In response to being sued and humiliated on the internet over their “secret website,” reader MK says Best Buy has added a disclaimer that warns customers that the in-store kiosk doesn’t display the same prices as the public website.
For those of you new to this issue, Best Buy was caught using a duplicate website to fool customers who tried to compare internet prices with in-store prices.
Customers who asked why the price was higher in the store were often told that “the sale must have ended” in the time it took them to drive to the store. They were then told to “check the website” to see for themselves, then were shown an identical-looking website that displayed different “in-store” prices.
We think Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said it best back in May (right after he sued Best Buy):
“Best Buy gave consumers the worst deal – a bait-and-switch-plus scheme luring consumers into stores with promised online discounts, only to charge higher in-store prices,” Blumenthal said.
“The company commonly kept two sets of prices – one on its Internet site and an often higher set on its in-store, look-alike, available on kiosks. The in-store site was an Internet look-alike, commonly with higher prices, which were charged to consumers. Best Buy broke its promise to give the best price – an Internet version of bait-and-switch – a technological bait-and-switch-plus.
“Best Buy used in-store kiosks to conceal lower online prices and renege on its price match guarantee. Consumers seeking bargains were led to believe that lower online prices had expired or never existed. Best Buy treated its customers like suckers, not patrons to be prized.”
We hope this disclaimer puts a stop to that sort of behavior.
Attorney General, DCP Commissioner Sue Best Buy For Deceiving, Overcharging Customers [Connecticut AG]
PREVIOUSLY: Connecticut Sues Best Buy For Tricking Customers With Secret Internal Website
UPDATE: Best Buy Still Using Its Secret Website
Best Buy Confirms The Existence Of Its Secret Website
Connecticut State’s Attorney’s Office Launches Investigation Into Best Buy’s Secret Intranet Site
Best Buy’s Secret “Employee Only” In-Store Website Shows Different Prices Than Public Website