Consider this scenario:
You're shopping online for a new DVD player. You see that Best Buy is having a great sale, and decide to go in the store to pick it up, because you want it really bad. You get there, and the salesman is more than happy to tell you all about it. Then you bring up the fact that you saw a better price on BestBuy.com. So the employee takes you over to the computer, and navigates to what appears to be the company website, and shows you a price that matches the price on the shelf. "Oh, they must have just updated the website", the salesperson tells you. Unsure whether to be disappointed or pissed, you begrudgingly pay full price for the item, and take it home. The salesperson woudn't lie to you, right?
Well, this article I just read proves just that. It seems that Best Buy had an internal version of their public facing website that listed different prices.
Under pressure from [Connecticut] state investigators, Best Buy is now confirming my reporting that its stores have a secret intranet site that has been used to block some consumers from getting cheaper prices advertised on BestBuy.com.
State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal ordered the investigation into Best Buy's practices on Feb. 9 after my column disclosed the website and showed how employees at two Connecticut stores used it to deny customers a $150 discount on a computer advertised on BestBuy.com.
Based on what his office has learned, Blumenthal said, it appears the consumer has the burden of informing Best Buy sales people of the cheaper price listed on its Internet site, which he said "is troubling."
What is more troubling to me, and to some Best Buy customers, is that even when one informs a salesperson of the Internet price, customers have been shown the intranet site, which looks identical to the Internet site, but does not always show the lowest price.
I wouldn't be surprised if Best Buy isn't the only major retailer that does this. Either way, this kind of deception should not be tolerated. The easiest way to show them customers won't stand for being mislead is to stop being their customers. I'll never step foot in another Best Buy ever again, and I'd strongly urge my American readers to do the same. There are plenty of other online retailers who are far cheaper anyways. Newegg.com isn't going to have an internal website to mislead their customers.
And people say Wal-Mart is the evil one.