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  • Jan 6th, 2010 @ 1:25am

    In UK Dell wouldn't be liable

    In the UK I believe the Dell situation would have been different. An advert or a price tag on goods in a shop is not an offer in contract terms it’s an ‘invitation to treat’ which is, essentially, an invitation to a potential customer to make an offer. The customer then makes an offer for the goods (generally at the price advertised in the invitation to treat) which the retailer is at liberty to accept (in contractual terms) or to refuse. The retailer is under no obligation to accept the offer even if it's at the advertised price.

    There’s a bunch of consumer protection law to stop misleading advertising but in the case of a pretty obvious mistake the retailer isn’t obliged to accept the offer or complete the transaction.