Dear Sir / Madam
My story so far, 40 other people were also affected by this and i should add that despite judgement the 14 days have now passed and madbid.com have still not paid. I am sorry that i have not raised this subject before but i felt that it would or could have been damaging to my case had i mentioned it before.
I am not a new user of madbid.com and had been a member of their site for a couple of years winning over 200 items.
Anyway, in September last year (2011) Madbid.com offered a number of products on their website that were part of the usual auction system but also had a buy it now option. These items included a TV for 15, laptop for 21, kindles at 7 etc etc.
These listing went live shortly after advertising a 32" 3D TV bundle with 3D bluray player, glasses and film as a bundle for 199.99. I purchased one of these and it was delivered approx 2 weeks later.
Anyway, as for the other items, i couple of days after i made these purchases mad bid.com emailed to say that there was an error in the listing and that i would not be getting my goods.
Unhappy with this reply i entered into discussions with them but could not make any headway, i was simply being told that they had cancelled the purchases and that was that.
After a few weeks of this i felt that i was getting nowhere, mad bid.com did offer me a weekends break in brussels at a B&B as compensation but as this was without travel i felt it was of no value to me and added to the fact that i run a small mobility shop taking time away from work is nigh on impossible.
In December 2011 i submitted court papers and they submitted their defence.
Their defence was based on the fact that they felt that no contract had been formed due to an obvious error, they even produced a powerpoint presentation and called the employee who had made the error as a witness (**). They also relied on a 1939 case of law.
My argument was that a contract had been formed and accepted by virtue of the fact that they had accepted my payment and sent me an email confirmation confirming acceptance and stating that delivery would be within 21 days.
Obviously there was a lot more involved. Eventually after submissions to the court etc a date was set at Canterbury County Court for Wednesday 5th September at 10am.
I arrived at court at 9.30 and was told that Madbid.com had already arrived, their employee Mr David Edwards (employed as a PHP programmer) was also a non practising solicitor so was to be defending their case.
We were called before the judge at 10.30 and immediately madbid.com's case evidence was thrown out as being not good law. They argued that to find in my favour would force them to bankruptcy as they had had 40 customers purchase from them and that finding in my favour would mean the judge would have to hear a lot more cases. He simply stated that that if that happened it would go to high court, not small claims.
The judge had made a very good job of understanding the working of their website and fully understood my case. He clarified all of the details and announced at 11.15 that he would give his judgement at 12.30.
At the due time we filed in again, this time i was very very nervous, the culmination of almost a years worth of worry and stress was here.
In summing up he stated that as far as he was concerned the fact that madbid.com had allegedly mis priced their adverts was irrelevant. They had completed all of the points of a contract including offer of treat and acceptance. Therefore he was finding in favour of the claimant (me).
To say i was delighted is an understatement, however there was more to come. He advised that he felt my claim for the cost of the goods less the amount i had already paid was too high a figure for damages and at 12.50 sent us outside for a without prejudice discussion to see if we could settle a figure for damages between us. If we could not we were to go back in at 2pm and he would decide. He also advised mad bid.com that they may wish to consider a non disclosure agreement.
Unfortunately we were unable to reach agreement so at 2.30 (the judge was delayed) we were called back in. Again madbid.com argued my damages should be zero as i had been refunded for the purchases that they cancelled, my argument was that i had bought alternative goods after they did not honour their sales. After this the judge decided on a level of damages that, whilst a lot lower than i had claimed for was fair and of course my costs and expenses were also being covered by madbid.com
Finally he asked when they would be paying, they said immediately so he allowed them 14 days. So, there you have it, my story about taking on the largest penny auction site in the uk and winning. As far as i am aware this is their 1st court case and i do not doubt that it will be their last.
I am now looking forward to receiving my cheque in the post and my letter from the court which i will keep. I am unable to comment on madbid.com's forum as i am now banned so, if you did buy anything last year on their and / or want advice please feel free to contact me. used to be known as harleyfan on mad bid.com