Online Pricing Errors: Who Pays?

A court in Singapore handed down a decision ruling that an etailer did not have to honor prices posted by mistake. (See the story at CNet.)

The judge ruled that the etailer could get off the hook because customers deliberately took advantage of a known error. The etailer in question, Digiland, argued that there was no contract until payment was processed. Online sellers should not relax just yet, however. The judge ruled that contracts formed over the internet were just like contracts formed offline, and that under other circumstances, vendors might have to honor pricing mistakes.

Without well-defined processes and automation, you can never catch all your potential pricing errors. (The story includes examples of some of the partial solutions other Far-Eastern etailers use to reduce errors.)

The bottom line: Digiland is now out of business. Pay attention to the pricing nuts and bolts.

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