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Best Buy Cancels Ad Price; Angers Customers

Reported By Jodi Brooks

PARKER, Colo. (CBS4) – Parker residents Kimberly and John Cavaliere have been in the market for a new TV. And like all good consumers, they were shopping around for a good deal right after the holidays. They found a deal they thought was too good to be true.

“A 42-inch LCD TV for $188,” said Kimberly Cavaliere.

“The same TV at other places and it was around $499,” John added.

The ad was on Best Buy’s website. The Cavaliere jumped on it – ordering two. They got confirmation emails saying the TVs were on their way. But the next morning, the couple got two more emails stating their orders were canceled due to “a pricing error on our website.”

“It was an advertised special, and I understand somebody made a mistake, but I feel they should have made a goodwill gesture and honored it,” Kimberly said.

“Well you know in my business if I make an error, I’ve made some in the over 20 years I’ve been doing what I’m doing, I’ve always had to make good on them,” John said.

Best Buy does state on its website in a section called “conditions of use” under “errors on our site” that the company “reserves the right to revoke any stated offer.”

CBS4 Consumer Investigator Jodi Brooks checked with the Attorney General’s Office and confirmed that the store is not compelled to honor the advertised price if it’s a typo. The law prevents businesses from intentionally advertising one price and then changing it at the last-minute or requiring extra fees in order to get a discounted price. But the canceled order still doesn’t sit well with the Cavalieres.

“I just bought a $90 earpiece for my phone from Best Buy and it’s going back this afternoon,” Kimberly said.

The Cavalieres are not the only loyal customers who have been disappointed by Best Buy. Just days before Christmas, the company cancelled 30,000 online orders for lack of inventory. A recent story in a major business publication ran with the headline “Why Best Buy Is Destined to Fail.” And in 2011, the company’s stock lost 40 percent of its value.

CBS4 Consumer Investigator Jodi Brooks contacted Best Buy about the Cavalieres’ situation and she got an e-mailed response stating the situation is “being addressed” and “we are very sorry for the inconvenience.”

“I’ll pay extra to go someplace else. It’s just the principal at this point,” John explained.

– Written for the Web by CBS4 Special Projects Producer Libby Smith


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