December 31, 2005
You ever buy anything from Best Buy? If so, you better read on…
I had a Sony 400 DVD Changer that broke. That was unfortunate since it seemed to have broken quite easily but I was, in general, happy with its operation given its price relative to comparably-equipped competitors. I had purchased it from Amazon.
Well, I decided I needed to replace it before all my DVDs got damaged (which cost a more than the total price of the changer…my way of justifying its purchase with the wife ;-).
I decided to go to bestbuy.com (the online store) to check out what they had and what their prices would be when I go into the store. I found one that was a newer model of the one I had online and decided I would go in to pick it up (click link to see screen capture) instead of wait for it to be shipped.
As you can see from bestbuy.com, the price is listed as $375 (screen capture in case they change the price…and another one showing in store pick up available). When they scanned it at the store (no price was listed at the display) during my trip there on Friday, Dec 30, 2005, the price said $399. I told them I had just come over from checking the price online and it had said the lower price for an in-store purchase (some prices are available only online…but not this one…I had even checked the inventory to see if it was available at the Burbank store (see screen capture where they state available for in store pick up).
They didn’t give me that price and said they would check it. They took me over to a computer that showed a browser in kiosk mode that was basically a customized web browser without toolbars and looked like it had bestbuy.com loaded in it. The exact model I was purchasing was pulled up on the screen and did not display the cheaper price…it instead showed the higher price! I asked if this was bestbuy.com and the salesperson stated it was. I followed the exact click path I took to confirm…click on Electronics->DVD Players->scroll down and click on the DVD player I wanted. No luck…the salesperson stated I might have looked at a different model…but I was sure I was correct. The salesperson went to speak with his manager and came back saying he would knock down $10. That didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me…to randomly knock down $10 without proof of a lower price…hmmmmmm.
I told him I would be back, drove down the street to my house and looked it up again using the same exact click path. Low and behold, there was the DVD player still listed for the lower price. This leads me to believe 1 of a couple of things: 1) I was NOT on bestbuy.com in the store but rather, some internal mirror or 2) the bestbuy.com website shows different prices based on IP Address, user-agent, or other method. This in and of itself may not seem like much, but the salesperson put it out there that I *was* on bestbuy.com and there *was no* lower price!!!
I was really disappointed in Best Buy’s demonstration of bad faith. When I went back to show a printed copy of the lower price, I went back to the same exact salesperson to question him. He was in the process of showing another potential customer that the price for a projector she wanted was not lower like she thought and was sitting at the computer kiosk again. I questioned it about it in front of her and she stated she had experienced the same thing. He was unable to give me an answer of what had happened and shrugged his shoulders…then sent me to another salesperson to get rid of me who offered to price match…their *own* price!!!!
Well, you know what they say, let the buyer beware. If they tried to pull this on such a small savings, I can’t imagine what they’d try to do to stop a much larger savings that may affect their sales commissions substantially…what a disappointment!