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Best Buy Accused of Overcharging 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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Best Buy Accused of Overcharging

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  • Eh (Score:5, Funny)

    by Cowclops ( 630818 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @03:13PM (#19274269)
    If you're worried about getting the lowest possible price, why are you shopping at best buy ANYWAY?
    • Re:Eh (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 25, 2007 @03:30PM (#19274535)

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

      CAPTCHA: honest

      • by commodoresloat ( 172735 ) * on Friday May 25, 2007 @04:34PM (#19275435)
        The service plan is actually worth it for certain expensive and frequently updated devices. I bought a third generation iPod there years ago for like $400. I spend $40 on the service plan. It died once and I took it in; they had stopped selling that model (maybe 20 gig? I don't recall) but had one at about that price point with a bigger hard drive. They couldn't fix it, so they gave me the newer model; I got an upgrade essentially for $40. Another year passed and I was having problems with this one - nothing major, but the software was messed up enough to be annoying. I took it in and explained the problem. They didn't even try to fix it; they just pulled a brand new top model 4th gen off the shelf and gave it to me. That was about a year or so ago; the ipod is still working fine but I am seriously thinking of plugging the firewire cord in the wrong way by accident and then taking it in for an upgrade again; at this point I ought to be able to get an 80 gig 5th gen ipod...
        • by AuMatar ( 183847 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @04:47PM (#19275595)
          Most people actually don't upgrade their ipods that fast. But ignoring that (and the fact that purposely breaking an item to cash in on an insurance plan is fraud)- you're still losing money. Most poducts don't break. Service plans are priced so that chance_of_breaking*price_of_replacementprice_of_pl an. Given this, you will not save money buying service plans, unless you are either extremely unlucky or they miscalculate the chance of breaking.

          The only time it makes sense to take on of the plans is if the cost of the item is so high that you can't afford to replace it if it does break, and you can't go without it. Anything else ends up being a bad financial gamble.
          • by CodeBuster ( 516420 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @05:08PM (#19275869)
            Anything else ends up being a bad financial gamble.

            In fact, it almost *always* is a bad financial gamble...take cell phone insurance plans for example (most people are probably familiar with those). The last time I purchased a cell phone w/plan I calculated, given the monthly insurance payment and the value of the phone, using the formulas for Expected Value [wikipedia.org] and Present Value [wikipedia.org] (using short term bank CD rates for interest), that the insurance companies figure that there is better than 90% chance that every person who purchases the insurance on their cell phone will end up using it before the insurance company receives payments in the amount of the original purchase price of the phone. In other words, if you believe that your chance of having a total loss on your phone is less than 90% certain (assuming that you don't plan to break it on purpose to collect, which would be fraudulent and is probably why the insurance companies chose this high rate, to cover the costs of the people that do this so that their insurance money wasn't 'wasted') before you have paid an amount equivalent to the phone then you should *not* purchase the insurance. It would be cheaper to simply buy a new phone at full (or probably reduced price, but I didn't even factor that into my calculation so how much *worse* of a deal would the insurance be if we accounted for depreciation of the phone? Probably push that probability over 100% which means that the insurance company wins no matter what happens) price on the off chance that you lose it or it breaks. I would imagine that most consumer product insurance, with the possible exception of really big ticket durable goods like cars, is scaled like this to account for all of the cheaters since most people who buy this type of insurance plan to collect at some point in the future.
    • Yeah I'm not sure what would possibly make someone think they could get the best buy at a place called Best Buy.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Title: Product Specialist - Computers

      This news about Best Buy using the bait and switch tactic has gone much further back than people realize. I used to work in a Dallas-area Best Buy 5 years ago and we were taught as associates to use the method (although it was never called "bait-n-switch" for obvious reasons) to upsell customers to bring in more revenue and inflate numbers. I was told by my supervisor on one occasion that we would explain to our customer how we didn't have the computer he was looking for
  • About damn time (Score:5, Interesting)

    by linzeal ( 197905 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @03:16PM (#19274319) Homepage Journal
    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 (Score:5, Informative)

      by rob1980 ( 941751 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @03:19PM (#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 (Score:5, Interesting)

        by terrymr ( 316118 ) <terrymr&gmail,com> on Friday May 25, 2007 @03:46PM (#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: (Score:3, Insightful)

        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.
        • by Lehk228 ( 705449 )
          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: (Score:3, Informative)

            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?"
            • by Lehk228 ( 705449 )
              more like can i sell you these 128MB sticks for $69.99
            • Re:About damn time (Score:5, Informative)

              by zerocool^ ( 112121 ) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @12:24AM (#19279831) Homepage Journal

              Not that I give a damn about their business practices, but I used to be a sales associate at Best Buy, in the computer department.

              You have to trust me when I say this: The people in the store have NOTHING to do with this. We never hid sales items.

              Here's the real story. Every Friday or Saturday, we'd get the weekly ad which went live on Sunday. In my store, we got two trucks a week, Wednesday and Friday, after close of business. Sometimes they were 48', sometimes 53'. If we didn't have the ad by Friday night, we could usually tell which stick of ram would be on sale because we got a box of it, probably 20 units or more. As I recall, there were usually three brands - kingston, ValURam, and one other that I forget. Every week, one of the 256 MB sticks would be on sale, and usually a laptop stick as well (I worked there around 2000-2001). So, when we knew, we'd stock as much of it as possible to have it close on hand.

              With no exceptions, on Sunday morning at open of business (11 am), the first people in the store would be headed straight for the computer department counter, to buy all the ram they could. Usually, it said something like "limit 2 per" on the ad, but when it didn't say that, boy was it not a fun day to hand out the ram. Anyway, by 6 pm - close of business - on Sunday, all the ram was gone. We of course still had the two other brands in the same size which were $20 more. But, by Tuesday, the customers were incensed about the lack of advertised items.

              I cannot count the times I was accused by outraged, misinformed customers of bait-and-switch when I'd show them what we happened to have in stock, be it ram or computers. No, sir, I'm sorry that we don't have any more of the $350 E-Machine computer in stock. Perhaps when you see a computer deal that's insanely cheap, you shouldn't presume that you are the only person within 50 miles that will want to purchase it. Yes, sir, we did have them in stock. Yes, sir, we got a shipment of 30 of them last Friday, and we anticipate getting another 15 Wednesday, and probably some more this Friday. No sir, I can't hold one for you.

              Whatever. Ask me anything you want, I worked there long enough to know how almost everything works. I'll reply truthfully.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ronadams ( 987516 )
        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: (Score:3, Interesting)

      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: (Score:2, Funny)

        by imamac ( 1083405 )
        Defrauding Best Buy? Shame on you...
      • by grub ( 11606 ) <slashdot@grub.net> on Friday May 25, 2007 @03:37PM (#19274625) Homepage Journal

        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: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Hoi Polloi ( 522990 )
          "Sorry, we're all out of Goatse. Can I interest you instead in Hot Grits for $19.99?"
        • by gEvil (beta) ( 945888 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @04:35PM (#19275449)
          Funny, huge assholes are just about the only thing I can reliably find at Best Buy...
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            You know, that was meant to be funny but it's very true. Example, there was a woman in one of the stores that I was in one time looking to buy a wireless router for her house. I don't usually jump into things like this, but I was killing time waiting for my oil change and this salesman was an idiot. He was telling her that she NEEDED to buy the oh so great wireless N draft 1 router and going on and on about features that I'm sure he had no knowledge of since none of it really came with the router. I ask
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by billcopc ( 196330 )
        I once heard a story about an obnoxious hacker who had set up a web proxy on his personal server, that could alter certain numbers on a web page on-the-fly, or even replace it with a locally-stored version. He went to the store, configured the kiosks to use his proxy then bought himself a nice LCD monitor at a very special price. After his shopping spree was over, he returned to the store one last time, to reset the kiosks to their standard settings.

        I once heard another story about a duo of hackers who ha
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by sp3d2orbit ( 81173 )
      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 warran
      • 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.

    • by TrekkieGod ( 627867 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @04:11PM (#19275149) Homepage Journal

      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 :)

      • 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 :)
        Did it work? She thought it was funny, but could you pick up the keyboard right away?
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Lord Ender ( 156273 )
        Did you get her phone number?
  • Hmmm... (Score:5, Funny)

    by rob1980 ( 941751 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @03:17PM (#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?
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by imamac ( 1083405 )

      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.
      • by terrymr ( 316118 )
        Compusa went belly-up ? My local store doesn't seem to know that.

        Did you mean Future Shop ?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by zippthorne ( 748122 )
      Well, duh. You can't trick people out of their money if they don't trust you.
    • I highly recommend "with", and I really don't work on commission...
  • old (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    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: (Score:2, Informative)

      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.
  • by EllynGeek ( 824747 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @03:18PM (#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.

    • I think there's a good reason my electronics store has a banner that reads "Your best buys are always at Fry's".
      • by fo0bar ( 261207 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @03:37PM (#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.
        • by CthulhuDreamer ( 844223 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @03:47PM (#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.
          • that are obsessed with new being untouched? I used to buy my CD's from a shop that opened them and let you listen, a lot of people I knew wouldn't shop at places like that because they wanted the disk to be absolutely new.

            Likewise, when I shop for computer gear I always use a place like Fry's because they have such a reasonable return policy. I've never really blanched at something having been opened that I bought (so long as it's undamaged and works as expected).

            That said, the mentioned hard drives mig
            • by fo0bar ( 261207 )

              that are obsessed with new being untouched? I used to buy my CD's from a shop that opened them and let you listen, a lot of people I knew wouldn't shop at places like that because they wanted the disk to be absolutely new.

              My problem is two-fold: First, if you're taking used (not just opened) goods and packaging/selling it as new, that's definitely shady. And yeah, I wouldn't care if I bought a CD that had been opened once before, as long as I could inspect it first (which re-shrinkwrapping prevents).

              Electronics are a completely different matter. Now, I imagine a lot of returns are buyer's remorse under the guise of "oh, it's 'broken'". But I fear the guy who comes in with, say, a monitor and says something like "it start

              • by msimm ( 580077 )
                The shrink-wrap I'd chalk up to theft prevention (it's still returnable). The chance that someone OK'd something that shouldn't have been? Sure, but in my experience I'd guess it's pretty low (plus it's still returnable. For me I guess it just seems like a fair trade-off. Like the occasional dinged/smudged CD I'd buy.
        • "...And I've never done so, but I heard their returns process is Cthulhu-level pain.""

          No, on the contrary Fry's has the best return policy of anyone. The other day I returned a Part I bought 3 weeks before, no receipt. They keep a record of every sale and can look it up. They will take anything back for up to 30 days for any reason. How many other places do a refund on demand with no receipt? The problem is the returns desk is slow and there is always a line but the store's policy is very good. I've k
    • 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
      • Which is exactly why we marry the switching hardware of a Layer 2 switch with the IP routing logic of a router to produce... a Layer 3 switch!
    • I really can't say I've experienced any of that, and I've taken advantage of a lot of their specials. I skim their weekly flyer regularly. I haven't tried to buy computers there though.
  • Repost? (Score:5, Informative)

    by phalse phace ( 454635 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @03:21PM (#19274379)
    Sort of a repost [slashdot.org], no?
  • by yeremein ( 678037 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @03:22PM (#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.
    • by hurfy ( 735314 )
      Might want to read the fine print on Compusa's website then.....

      No guarantee the in store price is the same, even if it usually is.
      And how do you check stock quickly, hehe, kinda painful to check more than one item :( At least the overpriced burner worked good.
    • "I don't think anybody buys stuff online from big brick and mortar chains anyway."

      I buy stuff online from REI for store pickup frequently. Usually it is because they didn't have it in stock at the store. The outdoor gear biz is one example of a business where you really don't see much variation between online and store prices. Maybe it is because it is a limited market?
  • Totaly true! (Score:4, Informative)

    by SlayerofGods ( 682938 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @03:29PM (#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.
    • 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).

    • by eht ( 8912 )
      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.
    • Seriously, if they believe a printout that you created with your own printer, what's to stop you from using photoshop...or just saving off the page as "web page complete", editing the price in the (now) client-side HTML file, firing up your browser, and printing the result. You would just need to make sure that your browser wasn't printing the URL in the header to avoid the "file" (vs. "http") protocol from appearing...although one could produce the appropriate version with header without requiring the rea
  • by danbert8 ( 1024253 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @03:30PM (#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.
    • by mcrbids ( 148650 )
      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 consistentl
    • by Anonymous Coward
      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
    • I almost had to do the same thing at CompUSA, except they wouldn't let me use one of their pc's. All I got was some lame story about "our ad breaks a day earlier in this state" and blank uncomprehending stares when I explained the process I would then need to go through:

      Me: So if I drive 10 miles back to my house, get online, go through the hassle of setting up an account (I don't buy things online, I used to load trucks for UPS, I know what goes on there...), buy the item online on a credit card that I d

  • by KillerCow ( 213458 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @03:42PM (#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].
  • by superbus1929 ( 1069292 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @03:49PM (#19274791) Homepage
    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.
  • and www.tigerdirect.com price was about $50 less then bestbuy for a psu.
  • Dupe (Score:4, Informative)

    by Turn-X Alphonse ( 789240 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @03:56PM (#19274901) Journal
    This is the dupe from the 02nd of March.

    http://yro.slashdot.org/yro/07/03/03/0423239.shtml [slashdot.org]

    Best buy already fessed up on this.
  • 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 as
  • by night_flyer ( 453866 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @04:09PM (#19275111) Homepage
    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...

    • by hurfy ( 735314 )
      Aye, I just noticed Compusa's version a couple days ago while shopping.

      Online Pricing and Inventory
      Pricing and availability information is up-to-date as of 5/25/2007 3:03:37 AM. Listed prices are national prices, and actual retail prices may vary by market. Products are sold on a first come, first serve basis. Listed prices are national prices, and actual retail prices may vary by market. Savings percentage reflects the lowest price shown.

      (Duplicate line is theirs not mine! I think that is a hint)

  • There was a time when we were lucky to have a Best Buy near us, which was cheaper and had a better selection of electronics... however that time has passed. They now are over priced, and only carry a very few brands.

    I try to avoid shopping at Best Buy whenever possible.
  • Well that pretty much says it. Yes I'm the /.'er who continually finds himself slamming the company he used to love over and over here lately... but I have decided they deserve it. Best Buy works on the entire notion of 'plausible denial'. The corporate level is the face of Best Buy and really makes Best Buy out to be one hell of an awesome company. However, Best Buy is very goal oriented... but these goals have one major flaw, it is not enough to meet or exceed a goal. Best Buy stores compete against oth
  • Posted some time ago already...

    http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/03/03/04 23239 [slashdot.org]
  • Futureshop the same (Score:3, Informative)

    by failedlogic ( 627314 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @08:22PM (#19278187)
    Future Shop, the Canadian retailer BB just bought has been doing the same thing before BB bought them out.

    The other day, I went to FS to buy Satellite radio receiver and a home kit. FS didn't have the cheaper but good SkyFi 2 receiver I wanted. It had it on sale in the flyer but there was probably only one in the store. They say the Skyfi 3 is on sale and much better. They offer to me to use their computer to look up the product. Great! Go on newegg.com ... its *blocked*. Ditto Amazon.com. 10 popup windows and a command prompt pop up to execute a script to shut down the competitor's site. Seems like they forgot about Google cache... Oops! Turns out the Skyfi 3 sucked so I didn't but it. The very fact no one could honestly help me and tried to deceive me made me walk out the door and I'll never go back.

    I would recount that BB staff spent 35 minutes looking for a radio saying it was in stock, couldn't find it, offered a raincheck and never called me back. But that's another story....
  • by photomonkey ( 987563 ) on Friday May 25, 2007 @08:52PM (#19278445)

    It really blows ass that a company like Best Buy pulls shit like this, but what, exactly are they going to learn from this?

    The lawyers trying the case on both sides will get filthy, filthy richer and according to the likely outcome of the likely class-action suit, anyone who shopped at a Best Buy in some geographic area between date x and date y is entitled to a free $10 gift card for store credit only.

    The same monkeys that got overcharged the first time around will be those going straight to Best Buy with their $10 gift cards to use towards the purchase of something else they probably don't need, can't afford, and will be financing through Best Buy.

    Yeah, I'm sure this will hurt Best Buy real bad.

    In cases such as this, what the state of Fed needs to do is step in, find out who ordered and/or carried out this bait-and-switch/scam and CHARGE THEM WITH A CRIME. Like, maybe, theft, fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, etc.

    Otherwise, big companies will continue to get little slaps on the wrist, and the lawyers are the only ones who will benefit.

    Jail and money are the only things these guys understand, but it's often looked at in reverse from the perspective of the judicial system:

    Let's say I work for Enron. I'm 30 years old, and decide to steal millions. I'll likely be out of jail in 5-15 years, in which time, assuming I hid the money properly (which is probably a safe assumption for anyone 'smart' enough to embezzle millions from a public company), the smaller pile of money will have grown into a bigger pile of money. I'll also have the time to catch up on my sleep and write my memoirs in a comfy, Fed min-security prison in Connecticut.

    In cases where tons of money are actually stolen by single individuals at the corporation, punish them by TAKING THE MONEY AWAY. It's worth it for them to steal millions mid-career, because they'll still be able to enjoy it after prison.

    Now look at situations where it's corporations stealing the money via false ads and fraud:

    They charge everyone a few bucks extra and it quickly turns into millions. In this case, it's a team of bad apples, but likely they're not keeping the extra money. It's people acting illegally on BEHALF of the corporation. Find the ones that orchestrated it and throw them in JAIL, since there's no money to take, and they weren't even smart enough to steal for personal gain.

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