But is that enough? A recent case out of NY says, maybe not.
In Nguyen v. Barnes & Noble, Inc., the plaintiff purchased two 16 GB HP TouchPad Tablets for $101.95 through Barnes & Noble’s website. A short time later he received an email from Barnes & Noble confirming his order. All seemed well until the next day when the plaintiff received another email from Barnes & Noble canceling his order, stating that his order would “not be shipped for the advertised price.”
As a result, the plaintiff “was unable to obtain an HP Tablet during the liquidation period for the discounted price, “and he was “forced to rely on substitute tablet technology, which he purchased . . . [at] considerable expense.” (Yes, I know…that’s a peculiar basis for a lawsuit. And yes, I know, he might have been able to get “substitute tablet technology” from eBay or a hundred other places at a discounted price. And yes, I know, HP’s “tablet technology” might have been unsuitable for his needs—remember, HP discontinued those tablets due to poor sales. But the merit of the plaintiff’s lawsuit isn’t as important as what happened next….so let’s move on.)
There’s no bright line rule governing when and how “reasonable notice” is provided at a seller’s website. But here’s my informal, not-legal-advice-but-for-educational-purposes-only list that might help you determine whether notice is “reasonable”:
- The buyer has to affirmatively click “I Agree”.
- The buyer has to click a checkbox indicating his/her assent to the website’s terms.