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

  • Jimbo von Winskinheimer

    No, it’s not “the principle” at this point. It’s that most Americans think they are entitled to something special. These clowns KNEW the TV was over twice the price anywhere else, so they jumped on 2 of them, thinking they could get them before Best Buy realized the error. When they didn’t get away with it, they cried that they were ripped off and cheated by Best Buy. I guess they feel that Best Buy should take a lost due to a typo. I don’t know what kind of “business” Mr. Cavaliere does, but a lost of a few hundred dollars per unit, multiplied by potentially thousands of units, can add up. Would his business be willing to take that large of a hit, or would he sacrifice his “principles” in order to stay in business?

    • Jeff T

      Best Buy should blacklist Kimberly on John on “principal”. (Who wrote this article??)

    • denver guy

      Jimbo the spelling police doesn’t think Best Buy should take a “lost”… hmmmm

    • Steve

      The advertised price was most probably Best Buys wholesale price. You know the markup is at least 50% over wholesale.

    • Steve M

      Whiners. They tried to take advantage of a clear mistake and then appear on TV to tell their story about their $200 TV heartache? Make that, “Losers.”

  • Jimbo von Winskinheimer

    See what a typo can do? Oh, and Denver Guy, that would be “the spelling police don’t think” not “the spelling police doesn’t think”. The word “police” is always treated as a plural noun. Thanks for playing though.

    • Really?

      1) Ditto what Jimbo said
      2) How is this possibly news? How bored (or unprofessional) is Libby Smith?

      Nominating the couple, writer and news channel for “A-Hole of the year”

  • happyday

    This article is so poorly written it is difficult to read. Some of the comments are just a bad, but I’m perfect, NOT! These folks are just crying because they want publicity and two TVs. Best Buy is in deep poo poo as far as customer service, but, must agree with them on this one. Soon BB will be a distant memory in the retail sector.

  • Jerry

    If not obvious already, they are not very smart people. They probably didn’t know the $188 price was a mistake. So, go easy on these people, folks. They’re stupid. The world is full of them, and all we can do is just laugh at them.

    Curious about that $90 ear piece, though. Probably cheaper at Amazon.

    Scary to think that some day, Walmart, Target, and Sears will be the only places to buy electronics unless you buy it on-line. Hopefully, Fry’s opens a location in Colorado, soon.

  • Nelson Serrano

    On December 13th 2011 we had ordered several items from for a combined birthday-Christmas gift. A week, or so
    after placing the order we received an email from Best Buy explaining that some of the items we had ordered are on “back order”
    and will be shipped in about two weeks. Please keep in mind that when we ordered this there were many, many “out of stock”
    items on the website. and, that every item that was selected for our order was “available and ready for shipping” according to the website.
    This was very upsetting news, but we understood that things happen and that we would just have to wait. Yesterday – Thursday, January 12, 2012
    – we received another email from Best Buy. Informing us that one of the items we ordered is “no longer available” and that our order
    has been “canceled” by Best Buy. After getting this email we immediately contacted customer service, they informed us that there is nothing they can do since the items are no longer available, so we contacted the manufacturer of the product and was informed that the items are still being made and being sold worldwide. We checked again with Best Buy and they could not answer why if they still were dealing with the manufacturer, why they could not make the item available. We had to spend a gift less Christmas and a gift less birthday thanks to Best Buy.

    • Drew

      Next time if possible go to real shopping center, grab it off the shelf and purchase it. This is the only way to be sure. Unfortunatly; we are going back to the days of catalog sales since the overhead of opening and maintaining a store is high.

  • John Malverne

    This is not a news story.

    This is two people who didn’t get away with taking advantage of a clear and simple mistake … and one reporter looking for an excuse to compound Best Buy’s misery by rerunning the story about their holiday fiasco.

  • Stephen Dreher

    Libby Smith can’t spell.
    It’s “principle”, not “principal”.

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