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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 September 2005, 09:53 GMT 10:53 UK
Argos apologises for 49p TV error
Surfer online
Internet shoppers rushed to place orders
Thousands of internet shoppers who bought a television and DVD normally priced at 350 for 49p have been told the deal was too good to be true.

Argos and Homebase are refusing to honour the website deals apologising and saying the mistake in pricing was down to a "genuine internal error".

About 10,000 customers had bought the 28" TV and DVD over the Bank Holiday.

A consumer expert told the BBC the transactions would be void because both parties would know this was a mistake.

Unfortunately on this occasion it really was an offer too good to be true
Argos spokeswoman
Thousands of customers who bought the Bush television and DVD package over the Bank Holiday weekend had money taken from their account.

Radio Five Live quoted the example of one student who bought 80 sets at the bargain price.

But the company Argos Retail Group has now rescinded all the orders and is giving refunds.

Contract void

It said this was down to a mistake "while keying in prices".

"As soon as we were made aware of the problem, we took steps to make the product unavailable for purchase", it said in a statement.

It apologised to all its customers saying it would not be able to fulfil the orders.

"We pride ourselves on providing our customers with some great value deals and we can understand why some customers thought this was too good an opportunity to miss - unfortunately on this occasion it really was an offer too good to be true."

Consumer expert Jonathan Woodroffe, of the solicitors Ashley Wilson, said: "The contract is void. If the deal is too good to be true, it is."

He told the BBC it would have been different had it been a 20 DVD on sale for 49p or the first 10 or five sets had been on sale at the low price as a loss leader.

"It comes down to whether a reasonable person would think it was a joke and they would," he said.

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