Kodak caves in to customers over pricing error

Out-Law News | 31 Jan 2002 | 12:00 am | 1 min. read

Following the filing of a lawsuit in England this week over its refusal to honour recent on-line orders for cameras, Kodak has thrown in the towel. The company has now agreed to fulfil the orders originally placed for its DX3700 camera which was advertised on Kodak.com at an incorrect price.
The cameras were displayed for sale at £100 instead of £329. Before Kodak discovered its mistake, reports suggest that around 2,000 orders were placed. Kodak gave these customers confirmation that their orders were accepted. However, Kodak then rejected the orders, arguing that no contract had been formed. Many customers disagreed, resulting in the filing of a lawsuit at Ilford County Court.

In a statement on its site, Kodak writes:

"The resolution of this matter has been a top priority for Kodak. One of our company's core principles is our commitment to our customers - even in difficult situations like this one.

"As you know, a mistake on our website allowed a number of customers to order the Kodak EasyShare DX3700 Digital Camera and accessories at an incorrect price of £100. Despite the incorrect listing, Kodak will offer the camera and accessories at the advertised price of £100 + p&p."

The company provided a number for the original customers to call to confirm their orders. It subsequently asked that customers delay their calls, because it is receiving too many calls to handle.

It is unclear whether Kodak caved as a result of bad publicity or because it decided that its legal case for refusing the orders was weak.

Fulfilling the orders will cost Kodak considerably less than the sum Argos would have lost had it fulfilled the orders placed in a similar situation. In 1999, Argos.co.uk offered Sony televisions for £2.99 instead of £299. Several thousand orders were placed, accepted automatically and subsequently rejected by the company.