A few weeks ago, Anne had mentioned to her friend, Betty, that she was thinking of buying a new washing machine. Betty said to Anne that she would be interested in buying Anne’s old washing machine if she wanted to sell it. On Monday, Anne wrote to Betty stating: “Are you still interested in buying my old washing machine? I am going to buy a new washing machine for myself and can let you have my present one for £200 cash. If you are interested, please write back to me within the next seven days, as there is someone else also interested in buying it.”
Betty received the letter on Wednesday morning and telephoned Anne immediately, who was not in. Betty left the following message on the answering machine: “I am definitely interested but, unfortunately, I will not be able to give you the money all at once. Please advise whether you would be prepared to accept the money in instalments? I will confirm my acceptance in writing by next post.” On Wednesday evening, Betty posted the letter. However, the letter was lost in the post and never arrived. Anne had heard the telephone message, but had not bothered to ring Betty back.
On Saturday morning, Betty showed up at Anne’s house to collect the washing machine. Anne said that she had assumed that they had no agreement because Betty could not pay £200 cash and, furthermore, as she had not received written confirmation, she had sold the washing machine to Carol, her neighbour, on Friday morning.
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