Circuit City Refuses To Honor "Unbeatable Price Guarantee" Because Competitor's Price Is Too Low

Reader Jeff could not convince Circuit City to honor its “Unbeatable Price Guarantee.” Circuit City’s stated policy is to beat any competitor’s price by 10%. Jeff found the same 19″ Acer monitor retailing for $219 at Circuit City for only $129 at a nearby Best Buy, yet Circuit City: “would not price match this item because the cost was too low.” Jeff writes:

I purchased two Acer 19 inch monitors today at Best Buy in Valley Stream, NY at the really great price of $129 each out the door, no coupons, rebates or other price modifiers. Being one who loves a truly great bargain, I walked out of Best Buy and directly across the street to Circuit City where they had the exact same monitors (model numbers and all) in stock at $219 each. I was looking to utilize their 110% price guarantee, which states they will match 110% of the price difference of a local competitor within 30 days. I would then return my purchase at Best Buy, keeping the now lower priced Circuit City monitors. I spoke with Michelle in Customer Service and presented my Best Buy purchase and receipt as proof of price and availability. Because the difference was beyond Michelle’s authorization, she had to confer with the store operations manager Les S. Michelle disappeared for 20 minutes, then came out with Les. Les told me that he would not price match this item because the cost was too low. I asked him where in the policy (which was on a large sign behind him I could find out more information about this aspect of the price policy. I just repeated that he could not match a price that low and walked away. Les would not give me his last name, which I can understand. Les would not write down his first name at my request either..just kept repeating it as he walked away. Strictly on principal, I do not accept this. What is the best method of filing a complaint with officials? Bringing public attention to this specific event, informing corporate of this event?

Circuit City’s “Unbeatable Price Guarantee:”

Circuit City is proud to offer the best prices on consumer electronics. Period. Buy a product from us and if, within 30 days of your purchase, you find a local competitor offering a lower advertised price for the same in-stock item, we’ll refund 110% of the difference. If you haven’t yet purchased the product, we’ll beat the competitor’s price by 10% of the difference between our price and theirs. Either way, you win.

A quick call to corporate should clear up the local store’s obstinance. Their policy is clearly stated, so there is little room for equivocation. Call (804) 486-4000, and ask for Phil Schoonover’s office. Politely explain the situation to whomever picks up. If that doesn’t work, file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and the Attorney General. Either way, you win.

(Photo: alaspoorwho)

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  1. Coder4Life says:

    A lot of stores will do this if the item is below their cost.

    compusa used to do the same thing, especially when it came to matching best buy’s low dvd pricese on opening day.

    They would hide the dvd’s, so customers could not buy them. Or they would say that they are not allowed to match the DVD prices.

  2. r81984 says:

    The only way that manager would not match the price is if corporate created a policy that hurts his bonus or his store in some way.

    Why would a company create a Price Match policy and then screw over their own employees when someone tries to use it to an extent the employees refuse to enforce their own policy?

  3. dbeahn says:

    Sounds like Best Buy wasn’t going to be carrying them anymore, so they clearance priced them without stating it was a clearance price.

    Still, Circuit City should honor their policy. I’ve never had a good experience at Circuit City, but for the $22 (around here, including tax) savings? I’d probably give it a shot.

  4. Kos says:

    I had Best Buy try the same trick on me when I purchased a new digital camera. The competing price wasn’t from Circuit City so they said the company I was buying it from (it’s in NYC, you get two guesses) was not considered a “local competitor.” Oye vei (that’s a hint btw).

    Kos

  5. DeeJayQueue says:

    so you bought 2 monitors from best buy, then noticed that circuit city had them for horrendously more money, and instead of just saying “Oh cool I just saved $180″ and getting on with life, you had to go and stick it to circuit city to save $198 instead.

    Assuming that this would have worked:
    How much is the time it took driving from one store to the other, arguing with the manager, getting the price guarantee, then taking the 2 monitors from best buy back and dealing with their return line worth? I bet it would take more than an hour to do that, and my time is worth way more than $18 an hour. Add the (admittedly negligible amount of) gas it would take to move the car from one parking lot to the other. Still worth it? How about the very real potential that your credit card company or bank will cut off your card for buying 4 identical high ticket items within an hour and then returning 2 of them?

    All for the sake of $18 and what, the principle of sticking it to “the man”? Getting them to honor their policies? It’s true that they should, and it sucks that they didn’t. I just don’t think it was worth the hassle to deal with it.

  6. rublind says:

    Could it have anything to do with the fact that Circuit City is kind of a crap store that has been losing money?

    They’ve had to resort to laying off a bunch of people from many of their stores. Something tells me they don’t have the money to splurge on their price match guarantee.

    Best Buy FTW.

  7. RandomHookup says:

    Happens all the time. Sometimes there is some real fine print in the company policy (that no one can seem to find) or some local rules they don’t bother to tell you about. Or sometimes, they just make up the rules as they go.

  8. the policy states:

    If you haven’t yet purchased the product, we’ll beat the competitor’s price by 10% of the difference between our price and theirs.

    He had already purchased the monitors. Guess that’s Circuit City’s leg to stand on.

  9. bnet41 says:

    @DeeJayQueue:
    I have seen people waste hours to save a couple dollars. I always make sure the work in saving money is justified. It just depends on what kind of person you are I guess. Heck people here in NYC will haggle with the hot dog cart people.

    I just don’t see the point in wasting hours to save a few bucks. My time is better spent elsewhere.

  10. banned says:

    “offering a lower advertised price”
    Unfortunately a receipt from best buy is not and advertisement. Read the policy! File all the complaints you want, you did not fulfill your 1/2 of the guarantee!

  11. banned says:

    Also states “Buy a product from us and if…”. Guess what? You did not buy from there first. You have no arguement here.

  12. Lin-Z [linguist on duty] says:

    “if, within 30 days of your purchase, you find a local competitor…”

    I work at a Ritz Camera shop and we have a similar guarantee, but we don’t honor prices from Best Buy because they’re not considered local. If the circut city manager had made that case, that would have made a lot more sense.

  13. forever_knight says:

    first of all, who goes around playing these games? when you are 85 and nearing death, you’ll think back to all the time and effort you spent chasing that 10% difference. good times.

    on the flip side, corporations love these gimmicks because most people don’t use them. but people that do use them should be able to use them. just because it’s below their cost shouldn’t make a difference. if corporations use these policies then they must honor them even if it is “below cost”.

  14. sonichghog says:

    Like another person said. It was not an “Advertised” price.

  15. Falconfire says:

    @rocnrule: well no it ALSO states that if you FOUND the product elsewhere they would lower it too, so that it was either 110% refund (if you bought it) or 10% lower than the best buy price (if you had not)

    I mean its RIGHT there in the story summery, is reading comprehension THAT hard from some of you commenters.

  16. donnie5 says:

    @sonichghog: An advertised price is any price in the store that has a pricing sticker or sign “advertising” the price. I used to work for both stores, and that was how both defined their near identical low price guarantees.

  17. donnie5 says:

    @donnie5: Falconfire, you are a hero! I get tired of people slamming consumers on here because they get ripped by a company.

  18. exkon says:

    Unbeatable = as long as its not too low…

  19. banned says:

    @Falconfire:
    Umm, it says if you buy from us first, OR if you haven’t yet purchased, also advertised price. He does not meet either criteria. I thinks somebody else cannot read.

  20. NoNamesLeft says:

    Sounds like a slickdeal to me!

  21. markwm says:

    Wow, RocNRule and I are agreeing on something? ;)
    I just don’t see him having a leg to stand on, and it’s bad customers like this who cause bad businesses to think they have to be bad businesses to get by.

  22. rbb says:

    It was advertised. Go to http://www.bestbuy.com and select the weekly ad link. Put in Valley Stream NY and you will find it. It is an ACER X191WSD.

    Poor planning on Circuit City’s part. they should know the Sunday ads are always out at least a day ahead of time. If they had scanned the ad, they would have known to remove the monitor from the shelves for the week or until they were sold out at BB (which they are now…).

  23. Nytmare says:

    @DeeJayQueue: Your apathy and laziness is exactly what these stores are counting on. They want the benefit of consumers thinking they have the lowest prices around (via a prominently advertised policy of price-beating), without the hardships of actually having the lowest prices around. Not honoring their advertised policy is false advertising.

  24. olderbudwizer says:

    Nobody got ripped, except poorboy who spent his money and then tried to get it back. Options are clear:
    1. BUY FROM US(CC), and if you find it lower within 30 days, you can get the difference. That didn’t happen, so dude is out of luck.
    2. BEFORE YOU BUY, come to us and we’ll lower our price plus 10%. Dude goes in with an already-bought receipt. That didn’t happen either, dude still out of luck.

  25. rbf2000 says:

    Carey, it’s misleading not to list the entire policy, including the exclusions.

    From CircuitCity.com:

    If within 30 days from the date of our offer, you show us a lower, currently advertised price from another local store with the same item in stock, we will gladly refund 110% of the difference between our price and theirs.

    Circuit City’s Unbeatable Price Guarantee does not apply to services, nor does it apply to special offers or promotions, including rebates, mail-in offers, free-with-purchase offers, limited quantity offers, bundled promotions and special financing. Circuit City’s Unbeatable Price Guarantee does not apply to products and services offered by third parties operating in Circuit City’s stores.

    I think if I was les I would have come up with a better excuse (it’s not advertised, it’s clearance, it’s a special offer, etc.).

  26. Nytmare says:

    @rocnrule: “If you haven’t yet purchased the product” means “If you haven’t yet purchased the product from us (Circuit City).” Whether or not he already purchased the product from some other company has no bearing on Circuit City’s policy. So their policy is in effect and you’re mistaken.

  27. ThomFabian says:

    Actually OLDERBUDWIZER
    2. BEFORE YOU BUY, come to us and we’ll lower our price plus 10%. Dude goes in with an already-bought receipt. That didn’t happen either, dude still out of luck.

    As far as Circuit City is concerned he falls into category #2. The receipt from Best Buy may not count as an advertised price, but clearly the policy isn’t meant to say you couldn’t but the same product elsewhere and expect them to match the price if you should choose to buy from Circuit City as well.

    The point of the 2 categories listed is to show that the policy effects you both before and after you purchase a product from CC.

  28. Instigator says:

    I agree with Deejayque. This guy sounds like a total douche who just enjoys making a point, no matter how pointless the cause.

    Technically, Circuit City should have provided the discount. But going through all that effort to save an extra $18 indicates that Jeff really gets off on f**king with people so he can feel superior.

  29. banned says:

    @nytmare:
    If you all want to believe guarantees mean what you assume they mean, and not what is actually written in english, then you too will have to deal with situations like this. Unfortunately, no judge in the land will infer “If you haven’t yet purchased the product” to mean “If you haven’t yet purchased the product from us”.

  30. rrapynot says:

    This was in the Best Buy flyer that came with my Sunday newspaper. I’d say that means it was advertised.

  31. Undeadlord says:

    @nytmare: I am glad someone else had the common sense to realize that is what the policy means. That “If you haven’t yet purchased the product” bit only applies to products purchased from CC, not from anywhere else.

    The policy is in affect and he should have received the money. Also, according to his email, CC was just across the street from BestBuy … I don’t know about you, but I would walk across the street for 20 bucks.

  32. emax4 says:

    Well, they were purchased today, so he still has less than 30 days to return the monitors from Best Buy (…wait for it…) then buy them from Circuit City, then show the CC folks the BB price and get the 110% difference.

    …this is, of course, if he can convince Best Buy to accept a return, and we’ve all seen enough stories on how tough THAT is.

  33. Undeadlord says:

    So how would people feel if this guy bought one at BestBuy and then they were out of stock, so he runs across the street to CC to get another one. According some people here, he shouldn’t get the lower price becuase he already bought one at the lower price???

    What sense does that make? The fact that he is going to return them at BestBusy when he is done has NO bearing on whether or not CC should honor their guarantee. (which they should)

  34. stardeo says:

    “Buy from us” and “Before you buy” are horrible reasons to prevent the policy from being used. Because, let’s say I want a sweet rig for my design work. I buy two monitors at Best Buy for $129. Great! I go over to Circuit City and see they have the same monitor and a great Price Matching plan.

    I want to buy TWO more so I can have a glorious 4 monitor setup. But wait…I’ve already bought them so I don’t qualify for the price match?!

    The thought that this customer had when he intended to return the other two monitors to Best Buy is immaterial. Circuit City did not live up to the price match. If I bought two monitors, and want to buy two more using Circuit City’s price match, they should sell those two to me.

    Otherwise, this becomes a semantic debate over the wording over the policy (which it already has). Once you start burying through the “terministic screens” you may find that the Circuit City price match policy means nothing. Therefore, the policy should not even be offered, or should be offered in such a way that it satisfies the general intention of the policy to satisfy the customer: “If I could buy it for $129 at Best Buy, I could get it for the same price or cheaper here!”

  35. ThomFabian says:

    @rocnrule:
    Isn’t this just a store policy anyway (or a company policy). Its not like you can take them to court and sue them on not living up to a policy they can ammend or read however they wish. They haven’t (yet) entered into an agreement with you. They can (and will) choose whatever price they want….and you can choose to pay it or not. Now we can publicly try to shame them into following their policy, but this isn’t a legal issue IMO.

    But the point stands that the “haven’t purchased the product” clause is clearly not intending to disqualify you from the policy if you’d purchased the product elsewhere beforehand. The clause is merely intended to define how the policy would effect you before or after you purchase the product from CC.

  36. The Stork says:

    @donnie5: When I last worked at Circuit (read: March) they defined “advertised” as “in the circular this week.” That didn’t mean that we didn’t price match in store (especially in TVs to get sales,) and that Circuit is right in this instance (because from the facts we have the store is dead wrong,) but that’s the definition we always had.

  37. for all the people that keep saying homeboy was wasting time haggling 10%, the real issue here is that Circuit City just recieved national negative publicty for wasting time not bothering to give said homeboy the 10% break he was looking for.

  38. Nytmare says:

    @rocnrule: He wasn’t denied the policy for having purchased it at a competitor. It is not legal or even practical to enforce such a policy based on any competitor purchases.

    What the receipt from the competitor does is show the item name, date, and price. The actual purchase of said item at some other company by any given person is completely irrelevant and immaterial.

    Unfortunately, the price on the receipt might not qualify as an “advertised” price, as receipts don’t show whether an item is on clearance which would disqualify the guarantee.

  39. banned says:

    @ThomFabian:
    It does in fact become a legal issue the moment it is advertised(false advertising). Merely printing that sign in the store is entering an agreement, just as if the sign says no refunds. I won’t argue they are morally right for what they’ve done, just legally right. We can all take from this what we want. I imagine none of us are lawyers so all we have is opinion.

  40. Falconfire says:

    @rocnrule:

    Buy a product from us and if, within 30 days of your purchase, you find a local competitor offering a lower advertised price for the same in-stock item, we’ll refund 110% of the difference.

    In plain english, you buy it from us and then bring in the circular showing it cheaper we refund you the money + 10% more.

    If you haven’t yet purchased the product, we’ll beat the competitor’s price by 10% of the difference between our price and theirs.

    In plain english, if you have not bought the product from us yet, we’ll discount it by 10% more of the difference between the prices. Thus you get it for 10% UNDER the Best Buy price.

    THIS WAS A ADVERTISED PRICE BY BESTBUY. Thus they are going against their already stated policy. He was going to see if he could get it for the “claimed” guarantee, and return the Best Buy ones if he could, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that though unless its a huge discount your likely spending more money on gas going back and forth than you would have saved. But thats regardless as they went against their own claims despite it being in the weekend BestBuy ad and thus being advertised.

    You should NOT be making claims about not reading plain english when you yourself have yet to do it the ENTIRE thread.

  41. AndyAgent87 says:

    Great points everybody, and yea, Jeff may have wasted his time by trying to get a price match…but I am one of those people that do things out of “principle”. Businesses should always honor their own policies.

    I grew up up watching those comercials with the kid that brings the walkman to C.C. and the nice man politely gives the differance back. It is the foundation of their customer service policy.

    Anyways…there have been 2 times that I have recently tried to get a price match at C.C. and they both worked out.

    I bought a PS3 the week before the $100 price drop, went back to the store after and surprisingly got $120 back!

    I also bought a 50″ Sony tv, and I asked if they would match their online offer, which stated 24 months no interest. They said yes initially, but then declined because they said it was not on their website. I went home, and printed out the page from my browser history, and brought it in for them to see (wasting gas and time in the process). They then agreed to honor the offer, and now I have an extra year to pay off this tv!

    Just thought I would share my experiences.

  42. Nytmare says:

    @ThomFabian: If their price-beating policy was just an internal policy, then yes you couldn’t sue them. But it’s not, it’s advertised, on a sign, with the intent of generating increased business. It is not legal to advertise falsely.

  43. rbf2000 says:

    The associates were clearly in the wrong here. I used to work at CC for four years and there would often times be people that would either knowingly or unknowingly try to take advantage of our numerous policies, including the price match policy.

    I admit, a price drop of that much would raise some eyebrows from me if I had encountered it, but I would gone through my due diligence (checking the website, calling to see if they have any in stock), and if I ran out of excuses to not do the price match, I would do it. Of course, I would never put that much thought into it if it was only a $10 difference, but nearly half price is quite a big deal, especially with a monitor, where there isn’t that much of a mark up.

    When I was working there, I would often go to my store director and ask him if I should do the price match if it was a big price difference, but I had an excuse not to do the price match (like the competitor didn’t have it in stock). Often times my store director would tell me to go ahead and do the price match because he would rather have the business and a happy customer, than a pissed of customer and no revenue.

    The submitter of the story should have bought the monitors at Circuit City and called in the price match over the phone, to another store, if necessary.

  44. DeeJayQueue says:

    @nytmare: I hardly think it’s apathetic or lazy to want to spend time arguing policy with someone to save an extra $18 over the $180 I just saved across the street, only to have to go back there to stand in a return line. That’s not standing up for a principle, or some grandiose “screw the man, david and goliath” scenario, it’s just fucking greedy. If you think that’s a productive way to spend an afternoon, have at it. I’d rather be doing something more valuable with my time.

    One could say that the OP bought the monitors and then said “Oh let me go across the street to CC and see if they have them cheaper.” He gets there and sees that CC’s price is $90 more expensive per monitor. It’s at this point that most people say “Oh wow, I just saved a butt load of money, kudos to me” and go enjoy a slice of toast. This guy however, sees CC’s Price Match Guarantee and says “Let me see if I can stitch them up for even MORE savings!” and then gets all indignant when the manager says no.

    What about “the policy says, the policy says!” Well, the policy is designed to get people in the door. It’s meant to convey the message that “hey we all pretty much have the same price on things, and in case we don’t, we’ll honor theirs plus a little bit to keep you loyal to us.” In most cases this is fine because the prices don’t normally vary by %50 between stores, especially on bigger ticket items. A customer that would come in and spend time arguing so vehemently for such a policy after already saving the money is clearly not interested in loyalty to the store, but to spending the least amount possible, and they aren’t the type of customers that the policy was designed to attract. They are exploiting a loophole, trying to game the system, and the manager wasn’t having it.

    Incidentally, $219 seems to be the going price for these monitors in Brick-n-mortar stores, except Best Buy. Most online retailers have it for the $130.

  45. TexasScout says:

    Good price or no, you should hang your head in shame for shopping at CircitChitty. I will NEVER darken their door after what they did to all their loyal employees.

  46. MeOhMy says:

    The fact that the “manager” would not give at least his first name is a dead giveaway that he is full of crap. I worked in retail. Someone asked for my name, they got it. Why? Because I was RIGHT and I knew that the people above me would back me up.

    Why would “Les” not put his name on his work unless he was trying to hide something?

  47. Chicago7 says:

    Another way they get around this is by adding a letter to the Manufacturer’s product number and then saying it’s a different product. I bought exactly the same product and then found out it was $10 cheaper at another store. I went back to the first and said “You have price match. Can I have $10?” – they said: “No, ours is model 1801b, theirs is model 1801. It’s not the same thing.”

  48. Asvetic says:

    This would be a great idea for a hidden camera TV show. Driving around the country and attempting to make good on posted policies… then when they shake, take affirmative action, escalating to the next step right in the store. That would be fun to watch these managers squirm bit and to see what level someone needs to go to before they cave.

  49. scootinger says:

    I remember one time that a CC store (NW Expressway and Portland in Oklahoma City, OK) pulled this BS on me. I wanted to PM Office Depot’s price for a JBL iPod speaker dock, CC had it for $150 or so and OD had it for about $70 out the door. (don’t recall the exact prices)

    I went there and I wanted to buy two of them so I gave them the ad. I stayed there for about 20-25 minutes while they tried to come up with excuses to reject the pricematch because there was such a big difference. Eventually they told me that it “must be a clearance” so they could not allow the PM. Additionally they told me that I could go to the OD store and buy it myself if I wanted since they had 15 or so in stock.

    I find it very insulting to be treated this way, especially from a company like CC that advertises itself as a convenient place to shop.

  50. banned says:

    @Falconfire:
    Where did you go to english class?
    “Buy a product from us and if…”
    “If you haven’t yet purchased the product…”

    The first clause states “from us”, the 2nd does not. So obviously, if they meant “from us”, they would have printed “from us”, as they did in the first clause. ie

    Circuit City is proud to offer the best prices on consumer electronics. Period. Buy a product from us and if, within 30 days of your purchase, you find a local competitor offering a lower advertised price for the same in-stock item, we’ll refund 110% of the difference. If you haven’t yet purchased the product”

    FROM US

    “, we’ll beat the competitor’s price by 10% of the difference between our price and theirs. Either way, you win

    Maybe its a battle of words, but this is how any lawyer would attack any law, by taking the exact english meaning, and not inferred or assumed meaning, or you simply saying this is what they must mean.

  51. dbeahn says:

    @rocnrule: Me thinks you have a point. The letter doesn’t say if Best Buy advertised this price or not.

    I know most places with price match policies don’t match unadvertised, manager specials or the like.

    So how about it Ben? Get us an update on if this was an advertised price? With a link or scan?

  52. Invisobel says:

    @rocnrule: I think you hit the nail on the head. If you you didn’t previously purchase the item from them, they’re under no obligation to offer you the item at all, let alone at a discounted price.

  53. banned says:

    @Falconfire:
    Plus I’ve already agreed they should morally honor the guarantee.

  54. rbf2000 says:

    @Chicago7: That’s something the manufacturer does to prevent price matching, not the stores.

    @Troy F.: I never gave out my last name while working in retail, nor my employee number. The only customers that ask for that identifying kind of information want to use it for nefarious purposes. I gave them enough information as to be able to identify me, without having to fear anything from the customer (i.e., my first name and last initial).

  55. RandomHookup says:

    Wow, this crowd would be no fun at Fatwallet or SlickDeals.

  56. Plaid Rabbit says:

    @rocnrule: I gotta ask, dude – you’ve made some authoritative assertions about the law in this thread. “This how any lawyer would attack any law…”, “No judge in the land will…”, etc.

    Are you an attorney? Have you ever attended law school? Have you even taken a grade 9 government class? I’m going to bet not, since you assert knowledge of the law like a 15 year old who failed Civics.

    Do you actually know what a lawyer would do if they had someone tell them this story, expecting them to represent them? Not take the case, that’s what.

    The damages in this case are so small, and the contract/advertisement so open to interpretation, that things aren’t so locked up. I would say that there are, quite a few, judges in the land who would say that the dude should pound sand over his lack of $18 savings.

    Please stop saying that a court would find for this guy. Its just not that clear.

  57. yahonza says:

    @Lin-Z:

    “I work at a Ritz Camera shop and we have a similar guarantee, but we don’t honor prices from Best Buy because they’re not considered local. If the circut city manager had made that case, that would have made a lot more sense.”

    You’ve got to be kidding, that is the lamest policy I have ever heard. I would be furious if Ritz refused to honor a price guarantee on that basis.

    And its stupid. Ritz Camera is no more “local” than Best Buy.

  58. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    So basically the store is off the hook and free to fuck over the next consumer that comes in there looking for a price match? I don’t think so. Policy is policy. Honor the policy, or take the sign down (all of them).

    It has nothing to do with greed and everything to do with corporations wiggling their way out of their ‘policies.’

  59. endless says:

    if it was in the best buy ad, and in stock.

    Circuit city messed up, bottom line.

    of course, the price difference was 90$ a monitor, so 10% of that is 9%.

    this guy was definitely a tool in the way he went about doing this, but CC was wrong.

  60. endless says:

    PS: if circuit city was right, why wouldn’t the manager wanted to give his name?

    thats a sign of guilt no doubt about it.

  61. GenXCub says:

    @DeeJayQueue:

    So, you don’t really have any comment on the story, you just want to comment on how the OP is just stupid and wasting his time. This is a really helpful site.

  62. Edidid says:

    Circuit City has refused to give out gift cards with purchases as advertised to me twice now. I don’t even park in their part of the parking lot at the strip mall they are in anymore. Rather walk the extra steps just to avoid them at this point.

  63. The Meathead says:

    @DeeJayQueue: Good job of completely missing the point.

  64. schmont says:

    @DEEJAYQUEUE: Did you get lost on the web and somehow end up at The Consumerist? Do you not understand the ideology behind this blog? Or are you one of those Verizon Wireless executives that thinks it is their decision to define what is materially adverse for others? The fact of the matter is that consumers are being defrauded by these so called “price match guarantees”. The store manager clearly had some sort of incentive to not match the competitors price as the item was likely below cost even though Circuit City is the direct buyer of the product, not him. Incentives like these likely lead to a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in these situations, as can be seen by his determination to deny the consumer and remain anonymous. The reality of the situation is a loophole for false advertisement, further dragging consumers in this country through the dirt. People who read this story and look at it as a non-issue or “just fucking greedy” are the reason consumers are being shit on more and more every day. Companies must be checked by consumers or else they think they have the power to do whatever they want without consequence. It’s just like how our government used to work many years ago, with a system of checks and balances. Now look at what has happened since congress began letting the executive branch do whatever it wants…

  65. EtherealStrife says:

    If the local BBs are out of stock or it is a discontinued item, then CC will refuse to honor the pricematch (I’ve done the cc 10% dance). For such a huge price drop I’d guess it’s a discontinued item.

    And afaik NONE of the pricematching chain stores will go below their cost.

  66. dwarf74 says:

    @DeeJayQueue:
    I don’t find anything greedy in expecting a company to honor its guarantees. They put the sign up to get people in the door, and offer 110% of the difference to appeal to peoples’ greed. The guy might be a dick if he just pricematched without the extra 10% – that’d be kinda on the lame side. If CC (or any company) doesn’t want to run a risk of selling items very cheaply, they should not make the offer in the first place.

    Jeff is just being a smart consumer. He has no responsibility to ensure that CC is making a profit or that the advertised guarantee is working how CC would like it to work. If the pricematch is keeping CC from being profitable, the policy should be modified or revoked.

  67. yahonza says:

    @Plaid Rabbit:

    Well, I’m a lawyer. I don’t do that much consumer law, but some.

    I would have to agree, I would not be enthusiastic about taking the case over $18…but I would not say CC is off the hook.

    Most states have a consumer fraud act that would likely cover this sort of thing. And such acts usually provide for attorney fees if successful, and possibly punitive damages. There is also the possibility of class action.

    But yeah, over $18? I would probably advise the guy (if he really felt strongly about it), to file his own lawsuit pro se in small claims court, and to be sure to mention both breach of contract and the Consumer Fraud Act.

    If he had really good info that this was systematically done to a lot of consumers (not just that guy with those monitors on that day, I’d be more interested in taking the case as a possible class action.

    But first, I would say he has more than gotten his revenge already by getting the story posted on Consumerist.

  68. This is stupid. What if Circuit City’s price is $1 more? Are they supposed to give anyone who walks into the store with a receipt from another store with a product that costs less a refund?

    Besides, the guy sounds like an ass.

  69. Xerloq says:

    I never plan on using price match guarantees, rebates, gift cards or any of that crap. Finding the best price usually consumes enough time – it’s not worth it to save a couple of bucks.

    I would use the price match IF I had already purchased the item and then found it substantially lower someplace else. If they won’t match it, return it, and buy at the other place.

  70. Jerim says:

    @DeeJayQueue:

    You make an excellent point. I don’t understand the mentality of someone like this. I think they enjoy causing a scene. Just enjoy your savings and be done with it. Also, it doesn’t mention if this was a sale price or a “inventory clearance” markdown. For there to be such a huge discrepancy I am betting that the monitors were on special or perhaps even defective. No price matching policies cover “gimmick” prices and something tells me there is more to the price than “just a good deal.”

  71. Plaid Rabbit says:

    @yahonza: You actually did a much better job of crystallizing what exactly I was trying to say – the overarching point being that while CC may not be off the hook, the thing is far from a lead pipe cinch.

    I was also trying to point out that people who act like they know the law, and make huge sweeping statements about legal issues as if there was no room for any argument often don’t know about the law at all. Anyone who’s had a modicum of legal training or even just been party to a lawsuit knows that nothing is given, and everything can be answered with “It depends…”

  72. m4nea says:

    Fact of the matter is, best buy probably had some agreement with acer, for the purposes of the sale, to lower (and be reimbursed for) their cost on the item. This allowed them to lower the price to an untouchable bargain.
    Circuit City (or anywhere with a similar price guarantee) would far rather lose your spendthrift business than lose $100 for a simple price match.
    I can understand where they’re coming from here, and I agree with the above poster who wondered if it was worth the $18 savings to drive back and forth and argue and whine and stand in the Best Buy return lineup.
    $180 was already saved, for crying out loud.

  73. Lin-Z [linguist on duty] says:

    @yahonza: I’m not kidding, it’s just the lamest policy that you’ve ever heard. A lot of people also labor under the impression that it’s a local store because Ritz chose to keep the name that the store had before they bought it.

  74. DeeJayQueue says:

    Yeah, I totally missed the point allright. I read a story about a guy who saved $180 on 2 monitors. He went to another store, realized that store had them for way more money and decided to try to get them to price match +10%. They wouldn’t and he got pissy.

    My point was that once Circuit City said no, it became a waste of time. He saved a bundle of money already and he should have just been happy.

    As a smart consumer it’s just as important to know what’s worth fighting for and what will cost more in the long run.

    Say his scheme worked, he got his price match, and his time was worth the $18 he saved by arguing with CC’s manager, all he did was just break even. CC just paid him to go through all that hassle and at the end of it he’s down an hour or 2, and he has the same 2 monitors. Instead, if he’d have just walked from best buy to his car with his stuff, then drove away, he’d be have 2 hours with which he could do anything he wanted. I’d say that’s worth more than $18.

    I know that it was shitty of circuit city not to price match, but realistically do you expect them to? We’d all like to hold companies to their ideals and to the letter of their signage but it isn’t always that easy and that black and white. If it were there’d be no such thing as divorce, and we wouldn’t need lawyers. The manager has to be accountable to someone, and they have to answer for each and every dollar they give away under price match guarantee. He was covering his own ass no doubt. Idealistically wrong? Of course. Realistically imaginable? Definately. I’m just saying that If I saw that much of a difference in the price between the two stores that I’d realize odds are it would be a battle to get them to honor their policy, and it just isn’t worth the hassle to me.

  75. ElPresidente408 says:

    @rocnrule:

    When it says “haven’t yet purchased the product”, I believe they mean purchased from Circuit City. Meaning that they are supposed to beat the price by 10%, regardless if he had bought it at Best Buy or not, that isn’t their concern. Also, the store manager wouldn’t have thought it over and said the price was too low if it wasn’t even their policy to begin with.

    The reason they say “advertised price” is because that’s how you would prove to Circuit City that their product is indeed cheaper, by bringing in a flyer.

  76. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    @DeeJayQueue: Yes you did miss the point. We do ‘realistically’ expect companies to honor their own policies. A policy is a policy all the time, not just when it’s convenient or economical. Below cost? What a shame. It’s your company policy.
    The point of the price matching policy is 1) To promote the idea that you don’t have to go to another store to get a better price, and 2) To ensure the customer that if the item you buy today goes on sale within x number of days, you will get the better price. Not adhering to this policy pretty much removes the incentives for consumers to shop there and to feel comfortable about buying anything there. Why should I go in and buy a TV for 1799 if I can’t ‘realistically’ expect them to honor the price match when it goes on sale next week?
    An interesting detail to add at least about Circuit City’s price match policy is that not only does it not apply to internet listed prices, but also to prices at CircuitCity.com!!! (wallymart has the same inane policy).

  77. Buran says:

    @rublind: Reverse the two names and you got it.

  78. Buran says:

    @DeeJayQueue: It’s not a waste of time to do something about merchants that violate policy. This guy deserves a slap from corporate. Do you let people walk over you without a fuss?

  79. Buran says:

    @m4nea: You can understand where a store comes from that violates policy? Uh…

  80. Mr.Vegas says:

    Guarantee? Are you kidding? What happens when any
    company doesn’t honor a guarantee? What do you think you can do? The only “guarantee” is it will cost you far more to try and enforce same than it’s worth. In this day and age a guarantee is simply a sales gaff (all talk and no substance).

  81. hills says:

    I’m all the guy’s principles here – but does anyone think he may end up having to pay a restocking fee at Best Buy which would cancel out his savings from Circuit City?

  82. StevieD says:

    From another persepective.

    Way back in the dark ages, price matching and price guarantees were simple.

    Then consumer electronics entered into the fray.

    One of the big issues with consumer electronics is after sales support. Warranty and phone support specifically. Does the seller provide support for the product? Does the seller pay for support for the product? Or does the manufacturer or importer provide the support for the product?

    Some vendors (stores) will elect to provide support for a product in exchange for a much lower price on the product.

    To the consumer, model zxcvb123 is identical to zxcvb123.1, but they are not exactly the same product. zxcb123 is a manufacturer supported product that is sold at 35% discount to your favorite chain store, while zxcb123.1 is sold at a 55% discount to another chain store. The difference between the two items is that zxcb123.1 is supported by the chain (including phone support and warranty service), while zxcb123 is supported by the manufacturer.

    Then there is item zxcb123.21 which is sold to another chain at a 20% discount, but any unsold units may be returned to the manufacturer without incurring any restocking fees.

    In each case the chain store identifies the item as zxcb123 as they don’t want to explain the dirty finacials of the selling item to their customers.

    Now, try to price match when you know you are getting the short end of the deal!!

    This is why there are terms and limitations to most price matching and price guarantees. And I suspect there is always a manager perogative to the issue that can be found in the 41 pages of fine print in a pdf file on the website just to cover the issue of CC getting a better deal than BB or vis-a-versa.

  83. nequam says:

    @rocnrule: Your interpretation is inconsistent. You refuse to read “from us” into the second clause, while at the same time you assume that “advertised price” IS read into the second clause.

    It’s true that contracts are interpreted according to the plain meaning of their words, but words in a contract have no meaning outside of the context in which they are used. The fact that “from us” is not written in the second clause is not fatal to FALCONFIRE’s argument if the meaning nevertheless is clear. Common sense also comes into play.

    I can appreciate the arguments on both sides, but I believe your position is the tougher one to support. I base that assessment on experience, but (like I said) you’re interpretation has some appeal to it. So, who really knows. Cheers!

  84. Finalnight says:

    too bad their policy states:
    Q: Do you match “limited quantity” offers by local competitors? What if the item is not indicated as being in limited quantity, but the item is not in stock?
    A: Our policy does not apply to local competitors’ limited quantity offers. In addition, if a local competitor is out of stock of the particular item, we will not match the local competitor’s price. Being “in stock” means that the item is available for sale and delivery that day.

    Since he bought all of the Best Buy’s stock, no price match for him.

    Also, I would never price match a Best Buy receipt, I used to work there, they can put markdowns on a receipt but make it state “regular price” so their numbers look better.

  85. HilltopMichael says:

    So what would people be saying if that buyer first bought the monitors at CC for $219 each, then walked across the street to BB to find the identical monitors, in stock, for $129. He thinks that he has a 30 day price protection from CC, but when he asks a manager tells him “sorry, can’t do that because the price is too low.” So what exactly is the unbeatable price guarantee? It only applies if the company can still make a certain amount of profit on an item?

    If I knew there was a company who truly honored a lowest price guarantee, not with a bunch of exclusions and fine print, but just a simple find it for a lower price and we’ll beat it policy, I’d gladly give them my business. However, I suspect many places will try to weasel out if it’s more than a token difference. Personally, I try to find the best deal before I buy something. If a company spends a lot of effort promoting a lowest price guarantee, I figure that they’re probably not the lowest price.

  86. Spaztrick says:

    I went to CC to purchase a Zen and found that it was $60 more in store than on their website. I asked about them matching their own prices and was told they would not. However the employee also looked it up online and told me that I could always place the order online and choose to pick it up in store. I decided this was a good idea and the same employee that told me this was also the employee responsible for pulling the item. Somehow, it was not ready in the 24 minutes, so I also got the gift card to boot. I never had any problems at CC. Now BB, that’s a different story as everyone seems to know already.

  87. TheDude06 says:

    I wouldnt go to circuit city even for cheap monitors and $20 cash.

    Comission based retail sales can take a long walk of a short pier.

  88. HalOfBorg says:

    I do this type of thing all the time. You take the add from store ‘A’ into store ‘B’ and show it to them. Simple as that.

    THEN you return the one(s) you bought at store ‘B’.

    He did it all wrong and is complaining.

  89. Lee2706 says:

    Please clarify how this guy’s desire to save a few bucks via a store’s price match guarantee is a waste of time.

    I hear that some people wouldn’t do this, but maybe that’s how he wants to spend his free time? What the hell is free time used for anyway?

    I understand weighing the cost of going to the store, getting hassled by management, etc versus the actual benefit. I don’t see how comparing it to how much one makes per hour helps make the decision easier (I see lots of this cost-benefit of my time compared to how much one earns on similar consumer sites).

    Regardless of how much I work, I still make the same pitiful salary. The time I saved from not going to Best Buy to argue a price match is not going to roll into more money into my pocket. Yeah, you could say I wasted gas, added some wear to my car and shoes, etc. But all that stuff wears down already.

    That being said, my lazy ass would shop online and find the cheapest price and get it there. No trip to BestBuy to haggle prices. I’ll waste my time reading a book, riding my bike, or cooking.

  90. blkhrt1 says:

    Had you bought the monitors at Circuit City first, then went to Best Buy, grabbed the local ad, and brought it back to Circuit City, they would’ve probably matched it. BUT, for you trying to gip the system…shame on you.

  91. blkhrt1 says:

    @Lee2706: Because he didn’t read the policy fully, his arrogance is what is commented on.

  92. blkhrt1 says:

    @Troy F.: Why wasn’t LES wearing an f’n name tag.

  93. blkhrt1 says:

    @HilltopMichael: Had he followed those steps, and actually purchased them AT CC first, then the company would have to. Can you say SOL?

  94. shellylennon says:

    uh my… more than $200 for a 19″ Acer – at least according to the low/high analysis of 19″ LCD at http://www.pricefad.com you shouldn’t be paying more than around $160.
    Jeff – we’re behind you – no Circuit City for me anymore!

  95. MrPete says:

    The lawyer gave a hint at the right answer to this question. Consumer Fraud.

    When a store advertises a product at a certain price, it is under obligation to fulfill that offer. If it makes a mistake, it needs to retract the offer. Have you noticed how CC, CompUSA, etc will put up error notices in their front window? That’s why. Here’s a link explaining a variety of such issues in New York City (they don’t yet make advertising laws easy to find on the web :( ).

    Since BestBuy’s offer was in print, in the local area, it was a real offer at a real price.

    Since Circuit City’s price guarantee is in print (in each store!), it too is a real offer at a real price: they are offering to sell any product they have in stock, at 10% less than any local competitor sells it for, subject to certain conditions.

    Someone thought it was stupid to make such an offer since their price might be only $1 more. Not stupid at all. Competitors diligently compare prices. Price guarantees are simply a guarantee that the store/chain has done its homework.

    Finally, many people are confused about what it takes to take advantage of the price guarantee.

    Les at CC was most definitely wrong. The consumer did not have to show his BB receipt; as far as CC knows, the consumer had not yet bought the product. And note that CC gives 30 days for the price match. If BB was out of stock on that particular day, as long as the product is restocked, at any local BB during the week the ad was in force, then CC is obligated to fulfill their offer — or retract their guarantee in print.

    Truth in advertising is there for a reason. To protect you, the consumer.

    In many states, there are big penalties for selling at a higher-than-advertised price, or refusing to sell at the advertised price.

    Honorable stores work hard to make consumers happy. Not to take care of greedy SOB’s, but because a formerly happy customer who has a bad experience will tell all their friends about it. But an upset customer who gets great service will ALSO tell all their friends.

    I’ve been in a number of stores (usually grocery stores) that will honor shelf-price mistakes, or even give (quantity one of) a product for free if you bring a pricing error to the manager’s attention. To me, that’s great customer service.

  96. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    @StevieD: This is exactly how they get around it on TVs (Mitsubishi for example), as the exact same TV has a different ‘model number’ at the two chains.
    @hillsrovey: Restocking fees would not typically be applicable to unopened products.
    @Finalnight: This is not why the manager called shenaningans and did not honor the policy. He said the ‘price was too low’ according to the story. If a manager points out this (loophole) caveat in the policy as why they will not match the price, ok, fine.
    @Spaztrick: Had a similar problem. To me, this is just silly. I go to the store to see the product and assure myself it’s what I want. Then I should go back home and order it, and go back to the store? Even worse…I got them to give me the online price on a receiver, then instead of me walking over to where the receiver was and carrying it up to the register, they told me they had more ‘upstairs.’ When I got to the conveyer belt room, I was told they only had the one. Instead of me walking right over and getting it, I had to wait ten minutes for the inventory guy to come down and walk over and get it…now there’s a stupid policy.

  97. veal says:

    I agree with Lee2706. It’s his time. If he doesn’t feel like it’s a waste of time, then it’s not a waste of time. We could all as easily say that posting our partially-informed and personally biased opinions is a waste of our time. And “Les” should have given his name; in fact, I think that’s probably mandated by company policy. It’s probably available on the company site, anyway – he was just being an ass.

  98. jeffj-nj says:

     
     
    A friend worked a local electronics store. He noticed that in tomorrow’s flyer, they were about to sell an item for below cost, and mentioned this to his manager. Turns out it was a misprint. Oops. The manager told my friend to take that product off the shelf, and tell anyone tomorrow who asked for it that they were sold out. It was a one day sale anyway. He also told my friend not to mention this to anyone.

    Of course, he told me anyway. I went down there first thing in the morning, and asked for two of them (want to guess who the other one was for?). “I’m sorry, we’re…” “Uhm, you can’t be. You’ve been open…” Sure enough, they honored the price. :)

  99. GenXCub says:

    Be careful not to clip any coupons or try to shop many different online stores for the best price on something you want. DeeJayQue will call you an idiot.

  100. bdgbill says:

    @DeeJayQueue:

    Very well said! I work with a guy like this. He sits in line at Costco for 15 minutes to save 3 cents a gallon (a whopping 45 cent savings for filling an empty tank in his car).

    Of course, this doesn’t make Circuit City suck any less.

    I’m so tired of companys using absloute terms (unbeatable!, unlimited!, no restrictions!) in their advertising only to give you a bunch of fine print that pretty much says the advertisement is a load of bullshit. This should be illegal.

  101. bdgbill says:

    @schmont:

    I don’t think “the point of this blog” is saving pennies by wasting your own time and that of store employees.

    This guy was borderline fraudulant when he bought the monitors at Best Buy with no intention whatsoever of keeping them.

    I wonder if he got the last 2 monitors at that price and someone else who came in to actually purchase them left without them.

    I wonder how much more difficult it will be to return products for a valid reason because of tools like this guy.

  102. nequam says:

    @bdgbill: You may have a friend in Judge Roy Pearson.

  103. mgbeach says:

    this is pretty cut and dry if you read the policy. If you buy something from CC then find it for less within 30 days somewhere else, there are 2 options:

    1) you go ahead and purchase the product from the competitor and CC gives you 110% of your money back when you return the product you got from them.

    2) you prove to CC that you could buy it somewhere else and they give you 10% of the difference.

    You bought it from somewhere else first and the policy doesn’t apply to you. You’re not a CC customer, chief.

  104. d0x says:

    @DeeJayQueue: I gotta say I agree with you. Yes CC should have honored the deal but honestly…just be happy you found it cheaper. Its only $18 and you’re doing this for the express purpose of making profit. Its not like you bought it and then found a week later it was on sale somewhere else which is what the policy was made for.

    Its wasnt designed for people to use it to pad their income.

  105. ikes says:

    @jeffj-nj: Good job, Jeff. You just scammed that ‘local electronics store’ owner out of money.

  106. halaj says:

    Apparently some people here don’t get the OP’s point and instead are lambasting him for the amount of money he’s trying to save. Who cares about the dollar amount, would it have been any different if we swapped the items and numbers around? It could’ve been a 6 yr old purchasing gum at BB for $0.25 and trying to get the %110 PM at CC who has the gum for $0.30. Or it could’ve been a home theater system that’s $10,000 at BB and $20,000 at CC. As a customer I would want the store to adhere to their own written policy, end of story. The OP is posting here to warn fellow Consumerists about this particular merchant and also generate bad publicity. If CC can’t stick to their own sales policies, then they are entitled any negative feedback that ensues. So stop ragging on OP’s tail and look at the bigger picture…

  107. blkhrt1 says:

    Does everyone keep forgetting the quote “If you haven’t bought the item … “? Seems cut-and-dry to me.

  108. jmatt704 says:

    Did Best Buy actually “advertise” that great price for the monitor? Circuit City’s guarantee doesn’t really apply to any and all purchases. Just to advertised prices. That was the technicality that kept me from cashing in on a similar price guarantee a few years back.

  109. A lower price at Best Buy?! NEVER. I went to CompUSA to by 512MB of RAM for $39.99, realized I had a BestBuy gift card for $25 bucks I had been trying to get rid of. I ran down to best buy with the compusa.com print out and asked for them to honor their price match gaurentee. No hassles what soever, Walked out with a lighter wallet and more RAM for my Laptop. By the way, I wish to know which Best Buy outlet had that Acer monitor for $129 each and if a photo could be provided because I might ride down to a CompUSA or BestBuy and see which of them has it.

  110. blkhrt1 says:

    @Papa Midnight: Yeah its not on sale for that price anymore. BUT, it was a 19″ Acer Monitor, model x191wsd which is now back to its regular price of $219. It was in all of the weekly ads.

  111. brendawalshcfm says:

    I just checked Best Buy online:

    Acer 19″ Widescreen Flat-Panel LCD Monitor
    Model: AL1916WABD
    Our Price: $129.99
    Shipping: Sold Out
    Store Pickup: Not Available

    That monitor is SOLD OUT everywhere and unavailable for pickup. Sure sounds like a clearance/closeout item to me. Also sounds like Best Buy decided to screw over any competitors that offer price matching by not advertising that tidbit of info. Clearance/closeout items are EXCLUDED from price matching at almost every store that offers it and I’m POSITIVE Best Buy is well aware of this. Really shady. Anybody that thinks this is OK or argue this would also probably find it worthwhile to dig up graves looking for jewelry.

  112. ThePlaz says:

    I hate CC. I was there a few weeks ago where I bought a TV from the salesman. I then tried to pick it up, and they did not have it. The didn’t have any similar models either. They just gave my $$ back without any bonus. I should have ordered it online and then I would have gotten $24 because it hadn’t shown up in 24 min. (I doubt they would have honored that anyway; there must have been some excuse to use). Overall, I hate CC.

  113. jollymonjeff says:

    I am the original poster. A few notes:
    1) I do shop at both Circuit City and Best Buy monthly for a variety of items.
    2) When I purchased the monitors at Best Buy it was my intent to retain the two monitors I purchased at Best Buy.
    3) When I noticed that the stores are literally 100 feet from each other, I decided on the spur of the moment to walk across the street to Circuit City to see if they had the same monitors and if I could purchase them for less at Circuit City buy using their 110% price match policy. I figured the whole thing would take 20 minutes round trip to both stores. For me, my personal choice was to give it a shot. What did I have to lose? There was no cost for my to try to get them to own up to their own policy. The monitors were unopened, so there would be no restocking fee at Best Buy.
    4) I did not mention in my email to consumerist that I did bring the advertisement from Best Buy with me. Sorry about that omission.
    5) My intent as a consumer is to get the product I want at the lowest price available to me, in a location and manner that is convenient to me. If some of you think I am a tool, because I saw what should have been an easy way to reduce the cost of my purchase, You are entitled to your opinion. Go pay list price on your next house, car or any other item.
    6) There was absolutely no intent to defraud anybody on my behalf.
    7)I never mentioned the word lawsuit. I did mention complaint. I feel that the representative, Les S., whom I spoke with was rude, uninformative, and displayed an “I could care less about your business” attitude that ensures the home theater receiver I purchased last week from Circuit city at regular price, will be my last purchase from that business. An explanation of the policy would have helped me understand if my request was ineligible. instead he just walked away ignoring me directly in front of the Customer Service Desk. My manner, tone and conduct was respectful to the staff at all times.
    8) I read Consumerist to be a better, smarter consumer. I read Fat Wallet for the same reason. If you disagree with those decisions, do not replicate my actions.

  114. brendawalshcfm says:

    @jollymonjeff: That’s all fine and thanks for clarifying. It sounds as if your request was ineligible (clearance/sold out item) but that particular manager was too stupid to realize this and walked off in frustration. But don’t blame the company for the actions of a few stupid employees any more than you would blame a country for the actions of terrorists or stupid politicians. Call the company’s hotline and tell them you dealt with an inept manager who was oblivious to the details regarding their price match policy. If you make it sound as though you’re helping them to identify employees unfamiliar with store policy & procedure they might be thankful and offer you a gift card (cheesy I know but be realistic – and it’s better than nothing). If you call and make it sound more as though you’re trying to help them rather than punish them you might get better results. I suggest you try the hotline first but if you don’t get satisfaction call corporate direct and leave a voice mail for Dave Mathews (SVP of stores). If you sound more helpful than hurtful you might get a response rather than be deleted.

  115. Yecti says:

    You also completely neglect to notice another policy that any retailer will have. They all reserve the right to refuse any sale to any customer for any reason. Regardless of the price-match guarantee, they state plainly that they don’t have to sell you anything at all. So all bickering aside, what you were trying to do was undercut a store. They refused the sale. It had little to nothing to do with the price match, and more to do with the refusal of the sale to you.

    Granted, they would have GLADLY sold you the monitors at their advertised price I’m sure, but when it comes to policy you can’t pick and choose which ones you want to read.

  116. m4nea says:

    @DeeJayQueue:

    well said.
    also, the policy does state, quite clearly, “IF YOU HAVEN’T YET PURCHASED THE PRODUCT,” which is their way to avoid such cheap-o’s.

  117. Cybyer says:

    This “Les” person at the store sounds like an ubertwit, but I do understand an employee not giving out their last name, especially to a furious customer.

    I used to work for a Kroger grocery store. One of our cashiers was the most friendly, bend-over-backwards-to-help people you would ever meet.

    One day, I witnessed he was unable to cash a handwritten two-party check made out for hundreds of $$$ (and no ID to boot) and politely explained to the customer that it was against the policy clearly printed in plain view on the register.

    After a half hour argument and several layers of management backing him up, the customer demanded and got the full names of all involved. Later, that night, he showed up at the home of the cashier after looking his name up in the phone book, getting his home address, and put him in the hospital for weeks.

    After that, NO ONE in my store who wasn’t a manager was EVER required to give out their full name to a customer for any reason. It was silly for a manager to refuse, since their full names were clearly printed on huge signs at Cutomer Service, not to mention in the store ads.

    I refused on several occasions to give mine out to unreasonable people and was backed up every time by management. There is a reason last names aren’t printed on nametags in a lot of chain stores. First names and a basic description are quite sufficient for any need to ID an employee to their superiors.

  118. firebirdude says:

    Let me say first, I work for Circuit City as a regular ol sales associate. Not a manager or anyone who has some loyalty to the company.

    I remember this Best Buy sale well. A great bargain. However, it was clearly shown as “While supplies last.” It clearly shows in Circuit City’s price guarantee that the item is for in-stock non-promotion items. This is to prevent Office Depot from having a 32″ LCD TV for $299, but each store has two in-stock and no rainchecks. Now everyone walks over to Circuit City and wants THE EXACT SAME MODEL TV for the same (or less) price. And we have 15 in stock. If the product is in the competitors ad, we are suppose to call them to make sure they still have it instock before we honor the 110% price match. Let it be known that my store rarely even calls. If it’s in the ad or on the retailers website, we’ll do it. Just to make the customer happy. We could give them a hard time and go strictly by the book, but we don’t. It’s about making the customer happy. Also, let it be known that it’s totally up to the manager. He/She has every right to refuse the price match in the case mentioned above. “The price is too low” was the completely wrong thing to say and the manager should be coached for giving the writer this answer, but whats done is done. It was a promotion item that sold out very quickly. The small clip from the policy posted in this article is out-of-text.

  119. kortria says:

    I think that most of us are fairly astute shoppers and do our due diligence. I have just emailed a long complaint to CC regarding their Price Match Policy and the arbitrary decisions of Associates at the stores. I attempted to purchase a 61″ Samsung TV which was on Internet special at CC for $1999, as I was going to be in the area of one of the stores that had it in stock I decided to go for it. It was then brough to my attention that Fry’s Electronics (a local competitor in my market) had the same TV for $1699. I go there with the ad in hand after calling 3 different Fry’s to make sure of the Model #, the Price, and Availability (all confirmed). The world is all good (Associate #1) process the purchase with price match and calls for the monitor to be brought to the front, then Associate #2 comes over sees the Fry’s add and says, we don’t match Fry’s. I don’t recall seeing in the Policy, we match everyone EXCEPT Fry’s. So he feeds me a line of bull about Fry’s not being a local competitor even though there are many locations where they are within a 5-10 minute drive. So I have him call a CC that is “right next door” to a Fry’s (granted that location was 100 miles away) he claimed they also told him that they don’t Price Match Fry’s, but not reason. He then claims that that is a clearance item (I didn’t know he worked at Fry’s, too maybe CC should look in to that), but as I said, I called the almost every Fry’s in the newspaper circular and they verified the price and the in-stock status. Long story short, I wanted to buy at CC because it just happened to be near where I was that day, but based on this poor interaction I am taking my $$$$ elsewhere and as I am the tech adviser for most of my friends and family, I will be taking all of their $$$$ elsewhere too. Congrats to CC for loosing 40-50 customers forever.