Argos TVs - when is a contract not a contract?

Roll-up, roll-up, get your bargain TVs here... oh, actually that will be 300 please, not the 3 advertised.

Major retailer Argos made a major slip-up on their Web site recently when they advertised some of their brand new stock at the wrong price.

Regulations state that retailers are required to sell goods at an agreed price if a contract is made, but Argos argue that it should be obvious that this was a tpying error on their part and should therefore not be held to account.

Legally Argos did not need to sell a TV at the advertised price of 3, if they didn't want to. When an order was placed they could have said - no, we've decided not to sell that to you, but instead they gave out an order number. This number could be taken as an agreement to sell - a contract in fact.

Argos will need to prove that not only was there a genuine mistake, but that all reasonable steps to avoid giving misleading prices were taken, and that reliable systems were and are in place to stop this being a regular event.

It will be down to aggrieved buyers and the trading standards officers to decide whether or not to make this a test case to take note of.

See the Argos site at: