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
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 BestBuy.com 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
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
brought against the company by Connecticut attorney general Richard
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
"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
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.
quote: and their return procedures are excruciating.
quote: 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).
quote: 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.
quote: Third, Geek Squad services aren’t for everyone. Their prices are a little high, but we guarantee our work.
quote: Best Buy recently made headlines for its stellar fiscal 2008 Q3 performance.
quote: Corporations often have screwy "fiscal" years. It makes no sense.
quote: 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."
quote: 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 BestBuy.com 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.
quote: ... we will price match our online price. No big deal. Everyone get over it.