Trading company JPMorgan made a careless blunder when hiring Kai Herbert, a Swiss trader, for a salary of £2 million. The correct salary for the job was in fact £200,000, but a decimal point was omitted in error, which led to the company being taken to court for loss of earnings.
The judge eventually ruled against Mr Herbert, deciding that he had known all along that the advertised salary was a mistake and had decided to accept the job anyway, but the case could have proved extremely costly as well as embarrassing for JPMorgan.
This case illustrates the potential outcome of missing even a tiny piece of information when typing or publishing information. Although the law decided in favour of JPMorgan, there have been many cases of companies losing out because of mistakes made when typing monetary information. There have been high profile examples of commercial websites offering extraordinary bargains, such as the recent case of Tesco offering the new iPad for sale at a fraction of the intended price.
For companies operating commercial websites, it can pay to use the services of copywriters to iron out any erroneous information before anything is published online. It can be difficult to spot something as seemingly trivial as a missed decimal point, yet this is exactly the kind of information that needs to be correct in order for a web business to function. While larger companies can afford to take on cases through the courts, many small businesses are stung by honouring prices that were entered incorrectly.