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Does a disclaimer about typographical errors posted on an online

Customer Question

Does a disclaimer about typographical errors posted on an online retailer's website release the retailer from liability in regards XXXXX XXXXX product being shipped out with minor differences in dimension.

For example, a customer placed on online order for a cabinet which had posted specs of W 36.25" x D 17.5". The customer received the product, opened and then discarded the original packaging. While attempting to install the cabinet, the customer determined that the cabinet dimensions were actually W 36.25" x D 20.25", and is claiming that it will not work in the desired space.

The retailer has the following posted in the 'Terms & Conditions' section of their website:

Typographical Errors
In the event that a ONLINE_RETAILER product is mistakenly listed at an incorrect price, ONLINE_RETAILER reserves the right to refuse or cancel any orders placed for product listed at the incorrect price. ONLINE_RETAILER reserves the right to refuse or cancel any such orders whether or not the order has been confirmed and your credit card charged. If your credit card has already been charged for the purchase and your order is canceled, ONLINE_RETAILER shall issue a credit to your credit card account in the amount of the incorrect price. Additionally, we do not guarantee that the information about a product including color, materials used, and/or dimensions are 100% accurate. If you try to return an item because an item you received has a different material, dimension, or color than what was listed you will still have to have to pay the 25% restocking fee and all shipping and handling charges. If you require strict measurements please call customer service to verify the exact dimensions or details about a product.

Furthermore, the retailer states the following in the 'Shipping & Returns' section of their website: "All returned merchandise must be in its original box and packaging."

The customer is stating that the product is not what they ordered and is refusing any restocking or shipping fees; additionally, the customer is demanding that the retailer send someone out to their home to properly package the merchandise for return and refund.

Are the published policies of the retailer the overriding 'contract terms,' or is their actually a general commercial practice code or regulation that would decide in the customer's favor?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Thomas McJD replied 4 years ago.

In this situation, the buyer really has no grounds to refuse payment. Although a buyer does have a reasonable time to inspect and accept or reject nonconforming goods, this is not a situation that allows such because your goods conformed to the contract sale as you specifically did not guarantee dimensions of the product unless the buyer called ahead of time and spoke with customer service to obtain specific dimensions.

 

Thus, the buyer has no remedy and must pay the contract price, subject to the seller's willingness to simply negotiate with the buyer as a courtesy.

 

I believe I have answered your question. Your accept would be greatly appreciated. Of course, if I can provide clarification concerning your original question, please let me know.

 

If you have additional questions, I would be happy to assist, but as a courtesy I respectfully XXXXX XXXXX you accept the answer to your first question before asking another.

 

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Thomas McJD, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 6515
Experience: Experienced in Corps, LLCs, Partnership, etc.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thanks very much for the answer. It actually is different then what I expected, but I am pleased nonetheless.

I was thinking that it may somehow tie into a standard 'weights and measures' issue. Like, I am certain that if a gas station pump gave out .95 gallons instead of 1 gallon, then the buyer would definately have the law on their side.

But, in this case it seems like you are saying that the disclaimer (or lack of guarantee) protects the seller.

Its funny, what if it was actually twice the size advertized? You would think the consumer would be better protected.
Expert:  Thomas McJD replied 4 years ago.
Yes, in the case that it is obviously not what was advertised and no error in measurement can account for the difference, the buyer would be able to reject the goods as nonconforming.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thanks,
Expert:  Thomas McJD replied 4 years ago.
You're welcome -- have a good day.

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Thomas McJD
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