Circuit City Calls The Cops On Customer Who Requests A Price Match

Emmett writes: Dear Mr. Schoonover:

I would like to make you aware of an incident that occurred in your Burnsville, MN Circuit City yesterday. I read about your Unbeatable Price Guarantee on your website. I had an ad from Costco for a Magellan GPS that was significantly less than the Circuit City price. Before driving 20 miles in a snow storm, I called your Burnsville store and spoke with Tom. Tom told me that because Costco is a local retailer, I would be eligible for the Unbeatable Price Guarantee…

So I drove down to the store, brought the GPS and the Costco ad to the checkout. The teller called for a manager to override the price. The manager declined to do so. So I asked to speak with the store manager. I was introduced to Brad, who later refused to give his last name. I explained the situation to Brad, and he said he would not match the Costco price because it was a club. I told him that I looked on the CC website and that it didn’t say club prices were not eligible; and I reminded him that one of his employees ensured me that the price would be matched. Brad said there are more limitations to the policy in a pamphlet. I asked to see the pamphlet and he refused. He then said it didn’t matter what the pamphlet stated, because he made the rules in “his store” I persisted. I asked again to see in writing where club prices wouldn’t be matched. He told me there was no way he was going to match the price and that I should leave. I said I would gladly leave once he proved to me that the club portion of the policy existed. He response: he called the police! I was there with my 5 year old son, who became very scared by Brad’s irrational behavior. Of course, out of concern for my child, we left immediately.

I hope you are as outraged by Brad’s irrational and arrogant behavior as I am. I have always been treated well by your employees in the past. I am interested in the true policy about price matching clubs. Does CC match Costco ads? If so, I would still be interested in purchasing the GPS from Circuit City.

Thank you for your attention to this matter,

Emmett

Don’t ever let stores bully you around by conjuring up nonexistent policies. When a store denies a reasonable request, whip out your phone and call the corporate office. Even if the manager was correct, he should have known that calling the cops is the worst possibly way to resolve a customer service issue.

At the very least, Circuit City should honor the price match and apologize to both Emmett and his son for their manager’s egregious behavior.

(Photo: Xurble)

Comments

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  1. PatrickIs2Smart says:

    When I used to work for Best Buy, we were always told that Costco/Sam’s/BJ’s prices were ineligible for price matches, as they were wholesale clubs… I can only imagine that the same would apply at Circuit City.

  2. stanfrombrooklyn says:

    Why do you think that somehow you know the store policy better than they do? No store has to “show you their policy in writing.” I would’ve told you to hit the road also. Sounds like the guy you spoke to on the phone was clueless. Once you spoke to the store manager and he said, “No.”, then you should have just hit the road.

    • jessemoya says:

      @stanfrombrooklyn: I don’t see anywhere that he was claiming to know the policy better, but rather questioning what the policy really was. Does the store manager set the policy? Because if not, then this poor guy was inconvenienced for no good reason.

      • Anonymous says:

        @jessemoya: The store manager also should not have mentioned the “pamphlet” and then refused to show it to him… that’s just talking out your back-side, something I’ve known many of my retail managers to do to customers if they thought they could get away with it.

        Also, where else is he supposed to ask to see the fine print of a Circuit City offer? Best Buy? Sounds like that might be a more likely place to find them, sadly.

  3. DojiStar says:

    Was the guy afraid of Brad’s increasingly irrational behavior, or did he have Warrants and bugged out when he heard the PoPo were called!!

    I say the latter.

    Driving 40 miles round trip in a snow storm with a 5 year old in the car for a PRICE MATCH?

    Now that’s irrational behavior.

  4. jjason82 says:

    I’ve been told at Circuit City numerous times that Costco is ineligible for price matching as well, so perhaps they were not making it up (however, they still handled the situation quite badly).

  5. RetailGuy83 says:

    That is in fact standard policy. Because Circuit City affords you the courtesy of entering their store without having to pay them for the privledge. I might have matched the price if he had bought four of them, and paid a $50 “shopping fee”

  6. ConsumptionJunkie says:

    I think CC over-reacted but when a customer remains in the store after the mgr. has asked the customer to leave, that’s called trespassing.

  7. RetailGuy83 says:

    @RetailGuy83: BTW, I’m not a Circuit City manager, but I am a manager for a big-box electronics retailer.

  8. kizzle says:

    @stanfrombrooklyn:
    If it’s store policy, it’s expressed in writing, subsequently why is it so hard for a manager to point out where this writing exists? (Especially after saying there’s an actual brochure with it in writing)

  9. kizzle says:

    @RetailGuy83:
    Is the policy that excludes price-matching to club stores expressed in writing for the big-box retailer where you manage?

  10. I’m sure the customer has left out the part where he appeared threatening to the store manager. There are always two sides of the story.

  11. HosannaHaeru says:

    I think the manager treated you terribly. If that is their policy,
    then they should be able to prove it. I have also had a number of
    problems with customer service in the past at Circuit City and I now
    refuse to shop there (even if they do have a better price on
    something). Just move on to somewhere where they still actually
    believe “the customer is always right”!

  12. kizzle says:

    @corporateamericabites:
    Yes, but your assumption that the customer somehow deserved this treatment is completely unsubstantiated. I’m not saying it’s not true, but you throw it out there like it’s absolute truth and the customer deserved it.

  13. cheviot says:

    @stanfrombrooklyn:

    In a word… Bull!

    Store managers try every way possible to get out of price guarantees, even going as far as not to honor the guarantee when they don’t feel like taking that big a margin hit.

    If the manager is telling the truth, and he’s following the policy, why can’t the customer see it? Perhaps because the manager is lying?

  14. kizzle says:

    Just a question for those who believe this was the consumer’s fault:

    What prevented the manager from showing the policy forbidding pricematching from club stores in writing to the customer after they requested to see it?

  15. Sherryness says:

    If a manager is so ineffective that he can’t keep his employees up-to-date on the policy (especially the employee answering questions on the telephone), he should be personally responsible for the price-match, in my opinion. That is extremely poor/shoddy customer service to tell a potential customer one thing on the phone, then tell them something different when they arrive and try to make a purchase. It borders on bait-and-switch. If I were the D.M., I would not only make managers responsible for their poor management when it happened, I’d force them to answer each and every policy question from a customer PERSONALLY until he had re-trained his entire staff. A store’s image is THAT important.

  16. jasonorl says:

    The Circuit City website clearly states their policy and even has an FAQ to help clarify it. Nowhere does it mention that warehouse clubs are excluded from there “Unbeatable Price Guarantee”.

  17. JGNJ says:

    See below blog link:
    [blogs.yucs.org]

  18. Parting says:

    I don’t get the guy, Costco extends your warranty by 1 year and has great after-sale service. And the item is CHEAPER.

    So tell me : ”WHY price-match at CC????” If for the same amount (suppose they give you the price match), you get a lot less.

  19. jasonorl says:

    ….it does say they will match a “retail” store so maybe CC doesn’t consider a warehouse club to be “retail”. If this is the case, they should just add another sentence to their policy saying that warehouse clubs are excluded so it will be crystal clear to the everyone (since they already list other exclusions anyway it shouldn’t be a big deal to add one more line).

  20. cheviot says:

    @stanfrombrooklyn:
    “Thank you for writing to Circuit City…

    Please note that Circuit City stores will match/beat advertised warehouse club prices (Costco, Sam’s, etc.) under our Price Match Guarantee.”

    Gee, what a surprise. The store manager was lying.

    stanfrombrooklyn, what do you have to say now, or are you just going to stop posting comments to this article?

  21. tortcat says:

    I was just amazed that it was snowing on memorial day weekend lol

  22. unravel says:

    Color me blaming the consumer, but I don’t think that the manager was in the wrong here. Emmett opted to argue and persist, even after being informed he wouldn’t get a pricematch, and refused to leave when he was asked to do so. Had I been a customer in this store at the time, I’d have found Emmett’s behavior irrational and arrogant, especially if his crusade was stopping me from checking out.

    As for CC’s non-existent policies….

    Q: What do you consider to be a “local store?”
    A: “Local store” refers to a competitor’s retail store that is in the same market and/or within a reasonable distance of our store.

    I don’t consider Costco a retail store — it’s a wholesale club, they sell at wholesale prices, and these prices are only available to the small group that pays for membership.

    Given what I’ve heard about Costco, and what I know about CC, I can’t see WHY one would choose the latter over the former… unless he’s not a Costco member (thus attempting to pricematch a price that wasn’t offered to him to begin with!). Convenience of location could be a factor, but if you’re willing to drive 20 miles in a snowstorm, I can’t imagine that you care.

  23. thesabre says:

    @corporateamericabites: Wrong. There are THREE sides to every story. In this case, there will surely be the consumer’s side, the manager’s side, and the truth.

  24. @stanfrombrooklyn: You’re kidding, right? He just quotes this magical, invisible “story policy” and all of a sudden advertised guaranteed price matches don’t exist? Sounds like fraudulent advertising, bait and switch and misrepresentation at the least to me.

  25. Parting says:

    @unravel: If you call corporate, they will confirm that YES, they price-match Costco. Check your facts FIST. (Costo technically isn’t a wholesale, besides food, everything else is ”à la carte”.)

    And if a manager does not respect his company’s policy, that make him incompetent. If unsure, he could have called corporate to verify. That’s called customer service.

  26. kizzle says:

    @unravel:
    I’m not arguing against the policy itself, as it’s true that club wholesale places like Costco can charge less for the same item.

    But it’s a reasonable request to ask for such things in writing. The manager could have pointed to the specific passage you cite and explain like you did. Instead, the manager called the cops.

    My problem is the manager’s conduct, not the rationale behind the caveat to pricematching.

  27. Parting says:

    @unravel: However, I don’t understand why the customer insists on shopping in a store reputed for bad customer service, low paid jobs and higher that elsewhere prices.

    Costco treats its employees and customers with a lot of respect. Every time it’s possible, I try to buy small electronics there.

  28. nXt says:

    Step 1: Return the GPS to CC.
    Step 2: Go to Costco and buy it from them.
    If you do not have a Costco membership, go to Costco.com and buy it online. You’ll pay a little bit more because you have no membership, but it’ll still probably cheaper than what you paid for at CC

  29. @Victo: I wish we had one that was closer than 100 miles away from where I live. Costco customers, consider yourself lucky.

  30. b612markt says:

    @Victo: My thoughts exactly – I would MUCH rather do business at Costco than anywhere else on the planet. CC is sick!

  31. DeltaPurser says:

    And you did nothing to provoke him to call the cops, right? You just stood there and eloquently requested to see a copy of their price-match policy? If so, then the manager is a total DOUCHE… But I fear there may be more to this story…

  32. WolfDemon says:

    @cheviot: @cheviot:

    Looks like chose the latter

  33. Pylon83 says:

    Two problems. As soon as the OP was told to leave, and chose not to, he became a trespasser. The manager had every right to call the police at that point. Regardless of the reason for the demand to leave, it was made, OP didn’t comply.
    Second, what if the policy DID say they would match Costco. The manager could still refuse to do so and the customer would have little or no real recourse. They have no real legal duty to match the price, even if their internal store policies allow it. Putting it in the policy does not make it a contract that they have to follow. If the manager wants to be a jerk and not follow the policy, the customer has no recourse other than calling corporate. If the manager did show him the policy, and the manager still refused, what was he going to do? Call the cops? I’m not endorsing the managers behavior, but the OP’s demands were indeed unreasonable in light of the fact that its their store, their policies, and their failure to comply doesn’t create any legal problems. Why not go buy it at Costco? Probably because he doesn’t have a membership.

  34. queenofdenial says:

    Minnesotans drive everywhere in a snowstorm, or else they never get out of the house from October to April.

  35. Eoghann says:

    Certainly Blockbuster can make them see the light and return CC to it’s former glory.

  36. ryan_h says:

    All I know is, that I dont shop at CC after spending a year working at one. they rip off employees as well!!!

  37. Lucky225 says:

    Yay for retailers calling cops when no crimes have been comitted FTW!

  38. Pylon83 says:

    @Lucky225:
    Last I checked, trespassing was still a crime.

  39. linbey says:

    I cant understand why people even do price matches. If its cheaper at Costco, then GO TO COSTCO. In this case however since the guy did decide to not only call the store to ask if they price matched it, but then drove 50 miles in a snowstorm to get it, they should have done the price match.

  40. linbey says:

    @Pylon83:

    Yeah I didnt even think about that. If he is so cheap that he has to skim through hundreds of ads to find a cheaper price so he can do a price match then Im quite sure he would be too cheap to buy a Costco membership. Another one of those people who dont buy memberships and then try to force all the other companies that do price matches to match Costco prices.

  41. bohemian says:

    The manager should have ponied up the written proof of the policy instead of acting like a jerk and demanding a customer leave the store.

    What I can’t believe is this guy still wants to buy something from Circut City after being treated like this and threatened with the police.

    Don’t the police really have more important things to do rather than being free bouncers for petty retail store managers?

  42. 2719 says:

    I am so sick of people demanding more! If they said no, we can’t price match, just leave. Try another store or maybe even the one that printed the ad!

    You are not special, have no rights and they can provide the service or not. It’s their store – their game!

    Bunch of f**king whiners!

  43. rattlecan says:

    Really comes down to which way the money is flowing. Whoever was at fault really doesn’t matter- she’s probably not going to go back to CC anytime soon.

  44. kizzle says:

    @2719:
    Wow, way to be productive. Chill out, this is just an internet site, you don’t have to get so agitated.

    What prevented the manager from showing the written policy where it says they won’t price match with Costco?

  45. wildness says:

    This is proof that the economy must be good.

    It is my theory that when the economy is bad retail chains are able to hire good managers and employees and good customer service follows. But, when times are good, they can only hire morons who are incapable of holding down a good job and thus end up at Circuit City.

    Though, I must admit that even in bad times it is possible that good employooes would not seek employment at Circuit City… heck i won’t even shop there.

  46. kizzle says:

    @linbey:
    Since when was scouring sites for the cheapest price considered a bad thing? Oh man, I just went on pricegrabber and bought something today that covered dozens of online retailers, I guess I’m “cheap” too.

  47. humphrmi says:

    @linbey: I agree fully, a retailer who has worked hard (bullied their suppliers or met challenging sales quotas) to get lower prices on items should be rewarded for that, and price-matching by other retailers who couldn’t or wouldn’t work just as hard to get lower prices from their suppliers are just gimmicks to get you into their store, not the lower price store. And the upshot of the gimmick is, they never ever honor the lower price match. There are simply too many loopholes they hide behind to ever win at this gimmick. It’s like playing three card monty, and guess who the chump is.

  48. kizzle says:

    @wildness:
    Yes, or at least a better proof than the subprime crisis or skyrocketing gas prices.

  49. linbey says:

    @kizzle:

    The difference is that pricegrabber simply shows who has the cheapest price. You would be “cheap” if you used pricegrabber and then took that price to a B&M store and tried to get them to match it. If you simply bought it from the cheapest place then good job :)

  50. 2719 says:

    @kizzle:

    Well people like her make everything a lot harder for the rest of us. They abuse escalation methods (call corporate, EECB etc) for minor issues.

    This will only cause corporate contacts to start ignoring requests from everyone – including people with real issues. Costco charges people to get inside, also they are a wholesaler and pass the savings on their customers. You can’t take that ad and go to a standard retail store and demand the same discount. Not going to happen.

  51. newfenoix says:

    I can see that there are many “moles” on this site that work for major retailers. IF the police had arrived BEFORE the OP left, not one thing would have been done after the OP told the police what happened. In fact, I would bet that the police would start taking 2 to 3 hours just to answer a shop lifting call at this CC. Police are shoppers too. And most companies tend to forget that. This manager is a sack of crap. And to all of you ringers on this site…you are making youselves very well known.

  52. hamsangwich says:

    @DojiStar: Absolutely. I tend to think when people include in their stories irrelevant details like their children and weather they are exagerating what actually happened.

    If the story was so heinous it wouldn’t need supporting characters.

  53. 2719 says:

    So customer refused to pay the price for the item, wanted to waste manager’s time even though she was clearly told it’s not going to happen.

    She would get arrested for trespassing. Once a store manager (company representative) tells you to leave his (well his company’s) private property and you refuse, you are trespassing.

    He does not have to have a reason to do this either. Of course nobody would do it with no reason.

    After all stores are private properties, we often forget that…

  54. veterandem says:

    Why not just buy it at Costco?

  55. Parting says:

    @2719: Once again, check CC policy. They DO permit price-match to Costco. Costco is NOT a wholesaler when it comes to electronics. You buy ONE electronic item, not the whole pack. Costco is wholesaler mainly for FOOD and CLEANING SUPPLIES.

    And people make life hard for all of us by ASSUMING without having basic FACTS. If you don’t believe me, CALL corporate CC YOURSELF.

  56. Costco is cheaper.

    Why didn’t you buy it from Costco?

  57. Parting says:

    @2719: Manager was working in Circuit City. It’s CC’s policy to price-match. If the manager is unable to follow the policy, than he should find himself a different job, since it’s not his job to decide who gets the price-match and who doesn’t. It’s CORPORATE policy, written by CC management. He’s just applicant, not the one taking decisions.

  58. 2719 says:

    @Victo:

    But store manager can refuse it. Maybe he decided he simply did not want her business. Tough luck either way…

    I USED to work at retail and my store manager would do these on a case by case basis. People would whine and bitch but AFAIK the store manager never got in trouble because of it.

  59. Parting says:

    @2719: The store doesn’t belong to the manager. He has to follow corporate policies, like every employee. And CC’s policy is to price-match Costco, too.

  60. basket548 says:

    @Corporate-Shill:

    Put me on the bandwagon that says go to the other store if you’re going to go to the trouble of researching a rival’s price. No price-matching policies, less money. Everybody wins!

  61. Parting says:

    @2719: Which shows the major difference between Costco and CC. One cares about customers, another doesn’t even follows its own policies.

  62. Difdi says:

    Costco does not sell at wholesale prices to the general public. Most Costco members pay full retail, and Costco prices on most items are no different from most supermarkets. The Costco packages are just larger (with a corresponding increase in price). In order to get wholesale prices from Costco, one must be the owner of a business that sells items at retail (and there’s all kinds of legal problems that arise if you fraudulently obtain wholesale goods then don’t sell them at retail prices).

  63. basket548 says:

    @newfenoix:

    Why must anyone who supports a corporation’s point of view be a ‘mole’? There are those of us who generally think corporately. Though in this case, it seems like there really isn’t enough information to take sides.

    And really? The cops would cease doing their job because one customer didn’t get 10% off his product? So completely untrue and irrelevant.

  64. hatrack says:

    @linbey:
    The guy probably isn’t a member at Costco. If CC does price match with these clubs I think they should stipulate that it applies to members only. If you’re going claim that you can buy it cheaper at a club store then you should factor in the membership fee as well.

  65. ToiletJack says:

    I imagine there is much more to this story – anytime somebody tells a story in which they do nothing wrong, and only act politely and respectfully while the other person acts wildly irrational they’re lying about their part in the whole thing.

    CC sucks, but I doubt this guy was being a super sweet customer and this CC manager was twirling his moustache and laughing as he lowered his kid into an elaborate death trap.

  66. From a business perspective I state my price… here it is, take it or leave. If I am cheapest, great, I sell more. If I am not cheapest, I sell less. I have made my choice and set my price.

    From a consumer perspective, I look for the best price relative to the risk associated with the purchase and the time from my busy schedule to complete the purchase. If an online company is cheaper and I am willing to take the risks (risk of being ripped off, risk of shipping the wrong goods, risk of shipping damages etc) I buy it from the online company. If I need it today, or am not willing to accept the risks of ordering online, I buy it from the closest place with relatively the best price. I might drive across town to save $50, I will not drive across town to save $0.50.

    This whole price matching crapola just seems a childish stunt. From a business perspective, I know what price I need to sell the item to generate the proper profit versus investment and that is the price I have set. I might loose some sales but that is the choice I made when I set my price. Yielding a lower price to one consumer versus the cost of operating my business and risk not selling the goods at a normal profit is just too great of risk. From a consumer’s perspective the vendor that is going to get my business is the one that appeals best to my needs of price versus risk versus convenience. The vendor has one shot at getting my business, better make the first price offer the best price offer because there is no second chance.

  67. humphrmi says:

    @basket548: At the very least, the police will ask the customer to leave before arresting them. Police don’t come in to dispute situations with guns blazing. Their job is to keep the peace, and they’re not going to just arrest the first person the manager points his or her finger at.

    From a legal standpoint, trespass is hard to convict, especially at a retail establishment. All kinds of loopholes exist in that law too. The police aren’t going to waste their time arresting someone until they determine first hand that the person won’t leave if asked.

    So the way it would have played out, if the police arrived, would likely have been:

    Manager: Waaa! Waaa! Arrest him! Arrest him! Trespassing! Trespassing! Waaa!

    Police: Sir, would you please leave?
    (They might also ask his name and check for warrants, just in case)

    Customer: Fine, but that guy ripped me off, screw him, I’m leaving.

  68. basket548 says:

    @Corporate-Shill:

    In a perfect world with perfect information, yeah. But information on prices and quantities, as well as time and distance, is clearly incomplete in the real world, and even if it were all available, the calculations needed to figure out the true ‘cheapest’ price would still probably take up enough time to dissuade the customer form doing them in the first place.

    Anyway, the price-matching policy works thusly:
    If a person is already in my store, I want them to buy as much as possible. It is EXTREMELY unlikely that I will lose money in the long run on this sale (future visits, loyalty, etc.). Also, maybe the policy doesn’t apply in a certain case – I guarantee you that at least a few consumers will buy the product anyway. Plus, it’s good PR.

  69. basket548 says:

    @humphrmi:
    Not sure that’s meant at me?

    FWIW, I agree with all that.

  70. FessLove says:

    I’m not gonna shed a single tear over this story. First off, Circuit City can’t price match club stores, because you don’t pay to shop there. Second off, I will guarantee you weren’t quite as polite as you made yourself out to be. Third, when you’re asked to leave a store and you don’t, its trespassing. Circuit City had every right to respond how they did. I worked at Circuit City (thank god I don’t anymore) and I have seen more than a few customers like you.

    The sad part is, this guy was obviously rude enough to have the police threatened on him in front of his 5 year old son. Poor kids going to think acting like a jerk is how youre supposed to react in public.

  71. Concerned_Citizen says:

    As long as you are a costco member and are willing to show your costco card to verify, stores should price match the costco price. Price matches are supposed to be done to prevent a customer from buying elsewhere. As long as best buy isn’t going to sell the item for a loss at the price match price, there is no valid reason not to do it.

  72. Lucky225 says:

    @Pylon83:

    Sorry to inform you but stores that are open to the public give the public a license of entry. The manager did not accuse him of tress passing, he simply said that he should leave. Check out California Penal Code 602 on tresspassing, no where in there does it say anything about places open to the general public as a tress passing violation, on the contrary, they all say you must leave if the property is NOT open to the general public. Watch the movie 1 hour photo where this guy gets fired from his job and comes back to shop at the store where he was fired from, dude totally schools the manager on tresspassing.

  73. Lucky225 says:

    In fact PC 602(t) clears it up pretty good:

    (t) Entering upon private property, including contiguous land,
    real property, or structures thereon belonging to the same owner,
    whether or not generally open to the public, after having been
    informed by a peace officer at the request of the owner, the owner’s
    agent, or the person in lawful possession, and upon being informed by
    the peace officer that he or she is acting at the request of the
    owner, the owner’s agent, or the person in lawful possession, that
    the property is not open to the particular person; or refusing or
    failing to leave the property upon being asked to leave the property
    in the manner provided in this subdivision.
    This subdivision *shall apply only to a person who has been
    convicted of a violent felony*, as specified in subdivision (c) of
    Section 667.5, committed upon the particular private property. A
    single notification or request to the person as set forth above shall
    be valid and enforceable under this subdivision unless and until
    rescinded by the owner, the owner’s agent, or the person in lawful
    possession of the property.

  74. FessLove says:

    @Pylon83

    Interesting you bring up the California Penal Code 602. Maybe I should quote part of this for you, since you don’t ACTUALLY seem to know what your talking about?

    “Refusing or failing to leave the lands immediately upon being requested by the owner of the land, the owner’s agent or by the person in lawful possession to leave the lands”.

    I think that means, if you’re told to leave, leave…..

  75. humphrmi says:

    @basket548: Whoops, sorry, that should have been a reply-to @2719. I think subconsciously my finger clicked the wrong button because it didn’t want me to feed the troll!

  76. Lucky225 says:

    @FessLove:

    And if you read directly below that;

    “This subdivision shall apply only to a person who has been
    convicted of a violent felony, as specified in subdivision (c) of
    Section 667.5″

  77. @basket548:

    Your explanation of price matching sounds nice, but in the real world there is always a company willing to sell something at a loss just to attract attention.

    From the consumer perspective I am very willing suck up on the bargin. From the business perspective I am always wiling to concede that market (for at least today) rather than engaging in futile conduct.

    It is because of stupid vendors, and even stupider printing mistakes, that price matching vendors always have a list of stipulations.

    I say blow the price matching crap out the window. Do your best job to attract my business and you will be successful. Playing games, haveing list of stipulations, and requiring manager overrides just does not impress me.

  78. greenpepper says:

    [blogs.yucs.org]

    Any credibility to this?

  79. Lucky225 says:

    @FessLove:

    Also if you’re talking about subdivision (k) it doesn’t apply to lands open to the public read the entire subdivision:

    (k) Entering any lands, whether unenclosed or enclosed by fence,
    for the purpose of injuring any property or property rights or with
    the intention of interfering with, obstructing, or injuring any
    lawful business or occupation carried on by the owner of the land,
    the owner’s agent or by the person in lawful possession.
    (l) Entering any lands under cultivation or enclosed by fence,
    belonging to, or occupied by, another, or entering upon uncultivated
    or unenclosed lands where signs forbidding trespass are displayed at
    intervals not less than three to the mile along all exterior
    boundaries and at all roads and trails entering the lands without the
    written permission of the owner of the land, the owner’s agent or of
    the person in lawful possession, and
    (1) Refusing or failing to leave the lands immediately upon being
    requested by the owner of the land, the owner’s agent or by the
    person in lawful possession to leave the lands

  80. digitalgimpus says:

    I’m not surprised, it’s a pretty expensive store, even BestBuy is often cheaper. If they matched 100% of the time, they would be out of business.

    Someone a few years told me that they were denied a price match at CC because it ultimately comes down to store manager “discretion” if they wish to honor it or not. It’s not a guarantee that they will match, but that they will “evaluate” it. Seems to match this case. Not sure if that’s every stores policy, or just some BS some managers make up for a power trip.

  81. humphrmi says:

    @FessLove: Yeah, I love how it says “upon being requested by the owner … [or] the owner’s agent”. Which is pretty hard to prove, if you don’t acknowlege that you were asked to leave.

    If I’m arguing my position in good faith with a manager and he goes nuclear on me and starts throwing the “T” word around, I wait for the police to arrive and then wherever I am (outside or inside the store) start looking very interested at some display, ignoring both the manager and the police, like I have no idea what’s going on. Then when the police come up to me with the manager and ask me to leave, I look extremely surprised, ask who the person is with the police like I’ve never seen him before, say something like “Well, gosh, I was just minding my own business, looking at these GTA IV displays, but hey… if you want me to leave, I’m gone.” And then go.

    Makes the manager look like a complete ass for wasting the cop’s time.

  82. Lucky225 says:

    @humphrmi:

    He was quoting a subdivision not relating to lands open to the public, but actually lands that have signs posted about trespassing and are not open to the public anyways.

  83. RetailGuy83 says:

    @kizzle: Actually, where I work we are happy to match Costco and Sams prices. (Our gross margin in other products allows us this luxury of CC or BB) We will also match online prices for the exact item as long as it’s not an auction site. My price match policy is posted in the lobby. At CC though, as I remember (it’s been 4 or 5 years) The manager would have had to log into the corporate intranet from his office, then printed off that section in the SOP. The price match policy isn’t as rigid as a return policy so thats why most stores don’t post it.

    On a side note, this guy was clearly making a scene in the store, even in his own account he can’t hide that very well. If I was the manager, and I saw that he was upsetting other customers at my counter, and probably yelling, then refused to leave my store after I asked him to, I might have called the cops as well.

  84. cheviot says:

    I don’t get people here.

    Circuit City’s price matching policy is just as valid and enforceable as their return policy. Circuit City states they DO price match Costco (see above posts) and a manager refusing to do so should be held in as much contempt as one who refuses to follow their return policy.

    WHICH policy the store manager is choosing to break has nothing to do with the issue.

    If the store manager chose to ignore the return policy and not return a brand new, sealed item hours after it was bought the same people screaming that the customer was wrong would be fighting for the customer.

    Circuit City presents a group of policies to the shopper, in essence stating “Shop with us and these are the rules we will live by.” They have no more right to break any of those policies than they do refusing a legitimate return.

    And those of you who claim this store manager has that right should be ashamed of themselves.

  85. joellevand says:

    @newfenoix: Just because we know that the customer is not always right doesn’t make us moles, dear. We’re just rational human beings who understand that sometimes the customers are assholes.

    Once again, you can always tell the people who never worked retail or customer service a day in their lives, as they have this asinine sense of entitlement.

  86. 5h17h34d says:

    The guy had the common sense to call the store and make sure they would price match before driving there. All the retail clerk wannabe internet tough guys posting above don’t seem to comprehend this little tidbit of information.

    The guy called, they said yes, change their mind when he arrives then call the police? Looks like generation y is a bunch of little crybabies to me. Man up and keep your word, don’t call the police for help out of a situation you created Mr. Circuit City manager wuss.

  87. FessLove says:

    How much clearer does it get?

    CA PENAL CODE SECTION 602.1 [obstructing or intimidating business operators or customers] “provides that any person who intentionally interferes with any lawful business or occupation carried on by the owner or owner’s agent of a business open to the public by obstructing or intimidating the business operations or customers and who refuses to leave the premises is guilty of a misdemeanor.”

  88. joellevand says:

    Alright, ex-retail manager here, so let’s talk about some issues here.

    1. Retail stores are private property, owned either by the store or the mall which leases the property to the store. As such, when you are asked to leave, you do so. If you do not, you are trespassing, and the cops can come to remove you from the premises. You do NOT have a right to stay in a store as long as you want if you have been asked to leave. Period.

    2. When a retail manager refuses to follow company policy, the best thing to do is leave and call corporate. You can do it in front of the manager on the cell phone, but this is likely to put corporate in a VERY bad position of trying to not put their managers out there (which will lead to high turn over, which is unacceptable in most retail companies) or leave you with a less than satisfactory resolution, and still getting shit from the manager, albeit in a passive aggressive way. The BEST way to handle the situation if you still want to give a company your money after being treated poorly is to go home and call corporate. They’ll give you a better deal, and probably even phone another store so you can be treated like a king/queen by the other store’s manager to steal your business from the first store you went to, as stores within a district are highly competitive. Hell, if the 2nd store is close enough, you can probably go there immediately afterwards, tell your sob story as *sympathetically* as possible, and get excellent customer service. Most retail managers are too busy to phone other stores to warn of a jerkass customer that may or may not be headed their way.

    3. Finally, don’t be a douche. Be firm but polite. Don’t raise your voice; if the manager begins to get loud, lower your tone and speak slower. This has a calming effect on most people, even retail drones. Make eye contact. Talk to them like they’re human beings. Check your sense of entitlement at the door. Yes, you know they’re just doing their jobs, but you really need…. etc. If they do not comply, see #2.

    Also, WHY THE FUCK would you go get a GPS system in the middle of a snowstorm? Price match deals are usually good for the entire duration of the advertised price. Second, BB & CC are in such direct competition with each other that you usually will find a BB w/in a mile or two of any CC. And BB, last time I checked, still price matched as well. Finally, why not just go to Costco and buy it for the reduced price? Surely, you must have one friend with a Costco card who could pick it up for you when CC wouldn’t budge. Much like the kid who wants an iPod after being refused his purchase because he wanted to pay with cash, why would you want to continue to shop in a store that doesn’t want your business unless it’s for some smug sense of superiority?

  89. cheviot says:

    @FessLove:

    At what point was he ” obstructing or intimidating the business operations”?

    What business operation did the customer obstruct? Who did he intimidate?

    Please. The manager made up his mind to break company policy and when the customer wasn’t a good little sheep threatened to call the cops on him.

  90. Lambasted says:

    When a store employee won’t show you their policy this is a very good indication there isn’t one. I have never met a retailer that didn’t take grand satisfaction from proving a customer wrong, especially a customer who is rude or arrogant. (I am not implying that was the case here).

    If a store has it in their arsenal something to make you look like a fool (in front of as many people as possible), they won’t hesitate to use it. So if CC has a policy in writing that the manager could have whipped out as an “in your face” gesture to show up Mr. Schoonover, the manager would have produced it with all deliberate speed.

  91. wishlish says:

    I might be nuts, but…

    If Costco was selling the item at a better price than CC, buy it at Costco. Less hassle, better return policy, no CC idiots.

    My downstairs neighbors were confused the other day when I told them that the first store I shopped at when I was monitor-shopping was Costco. They asked, “Why not Best Buy?” I told them- price is as good or better, better warranty, no Best Buy hassle. The same applies for Circuit City.

    I certainly wouldn’t travel 20 miles in a freaking snowstorm to go to CC. If Costco was too far, just buy it on Costco.com and enjoy your life. Take your kid out sledding instead.

  92. FessLove says:

    @Cheviot

    Are you serious? A customer standing in line, refusing to leave until he gets his way? How is this NOT obstructing business operations? There are other people in the store besides him, and the fact that “obstruction business operations” could also mean if that manager has anything else he should be doing besides talking to some customer demanding he break policy.

  93. mcnerd85 says:

    I’m for red tape and fine print as much as the next guy, but I honestly think the pine print should be large enough to…you know…exist? I don’t think any retailer, no matter how big or ‘I AM ABOVE THE LAW’ should have the right to deny a consumer proof of said ‘policy.’

  94. cheviot says:

    @FessLove:

    LOL. So he’s blocking every register? Tying up every employee? Please. You’re just being ridiculous.

  95. RetailGuy83 says:

    @Victo: Actually, in almost every case, the Store manager has SOLE discression to interpret company policy as he sees fit to apply it in his store. He may not *own* it persey, but the *owners* entrust the profitablity of that location to him.

    Also, from CC’s website:
    “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.”

    Again, in this manager’s discression, the advertised (likely loss leading) price of the GPS was either a special offer. Or he may decide that club pricing in general is a special offer. In any event, it relly is his discression.

  96. Neurotic1 says:

    @RetailGuy83: @RetailGuy83:

    Yeah, we can tell by your broken ass grammar.

  97. mcnerd85 says:

    @mcnerd85: fine print* Oops, pulled an editor there.

  98. FessLove says:

    @Cheviot

    They don’t have to tie up every register or every employee. Once employee is enough to obstruct business operations.

  99. Lucky225 says:

    @FessLove:

    He wasn’t obstructing or interfering with lawful business. He would have to physically obstruct or interfere with another customer from conducting business to be in violation of that statute. You must be one of those people that think holding a “Speed Trap Ahead” sign on the side of the highway is “interfereing with official police business”

  100. cheviot says:

    @RetailGuy83:

    Does the policy say anywhere in it that the manager has sole discretion to honor the policy?

    I don’t mean some top secret internal policy. I mean the one they publish and will allow me to see. If not then I couldn’t care less what their top secret policy says.

    If they are going to give the manager the power to ignore the policy, put it in black and white otherwise I just couldn’t care less.

  101. FessLove says:

    @Lucky225

    Holding up a line, or holding up an employee would constitute as interfering with lawful business actually…. If that employee can’t help another customer, thats interfering with lawful business…

  102. Lucky225 says:

    @FessLove:

    There are other employees in the store that can attend to those customers. He was not intentionally obstructing the business of those customers.

    Read the whole statute in it’s context:

    602.1. (a) Any person who intentionally interferes with any lawful
    business or occupation carried on by the owner or agent of a business
    establishment open to the public, by obstructing or intimidating
    those attempting to carry on business, or their customers, and who
    refuses to leave the premises of the business establishment after
    being requested to leave by the owner or the owner’s agent, or by a
    peace officer acting at the request of the owner or owner’s agent, is
    guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in a county jail
    for up to 90 days, or by a fine of up to four hundred dollars
    ($400), or by both that imprisonment and fine.
    (b) Any person who intentionally interferes with any lawful
    business carried on by the employees of a public agency open to the
    public, by obstructing or intimidating those attempting to carry on
    business, or those persons there to transact business with the public
    agency, and who refuses to leave the premises of the public agency
    after being requested to leave by the office manager or a supervisor
    of the public agency, or by a peace officer acting at the request of
    the office manager or a supervisor of the public agency, is guilty of
    a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for up to
    90 days, or by a fine of up to four hundred dollars ($400), or by
    both that imprisonment and fine.
    (c) This section shall not apply to any of the following persons:

    (1) Any person engaged in lawful labor union activities that are
    permitted to be carried out on the property by state or federal law.

    (2) Any person on the premises who is engaging in activities
    protected by the California Constitution or the United States
    Constitution.
    (d) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to supersede the
    application of any other law.

    It clearly is about people striking outside the place of business with no lawful business to do so. (c)(2) also says it doesn’t apply to protections of the State Constitution or US Constitution. He was simply exercising his 1st amendment rights to free speech by demanding to see the policy that won’t allow a price match, the manager was restricting those rights by telling him he can’t ask that.

  103. FessLove says:

    @Lucky225

    And there is a difference in freedom of speech and refusing to leave a private property. Those are hardly related, and one hell of a stretch.

  104. RetailGuy83 says:

    @cheviot: No, but blocking one register, an associate and myself is inhibiting my store’s operations. Just wasting my time is inhibiting store operations, you probably don’t relise just how much stuff I have to do aside from getting yelled at by you about “what my job is”

  105. cheviot says:

    @FessLove:

    Riiight… and you try getting a police officer to even arrest someone for keeping one employee busy, much less getting a prosecutor to indite or a jury to convict. The idea is so ludicrous that you’d never even get past the police officer laughing at your stupidity.

    I’ve worked at retail for 15 years and seen managers try to have cops throw people out on 4 occasions. Only one was actually told to leave by the cop. In the other three the customer told his story, the officer just looked at the manager incredulously and the store processed the return/did the price match/ etc. that the customer wanted.

    Police aren’t stupid.

  106. categorically says:

    Its CC, what did you expect. Go someplace like Costco that pays a living wage and enjoy good customer service.

  107. Trai_Dep says:

    Bait and switch, since the phone rep guaranteed the price-match. They can’t weasel out of it later. A poor situation horribly handled later. Try again, at Costco.
    Besides, they drove over during a snowstorm. With a kid. Over snow! Didn’t they learn anything from The Donner Party?
    Over snow. Jeezus. The state of California declares a State Emergency if winds cross over the 5-knots mark (and if you know any California drivers, you understand why).

  108. RetailGuy83 says:

    @Neurotic1: I counted one spelling mistake, and one punctuation error. No grammer errors.

  109. Lucky225 says:

    @FessLove:

    He has the right to refuse to leave, it’s open to the public, he wasn’t obstructing lawful business, you clearly don’t understand the legislative intent of the Penal Code as it is written.

  110. FessLove says:

    @Lucky225

    Im not trying to have anyone arrested, only escorted off of the private property they were told to leave.

    And BTW, striking outside of the business, that is an exception, not what the whole law if about. Learn to read a statute before you try to teach me about it. I have been in retail a few years myself, and have seen 3 out of 3 customers who have had the police called on them escorted off of the premises.

  111. RetailGuy83 says:

    @cheviot: You are too emotionally wrapped up in this. Maybe a smoke break or whatever you do to calm down?

  112. Lucky225 says:

    @FessLove:

    You learn to read that statute, Striking with the intent to intimidate customers from entering the building is what that statute is about, has nothing to do w/ arguing with a friggen manager over a policy.

    602.1. (a) Any person who intentionally interferes with any lawful
    business or occupation carried on by the owner or agent of a business
    establishment open to the public, by obstructing or intimidating
    those attempting to carry on business, or their customers, and who
    refuses to leave the premises of the business establishment after
    being requested to leave by the owner or the owner’s agent, or by a
    peace officer acting at the request of the owner or owner’s agent, is
    guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in a county jail
    for up to 90 days, or by a fine of up to four hundred dollars
    ($400), or by both that imprisonment and fine.
    (b) Any person who intentionally interferes with any lawful
    business carried on by the employees of a public agency open to the
    public, by obstructing or intimidating those attempting to carry on
    business, or those persons there to transact business with the public
    agency, and who refuses to leave the premises of the public agency
    after being requested to leave by the office manager or a supervisor
    of the public agency, or by a peace officer acting at the request of
    the office manager or a supervisor of the public agency, is guilty of
    a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for up to
    90 days, or by a fine of up to four hundred dollars ($400), or by
    both that imprisonment and fine.
    (c) This section shall not apply to any of the following persons:

    (1) Any person engaged in lawful labor union activities that are
    permitted to be carried out on the property by state or federal law.

    (2) Any person on the premises who is engaging in activities
    protected by the California Constitution or the United States
    Constitution.
    (d) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to supersede the
    application of any other law.

    Why do you think they put the exception of labor unions and free speach? This statute is about striking, it says striking is legal so long as you are not intimidating the customers or blocking it from allowing other customers to do business there.

  113. cheviot says:

    @RetailGuy83:

    What? Don’t like it when someone makes much more sense than you do?

  114. thelushie says:

    Well, since no one else has done it yet:

    People still shop at Circuit City?

    I don’t think we are hearing the entire story. Most people are pretty rational (believe it or not), and I just don’t see a manager of a store calling the cops because someone tried to argue a pricematch. They deal with alot worse on a daily basis. I have a feeling something more threatening happened and Emmett has selective memory.

  115. RetailGuy83 says:

    @cheviot: Not at all, but you are taking snippets of my comments and rearranging them as you see fit. I never said I would call the cops on a customer because they were wasting my time, although you seem to think I did. I was simply making a comment about store operations. In fact, earlier I said what it would take for a police call on my part.

    So, your quick to attack attitude just led me to belive you could use a break, that’s all. :)

  116. Lucky225 says:

    @thelushie:

    I got the police called on me @ IHOP for refusing to show ID with a credit card..It doesn’t surprise me. Businesses seem to think they can make the rules as they go.

  117. 2719 says:

    The fact is most stores depend on store manager’s decision. It’s at their discretion most of the times. Either way you should not argue with them. If you really have to do it, leave and call corporate.

    Even if you get it your way most likely it won’t be at the same store.

    I remember when I used to work in retail, one of the electronic sales people quoted a wrong price for a desktop. It was I think less than 50% of the advertised price. Immediately these people started whining about it and talked to the store manager. He went back to his office, checked the profit margin on that item and told them he can sell it at cost but he will not take a loss on it. They bitched and whined and finally left without buying anything.

    The store manager was a really nice easy-going kind of guy too.

    My point is, companies trust store managers, if they did not those people would not be having that job.

  118. cheviot says:

    @RetailGuy83:

    Uh…I think I only replied to one of your posts, the one talking about the price match policy being at the manager’s sole discretion. I thought I stayed on topic with my reply, stating only if the policy isn’t absolute, they should state that in the policy given to the public.

  119. RetailGuy83 says:

    @cheviot: My apologies, your reply came @fesslove. It fell directly after one of my related posts. Again, sorry about that.

  120. cheviot says:

    @RetailGuy83:

    No big. We’re all in this together.

  121. Lucky225 says:

    @FessLove:

    I guess 602.1 really fits your description, which is why this bill is trying to get passed in California right now right? [info.sen.ca.gov]


    COMMENTS

    1. Need for This Bill

    According to the author:

    Penal Code Section 602.1, in its present form,
    requires a person to intentionally interfere with the
    business of a business establishment in order to be
    guilty of trespassing. There currently is a need to
    provide an additional enforcement tool for business
    owners and law enforcement in dealing with the
    continual problem caused by nuisance trespassers.
    This legislation will give enforcement tools to
    businesses and law enforcement to prevent situations
    from escalating, or to prevent foreseeable criminal
    activities from actually happening, due to prior
    experience with that person.

    Businesses should be free to determine whether
    someone, due to prior experience, may present a
    potential danger to the business and its patrons, and
    therefore be able to exclude that person, after
    reasonable warning or request, from the business
    establishment. Should the person enter or remain in
    the business establishment, after having received a
    reasonable warning or request, that person would be
    guilty of trespassing.

  122. ChristopherCbazon says:

    @lucky225

    The [irate customer] was asked to leave. Regardless of whether the
    manager was a moron a jerk or both, does not give the customer a right
    to remain on the premises after his concern had been addressed. It
    does not matter if the customer does not agree with the ourcome. He
    can recourse. Legal or by adressing his concerns with the retailer’s
    corporate office. My guess would be that the corporate HQ would have
    honored the guarantee.

    I would be more concerned with the impression the child had of thier
    parent continuing to argue with an idiot store manager.

    Don’t misunderstand, I think the retailer is wrong in this case, but
    the customer refusing to leave was the reason for the call to the
    police.
    Being in retail managment for over 15 years, I can tell you that I
    have had my share of these situations. Each time, the irate customer
    either left, was ecorted out by police, or was charge with trespass or
    distubing the peace. The law is on the retailer’s side in these cases.
    However, the law will almost always side with the customer if taken to
    court. Pick your battles wisely.

  123. RandomHookup says:

    It’s good to know the “blame the victim” crowd doesn’t take holiday weekends off.

    A company can’t advertise a policy and they say “well, it’s subject to manager’s discretion.” The Attorney General just loves to hear about companies that like to stretch their policies whatever way they want to. If you advertise a policy like this, put it in plain English and stand by it — you might actually gain more customers.

    CC is notorious for not wanting to price match.

  124. TBT says:

    Can someone explain to me why, when this incident happened in MINNESOTA, the comments are filled with pseudo-legal arguments about CALIFORNIA Penal Code and the CALIFORNIA Legislature’s intent? Last time I checked, California criminal law wasn’t applicable in the state of Minnesota.

  125. pigeonpenelope says:

    really, we’re reacting to one side of the story. we don’t know what really happened and we don’t know if it was the customer that was getting irrational. once the manager told the guy to leave, he needed to. he refused which was why the manager called the cops. i’m not saying that circuit shi**y wasn’t wrong in denying the price match but i doubt the consumer’s reaction was civil and business-like.

  126. pigeonpenelope says:

    @Lucky225: a business is private and when you refuse to leave after being told by the manager you are trespassing and that is illegal. you do not have the right to remain inside or on their property.

  127. sauceistheboss says:

    @TBT: I was thinking the same thing. The fact that people are even bringing up the text of this law is even more ridiculous.

    AND the fact that some “ex-retail manager” says things like “well why the fuck would you go and buy a GPS during a snowstorm?” (Why NOT???) shows just how many silly CC employees peruse this site!

  128. D-Bo says:

    @2719: You do realize the name of the website you are currently posting on is The Consumerist and not The Evilcorporateentitiesandthedouchebagstheyemployist right?

  129. autoclavicle says:

    Stores are measured by how much money they make, and price-matching doesn’t score them any ass-kisser points with the district manager. When I worked for Brookstone, our store manager would advise employees not to pass out the various coupons we were intended to give to customers.

  130. god_forbids says:

    @Pylon83: Tell me why an offer to price-match is not a unilateral contract?

  131. LionelEHutz says:

    Sue the bastards for your son’s extreme emotional distress. Then don’t shop there anymore.

  132. FrankReality says:

    The way I see it is that the store has a right to ask the customer to leave and the customer must comply or be subject to potential arrest for disorderly conduct. But, they also have an obligation to patiently explain the rules and policy in a non-threatening manner to their customers.

    On the other hand, the customer has the right to complain and make his case in a public forum as long as he sticks to the facts.

    And since the Burnsville CC is the closest CC to me and I’m a potential customer, I have the right to avoid the place like the plague.

    Long live Costco! Suck eggs BestBuy and Circuit City.

  133. SmoovyG says:

    Actually, there’s a pretty simple reason for pricematching at Circuit City – they promise to beat the advertised price of any competitor by 10%, so you’re actually getting the same item at a cheaper price. I’ve done it on several occasions with no problems at all. Best Buy is a good 30 minute drive from home, while CC is just 3 minutes down the hill, so it makes perfect sense for me to use the BB circular as a CC shopping list when the need arises.

    “Unbeatable Price Guarantee
    Find a lower advertised price from another local store with the same item in stock, and we’ll gladly beat their price by 10% of the difference. Plus, if you see a lower advertised price within 30 days of your purchase with us, we’ll refund 100% of the difference.

    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.”

  134. humphrmi says:

    @autoclavicle: Exactly. Which is why I said above that it’s like a three-card monty game, and the consumer is the chump.

    The places that sell for less up front did all the work to get / offer that lower price, and the places that sell for more and advertise price-matching are just playing a game to get you into the store, get the product into your hot little hands, and then deny the lower price on a technicality.

    The best course of action is, don’t bother with price matching. If retailers want to offer the lowest price, they’ll do it up-front, not with a stupid game.

  135. Lucky225 says:

    @pigeonpenelope:

    Wrong, businesses are Private Property that are OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, that’s why you see the phrase “open to the public” over and over throughout penal code 602, they make it specifically clear that trespassing does not apply on private property that is OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

  136. Funkquito says:

    Umm I’m hearing a lot of this “well why didn’t he get it at Costco”. Maybe they were out of stock, but regardless, who gives a crap about why he did and didn’t do this and that. the bottom line is, he called up, he did not do just barge in there with guns a blazing demanding service. He went there on the statement that his price would be honored, and it wasn’t. I’m sure no one here would appreciate that either.

  137. Pylon83 says:

    @Lucky225:
    I think you’re a little confused here. First off, you’re quoting CALIFORNIA law, this occurred in MN. California law has absolutely nothing to do with it. Even with CA law, you’re taking provisions of the criminal code out of context. Trespassing is a civil law as well, which wouldn’t be codified in the California PENAL code. I don’t think you will find a judge, lawyer, or competent individual in this country that will tell you that if you are told to leave PRIVATE property by the owner (or agent thereof) that you are not trespassing. It makes no difference if it is a place open to the public or not. It’s private property. If you are asked to leave for any reason that isn’t racially discriminatory, and you don’t leave, you are trespassing. The state could prosecute you for a violation of their criminal law, and the store could sue you for trespass in civil court.
    You’re argument is pretty weak, and you lose lots of credibility when you quote the law of ANOTHER STATE when trying to make your point.

  138. Lucky225 says:

    @Pylon83:

    California isn’t like Massachusettes and all those other whacky states. Anything that is unlawful is in the Penal Code and other Statutes. When you are charged with a complaint it is a criminal complaint, even traffic tickets are criminal, they’re infractions as defined in the Penal Code. The only thing civil in California is divorce proceedings and law suits.

  139. Lucky225 says:

    @Pylon83:

    Further more, if they were to sue me for ‘trespassing’ they would loose for failure to state a claim for which a relief could be granted. I didn’t cause them any loss of business, and it’s not like I was staying in their store after business hours.

  140. fpickering says:

    @joellevand: Let’s not obfuscate the situation. CC has a price match policy. The customer did his due diligence by calling the store ahead of time and asked a represenative of the store regarding whether or not the price match policy applied to Costco. He/She said that it did. He went to the store and brought the competing advertisement and was then denied for the price match.

    The customer should have received the price match and he was sure as hell was entitled to it. Everything else including his sense of judgement, whether or not he was not being pleasant, whether or not it was snowing outside, whether or not he brought a child or not, are all completely irrelevant. Case closed.

    Every time companies makes bad business decisions, they move a step closer to their own demise. In this case, the cost to price match was significantly less than to not do so. This was a very stupid business decision.

  141. jtbreeze says:

    Sometimes I get so tired of the degree of chutzpah of some people followed by their stories making it on Consumerist. I finally had to comment. The customer was wrong.

    On the CC website (search “price match”) it says:

    “Find a lower advertised price from another local store with the same item in stock, and we’ll gladly beat their price by 10% of the difference…..

    Q: What do you consider to be a “local store?”
    A: “Local store” refers to a competitor’s retail store that is in the same market and/or within a reasonable distance of our store.”

    You argue that Costco is a retail store? Wrong. From Costco’s Company Profile on the web:
    “Costco Wholesale Corporation operates an international chain of membership warehouses, mainly under the “Costco Wholesale” name, that carry quality, brand name merchandise at substantially lower prices than are typically found at conventional wholesale or retail sources. The warehouses are designed to help small-to-medium-sized businesses reduce costs in purchasing for resale and for everyday business use. Individuals may also purchase for their personal needs. “

    Notice that 1) they call themselves “wholesale” 2) they call themselves “membership warehouses” and 3) they compare themselves to “conventional wholesale AND RETAIL sources” which means they are neither conventional wholesale or retail.

    Sam’s, Costco, BJs are NOT retail stores. There it is.

  142. Pylon83 says:

    @Lucky225:
    If you had any legal education whatsoever, you would know that one can recover nominal damages for trespass (read: you don’t have to show actual damages). The PENAL CODE covers crimes that are pursued by the state, not civil violations, such as contract and tort. Further, it’s still a CA law, and it’s not applicable outside of CA. Just because it’s “not Massachusetts” doesn’t mean that CA law applied in CA. That’s the beauty of our system, states get to make their own laws.
    The simple fact of the matter is what this guy did is trespassing, and no matter how many states penal codes you quote, you’re still going to be wrong. You’re also clearly confused as to what a dismissal for “failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted” means (Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, usually codified in the state rules of civil procedure as well). Perhaps you should actually have a handle on the fundamentals of the law before you start trying to argue it.

  143. kizzle says:

    @RetailGuy83: @
    IANAL, but if Circuit City or another major manufacturer advertises a price match policy ( without even a “only at participating retailers” caveat) *in writing*, and a manager refuses to honor that written policy, how is that not false advertising or some distant cousin?

  144. Pylon83 says:

    @kizzle:
    It would depend entirely on the state law and how it’s written. I’d say its unlikely that this kind of conduct constitutes false advertising. However, even if it does, they won’t force the retailer to honor the price/policy. There will be a fine, slap on the wrist, etc. but not a forced sale.

  145. humphrmi says:

    @Pylon83: In reality though, you can’t sue for anything unless you have a defendant, and the only way you’ll have that is if the police arrest him or at least take down his information, which in most cases, they probably won’t.

    Cops today aren’t big on making federal cases out of minor disputes between parties. They usually prefer to do things like prevent actual crimes. At most, they’ll ask the person to leave, and if he does, they will too.

  146. Lucky225 says:

    @Pylon83:

    [www.courtinfo.ca.gov]

    PC 602.1 not violated by Appellants, even with 3 customer complaints that they almost didn’t enter the premises from them collecting signatures. If 3 written complaints from customers about petitioners outside of a Wal*Mart that were asked to leave Wal*Mart’s premises isn’t trespassing, I hardly doubt this guy holding up a F-ing line for a couple of minutes while he gets to the bottom of whether or not the policy is in writing would be found as trespassing.

  147. Lucky225 says:

    From the document:

    Appellants have alleged their cause of action for violation of constitutional rights
    as an intentional tort, which places at issue the purpose for which Estes placed appellants
    under citizen’s arrest. Ultimately, appellants will have the burden of establishing that
    respondents arrested them falsely and for the purpose of suppressing the exercise of their
    constitutional rights of free speech. However, in connection with the motion for
    summary judgment it is now respondents’ burden to establish, on the basis of undisputed
    evidence, that the arrests were made for the lawful purpose of enforcing Penal Code
    section 602.1, subdivision (a), and not for the purpose of suppressing protected speech.
    Respondents have not sustained that burden. Appellants’ failure to comply with Wal-
    Mart’s “time, place and manner” restrictions provides respondents a complete defense to
    this action only if the failure to comply consists of the obstructive conduct prohibited by
    section 602.1, subdivision (a), which is vigorously disputed.

    For the foregoing reasons, the judgment of the superior court is reversed.
    Appellants are awarded their costs on appeal.

  148. Pylon83 says:

    @Lucky225:
    You’re completely mis-quoting that case, and drawing improper conclusions. The case doesn’t speak to trespass, and it simply states that Wal-Mart didn’t meet its burden to win summary judgment, not that they were not trespassing. And again, you’re quoting CALIFORNIA STATE LAW, not MINNESOTA LAW. I admire your persistence, but your essentially trying to convince everyone that the sky is red, even though it’s clear the sky is blue.

  149. madog says:

    what I don’t understand about these situations is why not just shop at the other store? Why drive 20 miles and spend as much time, effort and gas to get something a bit cheaper?

    “Hey barbara, I’m going to take junior on a very dangerous drive through a blizzard that could kill us both and waste $20 on gas so I can save $50 on some junk.”

    “ok dear, be back before supper!”

    Also, the fact that costco members pay a premium to get wholesale prices would make me think that other stores might not honor their prices. Sounds logical, but that’s just me.

    Furthermore,why not become a member of costco? the membership fee pays for itself from the everyday prices that you’ll find their. Plus you’ll be able to use their online store as some out of stock items can be found there and risk the lives of your family in the process.

    PS I love costco, does it show? I use my brothers membership and purchase stuff online. Didn’t have wait in line or sacrifice my firstborn to get my wii or pay the membership fee! I’ve gone mad with power!

  150. madog says:

    bah. I blame the grammatical issues on my iPhone (oh yeah, captalize the P automatically there but not for pronouns)

  151. Lucky225 says:

    @Pylon83:
    “Appellants’ failure to comply with Wal-
    Mart’s “time, place and manner” restrictions provides respondents a complete defense to
    this action ONLY IF the failure to comply consists of the OBSTRUCTIVE conduct prohibited by
    section 602.1, subdivision (a), which is vigorously disputed.”

    For the FOREGOING REASONS, the judgement is reversed.

    That is not misquoting the case, it is a fact, the judge said it was the appellants burden to prove violation of their rights, but that it was irrelevant since it was also the respondents(wal-mart) burden to prove the trespass arrest was valid, which was disputed, and for such reasons Appellants were awarded their costs.

  152. Pylon83 says:

    @Lucky225:
    Ok, you clearly don’t understand what that opinion actually says. It doesn’t say the arrest for trespass wasn’t valid. It said Wal-Mart didn’t meet the burden to win SUMMARY JUDGMENT. Summary Judgment is awarded when there is no dispute of material fact. The court is saying there IS a dispute of material fact and that summary judgment was inappropriate. Essentially, there should have been a trial and a determination by the trier of fact. Again, you’re wrong in your analysis of that case, of the law and of this situation.

  153. seamer says:

    Any manager that wants to throw a denial of service out as ‘company policy’ has to be able to back it up, because I’m one of those people who do call around getting a resolution whenever I hear ‘policy’ forbids something basic/reasonable/logical.

  154. Pylon83 says:

    @seamer:
    It’s one thing to pursue an ultimate resolution from corporate, but when you’re told to leave, you leave and deal with the situation on another level.

  155. AngryEwok says:

    As soon as the prick manager refused to price match, I would have left.

  156. ajones4 says:

    I find it difficult to believe that you remained completely calm and in-control, yet he called the police.

    That aside, if you were told they would price match Costco, they should have done so. However, it has been my experience that no retailers price match wholesale clubs.

  157. EtherealStrife says:

    You were asked to leave and you did not. So no, calling the police was not an outrageous or irrational response. You were trespassing.

  158. puyro {who was banned for "junk comments" what? says:

    Circuit City does not price match Costco, Sam’s Club, and other wholesale stores. There IS a pamphlet that has more terms and conditions on the Unbeatable Price Guarantee. I don’t think it specifically says we don’t match wholesale/clubs but what it does say is “retail store” with the important part being “retail” But I can actually go to the store tomorrow and see exactly what it says.

    Some associates mistakenly think we price match anything and everything for some reason, and it sucks that you were misinformed.

    Somehow I think there is more to the story because who would call the cops for no reason?

    And if the item was out of stock at any place – you can’t get a price match. Item has to be in stock and currently advertised. (Though sometimes I overlook the advertised part, the in stock part can not be overlooked)

  159. mikemar42 says:

    And this is why you buy it online.

  160. cockeyed says:

    All you gotta do is say “I’m calling corporate.” You can even request the number (which is usually posted somewhere in the store or even in pamphlets, just in case they refuse to give you the number). THE LAST THING a store wants is for you to call corporate. Believe me. That is a death sentence for them. Threaten to call corporate and they’ll be at your feet. If they aren’t, then they’re just assuming you’re too stupid to know that it’s a big deal and gambling that you won’t do it.

  161. cascascas says:

    The point here is that the customer was lied to. He was told on the phone that the price would be matched. If CC cannot educate their staff to provide correct information, they need to take responsibility and honor what the customer was told, simple as that. Policy does not really come into it at all, and I’m sure the manager had the discretion to do the right thing but decided not to.

  162. JimboKern says:

    I work at CC and management advises us not to match prices from wholesalers, or any kind of club stores. We generally match retailers like Wal-Mart, Staples, Office Max, Best Buy, ect.. I would have to say our price match policy is very liberal with a few obvious restrictions. In this instance, CC failed by giving the customer incorrect information, but I think it’s foolish to assume any retailer would perform this price match to begin with. Costco is a club store and I don’t know of any retailers that will match them. I think the customer did the right thing by involving the store manager, but if the store manager says no then there is no need to remain in the store and let your 5 year old watch you make a fool of yourself. Retailers have corporate offices and hotlines for a reason….call next time and save yourself the trouble. I have found that contacting corporate directly does a lot more good than argueing with a store manager that can be just as stubborn as you.

  163. Grimspoon says:

    I almost always encounter resistance when trying to complete a price match, especially when it’s a really good one. Sometimes your only course of action is to stand your ground. If the policy of price matching is advertised, you have every right as a consumer to insist that the store follows through.

    Calling the cops was the most inappropriate response and I hate to say it, but anyone who disagrees is a retard. Before you jump down my throat – just ask yourself this one simple question; “Do you disagree with me”? If the answer is “Yes” – then you are a retard and your opinion doesn’t matter.

    Anyhow, sometimes you have to stand your ground, and that’s what this guy did. The petty store manager threw a hissy-fit when he was called out on his lies and called the cops. Clearly there is something wrong with the manager. Yes, dealing with customers sucks, but that’s not an excuse to be a bitch.

    Gotta love the “little hitlers” of the world…

  164. whuffo says:

    This is starting to look more like The Corporatist then it does The Consumerist.

    Every time someone’s abused at a corporately run store and tells us about it here, corporate apologists pile on and blame the customer for the problem.

    I don’t know what the site administrations want for this site, but after reading this thread I’m taking this site out of my “read daily” list.

    Anyone who cares: take a look at what’s going on in this thread and ask yourself how this benefits the consumer.

  165. Charred says:

    Wow. Internet moron pissing fight FTW!

  166. Take your business elsewhere.. these days with gas approaching $4/gal or more saving $10 by trying to price match something any farther than a 10 minute drive away defeats the purpose. Buy online and stay close to home!

  167. mgomega says:

    @ all of you arguing over statute 602:

    You fail to consider that the exact wording, intent and usage of the law only apply if all parties involved actually understand the law as such. In other words, if the manager thinks you’re trespassing, and the cops think you’re tresspassing, guess what: you’re tresspassing. Sure, after 48 hours in jail and another 5 or 6 waiting to stand in front of a judge, he just might say, “yeah, you know what, you were right. You weren’t REALLY trespassing. Sorry about all that”.

    Whether you’re right or not, the cops aren’t going to argue with you while you prove your point. They’re going to make a quick decision about the threat you pose to yourself and those around you, and act on it. If they think you’re right, they’ll ask you to leave anyway and take your problem up with the store’s corporate office. Refuse, and you’ll be arrested for any number of other reasons, including simply refusing to comply with the order of an officer.

    So if a merchant calls the police, and you’re a calm, respectable person, wait for them. You’ll have an irreproachable third party as a witness and a very strong brick to throw at corporate as to how poorly you were treated. If you’re at all less-than-confident about your prospects with the police (hey, they make mistakes too), bail. I think this guy did the right thing in leaving.

  168. wellfleet says:

    I work at BBY and would absolutely match a Costco/Sam’s Club price… I just ask to see the customer’s membership card. If the customer isn’t a member, the product isn’t available to them! At Sam’s, they charge 10% extra if you’re not a member, so I often match that price. But it is incredible how much of a fight, and how many extra miles people go to save $8 on a flash drive. How much is their time worth?

  169. RetailGuy83 says:

    @whuffo: A couple of points on this, first off, if every post that came across got nothing but universal acceptance, that would actually weaken what this site is about. Sometimes the consumerist posts a blatently ne-sided story (as is the case here) and they need to be called out. It overall raises the level of their product. Which quite honestly HAS gotten much better over the last month or so, For a strech anything that hit their inbox with “best buy” in it was making the blog. Like this one But, like I said, the posts lately have been genuinely useful/interesting.

    This however is clearly one sided. Do you honestly believe that a manger would call the cops over somthing as small as is described here? No way. This was some guy that made a royal ass out of himself and is trying to make himself feel justified by getting some positive press here. Well, the comunity that looks to the consumerist for ACTUAL REAL ISSUES with the world doesn’t appreciate jackholes like the OP using this site to get a pat on the head.

  170. cef21 says:

    @stanfrombrooklyn:
    @RetailGuy83: The actual policy of the store doesn’t matter. He called up the store, asked if they would pricematch to costco. THe store said yes. So, in reliance on that promise, he drove 20 miles in his car, probably using around $8 in gas. He gets there, and they deny it.

    The store’s policy does not matter, unless he was aware of it in advance (and, who tracks price match policies from every store?). There was basically a contract here: the store told him that IF he drove 20 miles, they would sell him the GPS at that price. (aka an “offer”). He did (“acceptance.”) End of story.

    If he can prove what he said, which will be hard, he could probably win a law suit.@RetailGuy83:

  171. ryanv1978 says:

    who the hell thinks that you can get a price match from a costco price? People pay a premium membership to go in and be able to pay that price.

    Was this guy even a Costco member?

    Even if he was, CC still has no obligation to honor the price of store which requires paid membership to shop in. use some common sense

  172. ryanv1978 says:

    @Grimspoon:

    Yeah he sure showed that store manager when he ran because the cops were called.

    GOOD ONE!

    /Sarcasm

  173. oldscud says:

    My money says OP acted like a total douche bag while in the store which pissed the Manager off. When are people going to learn mutual respect and realize that Corporate America does not owe you a damn thing! If you act like a jack ass, you just may get treated like one!

  174. lbell says:

    Again, what’s so hard about showing, in writing, the store policy???

  175. ladypalmer says:

    Back when I worked at CC, we would wriggle out of price matching with Costco/Sam’s by pointing out that they usually didn’t carry the same model number of the item in question. (Like an HP computer that was identical in specs but theirs had an extra letter at the end) CC managers can be irrational at best…I had some crazy ones. I still don’t understand a) not buying it at costco in the first place (how much gas was wasted?) and b) being willing to give CC your business after your claim of shoddy treatment? They fired me for making too much money, so I won’t shop there. There are hundreds of reasons for the rest of you not to…

  176. Dominikanfrank says:

    As a retail store manager, my experience has been that when a customer acts rowdy and you do not want him on the premises you can call the cops to escort the person out, and usually fill out a report incase the person does it again, in which case, you can get them arrested for trespassing since they have been previously informed not to enter the premises (Atleast thats what the police tell me)

    So in regards to this situation I’m pretty sure the customer was making a scene and manager was justified in calling the police.

    When it comes to showing the customer the policy, the customer probably requested that with such arrogance and attitude that the manager just figured, “Screw you.”

  177. acknight says:

    Just why is the CA code being argued over, when the incident in question happened in MN?

  178. A) The manager has every right to say what policies the store will choose to follow. B) The customer has every right to complain up the ladder. C) The store is in no way obligated to comply with the customer’s request. D) the manager, if he has requested that the customer leave, has every right to contact the police if the customer refuses to comply.

    It may be bad customer service, and they’ll doubtlessly lose more that one customer over it. But that is their prerogative.

    He complained up the ladder. Maybe corporate will care. If they do they’ll doubtlessly send him a coupon or a $20 gift card and apologize.

    Personally, if I am approached by a customer who tells me what I’m going to do…I generally will not do it. I don’t like that attitude of entitlement and it’s my decision. I do it for the betterment of mankind. However, if someone comes to me and treats me like a fellow human being, instead of their slave. I’m much more likely to bend a bit on policy. It’s human nature, really.

  179. macinjosh says:

    Where on Earth was Tom during all this hub-bub?

  180. drawp says:

    Did he drive uphill both ways?

  181. trk182 says:

    @newfenoix: Do you hear the black choppers at night too?

  182. oldskool79 says:

    Both the customer and the manager are wrong in this situation.

    If a store advertises something, they must honor whatever it is they offered in the advertisement. This is knows as truth in advertising. If CC advertised that they will match a competitors price then they must do so (assuming the criteria they specify are met). In this case, it appears that the customer was entitled to the price match, and should have recieved it.

    On the other hand, the customer is still guilty of tresspassing because he refused to leave the store when asked. CC’s illegal refusal to honor a price match does not give the customer the right to tresspass on their property. The customer only recourse is to file a lawsuit against the company.

  183. + says:

    I think stores should just remove all coupons so nobody can complain! Pay the price or gtfo!

  184. djreedps says:

    I read a few of the comments to this story stating that either the store manager doesn’t have to show you the policy in writing or else that the customer fled because he must have had warrants out against him.

    I thought this was a pro-consumer website. Falsely claiming that this customer has warrants out against him could come very close to being slanderous.

    I think the store manager should be competent enough to show this customer the price match policy. I don’t think that is an unreasonable request. Otherwise, the store manager could just make up one policy for a black woman, another policy for a white man, and a third policy for Middle Eastern person.

    I am a white guy. I was in a McDonald’s one time where the cashier was trying to charge me more than the combo price on the board behind him. I spoke with the manager who wouldn’t charge me the price listed on the board. So I made a complaint to McDonald’s corporate office about the possibility of charging different prices based on race, gender, other other attributes if they aren’t charging what is stated on the board. McDonald’s corporate office quickly resolved the situation.

    Circuit City should provide this customer with the price match policy in writing, educate the store manager that he needs to provide store policies in writing when requested instead of calling the police, and give the customer the GPS free of charge.

  185. TexasScout says:

    you knew this was going bad when you saw the words Circuit Shitty.

  186. mythago says:

    It’s like that old Far Side cartoon. What The OP Actually Said, vs. What The Average Consumerist Poster Hears. (“Blame the customer! It’s all his/her fault for not being a smart shopper like me!”)

    “They have no real legal duty to match the price, even if their internal store policies allow it” – actually, yes, they do, because they advertised that they would match the price. It’s called bait-and-switch. They’re not under any obligation to HAVE a price-matching policy, but when they advertise that they do, they’re obligated to follow it. That’s why all those ads you see have small print. It’s not legal for a store to advertise price matching, and then when you show up, say “Oh yes, but that only applies in leap years, sorry.”

  187. Pylon83 says:

    @acknight:
    I attempted to make that point, yet Lucky225 didn’t seem to understand that CA law doesn’t apply in MN

  188. Pylon83 says:

    @cef21:
    This is probably the best argument yet regarding the customers legal rights. The only problem is, he will ONLY get his reliance damages, or $8 for gas. The court will not force the store to sell to him at the lower price. And he’s unlikely to be able to get the difference between the cost of the two items because there isn’t a difference. He can buy a replacement at CostCo for the same amount. So, his damages are $8 and that’s it. Further, he can’t recover attorneys fees, so it would be pretty silly to pursue.

  189. Pylon83 says:

    @mythago:
    It’s not legal for them to do it if the state has laws against bait-and-switch. However, even under those laws, the store won’t be forced to sell it at the advertised price, they will simply be fined.

  190. ryanv1978 says:

    @Lucky225:

    This guy Lucky is something else. Some patriot he is! No one is going to violate him.

    What an asshole. Do you know how big of an ASS you have to act like to have a retail manager call the cops on you? PRETTY BIG.

    Some people severly lack common sense. it’s a shame.

  191. ryanv1978 says:

    @Pylon83:

    there are lots of things that Lucky has trouble understanding. Do no argue with this fool, he doesn’t live in the real world.

  192. CVN-677 says:

    Most of the time those policies have written in the manager manuals that a manager at any point in time they can decline a UPG request from a customer. And in some regions it actually says that they cannot honor costo,sams club, BJ’s and other wholesale club prices because customers pay for the privilege to shop there those kind of decisions are handed down from district management and regional management not necessarily corporate because head office gives them the power to do it

  193. Hadouken says:

    @stanfrombrooklyn: Please tell me that was sarcasm…

    You don’t have to cowtow to a manager refusing to show you their policy. They’re not above questioning. If you’ve done your homework (and the OP did, as it seems) and you think you have a legit claim, then standing up for your rights as a consumer is the right thing to do.

    And even if the OP was way off base, the call to the police was extremely unwarranted.

  194. mythago says:

    @Pylon83, that depends on what the state’s laws says. But it’s certainly not the case that a store can put whatever offer it likes in its advertisement to get people into the store, and then refuse to follow that offer.

    Issue here is really that the store refused to honor its advertisement, apparently in direct contradiction of the national policy that club prices are included in the “match”. From a purely practical point of view, a store should expect that some people are going to try to game the system, and should CLEARLY have a WRITTEN copy on hand of the advertisement, listing its limitations.

  195. othium says:

    I’ve been to that exact store and I can verify that the customer service is horrible.

  196. cogitaveritas says:

    I used to work at Circuit City myself, and I was always told that I could not price match any store that was further than twenty miles away or a wholesale retail location. People would come in often asking for a price match to Sam’s Club or Costco, and I always had to turn them down.

    However, the manager DOES have the power to provide the price match for them, if he wishes. I have personally seen my manager do it several times.

    I have to say, I do slightly agree with the policy, (which is a rare occurrence) simply because Circuit City would lose a lot of money trying to match membership based clubs. However, if an employee promised the price match, the manager should have quietly just given it to him, and then corrected the employee afterwards.

  197. RetailGuy83 says:

    @cef21: Ok, I didn’t want to bring this out, but…

    Circuit City’s price match policy is intended for matching prices after you purchase something from CC. Read the policy’s on their site. Everyone one of them says, “bring in your reciept and the ad.” This is to assuage the fears of customers that fear an item may go on sale after they buy it.

    Now just because most of the time, a manager may preemptivly do this for you, doesn’t mean they are required to. And it is far easier to explain that a match will not be honored for club pricing than it is to explain THAT to a customer.

    I’ve never personally done that, but I’ve known many manager’s that have, and it works 99.9% of the time.

    Additionally, it is much easier to tell a customer that you do not match club pricing than it is to tell them that “this special is too good a deal and is therefore not qualified.” Honestly, most customers dont want a a lawyers explaination. Just a yes or no, and a reason that is easy to understand (even if it is not technically correct)

    Wow, I’m about to get blasted

  198. karlmarx says:

    99% of the time retail stores will not match prices of Sam’s or Costco, or other Membership Store prices because they have less overhead by not advertising, and you pay to shop there. If they say they will match the price then they should and calling the police on you is wrong.

  199. Pylon83 says:

    @mythago:
    Well, I wouldn’t go that far. Advertisement’s are generally not offers, they are invitations to deal. Whether a policy like price matching would be considered an offer is questionable, but it’s certainly not a clear “offer” in the contractual sense that the consumer is free to accept without any further negotiations. State do enact “Bait and switch” laws that punish retailers for this kind of conduct, but they are still free to refuse to abide by the advertisement or policy, they may just have to pay a fine to the state.

  200. PHX602 says:

    Stories like this make you wish the Consumerist would actually do a little due diligence and check these stories out before posting. The whole premise is shady — a disagreement with a manager droid named “Brad” prompts a call to the police? Come on!

    I especially like the little pissing match between the two big box store “managers” earlier. Talk about a misnomer — a glorified babysitter for 18-22 year old brain dead kids with no work ethic, and no decision authority because all rules and regulations come from corporate.

    With a “career” like that, how does a big box manager attract the fairer sex? Is it the allure of discounts on Playstation3? Or is it that he’s already trained in taking shit, not making decisions, and watching kids?

  201. r14917 says:

    I bought a HDTV on 5/18 at Circuit City in Miami,Fla for 349.99 plus tax and was told if it went on sale at any retail store in 60 days I would be refunded 110% of the price difference. This is also posted on Circuit City’s website under Simplicity quaranteed. This morning I went to the store with an ad for the same HDTV for 318.88 from Brandsmart that is a retail store and not a club and is about 5 miles south of their store. The manager; Peter first stated the quarantee was only good for 30 days I told him I just bought the tv last weekend and then he stated they would not honor Brandmart’s ad stating it was not on their list of stores. Their website doesn’t have a list of stores. I filed a complaint with their main headquarters and they called the store and came back with the same response as the manager and gave me a case number. I read to them there wesite statment on what they consider a: “Local store” refers to a competitor’s retail store that is in the same market and/or within a reasonable distance of our store” Brandsmart falls under thier definition yet they failed to honor their own policy or is it their policy to false advertise. Needless to say I did not buy the other items I needed from Circuit city today.

  202. SmoovyG says:

    @RetailGuy83: Actually, you’ve got it wrong. Yes, CC will meet and make up the difference on any item for 30 days after you’ve bought it. However, they actually go out of their way to offer the customer an incentive to pricematch prior to buying from CC by offering to beat the advertised price by 10%.

    Find a lower advertised price from another local store with the same item in stock, and we’ll gladly beat their price by 10% of the difference. Plus, if you see a lower advertised price within 30 days of your purchase with us, we’ll refund 100% of the difference.

  203. puka_pai says:

    A quick stop by Google Maps shows me that the nearest Costcos to this CC are 15 and 20 miles away. Maybe the OP lives nearer the CC and that’s why Emmett chose to drive there. Being able to get the Costco price and saving gas at the same time is what a smart consumer would do.

    And for everyone who said he must have been a complete asshat to have Brad call in the cops, I’d like to introduce you to a few of the GMs I’ve known and/or worked for over the years. I’ve seen a store manager who called the police over a 60-YO lady’s arguing about a coupon refund.

  204. Angryrider says:

    I hope Blockbuster buys out this shoddy company.

  205. Fivetop says:

    File a complaint with the Attorney General’s office for false advertising. Their advertising claims led you to the store and they failed to live up to “unbeatable price matching” and could not even point you to any rules regarding their own policy.

  206. Bix says:

    I am confused as to why so many people are shock and appalled by the idea that many retail managers at electronic stores are crazy assholes.

  207. planetdaddy says:

    If the manager asks you to leave just leave.

  208. Silversmok3 says:

    To avoid gettin shut down on a price match,Bring price matched ad,and have the store’s District Manager/office number on hand , just in case the store manager wants to quote “policy”.

    As far as calling the police,you have to say something disruptive(like fu-k you, you piece of sh-t,etc) to get the 5-0 treatment.So the OP definitely left out some colorful language in this write-up.

  209. erratapage says:

    There is no Costco in Burnsville, MN. There is a Circuit City in Burnsville, MN. Us Minnesotans will drive in a snowstorm, but we prefer to drive less in a snowstorm. At the very least, the manager should have had some mercy on a customer who drove to his store in bad weather to make a discretionary purchase.

    Or not.

  210. mythago says:

    @Pylon83, the State might take other action besides a fine, depending on the laws. But again, the issue isn’t whether or not this is or isn’t a ‘binding contract'; it’s that the store is engaging in false advertising. “but everybody knows they don’t match Costco!” – fine, put that in the written policy and in the ads, but don’t whine that the customer actually asked the poor business to live up to its word.

  211. nardo218 says:

    Um … no. There’s something not being told here.

  212. Pylon83 says:

    @mythago:
    I’m not sure this constitutes false advertising. I’m not saying it doesn’t, but it’s a pretty high bar in most states to come up to the level of false advertising. Sloppy business practices is more like it. Again, it really comes down to the construction of the state laws.

  213. DamonTick says:

    @Pylon83:
    http://consumerist.com/tag/customer-service/?i=5010888&t=circuit-city-calls-the-cops-on-customer-who-requests-a-price-match#c5875659
    You say: “They have no real legal duty to match the price.”

    Actually, this would be a pretty clear case of promissory estoppel. The store made a promise the customer reasonably relied upon to his detriment.

    The promise was made over the phone: “You come here and buy our stuff, and we’ll give you a discount.
    The reliance was reasonable. People reasonably rely on what businesses tell them.
    The customer suffered detriment. He drove out of his way and didn’t get the good for the promised price.

    The only real issue is whether its enough money to fight over.

  214. eeyore.conspiracy says:

    As a lawyer, this discussion is painful. Would you people quit trying to be lawyers?

  215. RetailGuy83 says:

    @nardo218: Are you the OP?

  216. RetailGuy83 says:

    @nardo218: NM, totally mis-read your comment.

  217. Jamie All Over says:

    you know what would be easier.

    going to the store it’s on sale at and getting it there.

  218. planetdaddy says:

    Spend your money somewhere else. Problem solved. No need to bitch.

  219. endless says:

    doing a bit a browsing…

    i’m guessing he was looking at the Magellan 4250, which CC sells at 500, where costco has it at 300$.

    if he was doing the +10% of the difference, that would be a 220$ price match, nearly 50% off.

    i thought it was fairly common knowledge that CC/BB don’t match costco/sams.

  220. SayAhh says:

    Didn’t have time to read through all the comments before me, but I’m sure someone was smart to write what I’m about to write: just get a Costco membership, you cheapskate, rather than getting your price match, 110% money-back guarantee.

    It’s hilarious: when it came to interpreting store policies, every Republican becomes a Liberal.

  221. Damn, lot of comments in this thread! First off, we are only getting one side of the story. He was probably told by some low level employee over the phone that they pricematch costco, but most places I’ve been to don’t, since you have to pay to be a member. It sucks he drove through a snowstorm, but he lives in Minnesota, they happen there like once a week in the winter. (He couldn’t wait a day?)
    I have a feeling the guy probably wasn’t very happy or nice once he found out that they wouldn’t price match, and thats probably why the cops got called, but what the hell do I know, I wasn’t there. I’m also pretty sure though that once you are asked to leave, that you have to comply, even if you aren’t blocking a register/aisle.
    I bet that corporate matches the price offer though, and the store manager gets a slap on the wrists (if that). Its not worth all the bad press they’re getting over it.

  222. bigmil87 says:

    I live in MN and I hate to break it to the OP but most our snow storms are not bad. Anything above 6″ is not great driving conditions but if you were worried about the drive you should not have made it in the first place. CC was out of line by called the Police but there must be more to this story for them to randomly call the cops.

  223. Honestly. This story is ridiculous. In Emmett’s defense, it does not say anything about “clubs” like Sams, etc…

    That being said, no one is obligated to give you discounts, even if some minimum wage random dude said “sure we will” on the phone.

    The first two commenters have it right and Emmett just comes across as unreasonable and was likely more irrational towards the CC employee’s than they were towards him.

  224. sveinhal says:

    Listen to some of these guys commenting above?

    «Refused to leave the store? That’s trespassing!», «Have no right to ask for the policy in writing?», etc. If these claims are true, I’m more happy than ever, that I don’t live in the US, but in a country with real consumer protection laws.

    Where I live, it’s called false advertising, if your written policy is not publically available. If restrictions apply to some claim you make in advertising, on billboards, or otherwise, you have every right to see these restrictions. In fact, if they aren’t provided up front, they don’t apply.

  225. Naramie says:

    I think it’s really at the discretion of the manager. Technically the policy really only excludes online sites and unverifiable locations.

    I used to work at Circuit City and our manager would price match Costco and some websites prices like Wolf Camera, rarely Newegg, etc. But really it’s entirely up to the manager if he wants to do it or not.

    There isn’t really a policy because the wording is open for interpretation. The exact policy indicates that a “Local store” refers to a competitor’s retail store that is in the same market and/or within a reasonable distance of our store. What defines same market? What defines distance? This guideline actually only exists because it gives managers leeway to refuse customer price matches. I see that Safeway is selling this package of DVDR’s cheaper, well I’m sorry Safeway is not a consumer electronics retailer so we cannot price match against them.

    I’ve gone to some Circuit City’s that have refused to match Best Buy or any large reputable online retailers prices. When they know that if I were to goto Best Buy they would gladly price match their own website without any questions.

  226. LucyNoppity says:

    I’ll be honest. I didn’t read all the replies since there is a lot. I
    do work for Circuit City.

    “Find a lower advertised price from another local store with the same
    item in stock, and we’ll gladly beat their price by 10% of the
    difference. Plus, if you see a lower advertised price within 30 days
    of your purchase with us, we’ll refund 100% of the difference.”

    That’s the policy. Since I first started working for the company.
    Nobody has ever wanted to price match a wholesaler due to the fact
    that you must pay to shop there. I never refused a price match though
    because I can’t.

    What the customer must do, per the policy, is show an ad that states
    the price. Around where I live, I haven’t seen a Costco. We have BJs
    and Sams Club. What I also have never seen is an ad from any of them.

    Show me an ad and I’ll price match it. It also needs to be in stock.
    If you can’t get it from them, you can’t get it from me. Honestly I
    usually just match it anyways unless I’m selling it below my stores’
    cost, then I’ll enforce the in stock policy.

  227. freejazz38 says:

    Once again, need I remind you. Circuit Shitty only hires morons who can demonstrate IQ’s in the single digits. Worse than the regular employees are the Managers (Lifers) who must demonstrate that lack of intelligence over a longer period of time (usually a week). Calling CC’s corporate office is a complete waste of time as you will get dothead central, not anyone of any value. Also, complaining against these clowns to the BBB is also a waste as all it will get you is a canned response from their dedicated canned response imbecile. This company is a PRIME example of how NOT to run a retail chain. In fact, if you look it up, it is listed as such. THAT, my friends, is why the chain is on it’s way to belly up. Morons breed morons. InCOMPetentUSA was first, these clowns are next. They just never learn. Why? because they are incapable of doing so

  228. JackWalker says:

    @stanfrombrooklyn:

    Policies that affect company/consumer relations should be shown to all customers despite what the manager “feels.” Anyone that just tells a customer to hit the bricks should be slapped silly.

    If your company boasts a “price matching guarantee” and you turn a customer away stating that you don’t match club prices, then the customer has EVERY right to request evidence of such a claim.

    And on another note… most employees of ANY company don’t even know their store’s address let alone the store policies.

  229. MadisonSeverus says:

    This is absolutely ridiculous. Frankly, in most states, if a company has
    a price-matching policy, they CANNOT exempt certain stores from that
    policy. It is an ‘all or nothing’ as they say, which means that Circuit
    City should have price-matched with Costco, BJ’s, or any other wholesaler.
    They should have also shown him IN WRITING that they would not price
    match things from Costco. If they cannot show that, frankly they should
    honor the policy and have it in big bold writing somewhere the next time
    if they decide to change the policy.

  230. Ajh says:

    What was so hard about showing the guy in writing where they won’t match that price anyway? Seriously? Sensible customers will let it drop after seeing it in writing, and it’s more ammo against an agressive angry customer if you show them that and then have to call the police on them.

  231. Pylon83 says:

    @Naramie: @JackWalker:
    I agree, they do have every right to make such a request. The store also has a right to refuse to produce it. Unfortunately for the consumer, they have little recourse if the store refuses to produce a written policy on-demand. At this point, it becomes entirely dependent on state law, and whether such a refusal amounts to false advertising, or falls under some other state consumer protection law. The barriers for these laws are usually very high, and I’m betting that under most state laws this instance doesn’t meet that barrier.
    Finally, even if the refusal DOES amount to a violation of state law, that is not a justification for trespassing. Just because they have to show you a policy under state law doesn’t mean that you get to trespass, or refuse to leave, upon their failure to do so. The OP’s only recourse is to contact whomever is tasked with enforcing the consumer protection laws and let them pursue the violation. Consumers do not have the right to stand their ground and refuse to leave the store until they are shwon what they want to see.

  232. revision3 says:

    I understand where the customer is coming from in all of this.

    However, I’m thinking there’s more to this than what he’s telling us/CC. Why would someone drive 20 miles in a snowstorm with a child in tow for a gps? Could it be that he’s an impulsive buyer who just had to have it now? I think that sounds more accurate. I also think that the customer is leaving out the part of that argument where, more than likely, the manager informed him that CC’s price matching policy explicitly states(and this part is, in fact, in writing) that if the competing store does not have the item in stock, it cannot be price matched.

    Now I might be wrong here. I’m not completely dismissing the customer’s argument. If his story, in its entirety, is true, then that particular manager has no right to be in the position that he’s in.

  233. Smitherd says:

    @stanfrombrooklyn: It doesn’t matter. Even if the policy exceptions did exist, two factors are still in the customer’s favor: First, the store manager failed to provide reasonable proof [or any proof, for that matter] that the policy existed, opting instead to call the police into scaring the customer away.

    Second, if an employee told him that the price match could be done, then it should have been honored. This happened to me in an electronics store once: an item was marked as $7.99, and the salesman told me that it was mis-labeled and that the cost was really $13.99. No matter if the price was marked wrong or if an employee stuck on the wrong label; if it’s marked or advertised at that price then it better be sold at that price. No matter if the employee on the phone in this case was wrong, the match should still be honored because the employee said it could.

  234. endless says:

    two more thoughts on this topic:

    one he is in MN… home of best buy. i would think that the local governments would be more likely than other places to side against CC there because of the extra tax rev that the main competitor brings to the area…. (probably not a lot of an effect, but something to consider)

    he repeatedly mentions a costco “ad”… is this a print out from a website? or a flyer or what? i didnt know costco advertised….

  235. YuCeyx says:

    I’m somewhat surprised by the opinion expressed by many of the posters here that the store manager can make any decision regarding such policies and the customer has no rights. I can’t speak for other states, but having lived in both New York and Virginia I know that they both have laws at least regulating advertising. Making an offer to a customer in an advertisement and then refusing to honor to the offer based on some unwritten policy would be considered fraudulent. The state Attorney General’s office generally has a division to handle consumer complaints about companies.

  236. puka_pai says:

    Every once in awhile we get a Costco ad flyer in the snail mail. They do exist.

  237. ConsumerAdvocacy1010 says:

    @stanfrombrooklyn: F*ck you. Seriously. Regardless of policy the manager acted out of line.

  238. cccdude says:

    Stupid for trying to buy it at CC over Costco anyways. Costco *stands* behind the products they sale. If the GPS (the Magellan 4250 I’m gonna guess…) craps out in 6 months, Costco will either replace it or have it sent off for warranty repair with no muss or fuss. CC? Please – past the 30 day return window so don’t let the door hit in the ass on your way out.

  239. phoenixatthegates says:

    I say sue them, because they are obliged by law to include a special remark of any exclusions for any special offer they advertise for, and this applies to this case.

  240. battra92 says:

    @linbey: I cant understand why people even do price matches. If its cheaper at Costco, then GO TO COSTCO.

    Exactly. Hell, I rarely buy anything that isn’t online anymore. No dealing with smelly cashiers and irate managers FTW.

  241. hegemonyhog says:

    I think one of the things that people are missing here is that CC’s price match guarantee gives you an additional 10% of the price difference off – it’s not just the same price, it’s cheaper.

    Of course, it doesn’t matter, because what the manager did here is standard CC operating procedure – make up policy, say it’s “written down” somewhere, and then tell you you’re wrong even when the policy is written on their site or on the wall of the store contradicting them.

  242. newfenoix says:

    So I guess I touched a nerve with those people that always blame the customer. I was told that some people are “corporate minded.” How is losing a sale being corporate minded? The CORPORATION that I manage for dosen’t think like that. In fact, I don’t know of any company that has a policy of running customers off.

    I read the Circuit City policy. They do indeed price match Costco. So, how is this the customer’s fault? There are some people that post on this site that have no idea what customer service is. They act like the company is doing the customer a favor by just letting them in the door. I don’t shop at places like that.

    Also, I have five years of experience as a street cop and 15 years experience in retail management, both at the store and district levels. My wife is a CSM for Wal Mart. When I showed this article to her boss, he said that if that happened at Wal Mart, the manager would have been fired within 48 hours. Yes, I am very aware that the customer isn’t always right and that many times, they are assholes. BUT that isn’t a reason not give good customer service.

    BTW, Cheviot has hit the nail on the head in his posts!!!

  243. TTCFCL says:

    Crazy, my friend works at this store! He’s only a warehouse boy, but I’m still gonna see what he has to say about it.

  244. xspook says:

    What is crazy to me is that WalMarts (and others?) will price match against other stores as long as they’re not WalMarts. I routinely bought a certain item at a WalMart near where I work. I decided to purchase the same item at a WalMart about 5 miles away and noticed it was $20 more expensive. I talked to the CSR and asked about price matching. She stated they don’t price match with other WalMarts; if it had been a K-Mart; she would’ve?!?

  245. EricaKane says:

    Getting circuit city to honor their price match policy or their 24 minute pickup policy is like pulling teeth. I stopped shopping there after a manager gave me the well known lies about the 24 minute pickup guarantee (oh its 24 minutes for waiting in line! – yeah right). Honestly, arguing with some pimple faced 24 year old about a $24 giftcard (or the 10% discount for price matching) is no longer worth my time or the effort.

  246. vdragonmpc says:

    Please. Circuit City had a store (yes its closed and now a Health Clinic in the shape of a circuit city) in Petersburg VA. Those asshats wouldnt match a price for anyone. They always had an outcard. I went to buy a Pioneer CD player and the model number looked the same but whoopsie there was a digit difference in the manufacturers code so sorry! Then when I asked about price matching best buy the guy smugly showed me it was too far from them. (Best Buy opened in Colonial Heights and fixed that issue)

    Circuit City will not last another 5 years it will either go out of business or be sold to another company. They are flailing around as a retailer and with their pricing Best Buy is slowly bleeding them. I cant fathom the idiocy of the decision to not sell appliances but hey that CEO got his payday.

    When a manager at a circuit city pulls a fast one on you just look at them and say “I guess you can have fun doing this for a little longer before the store closes Im going to another store to spend my money good day”

  247. graymulligan says:

    I don’t really get some of you…I really don’t.

    Circuit city price matches “everyday” prices. Not sale prices as Retailguy83 mention above me a couple posts. I think that may be the piece of information that makes this make a little more sense. Let’s assume for a second that the item was marked down 50 bucks, or whatever.

    1) the initial conversation on the phone was correct. CC does indeed price match costco. As per the policy, costco’s everyday prices.

    2) Showing the ad to the cashier/manager with the sale price markdown, and their behaviour of saying that they don’t match that price would be correct as well. (I’m guessing the letter writer didn’t mention this because it destroys his case)

    Did the manager handle the situation correctly? No way. There are a ton of better options given the situation.

    Now, if this customer got nasty, and started demanding paperwork, and otherwise was making a huge issue in front of other customers, and when asked to leave didn’t do so, then calling the police isn’t necessarily the worst option in the world.

    I’m not blaming the customer, I’m assuming we don’t have all the info. And if the item was a “sale” item, then things start to make more sense.

    In any case, when did anyone earn the “right” to buy something from a business? Businesses no longer have the right to refuse service?

  248. vladthepaler says:

    If CostCo was local, why didn’t he just go to Costco and buy the thing?

  249. uncle_fluffy says:

    For all the people defending the manager and blaming the customer, ask yourself this: Why would the manager pass up an opportunity to educate the customer on the intricacies of the price match policy and instead CALL THE POLICE?

    Because the manager’s full of it, that’s why.

  250. SmoovyG says:

    @graymulligan: Not true at all – CC price matches advertised prices, including – and most often – sale prices.

  251. revision3 says:

    @graymulligan: I also disagree. I’m a former employee of CC, who worked there for almost 5 years. Everyday pricing is matched/beaten. Sale pricing is also to be matched/beaten. The only “sale” pricing that is not included in that are as follows: closeouts, clearance items, after rebate priced items, limited quantity/supply items, any kind of temporary sale item(5-hour sale), and open box items. There are probably more, but I don’t work there anymore… so I don’t care. I will say that items that destroy profit margin, such as this gps, are usually not going to be price matched. However, nine times out of ten, there will be a much more valid reason behind it, other than, “We just don’t want to.”

    Most of the time, it’s as I stated in my previous comment. The only reason that they’re showing up is because the store they intended to buy it from did not have the item in stock, and, nine times out of ten, the customer shoots his/herself in the foot by saying that’s the reason they’ve given CC their patronage for that particular outing.

  252. steelikat says:

    I don’t understand:

    1. Why are you talking about the company’s or the store’s “policies?” (other than the fact that the store manager irrelevantly brought up “policy” when he was telling the customer why he wouldn’t honor the advertised price). It seems to me that the relevant facts are that the store said in an advertisement that it would match any competitor’s price but when a customer called its bluff the store manager admitted that he didn’t care what the advertisement said. Is false advertising illegal at all (in Minnesota)?

    2. Why are you talking about California penal code? Burnsville MN is in Minnesota.

    3. How could somebody be so unselfconscious that he would freely and without embarrassment admit to thinking corporately?

  253. sega8800 says:

    why don’t you just go to Costco and buy the gps? it’s not like you bought it in CC and then found the price in costco…

  254. jimconsumer says:

    I didn’t read the other comments here but wanted to point this out: Circuit City gladly price matched Costco on my $1000 Harman/Kardon receiver, down to $599. They initially said, “We don’t price match Costco.” I asked why, and the response was, “Costco won’t verify prices over the phone.” (This is a true statement). I said, “If I can show you the product on Costco’s web site, where you will see the price, would that work?” They said yes and price matched it no problem.

  255. Kendra says:

    My seriously, honestly, true advice to shopping?

    NEVER EVER EVER BE LOYAL TO ANY STORE, EVER. _EVER_.

    Never be loyal to any store, bargain hunt, don’t price match.

    If you see a good price at an OK store, go for it IMMEDIATELY – don’t wait.

    You have to be dirt poor before you realize this survival technique.

    [www.pricewatch.com]

    Includes online deals.

  256. The-Joker says:

    Lol thats what you get from buying from Circuit Shitty. I buy all my tech stuff from Best Buy or the internet. No prob

  257. @Sherryness: Dead on, thank you.

    A GOOD manager in this case (which obviously some of our resident shills are not) would have fessed up to the actual policy (including proving it if that’s actually what it says), apologized because he’s responsible for his employee giving bad information, and preferably also allowed the price match even if it wasn’t policy, because someone just drove out of their way on $4 gasoline just to come to your store because your employee told them they could have a certain price.

    This proves that Circuit City hires bad management. How they handle this complaint will show how far up the chain that bad management goes.

  258. Rhynoo says:

    I’ve been told by both Best Buy and Circuit City that they won’t match club prices. Whether it’s official policy or not – why stand there and argue with some idiot store manger in front of your 5 year old. Better to leave and call the corporate offices. Furthermore – what’s with the ridiculous letter saying that he would still like to buy the damn GPS from Circuit City – Hell with that. I would never buy from them again – This is why the are on their way out.

  259. Jacquilynne says:

    @cheviot:
    The key difference between a price match policy and a return policy is that at the point of refusing the price match policy, you haven’t given them any money. A store is not obligated to make any given sale. They can’t decline because you’re black or female or other protected classes, but they can because you’re a pain in the ass or wear ugly shoes. If a company refuses to honour their guarantees often enough, they’ll get bad PR about it, but the customer hasn’t really lost anything if they don’t choose to buy the product at the higher price. Return policies, on the other hand, have a definite financial harm attached, and are part of the contract of sale.

  260. HairyJew says:

    OK, I’ll bite. I’m a “corporate” guy and have at various time in my career been responsible for setting corporate policy. Policy is important so that we can ensure that our business model and practices remain consistent and controllable. If not for policy we would have hundreds of locations all acting independently and unpredictably making it very hard to manage the corporate brand image.

    Nothing pisses me off quite so much as a manager, hired to MANAGE based on corporate policy, who takes it upon himself to rewrite the rules on the spot. Sure, a quick-thinking manager who can adapt on the spot is an asset. But they should always act within the spirit of the corporate culture.

    The “corporate thinking” to which some have alluded is the type of thinking that gets the airlines, Comcast, CC and countless others into trouble.

  261. 1729ers says:

    Price match policies work to entice customers to make their purchase with the comfort that they are getting the best available price for a product; they need to look no further. The policy does not guarantee that any individual purchase will actually be at the lowest available price, only that if the customer can find a lower price the store will match the price. Think for a moment how many customers were lured into making a purchase because they interpreted the price match policy to mean that no one was selling the product at a lower price. Vendors need to accept price match policies are a double edged sword; they work to give customers comfort that they are getting the best price so they should complete the sale, but they also obligate the vendor to match prices in accordance with their policy otherwise the policy has no meaning. Maybe CC should be asked to refund all the money they collected from customers who paid more than the could have purchased the product at a competitor, but believed the price match policy assured them that they need to shop no further. Some of the posts don’t appear to understand that these price match policies work for the benefit of the vendor most of the time. The fact that these policies do not always work for the vendors benefit is a risk they understand and have accepted when they adopted the policy.

  262. nacoran says:

    I think it would have been fair to match the price + the cost of the cheapest Costco membership, since that would be the cost if the customer had gone to Costco. The point of a price match is to compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges. On a big ticket item this still might have been cheaper for the customer but it would prevent people from unfairly abusing the system.

    The other question of course, is Circuit City guilty of false or misleading advertising?

  263. rikkus256 says:

    Circuit City is well known for denying legit price matches. Complaint to corporate won’t help because the store manager has the final word.

    The best way is to NOT shop at circuit city.

  264. jw6828 says:

    I was the Lead Customer Service Associate until I walked out on them when they fired thousands for making too much money. I don’t shop with them or even like them any more but, I will tell you as a person who answered the phone at CC the conversation many times failed to spell out the whole story.

    A customer calls, ask if we price match. We say yes and they hang up and drive to the store. Once in the store they present me with a ad from Sam’s Wholesale or Cosco. Then they get upset that we don’t match prices with them. I worked 5 years for them and It was always the policy to only price match local (with in the metro area) B&M stores.

    I would guess that the customer was upset because he thought he had covered the basics and wanted to buy from CC because he had the CC credit card and not other credit he could use at Cosco.

    Customer service issues over price adjustments are very time consuming and frustrating and now that they fired all the experienced people over a year ago, the new employees don’t seem to care.

  265. okconsumer says:

    It’s simple, costco makes up there gm via subscription. Why would anyone insist on dong business with someone refusing to do business. Its customers like you that really need to get over yourself. Would it be smart to buy something for a hundred dollars and sell it for 90? Places like costco have lower costs than cc and you pay a monthly or annual fee to enjoy those lower club prices. I dont understand why you didnt go costco. Let me guess, you had questions about it, they were out of it, it was further… if thats the case and feel you need the product that bad that you need to get out in an ice storm to argue with cc employees over $20.. who is the irrational one?