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A question about Argos pricing

peterkin 14 637 England
30 Jul 2007 7:16PM
Yesterday I bought Norton 360 securty software from Argos having first used the price checker on their website which quoted 39.99 (plus a free paper shredder). It said they were in stock at Worksop my nearest store. So off I went to buy it but was charged 59.99. I was assured this was the correct price and bought it anyway thinking I'd misread the price on the website. I checked when I got home and it was 39.99, so I fired off a polite e-mail asking why I'd been charged more (incidentally 59.99 is the price in the new catalogue which came out yesterday).

I received an e-mail this morning saying prices can change and you reserve the item not the price. But this evening I checked on the website and it still gives a price of 39.99. I don't mind paying the higher price if it's a genuine error on the website, but they haven't changed the website price and so it seems to me to be misleading potential customers. Does anyone know the legal position?


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paulcr 13 1.5k 9 Ireland
30 Jul 2007 7:29PM
There have been incidents in the past where an item has been mis-priced in shops. Many people think that the shop is obliged to sell you that item for the price displayed. This, in fact, is not true. A financial transaction involves a seller and a buyer agreeing a price for the item. If the seller doesn't want to accept the price offered he is under no obligation to do so regardless of the advertised price. (If all that makes sense Smile)
Milvus 11 168 2 United Kingdom
30 Jul 2007 8:33PM
If you still have the product unused then take it back for a refund. There are plenty of freeware products that can take care of your security needs more than adequately.
peterkin 14 637 England
30 Jul 2007 10:06PM
Thanks for the replies, Paul and Michael. I've installed Norton 360 and I'm quite happy with it, and I've always had good service from Argos whom I've bought from loads of times. I know companies are not obliged to sell at a given price but I think it's a bit naughty to have one price on the web and another in the store. If it was an error they are in no hurry to put it right. I've checked prices on the web lots of times and this is the first time ever there's been a difference from that in store.

I think I'll contact someone higher in the organisation though and let them know how misleading I think it is.

accystan 13 132 6 Canada
30 Jul 2007 10:33PM
I'm not sure of the entire legal position but it would come under contract law. There's a number of misconceptions here - the most important and 'counter-intuitive' one being that when a store advertises something at a certain price they're making an offer; they are not. When you go into the store and agree to buy the article for 50 or whatever, you are the one making the offer not them; they are accepting that offer by selling it to you. The other misconception is that a contract has to be in writing - it doesn't. Most contracts aren't; they're verbal. Putting it in writing only makes it easier to prove or resolve if there's a dispute. When you buy your morning newspaper from the newsagent you've entered into a contract. When you paid 59.99 for the Norton Anti-virus you effectively/legally offered that amount and they accepted it. The whole subject of contract law is, if think, quite interesting. There's a whole bunch of requirements for a contract to be legal and binding.

Having said all that I would have thought that a decent store, interested in promoting goodwill, would have honoured the advertised price and corrected their mistake. If they allow it to continue they're clearly using the low price as a ploy. I think however that it would be an onerous task for you to prove that it's a ploy by them (for eg. did the ad say how many they had at that price?). I know of a chain of stores that regularly advertises items on sale at ridiculous prices then when you go in they say they only had 2 at that price (and they're gone of course) or they're only available in some other branch etc. Caveat emptor indeed!

I've been using AVG anti-virus by Grisoft for years; It's easier on the wallet (free) and easier on the hard-drive (fewer mega bytes used).


Dave D
Badger 15 4.7k 20 United Kingdom
31 Jul 2007 9:41AM
Many stores do advertise products on the web site cheaper, but include a disclaimer to state that it is a web only price (need to buy from the website and have it delivered).
However if they do not, then a polite call to Trading Standards should suffice.
ambro 13 68 United Kingdom
31 Jul 2007 12:44PM
I agree with the free AVG comment; I use it at home along with COMODO excellent FREE firewall and both are great pieces of software. So, I would either ditch the Norton software altogether or return it and get a refund and then buy it online for the cheaper price.
Argos may not have to sell it for the price stated online, but like accystan says, it would be good practice to just believe their customers and sell for the lower price in this case.
strawman 14 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
31 Jul 2007 1:45PM
In the last virus test I read AVG was a long way off the pace. I suggest Kaspersky as it at least dealt with 98% of the threats thrown at it. AVG was about 70% from memory, I will check later.Norton was under 70%.
ambro 13 68 United Kingdom
31 Jul 2007 2:48PM
in any case don't get norton(!) Wink
Lou_C 11 755 2 England
31 Jul 2007 2:51PM
I've never heard of Kaspersky but will certainly have a look at it. Like ambro I use AVG and Comodo. Apart from Norton Ghost I would never let any other Norton product near my system, IMHO it is to security what AOHell is to ISPs :lol:
Hugeknot 13 1.2k 2 Iceland
31 Jul 2007 3:44PM
Kaspersky is one of the best without doubt, but I am happy with AVG and Prevx.
PAllitt 12 3 England
31 Jul 2007 9:54PM
I had a similar thing with a fridge -freezer with Curries. After a few phone calls/emails I got the 50 quid back. Keep going higher up the ladder until they give you what is right. If they advertise it at that price they have to sell it at that price

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