The Connecticut Attorney General has announced a lawsuit against Best Buy in regards to a secret internal website that is identical to their public website except for the prices. Consumerist has received reports of this website being used to attempt to trick our readers as recently as March 19, 2007.
Customers coming into the store looking for prices they saw at home on the public website were told that the sale had ended and were shown a separate internal website that reflected different in-store prices. The customers were led to believe that they were looking at the same website they accessed at home. From the AP:
“Best Buy gave consumers the worst deal — a bait-and-switch-plus scheme luring consumers into stores with promised online discounts, only to charge higher in-store prices,” Blumenthal said….
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.
“There certainly was an element of deception here,” Farrell said.
We’ve been following this story for several months, and have to confess to being very pleased with the Connecticut Attorney General for taking this seriously. —MEGHANN MARCO
PREVIOUSLY: Best Buy’s Secret “Employee Only” In-Store Website Shows Different Prices Than Public Website
Best Buy Confirms The Existence Of Its Secret Website
Connecticut State’s Attorney’s Office Launches Investigation Into Best Buy’s Secret Intranet Site
UPDATE: Best Buy Still Using Its Secret Website