Can a store force you to pay more for an item a month after the sale has occured?

By vnf4ultra · 38 replies
Aug 20, 2007
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  1. So I bought a new laptop after realizing it was a great deal. It was about $200 less than what it normally sells for, so I bought it, and have been using it for a month. Today, I find out from the store owner that I have to pay >$200 more for the item, or else I must return it. I'm like thinking, "is this a joke," but no, it's not, and I really don't want to do either option. I just want to keep it, not pay more or return it. Needless to say I'm pretty ****** off right now. Can a store owner really make me do this? If need be, then I'll return it, but I'd never pay more after going through this. Basically I'm supposed to return it, or I'll be charged the additional fee. Store owner claims it's a "pricing error." What the ****, that's not my problem. Oh, and this is retail "mom and pop" type store, not online or anything. Any thoughts?
  2. CrustyOldGeezer

    CrustyOldGeezer TS Rookie Posts: 24

    I would call you local friendly District Attorney and ask them for advice.

    It may be a "pricing error", but as you say, it's not your problem.

    It may also be a case of "bait and switch" with a twist. That sort of thing is illegal and comes with criminal charges and penalties.

    Your personal information is all over the hard drive, along with any programs that you paid for and installed.

    Even in the case of unintentional error in pricing, I think the store owner would be better off eating the loss than to go through the bother of replacing the hard drive that you are going to remove prior to returning the laptop.

    If you paid for it with a credit card, notify them immediately of the circumstances, to prevent any further charges from that store.

    Keep us posted.

  3. beef_jerky4104

    beef_jerky4104 Banned Posts: 822

    If you have already payed for it than I would say no. If they try and force you to pay the extra then tell them where to shove it.
  4. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,026

    Depends on which country you are in. For UK the sale is complete once you walk out of the door with the goods and a receipt. I assume you are in the USA.
    I should let the shop take you to court.
  5. k.jacko

    k.jacko TS Rookie Posts: 493

    Well i know the USA have some straaaannnnge laws, but surely no one can legally demand more money for an item bought a month ago.....thats ridiculous! As Albert said in the UK, there the sale is final once paid for and out the door, and there have been plenty of cases where shops have lost out big time cos one dippy employee put the wrong price on an item and people have flocked to buy it at the lower price, and it has to be honoured!

    Recently a collegaue of mine bought a Dell core2duo full system for £229 inc vat & delivery, as it was priced this way in their catalogue. It should have been £379 exc. vat & delivery, but they had to honour it. Needless to say they reprinted the catalogue, and argued their case when i rang up for one. I was adamanent, but then they just said, "sorry, we're out of stock now!"......***ts!
  6. beef_jerky4104

    beef_jerky4104 Banned Posts: 822

    I don't want to get off topic but that is VERY true. Did you know in Texas if somebody is on your property and you feel threatened you can legally kill them? It's more like a good excuse for murder.
  7. Rolfman

    Rolfman TS Enthusiast Posts: 95

    Dont give him anything

    Its called verval agreement , it has the same weight as a written contract ,
    and if you have receit , then your safe.

    he is just trying to rip you off...
    i hope he takes it to court , then you call surely call yourself a lucky man ,
    at that point you can eve proffit from his greed.

    he's got nothing on you , he is just trying to get you to bring it back ,
    so you can get your money (because he knows you wont pay) the he can
    do the same thing to someone else.
  8. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,388

    I've spoken to the owner and his wife and they are trying to play the guilt card with me by saying that my purchase price "isn't fair to their other customers who have paid full price." So are sale prices "not fair" to customers who buy when it's not on sale, I don't think so, that's just how it works. Seriously, if they actually care about fairness, then refund the difference to the other customer(s) who purchased the same laptop. They both (talking to both intimidates me more) took me to a "meeting room" and spoke about it. They ended up making me feel like I did something wrong, when I haven't. It's almost like they're saying I stole it or something. I'm not the type that would seek legal action though(and they're friends with several of the the local lawyers and attorneys anyway), and these people are actually involved in the local government and community as well (smallish town....), so it's more difficult. If they want, they could really make my life miserable, due to their position in the community. I'll try my best to resist. I hope they don't bully me into anything. I really hate arguing like this though, and if returning it would just "make the problem go away" then I'm the type that might just do it to be done with it. Oh well, I'll see how it goes.
  9. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,026

    Sounds like these people are bullies of the worst sort.
    By the same token that they are 'pillars of the community', I doubt they would like the publicity if it went public. Just because they know the local legals doesn't make your case any weaker!
    I know it's easy for me to say you should fight them - but it is their fault and they should have the guts to live with it. The few bucks difference is probably not worth the grief to them so if they hassle you tell them you will tell the media.
  10. CrustyOldGeezer

    CrustyOldGeezer TS Rookie Posts: 24

    If you let them get away with this, then it only encourages them to do it over, and over, until somebody does force the legal issue.

    Taking you into a "conference room" and working on trying to make you feel guilty is harassment.
    Call your local DA and tell them that the store owners are trying to intimidate you into paying an illegitimate charge.

    And write a letter to your local newspaper.
  11. Rolfman

    Rolfman TS Enthusiast Posts: 95

    At the moment that he opened that store , he knew exactly into what he was getting into , and he also agreed to adjere to number of responsabilities
    that comes with the territory. And yet he fails into the dumbest , symplest thing wich is getting the prices right.

    *now that i think about it is starting to even sound funny....

    You'll be ok , like albertlionheart said , it doesnt matter who they know
    it shall not make your case any weaker , right now , your bullet proof mate.
  12. k.jacko

    k.jacko TS Rookie Posts: 493

    DO NOT cave in to these people
    Or you will be partly responsible for them doing it to others!

    Edited by Poertner_1274: Please watch your language.
  13. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    Very interesting story vnf4ultra.

    I agree with others on not giving in, no matter how bad they make you feel. A sale is a sale, and the price is final. They should have a better handle on their pricing (especially for a small mom & pop store).

    That being said, if you do intend on taking the computer back, make sure that you format the HDD, and I'd even think about writing 0's to the whole thing so they can't get any of your information on there. Let them deal with reinstalling the OS, etc.
  14. BlameCanada

    BlameCanada TS Rookie Posts: 320

    You bought it in good faith.

    You have a receipt or some documentation.

    No problem.
  15. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,026

    Please stop blaming Canada - it is far too good a country. Are your laws the same as US or UK - good faith is a valid legal statement in UK but I am not sure about the US.
    Still - this particular retailer needs no further response. My advice is to ignore him unless he contacts you again, at which point the DAs office seems the right place to go. If in the unlikely event that you have to return the machine, do it without the hard drive in it on the basis that this contains personal information which would be recoverable by an expert. Even I have got stuff off a thrice formatted drive.
  16. ravisunny2

    ravisunny2 TS Ambassador Posts: 1,986   +12

    CrustyOldGeezer is right on the dot, both times.

    Indeed, they are usually unscrupulous.

    You have to take a stand, I think.

    Even if you do pay up the extra amount, things might be uncomfy.

    The smug looks on their faces, can hurt.
  17. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,388

    No real update, but I'm attempting the "ignore" approach. I'm kinda hoping they either forget, or just realize it's not worth their time. If I do return it, then I'd do a hardcore random format overnight first. I believe my only really personal data is my pictures(which are mainly nature and computers, so no biggie), emails(just family personal stuff), and IM conversations(hmm in the wrong hands.....;)). I don't have any credit info, tax records, or other "very dangerous" stuff on there. I've been contemplating back and forth on it pretty much all day(I tend to dwell on things), and I will not pay more, that's for sure. Oh, and I paid by check, so I don't know if that's good or bad. Can they use my checking number to withdraw more money? I kinda want to return it, so I don't have to worry about it anymore, and go buy something else, but I feel like I'd be "letting them win." I guess they wouldn't win so much with a return, because they'd have a used product to deal with, and I got a month's free use. Hmm.....what to do, what to do. I'm glad you guys have given me some input, because a lot of times 2(or more) heads are better than one. Thanks to you all.
  18. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    According to the universal commercial code, no. They can do so with immediate notice of error, and just compensation.
    But they don't ever have to do business with you again either.
    A $200 loss on a laptop is huge to many retailers... Most do not make more than $35 to $75 on a laptop... they make their profit on the extras they sell you.
  19. Rolfman

    Rolfman TS Enthusiast Posts: 95

    You're wellcome Mate , We got your Back.

    By the way , the cannot do anything with your check #.
    they need your signature , and in an event of this magnitude the
    bank will call you for confirmation.

    Enjoy your laptop mate...
  20. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,026

    Don't let these unprincipled sods grind you down. You are in the right so there is no good reason you should allow them to try and drag you down to their level. If they hassle you, go to the DAs office and the local press - I would not even give them the grace of telling them what you are going to do.
  21. TimeParadoX

    TimeParadoX TS Rookie Posts: 2,273

    Yeah I lived in texas, but that law is not how you said it, you can't just shoot random people unless you have proper cause, so if they have a gun or something then you can, but if they are just stealing you cant.

    My principal ( when I use to live there ) shot this thief in the leg and he got sued by the thief :haha:
  22. beef_jerky4104

    beef_jerky4104 Banned Posts: 822

    Lol, but really that law was recently created during 2007.
  23. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,026

    We have the same stupid law here in the UK - in short you cannot defend your own property with any sort of physical contact. However, we had an incident recently where a burgler 'fell' out of a window and the house owner seems to have been given the benefit of the doubt.
    Personally I like the story of some SAS soldiers who took exception to a bunch of drunken yobs vandalising a train; grabbed this lot, put them into the back of a truck and took them to the Yorkshire moors on a cold dark night and left them there. With only underclothes.
  24. Rolfman

    Rolfman TS Enthusiast Posts: 95

    Thats why i love my old country

    before i moved to the UK it was Diferent. In the Dominican Republic
    i you catch a Robber they give you to options :

    they cant take them downtown Book'em and lock'em , then
    they let them go after a week.

    Or they leave , they let you beat the guy up , then drop
    him off somewere.

    thats why i never saw many house
    brakings there , nobuddy was that stupid , criminals
    preffer to mug you in the streets rather than brake in to your house.
  25. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    Back on topic please guys. ;)


    I don`t see how the store could ask you to cough up the extra cash, it`s just ridiculous.

    Personally, I don`t think they`ve got a leg to stand on.

    By all means, seek legal advice, if you`re at all unsure.

    Regards Howard :)

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