Cartier Mistakenly Prices Earrings at $13, Sparking Monthslong Dispute with Mexican Buyer

Cartier's $13 earring pricing error sparks legal battle with Mexican buyer, highlighting the power of consumer protection laws and social media in resolving corporate disputes.

Bijay Laxmi
New Update
Cartier Mistakenly Prices Earrings at $13, Sparking Monthslong Dispute with Mexican Buyer

Cartier Mistakenly Prices Earrings at $13, Sparking Monthslong Dispute with Mexican Buyer

Luxury jewelry maker Cartier found itself entangled in a monthslong dispute with a Mexican buyer after mistakenly pricing a pair of gold-and-diamond earrings at just $13 on its website, instead of the intended $13,000. Rogelio Villarreal, a surgery resident in Mexico, noticed the heavily discounted earrings on Cartier's website in December 2023 and quickly purchased them for 237 Mexican pesos, or around $13.

When Cartier realized the pricing error, the company tried to cancel Villarreal's order and offered him a complimentary bottle of champagne and a leather item as compensation. However, Villarreal refused the offer and instead utilized Mexico's consumer protection laws to argue that Cartier should honor the advertised price of the earrings. The case intensified, drawing significant attention on social media and eventually involving Mexico's federal consumer protection agency.

After several attempts to mediate an agreement, Cartier ultimately agreed to fulfill Villarreal's order at the mistakenly advertised price, just before a scheduled mediation hearing with the consumer protection agency. Villarreal, who had documented his experience on TikTok and attracted thousands of views, announced the end of the ordeal and his intention to gift one pair of the earrings to his mother.

Why this matters: This case highlights the importance of consumer protection laws and the potential consequences for businesses that fail to honor advertised prices, even if they are the result of an error. It also demonstrates the power of social media in amplifying individual consumer disputes and putting pressure on companies to resolve issues.

The case drew mixed reactions from the public, with some applauding Villarreal's persistence in holding Cartier accountable and others criticizing him for allegedly abusing the consumer protection system. Mexican Senator Lilly Téllez weighed in on the situation, expressing her disapproval of Villarreal's actions. The Mexican consumer protection agency confirmed Villarreal's account, stating that "companies must respect the published price, and if there is a mistake, it is not the consumer's fault." Villarreal, reflecting on the outcome, said it felt great to not be the "underdog" for once.

Key Takeaways

  • Cartier mistakenly priced earrings at $13 instead of $13,000.
  • Buyer Villarreal used consumer protection laws to demand Cartier honor the price.
  • After a legal battle, Cartier agreed to fulfill the order at the mistaken price.
  • Case highlights importance of honoring advertised prices, even if erroneous.
  • Villarreal's persistence and social media amplification pressured Cartier to resolve the issue.