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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
    More: Fail, apples, customer support, Adam Crouchley  
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8134 clicks; posted to Geek » on 06 Nov 2012 at 7:18 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-06 12:29:58 AM  
Apple Does Not Love You.
 
2012-11-06 12:30:53 AM  
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.
 
2012-11-06 12:39:18 AM  
Well, I dunno. Normally, my opinion would be that if the story was simply that he found prices that he admits he knew were too good to be true and tried to place an order, well, good luck with that, but fark him if the company gets wise to it. But if he contacts a rep who assures him the prices are for real, I would be less inclined to let the company off the hook.

...but then again, nobody asked me...
 
2012-11-06 12:43:11 AM  

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.
 
2012-11-06 12:47:27 AM  
"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."

$1600, so that's 2 sets of Apple headphones and a charger?
 
2012-11-06 01:56:28 AM  

2xhelix: "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."

$1600, so that's 2 sets of Apple headphones and a charger?


I think they throw in an " i love apple" sticker for an additional 10 bucks
 
2012-11-06 04:11:55 AM  

Secret Agent X23: Well, I dunno. Normally, my opinion would be that if the story was simply that he found prices that he admits he knew were too good to be true and tried to place an order, well, good luck with that, but fark him if the company gets wise to it. But if he contacts a rep who assures him the prices are for real, I would be less inclined to let the company off the hook.

...but then again, nobody asked me...


Yep that is the sticky point with me. If he verified the prices with Apple then he should get them. Hell it's not they would have lost much money on the deal anyway. They probably make more than that every second.
 
2012-11-06 07:19:33 AM  

Tellingthem: Secret Agent X23: Well, I dunno. Normally, my opinion would be that if the story was simply that he found prices that he admits he knew were too good to be true and tried to place an order, well, good luck with that, but fark him if the company gets wise to it. But if he contacts a rep who assures him the prices are for real, I would be less inclined to let the company off the hook.

...but then again, nobody asked me...

Yep that is the sticky point with me. If he verified the prices with Apple then he should get them. Hell it's not they would have lost much money on the deal anyway. They probably make more than that every second.


What does it for me is that there's not one misstep by Apple here, there's two. First they tell him the prices are genuine, but that turns out to be a lie. THEN they tell him "we were wrong, but we'll let you have the stuff we already shipped", and turn around and make that a lie too.

Even in the U.S. they'd be in trouble. One time you can blame it on an overzealous employee. Two times on the same deal and it's breech of contract.
 
2012-11-06 07:26:52 AM  
Even if one assumes multiple fark ups on the part of Apple, what's the guy out again? Nothing. The short amount of time it took to place the order, which sure as shiat isn't worth $1600.00. I've never been compensated for time spent on a website placing an order, and having the order form shiat the bed...where I had to redo everything. Then again, I don't waste my time doing more than saying, "SON OF A biatch!" when it happens. There was no intent of deception or bait & switch on Apple's part (clearly), and while I can understand him being pissy about being told he could have the items that had shipped (because they know it's not worth the hassle of trying to get it back PLUS some areas have laws where once it's delivered...it's yours) once they realized they could get it in transit OF COURSE THEY DID.

Stupid. Worth biatching about...sure. Suing over? Not so much.
 
2012-11-06 07:27:13 AM  

yukichigai: Tellingthem: Secret Agent X23: Well, I dunno. Normally, my opinion would be that if the story was simply that he found prices that he admits he knew were too good to be true and tried to place an order, well, good luck with that, but fark him if the company gets wise to it. But if he contacts a rep who assures him the prices are for real, I would be less inclined to let the company off the hook.

...but then again, nobody asked me...

Yep that is the sticky point with me. If he verified the prices with Apple then he should get them. Hell it's not they would have lost much money on the deal anyway. They probably make more than that every second.

What does it for me is that there's not one misstep by Apple here, there's two. First they tell him the prices are genuine, but that turns out to be a lie. THEN they tell him "we were wrong, but we'll let you have the stuff we already shipped", and turn around and make that a lie too.

Even in the U.S. they'd be in trouble. One time you can blame it on an overzealous employee. Two times on the same deal and it's breech of contract.


Three errors, actually:
1) Advertising at a price, and allowing it to be sold at that price, processing payment, etc.
2) Verifying the price through human contact
3) Recalling the package, despite promising it would be allowed to be delivered.

Awkkkward!
 
2012-11-06 07:30:11 AM  
Umm.."honour".. farking proof read your article
 
2012-11-06 07:32:16 AM  

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


That is the correct spelling. It's only you Americans who spell it wrong.
 
2012-11-06 07:32:19 AM  
A pricing error was corrected before someone could actually benefit from it.

Boo. Farking. Hoo.

You want the over-priced shiny crap, be prepared to pay for it.
 
2012-11-06 07:37:01 AM  
Apple is just one big bully. There was no need for they to freaking intercept the package even if there was a mistake. Jesus, the level of control freak in that company is unreal.

That's why I'll never buy an Apple product.
 
2012-11-06 07:37:55 AM  

2xhelix: "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."

$1600, so that's 2 sets of Apple headphones and a charger?


Dude sounds like he knew it was a mistake, but the promise to let it go, then the intercept and cancel to save 1500 hardly seems worth the negative publicity to Apple. If this were a car i could see it, but mistakes this small are not worth fighting over, unless there are a lot of them.
 
2012-11-06 07:40:44 AM  
I thought the main reason for buying Apple gear was paying the huge prices. It's a different type of smug than buying something cheaper than someone else and bragging about it but it's oh so satisfying.
 
2012-11-06 07:44:05 AM  

Cinaed: A pricing error was corrected before someone could actually benefit from it.

Boo. Farking. Hoo.

You want the over-priced shiny crap, be prepared to pay for it.


That's not what happened, but thanks for trying.
 
2012-11-06 07:46:27 AM  
I AM BETTER THAN OTHER PEOPLE BASED ON THE PRODUCTS I BUY

Fun game: Am I parodying Mac enthusiasts, or anti-Mac enthusiasts?

/trick question, you farking idiots
 
2012-11-06 07:59:10 AM  
IDK
 
2012-11-06 07:59:12 AM  
Why do people buy Apple products from Apple? I love their stuff, but I will NEVER buy anything directly from them. They're dicks all across the board. I'd rather put money in the pocket of the average guy to buy something used rather than a trillion dollar corporation.
 
2012-11-06 08:00:42 AM  
I would expect companies to learn and abide by local law, sure.
 
2012-11-06 08:12:24 AM  

yukichigai: THEN they tell him "we were wrong, but we'll let you have the stuff we already shipped", and turn around and make that a lie too.


I'd be willing to bet they meant, "You can keep the stuff that it already been delivered". Because expecting the customer to resend the package mailed to him would be dumb. "Shipped" can mean as little as that the tracking number has been assigned, it doesn't even mean its out of Apple's warehouse.
 
2012-11-06 08:14:13 AM  

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.
 
2012-11-06 08:15:35 AM  
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.
 
2012-11-06 08:17:41 AM  

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.


Definitely, even if it was only for a few of the items...
 
2012-11-06 08:19:51 AM  
IDK, mai BFF jill

/*slap*
 
2012-11-06 08:21:49 AM  
In the UK, at the point they take your money you have bought the items and they are your property. If they intercept the postal system and take your items that is theft of your property.

It`s really simple. Even if an automated system takes the money then that is the company accepting your order as the law sees it.

vudukungfu: Contract = Offer + Acceptance and the deal is sealed with Consideration. He paid for his purchaces.
Apple must deliver the goods.



This. It`s contract law...
 
2012-11-06 08:24:41 AM  

qsblues: Why do people buy Apple products from Apple? I love their stuff, but I will NEVER buy anything directly from them. They're dicks all across the board. I'd rather put money in the pocket of the average guy to buy something used rather than a trillion dollar corporation.


But then you couldn't get the new Apple Product which is 3 times the cost with 1 additional small feature! How would you brag to your friends if you didn't buy the latest gadget? 

That reminds me, 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.
 
2012-11-06 08:34:07 AM  
I'm loath to defend Apple, but there is just the one side of the story here.

Yes, he said he called to confirm the prices, but was it "Are the prices on the website correct" or "Is $3.00 for the iDooHickey correct?"

For shipped items. Marked as shipped, but hadn't actually left the warehouse or did they call the courier and tell them to not deliver the package. If the courier was on the guy's doorstep, let it go, if the box was still sitting on the loading dock, you can yank it.
 
2012-11-06 08:38:02 AM  

LasersHurt: I AM BETTER THAN OTHER PEOPLE BASED ON THE PRODUCTS I BUY

Fun game: Am I parodying Mac enthusiasts, or anti-Mac enthusiasts?

/trick question, you farking idiots


That's a BMW owner.
 
2012-11-06 08:39:19 AM  

LasersHurt: /trick question, you farking idiots


The only thing that matters is that you found a way to feel better about yourself than either group.
 
2012-11-06 08:42:29 AM  
I wonder if he can contact his local Weights and Measures department. They typically enforce pricing, and in order to stay in their good graces every store I've ever worked for gave the customer the price marked on the shelf if there was an error. Of course, in this case, the fine might have been less than the error.
 
2012-11-06 08:44:31 AM  
I hate it when companies turn around their hand.
 
2012-11-06 08:54:51 AM  
Ordinarily I'd say that the lawsuit is out of line and the best thing to do would have been to whine to the media on the off chance that Apple would give him the stuff in an effort to avoid the bad press... but he's suing 'we patented things that are round' Apple. Sue away.

BarkingUnicorn: Mistakes were made, the contract was canceled, and the guy was made whole.


I always find it interesting how contracts are so easily broken... but only by the party that has all the $texas. I guess their contracts have all the "we reserve the rights to this and we reserve the rights to that" language in it but still, what is a contract if it can be so easily broken?

/customer always right and all that jazz.
//nah, let's cancel the contract over what amounts to petty cash
 
2012-11-06 09:02:18 AM  

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.


I just love that logic here.

Consumer regrets or overlooks something in a contract: fark you, pay up.

Corporation regrets or overlooks something in a contract: hey guys, let's be reasonable, it was just an honest mistake...
 
2012-11-06 09:05:44 AM  

machoprogrammer: qsblues: Why do people buy Apple products from Apple? I love their stuff, but I will NEVER buy anything directly from them. They're dicks all across the board. I'd rather put money in the pocket of the average guy to buy something used rather than a trillion dollar corporation.

But then you couldn't get the new Apple Product which is 3 times the cost with 1 additional small feature! How would you brag to your friends if you didn't buy the latest gadget? 

That reminds me, 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.


Hahahahahahhaahahahhahahhahahahhahahahhaahhahahahhaha
 
2012-11-06 09:12:26 AM  
One weekend years ago and I found a website selling a $2000 Toshiba Libretto for $199.90, an obvious pricing error and I had the order number and everything. Monday afternoon and the website didn't even have my account, I'm guessing I wasn't the only one to see that goof.
 
2012-11-06 09:17:36 AM  
FTA: "They may want to prove a point and show up but it can't go too wrong against me."

Oh, honey, you've never wronged Apple before, have you? Bless your heart.
 
2012-11-06 09:27:09 AM  

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, dear, New Zealand is to Death-Continent Australia as Canada is to the US :D

(AKA a separate country with its own rules and traditions often considered a bit more civilised than its neighbour :D)
 
2012-11-06 09:51:48 AM  
vudukungfu:
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.


I take it you've never been the "lucky recipient" of a pricing error at Amazon. They cancel your order due to a "pricing error" and get on with their day.
 
2012-11-06 09:59:08 AM  

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



Oh look, an idiot!


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


Oh jeez, another!


Cinaed: A pricing error was corrected before someone could actually benefit from it.

Boo. Farking. Hoo..



Holy shiat, this place is crawling with morans!
 
2012-11-06 10:20:23 AM  
a contract is a contract is a contract, unless it's between ferengi.
 
2012-11-06 10:25:29 AM  

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
 
2012-11-06 10:27:08 AM  

Counter_Intelligent: LasersHurt: /trick question, you farking idiots

The only thing that matters is that you found a way to feel better about yourself than either group.


relevantXKCD.jpg
 
2012-11-06 10:42:28 AM  
Sounds like a typical Slickdeals.net forum lurker.
 
2012-11-06 10:55:07 AM  

Embden.Meyerhof: Holy shiat, this place is crawling with morans!


[welcometofark.jpg]
 
2012-11-06 10:59:52 AM  
"Turn around hand?" OUCH!
 
2012-11-06 11:13:21 AM  

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.


I get that this is NZ, but in the U.S., depending on the applicable state law, he could sue under the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act or the FTCA.

FTFL:

Under the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act, if a business or person engages in the following, the action constitutes a deceptive trade practice:

- Advertises goods or services with intent not to sell them as advertised

- Makes false or misleading statements of fact concerning the reasons for, existence of, or amounts of price reductions
 
2012-11-06 11:18:19 AM  

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.
 
2012-11-06 11:30:05 AM  

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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
2012-11-07 04:59:14 PM  

Marine1: 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 ...


you guys remember when fark was an american site?

i for one welcome our new british-canadian overlords
 
2012-11-07 05:08:07 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", 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.


Yes, English keeps changing. That's the great thing about English, it adapts to new things, it changes with the times, it is happy to adopt foreign words. So whatever we say it is now is the correct way.

Saying color is "correct" because it happened to be the spelling a couple of hundred years ago is meaningless. Go back another few hundred years and it was probably spelt differently again.

Do you think we should go back to using thorn? Writing 'the' as 'ye'?

And what's this about public speakers using a different language to the common man? We have strong regional dialects but for the majority of the population they speak exactly the same as public speakers.
 
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