Posting Agreement In The Case Of The Postal Acceptance Rule

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A Issue
Does agreement exist at time letter is posted and if it does can the acceptance be revoked by a more direct method of communication?

B Law & C Application
The postal acceptance rule only applies if it is reasonable, authorised or within contemplation of the parties, that the acceptance will be by letter. Acceptance is complete as soon as the letter is posted. It seems reasonable that communication of acceptance in the case of Bob and Carl should be by letter because Carl specifies this in the offer that he initially emailed to Bob.

After sending his acceptance by letter, Bob then decides to withdraw from the contract and uses a more direct method of communication i.e. a message on Carl’s answering machine, to do so. The issue of revocation of
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The acceptance cannot be revoked regardless of whether notification of revocation is delivered using a more direct method of communication. Posting of acceptance ultimately results in the formation of a contract and as such the offeree cannot unilaterally withdraw, without the agreement of the offeror. This view is represented by the case of Wenkheim v Arndt. If this approach is taken the acceptance cannot be revoked particularly since Carl was uninformed of Bob’s intention to withdraw, because he had ignored the message left on his messaging system.

The second approach states that no contract is formed because the offeree has rejected the contract in the first formal communication with the offeror, although the acceptance letter was posted. The postal acceptance rule does not apply in this situation. This view is represented by the case of Dunmore v Alexander. Thus, Bob would be able to revoke his acceptance since the message left for Carl was the first formal communication made to the offeree, despite the fact that Carl ignored the

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