Cartier Glitch Allows $14,000 Earrings to Sell for Just $14

Designer jewelry is a luxury that many can’t afford. But for one man in Mexico, a website error was all it took to buy 5-figure earrings for the price of a restaurant dinner.

A Lucky Mistake

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Jewelers will be keeping a close eye on their online stores after one man snagged a pair of Cartier earrings for almost nothing, thanks to a website error.

Luxury Legal Battle

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Mexican citizen Rogelio Villarreal shared the details of a legal battle between himself and the French luxury jewelry brand Cartier after he purchased two pairs of earrings for 237 pesos, or $14 a pop from their official website.

$14 vs $14,000

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The problem? The actual price of the 18-carat rose-gold Clash de Cartier earrings he purchased was 237,000 pesos, or $14,000.

“I Broke Out in a Cold Sweat”

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Villareal took to social media to describe the moment he noticed the shocking pricing error on the website.“I was amazed to see how much the necklaces cost and so on and I said: ‘Someday,’ until I saw the earrings,” he wrote. “I broke out in a cold sweat.”

Good Timing

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It appeared that he had noticed the pricing mistake at just the right moment, as they were changed to 237,000 pesos shortly after his purchase. And Cartier clearly wasn’t ready to let go of their 5-figure earrings for the cost of a fast-food meal.

Cartier Reaches Out

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Just one week after his purchase, the jewelry brand reached out to Villareal and asked him to cancel the order due to the pricing error, as the earrings “were not at the correct price”. But Villareal refused.

Compensation Refused

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The disgruntled customer’s refusal turned into months of discussion and dispute. Cartier even offered him a bottle of Cartier Cuvée champagne and some leather goods from Cartier stock as consolation for the “inconvenience” caused by the error. But again, Villareal refused.

Months of Disputes

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Instead, Villareal chose to spend months chasing down the earrings he believed he was rightfully owed. This included using a federal consumer protection law in Mexico to claim that Cartier was required to deliver goods at the price they had been purchased for, regardless of any internal errors.

Respect the Terms and Conditions

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This specific consumer protection law states that suppliers can be sued for “not respecting the terms and conditions” of the sales that they had made.

“Conciliation” Begins

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Villareal then filed a formal complaint with the Office of the Federal Prosecutor for the Consumer (PROFECO) to begin a “conciliation” process over the earrings.

Cartier Summoned

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Cartier was then summoned by the Matamoros branch of PROFECO. During the arbitration process, Cartier chose to settle with Villareal rather than take things to court.

Fines and Penalties

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According to Jorge López Zozaya, a corporate lawyer in Mexico City, a company could be both fined and penalized in court if it was found to breach a consumer protection act.

A Shaky Case

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However, in a situation where a product price was proveably a mistake, as it was with Villareal’s $14 earrings, the consumer is usually not protected. In fact, PROFECO can not enforce advertised prices.

Mistake by Cartier?

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“If this case had gone to a court of law, it probably would have resolved favorably for Cartier,” Zozaya told the New York Times. 

A Truce is Reached

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But Villareal was in luck – Cartier sent him both pairs of earrings and honored that shockingly low price that he had originally purchased them for.

He Received the Earrings

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The elated Cartier customer took to social media again to share a photo of the two sets of earrings, writing, “War is over, Cartier is delivering.”

Viral Attention

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Since he had been documenting his months-long dispute with the jewelry brand, the story gained online attention throughout and even beyond Mexico. And not everyone was happy about Villareal’s success.

Criticisms Flow In

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Some criticized Villareal for taking advantage of a simple mistake, and others went so far as to call him a thief for pursuing the earrings at such a low price. But he wasn’t having it.

“It’s Cool Not to Be the Underdog”

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“I have the worst luck in the world and I’ve never made any money, and what I have is because I bought it,” he wrote in one post. “It feels great and it’s cool not to be the underdog for once in my life.”

“Tired of the Earrings”

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But it seems the public attention has started to take its toll on Villareal, who is a young doctor in the middle of a medical residency. “Alright already, talk about something else, I’m tired of the earrings being the only thing anyone knows about my personality,” he wrote in another post.

The post Cartier Glitch Allows $14,000 Earrings to Sell for Just $14first appeared on Liberty & Wealth.

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The content of this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute or replace professional financial advice.

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