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Why Bother Monitoring Web Site Content?

LanesboroughToday's WSJ (subscription required) tells the tale of $51 flights to Fiji, $1.86 US Airway flights, and £35 nights at the Lanesborough Hotel, or about US$67, instead of £350.

All of these deals were greedily snapped up by consumers, always online. In the past, sellers took comfort in their ability to rescind offers that were clearly mistakes.
Under contract law, a buyer enters a deal with a seller as soon as a seller makes an offer and the buyer accepts it. However, if the offer really isn't to be believed - in other words, if a reasonable person would recognize that it was clearly a mistake - then a court could rule that there was no offer, and therefore no contract.

Yet times are changing. From the same WSJ article:

"It is possible that some judges in a court of law might uphold a consumer's claim to some rock-bottom deals, according to Elizabeth Warren, who specializes in contracts at Harvard Law School. A retailer 'can say he's selling it all off -- and if the customer has reason to believe him, then the sale holds,' she says."

There are efforts to hold the landlord accountable for counterfeit goods sold at their property. Google was successfully sued by Louis Vuitton on similar grounds. If your web site posts information on retailer sales and events - and you make a mistake in the information that was posted - you are increasingly at risk of being held liable for economic damages.


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