BetterLawNotes-5 (2)

CONTRACT LAW

Finn wants a new coffee machine for use in his coffee shop. He orders a new machine online on Ruby’s website.

Before placing the order, Finn has to click on an icon which states ‘I agree to Ruby’s terms and conditions of business’. Next to the icon there is a link to the terms and conditions which are set out on a separate page on the website. Finn clicks on the icon but not on the link. The machine costs £2,000 which Finn pays in full immediately.

A week later, Ruby telephones Finn to say that she has the machine in stock. Finn asks Ruby to come and install it for him. Ruby agrees subject to her standard installation charge of £250 which Finn pays over the phone. The following day, while bringing the new machine into the shop, Ruby smashes a glass door on one of Finn’s product displays. It will cost Finn £100 to have the door replaced.

A month later, while using the new machine, Finn is badly burned by escaping steam. It turns out that one of the valves on the machine had a hidden manufacturing defect. It will cost Finn £50 to have the valve repaired.

When Finn demands compensation from Ruby for the broken glass door, for the defective valve and for his injuries, Ruby sends him a cheque for £1, which she says is all she is liable for under her terms and conditions of business.

Finn has come to you for advice. You discover from Ruby’s website that her terms and conditions are as follows:

1. Ruby shall have no liability for loss arising from any defects in any products supplied.
2. Without prejudice to condition 1, Ruby’s liability for any other loss, harm or damage, howsoever arising, shall not exceed £1.
Advise Finn as to what rights, if any, he has against Ruby.

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