Mis-Pricing - What are our rights?

Discussion in 'Bargains and Deals' started by alan halvorson, Dec 9, 2003.

  1. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    Hopefully, someone answers this who actually knows the answer and isn't just guessing.

    Many of us have taken advantage of dvd mis-prices. Retailers have varying policies when it comes to mis-priced items. Some will simply cancel the item, some will ask that you pay the correct price and won't ship the item until you agree to do so or cancel the item, and some will honor the mis-price (our favorite).

    Recently, Tower.Com mis-priced the Fox Studio Classics box set of four movies. The intended price was $45.99; it, however, was listed at $9.99 and many, including myself, were able to place an order at that price. But before my copy shipped, Tower discovered its error and sent e-mails to many - again, including myself - saying that, because of the mis-price, they were holding the order unless the customer agreed to pay the correct price or cancelled it. That's fine - I had no problem with this procedure. Win some, lose some. I just let it go and did nothing.

    I expect due to faulty procedures, Tower shipped anyway and charged the $9.99 price. After the set was shipped, Tower sent another e-mail asking me to ship the set back at their expense, else they would charge me the full $45.99 price. I e-mailed back and said, no, you can't do that; you can't double charge for an item without my authorization and I refused to do so and also said that I would dispute any additional charges with me credit card company. Which I will do. Today, I receive another e-mail saying fine, we're going to charge the higher price unless you agree to ship the item back and if I want to dispute the charge with my credit card company, go right ahead.

    This is a first occurance for me. Does anyone know what our actual rights are when a company mis-prices an item, ships it anyway, and then asks for more? Is Tower within their rights to charge the higher price? Or am I in refusing to? Am I likely to be successful in disputing the additional charge with my credit card company (I will be calling them to get their view). I do know (or believe) that a B&M has no rights once I pay for an item and leave the premises.
     
  2. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Boy, Alan, I'd say that's quite a hypothetical...except it really happened to you!

    I think where Tower has no leg to stand on is that they went ahead and shipped the item at the originally agreed-upon price of $9.99 Even though they asked you to cancel or agree to the other price, they went ahead and shipped at the original price--without ANY authorization from you! I think you have every right to stick by your guns on this one, its just that you will, apparently, have to deal with the nonsense of disputing their charge on the credit card. Its too bad they taking the low road. I don't see any way you lose on this one--except for time and energy fighting the cause.

    I don't think (but I'm no lawyer. I don't even play one on TV!) they have any right to charge you something different then what you originally agreed to when you made the purchase and entered the agreement.

    Here is what your state's Attorney General says about on-line credit card purchases:

    Credit Cards. Credit cards allow consumers to “charge” their purchases and pay for them later. When a consumer uses a credit card he/she receives a billing statement, explaining the charges on the credit card account. Under a federal law know as the Fair Credit Billing Act (“FCBA”), consumers are granted certain rights in responding to errors on their credit card statements. For instance, if credit card customers are charged for products that they did not order or did not receive, they may file a written dispute with their credit card company. If a customer files a written dispute with his/her credit card company within 60 days of identifying an error, the credit card company is obligated to investigate the matter and make the appropriate corrections.

    You did not order the $45.99 DVDs.

    Click here for more!
     
  3. Bill Cowmeadow

    Bill Cowmeadow Second Unit

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    This situation is handled differently in different States. In Kansas for example, if you are shipped an article that you did not order, you have no obligation to return it nor to pay for it. That was according to the State Attny. General (Stoval) a couple of years ago. I like you, would not return the item, nor allow them to charge me more than the advertised price at the time. If they do add charges to to your card, you can bet there would be an immediate class action lawsuit over it, not just a credit investigation.
     
  4. Rodon

    Rodon Second Unit

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    Just call your credit card company and ask for an account manager. Tell them your story and ask them to investigate if a higher price is charged.

    If they do charge you leave it on the account and call your credit card company again. Visa or MC or whoever have pretty good negotiating skills.
     
  5. Dan Rudolph

    Dan Rudolph Producer

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    That's worse than my dealings with Tower. I ordered this mis-priced item along with the MTV 20 collection. When they told me they weren't honoring the price, I e-mailed them saying to cancel my whole order (phones were closed because of the holidays and there was no option to do it on the site). Then, they shipped it anyway. i returned it and if no refund shows up on my credit card soon, I may have to get postal.
     
  6. Chris_Morris

    Chris_Morris Screenwriter

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    Here are the key things:

    1. You originally agreed to purchase the set for $9.99
    2. They corrected their mistake and contacted you. Their set terms were "We will hold the order until you tell us whether you want to pay the $45.99 price or not
    3. Before you let them know your decision, they shipped anyway, therefore breaking their own agreement.
    4. They charged the only agreed upon price $9.99

    They have no leg to stand on. I would get the email of a higher up in the customer service department, or call and demand to speak to the VP of Customer Relations (or whatever the title is in their company) and lay it out for him/her, emphasis on points 2 and 3, by shipping it anyway, they broke their own agreement making it null and void.

    Chris
     
  7. streeter

    streeter Screenwriter

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    Thanks for sharing this, alan. I now know not to deal with tower.com.
     
  8. Travis Olson

    Travis Olson Supporting Actor

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    Yeah their pretty well screwed. If I where you I'd call my CC company and tell them to allow no further charges from Tower. I'm pretty sure they are able to do that.
     
  9. Rodon

    Rodon Second Unit

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    HAve they charged you anything? Do not reply to any emails from tower. If they chage you twice (which I doubt) then call you CC company and send them invoices (if they ask) of both charges. They will have record. Explain that they are being rude with you and you really do not feel comfortable dealing with them. The CC will be on them very quickly. I would say they raised their price - not that it was a mistake. Just tell the story the way it played out.
     
  10. Tom B

    Tom B Extra

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    Just explain to them that the item has already been gift wrapped and mailed to your best friend in Siberia. "Even if I wanted to send it back to you I couldn't".
    Tom
     
  11. John Gido

    John Gido Second Unit

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    If I'm not mistaken, don't you receive an e-mail or confirmation page that you can print out after you place an on-line order? If so, then it should show the agreed upon purchase price ($9.99). Therefore, you have the product in hand AND proof of the purchase price. As far as I can see, it's a no brainer in your favor.
     
  12. Nick T Robot

    Nick T Robot Supporting Actor

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    Yeah. They are at fault on this one. They dropped the ball and should just bite the bullet and let it go. Don't call or email them and let the CC company take care of it.
     
  13. Chet_F

    Chet_F Supporting Actor

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    Once they shipped said item and you have an email stating what you were charged originally I would say they have nothing to stand on. They are threatening you with any further emails. Said but true.....that's EXACTLY what they are doing.

    Take buying a care for example:

    You buy said car for $15,000. They deliver it. 2 days later they see they have made a mistake and call you to state that you have to pay another $5,000. Your billing statement or invoice is your binding contract. They have no right what so ever to change that contract. If they did any idiot could make a company, sell you soemthing and then just tack on an extra 15% whenever they wanted. This is NOT legal.
     
  14. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    yep, not legal at all. how do you know they will not say "wait, we really need 58.99, so decide whether or not you want to pay that". sounds like someone is trying to protect their job since they dropped the ball.

    CJ
     

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