Is an on-line store contractually obligated to uphold the advertised price of a deal if they took my money and sent me an order confirmation?

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Is an on-line store contractually obligated to uphold the advertised price of a deal if they took my money and sent me an order confirmation?

I purchased a product at a website; it was for $350, I paid via paypal, the money was taken out of my account. I received an email confirmation of the order and an estimated shipping date. More than a week later, I sent an email requesting a shipping number and I received a reply that said they were having trouble securing the item due to a price increase from the manufacturer (there was no indication of the item being out of stock) and that they were refunding my money “in case I wanted to purchase it elsewhere”. I didn’t want to purchase it elsewhere.

Asked on May 14, 2012 under General Practice, California

Answers:

Hong Shen / Roberts Law Group

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Let's analyze this. You are dealing with a merchant here. When you placed your order on the website, you effectively offered to buy the product from the merchant. According to the Uniform Commercial Code. Such an offer can be accepted by prompt shipment or a promise to ship. When you received the confirmation with an estimated date to ship, the merchant in fact accepted your offer by promising a date to ship. You had a contract with the merchant, supported by the $350 consideration. They cannot cancel your order or it is a breach on their part.


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