You've got to ne a muppet to think you'd get one for £50.
And the law is on the side of Tescos.
Tesco tantalised online shoppers yesterday after a pricing error left punters thinking they'd snapped up Apple's latest iPad for just £50. The Twitterscape was alight last night with braggers who thought they'd got the bargain of the century. The Tesco Direct website was offering advance orders for the new Apple iPad Wi-Fi 4G …
the law is also on the side of the customer....
If they had actually taken payment, then that is contract of sale agreed and completed. They would have had to supply at the bargain/rip off (depending on your POV) price of £49.99.
as it was a pre-order and proberbly had not taken payment, just card details, then your not getting your bargain
It is a long time since I worked in retail and the intertubes didn't exist then. However, if a price was wrongly displayed we were required by law to sell it at that price. I remember someone got a £30 bottle of wine for a fiver that way. Does the same apply to online transactions?
I seem to recall one of those "Know your Rights" type programs on the BEEB or such like saying that it depends on when the error is spotted. If the error is spotted before the transaction is complete then the merchant is not compelled to complete the transaction - although they must fix the ticket price near enough immediately. However, if you get you mitts on the goods and payment has been completed then it's yours and there's nothing that they can do about it.
The wrinkle with distance selling is that the money has been taken - but you don't have the goods. So is the contract complete at that stage? One for those legal eagles.
Not unless you were working for that shop pre 1961 when the case of Fisher v Bell stuck it into case law that prices in store are a mere invitation to treat, not an offer. No offer = no chance of acceptance = no contract to sell. Your boss should have read up on contract law.
Anyone remember the £100 3.1 megapixel Kodak digital camera fiasco back in 2002?
They gave in and let people buy them at the advertised price instead of the full price of £329, http://www.theregister.co.uk/2002/01/31/kodak_surrenders/
I was one of those that managed to get one, it was an 'ok' camera, didn't think much of the picture quality though and eventually sold it on eBay for £100 a year or two later, however I do remember at least one person had bought 10 or more then used the profits from their eBay sales to buy a decent DSLR.
Managed to get 2 of those Kodaks myself. I don't even take photographs but at the time it seemed too good a deal to miss, and in the youth of online shopping the risk of setting a bad reputation for customer service probably swung in our favour. No company would be that naive these days.
When I worked in the off-license trade and an item was wrongly priced, we could refuse sale of item at that price (before transaction), if the customer kicked up a fuss then we had to remove all of that particular stock from the shelf until it was priced correctly and put it all back out again. This, apparently, was the technical way round not having to sell it to the customer at the advertised priced. Plus if they argued even more it was always a pleasure to say "do one, your barred".... ah the heady days of retail power ;-)
from my experience of retail it was if you sell it you have to sell it for the price listed. otherwise whats stopping you from walking in to Harrods with some 99p labels and buying up the whole shop?
most companies will honor the mistake as policy but i don't think they legally have to they can refuse to sell and then correct the error which is what tesco have done
It's been round before and people have been told to honour the mistake and other people have been let off.
It's not an invitation to treat because the offer remains throughout the transaction, according to the law it should stand.
Ordinarily I'd say worth a punt, but given it's Tesco and this is UK plc...
d) someione posting "I placed an order then phoned to check that it would be honoured and they checked there system and said 'sorry, we've made a pricing error - we'll cancel all the orders' closely followed by loads of responses saying 'why did you phone - you've spoiled it for everyone else'"
Back in the mists of time, Amazon made the same glaring mistake with the top-of-the-hill version of the iPaq (model number escapes me) and had them listed brand-new for a ridiculous price of £5.49 instead of most likely £549. I ordered two, completed the card transaction, got the order confirmation and headed for a coffee to celebrate my smug purchase....
Amazon, noticing their blunder, promptly cancelled the order hours later citing a "pricing error" and cheerfully informiing me if I would like to reorder the goods they would be more than happy for me to reorder them. Refund received days later. Rug and chair pulled from under me!
Bought, paid for but no an electronic leg to stand up. Pah! Not sighted an iPaq being used for years.... funnily enough
that *if* they had taken money on your Credit Card then that formed an offer and and an acceptance since the consideration had been taken, thus establishing a legally binding contract that they could be held to.
If they hadn't taken the money, then they would definitelty would have been able to walk away from it.
So check your credit card statements to see if there have been any transactions that have been reveresed out and if so you've probably got them by the goolies.
T&Cs generally say now that contract isn't formed until the item is dispatched .... taking the money from a card would, I think, be deemed part of your offering to buy the product by demonstrating you had the funds to complete the transaction and as they then refund this when they decide not to agree to the transaction I think they get away with it.
N.b. with some T&Cs you even agree that if you've used a discount code and the seller determines later that you were not eligible to use it then they can claim the discount back at any later time!
Anyway, I assume there will be a highly amusing thread on hotukdeals where lots of people try to argue that they have a right to buy 20 iPads for £50 each and how they were expecting to make a tidy profit on eBay! Gets very amusing when they start to explain how they assumed that £50 was a genuine price and not an error (after all, "a new iPad has just come out and I thought this must be Tesco offloading stock of the old one") - One of these threads went on for days after the Argos Lumia mis-price last month!
[quote]They don't _take_ the money at the time of ordering, they generally pre-auth the amount on the card and then actually take the payment when they ship the product.
So technically, the transaction doesn't actually happen until that point.[\quote]
once the payment has been authorised they in effect have taken the money, you have no way of stopping the payment from that point onwards.
with this pre-authorisation, although they haven't taken the money, you cant actually stop them taking it. its just a matter of if / when they take it.
Legally its a dodgy place to be, its a hard job fighting against the corps. but I have to say, if the amount had been debited from your account, and your bank can confirm it, then its deal done. If they just refund the money and cancel the transaction, its akin to the shop assistant putting the money back in your wallet after sale agreed..... If the bank can confirm the money left your account, then its a fair bet that sale is agreed and you could win in court for them to supply said goods at the agreed price. but its likely to cost a lot more than a ipad is worth, and you may end up loosing...
From the Tesco website
"4. Payment and acceptance
If you buy an item from the Tesco Direct Catalogue on the phone, in-store or online you will be charged for an item at the time you place your order. After this time, you cannot amend your order (but please see our cancellation policy in section 6 below).Your order is an offer to buy from us. Nothing that we do or say will amount to any acceptance of that offer until we actually despatch an item to you, at which point a contract will be made between us. At any point up until then we may decline to supply an item to you. If we decline to supply an item to you and you have already paid for it, we will give you a full refund of any amount already paid for that item in accordance with our refund policy in section 7 below."
So, if you've ordered from them you've agreed that there's no binding agreement until the package is handed to the delivery company and any payment being taken is irrelevant as they'll refund it. If you don't like that then don't buy from them.
"The trader could try to argue that it made a mistake with the pricing which could make the contract void. But it would have to show that the price was so low that you must have known it was not genuine: for example, a new leather jacket with a price tag of £2 on it."
Or, say, a new iPad with a price tag of £50...
The paragraph is not really very clear at which point this judgement becomes moot or by which law this is asserted.
Can the shopkeeper really run after you down the street claiming that the price was a mistake after you have handed over the money and received the goods? I think not. At some point after you hand over your moolah, the contract must be assumed to be binding. Perhaps after you get a receipt and the goods. Who knows?
The internet is a very different environment that the law was not built to cope with. In practice, if you went to the counter with this iPad handed over your 50 quid, they ring it up and give you the receipt and the item, I suspect that is that. How this translates to a website where they have your money for a low priced article is ambiguous. They can argue about T&Cs until the cows come home but the law should be made clearer as to when a contract is made electronically.
Of course, it's their website so that can pretty much do what they want in practice, hoping that they won't get sued by anyone.
"The paragraph is not really very clear at which point this judgement becomes moot or by which law this is asserted."
As often, the final say is left to the courts. However, with a price tag less than 1/10 tof the usual list price, Tesco will have no trouble at all claiming the "obvious" part. Even though they may have done it on purpose, but that a completely different complaint, it should probably go to ASA with a history of previous "unfortunate errors" from the same vendor. Maybe. IANAL.
"the law should be made clearer as to when a contract is made electronically."
That very clause applies EVEN if the contract is already made. That is a get-out clause.
As for when the contract is made, some would argue that the T&C apply ( in which case, paid or not, you're toast unless the item was sent already) and some would argue that common law overcomes "illegal" T&C. There are things to be said on both sides; I intuitively side with the "common law wins over dubious T&C" people. However, I fail to feel any sympathy for the "I bought 100 iPads at 50 quids each, now to sell them at 500 on eBay" crowd. The former is customer protection, the latter is encouraging moronic rapacious profiteering on honest mistakes. Now I do understand that Tesco is probably anything but honest in that case, but that's not the point.
And, as previously stated, the "obviously wrong" price clause applies whether a contract has been established or not (as I understand it). The customer can also cancel the contract after the fact, too (if the product doesn't perform as expected, among other get-out-clauses). A lot of countries even have a no-question-asked cancelling "golden period" for customers in case you just change your mind (that's a protection against over-agressive marketting); not sure about the UK.. All this is just common sense. Of course it won't stop the "typo-chasers" from spreading news over twitter, but that's typical rapacious profiteering, and as much as I despise marketting types I just can't bring myself to fail them on turning that behavior around for their own benefit. After all, rapacious profiteering is their bread'n butter, trying to outsmart them on that stinks of stupidity. He who live by the bamboozle, die by the bamboozle. Or something to that effect.
Why is when things like this I always remember Hover and the Free flights supper blunder.
Everyone knew that flights cost more then a new Hover few them where as lower as £100. A flight to USA for under £100 has never happend.
Flight to USA for under £100 has happened (assuming Wikipedia is to be believed!)
"Skytrain took to the air for the first time on 26 September 1977 when the inaugural flight departed London Gatwick for New York JFK. This flight carried 272 passengers on one of the airline's 345-seat McDonnell Douglas DC-10 widebodied aircraft. The fares charged at the time were £59 one-way from London and $135 one-way from New York."
As for the Hoover fiasco ... problem was they'd just had a fairly successull promotion on free flights to Europe if you bought a Hoover so their marketers decided to step it up a level and offer USA ... problem was that that then hit the tipping point where the offer no longer was just causing people to select a Hoover product when buying a new item but instead people were buying the Hoover solely for the free flight offer and at this point you can be fairly certain that virtually all sales translate into claims on the promotion where the promotion had been costed on the basis (as I think was the case for the Europe flights) of soemthing like a 10% take up.