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Comment: Re: Shop elsewhere... (Score 1) 62

There is some truth in that, but a lot depends on the exact circumstances. For example, in some cases, the default position is now that the provider musn't actually provide until the end of the 14 day cancellation window, and if you want to get around that then various explicit acknowledgements are required from the customer about immediate supply and giving up the right to cancel once provision has started. Moreover, if the provider gets any of this stuff wrong, the penalties can be heavily one-sided in favour of the customer. As usual, whether any of this actually matters depends a lot on whether the amount of money or other risks involved are significant enough to take meaningful action. Also, if we're talking about privacy/security/data protection concerns, the consumer protection rules might not be the most relevant part of the law anyway.

(I spent a significant part of this year taking legal advice about these changes, but I'm not a lawyer myself, so you shouldn't trust the above any more than any other random legal commentary you find on the Internet.)

Comment: But customers should be told *at booking time* (Score 2) 291

So basically, sure, if they want to shield their entire building from outside RF, with the exception of the entranceway, and as long as its clearly labeled for anyone entering to expect their devices to not work...then fine.

I think if this is allowed then the restriction should also be clearly disclosed at the time when a potential guest is choosing whether to make a booking. I err on the side of not limiting what someone can do within their own premises without a very good reason, but the flip side of that is customers must be able to vote with their wallet for a competing hotel that does not impose the same limitation if that's what they want to do.

Comment: Re:Hmmmm ... legality? (Score 1) 138

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#48619349) Attached to: Amazon UK Glitch Sells Thousands of Products For a Penny

It certainly seems to be true that courts in the UK have shied away from questions of whether any given level of consideration is sufficient, favouring a simple finding of whether there was any consideration or not. My intended point was more that while obvious nominal consideration explicitly written into a negotiated contract might reasonably be interpreted as a demonstration of intent to enter into a binding agreement, in this case I'm not sure how well that argument works. In other words, it's not just about whether 1p constitutes consideration, it's about whether that nominal consideration demonstrates an intent to commit to the deal. It would be interesting to hear what any actual lawyers thought about this argument, but sadly it doesn't look like we'll find out here.

Comment: Re:Hmmmm ... legality? (Score 1) 138

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#48605563) Attached to: Amazon UK Glitch Sells Thousands of Products For a Penny

The way I heard it and have seen it practised in most countries is that the value of the consideration is irrelevant, just that something needs to change hands.

Indeed, but arguably the purpose of recognising nominal consideration is that such consideration is a demonstration of intent to create legal relations.

We're talking about a commercial deal here, so presumably if money actually changes hands there is a strong implication that a deal was intended even for nominal consideration. I'm just wondering whether the accidental 1p pricing case is so far from reasonable by the objective observer standard that a lawyer could argue it. (I don't know the answer to this, nor claim to; as I said, I'm not a lawyer, just someone who's come across some of the issues.)

Comment: Re: How Hard is it to Price Manually? (Score 1) 138

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#48605087) Attached to: Amazon UK Glitch Sells Thousands of Products For a Penny

This has become a significant issue for my friends and family this holiday season, to the point that in some cases we have just walked away from the Amazon ecosystem entirely and bought elsewhere.

If you can change prices so fast that a customer can't look up something we're interested in buying, call their partner in to check it before confirming the order, and then add it to a basket, and the price change can be literally doubling the price from a good deal to a complete rip-off, then the experience of shopping with you is going to suck.

Throw in the inherent risks with any on-line purchase of stuff not turning up on time or being damaged on arrival -- both things I've heard widely reported in recent weeks in the UK, including specifically in connection with Amazon in some cases -- and going back to the High Street to buy anything you can from a bricks and mortar store is quite an attractive alternative.

If only the people going to High Street shops to browse and then getting their phones out and ordering from Amazon hadn't killed off 90% of the good shops. :-(

Comment: Re:Hmmmm ... legality? (Score 1) 138

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#48604937) Attached to: Amazon UK Glitch Sells Thousands of Products For a Penny

FYI, I don't think your description of how contract law works is correct across all of the UK. For example, consideration is treated differently in Scotland.

In any case, for a transaction literally charged at 1p, one might reasonably argue both that this is not sufficient to constitute consideration and that there was no meeting of the minds given that an objective observer would obviously not expect expensive merchandise to be sold for only 1p under these conditions.

(I'm not a lawyer, but as someone who runs businesses including on-line transactions I have spent plenty of time talking about these issues with people who are. Actual lawyers are welcome to dive in and correct me.)

Comment: Re:Amazon is run by Nazis (Score 2) 138

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#48604765) Attached to: Amazon UK Glitch Sells Thousands of Products For a Penny

And that sometimes makes things interesting in the case of responsible retailers who don't charge your card until they are ready to ship, because you're in a kind of limbo as a customer if you've placed an order but the merchant is delayed before sending it.

As I understand it, Amazon is generally reasonable about how it handles these situations. For example, if you have placed an order but it hasn't shipped and been charged yet, you can probably change or cancel it. But you have to watch out with less scrupulous trading partners, who will happily try to eat their cake and have it by claiming your order is final yet also claiming that have no obligation to ship it until they take the payment.

Comment: Re:currency (Score 2) 138

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#48604711) Attached to: Amazon UK Glitch Sells Thousands of Products For a Penny

While we have your attention... please explain Jaffa Cakes to us.

For those who understand, no explanation is necessary.

For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.

Realise this fundamental truth, grasshopper, and you will reach enlightenment and celebrate in the glory of the smashing orangey bit.

Comment: Re:How crazy (Score 1) 135

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#48582495) Attached to: Bank Security Software EULA Allows Spying On Users

Given the precautions I take and the checks I made at the time, including scanning the machine in question for malware using an independent, known good boot disc, that seems unlikely. It would require a firmware-level infection or a stealthy infection that could hide from multiple malware scanners, either way exhibiting no apparent symptoms before or since, to cause the clash you're suggesting.

Comment: Re:How crazy (Score 1) 135

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#48579013) Attached to: Bank Security Software EULA Allows Spying On Users

And we're currently exploring our options for a move, due in no small part to the poor on-line banking at the current place. Sadly, it turns out that many of the alternatives are also bad one way or another, and in almost every case it takes a crazy amount of effort even to arrange a sensible discussion about possibly moving new business to a bank. Since we're talking about small businesses here, so the same people who need to deal with the banks also need to do real work that brings in revenues and pays everyone's salaries, it's a painfully slow process.

Our OS who art in CPU, UNIX be thy name. Thy programs run, thy syscalls done, In kernel as it is in user!

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