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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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8124 clicks; posted to Geek » on 06 Nov 2012 at 7:18 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-06 01:55:19 PM

Theaetetus: 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.


You made an argument that because a customer suspects a mistake, the seller now has unlimited right to reverse the deal. It was a statement that perfectly applies to every item that is ever listed as being discounted in price. It's not a strawman in the slightest to point out that it essentially voids nearly every contract, if your way of thinking were true. A strawman would be arguing against a point you didn't make, I'm pointing out the logical consequence of the argument you did make, they're two different things.
 
2012-11-06 01:55:41 PM

JK47: 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.


I also feel it's true because I don't believe he's lying.

His statements and belief subsequent to receiving confirmation from the retailer that the prices were valid you feel is false.

Not at all. See above.
Frankly, I think you're reading far too much into his statements.

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).

Yes, that's pretty reasonable, and sound from a public policy perspective, because we recognize that (i) typos happen and people shouldn't be punished because of them, and (ii) low level sales representatives may have limited information, and should not be automatically assumed to have the same binding authority as the CEO of a company, because it's unfair to punish an organization for the actions of a rogue employee.

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?).

Yes, and do you remember the whole series of cases contracts texts go into after they first introduce the peppercorn describing when courts will look into the adequacy of consideration, where it's evidence that there was no meeting of the minds and therefore no actual contract?
 
2012-11-06 01:57:53 PM

machodonkeywrestler: 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.


See above. The sales person has authority limited only to accepting offers to purchase. It's unreasonable to assume that they have unlimited authority with regard to any sale, including the ability to waive Apple's legal defenses.
 
2012-11-06 01:59:59 PM

machodonkeywrestler: 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.


You think the statement declining to void the contract was a verbal contract on its own? Fine - what did Apple get from the consumer in consideration for that statement?
 
2012-11-06 02:02:02 PM

JK47: 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?


We're talking about authority to waive legal rights to void a contract. I certainly don't think customer service or sales reps would have the authority to waive rights of the corporation. Rather, the CEO, general counsel, and the Board of Directors would.
 
2012-11-06 02:03:10 PM

Happy Hours: BarkingUnicorn: IDK how this will play out in the UK.

IDK either, but it's happening in New Zealand. Is that still part of the UK? I didn't think so.


No, but they have the same Queen (who has vastly more power in New Zealand than she does in the UK).
 
2012-11-06 02:03:11 PM

BraveNewCheneyWorld: Theaetetus: 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.

You made an argument that because a customer suspects knows or has reason to know of a mistake, the seller now has unlimited right to reverse the deal.


FTFY. Any other statements are regarding what a customer merely suspects are attacking a strawman, as that's not my argument nor has it ever been.
Happy to help.
 
2012-11-06 02:03:51 PM

BraveNewCheneyWorld: If apple actually had a representative confirm the price for the customer, then this is fraud. There's no way around it.


Fark's resident Internet lawyers never actually read the "Terms and Conditions" when they deal with corporations online, do they?

No, BraveNewChenyWorld, it is not fraud, and there are many ways around it. Starting with Apple's stated right to unilaterally cancel orders for a full refund, for any reason whatsoever, as listed right there in the Terms and Conditions neither you nor Mr. Crouchley bothered reading.
 
2012-11-06 02:04:05 PM

Theaetetus: machodonkeywrestler: 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.

See above. The sales person has authority limited only to accepting offers to purchase. It's unreasonable to assume that they have unlimited authority with regard to any sale, including the ability to waive Apple's legal defenses.


There is no way that you know as a fact what you are saying as opinion/ inference, so that argument really holds no water.
 
2012-11-06 02:04:36 PM

Theaetetus: Yes, and do you remember the whole series of cases contracts texts go into after they first introduce the peppercorn describing when courts will look into the adequacy of consideration, where it's evidence that there was no meeting of the minds and therefore no actual contract?



Yes consideration need be bargained for. Of course, so far as a I can tell, you've made it pretty impossible to bargain with Apple since the employees charged with interacting with and selling products to the public have no authority with regard to the price of goods. If they lack even that level of fundamental authority it's hard to see where any contract could be formed between the consumer and Apple since the only parties they interacted with at Apple were customer service and sales reps who lack authority to bind.
 
2012-11-06 02:04:43 PM

Theaetetus: machodonkeywrestler: 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.

You think the statement declining to void the contract was a verbal contract on its own? Fine - what did Apple get from the consumer in consideration for that statement?


$35
 
2012-11-06 02:07:54 PM

Theaetetus: We're talking about authority to waive legal rights to void a contract. I certainly don't think customer service or sales reps would have the authority to waive rights of the corporation. Rather, the CEO, general counsel, and the Board of Directors would.



You are confusing two conversations. The initial interaction with customer service is key and that was not a waiver, that was a request for and confirmation of an advertised price for sale. That's the one I'm talking about since that speaks to whether the consumer's belief (the accuracy of the price) is reasonable.
 
2012-11-06 02:09:10 PM

Theaetetus: BraveNewCheneyWorld: Theaetetus: 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.

You made an argument that because a customer suspects knows or has reason to know of a mistake, the seller now has unlimited right to reverse the deal.

FTFY. Any other statements are regarding what a customer merely suspects are attacking a strawman, as that's not my argument nor has it ever been.
Happy to help.


We know factually that the customer made an attempt to verify the prices and was told they were correct, so suspecting or knowing of a mistake is invalid for the purposes of this argument.
 
2012-11-06 02:14:24 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.


More of us than there are of you. Therefore, we're right. :)
 
2012-11-06 02:15:10 PM

machodonkeywrestler: Theaetetus: machodonkeywrestler: 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.

You think the statement declining to void the contract was a verbal contract on its own? Fine - what did Apple get from the consumer in consideration for that statement?

$35


So he paid them $70? You're suggesting there was a second verbal contract, in addition to his sales order via the website.
 
2012-11-06 02:16:05 PM

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.


They never covered unilateral mistakes in contracts in your business law class?
 
2012-11-06 02:17:17 PM

JK47: Theaetetus: Yes, and do you remember the whole series of cases contracts texts go into after they first introduce the peppercorn describing when courts will look into the adequacy of consideration, where it's evidence that there was no meeting of the minds and therefore no actual contract?


Yes consideration need be bargained for. Of course, so far as a I can tell, you've made it pretty impossible to bargain with Apple since the employees charged with interacting with and selling products to the public have no authority with regard to the price of goods. If they lack even that level of fundamental authority it's hard to see where any contract could be formed between the consumer and Apple since the only parties they interacted with at Apple were customer service and sales reps who lack authority to bind.


I see someone has never heard of adhesionary contracts. ;)
 
2012-11-06 02:18:42 PM

BraveNewCheneyWorld: If apple actually had a representative confirm the price for the customer, then this is fraud. There's no way around it. If the prices hadn't been confirmed, then the company could have simply claimed it was a misprint, but it's the additional confirmation that screwed them.


Well, if anyone's committing fraud, it's the guy who is knowingly paying them vastly less than the products are worth. The agent who mistakenly confirmed the price was operating off of the same mistaken typo and wasn't in a legal position to engage in a contract on behalf of Apple. If it was, say, Apple's Senior Vice President for New Zealand Sales, then, sure. It was some random guy who happened to see the same incorrect number on the same screen.

It's a pretty easy case of unilateral mistakes, which is a very common occurrence in contract law. When someone sees a clear mistake, knows it's a clear mistake, and then attempts to take financial advantage of that mistake, it's not likely at all for a court to side with him.
 
2012-11-06 02:20:23 PM

JK47: Lady Indica: Even if one assumes multiple fark ups on the part of Apple, what's the guy out again? Nothing.


Math isn't that farking hard. He's out the value of the items less the $35 refund. 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're not allowed to unilaterally cancel contracts simply because you realize, after the fact, that it won't be profitable.


You're absolutely allowed to have a contract set aside after the fact when you find out that a legitimate mistake was made, the other side knew about it and you didn't, and the other side tried to take advantage of your mistake to his own financial gain.
 
2012-11-06 02:26:46 PM

machodonkeywrestler: We know factually that the customer made an attempt to verify the prices and was told they were correct, so suspecting or knowing of a mistake is invalid for the purposes of this argument.


If you read what Thaet has been writing you would know that he has cited, more than once, the provision in contract law that allows contracts to be invalidated if a mistake is made AT THE TIME OF THE FORMATION of the contract. It's irrelevant that a representative later made a mistake, that doesn't port us back in time to the formulation of his agreement with Apple and redo it.
 
2012-11-06 02:27:22 PM

meanmutton: BraveNewCheneyWorld: If apple actually had a representative confirm the price for the customer, then this is fraud. There's no way around it. If the prices hadn't been confirmed, then the company could have simply claimed it was a misprint, but it's the additional confirmation that screwed them.

Well, if anyone's committing fraud, it's the guy who is knowingly paying them vastly less than the products are worth. The agent who mistakenly confirmed the price was operating off of the same mistaken typo and wasn't in a legal position to engage in a contract on behalf of Apple. If it was, say, Apple's Senior Vice President for New Zealand Sales, then, sure. It was some random guy who happened to see the same incorrect number on the same screen.


Yep. That's also my point regarding authority, JK47, though not that the sales rep lacks authority enter into a contract, but that they lack the authority to waive the right to void it.
 
2012-11-06 02:28:16 PM

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


The conservatives of 20 years ago were David Duke and Pat Buchanan, who both ran for the GOP nomination in 1992. David Duke was the former Grand Wizard of the KKK. Pat Buchanan ran on a platform of banning homosexual activity (as in, making it strictly illegal), ending LEGAL immigration, making all abortion strictly illegal, and mandating prayer in public schools.

Which of these would you say is politically the same as Barack Obama or Nancy Pelosi?
 
2012-11-06 02:31:50 PM

meanmutton: 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

The conservatives of 20 years ago were David Duke and Pat Buchanan, who both ran for the GOP nomination in 1992. David Duke was the former Grand Wizard of the KKK. Pat Buchanan ran on a platform of banning homosexual activity (as in, making it strictly illegal), ending LEGAL immigration, making all abortion strictly illegal, and mandating prayer in public schools.

Which of these would you say is politically the same as Barack Obama or Nancy Pelosi?


Hey, now, we're hiding in the Geek tab to avoid political discussions today. :P
 
2012-11-06 02:32:14 PM
There has been a lot of lawyer talk on here & it has been pretty dang informative! *still eating popcorn*

But I have a few questions to ask: Why was the Apple rep not informed to tell the customer that their request was out of their range of authority? Why did they not assign a reference number to the customer & have someone contact him in a higher position of authority? Did the rep get reprimanded at all for okaying something they never had the right to do in the first place?

/very obviously not a lawyer
//also haven't read Apple's terms & conditions 'cos, well, there's pron to seek :)
 
2012-11-06 02:34:20 PM

JK47: 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?


Know how I know you've never been involved in large purchase negotiations between corporations? No, even their own "Large Account" sales reps most emphatically do not have that power. Period. There is the final written contract, and there's a lot of irrelevant talk. Nothing counts that didn't end up in that contract. Often a corporation will choose to honor a "mistaken" verbal commitment to keep a customer happy, naturally, but there is no guarantee.

You're trying to use common sense on US corporate law, and that just doesn't work anymore. Maybe it did a few decades ago, but much has changed. Instead read the actual Terms and Conditions on Apple's (or anyone else's) online store, and learn the real deal. They reserve the right to cancel any order, any time, for any reason, as long as they provide a full refund. They all do, and IMO for very good reasons. The amount of damage a hacker or disgruntled employee could do by changing the prices of popular items dwarfs the limited damage a brick-and-mortor store could incur. If I currently ran an online store I'd have such a condition myself. Online is inherently more vulnerable to hackers and huge runs on mispriced products.
 
2012-11-06 02:48:54 PM

LisaNeedsBraces: There has been a lot of lawyer talk on here & it has been pretty dang informative! *still eating popcorn*

But I have a few questions to ask: Why was the Apple rep not informed to tell the customer that their request was out of their range of authority? Why did they not assign a reference number to the customer & have someone contact him in a higher position of authority? Did the rep get reprimanded at all for okaying something they never had the right to do in the first place?


Most likely because the rep didn't understand the customer's request. I sincerely doubt that it was phrased as "These items are normally sold for $89, but your website shows them for $.83... Are you sure that's not a typo or other mistake? Can you check with a supervisor? Yes, I'll hold." as opposed to "are the prices on your website really correct?"

But, really, that aside, your question is about apparent authority and representations of authority. In this case, it's not specifically about whether the sales rep has authority to make a sale (they do), but whether the sales rep has authority to waive the company's right to void a sale (they don't). The agent wouldn't be required to tell the consumer that they lacked the authority to issue that waiver, because it's unreasonable to assume that they would have had the authority, so the consumer can't be misled by their silence.
 
2012-11-06 03:02:57 PM

The Only Jeff: machodonkeywrestler: We know factually that the customer made an attempt to verify the prices and was told they were correct, so suspecting or knowing of a mistake is invalid for the purposes of this argument.

If you read what Thaet has been writing you would know that he has cited, more than once, the provision in contract law that allows contracts to be invalidated if a mistake is made AT THE TIME OF THE FORMATION of the contract. It's irrelevant that a representative later made a mistake, that doesn't port us back in time to the formulation of his agreement with Apple and redo it.


No one made a "later" mistake. The mistake was made when the customer called to confirm the price on the website. I realize that contracts can be invalidated, my point was that his statement "You made an argument that because a customer suspects knows or has reason to know of a mistake, the seller now has unlimited right to reverse the deal." was factually incorrect and can no more be used as basis for his argument than the previous strawman that he was responding to.
 
2012-11-06 03:04:39 PM

Theaetetus: machodonkeywrestler: Theaetetus: machodonkeywrestler: 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.

You think the statement declining to void the contract was a verbal contract on its own? Fine - what did Apple get from the consumer in consideration for that statement?

$35

So he paid them $70? You're suggesting there was a second verbal contract, in addition to his sales order via the website.


Second verbal contract. "We will adhere to the terms of the sale for the items that have shipped." Capiche?
 
2012-11-06 03:13:29 PM
As much as I dislike apple, they're in the right. Companies are not required to honor misprints in most (all?) states.
 
2012-11-06 03:36:52 PM

machodonkeywrestler: The Only Jeff: machodonkeywrestler: We know factually that the customer made an attempt to verify the prices and was told they were correct, so suspecting or knowing of a mistake is invalid for the purposes of this argument.

If you read what Thaet has been writing you would know that he has cited, more than once, the provision in contract law that allows contracts to be invalidated if a mistake is made AT THE TIME OF THE FORMATION of the contract. It's irrelevant that a representative later made a mistake, that doesn't port us back in time to the formulation of his agreement with Apple and redo it.

No one made a "later" mistake. The mistake was made when the customer called to confirm the price on the website. I realize that contracts can be invalidated, my point was that his statement "You made an argument that because a customer suspects knows or has reason to know of a mistake, the seller now has unlimited right to reverse the deal." was factually incorrect and can no more be used as basis for his argument than the previous strawman that he was responding to.


The mistake was made when they put a false price on their website.
 
2012-11-06 03:42:31 PM

machodonkeywrestler: Theaetetus: machodonkeywrestler: Theaetetus: machodonkeywrestler: 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.

You think the statement declining to void the contract was a verbal contract on its own? Fine - what did Apple get from the consumer in consideration for that statement?

$35

So he paid them $70? You're suggesting there was a second verbal contract, in addition to his sales order via the website.

Second verbal contract. "We will adhere to the terms of the sale for the items that have shipped." Capiche?


Yes, exactly. Contract #2. And what was the consideration for that contract? He paid $35 for the goods in contract #1, and so what did he pay for contract #2? Nothing. Therefore, it's invalid for lack of consideration. Capiche?
 
2012-11-06 03:51:44 PM

Theaetetus: Hey, now, we're hiding in the Geek tab


shhhh

they will hear you!!!1!
 
2012-11-06 03:59:39 PM

machodonkeywrestler: Second verbal contract. "We will adhere to the terms of the sale for the items that have shipped." Capiche?


Not a contract. There is no consideration. Under most circumstances (there are a few very limited exceptions), no modification of an existing contract is binding unless there is new consideration. The only way that this agreement could be considered a contract is if the first contract was considered voided in its entirety and a new contract for the purchase of the goods shipped was created, and everything points to that not being the case.
 
2012-11-06 04:00:38 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.


Circumstances are important. If the purchasor knew there was an error, then they have every right to void the contract. The place where this case becomes and issue is he contacted the company and was assured that the prices were correct. Now, does a phone call with customer support saying that the prices are correct make the assumption that they are correct reasonable? If no, then he is SOL np matter what, if yes then you get into other issues specific to New Zealand law that I am unqualified to comment on.
 
2012-11-06 04:08:35 PM
If Apple refunded his money then he has not suffered a loss. He could sue, but he really has no case.
 
2012-11-06 04:15:15 PM

bmr68: If Apple refunded his money then he has not suffered a loss. He could sue, but he really has no case.


He's already filed suit:
Crouchley received a full refund, but was still unhappy with Apple's actions, so he filed a claim with the Disputes Tribunal and will now be attending his hearing in December at Te Awamutu District Court.

"I'm a bit nervous about it," Crouchley admitted. "I'd imagine they'd probably want to settle before we get to that date. They may want to prove a point and show up but it can't go too wrong against me."


That latter part is interesting... If it's implying that he knows he doesn't have a case and is doing it for the publicity and to extort them into a settlement, then Apple could countersue for malicious prosecution.

/but that would get them even worse press... probably cheaper to give him a free refurb laptop, expressly waive all warranties on the thing, and blacklist its MAC address from receiving system updates. :D
 
2012-11-06 04:19:57 PM

dywed88: roc6783: Theaetetus: The Only Jeff: ***snip***


I already answered myself when I tried to find out if pricing mistakes have to be honored. Previously, I was looking at it as an advertising error, when it is actually a pricing issue. One of the first results was from the New Zealand government's website.

It only refers to criminal charges, but:

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.


If Apple has a system in place to check for pricing errors, it seems that they would be in the clear.
 
2012-11-06 04:28:42 PM
Except nobody is talking about criminal charges, it is all about civil liability.
 
2012-11-06 04:34:28 PM
As someone who used to set and change prices for multiple international ecomm sites.. Whoever made that change is going to get shiat canned immediately.
 
2012-11-06 05:02:26 PM
There's actually a lot of good contract law discussion going on here and in the article. I'm not sure if NZ has the Statute of Frauds either, or how they land on the parol evidence rule.

But even without the question surrounding intent/mistake, it's tough to get specific performance in breach of contract cases. And the monetary breach damages would be $35--the agreed-to consideration.
 
2012-11-06 06:17:22 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.


Nope.

In fact, they can refuse to enter any transaction with you, and then tell you to leave the premises, if you demand that they honor a price shown on a clearly incorrect price tag.
 
2012-11-06 06:21:19 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.


dtdstudios.com
 
2012-11-06 07:13:37 PM
Time!


Please turn in your blue books now.
 
2012-11-06 07:50:03 PM
Theaetetus ravishly defending Apple to the point of posting entire streaks of posts himself? Color me shocked!!!!
 
2012-11-06 10:13:03 PM

meanmutton: The conservatives of 20 years ago were David Duke and Pat Buchanan, who both ran for the GOP nomination in 1992. David Duke was the former Grand Wizard of the KKK. Pat Buchanan ran on a platform of banning homosexual activity (as in, making it strictly illegal), ending LEGAL immigration, making all abortion strictly illegal, and mandating prayer in public schools.

Which of these would you say is politically the same as Barack Obama or Nancy Pelosi?


Any bigot can run for the nomination. Neither Duke nor Buchanan was embraced by the GOP, largely because they were extremist. A better example is someone that actually got nominated, and elected.
 
2012-11-07 03:14:24 AM

The Only Jeff: An unconscionable deal is me selling you my car for one dollar because there was a typo in the contract.


No, that's just a typo, not an unconscionable contract term. And since you'd have to actually accept payment to complete the contract you'd have plenty of time to catch it before the contract took effect.
 
2012-11-07 08:52:00 AM
Apple has the right to detect and correct pricing that's in error. Just because multiple employees screwed up, that doesn't mean Apple consents to sell at that price.
 
2012-11-07 12:00:28 PM

profplump: The Only Jeff: An unconscionable deal is me selling you my car for one dollar because there was a typo in the contract.

No, that's just a typo, not an unconscionable contract term. And since you'd have to actually accept payment to complete the contract you'd have plenty of time to catch it before the contract took effect.


Unless my arm that accepts payment is different than my arm that releases the car. Like in the case of a multinational company.
 
2012-11-07 02:32:34 PM

Diogenes Teufelsdrockh: 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 ...


Don't worry. He'll get drunk at the next football match and get run over by a commuter train when he passes out on the rails.
 
2012-11-07 03:32:32 PM
It could have been worse. Apple could have sent their special squad of bought and paid for police to tear his house apart. Accidentally selling something at cost is serious business.
 
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