Yesterday, I was on the train, on my way home, looking through my Twitter timeline when someone tweeted that Tesco had mispriced the new Ipad for £49.99. I clicked the link, and there it was, Tesco had indeed put the incorrect price on their Tesco Direct Website.
I remembered that on similar occasions, retailers have had to honour the price. If anything it was worth a punt. So I whilst on the train, I went to order one, however, as most of you are aware, a 3G connection, on a HTC phone, is probably not the best for internet shopping, especially when you are in a rush before the mistake is realised.
Luckily I was at my stop and I quickly rushed home to try and catch myself a bargain. I am not a fan of Apple and their products (I may blog about that another time), but this was too good of an opportunity to miss.
Obviously, I had to go through the whole “create a new account” process; I probably already had one, but had no time to be messing about trying to figure out my password.
I finally got in and ordered myself one; actually, given the price, I ordered 4. I went through the whole payment process, the annoying verify by VISA process, and I had my order confirmation as well as an e-mail confirmation of my order.
I looked at twitter and many others were doing the same, we were all hoping that they would honour the deal. Eventually, probably due to the massive demands on its servers, the Tesco Direct site crashed. It then returned, but without the Ipad deal.
It looked like, that I and many others, had indeed got a bargain. However, looking at the order tracking, my payment was still waiting to be authorised. Surely they can’t claim a failed payment, especially since it went through the payment verification, as a way to get out of not honouring the deal?
Switching back to twitter, news started to filter through that people were getting e-mails from Tesco informing them of the mistake and that no payment will be taken from their bank accounts and they will not be completing the transaction. Eventually, the news made the BBC website, which made it clear as to why they can do this.
Tesco Direct's terms and conditions state: "If, by mistake, we have under priced an item, we will not be liable to supply that item to you at the stated price, provided that we notify you before we despatch the item to you. In those circumstances, we will notify the correct price to you so you can decide whether or not you wish to order the item at that price."
Apparently, Tesco made a price error with X-boxes a few years ago, which they ended up honouring. Since then, they changed their t&c to protect themselves from any future potential errors, the Ipad being such.
Obviously a few people were unhappy, citing a similar case from Marks & Spencer’s, but as it's part of Tesco’s Terms and Conditions, which we all have to agree to before a Tesco Direct account can be set up, Tesco have every right not to honour the deal.
Other people have said that it was an intentional publicity stunt, it very well maybe. “Tesco Direct” was a worldwide trending topic last night, and the news was one of the most read on the BBC website the following day. Not sure if it was good publicity though.
Oh well, like I said, it was worth a punt. I still haven’t received an e-mail like other have, but my order tracking has a delivery date of 31st December 9999, still plenty of time for the e-mail to come through.