Is a shop legally obliged to sell at the price displayed?

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Waheyyyy
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#1
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Something is marked up at £19.99, you go through the checkout and after checking realise you were charged £29.99. Is the shop obliged to refund you £10?

Hypothetical situation, but I've heard several different answers, so would like the correct one.

Thanks.
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NoHands
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#2
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I think they have to refund you all the money If you want to. They dont have to give you the 10 pounds back to make it the same as the marked price.
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Eru Iluvatar
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No, the price displayed is only an invitation to treat, rather than an offer, as i understand it. When you take the product to the till, then the price that they tell you/display then is the price that matters.
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SuperMan3G
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#4
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Nope. They may be generous and let you have it at that price but they definitely don't have to.
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Shuvel
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Im not sure about that aspect, but they get a £5000 fine for each individual price display which is incorrect, friend works in Asda and told me about it, go back to the store and get a refund or say you'll report them to trading standards i guess :P
Heard about someone in my local Asda who got them fined tens of thousands of pounds for mislabelling a few of the shelfs in his department like that :|
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smellslikemarmite
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I believe that according to Trading Standards, one must sell at the price advertised. If you have the incorrect pricing labels then Trading Standards can fine you thousands.

EDIT: Sorry that's not right. A retailer has no obligation to sell you the product at the price on the label but it's illegal to display the wrong price.
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Bezzler
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#7
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No, if you pay the contract is made there; however, if you question at the till then legally yes. A shop can be charged £12,000 per unit displayed at a higher price than being sold, though.
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generalebriety
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They don't have to at all, as far as I know; they'd just lose custom if they did otherwise too often.
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VHumperdink
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#9
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It is a legal requirement. If they don't kick up a fuss until they give it to you at the price they show.
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dogtanian
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#10
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(Original post by VHumperdink)
It is a legal requirement. If they don't kick up a fuss until they give it to you at the price they show.


Have you not read the other replies?

Not true at all.

However, most shops will offer the lower price as a goodwill gesture, then fix the mistake pretty sharpish.
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terpineol
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(Original post by smellslikemarmite)
I believe that according to Trading Standards, one must sell at the price advertised. If you have the incorrect pricing labels then Trading Standards can fine you thousands.
The line we used to use in matalan when customers argued that was to refuse to sell them anything and tell them to hop it.

Normally they would then back down and offer to buy everything else they took to the till.
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Mess.
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#12
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As the guy above said an advertisement is merely an invitation to treat and it is up to shop policy whether they are generous and allow you the marked price or ask if you want to continue with the transaction with the actual price.
There has to be both an offer and consideration for the contract to be binding, an invitation to treat does not fulfill this criteria.

Used to annoy me greatly whilst working in shops with this - I ended up giving some guy a 20minute lecture on the finer points of the law before he would leave the shop.

Edit: The case of Fisher v Bell is the one we used most often for citations in this area.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fisher_v_Bell
I know it is only wiki but it does give a general idea and saves anybody having to read reams of judgements on the issue :P:
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obscurename
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#13
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I got a CD for a penny from WHSmith once. The sticker (the tiny white price label) was printed out wrongly and said £0.01. Pleased I was. The CD should have cost £1 as it was on sale.
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c2uk
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(Original post by Eru Iluvatar)
No, the price displayed is only an invitation to treat, rather than an offer, as i understand it. When you take the product to the till, then the price that they tell you/display then is the price that matters.
That's how I remember it too from business law lectures. You then can decline it, basically get a refund.

Though, I've found stores to be generous in this regard, having once bought an item that was marked £10 cheaper than the checkout displayed, and got it for the displayed price. Also on another occasion a Boots had still labels for discount on some of their products out when the discount ended a couple of days ago, the checkout once again didn't have the discount but the store manager still approved of it.
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smellslikemarmite
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(Original post by terpineol)
The line we used to use in matalan when customers argued that was to refuse to sell them anything and tell them to hop it.

Normally they would then back down and offer to buy everything else they took to the till.
I edited my post cos I remembered I was wrong, and that it's not as simple as I made it out to be.
How can people argue at Matalan's prices?! They're cheap as it is!
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terpineol
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(Original post by smellslikemarmite)
I edited my post cos I remembered I was wrong, and that it's not as simple as I made it out to be.
How can people argue at Matalan's prices?! They're cheap as it is!
You would be amazed what a bunch of argumentative pikeys the general public are (wherever I've worked, if anything matalan wasn't too bad).
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jacketpotato
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#17
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No. The idea that they must is a great legal myth. You can't force a shop to sell you anything at any price - they can serve who they want.

Wrong pricing is a issue between Trading Standards and the shop - not between the customer and the shop. Though obviously a customer could complain to Trading Standards about mispricing.
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Entangled
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#18
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(Original post by Shuvel)
Im not sure about that aspect, but they get a £5000 fine for each individual price display which is incorrect, friend works in Asda and told me about it, go back to the store and get a refund or say you'll report them to trading standards i guess :P
Boom. Trading Standards can apparently be on our asses so quickly if we get our SELs (shelf-edge labels) wrong. To the tune of £5k, as my good friend says.

The law basically says that the product has to be sold at a price equal or lower to that on the SEL, otherwise it counts as a Trading Standards offence. To which they hunt the retailer down, and we get a trickle-down effect until a suitable scapegoat is found.
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x.l.ence
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#19
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(Original post by smellslikemarmite)
I believe that according to Trading Standards, one must sell at the price advertised. If you have the incorrect pricing labels then Trading Standards can fine you thousands.

EDIT: Sorry that's not right. A retailer has no obligation to sell you the product at the price on the label but it's illegal to display the wrong price.

Hey I just noticed your doing Psychology at Abeerdeen and i'm considering Aberdeen as one of my choices, I know it has nothing to do with this thread but I don't know how to Pm lol wats it like from a student point of view (i'm going to bed now though, hopefully talk to you later) thanks x
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iamorgan
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#20
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Exactly. Off the top of my head and as far as I know,in law, this is seen as an "Invitation to Treat" rather than an offer Boots Cash Chemists v Pharmaceutical Society of GB. The shop doesn't have to sell you the product if it doesn't want to, but again, you go into issues of discrimination etc -i.e. what motivation was BEHIND the decision not to sell, or to charge a different price.

There is a difference between an honest mistake and "dodgy" business practices. Things such as the Trade Descriptions Act, or more recently, and more linked to the price, you might want to find the "Consumer protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008". These do refer to the price, especially so for vulnerable people etc.

There is also the trading standards issue.
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