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Breach of contract - Internet

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I live in California. The internet business is based in Chicago, Il.

uBid.com is an internet auction house. Unlike EBay, uBid obtains merchandise from various sources such as closeouts, discontinued items, overstocks, etc. They then auction these items to the highest bidder over the internet. They have very formal bidding rules that basically do not allow the bidder (customer) to back out once a bid is submitted. If you are the high bidder, but wish to back out, you are out of luck. They bill your credit card, which they have as a condition of bidding. Below is a partial list of rules copied from their site:

8) Lowering Bid Price or Quantity
· You are not allowed to lower your price with a new bid.
· You are not allowed to lower your quantity with a new bid as long as you have a winning bid on the auction.
· If you want to decrease your quantity, you must wait until someone outbids your Bid Price, so that your bid is no longer on the Current Winning Bids list.

9) Bid Cancellation Policy
· All bids are non-cancelable once submitted.
· A record of your unsuccessful bids is kept. If a current winning bid is disqualified in an auction, uBid may restore your currently unsuccessful bid to winning status at your most recent bid price. This decision is made at the sole discretion of uBid.

10) Order Cancellation Policy
· All orders are final and non-cancelable. If you have a question about a delayed order please check out shipping and delivery schedule by clicking here.

11) Fraudulent Bidders
· It is a violation of law to make bids in a false name or with an invalid credit card, even if we initially accept such a bid.
· Be aware that even if you give us a falsified name, your web browser transmits a unique Internet address to us, which can be used by law enforcement officials to identify you.
· Fraudulent bidders will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Currently, both FBI and the US Secret Service are responsible for investigating all Internet fraud cases.

I have made mistakes in the past on a few bids, but I accept the rules and simply kept the merchandise went on with life.

Recently I was successful on two auctions for merchandise (speakers) that have a combined MSRP of $1,600. These speakers are not discontinued and are very rarely discounted. My combined successful bids were for approximately $300. Needless to say, I was very elated.

My elation has since turned to anger. uBid has informed me, over my protests, that they are unable to obtain the merchandise from their supplier, and have therefore canceled the auction (contract). While they may not be able to obtain the speakers from their regular source, the speakers are still being manufactured and are readily available at a much higher price than I successfully bid.

It seems quite wrong that uBid feels they can unilaterally cancel the contract. They certainly do not allow the customer to do so! While they may take a loss on this one, they can, if they choose, perform on this contract by obtainly merchandise from the manufacturer.

I would like to have the company complete this transaction by following through with their obligation.

Thank you for any help you can provide concerning this issue.



Senior Member
My response:

Take the time and expense, and sue them in Illinois.


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