Cancel a Sale to a Customer

Discussion in 'Ecommerce Forum' started by Sparetoolparts, Aug 26, 2020.

  1. MBE2017

    MBE2017 UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,941 704
    An email acknowledgement of the order with a statement to the effect a contract is entered only on despatch of goods would be fine, almost all the large companies do this to protect themselves against mispricing errors.

    In the past it used to be on monies being accepted, but in mispricing cases by the time a large retailer identified a problem they might have lost thousands of £.

    I was banned by Orange from buying handsets years ago, they lowered a £389 phone on pay as you go to £34 in the sale, instead of £340, I bought 20 for cash and insisted on the contract being honoured. They did so, but banned any future purchases from myself. That was approx 20 years ago.
    Posted: Sep 6, 2020 By: MBE2017 Member since: Feb 16, 2017
  2. LanceUk

    LanceUk UKBF Regular Free Member

    110 36
    I would assume the law of offer/acceptance and mistake has evolved over the last 20 years especially with respect to internet/online transactions.

    However, what is clear is that any terms and conditions must be made apparent prior to offer and acceptance.. and if the term places an unsual conditions, they should be made apparent prior to the order being placed. It may be that the application of the law with respect to online transactions has evovled to make it common practice that normal B2C orders do not result in acceptance until the goods are shipped - if there is a precedent that states in the ratio that this is the case, or there are regs/laws that state this, then fine... not so much of a prob. I didn't see anythning in the distance/online selling regs that stated this...

    To be safe, make sure it is made as plainly as possible to the purchaser before they click the pay button. Will save many probs in future disputes of this type.
    Posted: Sep 6, 2020 By: LanceUk Member since: Jan 8, 2018
  3. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    33,362 9,869
    Posted: Sep 6, 2020 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
  4. Scalloway

    Scalloway UKBF Legend Free Member

    16,416 3,472
    I was reminded of this case involving Argos.

    "n 1999 Argos accidentally advertised Sony televisions for sale on its website at £2.99 instead of £299.99. Subsequently, orders were placed and confirmed by Argos at the £2.99 price. However, since a website is generally construed as an invitation to treat, no binding contract had arisen between Argos and customers whose orders had not been expressly accepted."
    Posted: Sep 6, 2020 By: Scalloway Member since: Jun 6, 2010
  5. paulears

    paulears UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    4,484 1,181
    You're really sorry but the one on the shelf is an empty box or the wrong product so you do the refund immediately, the customer has their refund so can't really argue. If you have revealed your hand already, do the refund and accept their grumpiness, and just say sorry. If you try to help by putting the price up it won't work. Coincidentally, I was updating my web site and came across an item, with the usual PayPal buy now button that I know I've sold out of. If somebody had clicked on the button, I'd have had to say I'm really sorry but I have to give you a refund as I've run out -- sorry.
    Posted: Sep 6, 2020 By: paulears Member since: Jan 7, 2015
  6. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    24,443 2,970
    Pity amazon didn't do the same.
    Several years back a pricing error caused by 3rd party meant a lot of FBA stock - including televisions - was sold for a tiny price.
    1p for a TV.

    As they were acting on seller instructions they sold a lot of stuff very quickly.
    Posted: Sep 6, 2020 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
  7. Maxwell83

    Maxwell83 UKBF Regular Free Member

    708 185
    Its madness to set up your T&C's so that the contract is formed when the customer places the order. I can't speak for all of them, but every big online retailer whose terms I have actually checked make it clear that the purchase is the offer, and the seller then accepts or rejects. Just like buying in person in a shop.

    That is how I operate my website. You get the odd customer talking guff about breaching the contract when what they want isn't available, but its all waffle. Give them a refund and send them on their way.
    Posted: Sep 7, 2020 By: Maxwell83 Member since: Aug 4, 2012
  8. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    33,362 9,869
    I agree but in this case the offer was accepted by the seller. They then said ‘give us more money if you want the goods’. That’s where it all went awry.
    Posted: Sep 7, 2020 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
  9. UKSBD

    UKSBD Not a real duck Staff Member

    10,174 1,995
    My 1st ever digital camera was a Kodak DX 3700 reduced from £330 to £100 :)
    Posted: Sep 7, 2020 By: UKSBD Member since: Dec 30, 2005
  10. Maxwell83

    Maxwell83 UKBF Regular Free Member

    708 185
    Yes that wasn't the best thing to do in that situation from a customer service POV, but it still wasn't fatal if there was no contract to begin with.

    I always find customers respond better if you are unable to provide anything at all and so have to give a full refund. No one likes what looks like a shake down for more money, even though it wasn't intentional.
    Posted: Sep 7, 2020 By: Maxwell83 Member since: Aug 4, 2012
  11. FLS

    FLS UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    1 0
    You need a clause that says that an email acknowledging the buyers 'purchase' is an offer, the acknowledgement email does not constitute an acceptance of the buyers offer and you reserve the right to cancel at any time for xyz reasons.
    Posted: Sep 9, 2020 By: FLS Member since: Sep 9, 2020