Best Buy Complaint - False Price Matching Advertising
I'm sure that I speak for many when I complain about Best Buy's so-called "Price Matching". It seems that what their policy says and what they do are 2 very different things. More to the point, once you get to the store, the story always changes.
Here is the text form their online explanation of price-matching:
The Best Buy Price Guarantee does not apply to competitors' free offers, limited quantity items, open-box, clearance or closeout products, mail-in incentives, financing or bundle offers. In California, the policy does not apply to mobile phones. The policy does not apply to typographical errors or a competitor's price that results from a price match.
What is considered a local retail competitor?
A retail store located in the same market area as your local Best Buy store.
Okay… now ANYWHERE in that text, does it EXPLICITLY STATE IN WRITING: “WE DON’T MATCH PRICES FROM ONLINE RETAILERS...”
…NO! It doesn’t, yet that’s the BS they spewed when I brought in an ad from Target.com (who we all know IS a local retailer!) the other day for the new King Kong movie on Target.com for $19.99. Best Buy wanted $22.99 – yes only 3 dollars more, but when you’re on a very tight budget yet still want to entertain your kids, every dollar counts.
So, I presented the ad from Target.com and figured they’d match the price with no problem… WRONG!
The nasty so-called ‘Manager’ got on his high-horse and in a raised voice started the ‘we won’t match anything online it’s not an ad from a ‘local retail store’ mumbo-jumbo.
But wait – it gets even better!… They had a circular from Target in one of the registers and showed it to me… yet still wouldn’t match the price! Granted the Target ad had it for 20.99 instead of 19.99, but still, it was 2 dollars less… so I said “Okay, so there’s the ad right in front of you, may please I have it for 20.99 then?”…
“NO! YOU have to bring in the ad yourself…!”
Being calm about it, I gave him the rationale I presented in points A and B to no avail, but he wouldn’t budge… Over a lousy stinking 2 dollars which is a molecule in an ocean for a big company like Best Buy… So I left in a huff, and let the other customers nearby see I was angry on purpose… I later on Bought it at J&R Musicworld for 20.99 (who by the way, actually wanted 22.99 as well, but MATCHED THEIR WEB PRICE!).
Honestly, would I die if I paid 22.99? Of course not! But it’s the principal… and it’s a principal that really would in the long run benefit the store as well… Think about the scenario I present below:
If you owned a store, and someone found a lower price on Amazon, Overstock, (or Target.com as I did, who just opened a so-called ‘Local retail store’ not far from the Best Buy store in Staten Island) would you rather:
A) Sacrifice a few dollars, make the sale and still make a decent return on what's an already marked-up item and keep a happy customer who'll keep coming back in the future... or,
B) Totally lose the entire amount of what would have been a guaranteed sale, frustrate a would-be loyal customer and likely lose many future other sales to that customer had you made a relatively small sacrifice and showed just a little good customer service.
The no-brainer correct answer is A, but Best Buy foolishly chose B, and so has lost a once VERY loyal customer to Circuit City (who to be fair, pulls similar crap, but at least typically charges less for DVDs) and anyone else, as long as they're not Best Buy. I'm not a business genius, but you don’t have to be one to figure out they're gonna lose millions if they don't start realizing their biggest competition is not the so-called 'Local retailer', but it's the internet. As long as they refuse to match internet ads they’re only hurting themselves by being petty over a lousy 2 dollars…
I APPRECIATE YOUR FEEDBACK!