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Chuck Bartowski would never resort to such underhanded tactics at Buy More.  (Source: NBC)
Price discrepancies between Best Buy's online site and in-store sites continue

Those looking to score the lowest prices on items at Best Buy brick and mortar (B&M) stores apparently are still having problems thanks to the company's internal website.

Customers who shop Best Buy's website often come across deals only to find that the items are sold out or on backorder. The site then often directs customers to proceed to the local store to purchase the item (usually denying customers the option to buy online with in-store pickup).

At first glance, this doesn't seem like such a bad idea: 1) the customer can receive the same price at the store and 2) the customer doesn't have to wait for shipping or pay shipping charges by picking up the item from a local Best Buy store. The problem, however, comes from the fact that Best Buy continues to operate an internal website at its B&M stores that shows higher pricing than the "official" Best Buy website.

"I took [the Kodak EasyShare EX1011] to a different station and asked them to price check it, and it came up at $255.99, well over the $234.49 that was listed online," said one tipster for The Consumerist. "We went to one of their public computer terminals and searched it and it came up at the $255.99, no surprise."

Not one to kneel down and admit defeat, the tipster pressed forward in order to receive the merchandise at the $234.99 price.

"iPhone to the rescue. At first it was showing the $255 price on my iPhones browser, then I realized it was connected through WiFi, so they have it blocking the external Best Buy site and feeding the fake one. I disabled WiFi and searched again and bam, there it was, $234.99," the tipster continued. "The electronics department said I had to go to customer service for such a thing, and they promptly took care of the price change."

The news of the continued operation of Best Buy's internal website with higher prices may come as a shock to some considering the lawsuit brought against the company by Connecticut attorney general Richard Blumenthal.

A Best Buy spokeswoman noted in May of this year that the company was in the process of making changes to eliminate the pricing discrepancies between Best Buy's website and the internal Best Buy site. "We provided immediate training for our employees to help ensure that all customers received the best price," said Best Buy spokeswoman Susan Busch in late May. "We are in the process of making changes to eliminate future confusion."

It appears that Best Buy's efforts to change its internal website are progressing a bit slower than initially thought.

"We thought Best Buy had addressed this," said Blumenthal to the LA Times. "That's what they said to us. Apparently that's not the case."

Best Buy recently made headlines for its stellar fiscal 2008 Q3 performance. The company saw its overall quarterly profits rise 17 percent thanks to hot items including flat-panel TVs, notebook computers and GPS units.

Best Buy's market dominance has come at the expense of one of its closest rivals: CompUSA. CompUSA recently announced that it will close all of its remaining 103 stores at the start of 2008.

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weird coincidence
By Megatomic on 12/24/2007 8:55:06 PM , Rating: 2
I was just telling my wife about this yesterday on our way to Fry's. It seems that a zebra just can't change it's stripes...

RE: weird coincidence
By Digimonkey on 12/24/2007 10:04:21 PM , Rating: 3
I love Fry's. There is no other store in mind where I can walk in, buy the best motherboard and latest processor with a water cooled system, and return any part that same day if it doesn't work right.

RE: weird coincidence
By WileCoyote on 12/25/2007 12:02:54 AM , Rating: 2
There's also Microcenter. Unfortunately they have a very high turnover rate with employees... and the latest batch isn't very bright. They also have some sketchy/unethical (illegal?) open-box pricing policies (their open-box price labels are dated and they offer additional discounts when an open-box item has been sitting out for "x" number of days. Which would be okay except before "x" number of days arrives, they put a fresh label on top of the old one with the same price but a newer date).

RE: weird coincidence
By Luna M on 12/25/2007 7:22:37 PM , Rating: 2
I'm glad someone mentioned Microcenter, such an oft overlooked store that I have had many wonderful experiences with. Their recent open box practices and the hiring of incompetent sales reps in recent years has disappointed me, however. The Marietta Microcenter seems to be the least affected by this problem (of the 3 stores I've visited recently) and is still a good place to shop...but I wonder why the company is slipping up lately in the first place?

RE: weird coincidence
By aharris on 12/28/2007 4:32:16 PM , Rating: 2
Return the part that same day after undergoing NSA-like interrogations... geez. I absolutely hate shopping at Fry's because the sales staff at our local store generally have a cocky attitude (I work IT and use the products on a daily basis; there's no reason I should detect that from them), and their return procedures are excruciating.

When I shop at Fry's, I know exactly what I need, brush off all help if it's even offered, and turn OCD with everything related to packaging and/or the purchase itself.

RE: weird coincidence
By johnsonx on 12/29/2007 12:18:31 AM , Rating: 2
and their return procedures are excruciating.

Huh? Returning things to Fry's is a mild hassle at worst... you must have a low threshold of excruciation.

I wait in line, usually for less than five minutes, tell them I don't want the item (or that it's defective), they accept the return and credit my card. Even over 30 days, they've never hassled me about an 'out-of-policy' return (though I've only tried returning un-opened items after 30 days).

Several issues with this artical
By dvinnen on 12/25/07, Rating: 0
RE: Several issues with this artical
By Hlafordlaes on 12/26/07, Rating: 0
By Hlafordlaes on 12/28/2007 8:19:57 AM , Rating: 2
It would appear DT readers prefer voting down comments they cannot rebut. Perhaps if the school system provided an actual education, rather than the glorified vocational training so in vogue now, reasoned debate would not be disappearing at such a fast clip.

Sheesh, online nerds acting like offline jocks...

RE: Several issues with this artical
By eye smite on 12/26/2007 11:14:32 AM , Rating: 1
It's also known that best buy and it's staff take advantage of peoples lack of knowledge. Example: I was browing in a store and a woman came up to a salesman and was upset that the computer she had just bought was having mouse issues. Seems the mouse wouldn't go all the way across the screen ( a nub she was). So instead of walking to a station and just showing her how to pick up the mouse and move it, he sold her a huge mouse pad and she was happy as a lark. I've also done tech support for 7 yrs and I've had laptop customers call in and say I can't connect wirelessly. Do you have a wireless router? No, the guy at best buy said I could connect anywhere. I don't use best buy unless I know what I want, I know they have it, and I don't listen to their staff.

RE: Several issues with this artical
By pixelslave on 12/26/2007 2:56:26 PM , Rating: 1
So instead of walking to a station and just showing her how to pick up the mouse and move it, he sold her a huge mouse pad and she was happy as a lark.

I failed to understand what is wrong with that. I have a HUGE mouse pad, too. I hate to pick up the mouse and move it all the time, so I bought a 2 ft long mouse pad. It works wonderfully. Yes, it may not be the "official" way of using the mouse, but it probably will solve the problem for that lady. In fact, even if you showed her how to pick up the mouse and move it, she might still prefer to use the large mouse pad. What's wrong with that?

By eye smite on 12/26/2007 6:58:00 PM , Rating: 1
I can see where you would totally miss the point so let me clarify it for you. She did not know you could pick up the mouse and move it, so he sold her something she didn't need or could even make a decision on buying. Are you getting it now?

By eye smite on 2/26/2008 12:21:44 AM , Rating: 2

No surprise
By madoka on 12/24/2007 9:00:32 PM , Rating: 5
This from the company that labeled some of their customers "devils" for not wanting to pay inflated prices or buy their extended warranties or accessories.

"Best Buy Shines Brightly as CompUSA Fades Away"
By Polynikes on 12/24/2007 11:22:56 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder why...

RE: "Best Buy Shines Brightly as CompUSA Fades Away"
By exanimas on 12/25/07, Rating: 0
By mindless1 on 12/25/2007 10:12:58 PM , Rating: 3
I'd call it a scam, because it is meant to look like the website.

all hail new egg
By Armorize on 12/24/2007 9:03:00 PM , Rating: 3
Thats why you compare things to online retailers such as newegg, tigerdirect, and fry's online. its always nice to go to the store and know exactly what your getting and feel the triumph of walking out of the store with your prized purchase. But if its going to cost you say $50 more then what it would cost you to buy it online from these online retailers... then ill wait it out. unless your buying something very large such as an lcd tv then thats another story. Although im sure you can play musical chairs with circuit city, and best buy as circuit city has something like what abcwarehouse has, lowest prices guaranteed. (at least at the circuitcity near me they do).

nice photo!
By Richlet on 12/24/07, Rating: 0
RE: nice photo!
By BillyBatson on 12/24/2007 10:19:47 PM , Rating: 3
I know dailytech often makes mistakes, but go look up what a fiscal year is. they quote of "fiscal 2008 Q3" is not wrong

Like bestbuy is the only one?
By Komrade Chaos on 12/26/2007 2:30:15 AM , Rating: 3
BestBuy is not the only retailer using these practices.

Staples' internal website accessed by the register computers is not exactly the same as the outside one. Usually if a big item is on sale, it won't be on the internal website.
A customer came in wanting to do an in-store order of a monitor we had on the website. He gave me the sku number and it didn't come up, so I went into the managers office and looked it up on that computer which has access to the external website, and baddabing there the product was.

Anyways there is a legitimate reason for them doing this.
Not all stores across the country have the same exact pricing, thus the in store kiosk will display THAT Store's price, while the external site will display the website price.
And any company wanting to save face will price match their own website without much hesitation. So it's not a big deal unless they deny the price match.

Sort of along the same lines
By digital batman on 12/25/2007 1:03:52 AM , Rating: 2
I personally shop at both Circuit City and Best Buy (my credit cards have CC as a reward but I have BB RewardZone, kind of like double dipping when I buy at Best Buy using credit card that rewards my spending with CC gift cards). But one sales "rule" that I like much better at CC is that when something is on sale and there is a promo code (like 10% off any purchase over $299) - even if it is on sale - CC will still honor the additional 10% off. If you go to Best Buy and use the 12% I get for RewardZone on something that is on sale, they have to raise the price back to its regular price then take the 12% off. Obviously this is why their Q3 profits were so high and CC is hurting. Just my two cents.

By Eug on 12/25/2007 10:18:59 AM , Rating: 2
Their online system is... shall we say... extremely problematic up here in Canada as well. This was evidenced by the fact that for their last sale, people were online with products in their carts for 2 hours but unable to purchase them. When they were finally allowed in, the products were sold out. This was at Future Shop, but they are owned by Best Buy, and not surprisingly it would appear the sites are hosted together as the two sites function identically, and both became non-functional at the same time during the sale.

There have also been reports of the internal system's prices being different from the online prices, just like in the US.

It would appear that those managing Best Buy's online servers and software have some serious work to do in both countries.

Best Buyer Beware!
By Davelo on 12/25/2007 3:55:50 PM , Rating: 2
It pays to do your homework. Nobody's holding a gun to your head forcing you to buy from Best Buy. It's not a public social program. You don't like what Best Buy does, shop somewhere else. If Best Buy wants to be sneaky so be it. Let's keep the lawyers out of it. Those blood suckers will only drive prices up.

Brick NJ is guilty of this.
By Mitch101 on 12/25/2007 7:12:13 PM , Rating: 2
Brick NJ is guilty of this. There was a remote I swore was on sale when it rang up different at the register I had someone confirm it with thier website and the price was higher and not on sale. It was a saturday and I know I wasnt that long ago the price was higher. When I got home the internet website had the lower price and made it appear I would get that price in the store. For this reason alone on a mere $12.00 I will never shop at Best Buy again.

This is not a case of sour grapes and occured at the Brick Town, NJ store.

Unfortunately with CompUSA going out and Circuit City never doing well my local brick and morters options are limited for a quick purchase. Luckily close to work I have alternatives that I dont need BestBuy.

By Akazar on 12/26/2007 9:31:24 AM , Rating: 2
Everyone has good points here but.....

Why won't they allow you to buy the item and do a in store pick up?

The fact remains they direct you to the store to get it. But they won't let you buy it at that price and then pick it up.

Sounds a bit fishy to me.

By Kyanzes on 12/27/2007 2:32:57 PM , Rating: 2
What I really love about the US is that people can sue companies like this for millions of dollars. Here where I live a company would merely have to pay a small fine then do the scam again at their earliest convenience. Since the profit far outweighs the penalty they don't really bother. Few weeks back a bank got fined for like $30K for a misleading credit card campaign that went on for months. I mean how freaking ridiculous is that? What you need is a serious fine like, dunno, $100M dollars. Anyways the point is that it should be significant.

Let them feel the loss!

By zshift on 12/28/2007 10:07:21 AM , Rating: 2
hello all, i would like to start ouy by saying that I personally work for best buy. yes, we do have an internal site, but within the week that the lawsuit occured, best buy immediately changed the site so that every page is headlined with a giant yellow banner that says "IN STORE PRICING ONLY". to see prices, then employee must login to the computers and click an application called national (vs. local) this internal site is used to give customers in depth specs in a familiar way, but only with products and prices at that store. also, the customer that used the wifi within best buy was using a company signal, so going to would immediately show the internal site because the wifi is only intended for company use. if the employees were telling the customerthat the instore pricing was the same as the online price then those are those employees at fault and they should be taken care of accordingly. but do not fault a company when a few ignorant employees make a blatant mistake because most of the time employees are doing their jobs, they just dont get the proper credit (or media coverage).

Solution: PRINT IT OUT
By tcunning on 12/31/2007 4:06:37 PM , Rating: 2
A dated printout from home will solve all of these problems! Performance Bicycle is another company that frequently has different prices in the stores and online/catalog (they don't claim they're supposed to be the same, however). A simple printout results in a price match.

By Digimonkey on 12/24/2007 9:01:07 PM , Rating: 1
I've never had any gripes with Best Buy. They usually have fair prices, and are pretty good with returns. You can't look at Comp USA going out of business or Circuit City having troubles because of Best Buy, I think alot of it has to do with e-commerce and it's growing popularity.

I actually hope Best Buy can stay afloat since it's nice to have a local place to return a hard drive or flat panel monitor if it turns out bad.

As a Geek Squad Agent...
By Geek Squad Greg on 12/24/07, Rating: -1
RE: As a Geek Squad Agent...
By i4mt3hwin on 12/25/2007 12:09:23 AM , Rating: 5
You're a liar and a draft dodger.

RE: As a Geek Squad Agent...
By digital batman on 12/25/2007 1:04:46 AM , Rating: 3
Made me laugh loud enough that my wife asked me what was the matter from 3 rooms away. Thank you.

RE: As a Geek Squad Agent...
By Omega215D on 12/25/2007 3:45:48 AM , Rating: 5
You are part of the Rebel Alliance and a traitor. Take her away!

RE: As a Geek Squad Agent...
By ATC on 12/25/2007 1:27:22 AM , Rating: 3
I agree with most of what you said. I too like shopping there and have had excellent service so far.

One point though about the PSP (product service plan). Employees buy them because they are 50% off for staff. They are, for the most part, quite over-priced for the general public. Even for a laptop or an xbox, and getting 50% off the price, the company is still making a huge profit off of them and many staff are still reluctant to buy them at these discounted prices. That's gotta tell you something about their insane markup. Well not insane from the shareholders point of view I'm sure.

RE: As a Geek Squad Agent...
By Xed on 12/25/2007 1:57:37 AM , Rating: 2
Not that it matters much, but, employee's don't get nearly as much off of prp/psp's as you think. Years ago they used to get them for barely above cost. BestBuy in its infinite greed changed that to a flat rate discount around 15%. Woopty doo

RE: As a Geek Squad Agent...
By exanimas on 12/27/2007 6:37:49 PM , Rating: 2
Not trying to be a d-bag, but what exactly would the "cost" be on a service plan? I know a few years back employees used to get ridiculous discounts on all services/PSPs, but now you are correct, it's a flat 20%.

RE: As a Geek Squad Agent...
By wiiz3rd on 12/25/2007 4:24:34 PM , Rating: 1
Have any of you ever let them fix your PC/laptop?
Third, Geek Squad services aren’t for everyone. Their prices are a little high, but we guarantee our work.

RE: As a Geek Squad Agent...
By jonmcc33 on 12/26/2007 10:55:54 AM , Rating: 2
My mother took her computer in for repair one time. After they looked at it they stated that it needed a new motherboard and PSU. They charged her $70 just to look at it. They stated the new motherboard and PSU were $700. Wow, prices are a little high for that one, eh? It was a $50 motherboard and $50 PSU. Parts AND labor I guess?

The problem is that I had just built the PC and everything was fine. I had her box it back up and send it to me. When I got it and looked at it the motherboard and PSU were fine. What happened? The idiot Geek Squad "agent" removed the heatsink off of the CPU. Of course the CPU stuck to the heatsink but they proceeded to try to jam the CPU back in with the heatsink still attached. It bent every single pin on the processor. I replaced the P4 Northwood processor and wow, the system booted up fine. Goes to show you how certified those Geek Squad agents are.

Geek Squad guarantees their work that they will further damage your computer and give prices that are out of this world so you're forced to go to the store and buy a new computer. I used to go to Best Buy to shop their DVDs and PC games but now I won't even waste my money on that. I am boycotting Best Buy and I'd like to laugh at any minimum wage Geek Squad agent that comes in boasting about their job.

RE: As a Geek Squad Agent...
By exanimas on 12/27/2007 6:46:03 PM , Rating: 2
Haha, minimum wage. Hardly.

Anyways, you failed to mention A) why your mother was bringing the computer in if it was fine in the first place and B)if you're implying $70 is such a high price to pay and you are as tech savy as you are, why she would pay it.

I'm also curious if you or her took any action (besides joining the millions who boycott Best Buy) about this, because that dumbass clearly should've been fired after breaking the pins on her CPU and trying to charge her for it.

RE: As a Geek Squad Agent...
By jdjbuffalo on 12/27/2007 6:50:12 PM , Rating: 2
I hear this kind of stuff a lot from people who take things to the Best Buy "experts" but I would like to point out one thing.

That $70 diagnostic fee is not uncommon. I use to run a small computer repair shop and we would charge this fee to diagnose a problem. Sometimes the people would decide that it wasn't worth the cost to fix the problem and instead wanted a new system (they wouldn't necessarily get it from us). Other times they would ask us to fix the issue and we would roll the diagnostic costs into the repair (i.e. we'd take $70 off the labor we otherwise would have charged).

I'm not sure if this is the way Best Buy does it but it's a fair way to make sure the repair shop get paid for your time they spent and the customer gets a fair deal if they decide they want the part repaired by you.

RE: As a Geek Squad Agent...
By AntiV6 on 12/25/2007 7:09:28 PM , Rating: 1
I work at Circuit City as a Sales Rep, and I love it. Our prices are usually better, management kicks ass, and our Firedog techs actually know what they are talking about. Except this one time, when I got in an argument about how a 32-bit version of windows can't use 8 Gigs of RAM fully.

A few of our newer Customer Service Associates used to work at the Best Buy right down the street, have so many stories about how their ex-managers told them to lie to customers and turn down every warranty they could. Hell, my Art teacher said she would never use them again because "Geek Squad" fried her computer and lost all of her data.

I honestly don't know how Best Buy is growing by how many people complain and boycott them.

I also buy the accidental warranties on some things. Battery replacement every year, gift card replacement a week before the warranty expires. :)

RE: As a Geek Squad Agent...
By BillyBatson on 12/25/07, Rating: 0
RE: As a Geek Squad Agent...
By AntiV6 on 12/25/2007 7:40:20 PM , Rating: 2
So, this fake website and the fine print in the Extended warranties at Best Buy doesn't register with you? Sure CC has had a few shady decisions in the past. Why do you think BB is a better company though?

The fine print for BB goes something along the lines of this, "after x years the depreciated value of the item will be the cost applied to a new similar model and that under no circumstances would acts of God, physical damage, or liquid damage be covered."

Seems like a waste, I personally like spending the extra money on an accidental warranty at Circuit City, just to have it break when the new model comes out and get a gift card for the amount back + tax.

I haven't been building computers for too long, I am 17 mind you, but of the 20 or so I have built, or helped build. I have never had any problems if you take your time and don't walk around with wool socks on.

I am just going by what the internet and people come in and tell me, nothing more.

RE: As a Geek Squad Agent...
By oozarux on 12/26/2007 1:52:09 AM , Rating: 3
After having worked at BB for a little under 2 years and later as a senior at CC, I can say I saw equally shady business practices under each

I was told w/e BB was putting computers on sale for the next Sun. to not recommend anything the week before that computer went on sale so as to have the very minimum, like 2 or 3 maybe, when the sale went active...customer wants a Toshiba, better be on sale next week or you better not be recommending it...and I am thoroughly familiar with the internal website, it bit my store in the ass more than a couple times

CC no better, i saw our store manager push so much crap on Mexican nationals just cuz he could speak Spanish and they were ecstatic to hear direct supervisor took off the regular price tags for desktop packages and put up prices with services and protection plans already attached so it made it look like that was the normal price, not everyone checks other ads for price comparisons and CC needed an edge since they still did (do?) many mail-in rebates

the only weird thing i saw was the talk of replacement batteries, liquid & physical damage...both stores offer accidental, non-accidental coverage and both cover liquid & and other physical damage when I worked there, so no difference...and both offer discounts for employees, but yes, BB really screwed their employees a few years ago with the discounts on that

only real point is to show one is no better than the other morally

it's easier to trust those who work on commission cuz if you screw them once, they won't give you a sale again, where non-commission is not as big a screw up on a sale, the manager has to take care of it, and you don't get any less or any more pay

RE: As a Geek Squad Agent...
By eye smite on 12/26/2007 11:25:10 AM , Rating: 2
We all know that best buy is taking advantage of peoples lack of knowledge, it's self evident in our own experiences. The big problem is, some people have to experience it for themselves, they'll never believe us.

RE: As a Geek Squad Agent...
By Spivonious on 12/26/2007 8:49:41 AM , Rating: 1
Someone's been drinking the Kool-Aid.

RE: As a Geek Squad Agent...
By eye smite on 12/26/2007 11:34:44 AM , Rating: 1
I can't speak for you so no offense intended in anything I type. If you have a good sense of ethics that's tremendous, don't let them strip you of it. My experiences over the years in any best buy I've been too (and there's alot in Houston) shows that best buy sales people take advantage of peoples lack of knowledge. I've seen it time and again and I don't use best buy unless I know what I want, know they have it, and don't talk to the salespeople. I also won't give them my phone number. Best Buy is run by unscrupulous, immoral, unethical execs that greed for money, they aren't worried if the customer really gets good service for what they pay. They just want money. When you have people that will sacrifice decency of any kind to turn a dollar it's not called making a profit, it's simply called greed.

RE: As a Geek Squad Agent...
By eye smite on 2/18/2008 11:19:19 PM , Rating: 3
And again we see ranting raters rate me down.

Q3 2008??
By Screwballl on 12/24/07, Rating: -1
RE: Q3 2008??
By Brandon Hill on 12/24/2007 10:02:45 PM , Rating: 2
You don't know what a fiscal year is?

RE: Q3 2008??
By Polynikes on 12/24/2007 11:24:09 PM , Rating: 3
Corporations often have screwy "fiscal" years. It makes no sense.

RE: Q3 2008??
By JohnnyCNote on 12/24/2007 11:36:08 PM , Rating: 1
Corporations often have screwy "fiscal" years. It makes no sense.

They also have, in some cases, two sets of books, the public ones for the stockholders, and the private ones kept in a very secure place. I seem to recall another corporation with similarly stellar profits, Enron, at least until the sham fell apart. Of, if one prefers to constrain the discussion to retailers, there's the (in)famous PharMore scandal.

On the technological front, there's always AOL, who somehow decided not to count all of the many thousands of floppies and CD's it passed out for years as promotional expenses, thus allowing management to claim much higher profits than what ultimately proved to be something quite the opposite . . .

RE: Q3 2008??
By Targon on 12/26/2007 4:47:22 AM , Rating: 3
There are scams and there are scams when it comes to accounting. Best Buy being a very large chain may have posted very good revenues this year(calendar year 2007) simply because a LOT of people did upgrade their computers.

I noticed it myself that this was the year that many people finally replaced their 5 and 6 year old computers, and with Best Buy being the only local retail store, it makes sense that many would go there if the prices are right. Can you really say that $585 for a computer with 2 gigs of RAM and a dual-core processor is a bad price for a new HP tower? Even if it's not the lowest price out there, if there are warranty issues, the store is easier to deal with for most people than shipping it out and keeping your fingers crossed that you will get it fixed within three months.

RE: Q3 2008??
By doctor sam adams on 12/25/2007 5:58:19 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think even in fiscal years we're in Q3 2008.

RE: Q3 2008??
By Deinonych on 12/25/2007 9:43:14 PM , Rating: 2
If a company's fiscal year ends in calendar year 2008, they could certainly be in Q3 FY2008 right now. It just means their fiscal year ends in March, April, or May 2008.

Best Buy Fixed The Problem
By hatoncat on 12/24/07, Rating: -1
RE: Best Buy Fixed The Problem
By BladeVenom on 12/25/2007 10:55:28 AM , Rating: 5
If they want higher prices in store then fine. They should state that on their website, and not set up a fake website, while telling customers that's the online price.

By whymeintrouble on 12/26/2007 2:44:14 AM , Rating: 2
The problem lies in who gets credit for the sale. the store at the kiosk you use gets credit for the sale, hence the discrepency in price, at least that is my best guess. if you straight to from home the ".com" part of BB gets the credit instead of any particular store.

Best Buy Employee...
By BillyBatson on 12/24/07, Rating: -1
RE: Best Buy Employee...
By bbomb on 12/24/2007 10:54:08 PM , Rating: 5
Problem is that apparently BB employees are going to the higher priced website to prove that the customer didn't see it at a lower price and refusing the price match. In the article the guy had to use his phones browser to get to the lower priced website to get his price match. For anyone who didn't do that they would be refused.

RE: Best Buy Employee...
By BillyBatson on 12/25/07, Rating: -1
RE: Best Buy Employee...
By Alexstarfire on 12/25/2007 3:21:20 AM , Rating: 5
Well, whether or not you believe this is right or wrong isn't something I really care about. It's your opinion and you are entitled to it. I believe there is a flaw in your logic though. Perhaps I just don't go to as many stores as I think I do, but I've never seen ANY other store have a separate local and national, or online and in-store, site EVER. Fry's, Microcenter, Gamestop, CircuitCity, RadioShack, etc.. all have ONE SITE. That's all, just 1. Places like Fry's compete very well online might I add. Sure, places like Newegg and ZipZoomFly can have better prices, but they also don't have any retail stores to worry about, AFAIK.

Why can't BestBuy, and all other companies for that matter, just stick to what is standard in the industry? Sure, sometimes begin different is good, but if you're getting as much flak for being different as Best Buy is, then I think you should stop doing it.

Also, I don't know what it taking them so long. You'd think it'd be as simple as either deleting the Toolkit thing that you mentioned, or the fake website, or even just redirect it to the national/real website. Of course it probably isn't since companies can't seem to do many things the simple way, most likely because of bureaucracy.

RE: Best Buy Employee...
By BillyBatson on 12/25/2007 6:41:30 AM , Rating: 2
if they had 1 site and say that site is all online pricing then everyone who comes in looking for a product and looks it up on the available kiosks then everyone will be asking for a price match. In that case it would just save everyone time if both online and retail were marked as the same price. Vise versa when an item is discounted in store it isn't always discounted online doesn't mean online should always be price matched automatically to store prices either. That's my logic, that it is two different stores and are competing on two different fronts. If newegg opened a few B&M stores their retail pricing would differ from their etail pricing. It problem doesn't seem to stem from the 2 different prices but the fact that people are having trouble price matching to the online price, which we are supposed to do.

RE: Best Buy Employee...
By Christopher1 on 12/25/2007 9:23:52 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, yes, it does mean that the online pricing should be the same as the 'in-store' pricing. Stores like Walmart and Target have gotten into trouble before with that 'in-store' not matching 'online' and have been in court for it a few times, if I am remembering correctly.

The courts have ruled that if a store is online and brick&mortar, both have to have the same price unless something is specifically mentioned to be an 'online-only' deal, which most stores do not do because it is too much trouble for them to put that warning on everything that is temporarily discounted online.

RE: Best Buy Employee...
By rcc on 12/26/2007 2:19:04 PM , Rating: 2
That makes no sense at all. The overheads are different between on-line and B&M, prices can reasonably be expected to be different, Unless... they advertise that pricing will be matched.

I did time at Fry's for a couple years and we never price matched the web site, even on request. Even the sales were different on-line and in store, and never the two shall mix. For that matter, the weekly sales vary from store to store, although they are usually the same within a geographical area.

However, having said that, the idea of having a supposed website that is different "in-store" is chickens***. Just tell the people that it's a store, not a web site, and someone has to pay for our helpfull, friendly, courteous (cough, cough) and downright good looking staff. There is a reason that people go into a physical store, they may prefer to interact with a person, they may want to touchie feelie, or they may want the convenience of instant purchase (and return if necessary). Whatever the reason is, there is a cost associated with running that type of business, if you don't think you are paying it, think again.

Regarding the capabilities of the staff at B&M stores, I have to confess that I have a lot of fun with them. Generally I'll ask a question that I know the answer to, if they give me a BS answer I'll call them on it and get someone else, and so on. It's really nice when you find someone with a clue, but it's tough given what they are generally willing to pay.

RE: Best Buy Employee...
By JohnnyCNote on 12/24/2007 11:27:23 PM , Rating: 5
Perhaps you'd best find out your corporate policy on these matters before weighing in:

Best Buy has previously responded that the company does have two Web sites, but its policy is to offer the lowest price unless it is specifically noted as an "online special."

However, it's curious that one needs to ask for the lower price, indicating a willingness on BB's part to take advantage of the customer's trust that BB is a reputable vendor that treats its customers fairly and respectfully.

In addition, you could always take the matter up with the Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal. There's more than a slight chance he's somewhat more well versed in the legal aspects of this issue than are you.

However, it appears that some BB managers do not take too kindly to requests to match online prices:

For some weeks now, a feud between Best Buy and its customers has been waged over a pricing issue with VisionTek's GeForce4 Ti4600 graphics card. According to gaming site Hypothermia, this dispute involving more than two thousand customers is not being handled in a consistent manner between stores. It came to a head recently with the arrest of Georgia resident Abraham Cherian, a customer who entered a Best Buy store to request a raincheck and left with the Dekalb County police. . .

. . . Last Friday, however, things took a turn for the ugly. Abraham Cherian went into the Best Buy store in Tucker, Georgia, with copies of receipts. Upon asking for a raincheck, Cherian was asked to wait while the store's general manager called the police, intending to press charges of criminal trespass and fraud. The Hypothermia site provides this quote from Cherian's arrest record:

Upon my arrival, I spoke with complainant Rod Hill (General Manager) who stated that unknown indian (sic) male came in the store with a website generated receipt to purchase a $399 item for the price of $129.99. Mr. Hill advised that the computer generated receipt was false because receipt for the GeForce4 Ti 4600 is on the internet for price of $399, and has been never listed for $129.99. Mr. Hill also stated that 5 other people have come in with these same receipts for 129.99 and it has been placed in BestBuy system as a red flag.

It is troubling enough that Cherian was arrested in the first place. What is more disturbing, however, is that from the five people who had presented such a receipt, at least one raincheck appears to have been granted for a customer at that very same store. It is now clear that not only does the policy about this particular issue vary from store to store, but from customer to customer as well.

"Best" Buy has a long, well documented history of such underhanded practices. When you speak on their behalf, are you condoning said practices, or are you unaware they have occurred, and that BB shows no inclination to curtail them in any way (unless forced to by a court of law)?

RE: Best Buy Employee...
By BillyBatson on 12/25/2007 12:23:29 AM , Rating: 1
I am well aware of the complaints and though I do not agree with them not going through with the price match on the spot (again my store will not only honor the price match, you won't have to go to customer service to do so they do it right at the reg or the department you are purchasing from). I do on the other hand feel that it is ok to have a different price in a B&M store and an e-store. Costs are obviously different for the 2 stores and more etailers are able to offer better pricing online. BB could just price everything online the same price as in store but they obviously can't price everything in store like they do online prices.

RE: Best Buy Employee...
By HaZaRd2K6 on 12/25/2007 8:44:47 PM , Rating: 2
They were pretty much forced to by a court of law, and still they persist. So clearly that didn't do much.

Although while all this nonsense with Best Buy is going on, Fry's is doing the same thing but worse: advertising great deals as "In stock" and when one (read: me) goes to order said deal, one suddenly gets the following e-mail:

>"We apologize but the item(s) you ordered are currently out of stock and we are unable to provide a definite ship date at this time."

Followed shortly thereafter by:

> "Due to overwhelming demand or insufficient availability from our supplier(s) we are unable to fulfill your entire order. Please note the item(s) listed below have been removed from your order because it is no longer available."

Nice. Jackasses. *sigh*

RE: Best Buy Employee...
By rrowv1 on 12/24/2007 11:44:05 PM , Rating: 2
... we will price match our online price. No big deal. Everyone get over it.

Not true in practice. I have tried this at stores in Indiana and have been told point blank "we do not match our online prices". I have never gotten a price match at any Best Buy store to their online store, special or not. I don't know if this is unique to this area, but it's definitely at odds with your statement.

RE: Best Buy Employee...
By BillyBatson on 12/25/2007 12:28:17 AM , Rating: 2
That is strange since we price match other B&M stores as long as the model/part # is the same and the item is in stock. I know at my store we will price match online prices of our major competitors such as circuit city no problems. I have even seen us price match newegg on a printer (there was a $10 different) but I was told we wouldn't always be able to do it it would depend on how big the price difference was. If we can price match circuit then we sure as hell can price match which my store does. The stores you guys have tried it at either are not aware of the policy saying we are supposed to, or are purposely refusing to which would be wrong.

RE: Best Buy Employee...
By Targon on 12/26/2007 5:02:43 AM , Rating: 3
This shows that the problem is the management of the individual stores, and the lack of enforcement of rules from "corporate". You and your particular store may be decent, but if other stores do not follow the policy you describe, then why is nothing done about the other stores?

One nasty thing I have noticed about the corporate prices on products is that when inventory runs low for certain products, the price will suddenly be marked up until new inventories come in. The HP a6200n for example is normally a $585 system, but when inventories run low, the price will suddenly go up to around $700 for a few weeks, then will drop back down. During that period, you will still find the a6230n selling for exactly the same price it was. So, when I have a customer who is going to order or buy from Best Buy, I ALWAYS tell them the price they should expect to see(based on checking the national site daily), and if the price does not match when trying to purchase, they should wait a few weeks until the price goes back to normal.

RE: Best Buy Employee...
By Jonwww on 12/25/2007 9:15:31 AM , Rating: 3
They might want to check their website for their own policy, it clearly states they will match price at other local Best Buy stores and Hopefully this link works. If it doesn't, just go to the bottom of their page & click on 'low price guarantee', that is for though, toward top of page is a link for 'best buy store price guarantee'.

I had an experience a couple years ago with a hard drive being on sale on their site, went in store & was not on sale, had them price check & wouldn't you believe it, it wasn't on sale. I thought I was pretty sure it was so I left the store empty handed, went home & it was still on sale on website. Printed out sale page, brought it back to store & they honored it no problem.

RE: Best Buy Employee...
By Iketh on 12/25/2007 1:09:38 AM , Rating: 3
good example why companies prohibit their employees from speaking out like this publicly

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