or mis-described under the Trade Description Act and having written this into a sale contract is not legal. Charging 20% for re-stocking a faulty item is also illegal.. and so on.

Taking your consumer rights away is unlawful. For hundreds of years (and some may say thousands of years) or even since stone age, a binding contract was already made when money (consideration) change hands. So if a supplier has taken your money (credit card company authorised payment) then a sale is made. However please note that a merchant may have taken your payment details rather than the payment itself.



I agree with splender. This exclusion clause is becoming quite common. But again its nonsense. It may be a term of their contract/condition of sale, but the Courts will certianly consider UCTA 1977. To me this term is unreasonable and is an attempt to alter the contract law principles established in case law for hundreds of years.

Also as we are individual consumers and not "commercial entities" there is no equal footing when entering into the contract, We have no choice but to accept their standard terms and conditions in order to buy the item. This is when UCTA 1977 can help. The Courts will tend to see that consumers are at a disadvantage, thus are likely to consider such clause and unreasonable and unenforceable.
banned#9
splender
Many companies have introduced an equivalent term like this: [COLOR="Red"][SIZE="4"]Please note that we reserve the right to cancel or refuse orders for items shown on our websites with an incorrect price or with any other incorrect information. No contract is made with you until we have dispatched your order. [/SIZE][/COLOR]


Companies can put all the caviates they want in personal T&Cs. That doesnt mean they overwrite the law of this country.. Its about time this was highlighted or withdrawn. Until then, the company, having accepeted payment, they are bound. End of.
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