A Brisbane man has paid just $1123 for an engagement ring worth $34,000 after a typo on the jeweller’s website had the ring listed at just three per cent of its actual worth.
Nicholas Buttle paid for the ring online, but when Royal Diamonds refused to hand over the goods, he took them to court.
The tribunal heard Mr Buttle saw the ring advertised for $1123 and made the purchase via the company’s website, receiving a invoice for the item which stated: “Please note; in the event that a diamond is unavailable, a diamond of similar or higher grade may be offered, or a refund of the purchase price.”
Several hours after the sale, Mr Buttle said he was contacted by the company, who told him the diamond he had selected “was no longer available”.
“Was there another stone you had in mind?” the message read.
Mr Buttle responded, pointing out the clause on the bottom of his invoice.
"If that diamond is no longer available then I would like one of similar or higher grade as per the note on your website,” he wrote.
Royal Diamonds then admitted that the price on the diamond was a typo.
"The price for the specific diamond was not correct, due to a typing error. Usually we would offer a diamond of a similar or higher grade, however in this instance unfortunately it won't apply," the retailer wrote.
"If there weren't any other diamonds which you are interested in, we can gladly refund you. Apologies for any inconvenience caused."
The store’s refusal to hand over the ring led Mr Buttle to start legal proceedings.
Royal Diamonds was ordered to give the plaintiff a similar ring with diamonds of equal or high value.
After losing the case, Royal Diamonds launched an appeal but lost again and were forced to pay for all court costs – including Mr Buttle’s – amounting to an extra $15,000.
The tribunal found "there was an absolute contract of sale made between the parties" and "that payment for the ring had been accepted" by Royal Diamonds.
The court found the retailer "was unable to avoid the agreement by virtue of its claimed mistake".
After the loss the company said they would be forced to close.
"This company is going to be closing down because of this," a Royal Diamonds director told the Daily Telegraph.
"We are going to make the ring and close the company."
Top news stories - November 10