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Check Out Our Postal Acceptance Rule Essay

The Postal Acceptance Rule maintains or rules that an acceptance becomes binding so that a contract is said to have been entered, perfected or effected once the acceptor places his acceptance in the mailbox as return mail to an offer which had been made in a manner reasonable enough. The acceptance reaching the offeror in this case or not, does not change the contract or its nature, in this case. This is to the effect that, the offeror cannot withdraw a contract or an invitation to a contract upon publicizing it and a potential client having written to express his interest to enter the contract. Nevertheless, given the dynamics that underpin the current world, I do not see how the postal acceptance rule can be justified.

A good instance which shows the difficulty that would stem from the total observation of the Postal Acceptance Rule is exemplified in the Carlill v. Carbolic Smoke Ball Co. case. The Carbolic Smoke Ball Co. sold and manufactured the Carbolic Smoke Ball. In respect to these activities, the company placed advertisements in several newspapers, with the advertisement offering a reward of 100 Pounds to any individual who used to smoke ball at least three times in a day, as contracted and directed common colds, influenza, or any other respiratory or any other diseases. Upon seeing the advertisement, Carlill purchased a ball, with the intention of using it as directed. Subsequently, Carlill contracted influenza and made god, his claim for the reward which had been already stated in the advertisement. In an interesting twist, The Carbolic Smoke Ball declined making reimbursement, making Carlill sue or the damages which had arisen from the breach of contract. The culmination of this entire affair was a judgement for 100 pounds being entered for Carlill, with Carbolic Smoke Ball appealing against the ruling.

It is a fact that the Carbolic Smoke Ball was legally and morally obligated to pay the claims that had been being claimed by Mr. Carlill. The failure to make the payment would be tantamount to a breach of contract, going by the Postal Acceptance Rule (Goodrich, 2005). Nevertheless, there are extraneous details which can be used to object the rule such as the time frame of the advertisement. Mr. Carlill only started smoking after seeing the advertisement: he incurred influenza, not by the time the advertisement was being made public, but after deliberately smoking himself ill. Nevertheless, it is the Carbolic Smoke Ball that is obligated to make the payment since it failed to seal in the loopholes.  

Another instance in which the Postal Acceptance Rule may be called to question is exemplified in the case of Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain v Boots Cash Chemists (Southern) Ltd. At the heart of this case was that the Boots Cash Chemists implemented a new marketing gimmick for certain medicines and had decided to employ it. The Boots cash Chemists set underrated prices that were tagged for these medicines at the counter, so that clients would go for them by themselves. The Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain objected, maintaining that this was unlawful since s18 (1) of the Pharmacy and Poisons Act 1933 requires a pharmacist to supervise the points where "the sale [of the substance] is effected".

Although the High Court and the Court of Appeal ruled in favor of the Boots, saying that the displaying of goods was not an offer but an invitation to treat, yet this shows the gravity of the adoption and observation of the Postal Acceptance Rule. To Hogg (2009), this above should serve as an example to the loopholes of the Postal Acceptance Rule, which stem from the broad nature that the Postal Acceptance Rule enjoys. Hogg (2009) is of the opinion that the Postal Acceptance Rule is too broad to ensure the separation of the invitation to treat and the offering of the contract.

Another instance which has always led to the questioning of the credence of the Postal Acceptance Rule is seen the case, Leonard v. PepsiCo, Inc. PepsiCo, Inc. had run a promotional campaign where consumers were invited into acquiring Pepsi Points by purchasing as many the Pepsi products as possible and exchanging them for Pepsi merchandise.  Leonard acted accordingly and submitted his completed order for a Harrier Jet, since he had 7,000,000 Pepsi Points. PepsiCo, Inc. refused to honor this application and argued before the court of law that an advertisement is never an offer.

Although the court made ruling on behalf of the PepsiCo, Inc., yet it remains a fact that there is need for the Postal Acceptance Rule to be streamlined so as to make a separation between an advertisement, an offer and an invitation to treat. The objections towards the Postal Acceptance Rule are not based on its inherent or fundamental weakness, but on the loopholes that characterize it. Postal Acceptance Rule must be there to ensure that the exploitation of the republic is totally assuaged (DeHavilland, 2011).

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