Contract Law

Ben and Perry are business partners in a firm called Huddersford
Vintage Jewellery, buying and selling old and unusual jewellery on-
line and in their Main Street store.

On 5th April Zak, an antiques dealer, decided to make an offer on a
gold necklace watch which he had seen on the firm’s website,
priced by Ben and Perry at £7,000. He wanted to give this to his
fiancé, being aware that the watch was very rare.
At 9.00 am. on 5th April Zak left a message on the firm’s answer
machine offering to pay £6,000 by cheque. He sent an e-mail
confirming this before midday that same day, giving all his contact
Ben and Perry discussed the offer and decided they would sell for
£6,000. Perry drafted an e-mail to Zak accordingly. However, as his
internet was not working, Perry’s email was not sent.
Over morning coffee Ben asked Perry to stick out for £6,500 for the
watch. Perry agreed and left a voice-mail for Zak accordingly,
stating that this offer would be left open until 5.0opm that day.
On 5th April, at 1.00 pm during her lunch hour, Ayesha saw the
necklace watch in the window of Huddersford Vintage Jewellery.
She went into the shop to examine it. Recognising it as a family
heirloom her mother had sold years earlier, she was determined to
buy it immediately.
Ayesha offered £6,500 cash and this offer was accepted by Ben and
Perry. Ayesha withdrew the cash from her bank next door and was
given the watch. She then rushed back to work.
Zak checked his voice-mails at 10.00 pm on 5th April, when he heard
the message from Ben and Perry. He replied by text at 9.00 am. on
6th April that he would have the necklace watch for £6,500.
Advise Zak whether he has a binding contract with Huddersford
Vintage Jewellery and whether it would have made any difference if
Zak had sent his acceptance by post at 5.3opm on 5th April.