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Best Buy Not So Best?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Chu Gai, Mar 13, 2007.

  1. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Well-Known Member

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    Best Buy has a secret intranet site that it can reference when you come in looking for your 'best' price. Their site doesn't necessarily reflect the same prices as you'll get in your web search. You can read more about it here: http://www.engadget.com/2007/03/03/b...-site-exposed/

    FWIW, something similar happened to me last year, but at Staples. I had some discount cards from them and happened to be in the market of a larger hard drive. Doing some searching, I found a 200 gb Maxtor that met my needs of price and size and printed out the page to bring with me. While I found the same hard drive there, the price on the shelf was substantially higher. I brought it over to the cashier, and had her scan the price. Sure enough, the price was the shelf price and not what I'd printed out. I had the manager called over who pulled up a Staples web price but it wasn't the same as mine. However, after a brief verbal haggle, just barely loud enough to make people stop and listen for a bit, he said he'd honor the web price but offered no explanation for the discrepancy. He also honored the discount coupon I had. I didn't think much of it until the Best Buy thing came along and I'm curious whether this is more widespread among retailers who also maintain a store presence on the web.
     
  2. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Well-Known Member

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    Yep, they suckered me with this ploy.

    When Norah Jones' new album came out, it had a combo edition with a DVD. The website said 9.99 but when I got to the store, it was marked at 14.99. I asked the guy to match the website and when he "looked it up" on their store computer which was mocked up to look like the website, it said 14.99.

    I figured they caught some pricing error, but when I went home and logged on to the web, it was still 9.99. That was a dirty trick and I hope the class action lawsuit wins.
     
  3. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Well-Known Member

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    Hasn't Best Buy, and some other retailers, always maintained that their physical stores and their web store are separate businesses with separate pricing structures, and that the physical stores don't have to honor the web prices?
     
  4. SQMonte

    SQMonte Well-Known Member

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    That doesn't seem to be the case at Circuit City.

    This weekend I was able to pick up a Onkyo HT-S790 for $330, the advertised price in the store was $499......it was advertised on the website for $389.......Because it was open box(mint condition, no cosmetic flaws at all) they dropped another $60 off the price.

    When I agreed to take the open box model, he went and spoke to his supervisor, I assume to find out if there would be any further discount. I thought they were gonna try to sell it to me for $389, take it or leave it, so while he was talking to his supervisor I was telling my gf that I was gonna see if I could get them down to $330 since it was open box..........he suprised me when he came back and said "and since it's open box, I can let you have it for $330" [​IMG]
     
  5. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Well-Known Member

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    This is a separate question than what they did to me.

    I asked about the lower web price, and the employee said "Oh, let's check the web price right now and if it's lower I'll match it" and then they hoodwinked me by showing me the internal price that was mocked up to look like the online price.

    That is a blatantly deceitful practice.

    If they had said "we don't match the web prices" it would have been straightforward and honest and I wouldn't have had a problem with it. I would have just gone home and ordered it via the web.
     
  6. Scott Merryfield

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    I encoutered this issue a couple of years ago. I was attempting to buy the Frankenstein collection from Universal, and had received two shipments from Amazon with floater discs, so had to return each. I had a Best Buy gift certificate, so I decided to go to the store, where I could shake the packages to listen for floater discs.

    I checked the price online -- it was $20. I printed a copy to take with me. When I got to the store, the price was $25. I asked for a price match with their own website, and was refused, first by the girl at the checkout, and then by the store manager, who was quite rude about it. Using logic with him did no good -- if I had ordered online for "in store pickup", I would probably be holding the exact same package in my hand and getting it at the lesser price. And actually, I would have done that, but for some reason the website was not taking my Best Buy gift card code (although it did work in the store).

    Basically, Best Buy lost a customer for life over a refusal to match a $5 price difference with their own website.
     
  7. Richard Kim

    Richard Kim Well-Known Member

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    I've noticed that when you check the prices on the BB instore computer terminals, they are sometimes higher than what you would find on their normal website.
     
  8. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?

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    with best buy this isnt new news.

    has been that way forever.
    simple solution is to buy it online and use in store pick up.
     
  9. MikeH1

    MikeH1 Well-Known Member

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    I also know of a real low tactic Best Buy tried with the release of Battlefield 2 PC game. When the game was nearing release day I started checking out some big box stores via the web and noticed that the minimum PC specs needed to play the game were wrong - way wrong. They were the specs from a game released 1 1/2 years before, Battlefield Vietnam. According to the website, a Geforce 2 Video Card or better would be needed for BF2 but the game didn't even support Geforce 2, Geforce 3 or Geforce 4 Ti series cards for that matter. It said a min of 256 mb of ram ...lol BF2 wouldn't even be playable with that little ram I'm sure.

    So, I call their 1 800 line and they put me through to the right person to talk to. I told them of their error and he thanked me saying they would get on it. I think I also emailed them a few days later reminding them of this error.

    A month later the same understated specs were up. It was at that point I realized this had to be intentional deceptive advertizing. Sure, they'll sell more copies of the game by lowballing the specs and thats what their betting on. Anyone who's Video Card won't run it - perhaps they will come back and buy one. All just a ploy.

    Now, 2 years later, I'm convinced their nothing but snakes as it still hasn't been changed to the right requirements.

    http://www.bestbuy.ca/catalog/prodde...60&catid=21136
     
  10. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Well-Known Member

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    Being in CT, I will definitely be on guard from now on. I am so glad my brother didn't buy his TV from Best buy.


    In fact, I recall him going to Best Buy and running into some sort of online vs. in-store pricing issue, but I foget exactly what it was. But thank god he didn't buy it there. This trickery is so annoying. This will definitely keep me out of the B&M's more so than ever. [​IMG]

    I'm with Carlo, if you don't want to honor web prices, just say it, don't try to trick us, because not honoring web prices isn't ILLEGAL!!! [​IMG]
     
  11. Brad M

    Brad M Well-Known Member

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    Went to Wal-Mart to get some groceries. I wanted to pick up a dvd that I found on their website. Assuming I'd be able to get it at that price off I went without any proof. Found the dvd and it was five bucks more in-store. The reason the blue vest told me was they lower the price online to offset shipping and handling charges. Sounded reasonable to me so I ordered it from Amazon with free shipping.
     
  12. Chris Lockwood

    Chris Lockwood Well-Known Member

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    > Basically, Best Buy lost a customer for life over a refusal to match a $5 price difference with their own website.

    You say that now, but you'll be back, and they know it. Start boycotting stores over little things like that, and soon there will be none left to shop at.

    I had a similar situation with Circuit City when I bought my laptop there last year. To get the best deal, I had to pay online, then pick up at the store. If I had walked in off the street and bought it, it would have cost $100 more. The special on the website said I could only get the discount if I picked up in-store, couldn't have it shipped. But then, for a laptop I'd rather pick up locally anyway.
     
  13. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Well-Known Member

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    that's exactly what this is all about.

    CJ
     
  14. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Well-Known Member

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    What'll happen is the same thing that always happens. It'll eventually go to court where Best Buy will agree to pay a fine and court costs in exchange for not having to plead guilty. They'll issue a statement that apologizes for any confusion caused to the consumer and reconcile the intranet and internet because after all, they're just the Best.
     
  15. Scott Merryfield

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    Actually, it's probably been two years, and I have not been back. I do check their weekend flyers, and their BB's prices are not that good anymore, either. Between that and the lousy customer service, I see no reason to shop there.
     
  16. bobbyg2

    bobbyg2 Well-Known Member

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    Here's an idea, bring a laptop to the store, and if the price is wrong, show them the website on your laptop. That way, you don't have to be ripped off.
     
  17. Dave_Brown

    Dave_Brown Well-Known Member

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    As mentioned earlier, there are differences in some stores that can't or won't match web based pricing, versus a store that intentionally runs two web sites with the purpose of 'bait and switch' pricing.

    MC Sporting Goods has nothing to do with the web site MC Sports. I've gone in a few times looking for an item I saw on the web and when I ask about it, the first thing the sales person says is "we can't match web pricing as we are actually two seperate business units, but let's go take a look at the product" and a few times in store was actually cheaper than what was on the web. But the important thing is that while I didn't like to hear that, at least they were honest and explained why it was presented that way.

    What I don't understand is why there isn't a bigger public out cry, as I always thought Bait and Switch was a pretty serious crime. Best Buy tried to pull a bait and switch on me once a year or so ago. I knew the price I saw online that morning was cheaper than the web site I was looking at while standing next to the sales drone. My cell phone is web enabled and when he said "you must have read the ad wrong, here is the price" I pulled out my phone and started surfing. He started to get a little nervous and before I got to the item he "suddenly remembered that his store hadn't downloaded the corporate web site refresh, so hang just a sec...." and all of a sudden, the new cheaper web page came up. I asked him how dumb did he think I was, the web is the web, you don't download a corporate refresh, asked for his manager, and told them why I would be buying my high def TV from an online retailer.
     
  18. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Well-Known Member

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    I agree with you Dave. I am perfectly fine with a store telling me that they won't honor their web price in the store. A store really shouldn't be expected to match a web price. The web price is cheaper because they don't have to deal with the overhead costs that a B&M store does.

    So yes, if a store is pulling the "bait & switch" then they need to be charged with a serious crime because there is absolutely no need to fool the public when they have a perfectly good excuse NOT to honor a web price.
     
  19. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Well-Known Member

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  20. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Well-Known Member

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    The lesson in all of this is, print out the web price....if the salesperson shows you that the price is not the same (on their computer) than you leave and don't buy it.

    That's why I always do. There are other places to buy stuff.
     

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