Invitation to treat? Most important question on online store | Cyber Law – 02

Like me, you may also think, alike any other shop in real life, online shop offered you on online and you just purchased the product by accepting it, following the check out procedure and you have successfully concluded a contract, right? as it is very natural to think as per our cognitive practice, but nope, law doesn’t see it that way even if you already completed payment procedure as well.

Here is the trick, It is called Invitation to treat. at this point, we have to look at some common law elements; and a case shall make it easier to understand.

Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain v Boots Cash Chemists (Southern) Ltd., [1953] 1 QB 401” Case, A drugstore (The Boots) employed a new method to their customers, they displayed their drugs in some self in a reachable distance so that customer can take them, as needed, and thereafter proceed to counter for payment.

The Pharmaceutical Society of Britain took notice of this system and they object on the ground that the store offersed all kinds of drugs to their customer while the law forbids offering drags indiscriminately;  as the drugs differs and varies on their type and some of them are not allowed to sell without prescription / authorized advice. but the Boots (drug store) argued that the selfs of the store does not itself offered to the customer rather it invited to treat, to make an offer; which is an expression of willingness to negotiate, and after such negotiation, the shop may sell the product or may not sell the product (reject the offer). Therefore customer can not just accept it as an offer and claim execution of the contract.

A similar case can also be focused along with this case which is: Carlill v. Carbolic Smoke Ball Co. where the invitation to treat is further explained.

So, any marketing, display, advertisement both online and offline are actually is Invitation to treat (ITT) not an offer. therefore, after your approach, such as payment or check out the other person holds the authority to accept your offer or deny it. Generally, this problem is solved by further communication, by acceptance e-mail or over a phone call and only after that initiative both party successfully come to and valid contract.

Nevertheless, It must be remembered other rules of the contract and common law must be followed.

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Rayhanul Islam

Rayhanul Islam

Rayhanul Islam is a lawyer by profession, he is also a researcher. Critical thinking is his main focus. He is the founder and Editor in Chief of Law Help BD. He is on a quest to bring positive change to the legal sector of Bangladesh. He promotes legal knowledge and human right concept to the root level. e-mail: rayhan@lawhelpbd.com

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