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Best Buy Accused of Overcharging

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the maybe-shouldn't-be-quite-so-greedy dept.

Businesses 301

An anonymous reader writes "Connecticut's Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has accused Best Buy of overcharging its customers. His accusation is that customers see one price on Best Buy's website, in stores salespeople would show them a different internal site from a kiosk. Best Buy denies the charges. 'Previously, the company confirmed that store employees have access to an internal Web site that looks nearly identical to the public BestBuy.com site, but the company's policy is always to offer customers the lowest quoted price unless it's specifically identified as a deal available only to online shoppers. Jerry Farrell Jr., Connecticut's consumer protection commissioner, said the lawsuit should be a warning to companies to be more transparent in their business practices.'"

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Well, this is pretty much standard (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19274267)

By that, I mean this is the Mexican way of doing business. Bait and switch. Or they just rob you (that would be the geek squad division).

Re:Well, this is pretty much standard (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19274369)

Or they just rob you (that would be the geek squad division).

Either that or send some perverted Chinaman to film your naked daughter [latimes.com] .

Eh (5, Funny)

Cowclops (630818) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274269)

If you're worried about getting the lowest possible price, why are you shopping at best buy ANYWAY?

Re:Eh (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19274535)

Because you can get this great service plan, for only PENNIES a day! I'll sign you up for that, OK?

CAPTCHA: honest

Re:Eh (1)

vk2 (753291) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274927)

I don't think this issue is about getting the lowest price. BB is accused of showing a different (allegedly higher) price for the same item when checked via the internal website which is similar to the public bestbuy.com

Re:Eh (1)

Spookticus (985296) | more than 7 years ago | (#19275273)

The internal bestbuy.com page has a medium sized banner at the top saying "THIS KIOSK REPRESENTS LOCAL STORE PRICING" and the public bestbuy.com does not. The local kiosk simply displays items in that stores inventory.

Re:Eh (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 7 years ago | (#19275279)

Yeah I'm not sure what would possibly make someone think they could get the best buy at a place called Best Buy.

Re:Eh (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 7 years ago | (#19275369)

You think that is bad. Try looking for bargains at a place called CostCo.

black people (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19274273)

i loves cornbread and chicken :^(|)

Goatse! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19274311)

Goatse! [goatse.cz]

About damn time (5, Interesting)

linzeal (197905) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274319)

I went in to a best buy a few years ago for some laptop memory that was quoted as a 512 mb SODIMM for 90 bucks or so and stated nothing about being an online special. When I got to the store they tried to sell me first a 1 gb SODIMM than the higher quality 512 mb memory, and it took me asking a manager to get them to show me the memory I came in for which was almost 2x the price quoted online. Luckily I brought a printout or I would never have gotten the price quoted online. I thought something was fishy, and I'm glad some AG is doing something about it.

Re:About damn time (4, Informative)

rob1980 (941751) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274357)

At least you actually found the memory you were looking for. Anytime I went there looking for memory that was being advertised, they were mysteriously sold out, but had several other models costing 10-20 bucks more I could choose from.

Re:About damn time (4, Interesting)

terrymr (316118) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274737)

The other one I've seen is the shelves being restocked with a "sold out" product only minutes after the day-after-thanksgiving sale ended - when I asked I was told the truck had just delivered them. Note this wasn't a product that was advertised as limited to a particular number.

Re:About damn time (2, Insightful)

Critical Facilities (850111) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274779)

I agree with that. It seems to me that kind of thing happens a lot and is a blatant abuse of the old Loss Leader [usatoday.com] sales strategy. I can't figure out why they don't get nailed for it.

Re:About damn time (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274841)

it's not loss leader, it's bait and switch(illegal). loss leader is when they talk you into buying a nice new computer to go with the memory.

Re:About damn time (2, Informative)

Critical Facilities (850111) | more than 7 years ago | (#19275169)

I know it's not Loss Leader, it's abuse of the Loss Leader strategy (which is why I stated it as such). It's set up so they have "plausible deniability" if someone questions why they don't have the originally listed item. You know, something along the lines of:

Customer: "Where are the 256MB sticks of PC 2700 for $19?"

Employee: "We sold them much faster than we expected to. It must be that great special. Can I show you these 512MB sticks for $39.99?"

Re:About damn time (2, Insightful)

ronadams (987516) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274941)

When you see the ads for that really good deal on memory, monitors, or whatever, you can be sure the inventory of each store is way under what they expect demand to be. What happens when you have your heart set on that shiny new 20" LCD monitor for only $299, but you arrive and only the $375 21" models are left? Are you strong enough to resist?

Re:About damn time (3, Interesting)

Richard McBeef (1092673) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274469)

Luckily I brought a printout or I would never have gotten the price quoted online.

Did they verify your printout? If not, I just had a great idea...

Re:About damn time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19274601)

Did they verify your printout? If not, I just had a great idea.

You and half the other people here.

Re:About damn time (2, Funny)

imamac (1083405) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274607)

Defrauding Best Buy? Shame on you...

Re:About damn time (4, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274625)


Did they verify your printout? If not, I just had a great idea...

I can see a Best Buy Boy running to his manager waving a printout "Sir, a customer wants the $9.99 'Man Stretching His Backside Wide Open' but I can't find them on the shelves!"

Re:About damn time (1)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274939)

This has happened to me a couple of times. One time I was buying a microwave and it was on sale on the web site. I just told the manager what I saw on the web site and he gave me that price. He knew about it and didn't want to be bust him with his pants down.

Re:About damn time (2, Interesting)

sp3d2orbit (81173) | more than 7 years ago | (#19275079)

Instead of getting the Attorney General involved, why don't people vote with their wallets and take their business elsewhere?

For example, I bought a $2200 laptop at best buy in the late 90's. "Sure I'll take the warranty", I said after the salesman promised it would cover any problems with the laptop.

Less than a year later the power input broken. I took it back to Best Buy, confident in the warrant that I had so wisely purchased.

"Sorry, we can't fix it, that's normal wear and tear. Not covered by the warranty", they told me. Offering to pay for repair didn't work; speaking to a manager didn't work; arguing didn't work. Best Buy simply would not do the work.

What should I do? "Buy a new laptop", the Best Buy rep suggested. Maybe he didn't know I spent the summer of 1997 cleaning greenhouses, in Florida, in the summer, in Florida, summer, Florida...
$2200 / minimum wage = a lot of damn greenhouses + sunstroke.

Long story short (too late), I never got the laptop fixed. Worked the next summer laying concrete to buy a desktop, off the Internet. In the last 10 years, I can safely say I have spent exactly 0 dollars and 0 cents at Best Buy.

Re:About damn time (1)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 7 years ago | (#19275339)

Long story short (too late), I never got the laptop fixed.

Too late now, but drag their ass into small claims court. They'll probably settle and fix the laptop just so they don't have send a manager to court.

Re:About damn time (5, Funny)

TrekkieGod (627867) | more than 7 years ago | (#19275149)

I went in to a best buy a few years ago for some laptop memory that was quoted as a 512 mb SODIMM for 90 bucks or so and stated nothing about being an online special.

I don't get the "online only" specials. If you pick them up at the same store, what's the point? A few months ago I needed a new keyboard. I saw a wireless mouse / keyboard combo reasonably cheap at Best Buy online, but didn't bother making the purchase online since I was going to pick it up at the store anyway. When I got there it was twice the price. I got the keyboard, told them the price I saw it online for. The clerk checked, and told me it was an online only offer. I asked her if I could still pick it up at the store if I bought it online and she said yes. So I asked her, why don't I just make the purchase at her computer then. She told me that she couldn't let me do that.

At that point, I told her to wait a few minutes. I stepped to the side, got my PDA out, checked to see if they had public wi-fi available and they did. I made the purchase with my PDA in front of her, then showed her the confirmation number and asked, "can I pick it up now?" She thought it was funny as hell :)

Hmmm... (4, Funny)

rob1980 (941751) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274327)

Busch, Best Buy's spokeswoman, said the company intends to vigorously defend itself in court.

"The future of our company depends on our ability to build trusted relationships with our customers," Busch said.


Would that be with or without an extended warranty?

I feel screwed just by walking in the door (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19274461)

My father bought a 17" LCD from BB for $400 3 years back and they charged him $80 for a special extended warranty on top of it. I told him the warranty was not worth it, and it was a hassle getting that money back the next day until I threatened to return the whole unit.

Now, I just bought a nice KDS 22" widescreen LCD for $250 off of pricewatch with shipping included and no tax.

BB is not a place you go to for anything - service, product selection, etc. I'd rather take the limited selection of Costco for something big like a TV, or just get it online.

I don't mind anyone making money, but BB is just predatory.

Re:I feel screwed just by walking in the door (1)

enjerth (892959) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274697)

Best Buy is not a bad place to purchase. They claim they'll match any store price for the same item.

They aren't supposed to give you the rebate afterwards, but they did last time when I picked up an eMachine T6420 [emachines.com] for $450 after rebate when Walmart was selling the same machine for $500.

Re:I feel screwed just by walking in the door (2, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274771)

My father bought a 17" LCD from BB for $400 3 years back and they charged him $80 for a special extended warranty on top of it. I told him the warranty was not worth it, and it was a hassle getting that money back the next day until I threatened to return the whole unit.

Although, three years ago 17" LCDs were generally priced higher across the board then they are today. OTOH, 3 years ago you could buy a 17" LCD for $300-350 or so almost anywhere online, with shipping coming in at $10-20 for ground, but many places will cover your shipping cost if you spend more than $200, so YMMV.

BB is not a place you go to for anything - service, product selection, etc. I'd rather take the limited selection of Costco for something big like a TV, or just get it online.

And so people are. Places like Costco, Sam's Club and Wal*Mart are eating Best Buy, Circuit City and CompUSA for lunch, so these companies have been forced to close stores and cut staff. People aren't so concerned with selection when these days when, for instance, the HP midrange notebooks and the Dell midrange notebooks aren't much different in specs or features and any price differential is essentially washed by massive volume deals that warehouse stores and retail giants like Wal*Mart are able to get.

Re:I feel screwed just by walking in the door (1)

sarahbau (692647) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274773)

Last year I bought my Samsung 940BW (19" widescreen LCD) at Best Buy (in the store) for $10 less than even NewEgg had it. No mail in rebate or anything, just $50 off that weekend. Their normal prices might not be the best, but if you get the right thing at the right time, you can get good deals there.

Re:Hmmm... (2, Interesting)

imamac (1083405) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274473)

Would that be with or without an extended warranty?
This is a reason CompUSA went belly-up: Customers who bought extended warranties were veiwed as better customers. Those who didn't buy them were just an annoyance. I know because I used to work for them back in my college days. It was just sad. I don't think BB pushes them quite as hard as CompUSA did, though.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

terrymr (316118) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274789)

Compusa went belly-up ? My local store doesn't seem to know that.

Did you mean Future Shop ?

Re:Hmmm... (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274887)

They didn't go belly up, but they're closing stores and restructuring. The GP was a little overzealous in his proclamation, I think.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

plaincorgi (936639) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274935)

Futureshop i still alive and well, at least in Canada http://www.futureshop.ca/ [futureshop.ca]

Re:Hmmm... (1)

ravenshrike (808508) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274953)

A great many of the compusa stores are closing/closed. That's why I got the latest version of evercrack 2 for $10.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

griffeymac (625596) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274805)

I bought a television from Best Buy several years ago and the junior assistant to the assistant of the assistant manager for the TV section started in with the hard sell for an extended warranty and I politely interrupted him and told him I never bought extended warranties. His reply was that he buys an extended warranty with everything.

"I once bought my dad a five-dollar phone and I got the extended warranty for it."

Now, I didn't realize you could buy an extended warranty for something that cheap, but it was his next comment that bothered me the most (and unfortunately sank in only after I had loaded up my non-warranted television and had driven away from the store):

"Only an idiot wouldn't buy a warranty for a new television."

Needless to say, I wrote their corporate office and bitched, and they sent back a letter riddled with typos that wasn't much of an apology.

I won't ever shop at Best Buy again.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 7 years ago | (#19275007)

Post your letters online, and their responses. They have no expectation of privacy when the communication travels over a public, unencrypted network. The only way to get companies to change their behavior is by hitting them in the wallet. You not buying there is a drop in a bucket. Lots of people learning that they're shitheads is the other 5 gallons.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

Embolism (703224) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274811)

I was between jobs a few years back after layoffs at Lucent. I took a job at a Compusa to help pay the bills. All our morning meetings were about about doing ANYTHING to hawk an extended warranty. I was told (did not see this first hand) some managers refused to let laptops out the door that did not go out without some type of warranty add-on. Even though I was out of work at the time I told my wife I just couldn't do this and I quit just after a few weeks.

Re:Hmmm... (2, Funny)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 7 years ago | (#19275119)

Well, duh. You can't trick people out of their money if they don't trust you.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

TheQuantumShift (175338) | more than 7 years ago | (#19275299)

I highly recommend "with", and I really don't work on commission...

old (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19274339)

Isn't this old? BestBuy changed their kiosks because of this a while back.

I was in BB at least 2 months ago and the in-store kiosks said in big bright yellow words "REFLECTS INSTORE PRICING ONLY"

Re:old (-1, Troll)

djupedal (584558) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274663)

Yep, o-l-d. old - like since Jan. this year [courant.com] , I think - but hey, it's zonk and the weekend and he's tired and can't find his stuffed monkey, so what ya' gonna do...

ZONK!!! Wake up or go home - sorry, you are at home...please either at least wake ALL the up, or go back to sleep, preferably away from the keyboard, dammit :)

Re:old (2, Informative)

toleraen (831634) | more than 7 years ago | (#19275219)

You must have missed the first line of TFA:

Connecticut's attorney general announced a lawsuit Thursday against Best Buy Co. Inc., accusing the nation's largest consumer electronics retailer of deceiving customers with in-store computer kiosks and overcharging them.

Article date? Yesterday. This isn't just people complaining anymore.

Re:old (2, Informative)

TheBigBezona (787044) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274759)

The practice came to light months ago, but this is the first example, to my knowledge, of a state filing suit against them for it.

subject (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19274345)

I thought this was common knowledge but besides that I don't see a problem. There is cost associated with getting a production from distribution center to store and of course store overhead -- why not pay more. I was at Performance Bike store the other day and noticed the item at the store was about 5% more than online, and seems reasonable.

Re:subject (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19274531)

Look again. It's not just about different prices in store vs. online, but that they claim that they have the same price on both (unless otherwise noted online ie This offer not available in stores.) but they are being accused of presenting a duplicate web site that shows different prices to customers that say "But online the price was ___." so that the customers will think that they must have made a mistake. This would be false advertising.

Re:subject (4, Informative)

llefler (184847) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274671)

Charging a different price isn't the problem, they just have to tell their customers that the stores do not honor the web site prices. That is not what they did. They built a complete internal web site that looked identical to their other one. When a customer said "It was advertised at $xx on the web site", Best Buy employees would look it up on the internal web site, that might or might not match.

The accusation is that the internal website had higher prices, and when a customer quoted the external website, Best Buy employees would show them the internal site and say "no, this is the advertised price on the site". They're saying that the internal site was designed to intentionally mislead and overcharge customers.

Re:subject (1)

2short (466733) | more than 7 years ago | (#19275037)

Performance Bike is not exactly a gold standard of reasonable pricing practices.
They have a "Big Sale!" every other week during which a random assortment of things is marked way down to the price it would cost elsewhere.
If you buy anything there that isn't marked "20% Off!!!", or anything high-end at all, you're paying too much.

As a retailer, I hate Performance mightily; I always leave with the assumption I've been ripped off. Unfortunately, they're excellent as a manufacturer if you're shopping for bike stuff in the low-end-but-adequate range.

there's a reason it's called WorstBuy (5, Funny)

EllynGeek (824747) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274355)

Best Buy is famous for its shady, customer-hostile tactics. I don't know why people even shop there. Maybe it's for the thrill of combat with idiot Stepford Staff who are trained to foil your every wish. The ole bait-n-switch is something they've been doing since their doors opened- just try to find an advertised special actually on the shelf, at the advertised price. When you do get lucky and find one, their highly-trained Twit Squad pressures you to purchase a more expensive model, or to purchase useless junk like protection plans. The only time store staff don't bother you is when you need them.

Biggest laugh of the day: "The future of our company depends on our ability to build trusted relationships with our customers," Busch said.

I guess it's a form of trust when you trust Best Buy to always try to stick it to you.

Re:there's a reason it's called WorstBuy (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274445)

I think there's a good reason my electronics store has a banner that reads "Your best buys are always at Fry's".

Re:there's a reason it's called WorstBuy (3, Interesting)

fo0bar (261207) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274611)

I think there's a good reason my electronics store has a banner that reads "Your best buys are always at Fry's".
"Your best buys are always re-shrinkwrapped at Fry's!"

But seriously, you chose Fry's as an example as the opposite of Best Buy? Half their shelf stock is re-shrinkwrapped. And half of that isn't even labeled as such (I once bought a brand new WAP11 whose ESSID was factory-programed "KensLaptop".) If you want RAM or a CPU, you must go through an inept salesperson to print you out a cage reservation ticket, assuming you can get to him of course; there are usually 10 other people who want the same thing huddled around him. And I've never done so, but I heard their returns process is Cthulhu-level pain.

Re:there's a reason it's called WorstBuy (5, Interesting)

CthulhuDreamer (844223) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274767)

Their collection of external hard drives is often re-shrinkwrapped customer returns. Most of them have not been erased, so there's usually a collection of mp3s and assorted files to rummage through. One may have to buy and return a few before finding a genuinely new drive, but collecting a few hundred gigabytes of music along the way makes up for some of the hassle.

Re:there's a reason it's called WorstBuy (1)

Loether (769074) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274909)

You make a good point about Fry's re-shrink wrapping. I usually check and try to grab the item from the back of the stack.

However I've had great results returning items to the Frys in Houston (the one on N 45) They never questioned me. I say the ram is bad. no problem they don't even check. They give store credit or new ram (your choice) same with motherboards. I even returned one particular type of mother board twice it seemed to be a defective batch. I finally just took the store credit.

Re:there's a reason it's called WorstBuy (4, Funny)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274889)

When you do get lucky and find one, their highly-trained Twit Squad pressures you to purchase a more expensive model, or to purchase useless junk like protection plans.

My favorite was when I was looking for a new switch for my home network. The guy at the store (who I didn't ask for his help in the first place) tells me, "That one you're looking at is a switch. You won't get the full speed out of it because it splits the bandwidth. You want a router."

It's lucky for him that I was feeling a bit under the weather that day, or I would have given him a proper education in networking basics. (Hopefully keeping him away from the other poor customers in the process.) :-P

Re:there's a reason it's called WorstBuy (1)

kkohlbacher (922932) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274985)

-famous for its shady, customer-hostile tactics
-thrill of combat with idiot Stepford Staff who are trained to foil your every wish
-highly-trained Twit Squad pressures you to purchase a more expensive model, or to purchase useless junk like protection plans.
-The only time store staff don't bother you is when you need them.


You say this like they are the first and only major retail chain to use these practices.

Re:there's a reason it's called WorstBuy (1)

ravenshrike (808508) | more than 7 years ago | (#19275003)

Because it's hard to play bait and switch when you're buying a computer game?

Re:there's a reason it's called WorstBuy (1)

edizzles (1029108) | more than 7 years ago | (#19275137)

To add on to your post, I was atemping to get a job at BB in there geek squad centter. When i asked what the store pollicy was on offering the consumer the free alterative to products sold at the store,_ie fire walls anti virus ect ect. The Manager froze up like a old ME box i used to have. After about a min of thinking he responded saying that if i felt it would create a stronger link with the cosumer than sure, but if i had and i quote "A wale" then i should offer up what ever he wanted from the store. Needless to say i think my question caused me not to get the job even tought in the managers words "i was the most qualified he had seen". Probly better off i didn't get that job, i can see my morals butting head with the bottom line.

duh (0, Flamebait)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274367)

Shouldn't this be obvious? No one in their right mind shops at Best Buy unless they've been stuck with a $50 gift card (that'll get you a 2-pack of AA batteries). I once saw two copies of the same movie [imdb.com] being sold for $10 difference (one was title "Leon", the other, "The Professional"). I moved copies of the (still overpriced) cheaper version over to the more expensive version.

Re:duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19274597)

You are just fucking dumb. They released two (actually I think there are something in the range of 4 or 5 DVD releases now) of that movie. It wasn't just best buy selling two copies, it was almost everyone!

Re:duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19274619)

Leon is a different cut. The so-called "international version", featuring 20 minutes more footage.

Re:duh (1)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274719)

Ahh yes, 50 cents a minute. That's reasonable.

Re:duh (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19274821)

I'll have you know that the $50 2-pack AA batteries from Monster are fantastic! Seriously, I put my two (waiting on my bank loan to buy another two) into a portable black and white TV. Bam! It's now HDTV.

Re:duh (1)

Skadet (528657) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274959)

"Léon" is actually the semi-uncut foreign version. It's not precisely the same movie. D'oh!

Re:duh (1)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 7 years ago | (#19275063)

Yeah, it's very common for imported/foreign versions of the same product to cost more for various reasons. Certainly not an indigtment against Best Buy.

OLD NEWS (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19274375)

Repost? (4, Informative)

phalse phace (454635) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274379)

Sort of a repost [slashdot.org] , no?

Re:Repost? (1)

shoptroll (544006) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274495)

Pretty much. Although I guess they're actually looking to do something about it now?

Yay Connecticut! (1)

Joe U (443617) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274403)

It's Connecticut, so we can expect the same quality level of computer experts that we saw in the Julie Amero case [wikipedia.org] .

This is why I've stopped going to Best Buy (3, Insightful)

yeremein (678037) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274409)

A few years ago, I went to Best Buy intending to buy a digital camera, only to find it cost 20% more than the price advertised on the web site. So I bought it elsewhere. I'm fine with web-only specials, but this was not identified as one.

I don't think anybody buys stuff online from big brick and mortar chains anyway. If I go to Best Buy or CompUSA's website, it's because I want something fast and I want to make sure they have what I want at a reasonable price before driving across town. Once I learned Best Buy's website does not reflect Best Buy's in-store prices, any reason I had for going there evaporated.

Re:This is why I've stopped going to Best Buy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19274493)

I don't think anybody buys stuff online from big brick and mortar chains anyway.

I do all the time. Office Depot, CompUSA (before all of the CompUSA stores in my area closed) I would buy products on their website for in store pick-up. The online price was almost always cheaper than the in store price. No shipping charge, no waiting in lines, no walking around the store to pickup the items, someone else already did that for you.

If more people did that, it would become a loosing proposition for the stores. Less profit made, more work by having an employee do your shopping for you.

Overcharging (0, Offtopic)

u-bend (1095729) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274443)

Slightly off-topic, but this reminds me of a story that a boss I had once told me. She was at a Best Buy with her kid, it was hectic, and there was just a ton going on. The cashier, some 17-year-old as I recall, surreptitiously copied down all her credit card info and then later went on a shopping spree. Included in the items he bought was about $1000 worth of baseball cards, and the total spree was 2-3 thousand dollars or so. He wasn't very smart about it, and was caught within a couple of days, and my boss got all her money back.

But I guess you could say she was significantly overcharged too.

Re:Overcharging (2, Interesting)

riff420 (810435) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274717)

It might be splitting hairs, but I find this slightly hard to believe. A cashier (known as REP1 when I worked for BB back in 1999) at the end of the day is (was? probably still is..) required to make a photo-copy of every credit card receipt at the end of their shift. This is known as sorting your 'media file'. To be honest, I don't remember exactly what we did with them. I think they all went into the same folder, anyhow. But you needed a photocopy, nonetheless. Any cashier (except for GENUINE dumbasses. with all due respect, you very well may be talking about one of those) who is going to try to pull this kind of scam isn't going to copy it all down in front of the customer, especially when they know full well that they have a infinitely better opportunity to obtain the information under far, far less supervision. I know first-hand of a former Best Buy employee doing just this. At the end of his shift, while sorting his media file, he would adjust the copymachine to produce 2 copies for everything, instead of just one. Seeing as how he wasn't bright enough to NOT steal/use credit info, he got himself arrested for, of all things, ordering TONS of shit to his OWN ADDRESS. He deserved every minute of the 9 months of inhouse arrest the judge threw at him. My condensed point is: even a BB employee dumb enough to want to copy down credit card information couldn't POSSIBLY be dumb enough to overlook the fact that they are going to be using that copy machine at the end of the day. Besides, the camera in the cash+carry office aren't monitored in real time, unlike the ones on the sales floor (granted, an idiot in a yellow bestbuy shirt is a poor excuse for theft prevention). I hope my comments/thoughts aren't as jumbled as I believe they might be. I've been awake for 24 hours straight, but I wanted to share this all for no special reason. Cheers.

Totaly true! (3, Informative)

SlayerofGods (682938) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274503)

I went to by a monitor not that long ago for the 350 their website listed it as. So when I showed up the employees pulled up the internal website that listed it as 400. I had to go back home print out their own website that listed it as 350 in order to get the correct price, but I don't think the emplyees even knew what was going on.
To be fair to best buy though once I had the print out it took them about 15 seconds to give me the monitor for the 350, but it would have been nice if I hadn't had to have diven back home to get it for the right price.

Re:Totaly true! (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274819)

I had to go back home print out their own website that listed it as 350 in order to get the correct price, but I don't think the employees even knew what was going on.

Wouldn't surprise me. I'm amazed some of them even know which way their shirt goes on, let alone intricacies like this (or indeed about most of their product line).

Re:Totaly true! (1)

eht (8912) | more than 7 years ago | (#19275355)

Or you could save yourself some trouble all around and just order it online to pick up at the store, that way you always get the online price, and you don't have to worry about whether the product is in stock.

Circuit City too (4, Funny)

danbert8 (1024253) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274523)

Circuit City tried to pull that shit with me. Luckily, I was smart enough to go to their laptop/mobile wireless display and use their real website, order what I wanted for in store pickup and then watch the same sales guy who wouldn't give me the lower price walk over, pick the product up, and take it to the front desk, where I promply showed them my credit card I used for the purchase. Took a bit longer, and was absurd, but that's what you get for giving me free internet in your store.

Re:Circuit City too (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19274643)

fuck you shut up

Re:Circuit City too (1)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274749)

Circuit City tried to pull that shit with me.

What's odd for me is that my experiences here are the reverse - frequently there are items that I want that are on sale for significantly cheaper than the website!

I bought my Canon digital camera at Circuit City for almost $100 cheaper than was available on the website - simply because it was "already opened". It's worked great, despite the abuse that me and my 6 kids put it thru, for almost three years.

Sorry you're having bad experiences, but I've so consistently found stuff on sale in the local CC that I don't even bother with the website anymore.

On another note, I've only been able to successfully buy ANYTHING at Best Buy once without returning it. I've gone there perhaps a half dozen times and they have universally had one or more of:

A) Crappy prices - 25% higher than Circuit City, and CC is closer.

B) Not what I want/need.

C) Shoddy or sub-par products.

The single item I purchased? A 12v -> 110v adapter. They had them for almost $20 cheaper at Circuit City, but were out of stock, and I needed it right then.

Re:Circuit City too (1)

danbert8 (1024253) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274975)

I bought my Canon digital camera at Circuit City for almost $100 cheaper than was available on the website - simply because it was "already opened".
Open box items are rarely posted online, and yes they are often heavily discounted because few people will buy something that has been opened. While it wasn't a horrible experience at Circuit City, it was harder than it needed to be. That being said, I did end up getting it cheaper than I would have from Newegg (only because of annoying mail in rebates). Why they couldn't just sell me what I wanted at the advertised price was beyond me.
 
And why my original post was modded funny is also beyond me...

Re:Circuit City too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19274757)

What? Circuit City does NOT use a different internal website for their kiosk's. They just don't allow you to purchase products in-store for the price of a 'online special' price. Yes, you can do in-store pickup via the website (no I don't know why they won't sell it for that price in the store - I am assuming that online prices are lower than what the stores are expected to sell them at which would decrease the margin for store sale #'s) . The kiosk are actually computers with full internet access.

You've confused CC with Best Buy (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19274809)

In my several years at Circuit City, the company never operated a "intranet" version of our site. Going on any of our terminals, our customers found the start page set to the public circuitcity.com website, and were in no way prohibited (apart from websense restriction on adult-oriented content) from browsing the internet and checking prices at competitor stores, and even e-commerce outlets. You must've been in a Best Buy store.

Now, what we did have on our site were prices with a line through them saying "add to cart to view sale price," because of the BS vendors liked to pull with their "minimum advertised sale price." Same reason some items in the newspaper insert on Sunday would say "$199 before $30 instant savings."

I don't like the senior management in Circuit City, I think they've abandoned their commitment to employees and customers alike, but we need to check our facts when we go into specifics regarding an improper business practice.

was this neglegence intentional or unintentional? (1)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274655)

Essentially this is what the court case will ultimately decide, but I don't necessarily think that's wholly fair. While I'm almost certain there are Best Buy stores out there who had webmasters or managers who intentionally left good deals off of their internal website to produce more profit in their store when a lot of unknowing customers paid more. I'm also sure that there are stores that the management or webmasters simply forgot to update the deals on the internal website, and savvy consumers who were shopping around for the best possible price immediately noticed that something was wrong which got lumped into the "bad" group. If the world were perfect the stores would be tried individually, but because it's not, I hope the courts try to determine the number of stores practicing such devious business.

Re:was this neglegence intentional or unintentiona (0, Troll)

KillerCow (213458) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274843)

Why would they even have an internal/external distinction if not to cheat customers out of an advertised price?

If "Best Buy" has something for 29.95 on their website, then I expect "Best Buy" to have it for 29.95 in store. The only exceptions to this would be refurbs or other odd items that are not available in-store at all. If they want separate pricing, then they should be using separate names.

Are yo actually suggesting... (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 7 years ago | (#19275103)

Are you actually suggesting that each Best Buy location runs their own internal independent websites?

They always seemed a bit shifty to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19274675)

I remember reading they have codes for which customers they will help and which ones they just want to get out their store based on nothing but appearances.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/artic le/2005/08/16/AR2005081601906.html [washingtonpost.com]

I don't want to have to dress up in a suit just to get some help from a dork in a blue shirt.

Now it looks like they may give different prices too.

I don't know about you yanks... (3, Informative)

KillerCow (213458) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274681)

...but in Canada this is covered by the competition act [justice.gc.ca] and enforced by the competition bureau [competitionbureau.gc.ca] .

Sale above advertised price - The Competition Act prohibits the sale or rent of a product at a price higher than its advertised price. The provision does not apply if the advertised price was a mistake and the error was immediately corrected.

Double ticketing - The Competition Act prohibits the supply of a product at a price that exceeds the lowest of two or more prices. In other words, where two or more prices are clearly shown on a product, it must be supplied at the lower price.


If you find a discrepancy, file a complaint [competitionbureau.gc.ca] .

Free Trade (0, Troll)

monxrtr (1105563) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274769)

Now how do we go about charging AG's with "oversuing"? Somebody can either buy the product or not buy the product. Best Buy forces nobody to buy anything. It's always in absolutely every single case a *voluntary* transaction. Best Buy loses business if they mislead and word gets out. How many lawyers graduate per year these days? How many doctors? How many engineers? This is a ridiculous waste of taxpayer resources. FREEDOM means the right to sell or buy something for any price whatsoever, and to change your mind or change the price at any time whatsoever. No exchange ever occurs unless both parties agree to the exchange. By definition both parties to the exchange *profit* from that exchange, in absolutely every single case.

Something about Blumenthal (5, Interesting)

superbus1929 (1069292) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274791)

Richard Blumenthal doesn't screw around. He's not doing this for political grandstanding or anything of that sort. He takes his job seriously, he refuses to step up to a more "prestigious" position, and he sees EVERYTHING through. I would HATE to get on his bad side, but as a Connecticut resident, I LOVE having him as our Attorney General.

Re:Something about Blumenthal (1)

qaz2 (36148) | more than 7 years ago | (#19275069)

For you sake I hope he wasn't involved in the recent "case" against MySpace.

The AGs wanted loggings from MySpace without the required warrant (a fairly extensive opinion can be found on TheRegister http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/05/25/myspace_pr ivacy/ [theregister.co.uk] and this not get them.
In stead of following the rules as laid down by you representatives they chose to use the press to exert pressure on MySpace,
who indeed folded.

From a government branch, especially one which should enforce the laws, I would demand that they themselves uphold the law
if at all possible, and not ignore laws which do not suit them at the moment.

At present, everything which has to do with AGs is suspect as far as I'm concerned. It might be that this AG really cares
about the law, and wishes to protected consumers as he should do, or that he just wishes to score some cheap political
points like the rest of them seem to want.

1Frost pist (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19274813)

may be >hurting the

best buy price matched www.tigerdirect.com (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274837)

and www.tigerdirect.com price was about $50 less then bestbuy for a psu.

Sound the alarm - Borders does this too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19274849)

What can I do to get some attention on this? If you go to borders.com, the prices are drastically cheaper than in the store. I declare shenanigans!

$31.99 for a USB cable... (1)

JohnLowHanger (1042630) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274955)

...I just heard from a friend who purchased an HP printer from Best Buy. She'd recently bought a laptop (Vista infected) and wanted a printer that was compatible with it. So, the friendly assistant pointed out two models that were. (It still took a download from the HP site to actually get the printer to work anyway.) So, she wanted to be sure that she'd bought everything she needed just so's she can get to printing, asked the assistant if there was anything else she'd need. Oh boy. "Yes," says the assistant pointing at the only USB cable sited near the printer she'd purchased, "you'll need this." And, not knowing any better, she bought the cable too. Now, sure, the printer she'd chosen didn't come with a USB cable, and she did need one, but the only one on show that the assistant pointed out cost her $31.99 - I have a scan of the receipt. In real terms, that's $32. And translating that into UKP (I'm in the UK), that'd be close to twice the price. I can get a USB cable for £2 - or around about $4. Am I shocked? Yes. I'm absolutely stunned.

Re:$31.99 for a USB cable... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19275283)

same thing happend to my mother! $31 fucking USB cable! Seeing that I bet she overpaid on everything she got.

Re:$31.99 for a USB cable... (1)

JohnLowHanger (1042630) | more than 7 years ago | (#19275317)

My math sucks. That'd be around £15 Best Buy's price equivalent, or £1 from trade.

Bait and switch --- wire fraud?? (2, Interesting)

AetherBurner (670629) | more than 7 years ago | (#19274965)

I was going to go and get a 2GB microSD card for my cellphone. They were the only place in the area that had it. I saved the page URL in my cellphone browser and went to the store. It was posted at almost 2x the web price, and the page was not marked "online or web only". The salesman scanned it in and the store priced popped up. I then tried to correct him and he balked. Then I pulled up the page, on the cellphone, and showed him. He then entered a code and the web price came up. Hmmm... Then he started asking questions about how I pulled up the page on my cellphone. This gets even better, he was dressed in a white shirt, black pants and a black tie......

Re:Bait and switch --- wire fraud?? (0, Flamebait)

danbert8 (1024253) | more than 7 years ago | (#19275065)

Geek Squad is the biggest load of crap I've ever heard of. It doesn't take a geek to install a stick of RAM... Also their advertising is funny as hell, they have a GIRL on the Geek Squad!!!!
 
(I know, they probably only did it to look diverse, but we know female geeks don't exist, and they surely wouldn't be caught dead in a Geek Squad outfit)

Besbuy belongs in the shitter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19275059)

I'm surprised Bestbuy is still open.

Between offering extended 3-4 year on-site warranties for ink cartridges and offering trial subscriptions for every magazine under the sun at checkout, they sure know how to build trust with their clients. Not to mention their incompetent PC staff:

The usual conversation goes a little something like this :

Customer: Which laptops do you have available for sale?

Bestbuy employee (stops talking with girl unpacking printers. he has a strange, annoyed look on his face now)
: How can I help you today?

Customer: I already told you, which laptops do you have available for sale?

Bestbuy: Check the computer section it's in the back. We also have a fine selection of printers available.

Customer: *thinks to himself* (Go fuck yourself idiot.)
: Thanks for all the help.

"The future of our company depends on our ability to milk the customer out of every last penny via sponsorships, affiliations, and false advertising as well as hiring and refusing to train our staff in an effort to continually hassle our customers through guerilla marketing," Busch said.

He later added "don't forget our holiday specials, where we give away free unicorns".

There, changed it for you.

they have had a disclaimer for a long time (2, Insightful)

night_flyer (453866) | more than 7 years ago | (#19275111)

Online prices and selection generally match our retail stores, but may vary. Prices and offers are subject to change.
© 2003-2007 Best Buy. All rights reserved. Best Buy, BestBuy.com and the tag design are trademarks of Best Buy. For personal, noncommercial use only.

a similer disclaimer is also on their print ads... and they arent the only ones...

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