Folksy Ltd

Oops I made a silly mistake!

(Roz) #1

I sold a scarf last night - whoopee I thought until I looked at the payment details and realised that somehow I had listed it at a very silly price by mistake. The buyer has got a mega bargain! I will be sending the item as it was my fault and I would like to provide good customer service but out of interest what is the legal (and moral) position here. Could I cancel the order if I wanted to? I’m hoping it will go large letter or else I am going to make a loss on postage too - not usually an issue as any excess postage is covered in the item price! Won’t be making that mistake too often - I hope. I have checked all the prices in my shop now. Fingers crossed the sales fairy will be back soon with a proper sale!

(Pauline Hayward) #2

I’ve made that mistake but just put it down to a loss. I don’t think there is really much you can do about it. I used to work in a shop when I first left school and was always told if something ids underpriced and the customer see’s it then thats the price it has to be sold at, but to be more careful in the future.

(Jo Sara) #3

Looking around a bit, loads of companies have got Pricing Error as a section of their T&C’s. They specify that if a pricing error is found they will inform the customer and the customer has to either choose to pay the correct price, or cancel the order.

There’s a bit of info in this Telegraph article too, although again I think it’s all tied in with you having something in your T&C’s confirming what happens when there is a pricing error, and when you consider an order to be complete -


(Pauline Hayward) #4

The rules must have changed since I left school then. Mind you it was a long time ago.

(Christine Shephard) #5

I was always told that shops are under no obligation to sell anything at all to anyone, regardless of whatever price it says, so you could legally just cancel the order, refund the money and say it’s no longer for sale. But I think I’d probably opt to let it go and put it down to experience…unless it was a mega-error!

(Kim May) #6

I did that once on postage. I had it as free postage by mistake and ended up paying over £7.00 (it was USA) and the lady bought the item for £5.00! so I never made a penny on that. I’m more careful now.

(Ronald Koorm) #7

Vendors make “an invitation to treat” when they offer goods for sale, I suppose it is not really an offer, but an option or invitation for the customer to make an offer to the seller, which the seller either accepts or not.

So you used to be able to wriggle out of mistakes. I think it was Argos or one of the big firms that had a TV for £3 by mistake some years ago, and they didn’t have to sell that TV for £3, but it is also the case that you must not mislead customers, and big penalties for that now.

You often also see “E & O excluded” - Errors and Omissions excluded in the small print.

I believe modern law has amended the situation to a degree, and internet online selling is “Distance Selling” which has it’s own rules.

Look at this link also:

I used to know the CEO of the Citizens’ Advice Bureau. She is a qualified solicitor/lawyer and frequently seems to be on the TV giving advice.

(Kim Blythe) #8

I was a Manager of a shop for many years and there was no obligation to sell an incorrectly priced item at the wrong price, however the item had to be withdrawn from sale for 24 hours before being put up for sale again at the correct price. If there was only a small difference I would let it go at the lower price, but large differences I would just remove it from sale. Unfortunately I was also up against some particular types of customer who like to swap price tickets…a £200 Waterford crystal vase priced at £15 would ring alarm bells!

However, if the item had gone through the till, and the customer had already paid…then there is nothing you can do as you have entered a contract with the customer and agreed to sell at that price. I am not sure if that would be the case with distance selling once they have paid…


(Samantha Stanley) #9

Ouch! I feel your pain. I don’t have much to add to what Ronald says about the exact legal position, just to say that whatever the law says, it might be better to keep the customer happy because they might come back again and buy something else, or recommend you to a friend. The law is often a bit like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut in this situations :wink:

Love Sam :fish:

(Julia Walton) #10

I used to be a shop manageress and we were able to refuse (or cancel) a sale if that happened. It was handy when you had criminals in the shop changing the price tags!

In your case, I would probably have done what you did and just take a loss. You never know, they might turn into a loyal customer once they see your lovely scarf!

Julia ;o)

(Joy Salt) #11

They may of course tell all their friends about the fantastically cheap purchase and the friends will be surprised to see that the price has shot right up on the next offering !
It might be a good idea to tactfully mention to the customer that though you made this mistake which you are honouring it won’t be happening again :slight_smile: