FOR A GLORIOUS MINUTE over the weekend, Amazon was giving away free Echo Dot units to customers.
It didn't last though. Users putting the personal assistant device in their trolley got a discount at the checkout - a 100 per cent "Audible Promo" discount - making their item free.
Word spread, and we're expecting quite a large crock of units were sold because Amazon called a halt, marking the Echo Dot ‘out of stock' very quickly.
When it returned later that afternoon, the price was definitely full, and definitely no random discounts.
Amazon canceled all the free orders, but there is at least a part happy ending. The company has given everyone who was disappointed after the deal was off, was given $5 credit, equivalent to 10 per cent off the price of the Dot.
There are some stories doing the rounds of people who did get their Dot, but the vast majority were scuppered.
It's far from the first time this has happened. Certainly, in UK law, the price displayed is for guidance, not a binding contract so there is no obligation to fulfill a cock up.
Last year, a lucky punter got an HP Workstation Z for £1.42 after a similar mistake - though most who spotted the error got just five per cent off. These machines are worth about two grand after all.
Go back another year and it was John Lewis who refused to play ball after they listed a laptop for £40, but they did offer a £25 voucher. That's not half bad.
Amazon is usually quite a good sport with this kind of thing and often will honour its price borks, after all when your shop sells everything there's bound to be a screw up every now and then.
In 2014, the company faced a class action suit after a reseller sold the Prime service for just 1c in error. The golden rule, however, is that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is and while it's worth a try, you probably won't get it. µ
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