@CosmicFuzz If you are sold an item at a lower price than it's intended to be, however, the retailer cannot force you to pay the difference afterwards; that is a confirmed legal position for high-street retailers, which is why I was wondering where it stood with Argos.|
Annoyingly, I can't go through to the link given on this page to go directly to Which?, but I'll quote from the quote given:
If prices are advertised incorrectly
Surely the italicised section applies here?
It is against the law for a trader to deliberately give misleading or wrong prices, and they can be prosecuted for doing this.
However, if the price of a product is just simply wrongly labelled you don't automatically get to buy it for that price. For example, if a TV worth £599 has accidentally been labelled as £5.99 you don't, unfortunately, have a right to buy it for £5.99.
A retailer's right to refuse to sell
When a retailer displays a product for sale, legally it is giving you 'an invitation to treat', which means it is inviting you to make an offer to buy. The retailer can refuse that offer if it decides that it doesn't want to sell you the goods. To have a legally-binding contract the retailer must have accepted your offer to buy. So your rights depend on where in the sale process you are.
Before you pay
If you take a wrongly-priced item to the till and the assistant spots it, they can refuse to sell it to you for that price. If you order an item on the internet, you don't have a legally-binding contract until the retailer has contacted you to confirm the order. If the wrong price is spotted before the retailer confirms the order, they do not have to sell to you at that price.
After your order has been accepted
If your offer has been accepted (for example, you pay a deposit, or receive a confirmation email), generally you can insist that the retailer sells you the goods for the price they were advertised at.
If the retailer wants to charge you more, you may be able to buy the same item elsewhere and claim against the original trader for the difference in price. To do this you should write to the retailer in the first instance, explaining what you are doing. If it doesn't agree to refund you the money, you will normally then have to take a claim to the small claims court.
The trader could try to argue that it made a mistake with the pricing which could make the contract void. But it would have to show that the price was so low that you must have known it was not genuine: for example, a new leather jacket with a price tag of £2 on it.
After the transaction is completed
If a retailer sells you something at the wrong price, the transaction is completed and you have your goods, it can't insist that you pay the extra at a later date.
Whilst Argos could argue it's an "obvious mistake", I could cite my personal expience of buying the Vita version of Injustice, they offered and delivered pre-orders at £12.99 even though it's now listed at £29.99; so they have a provable history of making significant discounts.