Customer demanding to be sold product at wrong price-who is right?

Discussion in 'Growing and Managing a Business' started by snowboo, Jan 25, 2011.

  1. snowboo

    snowboo
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    Hi
    Just need some advice. Am just setting up a new business with a website, it isn't properly advertised yet while I am setting it up and adding products. However someone has managed to place an order on the site.However they ordered a product that I had put on for £28.00. This was a mistake as I entered it, it should have been £48. We can't even buy it for £28.00, its costs us £35 to buy in before VAT.

    The system sends out an automated email to say that their order has been recieved and will be processed as soon as possible. When I saw that an order had come through I had a look at it and saw the mistake straight away. Even though customers enter card details we dont take any money until the order is ready to be dispatched just in case there is anything out of stock or any problems etc.

    I emailed her straight away and told her of the mistake and that no money had been taken from her. I explaned that it was human error as I entered the product and apologised for the inconvenience.

    She has emailed me back and told me legally I have to sell it to here at the price I had entered and she will be contacting trading standards etc to complain about me.
    Is she right? Shes really kicking off. I dont know if I should just take the hit and loose some money to keep her happy. Not sure where i stand.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated
     
  2. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf
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    I am sure that it's you that is correct. Unless it was misleading advertising, which in this case it isn't, then you should be fine. Here is a quote I found online:

     
  3. Fergal

    Fergal
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    What Lone Wolf, says is true under Irish law, in that advertising something at a given price doesn't compel you to sell at that price, because no contract has been entered into until you actually agree a deal with the buyer.

    It's an unfortunate event and I'm pretty sure you will take steps to ensure that it won't happen again. If it was me, I would probably take the loss and ship the product, then put it down to a learning experience and be more careful in future. You don't need the risk of negative publicity when your business is so new.

    By the way, welcome to Business Advice Forum, thanks for joining.
     
  4. Emmaq

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    It was a learning class for all the business people: ) You are fine for this coz you are not meant to mislead your customers buy the product. Do not let it happen next time: ) Good luck!
     
  5. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man
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    I don't think you legally need to sell it at the posted price. That would mean that it is illegal to make a printing error. What if you were selling cars and forgot to add a couple zeros? would you be required to sell a new car for $190? You did not intentionally mislead her in order to receive more money, (that would be illegal).
    I think they best way to handle this is to let her know that although you are not legally obligated to sell to her at the incorrect price, as an act of good customer service you will accept the loss. This can go a long way towards your excellent customer service policy, and may even gain you a reputation as being fair and honest.
    Sadly in the online world it is often the lowest price that wins. Many customers have the opinion that "the customer is always right", which is not the case. In this case, because of the small difference in price, I would say take the loss.
     
  6. adwordsmogul

    adwordsmogul
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    When I used to work in retail we were always instructed to sell at the displayed price even if it was a mistake.

    I don't know if it's a legal requirement but anytime I go to a store and there is a wrong price displayed they sell it to me at that price when I show it to them.

    It's not worth the argument. Chances are if you told the customer you made a mistake but sold the product to her nevertheless, she would be open to your future offers and upsells.

    By arguing with her she may not buy anyway. Saving 20 quid may mean losing hundreds in future.
     
  7. DaveScotford

    DaveScotford
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    Bit of a law lesson coming...

    A product advertised in a shop (or online) is what's known as an invitation to treat. You've placed the product in the market and you're calling for offers from the public. The public make the offer and you as the product owner are able to accept or decline the offer (or counter-offer, but that's a whole other law).

    The buyer has NO right what so ever under English and Welsh law to be able to buy at any price other than one you intend to sell theres no legal requirement to sell at any price, yet alone one which was a mistake. Some shops sell at the lower price as 'good PR', nut you don't have to!
     
  8. Barney

    Barney
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    You are not compelled to sell the product at that price even though that was the price you had on it. A contract is not mot made untill an offer has been accepted. She made the offer and you did not accept it. If you give it to her at the wrong price and learn from the experience you will not have lost.
     

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