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Not even of its a mistake? They didnt realise the item was priced at 10p, but the buyer clearly did and knew it was a mistake? They arent allowed to void it?

 

Once a contract has been formed normally it cannot be cancelled by the retailer. This is why most online retailers state that a contract has not been formed until dispatch. This means that if they notice a pricing error before dispatch then they can cancel the order has the contract has not been formed yet. Effectively your have offered x amount and the retailer has rejected your offer.

 

If the pricing mistake is obvious then a consumer cannot take advantage. But if it the contract has been formed and the mistake was not obvious - so for example an £100 item reduced to £70 then the retailer would need to honour this. If not they risk being in breach of contract - a consumer could take them to court.

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Once a contract has been formed normally it cannot be cancelled by the retailer. This is why most online retailers state that a contract has not been formed until dispatch. This means that if they notice a pricing error before dispatch then they can cancel the order has the contract has not been formed yet. Effectively your have offered x amount and the retailer has rejected your offer.

 

If the pricing mistake is obvious then a consumer cannot take advantage. But if it the contract has been formed and the mistake was not obvious - so for example an £100 item reduced to £70 then the retailer would need to honour this. If not they risk being in breach of contract - a consumer could take them to court.

 

So on the case of the OP they were quite entitled to cancel because it was voidable or it was void ab initio?

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My bold. No they cannot have a term allowing them to just cancel an order. I have to agree with what others have said on this thread that you don't know as much as you think. As I said if they accept your order a retailer cannot cancel it, even if it says in their terms they can, without being in breach of contract.

 

Why do you believe that? You don't think cancellation terms can exist at all, or is there a special case that makes a cancellation term illegal in this case?

 

---------- Post added 03-08-2016 at 07:31 ----------

 

Once a contract has been formed normally it cannot be cancelled by the retailer.

Why can't it have a term in it allowing cancellation?

 

What retailers definitely can't do, is decide to change the basis of contract law and make up their own rules about when a contract exists.

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So on the case of the OP they were quite entitled to cancel because it was voidable or it was void ab initio?

 

It could be both, if the retailer hasn’t accepted their offer then they can just refund.

 

Some retailers might try to get round potential errors on their website in their terms by saying the reserve the right to cancel any order even once the order has been accepted. However, this might be classed as an unfair term – generally any catch all kind of term could be deemed unfair. A contract needs to be fair on both parties. Terms cannot overwrite any rights that a consumer has.

 

I will give some example of different scenarios. Lets say it’s not the price but the spec which was wrong and lets say that there is no laptop available via that supplier or any other with that spec and it can’t be upgrade to the spec. The retailer cancels the order and refunds saying they cannot supply the product ordered even though they have accepted the order. The customer is not happy and takes them to court, realistically the only outcome is for a court to insist that the retailer puts the customer back in the position they were in before – that is a refund. However, if the customer had incurred extra costs because of the retailers breach then the court would likely award these costs to the consumer.

 

In the example I gave before of a £100 product reduced to £70. Lets say that the retailer refuses to honour this but again has accepted the order. The consumer could buy the same product for a £100 and then take the retailer to court for the difference because the retailer breached the original agreement to supply said product at the agreed price.

 

Ultimately only a court can decide but a retailer cannot just cancel a contract to supply goods or services for any reason they like without any potential comeback. It might end up costing them money and sometimes a lot of money by cancelling.

 

So to sum up a retailer can cancel as in refund the customer (there is no physical mechanism to stop this) but they could be forced by a court to carry out the contract or pay costs incurred.

Edited by Love2print

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Why would a court decide that a right to cancel that applies to either party at any time before shipping is an unfair term?

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Once a contract has been agreed the contract cannot be cancelled by the seller without them risking breach of contract. The consumer has rights when buying at a distance and can cancel within 14 days the same does not apply to the seller. It is also worth noting that the right to cancel is extended if the purchaser was not informed in a durable format (letter, email are acceptable but not just terms on a website because a website can be changed) of their right to cancel.

 

If a consumer tried to cancel after the allowed cancellation period then they would be in breach and could end up paying costs incurred by the seller. But the seller also has to try to mitigate their losses where possible.

 

An example would be cancelling a wedding photographer they day before the wedding. It would be unlikely the photographer could find another wedding so you would likley owe them the full amount or not far off. If however you cancelled a year before they could find another client and would have a responsibility to do so to mitigate their losses and its likely you would owe them very little perhaps just something to cover admin and finding another client.

 

In regards to price errors try looking up loss of bargain. This us what a consumer could claim once a contract has been formed but not concluded.

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So we're back to the retailer having your money, but no contract to supply goods/services existing. They can just keep your money.

 

So you can walk into a shop and take what you want without paying because no contract exists?

 

---------- Post added 03-08-2016 at 20:56 ----------

 

Are you claiming that Terms and Conditions can apply when no contract exists?

 

That simply makes no sense, it's nonsense. The act of accepting terms and conditions offered by one party to another forms a contract.

 

It's pretty funny that you think I shouldn't be taking part, if that's what you believe.

 

You have entered into an agreement by using the website, just not a sales contract.

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The T&C's to which we are now referring are all specifically about the sale and supply of goods, they are specifically written to form part of the sales contract and you generally have to tick to agree to them before you transfer money.

You have not formed a contract simply by browsing a website unless it won't let you in until you agree to some T&Cs (which isn't how most sites work).

 

Re: stealing, if a company gives you an item then you haven't stolen it, if you give a company money then they haven't stolen it. Walking in and taking is entirely different to giving.

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I think you are stuck on the point that because cash has changed hands a contract must have been formed. To make a contract consideration must have taken place.

 

In a shop you hand over the money in effect making an offer. The shop has chance to consider your offer and either accept or decline.

 

Online the taking of money is automated and as such no consideration has taken place. Even without stipulating in the terms when a contract has been formed it could still be considered that the offer has not been accepted and no contract has been made. However to avoid doubt in the customers mind most retailers make it clear when they have considered the offer to purchase and accepted the offer. Cyclone you are a good example of why retailers need to make it clear when the contract is formed as many think by just paying that means a contract has been made.

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The legally binding contract is complete when a retailer accepts an order. However, acceptance does not necessarily happen at the point of order. Even the confirmation email may not be an acceptance. Some retailers reserve the right to cancel an order up to the point of delivery. It is therefore important to carefully check the retailer’s terms and conditions (which must be available on their website) and emails – if a retailer simply acknowledges an order, there may be no contract at that point.

According to Screwfix’s terms and conditions on its website this week, it only accepts orders once it has delivered the goods. It says the processing of a payment and acknowledgement of an order does not constitute a legally binding contract.

As with in-store purchases, once a customer has received their order a retailer generally has no right to claw back any money.

The catch:

One essential element of a contract is an intention to create legal relations. If an item has been very heavily discounted and it is clear that an error has occurred, the trader could say that it was obvious that they had no intention to form a contract at that price.

In the Screwfix case for example, the company could argue that a ride-on mower that normally costs £1,599.99 would not ever be on sale for £34.99 – and the consumer must have been aware this was a mistake.

Where an item could feasibly be priced at £34.99, something normally priced at £40 for instance, Screwfix would probably have to rely solely on its terms and conditions.

Stuart Helmer, of law firm CMS, said: “The growth of e-commerce creates huge potential for a computer glitch to lead to widespread pricing errors. Screwfix are just the latest in a long line of retailers to be caught out in this way.

“However, if the retailer has drafted its terms and conditions carefully – which Screwfix appears to have done – then, unless it has deliberately misled customers, it will usually be legally entitled to cancel the order right up to the point of delivery. Whether it chooses to do so is a question of public relations, not legal rights.”

 

From

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/money-saving-tips/10602641/Price-glitches-Do-retailers-have-to-honour-pricing-mistakes.html

 

The terms and conditions this refers to are terms and conditions of a contract that has been formed. Not some nebulous terms and conditions of a not existing contract that therefore couldn't be cancelled because it didn't exist.

 

---------- Post added 04-08-2016 at 10:26 ----------

 

And this is why most retailers don't charge your card (ie take a payment) until the point at which the item is shipping.

 

Taking your card details doesn't form a contract obviously. Once payment is taken it's far less clear.

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Taking your card details doesn't form a contract obviously. Once payment is taken it's far less clear.

 

As explained there needs to be an act of consideration. You are determined to try to prove me wrong, no matter how I explain it you are not prepared to accept that money changing hands to not always equal to a contract being formed.

 

I am not going to repeat what I have already said as it like me banging my head against a wall.

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