Once an offer has been made the next step is for that offer to be accepted. The acceptance must be positive and unqualified; once an offer has been accepted there is a contract between the two parties. The acceptance must be communicated to the other party. This can happen in a number of ways.
Methods of communication of acceptance:
This is easily established as long as the acceptance is clear and heard.
Acceptance by Conduct
Silence cannot be acceptance; some form of action is necessary.
Felthouse v Bindley (1862)
The sale of a horse was being negotiated by a letter; the final letter stated if Felthouse heard nothing he would presume that the offer had been accepted. The court held that this was not enough to constitute acceptance, a positive act is required.
Acceptance by post: The Postal Rule
Adam v Lindsell (1818): This case clarified the postal rule and explained that acceptance takes effect at the moment of posting.
Electronic and instant forms of communication: the postal rule had to develop to keep up the development of technology for communication methods such as email and phone calls.
Entores v Miles Far East Corporation (1955): the court held acceptance by telex machine was made when the telex was received.