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Businesses Bug The Almighty Buck IT

Website Checkout Glitches: Two Very Different Corporate Responses 303

Posted by timothy
from the and-you-pay-the-stamp dept.
Freshly Exhumed writes "On the morning of December 26th, 2013, an error on the website of Delta Air Lines' produced impossibly low fare discounts of as much as 90% for about 2 hours before the problem was corrected. Delta, to their PR benefit, have swallowed the losses, and the lucky customers have shared their delight via social media. Unfortunately for many buyers of goods from The Brick furniture retailer, no such consumer warmth is forthcoming. The Brick's website checkout had awarded them an additional 50% off, over and above all other costs, but the official corporate response has been to demand the money be returned. Affected customers are now lashing The Brick with social media opprobrium and drawing direct comparisons with Delta's response. So, given that these are not small, mom-and-pop companies, have we reached a point at which online retailers are expected to just swallow such costs for PR purposes, as part of doing web business?"
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Website Checkout Glitches: Two Very Different Corporate Responses

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  • Same rules apply (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sbassett (257852) on Saturday December 28, 2013 @12:15PM (#45806011) Homepage

    If a brick and mortar left a sign up in their windows advertising X percent off consumers would expect it. Just because they are online doesn't give them a pass for sloppy practices.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 28, 2013 @12:29PM (#45806151)

      In fact, the laws in some states demand that brick and mortar stores to honor the prices that they advertive. This includes prices that are in error! Why should online stores be treated any different?

      • by itsdapead (734413) on Saturday December 28, 2013 @02:34PM (#45807005)

        In fact, the laws in some states demand that brick and mortar stores to honor the prices that they advertive. This includes prices that are in error! Why should online stores be treated any different?

        because (even with such a law) there are practical limitations on how may $99 products can walk out the door of a bricks & mortar store for $0.99 before the error can be caught and corrected.

        For an an online store, the error can go viral on social networking and by the time a human being spots the situation, there can be so many orders that they'd need to build a couple of new factories to fulfil them.

        Now, if the retailer takes your $0.99 and delivers the product that's one thing (analogous to the shop taking your money and letting you walk out the door) - but when these stories crop up it is usually people whining because the retailer just refuses to honour the order (in this case, TFA is somewhat vague on whether money has been taken or products delivered).

        Try and compel stores to honour those orders and I guarantee that the only winners will be the lawyers.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 28, 2013 @03:11PM (#45807245)

          For an an online store, the error can go viral on social networking and by the time a human being spots the situation, there can be so many orders that they'd need to build a couple of new factories to fulfil them.

          1) Then they should double-check all prices before they go live.

          2) Then they should only accept as many orders as they have stock. That at least limits the damage to what they have on-hand. just like brick-n-mortar stores.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          TV reports indicated that the orders were completed by the system, but shoppers received a call the next day to tell them that they would have to pay the original amount. So they cancelled all orders after accepting them. Other news source [ctvnews.ca].

    • by mysidia (191772) on Saturday December 28, 2013 @12:39PM (#45806239)

      If a brick and mortar left a sign up in their windows advertising X percent off consumers would expect it.

      Yes.... but I belive that's more about HONORING What you advertise. If the printed price they stuck on the goods says "$300" on a $3000 on a brand new Macbook pro; they better honor it.

      On the other hand... if the price said $3000, BUT the cash register rings up $300, they need not honor the $300 price: if the clerk catches the error, before finalizing the transaction. If the clerk doesn't catch the error --- tells the customer this is what their price is: then the deal is final after the customer pays.

      Similarly IF THE WEBSITE advertises $1000, but when you got to checkout, your total shows $100. The customer should expect the store won't honor the $100 price; if their online shopping cart disagrees with the advertised price.

      The store should call the customer and inform them of the error --- give them the option to pay the expected price, or cancel the transaction.

      If the online store goes ahead with the sale, then they have accepted the error. Once they ship the goods, it is now too late for them to back out of the deal, and escape without causing the customer undue harm.

      • Re:Same rules apply (Score:5, Informative)

        by thegarbz (1787294) on Saturday December 28, 2013 @07:03PM (#45808467)

        Similarly IF THE WEBSITE advertises $1000, but when you got to checkout, your total shows $100.
        The customer should expect the store won't honor the $100 price; if their online shopping cart disagrees with the advertised price.

        The store should call the customer and inform them of the error --- give them the option to pay the expected price, or cancel the transaction.

        If the online store goes ahead with the sale, then they have accepted the error. Once they ship the goods, it is now too late for them to back out of the deal, and escape without causing the customer undue harm.

        False. They need not ship the goods for them to be too late to back out of the deal. This is basic contract law. A contract was written up (offer), it was accepted (check out), and at least one way consideration was made (payment). What you have now is a fully legally binding contract that says one person exchanged x dollars for y goods. Failing to deliver on the y goods is grounds for legal challenge.

        Now if the error was caught before the credit card actually got billed, i.e. the checkout process then went through a sanity check where someone caught the error then no consideration has been paid and thus we don't have a legally binding contract and either party can back out. Offer and acceptance isn't normally enough to form a contract which is why when I sign a contract to purchase a house I must put down a few hundred $ purely to satisfy the legal requirements of a binding contract, money I get back if any part of the contract falls through and I don't buy the house.

        *Note: My knowledge of contract law is based on the laws of a few countries, but maybe not yours.

    • Re:Same rules apply (Score:5, Interesting)

      by msauve (701917) on Saturday December 28, 2013 @12:39PM (#45806247)
      In your haste to comment early, it seems you didn't read the article. They offered items at a discount - but when customers checked out, they were given a 50% discount beyond what had been advertised/offered. They never advertised that additional 50%, never offered it, never did anything which would make a customer expect it. It was an error, and came as a surprise to both the seller and buyer.

      This differs from the Delta case, where the low prices were offered before the buyer accepted the offer and went through checkout.

      Your comparison fails, because they were (and still are) willing to honor the advertised prices. But, there are people who were charged less than they expected who are complaining that it's somehow unfair for the business to correct this obvious error. Those same people would no doubt be screaming for relief if they didn't get the offered discount when they got to the checkout - "fair" apparently only works in one direction.
      • by youngatheart (1922394) on Saturday December 28, 2013 @01:00PM (#45806423)

        My daughter convinced me to take her to Kohl's for some basic shopping. I checked in on 4square and was surprised to find that it got me a discount. Then at the register, when they rang me up, it was less than expected even with the discount. I was happily surprised to discover after paying, that the receipt showed another discount which I commented on to the cashier. I was happy to hear that they often give those kinds of discounts.

        The point is that when you get extra discounts, you don't assume they're made in error, you assume that you are being given a treat, probably something they are advertising and you just didn't see, by the seller.

      • "Fair" is the point when the transaction is completed. Advertising has nothing to do with it at the point the transaction is completed unless there is an agreed upon terms to correct a mistake.
        • by msauve (701917)
          "unless there is an agreed upon terms to correct a mistake."

          Say, for instance, website terms of sale which specifically allow them the right to "correct any error, inaccuracy or omission at any time without prior notice or liability to you or any other person" and "reject, correct, cancel or terminate any order, including accepted orders for any reason?"
        • by pspahn (1175617)

          And what of the case where a customer is incorrectly charged *too much*? The sticker on the tin says $5 and the line-item on the receipt says $10. The transaction is already completed, so fair is fair?

          • by Bert64 (520050)

            You should be given a final price before you pay, you should read this final screen and identify any problems at this stage. After you've paid you've accepted the deal.
            If they charge you more than the final checkout screen states then its fraud plain and simple.

        • Nordstrom sold us a rather fancy linen handkerchief for a bizarrely low price last year. The item wasn't labeled. We asked the price. They looked on the computer and it was 10% of what we and the guy behind the counter were expecting. He called a manger. They agreed it was on the computer so they had to bite it and sell it to us at that price. He suggested we buy the other one as well, since they were that cheap but we only needed one so declined.

          Some places understand that biting it is better in the long r

          • by Dahamma (304068)

            Moral of the story is...

            Wait, you bought a FUCKING LINEN HANDKERCHIEF? And "needed one"? What, were you stocking up for a time traveling expedition!?

            Are you bringing your own weapons?

      • by Ichijo (607641)

        Online retailers often offer hidden, unadvertised prices that you won't see before you start the checkout process. But you will always see the final price before the transaction is completed--before your credit card is charged.

        In this case, was the additional 50% discount shown before or after both parties agreed to the terms of the sale? TFA is silent on this point.

        • by msauve (701917)
          "Online retailers often offer hidden, unadvertised prices that you won't see before you start the checkout process. "

          But that's not the case here, so what's your point? In any case, the only times I've seen that is when they are apparently not allowed to advertise a price below a certain amount - and they make it clear that adding the item is the only way to view the price ("click here to add to cart and see our super low price - you will be able to cancel if you wish").

          What rationale is there for a selle
      • by Xeno man (1614779)
        Many discounts are not properly advertised such as manufacture discounts, 2 for 1 sales or x% off after spending $y. Many price reductions are applied at the register so items will still have a $50 sticker on them when on sale for $40 so when scanned they show up for less. It is not uncommon for people to be surprised that items cost come to less than they expect when they find out something is on sale they were unaware of.
    • by znanue (2782675)

      Except that the exposure of this error is much more contained in a brick and mortar. Websites can scale up rapidly before the error is noticed. If a store suddenly started selling the same thing at a tremendous discount and the store exploded to several hundred times its normal conversion or volume, probably the most dense cashier would notice that something was off quite quickly. Stores also often have a floor manager who would certainly notice this change in volume and probably react by figuring our th

      • by Immerman (2627577)

        Two things:

        The online store has a *huge* advantage over brick-and-mortar stores in terms of cost savings and transaction volume. If they don't want to invest some of those savings into proofreaders and early-warning systems to defend against such problems then that's *their* choice. They chose increased profit over risk protection, and that's nobody's fault but their own.

        The purchase at price X is a non-neogtiable contract, and thus by law must be interpreted as generously as possible in favor of the part

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      More so, the company has already completed the transaction. They offered a certain price for the goods, they accepted the money, and they handed over the goods. They have no recourse now to demand more money.

    • by mwvdlee (775178)

      These were not advertised prices, but only appeared on checkout (after clicking on the "buy" button with the higher prices listed).
      It's like the cash register being off by a factor of 10. In this case it was in favor of the customer. What if it was if favor of the shop?

      Regardless; the way they're "paying" for customer's troubles by giving them 10% off a future purchase is just laughably pathetic.
      If they said "Hey, we gave you 50% extra bue to an error, would you please return the 40% (keep the 10% as expens

      • by Immerman (2627577)

        If the transaction were complete before the error were noticed I'd be inclined to agree. But it wasn't. This is more like the cashier rang up the sale, and then noticed while loading the cart (waiting to ship) that the sticker price didn't match what the register had rung up, and gave you the choice of either paying the sticker price or not buying the item. It takes a special kind of spoiled brat to throw a tantrum in such a situation.

        If they were trying to claw back items that had already shipped that w

        • This is more like the cashier rang up the sale, and then noticed while loading the cart (waiting to ship) that the sticker price didn't match what the register had rung up, and gave you the choice of either paying the sticker price or not buying the item.

          This isn't a good analogy. An online transaction is much more formal than checking out in person with a cashier. Often, a customer has to go through multiple pages being presented with a detailed bill, and then being asked to go forward and "confirm" and/or "submit a final order."

          So, it would be more like if you were at a store, the cashier worked out your bill, then formally presented your bill to you (perhaps multiple times), you agreed with the cashier on the prices, then the cashier asked you for yo

    • by _Shad0w_ (127912)

      Depends where you are. In the UK at least, as far as I know, they aren't required to honour a mistake if a reasonable person wouldn't have believed it was correct.

  • by JWSmythe (446288)

    That's part of business. If you screw up, you'd better honor them, and make sure you don't do it again.

    I've seen places give away merchandise over accidents like that. ok, so you lost $10k in product, big deal. You also made some very happy customers, who will likely come back.

    The opposite is true too.. If you try to come after the customers who bought in good faith, now they won't come back, and neither will their friends.. "friends" has expanded over the last decade or so, goign from "oh, what, a d

    • by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Saturday December 28, 2013 @12:20PM (#45806073) Homepage Journal

      Satisfied customers tell one or two people, while angry customers tell dozens of people. Right now you have a massive black-eye situation for this "The Brick" place.

      I hadn't heard of them before now. They have created a bad first impression for thousands of people. It's a big screwup and another example of how so many corporate people live in their own little manufactured reality. They have just screwed up something basic that every small shopkeeper learns on the first day.

      • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Saturday December 28, 2013 @12:22PM (#45806085) Homepage

        They bricked themselves?

      • by Your.Master (1088569) on Saturday December 28, 2013 @12:37PM (#45806229)

        The Brick is a large Canadian store, mostly for furniture, mattresses, and appliances. The submitter may not even be aware that it's only Canadian. They are infamous for advertising that you can purchase their shit for a very long deferred payment (as they put it, for $0 down, $0 payments, 0% interest for 2 years, back when interest rates were high). These adds have gone on for over 20 years, perhaps much longer.

        They got dinged recently for actually requiring down payments despite their advertising, because you pay tax up front, and "administrative fees", and delivery, etc. etc., so they kind of have a reputation for welching on their advertised prices already.

    • by jaymz666 (34050)

      Good Faith? Really?

      There are many people who find these "good deals" and abuse them. Airfares are one thing, where you can't really buy a dozen of them and resell them on ebay, but physical goods like whatever the Brick sells, some "enterprising" individuals can take advantage of.

      No, I am not making excuses for anyone, but there's always more than one side to any story like this.

      They should have offered to pick up and refund the purchase price, not ask for more money.

      • by beelsebob (529313) on Saturday December 28, 2013 @01:02PM (#45806445)

        No, they shouldn't. The deal is already done. If they have delivered the goods and accepted the cash, they have no recourse to decide that they either want to magically undo the contract they've already agreed to, or to decide to alter the contract for more money.

        Plain and simple, once the deal is done, they can not go back on it, in any way.

        • by Immerman (2627577)

          I would be inclined to agree, except that's not what happened. People placed orders, then the error was caught, probably before any part of the actual transaction occurred - most online stores won't actually charge you until your order is ready to ship. Until then you've just had your order tallied and are waiting in line for your chance to pay and get your stuff. Hell, most everybody takes it for granted that they can cancel their order any time before it ships, why are they so outraged that the company

      • by mwvdlee (775178)

        It should be pretty easy to separate the person who bought 1 matress from the person who bought 100 matresses.

        Honest customers will understand a shop treats dishonest customers differently.

    • I was taught, back when I worked retail, that studies showed that people influence the buying behaviors of, on average, 250 other people. I doubt this has changed by a large number, but 250 lost customers per dissatisfied customer is a pretty steep price to pay. This is especially true when the positive publicity in a situation like this probably exceeds any value you could spend on advertizing.
      • by znanue (2782675)
        Interesting, however I would expect that certain individuals had a much broader platform, like Oprah. These days, I'm going to guess that people who regularly use yelp and write reviews, or people who have a lot of twitter followers, might have much broader power to affect consumer decision. There are people on the internet who are not famous whose output I have found and now regard as more trustworthy and interesting than a randomly selected newspaper article. Microbloggers with significant followers co
    • by fermion (181285) on Saturday December 28, 2013 @12:55PM (#45806377) Homepage Journal
      For walk in sales, that is probably correct. A price is mis-marked, a few customers get the deal, yes you have happy customers. However it is not clear that online customers have such loyalties. They will tend to go where the low prices are, as there is little opportunity cost for doing so. That is why Amazon has what much a loss leading Amazon Prime program. To keep customers coming back not just for low prices, but other perks. Same thing for airlines.

      So no, the rules for online are not to fullfill orders that have clearly incorrect prices. If I go into a big grocery store like Krogers, and some disgruntled employee has put a a 50 dollar bottle of wine on sale at $10, they are not going to sell it to me for $10 when it rings up for 50. There is a secondary check there for price, the human element. Likewise, if a computer glitch, maybe put in by a disgruntled employee, allows me to check out for half price, then this is an admitted grey area. My payment has been accepted.

      I would say, however, that until a product is formally charged to a customers card, which often happens as it is shipped, and maybe even until it is delivered there the retailer has an opportunity to cancel the order. Possession is, of course, paramount. This is why I would say one the product is delivered the price must be honored. This is a grey area as well, and we have seen cases where retailers have demanded delivered products back, but this to me is clearly bad manners.

      So why is Delta honoring the price? I think it is because of delivered product. When I buy a ticket, my card is charged, and I immediately get a confirmation that I am guaranteed a seat on that flight. If something happens and I do not get a seat on the flight, I at minimum am sure to get a seat on a similar flight, often with financial compensation above and beyond that seat. Also, unlike most small retailers, the airlines have algorithms that continuously adjust the price of seats to maximize the total revenue on each flight. Therefore it is harder for airline to use the 'disgruntled employee' excuse.

      • by MikeKD (549924)

        So why is Delta honoring the price? I think it is because of delivered product

        Nope. It's because the Dept. of Transportation makes them honor the fare [go.com]:

        Delta's contract of carriage states that in the event of an "erroneous" fare, " Delta reserves the right to cancel the ticket purchase and refund all amounts paid by the purchaser or, at the purchaser's option, to reissue the ticket for the correct fare." But rules set forth by the Department of Transportation state otherwise, saying that an airline must honor a purchased ticket, mistake fare or not.

  • by iCEBaLM (34905)

    If your website fucks up and gives me a good price, that's not my fault, and you shouldn't be "punishing" the customer for it.

  • Demand? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by HornWumpus (783565) on Saturday December 28, 2013 @12:16PM (#45806025)

    Someplace sold me something, then they demand more money?

    Can you guess my answer?

    • by TubeSteak (669689)

      "The advertised price in the flyer and on the product pages was correct when these customers added the item to their shopping cart and did not reflect this additional discount until the shopping cart was checked out. The Brick apologizes for the confusion and is currently working to contact all affected customers to advise of correct pricing."

      Real Coallier, who works for Quebec's office of consumer protection, said such online transactions can't be modified after the fact and said customers should file complaints if The Brick asks them for money.

      I guess the only other alternative is to reverse any orders that the customer doesn't willingly repay.

    • Can you guess my answer?

      I could probably guess the message, but I doubt the language would be as colorful :)

  • Delta, to their PR benefit, have swallowed the losses, and the lucky customers have shared their delight via social media

    What losses does Delta have to swallow? They're going to make up for it by charging those "lucky" customers change fees, luggage fees, "Economy Comfort" fees, and for onboard entertainment, Gogo internet and food served onboard. Also, good luck getting full frequent flyer credit for the discounted flights.

    • >What losses does Delta have to swallow?

      Losses resulting from the fact they likely could have sold those seats for much more money. Most flights depart full, or nearly-full, these days, so they would have sold those seats.

      > charging those "lucky" customers change fees

      Only if they change their tickets. Most passengers don't. I flew 66 segments last year. Didn't change a single ticket.

      > luggage fees

      Only if they check a bag. Pack a rollaboard and then check it at the gate for
    • by JWSmythe (446288)

      Nah, they charge everyone those fees. They may as well give away their tickets, considering the other fees included. I'm surprised they haven't added ticket counter fees, and terminal boarding fees. Those would be cash at the time of use, of course. Asking for directions to your next flight? $5. Asking if the flight is on time? $5. Asking to upgrade? $10 before they tell you if there are even upgrades available. $5 to ask if a flight is on time when waiting to pick someone up. $10 arrival wait

    • I think it's only fair that they don't get full frequent flyer credit on those flights, really.

      Are you suggesting that Delta would not have charged those customers all of those things if they didn't get a sweet deal on their tickets?

  • If you entice a customer with low prices, and then rescind those prices after the sale, it feels basically the same as a bait-and-switch fraud. It's probably closer to resort fees and similar scams, where it turns out the low price being advertised doesn't cover certain mandatory charges. Either way, bad PR.

    In contrast, if a business says that the low price was a mistake but then makes it known that they will eat the cost, it's good PR.

    So unless it will bankrupt you, yeah, this seems like a no-brainer.

    • If you entice a customer with low prices, and then rescind those prices after the sale, it feels basically the same as a bait-and-switch fraud.

      In the UK, it is quite clear: The customer has no right to get a deal that is offered. However, if an item is intentionally displayed at a lower price than it is sold at, that would be something that Trading Standards would be interested in. So if you see it offered cheap, they refuse to sell it, and then don't change the displayed price as soon as possible, then the store is in trouble.

  • The Brick stinks (Score:3, Informative)

    by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Saturday December 28, 2013 @12:27PM (#45806133) Homepage Journal

    People outside of Canada have probably never heard of The Brick until now. It's one of the stores I refuse to go in to. The salespeople jump on you the moment you step in the door and don't stop.
  • When Delta sold seats at large discounts, some of those seats would have gone empty if the discount glitch didn't happen, and without the discount Delta would have eaten the costs of flying with those empty seats anyway. For some flights, selling the heavily discounted seats may even have been a net gain financially for Delta.

    But with the furniture retailer, they had bigger real losses from the discount glitch because without the huge discounts, the items would have remained available for somebody else to

  • By and large, airlines have a history of honouring 'fare mistakes.' There are of course, exceptions, e.g. KAL's $500 fare to Palau...

    http://crankyflier.com/2011/11/22/how-mistake-fares-get-filed-and-why-korean-messed-up/ [crankyflier.com]

    Day after day Flyertalk.com has examples, e.g.

    http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/mileage-run-deals-372/ [flyertalk.com]

    ...but most of the time they do.

    Retail is new to the game, so they're still making up the rules as they go along.
  • by just fiddling around (636818) on Saturday December 28, 2013 @12:40PM (#45806253) Journal

    The Brick is known in Canada for deceptive business practices [option-consommateurs.org], so the consumer protection agencies have taken to the media to inform that customers do NOT have to give the money back.

    The retailer advertised those prices, and tries to trick the customer into cancelling the sale to wiggle out of the sales. That's a tactic known as bait-and-switch, and it's illegal.

  • A few trading firms have learned to have a second system that monitors transactions to keep tabs on profit and loss. If the things swing out of the expected range, it is time to have a human look at the situation. If things get really out of hand, it is time to rate limit transactions, or halt them out right. Sudden extreme profits usually indicates a data entry error on your system, not that the rest of the market has gotten really stupid.

    Most inventory systems have a way to track cost of goods, age of
  • dear Brick:
    First: fuck you.

    Second: If you had a giant sign in the front window of your store that said "All sofas are $5" and then when people demanded their $5 sofa and you said "Nuh uh", you'd be sued for false advertising. Therefore:

    Third: Suck it up and deal with it. It won't put you out of business. Fire the clod who lost you all that money, but honour your mistakes.

    Example: Back in the late 1990s, A certain online musical instrument website was selling the (then new) Yamaha CS2X keyboard for $450

  • This article is weird, for every consumer that catches a break(in this instance because of a mass consumer backlash), there are thousands treated badly. I cannot remember the last time. I had good (real) customer service. Every company seems to rely on the fact that you have little free time, and takes the piss. Internet\Mobile(sales and carriers)\Computer(Electronics) Companies treat you like parasites after you make the sale; returning\replacing items and and Cancelling a service\subscription is near impo

  • by geekmux (1040042) on Saturday December 28, 2013 @12:54PM (#45806365)

    "...have we reached a point at which online retailers are expected to just swallow such costs for PR purposes, as part of doing web business?"

    Uh, yeah, I do. It's called personal responsibility. If you've screwed up and cost the business even millions of dollars, then hold the person who screwed up accountable to try and eliminate the chances of it happening again.

    THAT is what I expect. Not some weak-ass horribly worded excuse to attempt to make the consumer somehow feel guilty about a providers mistake that they happened to capitalize on.

  • A sale is a type of contract. Once you agree to a contract, you're bound by it. You don't get to say, "Wait, I didn't really intend to give you that good a deal, I'm changing the terms I agreed to!"

    If you're going to write a computer program to agree to contracts on your behalf, you'd better make darned sure that program works correctly. If it doesn't, you're stuck with the consequences.

  • I can't speak for the rest of the states. In Texas there is a lot of buyer beware, but there is also quite a bit of beware of buyer to balance that out. If you accidentally discount something and it could be reasonably assumed to be true (i.e., it wasn't an obvious typo), then you get that deal whether they meant to give it to you or not. To use a current product as an example, while "XBOX One now $44.99, save $50.00!" is obviously a typo, "$50 off XBOX One" sounds reasonable enough to be true. You may not

    • Sorry, the point is 50% can reasonably be assumed to be a genuine offer. The Brick may not have a choice but to honor the discount, at least in some parts of the country.
    • However, is this just Texas? I always thought these were FTC rules, but I'm not sure it really is or how it is enforced. Most retailers are cooperative. If they forgot to take signage down, didn't switch out their price tags, or stocked something on the wrong shelf without identifying the product the price applies to, I've always gotten the deal they didn't mean to offer.

      It will all depend on the country, and on the situation. In the UK, the company makes an offer, you accept the offer by ordering, the company finalises the contract by delivering. They cannot be forced to deliver, except that knowingly offering lower than they wish to sell is misleading the customer and has consequences.

      Now if the item is delivered, they can say this was al a mistake. They might say they want the item back, in which case it is up to the company to get it back, and if you unpacked it, or

  • Seriously.

    1) An asshole spokesman for Brick accuses customers of knowingly taking advantage of them, outright claiming that customers knew the discount was an error.

    2) The spokesman continues on to say that they're "doing exactly what the customer wanted us to do" by "honoring" the correct price.

    3) A spokesman for the local government says what Brick is doing is illegal.

  • My response to both of these is: Ever hear of “QA”? Hire some. For Brick, the loss of credibility is substantial. For Delta and Brick, the loss of dollars is quite high. As a QA professional, there have been many times that I’ve more than paid for my keep by finding critical bugs in developer code. However is this era of “ship it today, we’ll fix it tomorrow” (and they never do fix it); problems such as these abound. Don’t blame the customer for you being sho
    • by Shados (741919)

      The issue is checkout flows for big companies is extremely complex. Those are usually piles of software interacting with each other, and a lot of it isn't even handled by IT. The marketing department sets up the rules, schedule them, and at the designated hour, they start.

      So some mistakes happen. Sometimes you're right, the company's stupid. Other times, its a known risk that is accepted. The company I work for does business in countless countries and locals, each with their own marketing department, and th

    • Why pay for QA when we can get the coders to due that and the web site users are beta testers.

      The last time we had QA the PHB dropped in saw them just sitting at the same page all day long (well that is what the non tech PHB said and said we do we need this? and fired them all)

  • Carriage laws in the US prevent a ticket price from being changed after it is purchased. This includes canceling the ticket because of the price it was issued at (because this is effectively the same as changing the price of the ticket since the consumer would have to repurchase it). You'll notice that Delta's carriage policy specifically outlines that they will never sell a ticket for $0 so they can excluded it. Since they can't state this for any other fare price, they can't exclude it and it falls und
    • That's why they charge you for food, water, bags and farting after you've paid for the ticket. Anything except the ticket will be charged extra for.

  • Amazon Did it Too (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Saturday December 28, 2013 @01:48PM (#45806771)

    Here's a little story about Amazon doing the same thing.

    http://slashdot.org/story/07/02/15/1356226/amazon-adjusts-prices-after-sales-error [slashdot.org]

    Some of the details in the Amazon story are missing though:

    (1) It was a 2-for-1 sale on DVD box sets where they double-discounted the price of the cheaper DVD set. Some people bought identically priced sets and so paid $0, but a lot of people bought two sets with different prices so they paid the nominal difference.

    (2) Amazon corrected the error on the website within hours, but continued shipping some of the orders for up to 4 days later so they clearly knew about the error and still choose to let merchandise ship rather than make the effort to put an internal hold on it.

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