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(Macworld UK)   Apple tells guy that even though the dirt cheap prices on his order were in error, they'll honor them on items already shipped. They then turn around hand have the packages intercepted in transit   (macworld.co.uk) divider line 152
    More: Fail, apples, customer support, Adam Crouchley  
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8128 clicks; posted to Geek » on 06 Nov 2012 at 7:18 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-06 11:35:00 AM  

UNAUTHORIZED FINGER: machoprogrammer: I have a really, really liberal friend who always preaches about evil corporations and how bad rich people are, etc, and on the one year anniversary of Steve Jobs' death, they switched their facebook profile pic to a pic of Steve.

You do realize that "really really liberal" equates to "conservative of 20 years ago". The Right-wing keeps moving right, and dragging the Left along with them.

/I have neither a picture of Steve Jobs, nor a FaceBook page
//my last Apple product: second-hand Apple Newton


Oh, I know. But to say corporations and rich people are evil, then to do that, is pretty potato if you ask me.
 
2012-11-06 11:47:18 AM  
Unconscionable contracts are unenforceable. Presumably a court could decide that selling $1600 dollars worth of goods for $35 meant that there wasn't valid consideration.
 
2012-11-06 11:52:02 AM  

vudukungfu: BarkingUnicorn: IDK how this will play out in the UK. But here in the States, a court wouldn't give this guy anything. Mistakes were made, the contract was canceled, and the guy was made whole. His "emotional distress" over losing a bargain doesn't qualify for monetary damages.

BLaw 101:
Contract = Offer + Acceptance and the deal is sealed with Consideration. He paid for his purchaces.
Apple must deliver the goods.
Otherwise, no one would want to deal with them for any amount.


BLaw 102:
If there's a mistake as to a basic assumption of a contract, and the existence of the mistake is known by one party, the contract is voidable by the other party. See Restatement 2nd Contracts §153.
Since Crouchley knew there was a mistake in the pricing, Apple can void the contract:
"The whole range from the supplier was super cheap," said Crouchley. "And so I thought: this can't be right, there's something incorrect here."
 
2012-11-06 11:52:37 AM  

The Only Jeff: Unconscionable contracts are unenforceable. Presumably a court could decide that selling $1600 dollars worth of goods for $35 meant that there wasn't valid consideration.


Yep. That's the other half of §153, linked above. :)
 
2012-11-06 11:54:47 AM  

JK47: Since he took the time to verify the price with the retailer and received confirmation that they were genuine he acted in good faith and was a bona fide purchaser.


You've seen the term "bona fide purchaser" before but don't know what it actually means, but it sounds legal, so you try to throw it in everywhere, eh?

You're not allowed to unilaterally cancel contracts simply because you realize, after the fact, that it won't be profitable.

See above. If there's a mistake and the other party has reason to know of it, then yes, you can.
 
2012-11-06 11:57:22 AM  
This is a weird day for me because I never imagined myself defending Apple or agreeing with Theaetetus. Clearly the non-stop election coverage has scrambled my brain.
 
2012-11-06 12:01:28 PM  

Theaetetus: The Only Jeff: Unconscionable contracts are unenforceable. Presumably a court could decide that selling $1600 dollars worth of goods for $35 meant that there wasn't valid consideration.

Yep. That's the other half of §153, linked above. :)


Since it is retailer to consumer though, wouldn't they be liable for the advertised price? Haven't companies been legally required to sell off goods due to misprinted ads, and if so, how would this be different?

//Not arguing, just wondering.
 
2012-11-06 12:01:52 PM  

The Only Jeff: This is a weird day for me because I never imagined myself defending Apple or agreeing with Theaetetus. Clearly the non-stop election coverage has scrambled my brain.


Hey, I'm not pro-Apple. I'm pro-IP law. They happen to align at the moment, but give it a few months. :P
 
2012-11-06 12:01:55 PM  

The Only Jeff: Unconscionable contracts are unenforceable. Presumably a court could decide that selling $1600 dollars worth of goods for $35 meant that there wasn't valid consideration.


That isn't an unconscionable contract, that is simply a bad deal...in fact the Supreme Court has ruled that going bankrupt on a bad deal contract is not unconscionable. Apple advertised the price, verified the price by human hands, accepted the payment and shipped the order. They went the extra step to have someone steal the package out of the mail delivery system to try and breach the existing contract. Apple is in trouble and will lose.

Another example, real life and went before the courts. Airline buys options to purchase future fuel at from Manufacturer for $3.00/gal; Current fuel price is $1.78/gal. Suddenly global oil demands and fuel skyrockets to $6.00/gal and airline exercises the option and fills their fleet at $3.00 making money by doing nothing. Are you suggesting that because the manufacturer will lose hundreds of millions on the contract it should be canceled because it's unconscionable? Nope, a business deal is a business deal and Apple will be out the loss of the benefit of the bargain, the attorney fees, and whatever else punishment New Zealand courts can hand out.
 
2012-11-06 12:04:10 PM  

machoprogrammer: UNAUTHORIZED FINGER: machoprogrammer: I have a really, really liberal friend who always preaches about evil corporations and how bad rich people are, etc, and on the one year anniversary of Steve Jobs' death, they switched their facebook profile pic to a pic of Steve.

You do realize that "really really liberal" equates to "conservative of 20 years ago". The Right-wing keeps moving right, and dragging the Left along with them.

/I have neither a picture of Steve Jobs, nor a FaceBook page
//my last Apple product: second-hand Apple Newton

Oh, I know. But to say corporations and rich people are evil, then to do that, is pretty potato if you ask me.


Heh, yeah I'll concede that point. I'm just a bit knee-jerk sensitive anymore. Thank god the election is today, and we'll never have to talk politics ever again. :)
 
2012-11-06 12:10:24 PM  

mauricecano: That isn't an unconscionable contract, that is simply a bad deal...in fact the Supreme Court has ruled that going bankrupt on a bad deal contract is not unconscionable. Apple advertised the price, verified the price by human hands, accepted the payment and shipped the order. They went the extra step to have someone steal the package out of the mail delivery system to try and breach the existing contract. Apple is in trouble and will lose.

Another example, real life and went before the courts. Airline buys options to purchase future fuel at from Manufacturer for $3.00/gal; Current fuel price is $1.78/gal. Suddenly global oil demands and fuel skyrockets to $6.00/gal and airline exercises the option and fills their fleet at $3.00 making money by doing nothing. Are you suggesting that because the manufacturer will lose hundreds of millions on the contract it should be canceled because it's unconscionable? Nope, a business deal is a business deal and Apple will be out the loss of the benefit of the bargain, the attorney fees, and whatever else punishment New Zealand courts can hand out.


No, a bad deal is me selling you my car for one dollar because I hate my car. An unconscionable deal is me selling you my car for one dollar because there was a typo in the contract. Apple is liable for incorrect advertised prices made in bad faith (generally, a loss-leader gambit that you have to straighten out after you've bought all the other shiat they're selling) but not liable for mistakes that cause no damages. As was stated before in this thread, there is no guarantee the price was verified by human hands, the consumer could easily have asked, "are your prices on your website accurate" or "are your iThingamajigs on sale now." As someone has also said in this article, there is no indication where in the mail delivery system the package was intercepted. I would assume if it got to the consumer's doorstep that would be a different case than if it was intercepted in the warehouse.

Your example is different than this one because there were mistaken assumptions, not mistaken facts. I can buy a car that is advertised as new because I think it looks cool and it'll help me pick up girls. If I'm still single a month later I can't say the contract was invalid because I was a dumbass. If I buy a car that is advertised as new and it breaks down because it's really used and just had the odometer illegally rolled back, that is a mistake in fact. You lied to me when you sold me that car, and I entered a contract under your bad faith.
 
2012-11-06 12:11:08 PM  

roc6783: Theaetetus: The Only Jeff: Unconscionable contracts are unenforceable. Presumably a court could decide that selling $1600 dollars worth of goods for $35 meant that there wasn't valid consideration.

Yep. That's the other half of §153, linked above. :)

Since it is retailer to consumer though, wouldn't they be liable for the advertised price? Haven't companies been legally required to sell off goods due to misprinted ads, and if so, how would this be different?

//Not arguing, just wondering.


Nope, §153 still applies as above. Where consumer/non-consumer distinctions apply are over various parts of the UCC, but unilateral mistake isn't one of them. And no, companies aren't legally required to sell goods where there's a misprinted ad (unless there's a local or state law requiring that, which is pretty rare but theoretically possible), but they frequently do for the good press.

/one caveat is that this is actually an Australian dispute, not US, so their laws may be slightly different... the caveat-caveat is that they were based on British common law, so it's probably not that different
//second caveat is that Apple's sales contract almost certainly includes language regarding pricing errors and their option to rescind or modify the contract, so it's probably all moot anyways
 
2012-11-06 12:12:14 PM  

Theaetetus: You've seen the term "bona fide purchaser" before but don't know what it actually means, but it sounds legal, so you try to throw it in everywhere, eh?



I was focusing more on the fact that he was an innocent party purchasing an item in good faith. Though yes since this doesn't involve an adverse claim it's not technically on point but then again...


See above. If there's a mistake and the other party has reason to know of it, then yes, you can.


...I took the time to read the article so based on the facts the doctrine of "mistake" is inapplicable. The other party to the transaction (the consumer) had no reason to know of the error because he confirmed the price with the retailer.
 
2012-11-06 12:18:15 PM  

mauricecano: The Only Jeff: Unconscionable contracts are unenforceable. Presumably a court could decide that selling $1600 dollars worth of goods for $35 meant that there wasn't valid consideration.

That isn't an unconscionable contract, that is simply a bad deal...in fact the Supreme Court has ruled that going bankrupt on a bad deal contract is not unconscionable.


But, where there's a mistake, there's no contract. Therefore, the whole "you made a poor contract" doctrine doesn't apply - there is no contract, because there was no meeting of the minds. See the link above.

Apple advertised the price, verified the price by human hands, accepted the payment and shipped the order.

We don't know what the agent said, and the agent may not have been authorized to modify the price. Accepting payment was via an automated system, and therefore doesn't constitute acceptance of the guy's offer to purchase.

They went the extra step to have someone steal the package out of the mail delivery system to try and breach the existing contract.

[Citation needed]. Since you're accusing them of a felony, I'm sure you have some sort of clear evidence that they did that, as opposed to, say, pulling the order from their own shipping dock?

Apple is in trouble and will lose.

As noted above, they will not. They will, however, probably settle, because defending it would be more expensive than the cost of the goods.

Another example, real life and went before the courts. Airline buys options to purchase future fuel at from Manufacturer for $3.00/gal; Current fuel price is $1.78/gal. Suddenly global oil demands and fuel skyrockets to $6.00/gal and airline exercises the option and fills their fleet at $3.00 making money by doing nothing. Are you suggesting that because the manufacturer will lose hundreds of millions on the contract it should be canceled because it's unconscionable? Nope, a business deal is a business deal and Apple will be out the loss of the benefit of the bargain, the attorney fees, and whatever else punishment New Zealand courts can hand out.

Requirements contracts are an entirely different matter. You need to go back to the first few chapters in your text on offers and acceptance, and unilateral mistake.
 
2012-11-06 12:22:06 PM  

JK47:
See above. If there's a mistake and the other party has reason to know of it, then yes, you can.

...I took the time to read the article so based on the facts the doctrine of "mistake" is inapplicable. The other party to the transaction (the consumer) had no reason to know of the error because he confirmed the price with the retailer.


He specifically says in the article that he knew it was an error. That the person on the phone said something to him doesn't mean he doesn't believe it's an error anymore. Rather, at best, he believed they were going to honor the error. As he said:
"I ordered a bunch of stuff," said Crouchley, impressed by the discounts. "I spent about $35 and got about $1600 worth of gear, so I was pretty happy with myself then."
That says he knew it wasn't the regular price.

But, here's the thing - what the phone rep said is irrelevant. They have no ability to bind Apple to waiving its right to rescind the contract due to mistake.
 
2012-11-06 12:24:22 PM  

BarkingUnicorn: IDK how this will play out in the UK. But here in the States, a court wouldn't give this guy anything. Mistakes were made, the contract was canceled, and the guy was made whole. His "emotional distress" over losing a bargain doesn't qualify for monetary damages.


There was an verbal contract made with the department before the items were intercepted. If he has a recording, things will go very much in his way.
 
2012-11-06 12:26:00 PM  
My wife got her iPhone for free by accident. There was a problem activating the phone in the Apple Store, so the "genius" suggested taking it back, refunding the money, and then selling a different new phone. The new iPhone activated without a hitch and we were on our way. The next day we noticed that the Apple Store processed the discount but forgot to charge anything for the next phone. I only hope it never needs service because I think the warranty check might come back as "stolen."
 
2012-11-06 12:28:01 PM  

Theaetetus: [Citation needed]. Since you're accusing them of a felony, I'm sure you have some sort of clear evidence that they did that, as opposed to, say, pulling the order from their own shipping dock?



Title passed from the seller to the buyer once the items were shipped. Which stands to reason since it's my understanding that the seller does not bear the risk of loss if the goods are lost in transit.


UCC Article 2 Section 401:

(2) Unless otherwise explicitly agreed title passes to the buyer at the time and place at which the seller completes performance with reference to the physical delivery of the goods, despite any reservation of a security interest and even though a document of title is to be delivered at a different time or place; and in particular and despite any reservation of a security interest by the bill of lading

(a) if the contract requires or authorizes the seller to send the goods to the buyer but does not require the seller to deliver them at destination, title passes to the buyer at the time and place of shipment; but

(b) if the contract requires delivery at destination, title passes on tender there.
 
2012-11-06 12:29:44 PM  

Cinaed: rocky_howard: That's not what happened, but thanks for trying.

As far as I can tell, that is what happened. I don't care if a call center agreed with his observations or not.

Anyone thinking they can get 1600 dollars worth of current Apple product for 35 dollars is either high, or an imbecile.

He got his 35 dollars back. He didn't get any product. He ended up at square one and is in a huff because an error didn't pay out.

I reiterate. Boo. Farking. Hoo.


I wonder if you would think the same if an airline did this to you at the airport?
 
2012-11-06 12:31:44 PM  

JK47: Theaetetus: [Citation needed]. Since you're accusing them of a felony, I'm sure you have some sort of clear evidence that they did that, as opposed to, say, pulling the order from their own shipping dock?

Title passed from the seller to the buyer once the items were shipped.


... but you have no evidence that they shipped. And yet you still accused Apple of felony tampering with the mail. Huh. Well, you're a braver man than I.

Also
(2) Unless otherwise explicitly agreed title passes to the buyer at the time and place at which the seller completes performance with reference to the physical delivery of the goods, despite any reservation of a security interest and even though a document of title is to be delivered at a different time or place; and in particular and despite any reservation of a security interest by the bill of lading

(a) if the contract requires or authorizes the seller to send the goods to the buyer but does not require the seller to deliver them at destination, title passes to the buyer at the time and place of shipment; but

(b) if the contract requires delivery at destination, title passes on tender there.


You do see all those references to various potential options in the contract, right? I'd be willing to bet you didn't look at a copy of Apple's sales and delivery contract when you made that post, so why do you think it applies in any way?

Also, that assumes that there's a valid contract. As noted above, Apple has a right to void the contract... at which point, there isn't a valid contract and Apple isn't required to do diddly with its shipment.
 
2012-11-06 12:32:18 PM  

Theaetetus: vudukungfu: BarkingUnicorn: IDK how this will play out in the UK. But here in the States, a court wouldn't give this guy anything. Mistakes were made, the contract was canceled, and the guy was made whole. His "emotional distress" over losing a bargain doesn't qualify for monetary damages.

BLaw 101:
Contract = Offer + Acceptance and the deal is sealed with Consideration. He paid for his purchaces.
Apple must deliver the goods.
Otherwise, no one would want to deal with them for any amount.

BLaw 102:
If there's a mistake as to a basic assumption of a contract, and the existence of the mistake is known by one party, the contract is voidable by the other party. See Restatement 2nd Contracts §153.
Since Crouchley knew there was a mistake in the pricing, Apple can void the contract:
"The whole range from the supplier was super cheap," said Crouchley. "And so I thought: this can't be right, there's something incorrect here
."


But that is not what happened. He suspected there might be mistake, verified it twice, and was told later that there was a mistake but the products that had shipped would be sold at that price. At no point did he try to knowingly slight the company on something he thought was a mistake.
 
2012-11-06 12:33:23 PM  

Theaetetus: But, here's the thing - what the phone rep said is irrelevant. They have no ability to bind Apple to waiving its right to rescind the contract due to mistake.



Now you're drifting into agency which is a bit off target ("apparent authority" of the representative would favor the consumer in this case though). The issue for the purposes of determining if mistake applies isn't what the customer service rep could and could not authorize...it's the knowledge of the consumer. The consumer had to know that the prices were mistaken. The consumer took affirmative steps to contact Apple, specifically parties within Apple who should have been able to confirm the price, and was told the prices were correct.
 
2012-11-06 12:40:09 PM  

machodonkeywrestler: Theaetetus: vudukungfu: BarkingUnicorn: IDK how this will play out in the UK. But here in the States, a court wouldn't give this guy anything. Mistakes were made, the contract was canceled, and the guy was made whole. His "emotional distress" over losing a bargain doesn't qualify for monetary damages.

BLaw 101:
Contract = Offer + Acceptance and the deal is sealed with Consideration. He paid for his purchaces.
Apple must deliver the goods.
Otherwise, no one would want to deal with them for any amount.

BLaw 102:
If there's a mistake as to a basic assumption of a contract, and the existence of the mistake is known by one party, the contract is voidable by the other party. See Restatement 2nd Contracts §153.
Since Crouchley knew there was a mistake in the pricing, Apple can void the contract:
"The whole range from the supplier was super cheap," said Crouchley. "And so I thought: this can't be right, there's something incorrect here."

But that is not what happened. He suspected there might be mistake, verified it twice

... with someone lacking authority to waive Apple's right to void the contract... and was told later that there was a mistake but the products that had shipped would be sold at that price. At no point did he try to knowingly slight the company on something he thought was a mistake.

You're being inconsistent here... Apple tells him it's a mistake (but they'll honor it) and you say he didn't know it was a mistake?

I believe the distinction is in your use of term "slight" - you're saying that he wasn't trying to defraud Apple or commit some other unjust act, so therefore he shouldn't be faulted.
Yes, that's absolutely right.
It's also irrelevant - Apple has the right to void the contract because there was a mistake and he had reason to know about it. That he didn't unfairly try to take advantage of it is irrelevant, because their right isn't conditioned on him doing any wrongful act - their right is conditioned merely on the fact that there was a mistake, and he knew of it. The concept is that, yes, he wasn't at fault, but neither was Apple, so it's unfair to do anything other than reset the parties to the position they were in pre-contract: he gets his refund, Apple keeps their goods.
 
2012-11-06 12:42:55 PM  

Theaetetus: roc6783: Theaetetus: ***snip***
Nope, §153 still applies as above. Where consumer/non-consumer distinctions apply are over various parts of the UCC, but unilateral mistake isn't one of them. And no, companies aren't legally required to sell goods where there's a misprinted ad (unless there's a local or state law requiring that, which is pretty rare but theoretically possible), but they frequently do for the good press.


I did a bit more digging for some dumbass reason, and the best answer I could find was that they usually aren't as long as they try to remedy the error in a reasonable amount of time, but if there is a pattern of misrepresentation or habit of misprints, they could be forced to sell at the printed price, depending on state laws.

//It seems that there are laws all the way down to township that deal with this issue.
 
2012-11-06 12:42:58 PM  

Theaetetus: ... but you have no evidence that they shipped. And yet you still accused Apple of felony tampering with the mail. Huh. Well, you're a braver man than I.



Seriously. Read the damn article. According to the source, which we are admittedly assuming are facts, the goods were rendered to a courier and subsequently intercepted. So yes, they were shipped and handed off to a third party for delivery.


(2) Unless otherwise explicitly agreed title passes to the buyer at the time and place at which the seller completes performance with reference to the physical delivery of the goods, despite any reservation of a security interest and even though a document of title is to be delivered at a different time or place; and in particular and despite any reservation of a security interest by the bill of lading


True, although that would imply that title would pass prior to physical shipment or delivery not later. Since we are talking about intercepting goods in transit, with delivery and possession (after payment in full) being the last opportunity to pass title, this exception would not favor Apple's position. If anything it would imply that title could pass prior to shipment (potentially capturing the items which were not shipped).


(a) if the contract requires or authorizes the seller to send the goods to the buyer but does not require the seller to deliver them at destination, title passes to the buyer at the time and place of shipment; but


Which is the case here since this is typically how electronics are sold when purchasing directly from manufacturers. Apple is not required to deliver so title passes once goods are shipped.


(b) if the contract requires delivery at destination, title passes on tender there.


To my knowledge Apple does not deliver it's own products directly to consumers.


You do see all those references to various potential options in the contract, right?


Yeah and after reading the article, and thinking it over, I concluded that a number of those potential exceptions don't apply.
 
2012-11-06 12:48:32 PM  

Theaetetus: It's also irrelevant - Apple has the right to void the contract because there was a mistake and he had reason to know about it.



From the 2nd Restatement which you seem to like quoting:

Where a mistake of one party at the time a contract was made as to a basic assumption on which he made the contract has a material effect on the agreed exchange of performances that is adverse to him, the contract is voidable by him if he does not bear the risk of the mistake under the rule stated in § 154, and
(a) the effect of the mistake is such that enforcement of the contract would be unconscionable, or
(b) the other party had reason to know of the mistake or his fault caused the mistake.



And from the Article:

After placing his order, Crouchley got a confirmation email saying that some products had already been shipped and others saying that his credit card had been charged for his purchases.

"Two or three days later they came back and said the order had been cancelled because there was a problem with the price," said Crouchley. He was told that Apple would honour the part of the order that had already shipped, but intercepted the courier package instead.



So to be clear you are reaching a conclusion in error because the timing doesn't fit the requirement for mistake. The consumer did not know, at the time of the transaction, that there was a mistake. Further, the goods shipped prior to his being informed that there had been a mistake.
 
2012-11-06 12:57:20 PM  

JK47: Theaetetus: ... but you have no evidence that they shipped. And yet you still accused Apple of felony tampering with the mail. Huh. Well, you're a braver man than I.

Seriously. Read the damn article. According to the source, which we are admittedly assuming are facts, the goods were rendered to a courier and subsequently intercepted. So yes, they were shipped and handed off to a third party for delivery.


Like I said, brave. I wouldn't accuse someone of a felony based purely on hearsay.

[snip discussion of shipment and delivery]

Again, those are irrelevant. If there's no contract, then a merchant has no obligation to delivery a product. Here, there's no contract, because Apple exercised its right to void it. Hypotheticals about who bears the risk of loss in shipment don't apply if there's no contract obligating them to ship in the first place.

JK47: Theaetetus: But, here's the thing - what the phone rep said is irrelevant. They have no ability to bind Apple to waiving its right to rescind the contract due to mistake.

Now you're drifting into agency which is a bit off target


Your argument requires that the phone rep have authority to waive Apple's legal rights and defenses, so your argument requires a discussion of agency. It can't possibly be off target.

("apparent authority" of the representative would favor the consumer in this case though).

Not at all... No one would reasonably believe that a phone rep would have the same legal authority as the general counsel or CEO to waive Apple's legal rights and defenses.

But this part is correct:
The issue for the purposes of determining if mistake applies isn't what the customer service rep could and could not authorize...it's the knowledge of the consumer. The consumer had to know that the prices were mistaken.

Yes, and as we know from the consumer's statements, he knew there was a mistake. As you note, he contacted Apple, and while they initially denied there being a mistake (we don't know what was said during that conversation or whether they were explicitly confirming the 89 cent price as opposed to a general statement of prices being correct), they later acknowledged that there was a mistake but that they would fulfill the contract. He has no argument that he honestly didn't know there was an error. As he said, he knew there was an error and felt "really happy" about it since he thought Apple would still honor the sale.
The point is that Apple has no obligation to honor the sale, regardless of what the phone rep told him.
 
2012-11-06 01:02:52 PM  

JK47: Theaetetus: It's also irrelevant - Apple has the right to void the contract because there was a mistake and he had reason to know about it.


From the 2nd Restatement which you seem to like quoting:

Where a mistake of one party at the time a contract was made as to a basic assumption on which he made the contract has a material effect on the agreed exchange of performances that is adverse to him, the contract is voidable by him if he does not bear the risk of the mistake under the rule stated in § 154, and
(a) the effect of the mistake is such that enforcement of the contract would be unconscionable, or
(b) the other party had reason to know of the mistake or his fault caused the mistake.


And from the Article:

After placing his order, Crouchley got a confirmation email saying that some products had already been shipped and others saying that his credit card had been charged for his purchases.

"Two or three days later they came back and said the order had been cancelled because there was a problem with the price," said Crouchley. He was told that Apple would honour the part of the order that had already shipped, but intercepted the courier package instead.

So to be clear...


... you are intentionally removing quotes from the article to remove parts that undermine your argument? Yes, that's quite clear. As you note, the question of mistake comes up "at the time the contract was made" and yet, you go to a confirmation email "two or three days later"? Did you think we'd not realize what days are or something?

Here's the relevant part, at the time the contract was made:
On 10 October, Crouchley spotted that some Apple accessories on the company's website had been reduced from as much as $89 to just 83 cents. "The whole range from the supplier was super cheap," said Crouchley. "And so I thought: this can't be right, there's something incorrect here."

1. Knowledge of error.

To double check the pricing, Crouchley used Apple's live chat function to contact customer support, who confirmed that the prices were genuine.

2. Alleged denial of mistake. Does not remove #1 because:

"I ordered a bunch of stuff," said Crouchley, impressed by the discounts. "I spent about $35 and got about $1600 worth of gear, so I was pretty happy with myself then."

3. Knowledge of error.

At the time of contract - not "two or three days later" - but at the time of contract, he had reason to know there was a mistake. Therefore, Apple can void the contract.

... you are reaching a conclusion in error because the timing doesn't fit the requirement for mistake. The consumer did not know, at the time of the transaction, that there was a mistake. Further, the goods shipped prior to his being informed that there had been a mistake.

See above. He knew there was a mistake when he placed the order. Since Apple was under no obligation to ship the goods, whether they did or not is irrelevant.
 
2012-11-06 01:11:02 PM  
Actual damages is what he's entitled to, which it the amount of money he lost - since he got his $35 back then he is owed $0.

If he had signed contracts/orders with third parties in reliance upon having these products in hand, then he would have some argument for "reliance damages" which might be mitigated by the reasonableness of his expectation - which is debatable. But since there is no evidence that he obligated himself to anyone else in reliance on this order, again he is owed $0 

i.imgur.com
 
2012-11-06 01:12:46 PM  

Theaetetus: At the time of contract - not "two or three days later" - but at the time of contract, he had reason to know there was a mistake. Therefore, Apple can void the contract.


So everyone who ever though they got a great deal on something, and confirmed that the deal was legitimate can have their contract reversed by the seller? Why don't you think of those consequences for a minute.
 
2012-11-06 01:17:04 PM  

BraveNewCheneyWorld: Theaetetus: At the time of contract - not "two or three days later" - but at the time of contract, he had reason to know there was a mistake. Therefore, Apple can void the contract.

So everyone who ever though they got a great deal on something

due to a mistake on the part of the seller, that the seller was nonetheless going to honor can have their contract reversed by the seller? Why don't you think of those consequences for a minute.

Yes, they can. And you should think on the consequences of why strawman arguments aren't persuasive.
 
2012-11-06 01:17:46 PM  

Theaetetus: Here's the relevant part, at the time the contract was made:
On 10 October, Crouchley spotted that some Apple accessories on the company's website had been reduced from as much as $89 to just 83 cents. "The whole range from the supplier was super cheap," said Crouchley. "And so I thought: this can't be right, there's something incorrect here."

1. Knowledge of error.



And if we stopped here you'd be right. He'd be taking advantage of what he believes is an error.


To double check the pricing, Crouchley used Apple's live chat function to contact customer support, who confirmed that the prices were genuine.

2. Alleged denial of mistake.



Now he's taken the affirmative step of contacting the retailer, particularly an employee in a position to confirm whether or not there is a mistake, and received confirmation that the prices were valid. That's as far as this inquiry needs to go because....


"I ordered a bunch of stuff," said Crouchley, impressed by the discounts. "I spent about $35 and got about $1600 worth of gear, so I was pretty happy with myself then."


...you're confusing a statement that he got a good deal with an admission that he took advantage of their error. In fact, I'm not sure how you can read that as an admission that there was a mistake. He thought it was a good deal. He said as much in plain English. Stop trying to force the facts to fit your conclusion.


At the time of contract - not "two or three days later" - but at the time of contract, he had reason to know there was a mistake. Therefore, Apple can void the contract.


Anyway congrats on the successful legal trolling. It's been entertaining.
 
2012-11-06 01:21:44 PM  

UNAUTHORIZED FINGER: machoprogrammer: UNAUTHORIZED FINGER: machoprogrammer: I have a really, really liberal friend who always preaches about evil corporations and how bad rich people are, etc, and on the one year anniversary of Steve Jobs' death, they switched their facebook profile pic to a pic of Steve.

You do realize that "really really liberal" equates to "conservative of 20 years ago". The Right-wing keeps moving right, and dragging the Left along with them.

/I have neither a picture of Steve Jobs, nor a FaceBook page
//my last Apple product: second-hand Apple Newton

Oh, I know. But to say corporations and rich people are evil, then to do that, is pretty potato if you ask me.

Heh, yeah I'll concede that point. I'm just a bit knee-jerk sensitive anymore. Thank god the election is today, and we'll never have to talk politics ever again. :)


Agreed! And I see your point. I laugh when someone who votes Democrat calls themselves progressive or liberal
 
2012-11-06 01:22:42 PM  

Theaetetus: BraveNewCheneyWorld: Theaetetus: At the time of contract - not "two or three days later" - but at the time of contract, he had reason to know there was a mistake. Therefore, Apple can void the contract.

So everyone who ever though they got a great deal on something due to a mistake on the part of the seller, that the seller was nonetheless going to honor can have their contract reversed by the seller? Why don't you think of those consequences for a minute.

Yes, they can. And you should think on the consequences of why strawman arguments aren't persuasive.


It isn't a strawman to point out the consequences of your ideas. Aren't you a fake internet lawyer? Shouldn't you know that?
 
2012-11-06 01:24:27 PM  

Theaetetus: machodonkeywrestler: Theaetetus: vudukungfu: BarkingUnicorn: IDK how this will play out in the UK. But here in the States, a court wouldn't give this guy anything. Mistakes were made, the contract was canceled, and the guy was made whole. His "emotional distress" over losing a bargain doesn't qualify for monetary damages.

BLaw 101:
Contract = Offer + Acceptance and the deal is sealed with Consideration. He paid for his purchaces.
Apple must deliver the goods.
Otherwise, no one would want to deal with them for any amount.

BLaw 102:
If there's a mistake as to a basic assumption of a contract, and the existence of the mistake is known by one party, the contract is voidable by the other party. See Restatement 2nd Contracts §153.
Since Crouchley knew there was a mistake in the pricing, Apple can void the contract:
"The whole range from the supplier was super cheap," said Crouchley. "And so I thought: this can't be right, there's something incorrect here."

But that is not what happened. He suspected there might be mistake, verified it twice... with someone lacking authority to waive Apple's right to void the contract... and was told later that there was a mistake but the products that had shipped would be sold at that price. At no point did he try to knowingly slight the company on something he thought was a mistake.

1. How do you know this. The article says that it was bought on the apple website. One would think that their sales employees have the authority to do this, you know since they work for Apple

You're being inconsistent here... Apple tells him it's a mistake (but they'll honor it) and you say he didn't know it was a mistake?

There is no inconsistency, at time of purchase he was told that it was not a mistake. When he was finally told it was a mistake, he was also told that the sale would be honored.

I believe the distinction is in your use of term "slight" - you're saying that he wasn't trying to defraud Apple or commit some other unjust act, so therefore he shouldn't be faulted.
Yes, that's absolutely right.
It's also irrelevant - Apple has the right to void the contract because there was a mistake and he had reason to know about it. That he didn't unfairly try to take advantage of it is irrelevant, because their right isn't conditioned on him doing any wrongful act - their right is conditioned merely on the fact that ...


Yes, they did. Which they declined to do and told the customer that it would ship.
 
2012-11-06 01:28:45 PM  
If I went to a Target in the USA, and there's a $2000 TV incorrectly marked for $200, they have to sell it to me for that price. I'm not talking about a misplaced item over a tag for a different item. But let's say someone prints out the price on the tag wrong and doesn't catch it. They have to own up to those mistakes.

Why isn't the same true here?
 
2012-11-06 01:28:55 PM  

BraveNewCheneyWorld: Theaetetus: BraveNewCheneyWorld: Theaetetus: At the time of contract - not "two or three days later" - but at the time of contract, he had reason to know there was a mistake. Therefore, Apple can void the contract.

So everyone who ever though they got a great deal on something due to a mistake on the part of the seller, that the seller was nonetheless going to honor can have their contract reversed by the seller? Why don't you think of those consequences for a minute.

Yes, they can. And you should think on the consequences of why strawman arguments aren't persuasive.

It isn't a strawman to point out the consequences of your ideas.


It is, however, a strawman to mischaracterize someone's argument in a way that they wouldn't agree with, so that you can tear it down and thus imply that you're tearing down the original argument.
As I noted above, the argument you framed was not my argument. It was a pile of straw. Good jorb tearing it down, though.

Aren't you a fake internet lawyer? Shouldn't you know that?

Nope, I'm a real internet lawyer. Maybe that's the difference - you only know how to debate fake ones?
 
2012-11-06 01:32:31 PM  

JK47: Now he's taken the affirmative step of contacting the retailer, particularly an employee in a position to confirm whether or not there is a mistake, and received confirmation that the prices were valid. That's as far as this inquiry needs to go because....


... any farther and it falls apart.

JK47: "I ordered a bunch of stuff," said Crouchley, impressed by the discounts. "I spent about $35 and got about $1600 worth of gear, so I was pretty happy with myself then."

...you're confusing a statement that he got a good deal with an admission that he took advantage of their error. In fact, I'm not sure how you can read that as an admission that there was a mistake. He thought it was a good deal. He said as much in plain English. Stop trying to force the facts to fit your conclusion.


... says the man trying to force the facts to fit his conclusion. He didn't reasonably believe that Apple intended a 98% discount, rather, he thought there was a pricing error and that Apple would still honor it. I doubt any jury in the world would think that he honestly thought Apple really was selling the gear for $35 to anyone, and that he was getting the true price rather than a special deal because he caught the error.
 
2012-11-06 01:35:14 PM  
It sounds to me like whoever was entering the sales prices at Apple failed to enter a decimal point after the dollar amount. That is a clerical error. Then the prices were confirmed by a customer service representative who was reading the same erroneously entered prices. Somewhere along the line an Apple employee caught this error and moved to have it corrected. No harm done, except they have displeased at least one customer.
Most customer service managers have some lateral in this type of situation that allows them to appease an angry customer (such as promising that the items shipped would do so at the advertised price).
Intercepting the shipment(s) was a bad public relations decision and now Apple should settle with their customer in some way that will satisfy the customer and make Apple look good. Internally I imagine there will be some review of procedures and additional training that will prevent a recurrence. Nothing to see here, move along.
 
2012-11-06 01:38:17 PM  

machodonkeywrestler: 1. How do you know this. The article says that it was bought on the apple website. One would think that their sales employees have the authority to do this, you know since they work for Apple


Does the guy who sweeps the floors have the ability to waive Apple's defenses in a DoJ Anti-trust suit? Does the guy who programmed iCal have the ability to sign a requirements contract for ARM chips? Does a representative on live chat have the authority to waive Apple's right to void a contract due to unilateral mistake? Nope. Just because someone works for an organization doesn't mean they all have the same authority and abilities as the CEO.
 
2012-11-06 01:39:56 PM  

machodonkeywrestler: It's also irrelevant - Apple has the right to void the contract because there was a mistake and he had reason to know about it. That he didn't unfairly try to take advantage of it is irrelevant, because their right isn't conditioned on him doing any wrongful act - their right is conditioned merely on the fact that ...

Yes, they did. Which they declined to do and told the customer that it would ship.


Exactly. The problem is that they're not obligated to then hold to that statement declining to void the contract. They didn't waive their right to do so at a later point, and in fact, they exercised that right.
 
2012-11-06 01:46:56 PM  

Theaetetus: ... says the man trying to force the facts to fit his conclusion. He didn't reasonably believe that Apple intended a 98% discount, rather, he thought there was a pricing error and that Apple would still honor it. I doubt any jury in the world would think that he honestly thought Apple really was selling the gear for $35 to anyone, and that he was getting the true price rather than a special deal because he caught the error.



Well your assuming at least some of his statements are false. His initial statement, that there must be an error, you feel is true because that follows your own belief. His statements and belief subsequent to receiving confirmation from the retailer that the prices were valid you feel is false. Frankly, I find this conclusion to be unreasonable since the consumer may, having raised the issue with the retailer, reasonably believe the prices are accurate after receiving express confirmation from the retailer. Furthermore that line of thought would not make sound public policy or law since it creates an automatic out for retailers, since it would always be reasonable for a consumer to know of a mistake so long as the discount is drastic, in spite of affirmation, ratification, or confirmation from the retailer as to the veracity of the price (e.g. a 98% discount is ALWAYS a mistake).

You're arguing about adequacy of consideration which is a line of argument that courts traditionally do not support (you remember the peppercorn thing from law school right?).
 
2012-11-06 01:49:12 PM  

wholedamnshow: If I went to a Target in the USA, and there's a $2000 TV incorrectly marked for $200, they have to sell it to me for that price. I'm not talking about a misplaced item over a tag for a different item. But let's say someone prints out the price on the tag wrong and doesn't catch it. They have to own up to those mistakes.

Why isn't the same true here?


Funny, I had been looking at it like an advertising issue, rather than a pricing issue. Google gifted me this. From the NZ government, where the issue occurred no less.

FTA:

The Fair Trading Act provides some general defences to criminal actions taken under the Act. Note that these defences do not apply to civil actions.

These defences are that:

- The contravention was due to a 'reasonable mistake'. To prove a reasonable mistake, it is necessary to show there was an intention to act correctly. This means some reasonable system of checking, such as a compliance programme, should have been in place to detect errors.

I would assume Apple has some sort of error detection protocol in place, which would protect them at least from any criminal action.
 
2012-11-06 01:50:53 PM  

yukichigai: Even in the U.S. they'd be in trouble.


Citation needed.

Sure, I've heard of people suing for such things as well. But show me a victory.
 
2012-11-06 01:51:43 PM  

Flint Ironstag: tbhouston: Umm.."honour".. farking proof read your article

That is the correct spelling. It's only you Americans who spell it wrong.


Interesting point of fact: "honour" is the incorrect spelling and American English has it right. The extra "u" is a carry-over artifact from French influences of all things and a fairly recent change (came in a couple centuries or few after the rest of Modern English basics stabilized) in the history of the language.

Really! If you have an Oxford dictionary (the real one), look it up. "Honor" was spelled "honor" originally and only about Shakespeare's time did the "u" just start creeping in, but even he preferred the "u"-less version for the bulk of his work. When Webster compiled his dictionary, he didn't change the spelling of the word, but rather went with "honor" as it was "the best spelling" (his words), the variant educated speakers used.

I tend to find it amusing as hell when someone goes off about "incorrect" American English. Odds tend to be that the traits being railed against are the way real English is spoken and the Brits are the ones who have gone off on a weird new path. Even the past two hundred years have seen some significant changes in British English that Americans have stayed true through, which is why we lack superfluous "u"s and still have our rhoticity. (There's a reason researchers from there fly over here to learn how British English was spoken in the past; want to hear Shakespearean English, the only place to find it is to go to islands off of Virginia, for instance.) The old guard of the educated used to bemoan how much English was "decaying" in the UK while it remained whole here, but now a strange inversion has occurred where folks are so used to the changes they think Americans are the one's who've lost how to use English in opposition to the truth. Current British English is a strange beast, so different than it used to be that artificially constructed accents ("Received Pronunciation", for example) have to be used for public figures as a standard to be understood by the populace, essentially a second language for everyone that no one actually speaks natively and must learn in the school systems. Now, that's bizarre. Even the French with their fetish of creating their own new vocabulary for everything to protect their language haven't gone that far.

/Sorry, this is for me like "its" it's" is for others. Something so glaringly wrong that it hurts intellectually to see the Anglocentric smugness based on falsehoods.
 
2012-11-06 01:51:57 PM  

Theaetetus: machodonkeywrestler: 1. How do you know this. The article says that it was bought on the apple website. One would think that their sales employees have the authority to do this, you know since they work for Apple

Does the guy who sweeps the floors have the ability to waive Apple's defenses in a DoJ Anti-trust suit? Does the guy who programmed iCal have the ability to sign a requirements contract for ARM chips? Does a representative on live chat have the authority to waive Apple's right to void a contract due to unilateral mistake? Nope. Just because someone works for an organization doesn't mean they all have the same authority and abilities as the CEO.


I am not talking about a guy who sweeps the floors etc, we were discussing a sales person, whose job it is to sell things and alleviate problems in those sales.
 
2012-11-06 01:52:13 PM  
General Store, 1896, Wyoming, United States of America:

Is this plow really only penny?

Yup.

Mister, you got a sale! Here's one penny.

(they shake hands)

Thanks sir, please come 'round again.

(customer exits store, chased by proprietor)

Wait-that's actually ten dollars!

What? We had a deal!

True, it was my mistake, I reckon you can keep it.

Okay then ... well, thanks.

Alrighty, good luck with that plow, she's a good'n. And please stop in again.

I sure will.

(10 minutes later, the sheriff takes the plow from the customer and gives him back his penny) 

The disgruntled customer then spends the penny on whiskey and in his drunken rage later murders a Chinese prostitute.


Thanks a lot, Apple.
 
2012-11-06 01:53:19 PM  

Theaetetus: Does the guy who sweeps the floors have the ability to waive Apple's defenses in a DoJ Anti-trust suit? Does the guy who programmed iCal have the ability to sign a requirements contract for ARM chips? Does a representative on live chat have the authority to waive Apple's right to void a contract due to unilateral mistake? Nope. Just because someone works for an organization doesn't mean they all have the same authority and abilities as the CEO.



If customer service and sales representatives don't have authority to bind Apple in transactions with consumers then who would?
 
2012-11-06 01:53:23 PM  

Theaetetus: machodonkeywrestler: It's also irrelevant - Apple has the right to void the contract because there was a mistake and he had reason to know about it. That he didn't unfairly try to take advantage of it is irrelevant, because their right isn't conditioned on him doing any wrongful act - their right is conditioned merely on the fact that ...

Yes, they did. Which they declined to do and told the customer that it would ship.

Exactly. The problem is that they're not obligated to then hold to that statement declining to void the contract. They didn't waive their right to do so at a later point, and in fact, they exercised that right.


Lawyerspeak for, we don't have to honor any verbal contracts we make.
 
2012-11-06 01:53:31 PM  

tbhouston: Umm.."honour".. farking proof read your article


I'm gonna be generous and assume this was a troll attempt rather than a demonstration of actual appalling ignorance.
 
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