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Question: HC Publishing Ltd (“HC”) is a book publisher and wholesaler. They recently put an advert in the national press stating,

“Buy a copy of the new book by the famous chef, Marco Sowhite “ Cook to Perfection”“ and if you write a 500 word review of the book and send a copy of it to reach us before 30 September, we will give you a voucher for a free meal in Marco’s top class restaurant.”

The book was very popular and HC was inundated with reviews and claims for vouchers. As a result, HC put a notice on their website and notices in the book stores selling the book on 25th September saying,
“No more reviews of “Cook to Perfection” required. No money will be paid for any reviews received after 25th September.”

Joseph saw the advert, bought the book and faxed his review to HC on 25th September at 3.30pm. Unfortunately, the fax machine was out of paper and his review was not seen by HC until 27th September.

Anton is a freelance cookery writer and food critic. He had bought a copy of the book and sent in a 500 word review of the book by email on 23rd September not having seen the advert. Anton’s friend later tells him about the advert and the voucher for the reviews on 24th September. On 1st October, Anton enters into an employment contract with HC as cookery editor. After he has been there for 3 weeks he reminds them about his review and HC promise to pay him an additional payment of £75 on top of his salary for the review he has written.

Jamil saw the advert, bought the book and sent in a review by post on 20th September. His letter never arrived.

Sobia saw the advert, bought the book and had written 400 words of her review by 25th September and emailed her 500 word review to HC on 29th September. She did not see the notice put on the website or in the stores by HC on 25th September.

Robin saw the advert and bought the book intending to write a review. On 25th September his friend who works for HC told him about the notice and that no more reviews were required. Robin quickly wrote his review and hand delivered it to HC that day.

Advise HC as to whether or not they are contractually bound to give the vouchers to Joseph, Anton, Jamil, Sobia and Robin or the sum of £75 to Anton.

Answer: Jamil – saw the advert, met the terms of the offer and posted the review by post on 20th September, however the letter was never received by HC. Firstly the postal rule needs to be taken into consideration “The rule that acceptance must be communicated to the offeror is overturned when acceptance is sent via the post, since here the rule is that the acceptance takes place as soon as the letter is validly posted”. The case that demonstrates the postal rule is the Adams v Lindsell. Referring to this case it can be stated that HC are legally bound to give Jamil the voucher as acceptance took place as soon as the review was posted. This rule applies even though the postal acceptance never arrives as highlighted in the case of Household fire and carriage accident insurance Co. v Gran......(short extract)

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Details: - Mark: Not available | Course: Contract Law | Year: 2nd/3rd | Words: 2177 | References: Yes | Date written: Not available | Date submitted: January 12, 2012 | Coursework ID: 710

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