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Binding obligations

tender could give rise to binding obligations. This was lust such a case, as the tenders had been sought from a number of parties, all of them known to the Council, and the Council had also imposed strict rules of compliance on them. It meant that there was an implication. That a Person submitting a tender In compliance with the Council’s rules had the right to have their tender opened and considered along with the others So, let’s pause there for a minute. This is why at times when you look in the newspapers. You will see. A tender been invited, or rather invitations for tenders, and Y. will see somewhere lo them P will generally say we are obliged to accept the highest bid, the lowest bid, or no bid it is, simply because. If it is couched in terms. That it will be considered then rt must be so consodered. Lastly. If a person is simply stating a price. Then that will not be sufficient to amount to an offer So, for example. If you ask me, how much does my pen cost? And I say to you, E1000. Because maybe I lust happened to use very expensive pens. That does not mean that my telling you the price of °W Pen meant I wanted to sell oh? Pen to you. This is exactly what the court had to deal with the 1893 case of Harvey and facet’. This was the privy Council case from Jamaica Now, based on some prior negotiations, Mr Facet’, who was travelling on the tram, had a telegram sent to him. The telegram was Sent by the appellants and it said. Will you sell us Bumper hall pens, Telegraph was lowest cash price. Mr face, replied, he didn’t have anything to lose_ He replied on the same day and he said lowest price for bumper haul pen, E900. The appellants then replied in the following words saying. we agree to buy bumper hall pen for the sum of E900 asked by you. Please send us your title deeds on order that we may get early possession. The defendant, of course, refused and the court said that merely saying what the price was clod not mean that the defendant was offenng it for sale. Overall, therefore, it is Important that an invitation to treat is distinguished from an offer as an offer will give rise to obligations, but an invitation to treat will not. Let’s examine two areas, which frequently offer the basis for contract law questions.
A vending machine. And buying from a website. If we start first with vending machines Well, for vending machines, let’s say you put your money in the machine hoping to buy a chocolate bar. Is this an offer? Or Is it an invitation to treat? There is no case on the point, but we could get guidance from Lord Dennong statement in a 1971 case of Thornton and Schlep parking, which will discuss later on in another lecture to do with terms and exclusion clauses. The same issues were raised in the context of a car park.
Lord Denning explained. The whole transaction by saying. The customer pays this money and gets a ticket. He cannot refuse it. He was committed at the very moment when he put his money onto the machine. Now it can be translated into offering acceptance In this way. The offer is made when the propriety of the machine holds it out as being ready to receive the money. The acceptance takes Place When the customer puts his money into the slot. Now let’s pause for a moment That case had to do with, of course, a car park_ And put in money’s on to get that ticket from the car P. machine. So by analogy, It would appear that an automatic machine amounts to an offer, presumably as long as there is an item in the machine to get. And that Is how I would suggest you explain it
Now in respect of websnes and buying goods on the Internet. Given its shopping context, there seems to be a strong argument that it should fall in a similar category as the Pharmaceutical Society and boots case or. Even the Fisher and Bell case, making It an invitation to treat all be It being on the Interne, However, there may be an equally strong argument that If, it contained sufficient intention to be bound, as in the Carlisle case It may be an offer.


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