You're disputing it wrong
That is all.
Apple is in trouble over pricing again – this time, however, because an apparent e-store glitch let a New Zealander whack together a $NZ1,600 order for $NZ35. Adam Crouchley, a 'Wordpress developer, SM advisor and Radio Announcer on Hashtag Radio', according to his LinkedIn profile, told El Reg, as we followed up a report by …
This guy must be new to the internet. Companies stopped honouring pricing mistakes on websites a long long time ago...
Seriously. I couldn't get a Chinese knockoff iPod skin on eBay for $0.83, never mind Twelve South accessories off the Apple website.
Did he receive an order confirmation from Apple?
5.7 Information contained on the Apple Store Web Site constitutes an invitation to treat. No such information constitutes an offer by us to supply any Products.
According to this article, yes.
" Soon after he placed the order he said he received an email saying some of the goods had been shipped, and then other emails to confirm the order had been processed and his credit card charged.
'Two or three days later they came back and said the order's been cancelled because there was a problem with the price.'
They told him they would honour the part of the order they had already shipped, but later managed to intercept the courier package. "
Apple can put what they like in their ToS, as can any company, doesn't mean they're legitimate. A lot of terms are usually there to scare off the terminally dumb. Think about the number of companies that try to indemnify themselves against death caused my negligence even though they're automatically illegal terms on every single country on the planet I've ever checked - including the USA.
Certainly in UK law you've made an offer and it's been accepted when they send you a receipt/you've paid, much less when they've sent the thing out the door and had to jump up and down on the courier to get it back (which I'd happy describe as theft on the part of Apple/The Courier because the items no longer belong to either party - they're yours and under the duty of care of the courier - frankly, though you probably wouldn't be able to make that stick in court in any but the most sensible of countries).
I can't see the courier idea being legitimate. Apple would be the customer of the Courier and has contracted the courier to provide a service. Apple then decided to cancel or change that service. I can't see how the goods automatically belong to the customer just because they are in the Couriers possession.
I'm not saying that the customer isn't entitled to those goods by contract law or other law that is applicable in the antipodes he may well be. Just saying that intercepting the courier would be theft, unless of course the courier had been initiated by the customer (however still not theft, just the courier might be liable for giving the goods back).
You'd be wrong. It's called FOB origin.
"FOB origin means the consignee is taking ownership prior to shipping and is responsible for freight payments."
It could be "free" shipping, and the company could be the one paying for it from their accounts, and STILL be FOB origin. In which case this would be theft.
The issue is, I think Apple US is FOB destination. He could still have a case, but at that point it's not theft.
The key term would be that which refers to passing of title to the goods.
If the term says that title passes when payment has been made/accepted/cleared by the bank, then the goods being transported by the courier are his.
On the other hand the courier is contracted to deliver by Apple and so delivery is at Apple's say-so.
And this is why it takes a court to figure out if the goods now back in Apple's hands are his or not.
"which I'd happy describe as theft on the part of Apple/The Courier because the items no longer belong to either party - they're yours and under the duty of care of the courier"
No. You talk to any courier company and they will tell you the sender owns the parcel up to the point where it's delivered. The courier neither knows nor cares what is inside the parcel or who the owner might be. They paid the courier to deliver a parcel and have paid for a specific type of delivery, eg one time only attempt with a certain time to retain it at the depot for it to be collected, or they may have paid for two or more delivery attempts followed by a few days at the depot. If delivery attempts fail and it's not collected within a certain timeframe, it's returned to the customer ie the sender.
Disclaimer: I don't work for any courier company but have dealt with many over the years on an almost daily basis. I also know that some drivers are wankers and/or have wankers for bosses who give drivers unrealistic delivery targets.
As far as I know there's a pretty much universal set of regulations that deals with exactly this kind of situation.
The Seller is de-facto owner of the product until the customer has actually signed off for delivery, and is allowed to delay or even cancel shipment of the product as long as the financial transaction has not cleared.
The case of misprinted/incorrect prices on a website or dead-tree brochure is *specifically* made as an example in all the stuff I've ever read about it. The fact that some underpaid/outsourced/clueless idort stated that the obviously incorrect price would be honoured is essentially invalid, as customer service *never* clears financial transactions, certainly not at first-line level. Any supervisor of said idort should, and 99% likely *would*, have cleared up the situation, and escalated the issue to Sales --> IT to Get Prices Fixed NAO! PLZ!
There's obviously shoddy work done on several levels in this situation, but *legally* Apple is quite in it's right to intercept the shipment, as long as they *immedeately* wired the refund that goes with order cancellation.
It makes no difference whether you're doing business through the internet or a bricks and morter shop in NZ. You must follow the Consumer Guarantees Act, which says (among other things) that you must honour the advertised price. If the advertised price is a mistake, tough. Apple will lose this.
Normally I'm a bit hesitant when comes to "pricing mistakes", though I generally fall on the side of the customer (customers get boned over screw ups all time, so it's only fair companies need to eat it as well), but in this case it seems like a clear open and shut case of Apple buggering it up.
He asked them if it was the right price, they said yes, they should definitely honor that price.
So can this tribunal force Apple to sell him $1600 worth of accessories for $35?
It's pretty obvious he didn't buy $1600 worth of Apple cases as an end user, but rather to resell them for a quick buck.
Perhaps the Reg can tell us from the chat logs they've seen whether or not the guy went through each individual item's price with the CSR to ensure they were all correct? Or did he just ask the CSR if all prices on the website were up to date?
"It's pretty obvious he didn't buy $1600 worth of Apple cases as an end user, but rather to resell them for a quick buck."
Alleging that he only purchased them to sell for "a quick buck" when he stated "he bought only what he needed for his business." is purely an assumption, especially since we have no idea what his business is other than what is mentioned by his LinkedIn profile. Is he the lead of a Wordpress development team? Did he buy these for them? etc. etc.
What we know is he did confirm the price twice with Apple, once via online chat and once via a phone call. He gave them plenty of opportunity to refuse the sale, instead they waited until he was expecting the products - which could now arrive after the congratulatory ceremony for the release of their latest Wordpress plugin - but alas, I'm making things up too now.
Kinda like what cellphone carriers do, when they charge you a REAL $60* a month for your contract, and include "$800" worth of calls.
They just leave out the bit that says each of the $800 dollars is equivalent to about $16 REAL dollars per 30 second block of talk time.
Perhaps there should be a Real/Pretend Dollar conversion rate stated on each website?
(*) Just to make my point, I'm purely making up the numbers, but evidently, so are Apple...
I had always thought that the charge on the credit card was the accepted price and cannot be cancelled easily by either party without triggering all kinds of interesting processes. I doubt it matters if he contacted Apple; the big question is was he already dinged on his credit card or not before the order cancelled. (He obviously was or they wouldn't have shipped.)
@ben edwards: Maybe you didn't read the post above mine. New Zealand has a thing called the "Contractual Mistakes Act 1979", so Apple could argue that the mistake wasn't noticed until after the payment was made.
What you know about UK or US consumer law doesn't really apply to a country on the other side of the globe...
If this person would have walked into a brick and mortar location, purchased the same items at the same price and walked out to his car; would the store employees have been legally allowed to run out, an forcibly remove those paid for items from his possession?
> New Zealand has a thing called the "Contractual Mistakes Act 1979"
It does. It's a short Act - only 6 pages. Well worth a read. Most importantly, this Act empowers courts, not individuals, to effect changes to contracts after they have been agreed.
> Apple could argue that the mistake wasn't noticed until after the payment was made.
They'd almost certainly fall foul of Section 6(2)(b), since they were made aware of the prices and still accepted them.
[Sorry - I can't quote the section as this machine seems to have decided not to allow me to C&P today...]
Pretty much. If he has an electronic receipt (in pdf form, with the Apple logo at the top) showing the items at the marked-down price, then it is going to make it hard for Apple to dispute the transaction in court. They're probably going to lose more money in legal fees than they "saved" by intercepting the courier.
Money would be better spent on cleaning up the algorithms that calculated the discounts in the first place.
So by that logic you can ship drugsanonymously and if they are intercepted the receiver isn't liable as they don't own them til they arrive?
I'm wondering, if you buy something and it never arrives would the company that sent the item have to send another (if they still own it until it arrives) as most companies give you the option for delivery insurance which says to me the customer owns the item when it's delivered as they're the ones paying the insurance...
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