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to try to force them to honour the price?

(29 Posts)
utopian99 Fri 10-Jul-15 20:27:43

Very first world problem I know, but still..

We're trying to book a skiing holiday with friends next year and found what looked like a screaming deal. My friend found it, and checked for catches and small print, showed me, so did I and found none.
So we booked.
A few hours later they sent an email 'clarifying' that the price advertised was a per person price just for this and one other week, when otherwise the website shows it as per chalet. They also added a note to say that on the website - we know it was a added later as my friend cached the Web page at the time of booking, plus the original invoice showed the price as a whole chalet price, but had all our names.

SO really WIBU to try to force them to honour it? (The website/agent, not my friend, of course!) They could just refund us but it would be much sweeter to clobber the agent and get a superb deal. Technically it should count as false advertising and is a criminal offence - and we have some decent proof - but could we force it or only get the refund?

(Please be gentle with me, I've never posted on aibu before and this probably sounds grabby.) (The chalet owner shouldn't be out of pocket either, as it's the agent doing a bad job.)

DoJo Fri 10-Jul-15 21:17:12

YWNBU to try, but I don't think you'll have much luck if there is a huge price difference and I doubt it would be classed as false advertising if it was a genuine mistake that they have rectified as soon as they realised it. If they haven't acknowledged the booking or done any of the things that actually constitute the forming of a contract, I think you'll have to put it down to a case of 'if it seems too good to be true then it probably is'. You could always ask the agent for a discount on something else, but it will probably be down to their goodwill if they do.

CrystalHaze Fri 10-Jul-15 21:24:02

I don't think you'd get very far - there have been several cases where retailers were not obliged to honour a price that was listed in error (argos and £1 laptops rings a vague bell, anyone remember the specifics)?

DorisLessingsCat Fri 10-Jul-15 21:25:00

False advertising is not a criminal offence and a genuine mistake does not count as false advertising anyway.

You have zero chance of getting the agent to honour the price but feel free to pursue it if you have nothing better to do with your

TTWK Fri 10-Jul-15 21:29:42

It's a long time since I last did law but when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, a contract needed 3 things to be valid and binding, offer, acceptance and consideration (usually money).

An advert is not an offer, it's a invitation to treat (an invitation to make an offer.)

So they sent out an add, you made and offer and sent consideration, but they are not accepting it. So no contract in place, and you are stuffed.

soapboxqueen Fri 10-Jul-15 21:30:11

Trading standards would only get involved if there was reason to believe they were intentionally misleading people. A mistake is just a mistake. It's an urban myth that shops or retailers have to sell you something at a particular price of that was what it wars labeled as.

They emailed and corrected the mistake and I'm assuming offered a refund of the deposit. No real issue there.

AnyoneForTennis Fri 10-Jul-15 21:30:49

Yeo retailers don't have to honour the wrong price. We are able to remi e said item from sale for 24 hours or honour it

The law recognises that mistakes do happen and this protects the retailer from losing out

AnyoneForTennis Fri 10-Jul-15 21:31:10


soapboxqueen Fri 10-Jul-15 21:32:24

*I've not been at the gin yet, promise, but some of my last post was gobbledegook

revealall Fri 10-Jul-15 21:40:01

No chance. You can prove they offered it at the lower price but then they can refuse to sell it to you ( rather than risk false advertising claims).
So either way you don't get the cheap holiday.

TreaterAnita Fri 10-Jul-15 21:43:28

As PPs have already said, false advertising would involve an intention to deceive and therefore the criminal act is fraud. A mistake would not constitute a criminal offence and contractually an advert is an invitation to treat, not an offer, and therefore not legally enforceable in the civil courts. You are certainly entitled to a refund on the grounds of misrepresentation but beyond that I'm afraid that you can't push it any further.

utopian99 Fri 10-Jul-15 22:06:16

Fair enough, there was no intention to deceive, I am fairly sure. There is a contract though as: "contract needed 3 things to be valid and binding, offer, - their price and listing - acceptance - our booking - and consideration (usually money) - the deposit we paid and was debited from the card.- Presumably by refunding the deposit they negate the contract, ah well!

NoMontagues Fri 10-Jul-15 22:09:47

The ad isn't an offer though OP - pp said it's an invitation to treat, your response is the offer element of the contract.

DoJo Fri 10-Jul-15 22:19:27

It's the other way round - you have made the offer by trying to book, and they have refused to enter into the contract at the point where their acceptance would usually be, by emailing you to say that they are not accepting your booking and will refund the money you have paid.

MayPolist Fri 10-Jul-15 23:00:37

Hang on though, if they have debited your card, then this is indication that they have accepted your 'offer' and a binding contract exists.

dontbemoredog Fri 10-Jul-15 23:05:02

Try all the legal wibble you like, you'll get laughed out of court (if you get that far).

DoJo Fri 10-Jul-15 23:07:02

Unless a booking is done over the phone, then debiting the card would be an automated process, so if the company counter that by making it clear via email that they have not accepted the offer and intend to refund any monies paid as quickly as possible, then there would still be no contract.

EhricLovesTheBhrothers Fri 10-Jul-15 23:07:56

Don't be silly. You haven't got a hope.

fastdaytears Sat 11-Jul-15 06:35:09

This has been tested so many times with online stuff and it is an invitation to treat and no contract exists. They would be totally U to hold you to the higher price but they aren't if they're refunding your deposit. It's so easy to make a mistake and in your position I'd hate to think of the (probably quite junior) person who put the info up on the site's job being jeopardised over this.

TTWK Sat 11-Jul-15 12:37:05

There is a contract though as: "contract needed 3 things to be valid and binding, offer, - their price and listing

Why are you continuing to spout this nonsense when I and others have explained that their advert is not an offer. It's an invitation for you to make an offer. You made an offer, sent money (consideration), but they have not accepted your offer. So no contract.

Sorry if I'm clouding the issue with facts.

namechange4this123 Sat 11-Jul-15 14:24:53

You have no legal right, but if you complain, whilst you most likely won't get them to honour the original price, if you are firm but polite you may get a small discount.

So I would say it is worth complaining, attaching a copy of the cached website with the original price, and seeing if they make a decent counter offer (i.e. a small discount). Then based on that you can make a decision whether or not to get a refund.

Soundofsettling Sat 11-Jul-15 14:29:08

Did they confirm by email or accept money?

We had a to good to be true price on a television, paid by credit card over the website.

Company took the money then realised the error and attempted to refund, but as they had automatically sent an email confirm and accepted money they had completed the contract so should send the goods.

TTWK Sat 11-Jul-15 18:04:09

Company took the money then realised the error and attempted to refund, but as they had automatically sent an email confirm and accepted money they had completed the contract so should send the goods.

Aaaah, it was the email that was the clincher in that case, not the automatic website acceptance of the money.

Many firms now say in their email "thank you for your remittance of £xxx and we will be in touch shortly to confirmation of your order." This gives them the chance to review all the online orders and accept or reject them. The devil is in the detail. If they send an email accepting your payment of £5 for the 65" hi def tv, then they are fucked!

Pipbin Sat 11-Jul-15 18:07:05

There is no harm in asking, just don't be a dick about it.

utopian99 Sat 11-Jul-15 23:08:56

Thanks for responding all, including TTWK (even your smack down! ) They have emailed to confirm, as in soundofsettling's case. Sounds like not worth it though, so will take a refund and hunt again.

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