Memo To Circuit City Store # 3554: You Must Honor Prices As Marked On The Shelf

I took my nephew to our local Circuit City in Bainbridge Twp, Ohio on Thursday June 21st, 2007. He checked the website the night before on what he was going to get and when he went to go get the product off of the shelf the price was posted wrong on the shelf. He took it up to the register and the lady that waited on him said that will be $184.99 with $25.00 rebate.

He said nope the price was marked on the shelf as $69.99 and she went to go see for herself. We both followed her to the location where he found the product and she took the price tag off of the shelf and rang it up again. I told her that since it was marked wrong that they will have to honor it and her reply was no. I asked to see the manager of the store. She paged Mr John Sima operations manager of the store to the register. He then proceeded to say no we don’t have to honor it and so on. I stood there demanding the price and he kept refusing to give it to us at the price that it was marked…

I just wanted to make sure I was right so I walked over to the Verizon Wireless counter and asked the rep there if a price is marked wrong on the shelf they have to honor it right? She said yes they do and the reason why she knew that is sometimes the cellphones they sell at their counter are sometimes marked wrong and they have to honor it. Well, I demanded after about 20 minutes just standing around in the store for the price it was marked he refused to give it to me. I then proceeded to say I’m calling the police and he told me to get the fuck out of his store.

I finally gave up and left but not without asking some questions from the cashier. I asked the young cashier in front of a customer how often does this store mark wrong prices on the shelves and she replied very often, with that in mind I got the store # and the 1-800 the-city phone number and reported the operations manager on how rude he spoke to me in front of my 14 yr old nephew. I also contact the county auditors office letting them know that they are posting false prices on products and defrauding the customers. I’ll be getting a phone call from the district manager on Friday June 22, 2007 about my problem.

-John

Good for John for standing up for his rights. Bad Circuit City for not following one of the most basic consumer protection laws in retail. We hope John gets an apologetic call back.

A small suggestion, if we may, John might have been better off not getting in what sounds like a heated argument. Instead, after seeing that the manager wouldn’t budge, he could have called the 1-800 Circuit City number right then and there in the store and tried explaining his issue. We’ve heard of other customers using this method to good effect, and employees at other retail stores have advised it as well, and it can result in HQ calling the store and straightening the problem out. — BEN POPKEN

(Photo: Boston.com)

Comments

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  1. Bourque77 says:

    It would be advisable to get a picture of the item with the price for evidence.

  2. markedward says:

    I worked in a retail store that sold everything from chainsaws to baby outfits. And it was a rule that if an item came up as a certain price, yet the customer said the shelf marked it as a separate price, the employee was required to check the marking. More often than not, the cheaper price the customer thought was the right one was some sort of sale or membership discount, but occasionally the price advertised was simply a cheaper, although wrong, price. If that was the case, the employee was required to manually punch in the cheaper pricing, no questions asked. It’s just plain common sense; the Store screwed up, the Customer caught the mistake, make the Customer happy.

    If you ask me, though, it sounds more like that store is in need of new management. Someone who can get in charge of making sure the correct prices are advertised and can also deliver quality customer service (as opposed to “get the f— out”).

  3. randalotto says:

    Is this the case in every state?

    I tried buying a graphics card marked as $1 at my local CC, and was rejected. It would be nice if someone could point to some statutes dealing with this. (I was in NC btw)

  4. Broominator says:

    Next time, don’t threaten to call the police. Are you serious? I’m reminded of the phone call of the woman calling the police when Burger King wouldn’t make her burger the way she wanted.

    Keep your cool. Otherwise, you’re just viewed as a disturbance and they won’t hesitate to kick you out.

  5. natureboy88 says:

    People need to be more willing to use an attorney. I don’t understand why folks are willing to yell, threaten to call police, talk to some underpaid nit wit on the phone, and go through countless hassles when an attorney can fix your problems, often for free.

    In most states, not honoring the marked price is a violation of consumer protection laws. And, in most states, the business must pay attorney fees and many states have minimum damages.

    What does that mean? It means almost any attorney would be happy to take your case without a penny out of your pocket! Furthermore, the store’s attorneys will be willing to settle with you for more than minimum damages to avoid the costs of litigation.

    And the store employees who don’t honor the prices… you better bet they’ll change their practices after their company is sued.

  6. MercuryPDX says:

    “He checked the website the night before on what he was going to get and when he went to go get the product off of the shelf the price was posted wrong on the shelf.”

    Wrong too high, or wrong too low?

    “I then proceeded to say I’m calling the police and he told me to get the fuck out of his store.”

    You’re kidding right? Did you direct dial the local precinct or use 911? What crime were you reporting?

    “John might have been better off not getting in what sounds like a heated argument.”

    QFT and seconded. How dare you even consider bothering the local PD with your temper tantrum. It sounds like you may have left quite a bit of your attitude out, and I suspect that’s what got you the rejection, and the impolite request to leave.

  7. MercuryPDX says:

    Edit: Wrong too high, or wrong too low? Was the price the cashier gave you the same as your nephew saw online?

  8. Esquire99 says:

    I’m pretty sure if I was the manager and you threatened to call the police to report me correcting a price, I’d kick you out just for being stupid. While the store is obligated to sell at the advertised price (assuming it was clear that the price was for that item, and the item was not simply in the wrong place), it is not a matter for the police. I agree that he should have simply called the 1-800 number while in front of the manager, and reported the issue while on the phone. I’m sure the last thing that manager wants is corporate calling him and telling him he f*cked up.

    I haven’t been in a circuit city for awhile, so I don’t recall if they list the item name and SKU on the shelf tag. I’d be curious to know if they do, and what the price tag at issue said. We may not be getting the whole store. I can see it going like this. “The price on the shelf says this Golden Widget is $69.99. You have to sell it to me for that”. After pulling the tag “Sir, this tag clearly says it is for a bushel of apples , not a plasma TV. The TV was simply on the the wrong shelf, everything else on that shelf was apples, and it was in the produce section, not the TV section” “That doesn’t matter, thats where the TV was and I don’t care how clearly misplaced it was, I want it for $69.99 or I’m calling the police”. “Ok sir, based on that last comment, I’m not sure you’re smart enough to walk and breath at the same time, and we can’t have that kind of liability in the store. I’m going to have to ask you to leave”.

    I could be wrong, but it does seem like there is something missing from this story.

  9. Crazytree says:

    someone going to cite the OH law on this?

  10. homerjay says:

    I used to work in retail support for a very large manufacturer and in one of the legal courses I had to take someone brought this up. It turns out that they do NOT have to honor the price marked on the shelf. If it was marked in error (try proving that it wasn’t) then it is absolutely NOT false advertising.

    False advertising is purposely creating an ad piece- and here’s the important part- that brings someone into the store and then not honoring that advertisement.

    Of course, the other important part of that is ‘purposely.’ Retailers are allowed to print retractions and corrections to mistaken ads and don’t have to honor mistakes. False advertising is very difficult to prove.

    That being said- fuck ups like this that don’t get honored really don’t help a company’s image.

  11. Shaggy says:

    @homerjay: Whether or not they are legally obligated to honor the price depends on what state you live in. Here in Michigan, they are required to honor the marked price. Plus, if the price scans as one thing, and is marked as another, then they have to refund you the difference, plus up to 10X the difference, up to $5.

  12. shades_of_blue says:

    @ manager who dropped the F-bomb…that dude is soo going to get fired.

    If I read this right, the $184.99 + $25 rebate was the correct cost. If you knew the proper cost, I don’t see why you’d act surprised at their attempts to deny your demand. Much less act as if you were owed it, I can’t stand that kind of attitude.

    Not to get off the subject, but too often do I see people eat at a sit-down restaurant like Damon’s Grill and complain their way to a free meal because it was 1 minute longer than their ’10 minutes or less guarantee’. Then to top it off, prove their shady way one notch higher by stiffing the wait staff, real classy.

    Right now, I’ve categorized you with those types [see above]. I love to save money too, but there’s better ways to get what you want without putting someone’s job on the line [the cashier, not f-bomb guy] or making a public spectacle of yourself.

  13. JHB800 says:

    Seeing as how I’m currently a cashier at a very busy sporting goods store (national chain, not Dick’s), I see this happen more often than I can count. The protocol is ALWAYS to walk back with the customer, check the price, and either a)tell them we’ll honor the price because it was marked incorrectly or b)show them the product that was actually on sale or the one that that particular shelf tags belong to.

    There’s something missing from this story, though, as no cashier in their right mind would say ‘no’ unless the price tag genuinely did not belong to the item. Also, I do think that the store would have grounds to say that they would not honor the price, because $69.99 down from $184.99 is a huge drop (more than 50%), which could drop it below cost. No store is under obligation to honor a price that is that far below regular price, unless they can find that a price that low has occurred in the past. (meaning that the store would not be losing as much money, since they’ve run sales like that before)

    Sounds like John is a hothead, and needs to take a deep breath and think rationally. Working retail is bad enough without maniacs like him arguing with you about a silly thing.

  14. eli_b says:

    @ Bourque77

    But what if you are buying a camera???

  15. DaveInTheCorn says:

    At common law, states aren’t required to follow the prices quoted in ads. However, there may be statutes that overturn that principle. Apparently that’s the case in Michigan.

    Though, it’s generally good customer service to sell at a given price.

  16. DaveInTheCorn says:

    make that stores, not states

  17. mikemar42 says:

    As someone that has worked for compusa for about a year, just because a tag says one thing a store does not have to honor that price. In my store we would have to change tags and move product all the time, sometimes the completely wrong tag will end in front of an item. There will always be human error. That does not mean you deserve 100 dollars off. To be honest all you did was get the merchandising manager in trouble, or closer to being fired. This just makes things harder in a store. If you like shopping somewhere and it seems like you knew what to expect when you went in the store, don’t be that customer. There’s no reason to scream about a tag in the wrong spot. And im sure if it was a small difference they would have had no problem giving it to you at a lower price. Sometimes retail chains aren’t trying to screw you, sometimes they just screw up. It clearly was not a bait and switch tactic.

  18. robertseaton says:

    Having just left retail management let me share my insight…

    Most often times it is simply the wrong item in the wrong place. Assuming that this is the case there is no recourse. Anyone could have put the item in the wrong spot so there is no way to prove any type of negligence or liability.

    Second, as to the Manager using the “f-bomb”…HR will treat that as a he-said-she-said and will not take any action.

    And lets not forget…in most cases you are on private property and the business can refuse to provide service (so long as it is not discrimination).

  19. CreativeLinks says:

    According to the Ohio State Bar association, CC seem to violate Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practice Act.

    There is a good site explaining this very thing at:

    [www.ohiobar.org]

  20. gamble says:

    When I used to work at Sears, the policy for incorrectly marked prices went as follows:
    - If the item was $5 or less, then the customer got it for free.
    - If the item was $100 or less, they got $5 off.
    - If the item was more than $100, then they got 5% off.

    Keep in mind this was only done if the customer was actually charged the incorrect price and had to come back and dispute it. If they caught it when ringing the item up, then we just changed the price to the incorrect one and took the incorrect sign down. However, if the customer came back and complained, then the above rules were applied. Note that the $5 off and the 5% off were taken from the incorrect price, not the one that the register came up with. All in all, it was a pretty good deal for customers. I don’t know if this is still the policy or not. I know when I was working there they were talking about phasing out some of the other good policies like the price match plus. I wouldn’t be surprised if they got rid of this policy too. They’re becoming somewhat evil.

  21. Major-General says:

    In California, call the county Bureau of Weights and Measures. Offer to report them right there in the store.

    As for calling corporate in a store, sometimes it works. I had to twice regarding trying to get the free tire rotation that came with the tires I bought from my local Wal-Mart. Long story short, don’t hesitate to call them, especially in front of the store managers.

  22. jb34304 says:

    It’s too bad they do things like this. I am a manager for a Hy-Vee in Waterloo IA. We have a scan guarantee policy where if a product is scanned at a incorrect price, its free as long as we can legally give it away. I have no problem using this policy it makes us a more honest store. Booze and the wacky tobacky (cigarettes) fall under u just get it at the listed price sorry. :(

  23. kerry says:

    @markedward: This has been my experience at Best Buy, where I once bought a $50 item for $22 because it was marked incorrectly. They went through the same process as you described. I would imagine it’s standard procedure for most stores.

  24. acambras says:

    I told her that since it was marked wrong that they will have to honor it…

    I stood there demanding the price…

    Well, I demanded after about 20 minutes just standing around in the store for the price it was marked

    God, even to hear the OP say it in his own words, it sounds like he was a real asshole in the store. If he is by law entitled to get the item at the lower price, then fine. But he started everything off with an adversarial tone. If I’d been the manager, I would have been tempted to tell him to go fuck himself.

    Oh, and way to teach his nephew that throwing a tantrum in a store and bullying employees is the way to get what you want.

  25. The Stork says:

    The problem with calling Circuit City’s 1-800 number in the store is that the Cool Line is basically powerless. When you call, they (in their heavy accents…not to sound xenophobic or racist, but if you’re going to outsource, find people you can understand on the phone) ask you about your problem then call the store, talk to a manager, ask them if they can rectify it – and have NO POWER to make them. Only a DM or RVP can directly tell a store director or manager what to do, and you don’t get those when you call the Cool Line. I’ve heard (and been on during my management training) Cool Line calls with unreasonable customers where we’ve been connected with the customer (three-way call: us, the customer, and Cool Line rep) where the rep has asked us to do what the customer wants, we say “no,” and the rep verbally shrugs his or her shoulders since the rep has absolutely no power over the store.

    That all said, CC price tags clearly have the BRAND/MODEL (three letter abbrev. for the brand followed by a 12 letter or less word for the model) on all price tags along with the description of the product and, on occasion, a expiration date. If the tag by the item had the same BRAND/MODEL as the item then he most certainly should have been given the correct price – and every manager I worked with there would have given it to him. (Of course none of those are there anymore since the company is circling the drain, but that’s another story.) If it were a different BRAND/MODEL, I would have probably split the difference with him since it’s not his fault the wrong tag was there – even if the tag did advertise a different product. The manager in this story should be shown the door like so many better ones have been over the last several months.

  26. dicus says:

    Hot off a Lexis search. Ohio defines an advertisement as: “Advertisement” means any electronic, written, visual, or oral communication made to a consumer by means of personal representation, newspaper, magazine, circular, billboard, direct mailing, sign, radio, television, telephone or otherwise, which identifies or represents the terms of any item of goods, service, franchise, or intangible which may be transferred in a consumer transaction. The last part would probably mean that a price marked on a shelf would qualify as an advertisement.

    The Ohio Administrative Code goes further to state that “Bait advertising It shall be a deceptive and unfair act or practice for a supplier to make an offer of sale of any goods or services when such offer is not a bona fide effort to sell such goods or services. An offer is not bona fide if:
    (a) The refusal to show, demonstrate or sell the offered goods or services in accordance with the terms of the offer;”

    This would appear to qualify as a failure under OAC Ann. 109:4-3-03.

    However, this is administrative law and calling the police trying to invoke criminal proceedings is inappropriate in this case. I haven’t researched thoroughly but threatening to call the police is sort of an asshole thing to do.

  27. calacak says:

    File a complaint with the Ohio Attorney General.

    I spent 18 years in Ohio working retail and while I cannot recite the specific laws, stores have to honor the price that is “marked”. Here were some of the classic examples and how we followed them.

    1. Price tag on shelf matches item but the price is lower than what rung up. Customer always, always, always won — except for alcohol, tobacco and other price controlled items.

    2. Price tag on shelf does NOT match the item and price is different. Customer almost NEVER won this case and stores were not required to honor it because people can easily move tags around.

    3. Ad sign left over from previous weeks, but still hanging in front of product. Customer always won. Same as a price tag.

    4. AD circular was incorrect. Stores have to make a honest attempt to replace the ads, if it was too late, we had to post signs indicating the error. If the deal was a huge misprint, it was usually posted on the front door, at registers, near the items, everywhere.

    In Ohio, it doesn’t matter if the tag misprints, the computer barfed or someone hacked the system. If the price tag on the shelve matches the item and it is incorrectly marked, the store has to honor it. Other wise it’s another form of bait and switch.

  28. Ben Popken says:

    Here’s a good bait-and-switch explainer.

  29. formated4tv says:

    In no way am I defending Circuit City, but I know that as a supervisor, if anyone threatens with either police or legal action, the first thing we’re supposed to say is “Then I can no longer talk to you, please leave the store”.

    Obviously this a different situation, but I’m just throwing that out there.

  30. The Stork says:

    “Instead, after seeing that the manager wouldn’t budge, he could have called the 1-800 Circuit City number right then and there in the store and tried explaining his issue. We’ve heard of other customers using this method to good effect, and employees at other retail stores have advised it as well, and it can result in HQ calling the store and straightening the problem out.”

    The problem is that Circuit City’s Cool Line has no power. They’ll call the store to ask them to do something, but only a DM or RVP can order a store director or manager to act – and the Cool Line won’t hook you up with one of those folk. I’ve been on three-way Cool Line calls between the corporate rep, the store and a customer where the CL rep tells the manager to do something, the store refuses, and the rep gives a verbal shrug since he or she knows they have no power. (In all the cases I’ve been involved in this was not a bad thing since the customer was unreasonable, but that’s because we had good managers. They’re all gone now since the company is circling the drain.)

    As for the price tags, they have the Brand/Model (three letter abbrev. for the brand, then an eight-to-twelve letter series for the model) on all price tags along with a brief product description and, occasionally, an expiration date. In my experience, if the Brand/Model matched the item and the price was wrong, you get the price on the tag. If it’s not the right product on the tag, and the tag or product was in the wrong place, your demeanor determined whether the manager gave you a break, but often they would split the difference with you. The expiration date also helped determined whether you got money off, but usually we’d give you the price even if it was expired since it’s not your fault and customers shouldn’t be expected to check those things.

    (Hopefully this isn’t a double post – I typed earlier – my first comment ever – and nothing showed up. I hope I am not the stupid.)

  31. BillyShears says:

    They really should’ve honored it, assuming a caveat:

    Was the label on the shelf for the product in question? Sometimes it’s hard to tell, but if my local Circuit City is any indication, shit’s just tossed back on the shelf randomly by customers, so what’s under the product may not be for what’s actually above it on the rack.

    The first thing I do before storming off the CS desk to have them honor the price is to make sure the SKUs line up. More often than not, they don’t. :/

  32. gmark2000 says:

    He checked the website the night before on what he was going to get and when he went to go get the product off of the shelf the price was posted wrong on the shelf.

    So your smartass nephew already knew this was a price error?

    Shame on you for being such jerks about it.

  33. nequam says:

    @dicus: This is an item pricing issue, not an advertisement. The section you cited doesn’t apply. It’s also not a bait and switch.

    The point here is that the customer should only have to pay the price marked on the shelf. I don’t know about Ohio, but many states (MA included) have made this policy decision. Reading the description, it appears that the cashier confirmed the price on the shelf was 69.99 and tried to ring it up as such, but the register showed the other price.

    Please don’t bash this guy for getting angry. None of us were there. Although I’m sure he got pretty heated as the matter escalated (frankly, it sounds like he was running around the store). The escalation was the manager’s fault b/c he could have defused it by honoring the price. Still, I think calling the 800 number right then and there is probably the most effective approach.

  34. I’ve worked retail in Michigan: The law here is pretty similar to what calacak described for Ohio, with an extra kicker: If a store overcharges a customer and the customer complains, the store has to refund an amount equal to ten times the overcharge, up to a maximum of five dollars. It helps keep the grocery stores in line.

    By the way,the part about threatening to call the police reminded me: When I worked for Ritz Camera in Arizona, a customer once called 911 on us because my manager wouldn’t give her free double prints. And she did it using a cell phone she borrowed from a store employee.

    I think the 911 operator actually hung up on the customer. (The employee who loaned the phone to the customer was worried that the police would come after him for the frivilous 911 call, but it apparently wasn’t even worth their time to do that.) After some back-and-forth, the store mananger gave the woman her negatives back, asked her to leave, and then called the other Ritz stores in the area to warn them about the crazy customer who might be coming their way.

  35. LionelEHutz says:

    @MercuryPDX: “Was the price the cashier gave you the same as your nephew saw online?”

    The online price is irrelevant to the store price. Besides, Circuit City and other electronics stores often have different prices at their online stores and their brick and mortar stores, not to mention that the two types of stores are often separate corporate entities.

  36. Thrust says:

    Cannuck laws are nice. Canadian law reads that if an out of date price is posted, even if the sign has an “effective until” stipulation, if that sign isn’t removed from the shelf, it must be honored for however long it sits there. Add in Alberta’s own law that if an item comes up with a different price in the computer than what was on the shelf, ya get $10 off (free if under ten bucks). Suckit Circuit City!

  37. MercuryPDX says:

    @LionelEHutz: The question was more in the spirit of how gmark2000 described it above.

  38. legerdemain says:

    @gamble: That’s not how I remember it. As I was trained, it didn’t matter if the customer had paid the wrong price and then came back. If a customer had to say “the item is cheaper on the shelf” the markdown was applied. Now, if I was working with a customer, saw the lower price on the shelf, then quietly adjusted the price, I’d not apply the markdown – I’d simply charge the correct (shelf) price. The Sears markdown was meant to be a tangible apology for the honest mistake of an overcharge, and at the same time, it was meant to reinforce consumer confidence in our integrity.

  39. shopout says:

    When I worked for Highland Superstores a million years ago, we were assigned areas in our department. It was our responsibility to make sure that the signage with the prices were kept up to date. (I should note that this was before everything was scanned.)

    However, it would make sense for a store to honor the price stated on the shelf if for no other reason than good PR. Whether an item has to be sold at the price stated on the signage would be a matter of a local ordinance. To the best of my knowledge there is no such law where I live. If this individual had called the police due to the matter, they would have told him that it was a civil matter.

    The problem is that consumers wanted cheap prices rather than knowledgable employees which is why when you go into a store like Circuit City or Best Buy, you are most likely going to be buying from somebody who is not really concerned about anything other than what they are going to do after their shift ends.

    And as long as the lemmings keep flocking to Circuit City and Best Buy, the stock holders of these companies will be laughing at their customers all the way to the bank.

  40. Bee_Sting says:

    Ironically I had a similar problem in Circuit City, but at the Verizon kiosk. I asked the CC manager and he said CC has to honor their price mistakes (but he had no control over the Verizon kiosk). Also, I did call the police and they came. The cop they sent was no help though. He was busy giving out traffic tickets near the mall. He was quite rude at being interrupted at that.

    One of my friends overheard the CC employees saying, “what an asshole, this is why I hate working retail”. That was quite amusing.

    This was about the verizon “manager” at the store though, not the CC employees. He refused to do what was right and got a good scare out of it. Verizon refused to budge, I would have pursued it further, but I was extremely busy at the time and didn’t have time to argue over 60 bucks on a phone.

    The add on the phone showed the discount and had no expiration date, but when he went to ring up the phone it was a higher price and told me “it was an old add”. It was apparently something that was 3 months old.

  41. ToddMU03 says:

    Wow, I am amazed ad the stupidity of people. When it comes to a PRICE. A price is a suggestion. It is simple business law. You suggest I pay $10 for Item A. I agree and enter into a contract for Item A for $10. However, if Item B is in a bin for Item A that is marked $10, but Item B is say $50, the store does not have to accept my offer of $10. It is not fals advertising. It is simply a denial of a contract. Basic business law that any student in any high school could tell you. The laws vary a little bit from state to state, but any store has the option of denying any offer for any good or service, especially if the good or service is underpriced.

  42. bnissan97 says:

    If the price was indeed represented on the shelf-regardless of legality, Shame on Circuit City and the manager for being stubborn. The blog creates a wealth of great publicity for Circuit City now doesn’t it??

  43. Secularsage says:

    You know, there’s this myth that mis-marked items fall under consumer protection laws, but it’s absolutely untrue.

    Consumer protection laws are not meant to force retailers to sell products at a low price if they’re mis-marked; they’re meant to prevent retailers from advertising a product at one price and then selling it at a higher price when they get the consumer in the door. And even in those circumstances, calling the police does you no good, because the police cannot enforce the rule since violating it is not a criminal offense. Rather, it opens the retailer up to a civil case where, if the consumer can prove wrongdoing, the retailer will have to pay damages.

    If an item is accidentally mis-marked (due to, say, a new associate or someone not paying attention), the retailer is not required by law to honor the price, and if they can prove that it was simple human error and not intentional, they’re not vulnerable legally.

    Most corporations have a standing policy that if an item is mis-marked, that price should be honored and then immediately corrected for any standing product. But along the same lines, most retail chains also require the manager to use discretion in handling situations where the difference is greater than a certain dollar amount or percentage; they SHOULD take care of the customer, but they are not REQUIRED to if it’s over a certain amount.

    In this situation, I’m guessing that the customer mistook one item for a similar (and more expensive) item and the manager was simply doing his job to use discretion. Getting angry, threatening to call the police, and behaving badly probably only strengthened the manager’s resolve.

    And the customer’s talking to the Verizon rep about policies is a false analogy because Verizon is a different company that operates within Circuit City, but is not part of Circuit City. They have different policies because they have much greater margins on their phones + contracts than Circuit City has on simple retail items.

    One final note: if you see something advertised on the Circuit City website, you can elect for in-store pickup and get it for that price. Any reasonable person would have done this. It sounds to me like the customer came in preparing to spend the $185, thought he was going to get a deal due to a pricing error, and then got mad when they wouldn’t budge on it.

    (I don’t work for Circuit City or even think highly of them. But I was a retail manager for several years and hated dealing with customers who felt they were entitled to things they had no right to expect. Sorry for the lengthy post.)

  44. Deusfaux says:

    @ToddMU03:

    I am more amazed at your ignorance. As far as we know that’s not the case here. Using your analogy, “Item B” had a price tag out for $10 – a price tag FOR “Item B”, not for any other item. The store is “offering” to sell “Item B” for $10 by having that sign out.

  45. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    @Secularsage: Uuuhh, actually the laws in several states (including Ohio), DO in fact cover mis-marked items. If the tag on the shelf is for the item in question and the price is wrong, the retailer has to honor the price on the tag. They can (and do) of course, try to argue their way out of it, but it IS the law.

    This has happened to me also in Florida, at both BB and Staples, with tags left over from a previous sale. They removed the tags, but I was charged the lower price for the items.

    It’s just common sense, better to lose a few bucks than a customer IMHO.

  46. the cultural icon says:

    this happened to me once at wal-mart. I needed a car battery jumper and i picked the nicest one they had for a reasonable price. 49.99. Then I went up to the from and it rang up 85.98 or something and i promptly went back there, took a picture of the price tag with my camera phone and asked for a manager who then said, well sorry it was just mismarked. I wrote down his name and all of that jazz and asked him for the wal-mart customer complaint number, and then he said, “well i’m not suppose to do this but I guess I’ll just honor the price.”

    I thought, hmm thanks for doing me a favor by honoring the price listed. Here’s the thing that made me so angry. He said oh well it’s just in the wrong place, we have several made by black and decker. Well thats really not my fault since he should hire people who can actually stock things correctly. The dude in the back who helped me find the thing was like, wow thats a good price, I think I’ll get one for myself. Now if he didn’t know it was wrong and he worked there how was I suppose to know?!?!?

    that pretty much got off topic but I get so ill when i think people are trying to purposefully pull one over.

    If you think about it, most people purchase alot of items on a trip to wal-mart so if you are buying $200 worth of items you probably wouln’t notice that extra amount tacked on unless you were paying attention at the counter. They probably get away with that all of the time.

  47. @ToddMU03: Todd, you’re an idiot. You just argued that retailers can change the prices of merchandise to anything they want when the customer gets to the checkout line. Do you have any idea how stupid you sound?

    Please take a hint from those of us who live in the real world: Accurate-pricing laws exists all over the United States. Here’s some links I found in a one-minute Google search:

    Arizona
    California
    Pennsylvania

    I won’t bother looking up Michigan’s law for you — if want proof of that, come and look at the signs posted in all the grocery stores.

  48. APowerCosmic says:

    As someone who also works retail, I can safely advise that they do not have to honor the price on the sign. The only price a merchant has to honor is the one the salesperson quotes you. We don’t have to honor the sign for the reason that someone could have easily switched the signs. It has happened before. Not saying this fellow did, but legally merchants are not compelled to do so. And besides that, it’s entirely possible a customer picked up this item and decided they didn’t want it and left it wherever they decided against it. I’ve seen it a thousand times.

  49. clementine says:

    This has happened a few times to me at my local JCPenney’s. Each time, the price difference is around ten dollars or less and is usually due to signs from a weekend sale not being taken down after the sale was over. Each time (it has been 3 times) the sales associate has honored the better deal with a smile and thanked me for bringing it to their attention. This makes me shop JCPenney first and recommend it to my friends. The store I am referring to is the JCPenney in Golden Triangle Mall in Denton, Texas. They really have a great store staff.

  50. suburbancowboy says:

    I am not sure where I stand on this. On one hand, I think items should be priced properly. But if you get rung up, and they tell you the price is different, no one is forcing you to buy it.
    I am a big advocate of truth in advertising, but I also own a small retail Audio/Video store. I would hate to have to take a big loss on a product because I accidentally tagged something the wrong price.

  51. ToadKillerDog says:

    Speaking as a former Circuit City employee…. Most of the people who work in the store just want to get through the day (since Circuit City dropped commission and fired the good employees). The old price tags stay up because Circuit City employees are mindless worker drones without any reason to do the job properly.

    Make the store owners suffer a profit loss. Make them live up to the mis marked price!

  52. nequam says:

    @Secularsage: “Consumer protection laws are not meant to force retailers to sell products at a low price if they’re mis-marked; they’re meant to prevent retailers from advertising a product at one price and then selling it at a higher price when they get the consumer in the door.”

    No. What you said is wrong. Like many of the other commenters, you are confusing advertising with item-pricing. The consumer protection law regarding mismarked items is to prevent the customer from having to walk to the register or customer service desk to ask about the price. It has to do with an item that is marked $x but scans at the register as $y. It has nothing to do with bait and switch, which is what you described.

  53. Buran says:

    @JustPeteHere: It’s fraud and is illegal and is quite worth calling the police over. I can’t see that he was being rude. He just wanted the advertised price.

    If you are doing something illegal you can’t whine when people call the police on you.

  54. Buran says:

    @markedward: If it had a sign up that said the product was sold at $x they have to sell it at that price unless there’s an effective-date on the tag which has passed.

  55. Buran says:

    @Michael Bauser: I’m buying a car this week. For less than what is on the window sticker. (it’s already all set. I just have to pick it up and give them the cash). So yes, stores don’t HAVE to sell for the listed price.

  56. markedward says:

    @bradg33:
    The article did say he asked a couple other employees on how often products were mislabeled, to which they would reply quite often.

    @Buran:
    That’s what I was saying before: sometimes a customer would see a price on the tag and assumed it was the actual pricing, when it was really something about a sale they missed, a sale that hadn’t happened, a membership discount, a coupon discount, a buy one of those and get this at this cheap, etc. In those cases we wouldn’t give them the cheaper price, it was just their fault for not paying enough attention. On the occasions when the Store itself simply mislabeled a price, the Customer would then get it for the advertised price (which would then be corrected after the sale).

  57. nequam says:

    @Buran: Car sales are treated differently than retail sales. Besides, bartering on autos is standard practice. Doesn’t make a difference here in any event because your example of bartering DOWN on a price has nothing to do with a store charging MORE than the listed price. Your example would fit (but be sad) if you stated that you had agreed to buy a car for more than the sticker price.

  58. timkline says:

    Circuit City’s actions are likely against the law. Marking a product at a certain price and then attempting to charge a higher price is a violation of the Uniform Commercial Code and likely Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practice Act. Send a letter to the Ohio Attorney General and cc the store. Explain the actions of the store manager in the letter.

  59. Thrust says:

    @ToadKillerDog: You wanna see some mindless drones, visit the South Edmonton Common location of “The Source” (Canadian Circuit City, formerly Radio Shack).

    Went in there for a USB hub, the guy on till was playin solitaire (real cards), and the other guy was making a kid-style fort of all the merchandise from the shelves. Turns out I was the first customer to come in that entire day.

  60. jrdnjstn787 says:

    I have been working retail for the past 15 years. The policy we have at work is….

    1. If the shelf tag is lower then what the item rung up then you get it at the lower price. Making sure that the item and tag match. Customers do move items around and place them back in the wrong spot.

    2. We change our ad signs on Wednesday mornings. People like to come in at Tuesday night into Wednesday morning and get items that were for sale but the ad sign is still up. The customer will still get it at “ad price”. We usually change the ad signs at 4am Wednesday morning.

    3. If there is a “misprint” in the ad paper we will put the real price on the shelf with a bunch of signs letting the customer know of the misprint.

    Our store is very good at accomadating the customer. There are very few times that I have seen them not give the customer what they want.

  61. SpecialEd says:

    Why are people calling this the “advertised” price. The price was mis-marked on the shelf after the customer was already in the store. He knew the price and should not expect some major discount over a technicality. I say grow up, pay for what you take, and stop whining.

  62. r81984 says:

    If the tag says 10.99 but the item is supposed to be 20.99, they only have to honor the price if its the right tag.

    I bet if that jerk read the tag it was for a different item, just because there is a tag in front of the item does not mean its for that item, YOU HAVE TO READ THE TAG.

    If that tag had the correct UPC and name of the item and was a lessor price then any respectable retail outlet would honor it once and then remove the tag so no one else could use that price.

    Also if there is an sale price and it says until 6/22 and its 6/23, then why would you even argue when the tag is expired. That would be like bringing in an expired coupon and bitching because they would not except it.

    No one is entitled to rip off a store because they cannot read, but a store should honor the price until they post a sign of the mistake or remove the misprinted tag.

  63. r81984 says:

    @SpecialEd:

    If I knew an item was $120.00, but when I get to the store there is a tag that says $80.00 with no expiration date with the correct product name and the correct UPC, I damn well better get the cheaper price.

    I work retail, I deal with this every now and then, and I would honor a mistake like that once and then correct the mistake, but only if the label had no expiration date, had the correct name, and the correct UPC.

  64. Esquire99 says:

    @ markedward

    I’m not entirely certain I would take the word of disgruntled retail employees on something like that.

    I’m also amazed that this far down there are still arguments that the “law” says they have to honor it in all circumstances when it clearly has been stated numerous times that it varies state by state.

  65. Ola says:

    IF the item in question was mismarked (wrong UPC + wrong description, etc.) then I don’t see why a store should honor it. Also, if you know the accurate sale price and think you’ll take advantage of what you suspect is a wrong price, which is almost what this sounds like…stop whining.

    What gets my goat is when a store intentionally deceives the consumer by tricky signs that say “50% off X brand!” and then claim that because they’re only placed above the green shirts, then the blue shirts from the same brand aren’t on sale.

  66. Smashville says:

    I’ve threatened to call the police on Steak and Shake when they locked me in the store because I wouldn’t pay for my wrong order (I ordered one thing, they brought me the wrong thing…they took it back and brought me the right thing…and tried to charge for both). I wish this site had been around then…and that particular Steak and Shake wasn’t out of business now.

  67. Jon335 says:

    In Canada, we have a policy that most stores use called the Scanning Code of Practice. This code says that any item that is scanned at a price higher than the shelf/marked price will be given free (up to a max of $10). Subsequent items are sold at the correct (marked) price.

  68. Onouris says:

    In England the same thing exists, where they should honour the price that’s marked if it’s wrong, but if the difference is considered abnormally high, as it is in this case, they don’t have to sell it for that price.

    I *think* they can just refuse to sell it anyway, but not sure on that one.

  69. awesomecapt says:

    I work at Circuit City, and yeah, it’s true that we’re supposed to honor those prices. But at the same time, the tag isn’t marked for that product, the product is most often just in the wrong place. Most of the time we honor it, but oftentimes we don’t. Most people are just trying to rip us off, and from what I read here, that’s what you’re trying to do, take advantage of a retailer’s mistake. I agree. I don’t believe taking advantage of a mistake is morally defensible, and although the ops manager was rude, think from his perspective. If a customer threatened to call the authorities on you, you wouldn’t be happy either. When things like this happen, our managers do the same thing, ask you to leave and take your business somewhere else, because we really don’t care.

  70. dicus says:

    Ohio revised code section 13 covers commercial transactions and has the uniform commercial code. There appears to be no specific provision covering this in 1345 “consumer sales practices.” Therefore, it appears a merchant is under no specific obligation to honor a marked price that was the result of an honest error.

  71. Hawk07 says:

    @Smashville:

    Naw, you could have had fun with them.

    Unlawful detainment, kidnapping, you name it. :)

  72. Ponygirl says:

    I have to respectfull disagree with the “Often the item is simply in the wrong place” people. Having retail experience I very carefully read shelf tags and ISBN, item codes, etc. That being said I get rung up incorrectly all the time at places like Walgreens and Target. I don’t think customers finding items in the wrong place is nearly as common as mispriced products and out of date computer inventories.

  73. mattbrown says:

    too bad you’re not in new york; andrew cuomo would have beaten his ass.

  74. agent2600 says:

    While yes, circuit city should have honoured the price, nobody likes to be threatened. A store reserves the right to refuse service to anyone, so, if your threatening to call the cops or whatever, I wouldn’t want you in my store either. In the end, you both were wrong, you both handled the situation very immaturely.

    In most places also the law isn’t that they have to honour a mismarked item, its that they have to honour the price of a advertised item, while most stores will honour the price if it is marked in error, they most of the time legally don’t have to. The point of the law is not keep companies from advertising one price and then, when the customer arrives, charge another. In this case it was truly a honest mistake (did you come in on a sunday? Most of the time this is when retailers change prices, maybe someone just missed a sign.)

    The fact of the matter is, they made a mistake, and you tried to bank on it, when they wouldn’t let you, so you proceed to throw a tantrum.

    If it was me, I would have met you halfway on it. Somehow I still doubt you would have been pleased by that

  75. hallik says:

    Question: In my local Circuit City, everything is stocked correctly on shelves (i.e. no out of place items) but the tags are screwed around. The tags under the 300 dollar wacom tablets say 99.99 but its for an item that is grouped significantly farther away, and leads to a false impression that the tablets are 99. In this example, even though the tag itself says a different item name for the item that is very far away, it is clearly under the more expensive item, and it is clear that no item has been misplaced by customers, then can I get them to honor the misleading price?

  76. gamble says:

    @legerdemain: Yeah, I think you’re right. It’s been a couple of years. I misremembered.

  77. agent2600 says:

    @hallik:

    no, they don’t, why? because your acting stupid, stop trying to take advantage of people, would you like if someone walked into your place of work and started messing around with you?

  78. kditty says:

    A few years ago I was shopping at CC for a computer, they had an HP price listed wrong ($100 cheaper) and an expired instant rebate still listen on the tag. After the cashier rang the computer up and gave me a price $300 over what I expected, I simply asked her to check the tag and see for herself. She went to the computer section, checked and apologized, then gave me the $300 off. I was nice about the problem, and I was also fully prepared to take the $300 dollar bath, because I wanted the computer. I didn’t act like an ass, and I got what I wanted. Everything worked out fine, I guess because I didn’t give her a reason to take the tag and deny the price, like she could have easily done.

  79. whereismyrobot says:

    This customer was obviously trying to pull one over on Circuit City and the manager called him on his BS. It would be really hard to mistake a $185 item for a $69 item, so he knew it must have been mislabled.

    Shame on him for pulling this scam.

  80. SolonxxOhio says:

    This was my post that made it on this website. I read my story over and over and found some mistakes. First mistake I made is that the price on the shelf said $69.99 and at the register it was $184.99 with $25.00 rebate. My nephew at the time of the transaction said the sign said $69.99 so we both followed the cashier over to where he got it from, she took the price tag off of the shelf and told us that price wasn’t for that product but there were more then one product in that space. When should went to a different register her and another sales associate kept arguring over that it was but she later said no its not. I said well you have to honor that price and she replied no. I then asked for the store manager so she pages John Sima and he too was confused. I asked him if he would honor the price and he said no. He then came over to us and said this is the product over here for that price which was in the middle aisle towards the back of the store. Now if I was a manager of that store instead of having my workers stand around I would have them make sure the tags are posted in the right places. I stood in the store for awhile about 20 minutes and asked him again that he had to honor that price. I then threaten to call the police. He went towards the back of the store and I walked over to the verizon wireless counter and asked the rep on dute in her booth if a price tag is on the shelf and the wrong product is in its place they have to honor it right and she replied yes.
    I then asked him again and he explained to me that customers move products around all the time but not in this case because there were more then 3 products on the shelf in that spot. Now after they noticed the mistake the manager and the other store rep went over to where the price tag was and redid the shelf, but they never put a price tag for the product we wanted or they never found the right tag. Yes people he did a bait and switch on us and thats against the law. I never threw a tantrum in the store, I kept my cool the whole time. I like how all of you assumed that I was in the wrong. This store has done this before after I talked with a different cashier asking how many times is the price wrong when someone else brings up merchandise to her since she has work there and she said very often.
    I did call the 1-800-THE-CITY when I got home and reported the operations manager for swearing at me and saying what he did in front of my nephew. I was given an apology by phone rep but she said she will have the district manager call me in the next 24 hrs and that was on Thursday and I’m still waiting to hear from the district manager. I hav bought tons of stuff from this store but they honestly loss my business and I’ll go somewhere else from now on. Just letting you all know you weren’t there so how can you comment on something that you didn’t see or hear. I did ask the floor rep when are their sales over and he said starts on Sundays and ends on Saturdays which is normal around here in this area for most stores. I was there on a Thursday afternoon… Cicuit City needs to start to post price tags on their merchandise instead of just the shelf. A price tag would of been nice to see, how do you tell what something cost by just looking at the barcode? They should do what Walmart and Target have in their stores and that would be a scanner for the customers to see what the price is before they take it up to the register. I am happy with the outcome of this and I was glad my post was posted on here and truly thats sweet revenge..

  81. hallik says:

    @agent2600: Wow, very intelligent response; next time, I suggest less name calling and more of an actual response to the question. I won’t pass judgment though, I don’t suppose you ever learned the phrase “hypothetical situation.” And I do have my own store, and nobody ever messes with it because I AM NOT DUMB ENOUGH OR SLEEZY ENOUGH to lead them into thinking prices are lower than what they seem; if i did, I deserve backlash, ten-fold. Besides, since when have YOU walked into a Circuit City or other large chain establishment and not been jerked around. I highly doubt you’ve never had a displeasing moment in these stores, so you must know how it feels to be taken for a fool.

  82. edogat says:

    @Michael Bauser
    Your link was to Los Angeles County law. It doesn’t necessarily represent California State law.

    @Halik
    No, they don’t, because a customer could have easily moved it there.

  83. slowenuff says:

    Hmm $184.99 and $69.99 is a pretty big difference in price. So without proof im having a hard time believing the guys story. Why didnt he pay for it online to be picked up at the store. Would have had no problem. Id beleive it if he had said the shelf was marked as 169.99. This story seems too shady.

  84. Red_Eye says:

    @ToddMU03: Actually not true. In the case of this pricing error there are local laws that can force the sale. [www.consumerist.com] this story contains an example. Here in GA if there is a tag on the shelf and it can be positively identified as the item in question the store has no choice but to sell it to you at that price, if they do not they can face legal action.

  85. boandmichele says:

    posting this from my work at a 911 center, i can say that i hate calls like this. this is not a criminal matter, but a civil one. i am glad John never got around to calling the police, because i dont think it would have fixed anything in the long run, but only made the situation more volatile.

    props, however, for holding them to it.

  86. kurmbox says:

    I used to work at a Circuit City in VA for about4 years. Let me give everyone a rundown of how the tagging system works, just for some additional info.

    Prices are set by corporate (of course). Every Saturday night, and usually once during the week (like Wednesdays) someone goes into the back office and starts printing the new tags from DPS (the old POS system for CC, now they use something called Magellan). DPS pulls in all the prices relevant to the current store (it knows what skus and products you have on the shelves, well, at least are supposed to have) and tells you which tag paper to load into the printer.

    The printing and subsequent distribution of tags is probably the worst part of working at CC, hands down. It is completely meticulous and a pain in the ass, thus the frequent mistagging. Whoever printed the tags in the back will usually tear up the tags and separate them by department. On a Saturday night, before the new ad comes out, you’d see usually something like 30 – 50 pages of new tags, something around 200-400 new items depending on how big the sale, and how big the tags.

    About an hour before the store closes on Saturday night, the tags get distributed to the departments and then misery ensues. Employees have to find each and every location of the newly printed tag and replace the old tag. I’d frequently stick all the crumbled up old tags in the various pockets of my pants, so by the end of the night I’d look like a walking recycle bin. Anyway, we typically, if the night was slow at least, start putting Sunday’s tags out early, reserving the big sale items until after the store closes just in case a customer came in and found the new price. Sometimes if we wanted to get out of there early, we’d put them all up before we closed anyway. Regardless, this process takes about an hour per employee if they are competent, and nowadays, it doesn’t seem like they are. Thus, again, you see the opportunity for error given this long and tedious process. After putting all the tags up, we were supposed to walk the aisles and ensure that all the old tags which were expiring tomorrow were pulled as well – needless to say, this didn’t always happen.

    – Intermission –

    Still with me? Okay. A word about the tags themselves. Tags have 4 important pieces of information on them: item name and description, model number, upc, and expiration date (sometimes). Almost all sale prices you find in CC will have an expiration date on them. If a tag says, “Sale”, “As Advertised”, or anything similar it will have an expiration date on it.

    Because of the high number of items and the general incompetence of employees during stocking and tagging, CC tends to have lots of items out of place. As many noted above, typically a lower price that a customer finds is because of a misplaced item, either by the customer or us. If the item name and brand/model don’t match what’s in the customers hand, then we would NEVER honor the price. If there was an expiration date on the tag but the brand/model correct, we’d honor the cheaper price about 25% of the time, depending on what the customer was buying as well as their attitude. Note that because there is an expiration date on the tag, that we weren’t required (by corporate or otherwise) to honor the old, cheaper price. If the tag is current and the item matches, then the computer will 99.9% of the time ring up the exact same price you see on the tag – the pricing/tagging computer and POS pull information from the exact same location. Rarely, a price will change at a weird time (like the middle of a Thursday) and we won’t have the new (higher) price on the tag on the shelf. Corporate almost never did this because no one expects it.

    All price changes (to match the lower price) are at the discretion of managers and customer service associates (the ones at the front/return counter, not those wandering the floor). CSA’s are a lot more likely to change a price than a manager on low to mid dollar items. Managers are a lot more likely to change a price on big sales with lots of accessories.

    Rarely, a price will have been “normally” priced lower at some point in the past. This means the tag has/had no expiration date on it. If one of these tags stays on the shelf, then the normal price of the product goes up, then we have a legitimate case of “lower tag price.” Of course, the item and other information on the tag had to match, but if so, we almost always matched this price. There were some rare occasions when my manager just felt like being a dick for whatever reason and would refuse to sell it at the lower price, but we never really had too much fuss.

    As far as this guy’s situation, it seems HIGHLY unlikely that this was the correct tag. Normally $185 and tagged at $64? That’s over 65% off, EXTREMELY unlikely for a sale (expired tag) or formerly lower price.

    If you made it this far through what’s possibly the world’s longest comment (call Guinness), congratulations, you win something.

  87. selianth says:

    In Massachusetts the law says that a retailer has no obligation to honor a marked price if it is a “gross error” – that is, more than 20% off the actual price for an item more than $20 (50% for an item under $20), IF the wrong price was not an intended selling price in the last 30 days. So for that $185 item, as long as they never actually sold it for the $69 within the last month, they wouldn’t have to honor any marked price less than $148.

    It makes sense to me – the retailer isn’t punished for major computer mistakes or misplaced decimal points, but they do have to honor the price if they didn’t take down the sale signs.

  88. nequam says:

    @selianth: That’s a good explanation. Thanks.

    A lot of commenters have raised the issue of an item being on the wrong shelf and, thus, displaying the wrong price. I don’t think that is much of a problem. From my experience, the shelf tag includes the UPC number of the product. You can match it up to the barcode on the item itself. (I do this all the time at the grocery store to make sure an item is on sale). If the price is indeed wrong (meaning it scans at a higher price than the tag indicates for that UPC), you can stand on your rights to obtain the product for the listed price (or what your rights otherwise may be). If, however, you see that the tag is with the wrong product, you can save yourself some embarassment (and the store personnel needless grief) by alerting them and asking them to direct you to the correct price.

  89. Jerim says:

    Here is the thing about marked prices, they can be wrong. When I used to stock shelves, I was taught to match up the UPC from the price tag to the product. I still do that today. If I think a price is too low, I match it up to the info on the price tag. All those price tags that sit on the front of the shelf have a short description of the item along with a SKU or UPC code. Be a smart consumer, and don’t play the “ignorance” card of how this big bad corporation is trying to take advantage of poor little me. Mistakes happen. That is why Wal-mart has those price checkers.

    Or perhaps it wasn’t a mistake. What if two guys walk into a store; one heads for an item he wants, picks it up and carries it around while he shops? After a while he appears to have a change of heart and sets it back on the shelf. Only, he sits it in the wrong place, with a price tag half of what the product really costs. Guy number two picks the product off the shelf, and tries to buy it for the marked price claiming that they have to honor the marked price. Companies could be ripped off every single day for thousands of dollars. We simply can’t ask companies to open themselves up to fraugh this way.

    Plus, as others have pointed out, you knew the price going into the store and were obviously willing to pay that price. You seemed to have come across an opportunity to rip-off the company and jumped on it.

  90. plumeria313 says:

    People are such whiney butts. This guy sounds like a real ass, and I probably would have told him to leave my store too. If you checked the price the night before and knew it was 189, just pay it and stop trying to get something for nothing. I hope Circuit City tells him that.

  91. sarajean says:

    There have been a few times where an item has been above or below a tag for a simlar or even completely different item and the customer expects to get that price. It’s possible that could have been the case, in which case the price that’s posted wouldn’t be for the item you’re trying to buy. It happens all the time and it’s the only reason I can think of a store denying the “mistagged” item.
    Consumers have a hard time remembering that people who work retail are people just like them-reasonable people who aren’t all there to take as much money as they can get.
    For the most part, I just see every customer…such as this man who is going to “call the cops” (what exactly would they have done????) who wants something for free.

  92. Sys Admn says:

    @APowerCosmic: I would prefer to get my legal advice from an attorney – and have. As several readers have already noted, Ohio law requires that they honor an advertised price, and posting the price constitutes advertising it.

    In my case, I wrote down names, store phone numbers, etc., called the Ohio Attorney General’s office, then the national office for the chain. I had an apology and a check within two weeks.

  93. cotrackguy says:

    So here’s something that bothers about this complaint, and something that customers don’t seem to understand.

    Retail stores are big places, and stores like CC have literally thousands of different items within their walls. To change the prices of these items, the stores usually rely on a team of 5-10 people that work overnight shifts of early morning shifts.

    In short, your changing thousands of prices with a few people in a limited amount of time. It’s almost a guarantee that the store will miss a tag or two here or there.

    What really bothers me about this complaint is that CC actually has an expiration date for all of their offers printed on the bottom right hand corner of the price tag.

    Check out [www.passwird.com] for an example for a price with a mail-in rebate.

    From what I understand, if an offer is advertised only through a specific time period, the company is not required to honor that offer after its end date, reguardless of whether or not a tag is still up. That offer is clearly marked as no longer valid, and the customer is not entitled to that price. It certainly would be good customer service for CC to honor that price, but they are under no legal obligation to do so.

  94. Ressly says:

    I’m a former Circuit City Sales Manager, and have worked in stores in both California and Missouri. I’ve had to deal with many, many instances of something being mistagged and the customer wanted it for the tagged price. There were basically three scenarios:

    1) Through oversight, or more often laziness, an employee doesn’t take down an expired price tag at the end of the sales week. You will usually find them in the audio and car stereo sound rooms and on endcaps (the end-parts of aisles). All As Advertised, Special Value, Sale, and Rebate price tags have an expiration date. All I’d have to do is tell the customer, “That WAS the price, but the price has clearly expired, as seen by the expiration date in the lower right corner of the tag.

    2) Sometimes the wrong price tag gets put on a product because the model numbers are very similar, and the employee didn’t know enough to know that the model number on the tag wasn’t the model number of the product. For example, a price tag for a 32″ Sharp LCD TV model LCD32D62U is affixed to a 32″ Sharp LCD TV LCD32D43U. The price tag says $1399, but the TV actually costs $1699. Do you give it to you for $300 off because it has the wrong tag on it? No, because, “This IS the correct price for the D62U, but this TV is NOT the D62U. It’s a D43U, and there is no tag that says the Sharp LCD32D43U is $1399. Sorry for the mix-up, but the price tag is clear.” How are you supposed to know that the TV you’re looking at is a Sharp LCD32D43U and not an LCD32D62U? Not my problem.

    3) And then there’s the genuine regular “Guaranteed Low Price” tag on the product that matches the model number, and the price is simply wrong. Usually, the Guaranteed Low Price was changed at some point in the past, and nobody bothered to change the tag. In this case, I would always honor the price, though these were the rarest of cases.

    I had some customers complain about false advertising or bait-and-switch, but in Missouri and California there was no legal basis for this. The incorrect prices hadn’t been advertised, and Circuit City had not “baited” any customer into the store with false pricing. The customer was already in the store when they encountered the incorrect price.

    All of the above was taught to me by my Store Directors and District Managers. I wasn’t happy when customers had negative experiences in my store, but I also had to protect my store’s profit margin index (PMI). Nothing mattered more than PMI.

    Now, the manager using profanity and being rude was a dumb move. It’s common sense that if you’re dealing with a situation that you know may get escalated, you never want to do anything that takes away from your credibility.

  95. bugsbenny36 says:

    I had a similar story with Target, I bought a garbage can, the price was marked lower (as were all the cans on that shelf) but they told me there is nothing they can do.
    I asked for their corporate info, which they provided and went home and compiled an email. I got a response that they are sorry (blah, blah, blah) and asked me if a $10.00 gift card would make me happy?
    I responded that the item was marked $30.00 cheaper, not $10.00 and while I appreciated their will to make amends, my principles come first and as such I would have to turn down anything less than $30.00. I have yet to hear back from them (about 2 months ago)

  96. rustyni says:

    Ugh. I have to agree with the customer here. I worked at Circuit City for two years as a customer service representative, and I always, ALWAYS, honored the price that was marked on the shelf. If it’s marked incorrectly, that’s not the customer’s fault. It is CC’s fault for being LAZY and over-looking their tags on Saturday night before the new ads are released. So much for the “Product Flow” team.