Best Buy Emails To Let You Know They Won't Be Honoring A Mistake In Their Ad

Several of our readers received this email from Best Buy, explaining that they won’t be honoring a mistake in the upcoming September 23, 2007 Best Buy ad.

Stores aren’t usually required to honor typographical errors in advertisements, but we’re not sure if accidentally advertising the wrong product (rather than accidentally printing $2.00 instead of $200, for example) qualifies. It seems Best Buy might not be sure either. The solution is rebate!

Praise and adulation to the first person who finds an applicable law. In the meantime, here’s some information on false advertising from the FTC. And here’s a guide to “bait” advertising. Learning is fun.


Frequentlt Asked Advertising Questions:A Guide for Small Business
[FTC]
Guides Against Bait Advertising[FTC]

Comments

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  1. CoffeeAddict says:

    What a weak wristed load of crap from Best Buy. I mean if you make a mistake in the ad honor it and move on. Sending emails saying we’re going to stiff you because we can is really sad. It makes me glad that I don’t go to Best Buy, as I believe they are crap and their service is even worse (i.e. Geek Squad and their escapades).

  2. Andrew says:

    I’d take the ad into one of the stores and demand that they honor the price.

    ldn’t afford it either way, so now I’m sad :*(

  3. P41 says:

    They announced ahead of time it was a mistake, as opposed to not learning until people were buying, cancel their sales, and start the disputes. (aka industry practice). Almost deserve a gold star on this one.

  4. lestat730 says:

    Can we really expect anything less from stores like this? I stopped shopping at big box retail stores a long time ago, to hell with them all. I’m sticking with online retailers.

  5. jesirose says:

    This sort of reminds me of when we bought our TV. We got it from Best Buy (This was like 3 years ago before I knew better) and they had a 42″ and a 50″ for the same price. The same brand and everything, they were just different sizes. When I asked about it, they said they were matching another store’s price on the 50″.

    I bet you could take the Best Buy ad to another TV store and get them to match it, if you were so inclined.

  6. Extended-Warranty says:

    So easy for all of you to blame Best Buy. Because a typographical mistake constitutes for an $800 loss on each TV sold, right? It’s bait and switch if they are already sending emails and posting signs in the store? Ads for these companies are made well in advance and they noticed it and are attempting to fix it anyway possible.

  7. Secularsage says:

    Remember, folks — no business is required by law to honor typos in their ads. They’re also not required to honor the prices of mis-marked items. Giving people the low price in the case of a mistake is a POLICY, not a LAW.

    In the case of ads, to avoid bait-and-switch allegations, Best Buy IS required to post signs and make every effort possible to clarify the mistake. But they’re not required to rip themselves off by honoring their mistakes. They’re also doing a good thing by sending out an email announcing their mistake and offering a “peace offering” to anyone on their mailing list — generally, that sort of thing is an undisclosed policy quietly reserved to take care of people who try to take advantage of the situation.

    I wish people on the Consumerist boards would be more concerned about honesty and good practices and less concerned about “sticking it to the man” when mistakes are made. Best Buy is far from my favorite company, but they did not do anything improper in this situation and they should be applauded for taking responsibility here.

  8. rjhiggins says:

    @Secularsage: I’m sorry, your post is far too even-handed, reasoned and thoughtful. If you keep it up you will be banned from posting here.

  9. vr4z06gt says:

    @Secularsage: HAHAHA your funny. Stores are required by law to honor any posted price of a product, on the shelf, in the store, or on the item. This is why alot of states still require stores to post a price on each individual item.

    @rjhiggins: yea i think we should take a poll:

    A)Best Buy (Worst Buy)
    B)Circuit City (Shitty City)
    C)RadioShack (Crap Shack)
    D)CompUSA (Crap USA)

    as to this persons current employer.

    or E)name your own…..

  10. SOhp101 says:

    It’s not considered bait and switch if they have huge signs as you enter letting you know this price mistake, or they send you correspondence telling you the price mistake.

    I’m all for consumer protection, but even scummy companies like Worst Buy have some rights too.

  11. dextrone says:

    THIS IS AMAZING, they are giving an instant rebate for plasma tv’s during that time for the inconvenience?

    Too good to be true, but it is still false advertising.

  12. ArtDonovansLovechild says:

    @vr4z06gt: You, my friend, are a moron. No store is required by law to honor a pricing mistake or . Think about it, if what you say is true I could walk into Store X and switch signs, or, change it. Then my friend could come in and buy that item at the lower price. Under your logic they would have to honor it. Same with a misplaced sign or a customer put-back in a wrong place. In the case of this ad they mailed out notices, probably will have signs at the door (Ive seen this many times before) and possibly another on the item. They arent trying to mislead anyone, someone just made an honest mistake.

    Think before you hit enter you wanna be internet lawyer.

    I like consumerist, though Im usually disappointed in the “Businesses must pay” mentality often expressed.

  13. edrebber says:

    Since Best Buy is aware of the “mistake” before the ad has been distributed, they are obligated pull the ad from all newspapers.

  14. vr4z06gt says:

    @ArtDonovansLovechild: So for example, here in MASS, where i live 940 CMR 3.13(f)

    (f) Correct Pricing.

    It is an unfair or deceptive act or practice for any person subject to 940 CMR 3.13 to charge a consumer an incorrect price for any item offered for sale. The “correct price” is the lowest of: the advertised price in any circular, newspaper, magazine, television or radio commercial, or in any other medium, or any published correction thereof; the price indicated on any store sign, shelf label, price tag or price sticker for the item; or the price rung up by the store’s automated retail system; provided, however, that the seller shall have no obligation to sell such item at the lowest represented price if it is the result of a gross error, if it is based on the price marked on another unit of the same item and the tendered item is marked only with a higher price, or if the price tag, label or sign shows evidence of obvious physical tampering. A “gross error” is a price which was never intended as the selling price at any time during the previous 30 day period, and which, for an item with an actual selling price of not more than $20.00, is less than half the price stated by the seller as the actual selling price, or which, for an item with an actual selling price of more than $20.00, is more than 20% below the price stated by the seller as the actual selling price. If these provisions for establishing the correct price are not determinative in a particular situation, the correct price shall be the price on the seller’s current price list. Sellers shall maintain a price accuracy and missing price report. Whenever a consumer advises the store of an incorrect price on goods, signage, or register scanner, or that goods required to be price marked are missing such price marks, or that signs required to be posted are missing, or that a price is not in the register scanner, the store shall immediately fill out a price accuracy and missing price report with those details, and immediately correct the problem, making prompt payment to consumers who have been overcharged. It shall be a complete defense in any action brought under 940 CMR 3.13(1)(f) that the seller has complied with the provisions of 940 CMR 6.13(2).

    So by this price, any store is required to honor any price, printed or not, corrected publication or not, so long as the difference is not more than $20, or half the price. While this might not hold true for the TV here in MASS, in other states this is still how it works.

    wanna check it for yourself???

    heres the link:[www.mass.gov]‘s+Regulations&sid=Cago&b=terminalcontent&f=government_Regulations_940CMR3&csid=Cago

  15. ArtDonovansLovechild says:

    You made my point exactly.

    however, that the seller shall have no obligation to sell such item at the lowest represented price if it is the result of a gross error, if it is based on the price marked on another unit of the same item and the tendered item is marked only with a higher price, or if the price tag, label or sign shows evidence of obvious physical tampering. A “gross error” is a price which was never intended as the selling price at any time during the previous 30 day period, and which, for an item with an actual selling price of not more than $20.00, is less than half the price stated by the seller as the actual selling price, or which, for an item with an actual selling price of more than $20.00, is more than 20% below the price stated by the seller as the actual selling price.

  16. vr4z06gt says:

    is that not what i just said?

    So by this price, any store is required to honor any price, printed or not, corrected publication or not, so long as the difference is not more than $20, or half the price. While this might not hold true for the TV here in MASS, in other states this is still how it works.

  17. vr4z06gt says:

    //www.mass.gov/?pageID=cagoterminal&L=3&L0=Home&L1=Government&L2=AG’s+Regulations&sid=Cago&b=terminalcontent&f=government_Regulations_940CMR3&csid=Cago

  18. rjhiggins says:

    @vr4z06gt: I work for no retailer and hold no love for them. I just prefer commenters who know what they’re talking about, not just make things up.

  19. darkclawsofchaos says:

    simplest solution is to take that to Circuit City and stick it to them. Price matching is a great thing.

  20. Hawk07 says:

    While it’s definitely not a consumer friendly policy, at least they’re being up front about it rather than getting prospective buyers all excited and their money shuffled around to buy it and then be denied in store.

    It could be worse.

  21. kingKonqueror says:

    What’s up with all the hate going on about this? I know BestBuy is a shitty company, and I personally never shop there; but I don’t think this is a bad action on their part. Sure, it’s not “above and beyond,” but it definitely is a step in the right direction.

    Think about it, not only do they notifiy you in advance (as opposed to driving to a store only to find a sign in the window, which is the standard practice), but they actually offered a rebate as compensation. This didn’t make my dall full of sunshine and kittens, but it is in no way a reason to diss BestBuy. I find it quite commendable, actually.

    Why do people think they are entitled to profit from others’ mistakes?

  22. vr4z06gt says:

    @rjhiggins:

    sorry i wasn’t referring to you, i was agreeing with your post, i was saying who do you think Secularsage: works for.

  23. Secularsage says:

    @vr4z06gt: Let me respond to three things you’ve said, all of which are worthless in an intelligent debate:

    1) I don’t work for Best Buy. I am a full-time business student and a part-time reporter. I have never worked for Best Buy; I used to be a manager for EB Games, and I also worked for Eddie Bauer for awhile. I don’t shop at Best Buy because I don’t like the hassle of going in there.

    2) The passage you posted says exactly what I said — if a retailer posts or advertises a price that is not correct, they don’t have to honor it. They DO have to honor sale signs if they leave them up accidentally after a sale ends. They also can’t change prices on customers who are about to make a purchase. Intention is important. Read the actual words, not your interpretation of them.

    3) You also posted a juvenile list of names for companies you don’t like that incorporates scatological humor because you don’t have anything intelligent to say. Thank you for making it easy for the rest of us to see that your arguments are not worth considering.

    In short, if you don’t have something smart to say, shut up. I fully support free speech, but I hate to see people make fools out of themselves because they don’t think before they speak.

    That’s all I have to say on the matter.

  24. oneheadlite says:

    I’m kind of surprised they said they wouldn’t “honor” it. I would think that most P. R. execs would come up with another way of saying it that puts a more positive spin on it.

  25. Esquire99 says:

    @vr4z06gt: Did you even read the rule? It says absolutely nothing about a $20 difference in price. It also explicitly says that the “correct” price is one that is printed in a published correction. So, there is not even a need to get to the “Gross error” portion of the statute. Best Buys wins at the outset. Perhaps you should learn to actually understand what you are reading before you start spouting off about what the rule is.

  26. Crazytree says:

    Best Buy should pay everyone a million dollars each for daring to engage in such chicanery!

    Anything else is a violation of our legal rights under the Constitution!

  27. FLConsumer says:

    Realistically…what is the difference between a bait & switch vs. typo? Maybe they’ll have signs posted at the stores about this, but at the same time, so could someone doing a bait & switch.

    Also…with these large corporations doing so much advertising & having such large budgets for it, how come they have so many of these typos? I know I’ve seen signs inside Best Buy/CC/etc about mistakes in their flyers. At that level, this stuff shouldn’t be happening. Thank God they don’t work in healthcare.

  28. bedofnails says:

    No way I’m showing them my receipt.

  29. Eilonwynn says:

    A bait & switch is when they advertise a product, then claim they do not have it, refuse to sell you the floor model, and then give you a high pressure sales tactic to get you to buy a much more expensive model.

    Canada has an interesting law regarding shelf / item pricing. If an item is mislabeled as far as price, and rings through *higher* than the shelf price, then you either get the item for free, OR $10, whichever is lower.

    However, that doesn’t even apply in this case. you can bet that the 50″ screen will be labelled quite properly, with some kind of sign saying “whoops” – but they’re willing to give you $100 off not only that tv, but *any* plasma tv – so even if you weren’t intending to buy that particular brand or model – even if you only want a 13″ plasma tv (although i have no idea if such a thing even exists), you still get a significant discount.

    I’d say best buy has more than made up for it’s error.

  30. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    @Secularsage: “You also posted a juvenile list…because you don’t have anything intelligent to say.”
    “In short, if you don’t have something smart to say, shut up.”
    Thank you Comment police. What’s your excuse? Your comment does not include ‘scatological’ humor or obscenities, so you must be smarter than the rest of us.
    All you had to do was refute the insinuation that you were a shill.

    As far as the law, it varies from state to state, but as has already been mentioned, posted prices in stores are typically required to be honored. An obviously ‘official’ price card with the item SKU would count, but handwritten cards would not. Also, sale tags inadvertently left up should be honored unless they include the sale dates on the tag (as grocery stores have learned to do).
    This comes from experience and research, and is not some off-the-cuff snit at “the man.”
    I am sure those of you walking into BB tomorrow (Sunday) will see a disclaimer posted near the door which does in fact legally absolve the aforementioned ‘typo.’

    @bedofnails: I am with you :)

  31. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    And the $100 rebate is above and beyond taking care of the mistake, so while I hate BB, I will give them one or two props for that, this time.

  32. Protector says:

    Last time I checked, Best Buy (or any other retailer) is not in the business of going out of business. Get over it.

  33. ivealwaysgotmail10 says:

    I emailed them back saying maybe you should change the description of the g1s a1 on your webstie that STILL after 2 weeks of my complaining about it says it has a 15.4 Inch OLED screen, Someone please just go buy it and sue the shit out of best buy for false advertising, im ready to see best buy bite the dust how about you?

  34. Scuba Steve says:

    The real heart-wrenching fact is the 2500 dollar 50 inch tv.. weren’t these things supposed to drop in price?

  35. ivealwaysgotmail10 says:

    the 100$ rebate was probobly already happening but best buy wanted us to think it was because of the error

  36. jesirose says:

    @Eilonwynn: How is free ever more than $10? That doesn’t make sense.

  37. ArtDonovansLovechild says:

    @jesirose: I think he was saying that if the original item cost was less then $10 then free is the “Lower” discount. If its more then that you get the $10 off. I think his explanation was a little short of detail.

  38. Eilonwynn says:

    That’s what I meant, yes. So if you have a jar of mayonnaise marked at 2.99, and it scans through at 3.99, then you get the jar of mayonnaise free. If a plasma screen tv marked at 2500 scans through at 3500, then you get $10, but still have to pay 3500 if you plan to buy the tv. (I have no idea what happens if you don’t decide to buy the tv – if you get to keep the $10 as time & trouble)

    The policy was basically put in place to curtail rampant issues with grocery store scanning. I was also wrong in that it was a law – it’s apparently voluntary, just every store I’ve been in in the last few years in this country uses it.

    And nobody, it seems, except me, knows about it.

    For those interested – [www.competitionbureau.gc.ca]

  39. MadMolecule says:

    All this discussion of whether a store has to honor a price posted in the store is irrelevant. This issue isn’t about a posted price; it’s about an ad. Courts have held, over and over, that an advertisement is not a legal “offer”; an offer sets up a situation in which acceptance by the other party will create a binding contract.

    Instead, an ad is an “offer to negotiate”; in other words, it is unenforceable.

    Best Buy discovered their mistake too late to prevent the ad from going out, so they’re doing what they can to keep it from causing more harm than necessary. Good for them.

  40. cde says:

    @MadMolecule: Link to rulings?

  41. BrockBrockman says:

    This Panasonic 50″ is usually retailed at $2,799, a $1,000 difference from the printed price. The Panasonic 42″ retails for $1,799, the same as the printed price.

    Under California law (Civil Code § 1784), Best Buy basically does not have to honor the advertised price if (1) it was a “bona fide error”, and (2) Best Buy “makes an appropriate correction, repair or replacement or other remedy of the goods and services.”

    Draw your own conclusions.

  42. Esquire99 says:

    @cde: I’m not entirely certain rulings are even necessary on this one. It is such basic contract law that I don’t believe a citation to be necessary. But if you insist, check out Zanakis-Pico v. Cutter Dodge Inc. 47 P.3d 1222 (HI 2002) or Ehrlich v. Willis Music
    Co., 93 Ohio App. 246, 51 Ohio Op. 8, 113 N.E.2d 252 (Ohio Ct. App. 1952). If thats not enough, go to the library and check out Corbin on Contracts.

  43. RvLeshrac says:

    A seller IS legally liable for advertised prices if you can prove some intent-to-scam. This is why sellers will post corrections as soon as they discover the error. If you attempt to purchase the item at the advertised price in absence of a correction, and the seller refuses to sell you the item at that price or, in the case of out-of-stock items not properly exempted, refuses to offer a rain-check on the item ((at stores which offer rain-checks – plenty of retailers do not offer them on *any* items for precisely this reason), you can take them to court.

    Whether or not the legal fees are worth the discount is arguable, of course. You also have to grant that it is up to the court to determine whether or not the error was really an error due to negligence, or intent to defraud. People have a very bad habit of assuming that the store is always trying to scam them, when frequently it just happens that the individual who reviews the ad is simply unfamiliar with the product, or has so much else to do that they fail to notice the mistake. It doesn’t help that there are hundreds of items in some store ads, or that a single mistyped digit in a SKU can result in a massive error.

  44. RvLeshrac says:

    Err… “up to the court” should read “up to the consumer”

  45. Esquire99 says:

    @RvLeshrac: Your statement here is over-broad. I’m not sure that this is true in every state. Some states may have statutes that fine the retailer for such conduct, but I doubt very many will force a sale. Since there is no contract, they can’t force specific performance. Also, I’m not sure why you mention negligence. Negligence is the breach of a duty that results in ACTUAL harm. I don’t think it applies here.

  46. Pasketti says:

    No no no. Don’t browbeat Best Buy into honoring the ad.

    Take it to Circuit City and get them to price match.

  47. Esquire99 says:

    @Pasketti: If Circuit City has even a single half-way intelligent person working for them, they will alert all of their staff that Best Buy has corrected that ad and will not honor it.

  48. blkhrt1 says:

    I can almost guarantee that circuit city won’t match the price. For one, they don’t carry the same models that best buy does, because to be honest, Circuit City is so far behind Best Buy in consumer electronics that its fucking hilarious. Best Buy is not going to take the hit on this error that they clearly caught a week ahead of time. And as for taking $100 off ANY … (That’s right, ANY) plasma TV…that’s better than nothing. Best Buy has ads printed weeks in advance, so as soon as it was caught, it was corrected. So, by that note, Best Buy does not have to honor any typo. You people don’t know shit so quit acting like you do.

    According to the State of Texas, advertising law is as follows:

    § 17.12. DECEPTIVE ADVERTISING. (a) No person may
    disseminate a statement he knows materially misrepresents the cost
    or character of tangible personal property, a security, service, or
    anything he may offer for the purpose of
    (1) selling, contracting to sell, otherwise disposing
    of, or contracting to dispose of the tangible personal property,
    security, service, or anything he may offer; or
    (2) inducing a person to contract with regard to the
    tangible personal property, security, service, or anything he may
    offer.
    (b) No person may solicit advertising in the name of a club,
    association, or organization without the written permission of such
    club, association, or organization or distribute any publication
    purporting to represent officially a club, association, or
    organization without the written authority of or a contract with
    such club, association, or organization and without listing in such
    publication the complete name and address of the club, association,
    or organization endorsing it.
    (c) A person’s proprietary mark appearing on or in a
    statement described in Subsection (a) of this section is prima
    facie evidence that the person disseminated the statement.
    (d) A person who violates a provision of Subsection (a) or
    (b) of this Section is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction
    is punishable by a fine of not less than $10 nor more than $200.

    Here’s the link: Texas Business & Commerce Codes

    Research before you try to take that ad anywhere. It’s listed as false, Circuit City knows its false, good luck getting a price match you stupid fucks.

  49. Esquire99 says:

    @blkhrt1: Not so much to you, but in relation to your post. Notice that even in Texas, if they commit “False Advertising” under the statute, they are not compelled to sell at that price. Should they violate 17.12 and are convicted, they simply pay a fine. There is no “If you commit false advertising you must honor the price”. Nope, they just pay a fine and go back to work. I love how people like to make up their own laws and spout them off in a public forum as being correct. I mean, god forbid we expect anyone to actually do any research, such as utilizing “The internets” and “The Google”.

  50. blkhrt1 says:

    lolz. WTF is google? :D

  51. According to the Federal Trade Commision, deceptive material in advertisements includes the following:

    ∙ “Is “material” – that is, important to a consumer’s decision to buy or use the product.”

    Although, I think Best Buy’s email might exempt them from such, don’t take my word for it.

  52. Esquire99 says:

    Ok, up until now I had not even bothered to look at what Meg originally linked to. I have to say, I am a bit disappointed in the Consumerist. Neither one of the links they provided is relevant to the issue at hand. This kind of thing is not covered under the FCC’s False Advertising policies, and is clearly not “bait and switch”. It would be nice to see the editors do some actual research before posting stuff like this, rather than simply googling “False Advertising”, finding an FTC page that has it as a heading, and linking to it without actually reading the content.

  53. BensAngel says:

    In the UK an advertisement is an “invitation to treat”. In the US (all States AFAIK, may be Federal) an advertisement is an “invitation to negotiate”.

    Neither is an offer. Of course they don’t have to honour it.

  54. Consumerist Moderator - ACAMBRAS says:

    @blkhrt1:

    Adding to the discussion is great; namecalling and abuse of other commenters are not. Cut it out.

  55. RvLeshrac says:

    @bradg33:

    “Harm” is a broad term. That said, I wasn’t really using “negligence” in that sense.

    Further, fines there may be, but all states still require proof of intent.

    Otherwise, no retailer would ever be safe from the Wandering Restocker.

  56. djfunn says:

    Here is the consumer protection act of 1998 for California.

    [www.dca.ca.gov]

    This should help if someone wants to bring a case against them..

  57. DanGarion says:

    I realize that each and every one of you make no mistakes, and always fess up to them before they are noticed.

    Best Buy did what they could before the AD hit the streets to let customers know of the error. We should all feel so lucky they decided to offer anything for the mistake.

  58. djfunn says:

    Dangarion, the thing is that best buy sent out e-mails 2 days before the ad hit the streets.. all they had to do was to pull the ad, but they decided to let it run so they can get people to the store.. I will be heading to Best Buy to request that they sell the TV for the advertised price when I can get a chance to get over there.. If they refuse which I believe that they will. I will take it to the next level.. Check the link I left before.. This is obviously bait and switch..

  59. Anonymous says:

    People are tossing around a lot of half-truths here. Consumer laws vary from state to state, and it looks like Best Buy sent out the same e-mail to all its customers, regardless of the state laws that might dictate what is legal and what is not. For example, Ohio Revised Code makes NO provision for a seller to hide behind a price “correction,” although it’s common practice for big-box retailers to post such “corrections” on their doors. Under OAC (109:4-3-03), then, the retailer IS obligated to sell the item (or offer a comparable substitute) at the advertised price. Again, in OHIO, there is NO “e-mail/post/advertise a corrected price & get out of the mistake free” card.

    Other states might have more favorable laws for retailers, or more favorable laws for consumers. Now, even though it appears in its e-mail Best Buy’s stance violates Ohio law, that’s for a judge to decide, as OAC doesn’t specifically weigh in on this practice. The Massachussets code posted here would indicate that Best Buy’s e-mailed position is entirely kosher in MA.

    The problems I have with the e-mail are twofold:
    1) Best Buy’s attorneys are good (I used to work for BBY, and though their attorneys are very busy people, they know the laws in the states where BBY operates), and would certainly know that this e-mail would not pass legal muster in some states, and would be at least questionable in others. Sending the mail out to customers nationwide (or at least, in all the markets where this advertisement was released) is, in my view, a deceptive business practice.
    2) I’m not anti-corporation, but these multi-million dollar firms have truckloads of marketing consultants, advertising designers, and copy editors. When they advertise something that seems like a great deal–and then print off a little “correction” sign and post it on their door–they have dropped the ball and lured customers to their stores for a deal that they won’t honor. When I worked for BBY, they had fewer than 400 stores (I’m sure they’re up around 500 now); printing off a couple 8×10 signs per store does not absolve them of the obligation contained in tens (or maybe hundreds) of thousands of flyers circulated in Sunday papers and in the stores. When I worked for BBY and there was an incorrect price in the flyer, it always amazed me that we didn’t pull the flyer. Nope. You let the flyer circulate, with the “incorrect” price shouting 10,000 times louder than the innocuous “correction” notice taped to the front door.

    It’s deceptive–not because they MEANT to be deceptive, but because they don’t make an equal effort to correct the mistake. Here’s an analogy: if BBY had a TV commercial with incorrect (price) information, would they simply post notices on the doors to the stores, or e-mail customers on their mailing lists? (I don’t know about you, but if I see a great deal in the newspaper, I don’t go check my e-mail first thing for some sort of retraction.) Or would they pull the TV ads and correct them?

    There’s no reason why print ads shouldn’t be treated the same way. Making a mistake isn’t a sin, but expecting CUSTOMERS to discover the mistake when they get to the store is wrong. And e-mailing customers is little better.