Assess the problems that arise through terminating and offer

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Assess the problems that arise through terminating and offer

There are six different ways in which an offer can be terminated, these method are, Acceptance, Rejection, Revocation, Lapse of time, Failure to comply with conditions and Death. Alongside these ways of terminating an offer come problems. The problems that can arise with some of these methods including counter offers being made, revocation of a unilateral offer and the postal rule can cause problems for acceptance and revocation.

A counter offer is an offer which has been made in response to a previous offer made by the offeree to the offeror, usually during  when putting together the final contract. By making a counter offer the first offer that was given now becomes void and the counter offer must now be accepted or rejected for it to be recognised as part of the contract. If the original offer has been rejected and another offer put forward in its place is also rejected then the original offer cannot then be accepted, there is no way of going back to the original offer as seen in Hyde v Wrench (1840) in which Wrench had offered to sell Hyde his farm for £1,000, but Hyde rejected this by making a counter-offer and saying he would pay £950. Wrench decided to reject Hyde’s offer therefore forming no contract. As soon as Wrench rejected this offer Hyde said he would go back to the original price which he could not, so he was unable to sue Wrench when he tried to sell to another buyer. Hyde was unable to sue due to the counter-offer he had made. This idea of counter-offers can cause problems when terminating an offer because how can you tell when a counter-offer has been made and when a mere enquiry has been made. It is easily distinguished by the language and phrases used when making the enquiry, for it to be classed as a counter-offer it must want to change the terms of the offer and not just ask a question about it for example a phrase such as “party A offered to sell something to party B for £5000, and B said he would pay £5000 if they are willing pay any repair charges” would be classed as a counter-offer because he wants to add an extra term to the offer whereas a phrase such as “party A offered to sell something to party B for £5000, and B said he would pay £5000 and he asked how much repair charges would be” this is an enquiry because he is just simply asking for more information and not asking for the terms to be changed. Sometimes it is hard to distinguish between the two things in which the problem arises, was it a counter-offer or wasn’t it. An example of a case in which this happed was in Stevenson v McLean (1880) in which McLean had offered to sell iron to Stevenson at a set price and said the offer was open till Monday. Stevenson then sent a telegram to McLean saying "Please wire whether you would accept forty for delivery over two months, or if not, longest limit you would give.”  McLean didn’t respond to this telegram and went on to sell the iron to somebody else, on the Monday McLean sent a telegram to Stevenson saying that he had sold the iron, but before he had sent this Stevenson had already sent a telegram to McLean saying he accepts the offer. Stevenson sued Mclean and the courts held that Stevenson’s telegram was not a counter-offer but an enquiry.

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Another problem with counter-offer is between businesses and the Battle of the Forms situation, in which both businesses will have standard forms which will have an advantageous affect for them and their company. The battle of the forms happens when the two parties are constantly exchanging forms during the process of negotiation with different terms on them, this creates a problem because how do you decide which parties terms are used or not. This can be seen happening in Davies & Co v William Old (1969), in which shop fitters contracted with architects to sub-contract with builders. The builders were under the ...

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