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Call Kurtis: Can Sears Cancel My Confirmed Order?

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Kurtis Ming Kurtis Ming
Eight-time Emmy Award winner Kurtis Ming is CBS13's consumer...
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Apple iPads for $25 each?

“I saw it and was like, ‘Oh, my gosh,'” said soon-to-be college student Hilary Proue of Sacramento.

She knew the offer might be a mistake when she first spotted it on Sears.com, but pulled the trigger and placed an order anyway.

“It went through perfectly fine,” she said. “I got the verification and everything.”

But Sears emailed her a notice of cancellation the next day, stating “the items are no longer available.”

CBS Sacramento would later learn the reason for cancellation had nothing to do with inventory; the $25 listing was a simple mistake.

And Sears blamed a third-party company called Discounts Direct for the error, according to Proue.

“I feel like they led me on almost,” she said.

It’s the age-old question revisited for the online generation: If a product is priced incorrectly, does the store have to sell it to you at that price?

“It was obviously an error,” said Gary Almond, President of the Better Business Bureau of Northeastern California.

Many companies have clauses in their Terms of Use saying if there is a pricing error, they don’t necessarily have to honor it, he said.

“You know, an iPad for $25 — that doesn’t really seem very realistic to me,” Almond said.

The major retailer’s website reads, “… In the event of a pricing error … Sears reserves the right to cancel any orders.”

Sears told CBS Sacramento it couldn’t account for every type of customer problem, so the company sent a generic letter saying the item was simply “no longer available.”

Discounts Direct did not return CBS Sacramento’s calls or emails.

Proue’s money was credited back, according to the letter, but Proue said the situation will change her opinion of Sears.

“I was kinda disappointed,” she said.

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