Note: Please bear in mind that whilst this topic does canvass opinions, it is not a fight club. You may disagree with other posters but we do ask you please to stick to our Talk Guidelines and to be civil. We don't allow personal attacks or troll-hunting. Do please report any. Thanks, MNHQ.

to think they should have honoured the shelf price.

(38 Posts)
martini84 Thu 25-Jul-13 16:13:11

Out shopping with dc. They each choose a treat. One of them was priced x on the shelf but was rung up at a higher price. About 15% dearer but not a huge amount as less than a pound.
When I questioned it I was basically told tne price was wrong and did I want it or not at a dearer price.
If I had not been with dc I would have and brought nothing onn principal.
Yeet dd would have been upset so I felt oblidged to pay.
Aibu to be annoyed about this. I appreciate there is no obligation to sell to me at all nut surely this is really bad customer service.
It was a chain btw. (Probably franchise.)

glastocat Thu 25-Jul-13 16:15:28

It would have been nice customer service, but they were within their rights to say no, a price is just an invitation to treat and not legally binding if I remember the little bit of law I studied.

chickensaladagain Thu 25-Jul-13 16:16:14

Where I work we would have sold it at the price on the shelf and then gone and changed the shelf price

We would have also recorded it to prove due diligence should trading standards come knocking

Very bad customer service and I would have been very annoyed in your shoes

Very bad customer service, and until recently would have been illegal. however, I believe that the law now states that providing you are told BEFORE you pay for the item, that the price differs then they are in the clear. angry You could complain in writing to head office, nothing to lose.

whatsthatcomingoverthehill Thu 25-Jul-13 16:34:39

They are under no obligation to honour the displayed price. In effect a contract has not been made until goods/money has been exchanged. I don't think the law on that has changed. If the shop is deliberately advertising the wrong price then that is against the law though.

Most shops would give the reduced price, as it is good customer service, but you shouldn't expect it. I remember getting a set of Emma Bridgewater cake tine from Waitrose for a third of the cost it should have been and they were absolutely fine, but I wouldn't have been that bothered if they'd said no it was a mistake.

Crinkle77 Thu 25-Jul-13 16:35:22

Agree with the others that it was very poor customer service but they are not obliged to sell it at the lower rate. Still frustrating though

martini84 Thu 25-Jul-13 16:36:52

I guess I was surprised because I have never not had the price honoured anywhere before. Asda often gives a gift card as an aplogy too.

pianodoodle Thu 25-Jul-13 16:40:34

For an inexpensive item I'd have thought they might give you shelf price as a goodwill gesture.

My understanding is that they aren't legally obliged to though sad

I'd have been annoyed if I hadn't had the change on me though and had to swap it for something else especially if the child had picked it!

lborolass Thu 25-Jul-13 16:50:27

Was there a price on the item itself? Where I used to work we would honour a lower price if there was a mistake on the item for small stuff but I don't think we would have done if it was a lot of money.

I've often left something at the till if it's been put in the wrong place and I haven't checked the shelf label properly.

MrsGSR Thu 25-Jul-13 16:59:58

What they did is legal, which I didn't find out until I went to a law lecture in 2008 (so it's been legal for a while)

BUT where I used to work we would have given it to you at the lower price. In some stores the cashiers aren't authorised to do so and would have had to call a manager or have gone to customer services but they should have told you if that is the case.

lborolass Thu 25-Jul-13 17:05:57

I haven't checked MrsGSR but I think the original case was decided in the 1920s

MrsGSR Thu 25-Jul-13 17:10:22

I had a feeling it had been legal for a long time, someone upthread said it was a recent change and I began to doubt myself!

martini84 Thu 25-Jul-13 17:53:31

The price wasn't on the product but it was on the shelf and the product was correctly labelled. Never mind. It just means I will think twice about shopping there again. So custom lost for the sake of 10p!

FredFredGeorge Thu 25-Jul-13 18:54:24

The main invitation to treat case law was actually much later than the 20's I thought and was to do with Boots (because certain things had to be sold under supervision of a pharmacist) Sometime in the 50's I thought.

However while there is no requirement to honour a price, there are laws against misleading pricing - e.g. Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 - which may apply, trading standards would be the people to talk to, in something that is so obviously targeted at children (where the ease of reversing the purchase decision when you get the "right" price is more difficult) it's possibly they'd care more.

However if it's an obvious mistake - a Nintendo DS for 5p - then it won't go anywhere.

It's not bad service to do what they are legally entitled to do. It would have been good customer service if they had, obviously, but it's not bad customer service to do something they are allowed to do.

I once threatened to leave a entire trolley full of shopping at the checkout (after it had been scanned through) after being told that an offer had expired. in my defence, it was the day that the store opened (so why was there an out of date offer advertised in the first place), the cashier told me that I was the 4th person to be told on her till that the offer had expired (so why hadn't it been removed) and the only reason I did my shopping there was to get this offer in the first place. Result, I didn't only get the offer - I got the item for nothing grin

ChocHobNob Thu 25-Jul-13 19:04:26

Out of interest what would have happened if the OP had paid for it and then noticed she was charged more than the advertised price. Would they have to give her the difference back or could they have just offered her a refund if she had refused to pay the higher amount?

MarmaladeTwatkins Thu 25-Jul-13 19:07:23

" So custom lost for the sake of 10p!"

Really?! You're still stewing over this?

Time for a wine/tea/whatever.

MrsGSR Thu 25-Jul-13 19:10:29

I might be wrong, but this is how it was explained to me.
The price tag isn't the start of the contract, when you take it to the till your saying you want to buy it, the cashier telling you the price is the start of the contract and you paying is you agreeing to the conditions.

On those terms you would be entitled to return the item, not realising the price would equate to not reading the t&cs on a normal contact. But most shops will refund the difference in good will.

Choc From what I remember they wouldn't have to give a refund.

Cashiers have to say the amount the customer owes, then if the customer pays they've agreed to it and are obliged to pay it.

Then add in that a change of mind is not enough for a retailer to have to refund.

IME most places would refund, just for the sake of keeping customers happy. But they don't have to.

HappyGoLuckyGirl Thu 25-Jul-13 19:21:46

The way it works is the store advertises something for sale. You pick up said item, take it to the til and offer to pay £x for the item. The store is under no obligation to accept your offer (regardless of the price they advertised) and can counter offer with an adjusted price. It's up to you if you choose to accept their counter offer and enter into a contract.

But no, YANBU as it's just plain annoying.

FredFredGeorge Thu 25-Jul-13 20:11:18

If a shop charges you a higher amount to the price they advertised on the shelf then they may well be committing an offence, which means they will normally honour the advertised price to avoid that. They are indeed under no obligation to accept your offer (or to serve you at all, although there are other risks against doing that if you could demonstrate their reasons were in some way discriminatory) but if they mislead you in their pricing then they are committing an offence.

Just saying the total for all the goods is not sufficient a get out for that just as it wouldn't be if the customer had hidden some other goods in the basket.

TiredFeet Thu 25-Jul-13 21:19:12

completely legal, for the reasons others have already explained.

but pretty bad customer service I think, so yanbu to be annoyed!

WidowWadman Thu 25-Jul-13 21:45:55

fredfred - what offence are they committing? I've just done a module on contract law and can't recall anything like that?

Piffpaffpoff Thu 25-Jul-13 21:55:10

I learned about 'invitation to treat' in the '80s. It is one of the few bits of my insurance exams that I remember!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now