Error causes online retailer to sell iPads for £4

Want a brand-new iPad? It could have been yours for only £4 if things went the right way…

An error on the Currys PC World online store saw iPads with a normal price of £289 being listed for only £4 in the run-up to the Black Friday sales.

The company was embarrassed after online shoppers were mistakenly offered a massive £285 discount on a 9.7-inch 32GB Apple iPad instead of the intended £30. News of the £4 iPads spread like wildfire on social media.

The company removed the ‘special offer’ immediately after it noticed the glitch, and some shoppers reported that their orders were cancelled within hours.

It is not known at this stage how many iPad were ordered for £4, or whether any of them were actually sent to customers before the company started cancelling these deals.

One Twitter user said that he knew from the start that he wasn’t going to get the £4 iPad, but complained because nobody even bothered to email him.

Transactions made in a physical store become legally binding the moment the retailer accepts your money, so if they made a mistake with the price, they can’t claim the goods back afterwards.

At online stores, the same rules don’t seem to apply. Some online stores have, however, in the past succumbed under pressure and handed over the products at the advertised price.

In 2012, for example, Marks & Spencer advertised a £1,099 TV for £199, and afterwards started cancelling orders. It tried to placate customers with a £25 ‘goodwill gesture’.

Angry buyers, however, started an online petition to force the company to hand over the TVs at the agreed price, and it eventually decided to honour the advertised price. Apple has so far not commented on the issue.

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