Mexican man wins typo case against Cartier, keeps earrings bought for $13

A typo on Cartier’s website that incorrectly priced a pair of gold-and-diamond earrings ended up being a costly mistake for the luxury jewelry retailer. 

A consumer in Mexico said in a post on social media platform X that he was idly browsing Instagram when he came across the shockingly low-priced pair of earrings. 

Typically 237,000 pesos, or more than $13,000, the jewelry was listed for sale for 237 pesos, or about $13, the New York Times reported. It appears Cartier omitted three zeros, sheerly by mistake. 

When Rogelio Villarreal, a Mexican doctor, saw the low price, he broke out in a cold sweat, he said in the post.

Upon clicking to purchase the earrings, Villarreal unwittingly kicked off a monthslong dispute with the luxury retailer that even drew interest from public figures. 

Initially, Cartier tried to cancel the order together and compensate Villarreal with a bottle of champagne and leather accessory to apologize for the inconvenience it had caused, according to reporting from Agence France Presse. But Villarreal deemed the offer unsatisfactory, and instead raised the case with Mexico’s federal consumer protection agency.

Villareal told the New York Times that Cartier had informed him it had fulfilled his order. “War is over. Cartier is complying,” he said in an April 22 post.

Cartier did not immediately respond to CBS MoneyWatch’s request for comment. Mexico’s federal consumer protection agency also did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Villarreal posted an image of two small wrapped boxes with Cartier’s signature wax stamp, indicating the earrings had arrived. Not everyone was as happy as the buyer with the outcome. 

Mexican Senator Lilly Téllez weighed in, saying in a post on X that she didn’t think Villarreal should have been entitled to keep the earrings simply because a retailer had made a mistake. “Kids: What the buyer of the Cartier earrings did is not correct,”the senator wrote. It’s wrong to be opportunistic and take advantage of a mistake at the expense of someone else, and abuse the law, even if it’s in your favor, and outwit a business. It is more important to be honorable than to have a pair of Cartier earrings.”

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