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Store item wrong price should i have contested?


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Old 15-07-2008, 01:02
Andy Carlton
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Not sure about the legal laws regarding incorrect prices on items, but i went into a well known electrical superstore yeterday and i noticed an item of which i was going to buy - 50 LESS than the original price of which it is in other stores. (The item is normally 299.99 and in this specific store it was clearly displaying 249.99)

The item was clearly displayed with the price tag pinned on the shelf directly underneath the item stating the same make...but a different model number.

As this item was a new model i asked a shop assistant if this is the correct price - he said 'yes' as far as he knew and then i stated that this item is normally 299.99 - the assistant said 'if it is 249.99 that is the price' He then said i will go and check...he came back stating it was actually 299.99.

I asked why the item was 249.99 of which was misleading and the assistant said it was 'human error' (which is fair enough as no one is perfect) the assistant then removed the price tag and screwed it up immediately...which aroused my suspicions.

Should i have contested this and should i have demanded that they sold me this item at the displayed price although the very small print stated it was a different model - although the make was clearly stated large enough?

It is bugging me because the price was completely misleading and as far as i am aware - if the price on the item states a specific figure - then that's what you pay...or is there more to this than meets the eye?

Would like to know if anyone else has had a similar experience and has contested it.
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Old 15-07-2008, 01:09
CASPER1066
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The store does not have to sell it to you, human error falls on their side. Some stores give it as customer good will, but alot dont. They just say sorry and change it to the right price. There is no law forcing them to sell it at the wrong price, even if it was advertised incorrectly.
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Old 15-07-2008, 01:26
Andy Carlton
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The store does not have to sell it to you, human error falls on their side. Some stores give it as customer good will, but alot dont. They just say sorry and change it to the right price. There is no law forcing them to sell it at the wrong price, even if it was advertised incorrectly.

Thats rather like going to a supermarket and spending 20 on food and going to the check-out only to find that the items are actually 40 because the items are marked up incorrectly. (This is not the customers error)

Worse still - if you have something on credit because you trust the price tag, you wouldn't know until you had the bill for the repayments.

Maybe i should have spoken to the manager and asked for an explanation as to why the item was clearly displayed at 249.99? (with photographic evidence prior to querying this)

I can easily afford the 299.99 - it is the principle that concerns me and the fact that the price was misleading.
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Old 15-07-2008, 02:10
jagger2k
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if it had a different model number on this sign then you have no leg to stand on.
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Old 15-07-2008, 02:39
Carmen Queasy
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Boots do it all the time. They advertise "3 for 2" but when you get to the counter it says "2 for 3".

It's simple human error, and unless you bought it, then there's no real issue. If it was a different model number it was clearly placed next to the wrong TV.
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Old 15-07-2008, 02:43
Jimmy Connors
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I once went into Boots to buy some Fenjal body cream which is usually 6.99. I noticed it was priced up at 2.99 so picked up 3 and went to pay. The bill came to 20 and something. I pointed out the price it was advertised for. They charged me the price 2.99 each. They said it was their error and they would honor it.

They were not so forthcoming when I asked to buy anohter 4 of the same though
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Old 15-07-2008, 05:55
rwould
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Actually human error does not protect the store alone. Trading Standards will base it upon the case of reasonableness.

A 50 discount off an electrical good is a believable and acceptable price. Therefore the store would be expected to honour that price.

If it was marked at 50 instead the store would be able to claim that as a human error as the price is not realistic for the goods.

As for the argument on model number, again that would be difficult for them to justify. You still have to price all the goods in your store without the customer having to ask what the price is. Based upon the lack of other pricing it would be reasonable for the customer to think the 50 discount and the 299 price both related to this product. Often for electrical goods the display model may not exactly match the model being sold (externally it may look the same, and it is far cheaper to not replace each model every time some small change is made).

So in other words they should have given you it for the 249 price.
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Old 15-07-2008, 07:46
ogg monster
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The test of reasonableness actually applies to contract terms. The contract is not actually made until money is exchanged for the goods, which has not happened yet at the point where the good are advertised.

The advertisement/tag is an invitation to treat and not a contract term and therefore does not form part of a legally binding contract and therefore the shop is under no legal obligation to sell at that price.

As others have said, they may do so as a good will gesture but there are many high pr6file examples of web sites that have advertised goods at stupidly low prices and not honored those prices, quite legally.
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Old 15-07-2008, 08:03
rwould
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The test of reasonableness actually applies to contract terms. The contract is not actually made until money is exchanged for the goods, which has not happened yet at the point where the good are advertised.

The advertisement/tag is an invitation to treat and not a contract term and therefore does not form part of a legally binding contract and therefore the shop is under no legal obligation to sell at that price.

As others have said, they may do so as a good will gesture but there are many high pr6file examples of web sites that have advertised goods at stupidly low prices and not honored those prices, quite legally.
But there are other regulations and guidance available relating to pricing and how you must display it. For a trader to try and avoid any problems with TS they need to demonstrate how and why the error occurred. The grounds of reasonableness are used by TS officers for what should or should not have been charged for the product.

In the example quoted above TS would side with the customer in all likelihood, if any evidence was provided.

There are numerous examples of TS and the ASA also pursuing or taking action against websites for dodgy pricing. As for errors on pricing TS tend to be more understandable for errors on the web as its automated. In general they will expect reasonable errors to be honoured to the customer, and ones where the customer is extracting the urine the business is not expected to honour it.
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Old 15-07-2008, 08:07
Inspiration
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No you shouldn't have contested. This "I want it all for free" society we now live in really does drive me up the wall. If you knew it wasn't for that product why kick up a stink about it?
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Old 15-07-2008, 09:08
pickledlily
 
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I went into a DIY superstore a couple of years ago and bought a haolgen light unit for the kitchen, priced on display at 10, which for a 4 lamp unit was a good price. When I got to the till the item was scanned and a price of 20 came up. I queried it, the supervisor was called, I showed her priced display I got my lights from, she said it was the stores mistake, they should have been 20, but she would charge me the price shown, ie 10.
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Old 15-07-2008, 09:34
iceandlime
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Worse still - if you have something on credit because you trust the price tag, you wouldn't know until you had the bill for the repayments.
So are you saying you would sign the credit agreement without reading it and checking the actual price of what you're signing for?

Seems a bit odd to me.

If you sign a credit agreement and it's for more than you thought, that's your own fault for not reading it properly.
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Old 15-07-2008, 09:53
Bid-tv
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The item was clearly displayed with the price tag pinned on the shelf directly underneath the item stating the same make...but a different model number.

I asked why the item was 249.99 of which was misleading and the assistant said it was 'human error' (which is fair enough as no one is perfect) the assistant then removed the price tag and screwed it up immediately...which aroused my suspicions.
So it had a different model number yet you thought you'd just try for it anyway? The screwing up of the ticket is nothing strange, where I work the second we discover an incorrect ticket we have to remove it and screw it up, otherwise we're obliged to honour the incorrect price, which is not good business for us obviously. I'm thinking whoever stocked that shelf saw the ticket and thought they were stocking the right product, not noticing the incorrect model number. It's just human error really, and after seeing the incorrect ticket you couldn't really expect them to sell it you for 50 less than it's worth.
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Old 15-07-2008, 09:58
jon8769
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Yes. Bought a bag in Monsoon. It was marked 35. Went to till. Lady said "oh, this bag should be 40 but they've labelled it wrong but I have to charge you the price on the tag".

Next day mum went back to the same shop. They was still incorrectly marked. She also got the bag cheap!
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Old 15-07-2008, 10:05
stargirl 2
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i bought a dress in m&s last year, it had a sticker on saying 5 which i thought was very cheap considering the original price on tag, took it the counter the assistant said thats not the right price at all somon must have stuck the label on but as it was on the dress she said she would be sell it to me for 5.
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Old 15-07-2008, 10:23
BigGayL
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The law states that in England price tags are an 'invitation to treat'. Then customer sees something for 10 and then goes to the counter to buy it for 10 - they are the one starting the transaction. The shopkeeper can then accept the transanction or not.
So the shop are under no obligation to charge you the ticket price.

In France the transaction by law starts with the shop and their price tag, so when the customer goes to pay, even when it is marked wrongly, the shop must honour what it has labelled.

Of course many shops in England still honour the price tag but they don't have to.

I'm not sure of the laws in the rest of the UK, so I have left them out so I don't mislead anyone.
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Old 15-07-2008, 12:22
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If the item was paid for at 299.99 then the customer can expect a refund of 50 after mentioning the shelf-edge price if it had the correct make/model on it both in large letters. That would be a very clear case.

If it's not paid for then they don't really have to sell it at that price.


In this case it probably said something like "Sony HD Camcorder" (with the wrong model no. in smaller letters underneath) If the model letters were really small then the customer would probably have a case for a refund of 50


I don't understand why anyone has any sympathy for large retailers, most of them are constantly trying to scam the customer. Giving them a bit of their own medicine seems fine by me.

A bit different if it's a sole trader though.
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Old 15-07-2008, 12:36
pww
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Funny how so many people know 'the law' but say different things!

For what it's worth, my understanding is that a shop must sell at the price displayed. I, like others, have experienced the till ringing a different price and the shop standing by the label price without a problem.

In this case though the OP, as noted by others, would not have a case because the label described a different product to the one that was on the shelf. There are numerous reasons why the product might not match, other potential customers handling and not putting back in the right place for one.
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Old 15-07-2008, 12:44
wends1502
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The item was clearly displayed with the price tag pinned on the shelf directly underneath the item stating the same make...but a different model number.

so it was in the wrong place on the shelf....
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Old 15-07-2008, 12:50
KaptainKitten
 
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Knowledge of the law is not really important here, it's experience in dealing with retailers that matters.

Comet/Currys etc will more than likely honour the lower shelf price if the item is first paid for at the higher till price
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Old 15-07-2008, 13:08
pww
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Knowledge of the law is not really important here, it's experience in dealing with retailers that matters.

Comet/Currys etc will more than likely honour the lower shelf price if the item is first paid for at the higher till price
Knowledge of the law is important here as the OP was asking about his legal position.

I would say it's much easier to sort these things out at the till when they try to charge you more, why would you purchase first and then complain, especially in a Comet/Currys type purchase of the scale that the OP was contemplating? If you were in Asda buying the groceries I could understand as you won't check every item as it goes through the till.
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Old 15-07-2008, 13:08
JohnD2000
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I saw a pair of shoes in the window of a branch of Clarkes at 45. After a couple of weeks displaying them at that I price I went into the store to get them, only to find them priced in-store at 59. I complained and left without buying, but they still haven't (2 months later) changed the window price.

I've a good mind to go back and insist they let me have them at the window price.
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Old 15-07-2008, 13:18
pww
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I saw a pair of shoes in the window of a branch of Clarkes at 45. After a couple of weeks displaying them at that I price I went into the store to get them, only to find them priced in-store at 59. I complained and left without buying, but they still haven't (2 months later) changed the window price.

I've a good mind to go back and insist they let me have them at the window price.
If the assistent refuses insist on seeing the manager and tell them that you will be back with a trading standards officer if they refuse to sell at the lower price - take a photo of the window display before you start.

I have no idea where you stand legally but it is worth a shot, go for it!
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Old 15-07-2008, 13:22
hobbes
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Any retail business can decline to make a sale. Some might honour a pricing error out of goodwill but they are not obliged to.

However if the product has a price diplayed on the packaging - like a bag of crisps that says still only 10p, then they must be sold for 10p.
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Old 15-07-2008, 13:22
kyresa
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If the assistent refuses insist on seeing the manager and tell them that you will be back with a trading standards officer if they refuse to sell at the lower price - take a photo of the window display before you start.

I have no idea where you stand legally but it is worth a shot, go for it!

Not when the tag below clearly shows that the item that is for sale at that price is different to the item on the shelf - most likely because someone has put it in the wrong place!
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