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Bathstore, Computer Problems And Undercharging

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Won't go into too many details but the wife organised a sink and toilet from this company last week. Price around £270, not seen the receipt but I've just had a lovely chat with someone who works there who tells me that the sink has arrived as well as the cistern. Apparently they've had a computer problem (my immediate reaction is you've fooked up and are now blaming the PC for your mistake) anyhow they are now saying they can supply the toilet but unfortunately they've undercharged us and can we pay another £160+.

To be honest I'm more of the opinion of telling them to go fook themselves I'll have the money back, but depending on what the receipt says are they legally obliged now to deliver the goods at the price stated?

Any legal advice?

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IANAL but my understanding is that advertised prices are simply an "invitation to treat" and if a retailer has wrongly marked the price of an item then he is not required to sell it to you at that price.

However, when the retailer accepted your money he formed a contract with you and he is in breach of contract if he does not honour this.

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IANAL but my understanding is that advertised prices are simply an "invitation to treat" and if a retailer has wrongly marked the price of an item then he is not required to sell it to you at that price.

However, when the retailer accepted your money he formed a contract with you and he is in breach of contract if he does not honour this.

I agree, take it up with trading standards if they try and argue.

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IANAL but my understanding is that advertised prices are simply an "invitation to treat" and if a retailer has wrongly marked the price of an item then he is not required to sell it to you at that price.

However, when the retailer accepted your money he formed a contract with you and he is in breach of contract if he does not honour this.

Is this always true?...I browse on hotukdeals.com a bit, and they always post up deals which have blatantly been incorrectly priced...a number then flock to the said site to buy this "offer", but a number of hours later, they get an email from the shop effectively saying "sorry, but you ain't having for that price"...although I don't know whether distance selling laws are different from buying in a shop..

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Won't go into too many details but the wife organised a sink and toilet from this company last week. Price around £270, not seen the receipt but I've just had a lovely chat with someone who works there who tells me that the sink has arrived as well as the cistern. Apparently they've had a computer problem (my immediate reaction is you've fooked up and are now blaming the PC for your mistake) anyhow they are now saying they can supply the toilet but unfortunately they've undercharged us and can we pay another £160+.

To be honest I'm more of the opinion of telling them to go fook themselves I'll have the money back, but depending on what the receipt says are they legally obliged now to deliver the goods at the price stated?

Any legal advice?

Need more specific details but if you have concluded a contract to purchase then both parties are contractually bound and cannot back out or change the terms unilaterlly. The seller is bound to sell and the purchaser is bound to purchase.

In short, if you have agreed to purchase "X" at "£Y" and they have agreed to supply on those terms then there will almost certainly be a contract in existence and either party can enforce it at law.

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I agree, take it up with trading standards if they try and argue.

TS will just p1ss you about. Self help is usually the best way. It's a simple contractual matter so tell them so.

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Is this always true?...I browse on hotukdeals.com a bit, and they always post up deals which have blatantly been incorrectly priced...a number then flock to the said site to buy this "offer", but a number of hours later, they get an email from the shop effectively saying "sorry, but you ain't having for that price"...although I don't know whether distance selling laws are different from buying in a shop..

I think that a lot of retailers take the pee big time on this matter. My other half is always buying stuff from websites (big names usually) and the one thing they always put in the T's & C's is "No contract is concluded until we have dispatched your item". I have big problems with that because I think they are trying to pull a fast one. All the conditions for a contract seem to be in place at the time you click "buy" and they accept your offer.

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Is this always true?...I browse on hotukdeals.com a bit, and they always post up deals which have blatantly been incorrectly priced...a number then flock to the said site to buy this "offer", but a number of hours later, they get an email from the shop effectively saying "sorry, but you ain't having for that price"...although I don't know whether distance selling laws are different from buying in a shop..

Quite simple really. The advert is an offer to treat. The purchaser then makes an offer to purchase the advertised item. The seller may or may not accept the offer. If he does accept the offer then he is obliged to keep his side of the bargain. If he does not want to accept the offer, because he has mistakenly put the wrong price on the item, then he is perfectly entitled to refuse the offer.

He may fall foul of the Trades Description Act if he has deliberately mislead, but that is another issue.

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Regardless of the finer points of law involved, I would regard this as a gross impertinence and I would tell them to come and collect the stuff they have already delivered and refund the money, and tell them that I will be buying the stuff elsewhere, as you indicated you would do.

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They took your money. They definitely entered into a contract with you, and are legally obliged to honor it in full.

If they try to refer you to some Ts &Cs to get out of it, the Ts and Cs have no weight if they were not made available to you before you entered the contract.

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They took your money. They definitely entered into a contract with you, and are legally obliged to honor it in full.

Yes, my Law lecturer used to say that if you bought a Mars Bar from a newsagent, you entered into a legal contract, and that the contact was formed at the instant the shopkeeper agreed to sell you the Mars Bar for a price both parties were satisfied with.

In the OP's case, what the store are doing is the equivalent of the newsagent running down the road after you and telling you that he should have charged you 5p more for the Mars Bar.

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Just a thought - is this a huge national chain that would tell you to **** off if YOU had made a mistake? Or a small trader that can ill-afford the loss?

Maybe the decent thing would be to cancel the purchase. For me, my decision would depend upon who I was dealing with.

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I think that a lot of retailers take the pee big time on this matter. My other half is always buying stuff from websites (big names usually) and the one thing they always put in the T's & C's is "No contract is concluded until we have dispatched your item". I have big problems with that because I think they are trying to pull a fast one. All the conditions for a contract seem to be in place at the time you click "buy" and they accept your offer.

surely the conclusion of the contract is the end of it..the formation is what the General is having an issue with.

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Quite simple really. The advert is an offer to treat. The purchaser then makes an offer to purchase the advertised item. The seller may or may not accept the offer. If he does accept the offer then he is obliged to keep his side of the bargain. If he does not want to accept the offer, because he has mistakenly put the wrong price on the item, then he is perfectly entitled to refuse the offer.

He may fall foul of the Trades Description Act if he has deliberately mislead, but that is another issue.

This isn't right. It's not an offer to treat, it's an invitation to treat.

An advert can be a contractual offer and so can be legally binding under some circumstances. The very rough rule is that an advert taken out by a manufacturer is more likely to be an offer for sale than one taken out by a retailer. In either case an advert could well be the offer part of a contract depending upon the specific circumstances and content.

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Regardless of the finer points of law involved, I would regard this as a gross impertinence and I would tell them to come and collect the stuff they have already delivered and refund the money, and tell them that I will be buying the stuff elsewhere, as you indicated you would do.

Ah, but the finer points of law may be able to be used to your advantage. If what the op has contracted to purchase is something he really wants - or needs - yet he can't get it anywhere else for that price and is faced with paying much more for it then he could reasonably go ahead and purchase it and sue the party in breach for the difference. The difference constitutes the damages which the innocent party has incurred due to the other party's breach.

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Yes, my Law lecturer used to say that if you bought a Mars Bar from a newsagent, you entered into a legal contract, and that the contact was formed at the instant the shopkeeper agreed to sell you the Mars Bar for a price both parties were satisfied with.

In the OP's case, what the store are doing is the equivalent of the newsagent running down the road after you and telling you that he should have charged you 5p more for the Mars Bar.

Precisely. The amount of the consideration is almost entirely beside the point. It's the doctrine of, "Consideration must be sufficient but need not be adequate". This sounds contradictory but it isn't really. "Sufficient" means that it must be sifficient to amount to valuable consideration (which may be 1p) but it need not adequately reflect the actual value of the property which is the subject of the contract. This is why the Governent was able to conclude lawful contracts of sale for each Concorde aircraft for £1 a piece even though they cost hundreds of millions to manufacture.

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surely the conclusion of the contract is the end of it..the formation is what the General is having an issue with.

A contract is concluded when certain elements are present. There has to be, Offer, Acceptance, Consideration (money or money's worth) and an intention to create legal relations (to be contractually bound). In addition there has t be a capacity to contract but that's a bit separate from the actual contract.

If "A" offers to sell a book to "B" for a certain price and "B" agrees to purchase it on those exact terms then a contract is concluded (formed) at the precise point that "B" agrees and is enforcable at law. Actually performing the contract is execution.

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After checking the receipt it does appear that in ordering a toilet they did indeed forget to list it on the receipt quite what they expect us to have done a dump in with no toilet but just a cistern is beyond me.

So it's the sales persons incompetence but their is no way we would have ordered from them if we knew the price looks like we will be going for a refund as we aren't paying over £400 for a toilet and basin.

Should be fun for the wife tomorrow sorting it all out.

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After checking the receipt it does appear that in ordering a toilet they did indeed forget to list it on the receipt quite what they expect us to have done a dump in with no toilet but just a cistern is beyond me.

So it's the sales persons incompetence but their is no way we would have ordered from them if we knew the price looks like we will be going for a refund as we aren't paying over £400 for a toilet and basin.

Should be fun for the wife tomorrow sorting it all out.

Sounds reasonable. They messed up, you messed up not checking the receipt. All square, get the wife to sort it :)

you could just use the cistern. Call it a continental toilet or something. Heaven knows what they have in Spain. Hole in the floor or such like.

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After checking the receipt it does appear that in ordering a toilet they did indeed forget to list it on the receipt quite what they expect us to have done a dump in with no toilet but just a cistern is beyond me.

So it's the sales persons incompetence but their is no way we would have ordered from them if we knew the price looks like we will be going for a refund as we aren't paying over £400 for a toilet and basin.

Should be fun for the wife tomorrow sorting it all out.

From what you have said then, they are in breach; they've even admitted such as they said it was their computer system which @rsed things up - in saying that, they are acknowledging that you did indeed contract to purchase all three items, not just two.

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Sounds reasonable. They messed up, you messed up not checking the receipt. All square, get the wife to sort it :)

you could just use the cistern. Call it a continental toilet or something. Heaven knows what they have in Spain. Hole in the floor or such like.

You shouldn't need to check the reciept. The reciept is what it says it is, a reciept for money recieved and not something which forms part of the contract. It can't be by simple logic as it can only be issued after a contract has been agreed.

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This isn't right. It's not an offer to treat, it's an invitation to treat.

An advert can be a contractual offer and so can be legally binding under some circumstances. The very rough rule is that an advert taken out by a manufacturer is more likely to be an offer for sale than one taken out by a retailer. In either case an advert could well be the offer part of a contract depending upon the specific circumstances and content.

Yes quite right. It was a case of my brain moving on and my fingers trying to catch up.

And Carbolic Smoke Balls to you.

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After checking the receipt it does appear that in ordering a toilet they did indeed forget to list it on the receipt quite what they expect us to have done a dump in with no toilet but just a cistern is beyond me.

Ah, totally different scenario then, if you didn't pay for a toilet then you can hardly expect to receive one.

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Ah, totally different scenario then, if you didn't pay for a toilet then you can hardly expect to receive one.

But he has paid for the toilet judging from the account he has given. It appears that he contracted to purchase all three items (toilet, cistern and sink) yet they, in their error, have actually charged him the wrong price. Their pricing error appears to be that they simply have omitted to include the price of the toilet in their calculations but that has no effect upon the actual contract which was concluded. The store has even admitted that he contracted for all three items by saying that it was a computer error.

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  • 284 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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