Rip off Britain? Quite the opposite in fact!



  • Was looking for some media players to replace my slightly worn XBOX. Heard reasonable things about the tvix line, so searched on one of their reseller sites:


     

    Feature rich and reasonably priced I thought! It might be an amount issue (i.e. there were 0 selected, so that item would cost be £0) I figured so I  decided that 20 would be a reasonable number for a 4 bedroom house:

     

     

     

    And people say Britain is a rip off. Pah I say! 

     



  • That's a media player? It looks like a pedal bin!



  • Ah, when you click on one of the things it then gives you the choice of options, to add it without hdd or with hdd.... still stupid that it lets you add them to the cart though!

    Have you ordered one? Or 20? 



  • Yeah, you can get it in a more standard box if you want. The idea of the cylinder is, apparantely, it dissipates the heat better.



  • In that case I'll have NaN of them please...



  • Check the terms of service.

    If it's on the site and a consistent "price", it might be legal to not pay.



  • Not in the UK. (Although IANAL)

    There is no consideration. So there is no contract.

    And IIRC if you believed they screwed up the pricing when you 'bought' it, there is no contract anyway.



  • @dhromed said:

    Check the terms of service.

    If it's on the site and a consistent "price", it might be legal to not pay.

    Under UK law, list prices are an opening offer and not a binding contract. The store is not compelled to sell you the item at the list price (or at any price) - although there are limits on discrimination based on politically significant topics.

    A store that has mis-billed your credit card is entitled to correct the error by billing you again (and you're entitled to return the item if you don't like the corrected price and it's not the one you were shown at the time of purchase). If you pay cash, the price is binding on all parties as soon as the transaction is complete. I'm not sure where debit cards fit in.



  • Too bad you didn't have any coupons.



  • @asuffield said:

    @dhromed said:

    Check the terms of service.

    If it's on the site and a consistent "price", it might be legal to not pay.

    Under UK law, list prices are an opening offer and not a binding contract. The store is not compelled to sell you the item at the list price (or at any price) - although there are limits on discrimination based on politically significant topics.

    A store that has mis-billed your credit card is entitled to correct the error by billing you again (and you're entitled to return the item if you don't like the corrected price and it's not the one you were shown at the time of purchase). If you pay cash, the price is binding on all parties as soon as the transaction is complete. I'm not sure where debit cards fit in.

    Well, if the deal's not closed yet even after you've (metaphorically) walked out of the store, as you seem to be saying, then obviously I'm entitled to make a counter-offer... via chargeback. The transaction either is complete or it isn't. And "list prices are an opening offer" is not the same as "the price shown on my receipt after I've paid is an opening offer".



  • @alunharford said:

    There is no consideration. So there is no contract.

    True. But... that there's no contract only means they're not obligated to send you anything, not that once having done so they are entitled to charge to your credit card an amount you did not agree to. I know that, in the US at least there's actually been a court case deciding that companies aren't allowed to say "Well, since I've sent you this, I'm just going to take some of your money now" (and, yes, there were people who thought they could get away with that.)



  • @Random832 said:

    True. But... that there's no contract only means they're not obligated to send you anything, not that once having done so they are entitled to charge to your credit card an amount you did not agree to. I know that, in the US at least there's actually been a court case deciding that companies aren't allowed to say "Well, since I've sent you this, I'm just going to take some of your money now" (and, yes, there were people who thought they could get away with that.)

    Should be obvious. Here in Austria, we had cases where dubious companies sent stuff (IIRC books etc.) to randomly selected people; months later, they sent and invoice and said "you either pay or send back the stuff". Obviously many people did not have the goods anymore then. The court decided that people are not obliged to keep stuff they did not order, and the company is not entitled to get any money.



  • Looks like the name of the guy on that site before you was:

    Bobby Tables'); UPDATE Products SET Price = 0; -- 



  • @Random832 said:

    @asuffield said:

    @dhromed said:

    Check the terms of service.

    If it's on the site and a consistent "price", it might be legal to not pay.

    Under UK law, list prices are an opening offer and not a binding contract. The store is not compelled to sell you the item at the list price (or at any price) - although there are limits on discrimination based on politically significant topics.

    A store that has mis-billed your credit card is entitled to correct the error by billing you again (and you're entitled to return the item if you don't like the corrected price and it's not the one you were shown at the time of purchase). If you pay cash, the price is binding on all parties as soon as the transaction is complete. I'm not sure where debit cards fit in.

    Well, if the deal's not closed yet even after you've (metaphorically) walked out of the store, as you seem to be saying, then obviously I'm entitled to make a counter-offer... via chargeback. The transaction either is complete or it isn't.

    The bit about credit cards is applicable only in the event of a mistake (which the store may in theory have to prove in court if you challenge them). It only happens because credit card purchases are somewhat weird - there is no transaction between you and the store, but rather two separate transactions between the store and the credit company, and the credit company and you, and there are full contracts and special laws attached to those transactions. The normal, sane behaviour of a cash purchase simply doesn't apply to credit cards.



  • @ammoQ said:

    @Random832 said:

    True. But... that there's no contract only means they're not obligated to send you anything, not that once having done so they are entitled to charge to your credit card an amount you did not agree to. I know that, in the US at least there's actually been a court case deciding that companies aren't allowed to say "Well, since I've sent you this, I'm just going to take some of your money now" (and, yes, there were people who thought they could get away with that.)

    Should be obvious. Here in Austria, we had cases where dubious companies sent stuff (IIRC books etc.) to randomly selected people; months later, they sent and invoice and said "you either pay or send back the stuff". Obviously many people did not have the goods anymore then. The court decided that people are not obliged to keep stuff they did not order, and the company is not entitled to get any money.

    We had to add special legislation to fix this problem (this was decades ago). It's actually had a curious side effect: anybody who sells you anything (with a small list of exceptions, like auctions and custom-made items) from a "distance", meaning that you weren't there in person - this includes mail-order, internet, telephone, or anything else - has to accept that you can cancel the contract even after receiving the goods. If you look at them and decide you don't want them for whatever reason, then you can simply inform the supplier of this, and they have to refund anything that you've paid and collect the goods at their expense; if they don't collect them within a reasonable time, the goods are yours for free. The only restriction is that you have to tell them immediately (the time limit is something like 7 days).

    Additionally, if anything arrives that you didn't order, it's yours. Period. No shipping it back, no staying at home so they can collect it, no exceptions. Making all unsolicited goods into free gifts pretty much obliterated that trick overnight, and also gave companies a good reason to make sure their ordering systems don't screw up and ship the wrong stuff - if you order a book and they send you a goat, then you have a free goat and they still owe you a book.



  • @ammoQ said:

    @Random832 said:

    True. But... that there's no contract only means they're not obligated to send you anything, not that once having done so they are entitled to charge to your credit card an amount you did not agree to. I know that, in the US at least there's actually been a court case deciding that companies aren't allowed to say "Well, since I've sent you this, I'm just going to take some of your money now" (and, yes, there were people who thought they could get away with that.)

    Should be obvious. Here in Austria, we had cases where dubious companies sent stuff (IIRC books etc.) to randomly selected people; months later, they sent and invoice and said "you either pay or send back the stuff". Obviously many people did not have the goods anymore then. The court decided that people are not obliged to keep stuff they did not order, and the company is not entitled to get any money.

     Law's the same here in the US -- if a business sends you a product without your having ordered it, it's recommended that you return it, but you're legally entitled to keep it as a gift.  There's a page on FTC.gov explaining as much.
     

    Here it is, under "unordered merchandise":

    http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/general/gen06.shtm 



  • @asuffield said:

    @Random832 said:
    @asuffield said:

    @dhromed said:

    Check the terms of service.

    If it's on the site and a consistent "price", it might be legal to not pay.

    Under UK law, list prices are an opening offer and not a binding contract. The store is not compelled to sell you the item at the list price (or at any price) - although there are limits on discrimination based on politically significant topics.

    A store that has mis-billed your credit card is entitled to correct the error by billing you again (and you're entitled to return the item if you don't like the corrected price and it's not the one you were shown at the time of purchase). If you pay cash, the price is binding on all parties as soon as the transaction is complete. I'm not sure where debit cards fit in.

    Well, if the deal's not closed yet even after you've (metaphorically) walked out of the store, as you seem to be saying, then obviously I'm entitled to make a counter-offer... via chargeback. The transaction either is complete or it isn't.

    The bit about credit cards is applicable only in the event of a mistake (which the store may in theory have to prove in court if you challenge them). It only happens because credit card purchases are somewhat weird - there is no transaction between you and the store, but rather two separate transactions between the store and the credit company, and the credit company and you, and there are full contracts and special laws attached to those transactions. The normal, sane behaviour of a cash purchase simply doesn't apply to credit cards.

    I would be very surprised if those laws allow them to "correct" their mistake if you were never shown the correct price. Because, what if it's not zero? What if it's $10 and they meant for it to be $100? In theory ANY price could be wrong, and there's nothing but their word saying not only that it was wrong but indeed what the correct price was supposed to be.



  • @asuffield said:

    you have a free goat

    Awesome. 



  • @Random832 said:

    and there's nothing but their word saying not only that it was wrong but indeed what the correct price was supposed to be.

    Congratulations, you have discovered the reason why we have courts.



  • @asuffield said:

    @Random832 said:

    and there's nothing but their word saying not only that it was wrong but indeed what the correct price was supposed to be.

    Congratulations, you have discovered the reason why we have courts.

    Even if they ARE entitled to demand that you pay or send it back, it would probably still be illegal on their part to just put a charge on your credit card for an unknown-to-you amount without your authorization.



  • @Random832 said:

    Even if they ARE entitled to demand that you pay or send it back, it would probably still be illegal on their part to just put a charge on your credit card for an unknown-to-you amount without your authorization.

    You authorised it when you purchased the item. They are not entitled to add new transactions, but they are entitled to correct mistakes in recent transactions.

    You appear to be forgetting: this is not your money. They are adding a charge to a bill that will be sent to you in the future, which will ask for you to pay the money. If you don't like it, you can simply inform your credit card company that you're disputing the charge, and not pay that part; they'll cancel any accrued interest if the dispute is resolved in your favour. Again: credit cards are not even remotely similar to cash transactions.

    This is in no way different from a company realising that they made a mistake in invoicing you, and sending you a fresh invoice. They aren't taking money out of your bank account.



  • @asuffield said:

    @Random832 said:

    Even if they ARE entitled to demand that you pay or send it back, it would probably still be illegal on their part to just put a charge on your credit card for an unknown-to-you amount without your authorization.

    You authorised it when you purchased the item. They are not entitled to add new transactions, but they are entitled to correct mistakes in recent transactions.

    You appear to be forgetting: this is not your money. They are adding a charge to a bill that will be sent to you in the future, which will ask for you to pay the money. If you don't like it, you can simply inform your credit card company that you're disputing the charge, and not pay that part; they'll cancel any accrued interest if the dispute is resolved in your favour. Again: credit cards are not even remotely similar to cash transactions.

    This is in no way different from a company realising that they made a mistake in invoicing you, and sending you a fresh invoice. They aren't taking money out of your bank account.

    Does their merchant agreement allow them to charge the credit card without having the cardholder authorize the specific amount being charged? It's only a billing mistake if they failed to charge the amount that they showed the customer, not if they failed to charge OR show the customer some unknown amount.
     



  • @Random832 said:

    @asuffield said:
    @Random832 said:

    Even if they ARE entitled to demand that you pay or send it back, it would probably still be illegal on their part to just put a charge on your credit card for an unknown-to-you amount without your authorization.

    You authorised it when you purchased the item. They are not entitled to add new transactions, but they are entitled to correct mistakes in recent transactions.

    You appear to be forgetting: this is not your money. They are adding a charge to a bill that will be sent to you in the future, which will ask for you to pay the money. If you don't like it, you can simply inform your credit card company that you're disputing the charge, and not pay that part; they'll cancel any accrued interest if the dispute is resolved in your favour. Again: credit cards are not even remotely similar to cash transactions.

    This is in no way different from a company realising that they made a mistake in invoicing you, and sending you a fresh invoice. They aren't taking money out of your bank account.

    Does their merchant agreement allow them to charge the credit card without having the cardholder authorize the specific amount being charged?

    While I don't have a copy of the specific contract between most credit companies and merchants, it usually says that in effect, the merchant can bill anything they want, and the credit company can make any changes they want and pay whatever they feel like. In practice, the credit companies use this as a stick to beat the merchant with, reducing the money paid to the merchant at whim and to enforce their own arbitrary rules.

    They don't really care what the merchant charges to credit cards; in the event of a complaint, they just take the money back from the merchant and move on. The whole system is about as secure as a wet tissue, but it's been designed so that the merchant always takes the hit when anything goes wrong, so there's no particular motivation to change it.

    They like to talk a lot to the public about "authorising" and "charging" credit cards, but that's just a sham for the public's benefit, to increase trust in credit cards. The real process operates more like this:

    • The merchant accepts a credit card for payment from the consumer. They record the card details using systems with varying amounts of automation and give the consumer their item/service
    • The merchant makes a request to the card company for payment
    • The card company bills the consumer for payment
    • Some time later (at regular intervals), the card company makes a bulk payment to the merchant for the recent requests, minus their own fees and whatever penalties they feel like, ignoring any requests that they don't think are valid, and deducting any old requests that were previously paid and have now been declared invalid

    Hence, a merchant "charging" your credit card is really just a request for payment. No actual money changes hands until much later, when the card company feels confidant that the consumer is going to pay. The system therefore behaves like a traditional invoice, where payment happens after the transaction, and the companies involved just list it as a credit/debt on their balance sheets until then. Such a transaction is said to be "on credit" because it is written into the credit column on the customer's account, which is where we get the name "credit cards" - they're a variation on the theme of this method.

    All the cryptographic systems are just varying degrees of automation for making payment requests. They are used only to generate bills and impress ignorant consumers, not to move real money around or secure the process. Every single credit company in operation will accept a piece of paper with a handwritten credit card number and a price. No attempt is made to verify whether the consumer "authorised" the request; they assume that the consumer will complain when they receive their bill if the charge isn't valid, and really don't care about anything else.

    (Realistically there's four or five companies involved nowadays, but they just repeat the exact same process at every step)

    It's only a billing mistake if they failed to charge the amount that
    they showed the customer, not if they failed to charge OR show the
    customer some unknown amount.

    There is no specific legislation about what does or does not constitute a mistake. The courts have held that the figure shown to the customer by an automated system is not necessarily binding. The specific mistake is usually that some idiot entered the wrong figure into the storefront database. In this case, it's treated as a blind purchase - as if the customer agreed to pay without checking what the true price would be (like when you take your car to be serviced) - and hence the merchant can bill whatever the true price should have been. If the customer doesn't want to pay because of the mistake and can't return the item (because it was a consumable or service), the courts will assess damages based on the degree to which each party was responsible.

    Note that the merchant can't simply make up a figure. They'll have a paper trail showing what it should have been before the mistake occurred, and they have to stick to the number it says.



  • @asuffield said:

    There is no specific legislation about what does or does not constitute a mistake. The courts have held that the figure shown to the customer by an automated system is not necessarily binding.

    If this were the case, why haven't you brought it up before now?

    And, did they specifically hold that the final amount shown to the customer (not the price on an item, but the amount they say they will bill the credit card for), is not binding? or are you taking something out of context?



  • @Random832 said:

    And, did they specifically hold that the final amount shown to the customer (not the price on an item, but the amount they say they will bill the credit card for), is not binding? or are you taking something out of context?

    There's been a number of cases in this area. One notable example is where a broken store showed a "£0.00" figure to the customer; the court held that since any reasonable person could see this was obviously wrong, it was the customer's fault for not asking the store about it before purchasing. 



  • @slyadams said:

    Yeah, you can get it in a more standard box if you want. The idea of the cylinder is, apparantely, it dissipates the heat better.

     Where did that theory come from? For good heat dissipation, as far as shape is concerned, you want the greatest practical surface area per unit of volume. A wide cylinder is one of the shapes least conducive to heat dissipation ( at least when considering the range of shapes practical as product casing, spheroid and dodecahedral packaging for example provides less dissipation but doesn't really come into consideration ).

    Good heat dissipation generally comes from flat, broad casings, preferably stood on one of their smallest surfaces so that as much as possible is exposed to the air. The Wii and PS2 ( with the optional stand ) are good examples.
     



  • @drinkingbird said:

    A wide cylinder is one of the shapes least conducive to heat dissipation

    Which isn't all that relevant, since the shape we're looking at is a tall cylinder. Considering the alternative was probably a "pizza box" form factor (rectangular prism laying on its largest surface), your theories seem to indicate the cylinder is a better shape.

    However, you did neglect the fact that not all surfaces are equal - how exactly does standing something on its smallest surface improve heat dissipation, considering heat rises (and thus, a large well-ventilated top surface - as one would see on many things of the "pizza box" variety, would work well), rather than going sideways? 


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Random832 said:

    how exactly does standing something on its smallest surface improve heat dissipation, considering heat rises (and thus, a large well-ventilated top surface - as one would see on many things of the "pizza box" variety, would work well), rather than going sideways? 

    Convection (heat rising) only happens well in liquids (such as air), not solids - conduction and radiation are unaffected by gravity, and thus it shouldn't matter whether the large flat surface is vertical or horizontal in this regard.

    However, if your hypothetical pizza-box has it's two large flat surfaces vertical, there is roughly twice the area to radiate from, (which then dissipates through convection of the air near to the surfaces.)

     If your box is flat, then the only one surface can radiate, the bottom surface can only conduct to the adjoining surface.



  • @drinkingbird said:

    @slyadams said:

    Yeah, you can get it in a more standard box if you want. The idea of the cylinder is, apparantely, it dissipates the heat better.

     Where did that theory come from? For good heat dissipation, as far as shape is concerned, you want the greatest practical surface area per unit of volume. A wide cylinder is one of the shapes least conducive to heat dissipation ( at least when considering the range of shapes practical as product casing, spheroid and dodecahedral packaging for example provides less dissipation but doesn't really come into consideration ).

    Good heat dissipation generally comes from flat, broad casings, preferably stood on one of their smallest surfaces so that as much as possible is exposed to the air. The Wii and PS2 ( with the optional stand ) are good examples.
     

     

    You might be correct if not for one critical point, which you made yourself. In a standard set top box (e.g. PVR, cable, sky box, DVD etc), there are two large surfaces of equal area, one of which is almost flush against another surface which would reduce its heat dissipation capabilities massively. You are also correct that a PS2/Wii is designed well to dissipate heat due to exposing a large surface area to open air. This design does the same, but with an aesthetic twist.



  • @PJH said:

    @Random832 said:

    how exactly does standing something on its smallest surface improve heat dissipation, considering heat rises (and thus, a large well-ventilated top surface - as one would see on many things of the "pizza box" variety, would work well), rather than going sideways? 

    Convection (heat rising) only happens well in liquids (such as air)

    I am reasonably certain that air is not a liquid.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @asuffield said:

    @PJH said:
    @Random832 said:

    how exactly does standing something on its smallest surface improve heat dissipation, considering heat rises (and thus, a large well-ventilated top surface - as one would see on many things of the "pizza box" variety, would work well), rather than going sideways? 

    Convection (heat rising) only happens well in liquids (such as air)

    I am reasonably certain that air is not a liquid.

    I sit corrected. I, of course, meant fluids (such as air.)

     Thank you sir.


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