Best Buy Cancels Your Order As You Stand There Shouting "Stop!"

Best Buy didn’t want to honor the sale price of the 2GB flash drive Matt ordered through their website, so when Matt arrived to pick-up his purchase, the store’s assistant manager called customer service and, pretending to be Matt, asked to cancel the order. Let’s read Matt’s story and see how it violates Massachusetts law, inside…

Matt writes:

Today Best Buy had a PNY 2GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive SKU# 8202045 onsale for $2.49. I purchased 5 online for instore pickup, order was placed, charged and picked. I recieved both emails from Best Buy saying that the order was ready to pick up.

When I get to the store in Milford, Ma to pick them up I am told that the order was canceled do to a pricing mistake and that I was informed by email. My order was never canceled and when I inquired about this email that I never recieved, I was told the the Manager Josh sent them out to everyone but somehow he missed me. I told the assistant manager who was treating me like I was in the wrong that the order was placed, it was never cancelled and that I am still being charged for the items. The Flash Drives are right behind the counter and the assistant manager, Brian or bill i believe his name was, told me that he would not let me leave the store with my order.

To top it all off, he then takes my printed receipts from my emails and calls 1-800-Best Buy from the store and tells the CRS that “I” wanted to cancel my order and that it shouldn’t have been picked. After 30 minutes of arguing with this person, while he is on the phone I tell him that I wanted to talk to the CSR and he refused to let me speak. I wanted to tell the CSR that I did not want my order cancelled and that I expected my order to be honored. He gets off the phone and tells me that my CC would be credited immediately and that they would send me out a new gift card to replenish the one I used with my order. Needless to say I left that store very irate and went right home to call Customer Service and Customer Relations to complain about how I was treated.

I explain my situation to Customer Service and they tell me there is nothing they can do with my order since it has already been cancelled and to make matters worse they tell me that if it wasnt cancelled they would have been able to ship my order out to me with free shipping since the pricing mistake was on thier end. I dont understand how a company can cancel my order without even speaking to me in the first place.

I then asked to get transfered to Customer Relations to complain about how I have been treated by this store, the assistant manager and how that the store manager Josh wouldnt even come out to talk to me and just had his assistant deal with my problems. Their way of solving this Is to offer to send me out a $15 Giftcard for my inconvenience and that nothing will come of the fact that this assistant manager cancelled my online order without my consent and has the charges returned to my credit card and a new giftcard issued to me.

I feel totaly ignored by this company and that no matter how rudely I was treated it just didnt matter to them one bit and these people will still have a job come next week. Not to mention the fact that Brian took it on to himself to handle my personal finances while just pushing me aside like I wasnt even in the store. I have never been so mad as I am at this very moment.

I hope that maybe this story can get posted on your site and maybe I can get some kind of advice on how to just get my order honored. The item has been pulled off of Best Buy’s site now I notice and CSR’s are unable to even pull it up by the SKU #

Matt’s story falls under a little thing governing retail advertising called 940 CMR 6.13 (2).

6.13: Corrections

(2) It is an unfair or deceptive act for a seller, manufacturer, franchisor or distributor who discovers a material error in an advertisement subsequent to the submission date of the advertisement to fail to either honor the terms of the advertisement or to promptly correct any material misrepresentation by clearly and conspicuously disclosing the information necessary to eliminate such misrepresentation in the same advertisement or, if not feasible, in the same advertising medium, if reasonable, and as close thereto in both proximity and time as reasonably possible. Examples of misrepresentations requiring correction include, but are not limited to, information relating to prices, product descriptions or availability of products.

Best Buy had two choices: honor the deal, or, in the same medium, tell Matt that the mistake was an error. “Whoops you didn’t get our email” isn’t sufficient. Best Buy must honor the terms of the deal.

Since they did not, Matt should call Best Buy corporate and tell them he’s going to small claims court, where he’s entitled to triple damages:

If the court finds for the petitioner, recovery shall be in the amount of actual damages; or up to three, but not less than two, times such amount if the court finds that the use or employment of the method of competition or the act or practice was a willful or knowing violation of said section two.

The actual damage here was $16. With five drives and triple damages, that works out to $240. Call it the cost of terrible customer service. Wouldn’t it have been so much easier if the assistant manager simply honored the deal?

940 CMR 6.13 [The Attorney General of Massachusetts]
Chapter 93A: Section 11. Persons engaged in business; actions for unfair trade practices; class actions; damages; injunction; costs [The General Laws of Massachusetts]

Comments

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  1. humphrmi says:

    Cool that MA lets the consumer collect in cases of misleading advertising. Other states (hello, Illinois!) simply have small, little-imposed fines.

    Still, I bet (and I’m just saying this here to prepare Matt in case he does go to court) Best Buy will claim that the media that they used in this case was “the internet”, which includes both the web page that the original price was listed on, and the e-mail that they claimed they sent notifying him of the error.

    I give odds that the judge won’t know the difference. But still, give it a shot.

  2. c0ntro1 says:

    Ooh, i *really* hope we hear a follow-up to this later involving “Brian” getting what’s coming to him.

  3. henrygates says:

    Isn’t it illegal to pretend that you are someone else and make financial transactions in their name?

    • camille_javal says:

      @henrygates: that’s what I’m thinking.

    • huadpe says:

      @henrygates: Yes. It is called fraud.

    • snowburnt says:

      @henrygates:
      here, here: sounds like it could be fraud as well. Could he get the feds involved since I’m guessing the customer service office is in a different state than the store he was in?

    • blackmage439 says:

      @henrygates: Textbook definition of fraud.

      When will companies learn that is best to just own up to mistakes, rather than weasel, deal, scam, and deny their way out? This case is a perfect example. This guy (and others) could suit BB for at least $240 in damages, when they could have accepted the loss, ponied-up the $16 in lost profit, and possibly even gained good press about it (“Hey, look at us! We made an error, and kept our customers happy! Yay, us!”).

      @bmwloco: I’m sorry, but you are not as informed as you claim. Why any “IT/network “Admin” would shop for a computer at a sales-pushing retail outlet is beyond me. Buy straight from the manufacturer, or build your own on Newegg. Hell, BB’s prices are higher, unless you can find the item on sale; it’s called markup. Avoid the sales drones and “sheeple” (sheep-people). Why the hell would you buy a computer slapped with 30 stickers telling you how great ATI cards are anyway?!

      I have been in IT for only a couple of years, but even I’m smart enough not to stand in lines and be heckled by BB drones. I do my preliminary shopping online. If Best Buy doesn’t have what I want, I don’t step foot in the store. Even when I do, if I can it’s order through online and pick-up in store. No sales pitches, and I’m out of there within 10 minutes.

      People, please don’t insult those of us in the IT industry by claiming you’re smart by walking out of a Best Buy. You should have been smart enough not to make it your first choice to begin with.

      • admiral_stabbin says:

        @blackmage439: @blackmage439: Newegg doesn’t offer same day delivery. Even if they did, the cost of shipping something with same day delivery would more than exceed the markup BB puts on their products. As a seasoned IT veteran I can say that there are times when you turn to the local shops to get business done.
        Thankfully, it’s very rare for me…but please don’t rock on others for not being wise procurers.

      • Aisley says:

        @blackmage439:

        Actually, based on the way the Honkong and Shangai Banking Corporation, aka HSBC, conduct their business, it qualifies as “Identity theft: When an unauthorized party fraudulently represents themselves as another party.” And their definition is considered “sound”. For identity theft to be a crime the thief does not need to get a benefit from your identity. You just need to prove that somewhere somehow he presented himself as you.

        Yes, it makes sense. If a thief steals your car, he does not need to make any type of profit from it. He can abandon it at two blocks from your house. He took something that wasn’t his, capici?

    • sinrtb says:

      @henrygates: Shouldn’t he be pressing criminal charges against the best buy employee for ID theft?

  4. cookmefud says:

    I never understand why stores think it’s more cost effective to not eat the cost of a goof on their part.
    it’s like they think that no one has friends, families, or workplace associates that might hear the story of bad customer service and choose not to shop there…effectively, turning what could have been an awesome opportunity on their part to show graciousness into an opportunity to show how money-grubbing they can be. one pissed off customer who is motivated to tell his/her story can suddenly effect tens or hundreds or thousands of potential customers. who knows how much something as simple as this winds up costing them in the long run of unpurchased goods.

    people tend to want the corporations they give their money to, to act morally and in a polite manner towards them. it’s a respect thing…I worked hard for this money, but you get to have it. companies should respect that. I should think that a smart corporation would act like their customers are the most important thing in the world…they are literally gold walking through their door. without them, no matter how big you get, you’ll eventually be on the verge of bankruptcy.

    just ask sears and kmart.

    • gman863 says:

      @cookmefud:

      Amen!

      What gets me is how wearing an “Assistant Manager” nametag gives some people a power trip.

      It was a legitimate purchase; the pricing error was the fault of Best Buy’s ad dept. Given this, it should have been no skin off anyone’s ass at store level to honor Matt’s order.

      I had a similar case a few years ago where a Wal-Mart assistant manager refused to honor a posted price on a high-end DVD player, insinuating I had made the bar code shelf tag myself. Within 2 weeks of sending a strong, factual letter to Wal-Mart’s District Manager I received an apology, the DVD player at the posted price and noticed the a-hole assistant’s picture had been removed from the manager photo board at the front of the store

    • ceriphim says:

      @cookmefud: I’m way late on this thread, I know, but I’ve worked as a retail manager for a loooong time. I’ve seen this shit happen time and time again, typically it’s with rookie managers… They take shit personally and don’t understand it’s not YOUR money you’re losing on a mispriced item or sketchy return, it’s the COMPANY’S money you’re losing by NOT taking care of the customer and making damn sure they *stay* a customer.

      People without experience often don’t see the cost-effectiveness of losing out on a small amount, short term, to get a large amount, long term.

      I can only guess the manager was a rookie or possibly just a self-important douche. YMMV, of course…

      • Kounji says:

        @ceriphim: I concur. Usually its because managers get worked up about shrink budgets and such from taking the hit on items like this. It was a pricing gaffe and worth way too little to almost lose a customer for.

    • mugsywwiii says:

      @cookmefud:
      Sounds like Best Buy (corporate) would have had no problem with honoring the price, it was the store manager who refused to honor it. Store managers’ compensation depends on the financial performance of the store.

  5. Wow…

    Sucks to hear stories like this, as I am an avid shopper at Best Buy. Mostly because unlike other “big box” consumer electronic stores (Circuit City, HG Gregg), BB at least maintains a huge selection of product. The last time I went looking for something as simple as a clear cover for my iPhone, Circuit City didn’t carry anything for it because of their stupid exclusivity deal with Verizon.

    Ah, well. Give ‘em hell, sir! Any manager being an, “ahem,” ass-hat of that variety deserves a bit of a lesson in customer service.

  6. Ubermunch says:

    Sounds like fraud…

    Can’t wait to see how “Best” Buy does in the new world economic order! As soon as consumer spending clamps down I predict that BB will looking for a bailout.

  7. Interestingly if you now go to their website, that product doesn’t exist at all! Not even “sorry, sold out”, but if you search the number or the name, it does not come up….

  8. eskimo81 says:

    Isn’t it also called Fraud if the assistant manager calls falsely claiming to be representing the customers wishes to cancel the order?

  9. robodomo says:

    I believe that it is illegal to impersonate someone else on a phone or other medium without their consent.

    Matt try to get the police involved or at least get a hold of the security tapes before they are erased as evidence against the assistant manager.

  10. marsneedsrabbits says:

    Best Buy seems to operate on a rancid mix of rampant dishonesty jumbled up with bumbling incompetency.

    Phooey on Best Buy.

  11. MattO says:

    i ordered 5 of these same flash drives after seeing the deal on slickdeals, and had NO problem getting them – ordered for instore pickup, and the store (Manchester, CT) honored the price, and sold them just like any other order. sad to hear that this happened to others…worst part is that you know that manager/assistant manager ended up buying the devices themselves as it was such a good deal…

  12. liemster says:

    actually i ran into the same problem and was wondering on how to resolve it.

    i placed an ipod nano 16gb ordered with best buy for 69.99. they sent me a cancel emailed and said the order was cancelled due to a glitch in pricing. but i do have screen shot of the price as well as an email confirmation of the order i only ordered one because i wanted to actually use it and not ebayed it. how should i go on about the situation?

    • eelmonger says:

      @liemster: There’s probably nothing you can do. Pretty much every online retailer has it in their policy that they can cancel your order for any reason. From Bestbuy.com :

      Prices and availability of products and services are subject to change without notice. Errors will be corrected where discovered, and Best Buy reserves the right to revoke any stated offer and to correct any errors, inaccuracies or omissions including after an order has been submitted and whether or not the order has been confirmed and your credit card charged.

      This seems like it also applies to the OP as the error was discovered at the store, before he got any merchandise. The whole thing about calling up and pretending to be the OP is super shady though.

      • Mollyg says:

        @eelmonger: State law trumps company policy.

        • eelmonger says:

          @Mollyg: Yeah, except the Best Buy website doesn’t follow MA law. Also from bestbuy.com:

          The Best Buy Web site is created, operated and controlled by Best Buy in the State of Minnesota, United States of America. The laws of the State of Minnesota will govern the Legal Notices and Conditions of Use without giving effect to any principles or conflicts of laws.

          Does anyone know if Minnesota has similar laws regarding advertisement corrections?

          • Tiber says:

            @eelmonger: The website may list such a thing, but I don’t think this has to do with the issue. The issue here is that he went to pick it up at a brick and mortar store, and the manager didn’t want to honor that price, so he fraudulently had corporate cancel the order as if Matt was the one who wanted it canceled. This is the action of a particular store, and you better believe they have to abide by the laws of the state they operate in. In fact, when he called corporate, the CSR said they would have honored the price, had it not been canceled.

            Even if Best Buy has the right to revoke errors, there are different terms based on which side cancels the order, and it affects the statistical data Best Buy collects.

            As such, I won’t be surprised to hear a response from BB, especially since this is gathering a fair bit of attention on digg.

            • Tiber says:

              @Tiber: Nevermind, I didn’t notice the reply, and thought eelmonger was commenting on the original article. So, just ignore my last post.

              This new format really needs some sort of indent.

  13. octajohnny says:

    Hmmmm… I have 8 of these waiting for me to be picked up. Hopefully all goes well.

    Isn’t there some law against impersonating someone else? You’d have plenty of employees as witnesses and I don’t think any of them would risk lying to the police to keep their crappy job that they probably already want to quit. I’d think they’d probably love doing so, since if this guy is so anal towards a paying customer, I can only what a nightmare he is as a boss.

  14. chiieddy says:

    In MA, if there is a gross pricing error of more than 50% off the obvious price of the item, it does NOT have to be honored.

    • chiieddy says:

      @chiieddy: Relevant statutes:

      [www.mass.gov]
      Section 329B – subsection iv – actually it says if it was valued at more than $10, then they should reimburse him $10 (which they did… $15 actually)

    • silver-bolt says:

      @chiieddy: Given that BestBuy Corporate did and has not issued any system wide change of price, and the price error is not an obvious error (2 dollars for a 2 gig flash is a good deal, not an improbable one. Look at Black Friday. 4 gig drives for free after rebate. Also, it is not transposed numbers, and does not look like 1000.00 became 100.00.) if an error exists at all, there is no gross pricing error.

    • chiieddy says:

      @silver-bolt: MA’s legal definition of a gross pricing error is an error of more than 50% off the price value. While there CAN be sales of > 50% off, if the pricing error is more than 50% off, it’s considered under the statute.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dude…Why do people have to abuse a store just because its a big chain. They made a mistake and told you that. And who needs 5 2GB flash drives? You’re just a whiny baby who’s trying to capitalize on a mistake.

  15. AT203 says:

    Wow, the fact that the manager represented himself to be you over the phone, in a financial transaction seems like it could be a criminal offense. I doubt any law enforcement outfit is going to give a damn, but if you research the charge yourself, and then bring it to the law enforcement agency, you might be able to get them to make some noise about it.

  16. TechnoDestructo says:

    What does “the same advertising medium” mean in this case? Maybe they’re going to make the argument that every form of internet communication counts as one medium, and that email is effectively the same as the Web.

  17. retailguru says:

    Ok, so Best Buy made a mistake. They should have honored the price on a respectable number of drives but not unlimited quantities. It amazes me people think they are entitled to this because a simple error. The retailer clearly did not intend to place the drive at that price.

    I personally do not know of anyone who is perfect and never makes a mistake. This story is about greed!!!

  18. kenblakely says:

    Well, for my part, I *love* Best Buy. Only BB could be so incompetent as to allow me to use the famous Comcast cable installation coupon no fewer than 9 times. If Matt getting hosed is the price of that level of foolery, it’s a price I’m willing to pay!

  19. robodomo says:

    @all who are talking about the medium
    please re-read his post, he never got the email.

  20. Quatre707 says:

    Best Buy as a company pays less than a $1 for a typical minimum sized (2GB for 2008) PNY flash drive, since they buy literally tens of thousands a month.
    An average Best Buy store likely has a few hundred missing flash drives a year.

    Retail management; talk about being between a rock and a hard place. Your job is uphold company policies, even if they are to cause customer inconvenience, while your job is to also guarantee your customers’ satisfaction. When the two conflict, as soon as you make a move, your in trouble. When the move you make violates the law, because of what is likely a lack of training, your still screwed.

  21. redkamel says:

    wouldn’t the actual damages be 16 and then triple that 48 dollars?

    someone else learned their best buy lesson.

  22. komodork says:

    take the Brian or Bill guy to court as well! Sue that Mother-effer for theift!

    If I was in that position when the guy made the phone call, i would of yelled and brought attention upon your self and yell that he is stealing your identity!

  23. BeeBoo says:

    At that price, why was he buying only five? I would have gotten at least a dozen.

    Something is fishy here.

    • outphase says:

      @BeeBoo: I got only 4 out of this deal. I didn’t want my order to get a giant red flag during the order process.

    • s0nlxaftrsh0ck says:

      wow…triple the damages? Someone is sooo gonna have a rough day at work tomorrow if this guy actually does it..which he totally should. No store should treat their customers like that -_-; thats really moronic.

      @BeeBoo: he was getting off a gift card if i read up there correctly.

      I wanted to tell the CSR that I did not want my order cancelled and that I expected my order to be honored. He gets off the phone and tells me that my CC would be credited immediately and that they would send me out a new gift card to replenish the one I used with my order.

      See..

      And even if he did want to dump his entire gift card onto that he’d really on come out with 6. 2.50 * 6 comes out exactly 15. But you still have to think about taxes and such so there was probably a reason he knocked it down to 5.

  24. dragonfire81 says:

    That is seriously messed up. He better not let this go because this is a fight he deserves to win.

  25. Wolzard says:

    Alright, coming from a retail standpoint (in before “blaming the OP, which this isn’t).

    It rather scares me that people are so bent on capitalizing on a price MISTAKE. Key word, mistake. Unfortunately they DO happen. For those that happened to capitalize on it, great. Those that didn’t or were shut down should bite their losses and realize it was a gamble to begin with.

    I can’t help but wonder how many people here actually work in a retail oriented business. If you made an advertising mistake in which a misprint took a huge chunk off an item, would you be oh so happy to distribute multiple of the item off to those that want to prey on your misfortune, but yet otherwise would probably not even consider making the purchase? I think the answer to this is obvious (and I don’t believe anyone for a second that says “well if I made the mistake, I should pay” for a second, because they’ve obviously never been in that situation.

    However, in the defense of the OP, the way it was handled was very poor at best. Now, I wasn’t at the BBY, neither was anyone else here. I can’t help but wonder if they had ad correction signage posted or how they were actually handling it. It seems like in this case though they tried to pull a god clause of sorts and “Take their toys and go home” so to speak.

    That being said, the OP should have gotten something at least for the fact he went down to the BBY. I know at the retailer I work at, an email would be a joke of a response. If we get an order and it’s for an obvious item mistake or such, or unavailable item, whichever, we call, immediately. As in within 5 minutes of when the order prints.

    I think a $15 gift card offer is rather laughable though. I don’t know what I would have done in that situation, but probably would have tried to meet the OP halfway or such. Example, maybe let him get 2-3 at the mistake price, and offer the others at a discount or such. I always follow the “meet them halfway” rule. If the normal price is 18, supposed to be on sale for 10, and for some reason they advertise at 2, I’d be willing to sell them for 6.

    IMHO it’s all about how the situation is handled and how tactful the store is. In this case, seems like BBY well…wasn’t.

    • floraposte says:

      @Wolzard: I don’t ever expect a customer to pay more than expected because of a mistake at my business’s end. And if I found this manager hassling the customer, I’d have given the customer the drives free and clear. That customer is considerably more valuable to the company than the difference in the cost.

  26. Counterpoint says:

    They probably meant to have the sale price be $16, not $16 off. Getting deals shut down is the price Slickdeals people have to pay, YMMV.

  27. Torabo says:

    I wonder if you can also nail the assistant manager with an identity theft lawsuit, since that’s technically what he did to cancel the order….

    • u1itn0w2day says:

      @Torabo: I would charge the manager who lied,committed FRAUD.Number the 800# should have caller ID,Number 2 the store should have surveillance cameras.

      If I was an attorney I would subpeona the call 800# caller ID records and the store camera records for the area near the phone in question.And if the call is recorded I would get that too.

      It almost sounds like the store was supposed to stop those sales from going through but failed and difference or sale must come from their budget.

  28. Wolzard says:

    Torabo, that’s the most asinine thing I’ve ever heard. That’s hardly identity theft. Identity theft involves some kind of theft or benfit which stems as a result from illegal use of someone else’s information without their knowing.

    • silver-bolt says:

      @Wolzard: That assistant manager benefited from higher sales to profit numbers by falsely pretending to be the customer without permission to cancel the order. Sounds like identity theft by your definition.

      • Wolzard says:

        @silver-bolt: With all due respect good sir/ma’am, you are twisting my words. He did not illegally or without the OP’s consent obtain any personal information which would allow him financial gain or other benfit at the expense of the OP’s good name/credit history/financial records, etc.

        To claim that merely stating he is Joe Customer and wanted to cancel the order constitutes identity theft is a gross overexaggeration of what identity theft actually involves, much as people overuse bait and switch these days.

        Upon further reading, I don’t even see where people are getting from his story that the manager pretended he was the customer. It sounds like he called, referenced the order number (which he would have access to anyways), and stated the customer wanted to cancel the order. Depending on how you interpret the OP’s words it could go either way, but it doesn’t sound like the manager even pretended he was the customer, especially if he said the items “shouldn’t have been picked” which is clearly verbage retailers use for items that are to be set aside…not something someone would likely call and say if they were pretending to be a customer.

        • cheviot says:

          @Wolzard: With all due respect good sir/ma’am, you are twisting my words. He did not illegally or without the OP’s consent obtain any personal information which would allow him financial gain or other benfit at the expense of the OP’s good name/credit history/financial records, etc.

          But he did. To stop his store from taking a financial loss they were legally obligated to take he used information that Best Buy had obtained solely for the purposes of processing this order, including the customer’s name, order number and possibly billing information to illegally prevent that loss.

          That’s identity theft.

  29. squishyalt says:

    More people need to start taking these stealing, kying bastards to small claims court. And, by more, I mean millions more.

    The only way we are going to get the respect we deserve as customers is to (a) shop where we get that respect and (b) sue when we don’t.

  30. Wolzard says:

    Addendum, as I don’t think there is an edit button on this here website…

    “Identity theft occurs when someone else uses your personally identifying information without your knowledge or permission to obtain credit cards, get wireless or phone products and services, obtain loans and mortgages, get a job, and commit other types of fraudulent or even criminal acts, in your name, leaving you responsible for the consequences.”

    I would have grabbed the actual full definition, but it’s late and I’m really not in the mood to dig up the definition from the mountains of PDFs I had to read a year back on the topic. This reasonably suffices though.

    [www.ed.gov]

  31. Wolzard says:

    Of course, by no means am I saying the manager’s attitude/reaction is any less excusable, but to call what he did identity theft enters a realm of sheer absurdity.

  32. b612markt says:

    how sickening… countless stories like this are the reason I confine my gizmo purchases to costco, jr and newegg. Best buy will die a slow death.

  33. rubberkeyhole says:

    I work at Best Buy, and the assistant manager of my store bought three of them before the store opened. When I went to buy two of them, I was shut down at the register that it was a “pricing mistake” and I couldn’t get the price…even though there were signs up that advertised them for $2.49. If I really needed another jump drive, I probably would have argued it more, but it’s not any less ridiculous that this happened.

  34. I smell an EECB laced with napalm.

    When I saw 2gb flash for $2.49, I almost squealed with joy, then frowned in disappointment that it was a mistake.

  35. mike says:

    Could the OP sue for charactor assassination? I know it’d be a stretch but the manager knowingly impersonated him and cancelled an order. Seems like this would be a good time to sue the manager personally to get his attention.

    Any lawyers in the crowd?

  36. shockwaver says:

    As others have said, $2.49 for a 2gb flash drive (especially PNY) isn’t unheard of. It’s a good price, yes, but it isn’t exactly a PS3 for $20.

    Of course, if you even think there may be something wrong with the price, your best option is to go down to the store and see if you can’t buy it there, in person. Most employees (who are the ones printing price tags) don’t give a damn if the price looks wrong, especially on a flash drive.

  37. chrisjames says:

    Carey, I doubt Matt could show that Best Buy intentionally violated the rule, so he would only be able to collect actual damages. However, what are actual damages when the order was canceled and his money eventually returned? Matt probably won’t be able to sue for anything under those provisions without first covering the impersonation issue.

    Did he impersonate Matt, or did he just claim to speak for Matt? Each should be pretty damaging.

    Whatever, get a lawyer.

  38. 2copper says:

    I must say that I was surprised that the advertised price of $2.49 for a 2GB thumbdrive and that it was a reputable brand like PNY. I ordered 4 of these drives before the store in my area opened. I then was at the door right at 10AM when they opened and picked up my drives.
    Not only that but I got them on their 1 minute guarantee for Pick-Up items and got the $10 off my order. I attribute my ability/luck in getting the drives is that I didn’t have to deal with any “Manager” types.
    Cost of gas to pick-up the flash drives 50 cents. Total price for 4-2GB drives 56 cents. The feeling that I got for bending Be$t Buy over a chair, Priceless.

  39. mbordenkircher says:

    I bought one and picked it up no problem. I also picked it up two days after it went on sale, I believe I saw it up on Thursday 9/18 and I picked it up the 20th. I live in MI and they had no problem handing the drive over. Obviously it’s not a pricing mistake otherwise they would have pulled it within the two days it took me to get over to BB.

    Go to small claims and kick em in the nuts.

  40. bmwloco says:

    One more reason to never walk into “BestBuy”.

    After being treated like a perp every time I walked in, I thought I was just too sensitive. Then I bought a 6 disk cd changer for my wife’s car. It was the last one, but the service tech said it was good. I paid for it with cash.

    It was DOA out of the box. I returned it – only to find it would “take up to a month” to get my refund.

    The absolute end was when NC had a Tax Free weekend for returning to school. I went in to buy a computer for a friend. Mind you, I’ve been a Network Admin and IT person since before a lot of BestBuy sales associates have been born.

    When I got to the store, I saw a queue in the computer department. You had to have a “guide” to take you in to pick out a PC. No ifs, ands or buts.

    I stuck around to see them up-sell about 2 customers, then I walked away in disgust. I heard one customer say “…you’ll lose your place in line!”

    I just looked at him and said “baaaabaaaabaaa”

    BestBuy is good for sheep. Go lemmings go.

  41. gaya2081 says:

    I just recently starting working for best buy as a part time weekend job, mainly because it was the closest place I could get a weekend only job and earn almost double min wage (geek squad-shush). Anyway if employees are leaving after their shift and are carrying any bags or jackets they have to be inspected by security before we can leave-for everybody.

    Also remember Best Buy is in the business of making money-if they can upsell you they will. IMO if you are buying a computer and haven’t done your research enough to know what you need and about what you will be spending its your own fault.

    BTW since this is only a part time job that is not necessary (trying to save up money for down payment for after wedding) I have no qualms about quitting if I am abused.

  42. snowburnt says:

    I have been a big proponent of best buy for a while, mainly because I’ve never been screwed there and I felt like I’ve gotten some pretty good deals there…the most important thing was to be armed with knowledge and don’t talk to the sales people.

    I went in there yesterday to get my mother-in-law a new computer and set it up for them (Very computer illiterate and in a different state so I would have to do it that day) I picked out something good enough for what they needed online. Get in the store, they were sold out of all the computers under 1K.

    Ended up going to costco and getting a better computer cheaper.

  43. TrustUs says:

    Don’t these guys watch TV. Chuck has CIA and FBI agents working in the store. They could take down the manager in seconds. Watch your back Best Buy or Buy More or whatever.

  44. vastrightwing says:

    Obviously, the BB manager really takes BB’s future winning of worst company in America seriously. Comcast? What’s your next move? In 3… 2… 1…

  45. johnnya2 says:

    All you people who say sue and fraud need to understand that the OP needs to prove his ACTUAL damages. The transaction took place in Minnesota not Massachusetts. His actual damages after all is said and done will be well under $100. I don’t know about you, but taking the time to go to small claims court for $100 is crazy. Most people have jobs and time is a valuable asset that is fairly limited. I would happily send a letter to the Best Buy corporate offices explaining the situation and calmly saying what you think is a fair and equitable solution. Your issue will usually be handled better than you expect.
    o those who think Best Buy is dying, they must not know much about market share or how well Best Buy does compared to other similar big box retailers. Everybody is not growing at the rate they were in the 90’s, but Best Buy is doing just fine, while CC is on the verge of collapse.

    • RandomHookup says:

      @johnnya2: Considering the parties involved were standing in a store in Milford, Mass., it would be hard to argue the transaction was occuring in Minnesota. The web site may claim everything is covered by Minnesota law, but the deal was definitely to be completed in Mass. when the consumer showed up to pick up and pay for his purchase.

      • johnnya2 says:

        @RandomHookup: The person made the purchase over the internet. It is where the MONEY exchange took place. The in store pick up is a convenience offered to him. You really need to know specific parts of the law regarding contracts and who you do business with online. IT IS NOT THE SAME AS BUYING FROM A BRICK AND MORTAR STORE

        • mythago says:

          @johnnya2: So if the store keeps its bank accounts in Grand Cayman, it can never be sued for breach of contract or fraud in the US because “it is where the money exchange took place”? No. Generally speaking, a court has jurisdiction over where the plaintiff is, the defendant is, or where the activity took place. Courts in Massachusetts don’t, to my understanding, set jurisdiction for Internet purchases only in the location where the online store processes their payments.

  46. picardia says:

    ITA that suing for fraud is a bit much, but I think Best Buy needs to take serious action against that employee. Anybody who would call in and pretend to be a customer and deceptively cancel an order is somebody who is much, much too irresponsible to be allowed to deal with people’s financial information.

  47. superhumanben says:

    Welcome to Best Buy business model. They’ve been doing this since the 90s with video cards and the such, happening most frequently with their online site. I should know because I worked for their distribution site and had to frequently deal with some of these stories.

    The kicker… when their DS went under they collected all the data from the servers and moved it in house. 6 months later they called asking where their data was… they had no clue where they had put it.

    There were several class action lawsuits filed but nothing of importance came out of it.

  48. mugsywwiii says:

    I’m not sure that what we see in the screenshot constitutes an “advertisement.” Is a product on a store shelf with a price sticker on it an advertisement? No. That’s essentially what a listing on an e-commerce website is – a product on a shelf. The Sunday sale flyer is an advertisement. Google’s text ads are advertisements. I’m not sure that a product listing available for purchase on a website is an advertisement as far as the law is concerned.

    Re: the Best Buy guy claiming to be the customer – the customer never even said they did that. Consumerist did. Unless there is more to the story that they didn’t publish, I don’t know how they reached that conclusion. All Matt said was that the assistant manager told the CSR that Matt wanted to cancel the order; he didn’t say the assistant manager was pretending to be Matt.

  49. Johnyq1982 says:

    I think he would have to actually purchase the items at full price to claim damages (if he’s even allowed to). If there’s no purchase then he doesn’t have any actual damages.

  50. MrDo says:

    People still shop at bestbuy? Why?

    • zentex says:

      @MrDo: sometimes they do have deals…and sometimes they take those deals from you and rub them in your face and then throw them away while yelling ‘NEENER NEENER’.

      but, that’s just my opinion. You can hate a place and still shop there (just don’t tell your friends or the consumerist commenters).

  51. vladthepaler says:

    Even if BB wasn’t legally required to honor the advertised price, their method of not honoring said price is unacceptable. Frankly, I think the police should be brought in on this matter, identity theft is a crime, even if the perp’s only action is cancelling an order.

  52. mariospants says:

    I’ve seen 1GB and 2GB no-name USB drives for as little as $10 and $5 in places. Heck, I’ve seen 1GB MP3 players for $19 so $2.49 doesn’t sound like stretch (especially if the product is slightly crappy). The “.49″ also indicates that this is a deal, right? I don’t buy anybody’s assertion that this is an *obvious* mistake.

    Anyway, mistakes are for learning from, not for aggravating the consumer. If a store makes a pricing mistake like this, they should fix the ad as soon as it’s discovered and honor the price for those who already paid money for it. You lost money BB? Too bad, so sad. GET A FUCKING EDITORIAL PROCESS IN PLACE.

    Hell, here’s a mother-fucking suggestion: how about a fucking 2-line piece of code that ALERTS OR FLAGS SOMEONE WITH HALF A FUCKING BRAIN if the SALE PRICE TURNS OUT TO BE LESS THAN – OH I DON’T KNOW – 50% OF THE REGULARD PRICE. Is that so fucking DIFFICULT???!

    Holy SHIT, BB’s IT department should be fucking fired. At the very least, they should apologize to poor Matt here for having to deal with their management gestapo.

  53. mariospants says:

    EDIT FUNCTION NEEDED: “REGULAR PRICE”, not “REGULARD”, although that has a bit of “asstard” to it.

  54. Ninjanice says:

    What kills me about this is that the manager most likely wasn’t actually losing anything if he gave the OP the drives for $2.49. Those drives probably cost BB less than $2.49, so they were still making money on the deal. I manage a retail store and can tell you that even though we don’t have a price-match policy, I am happy to match prices in most instances, as long as I don’t lose any money on the deal. I’ll break even if I know it will make someone happy. And, as I’ve said, I’m sure BB wasn’t actually losing any money. The manager was concerned about losing profits, not losing money overall. And I’m sure the manager knows that if a customer is unhappy, on average, they’ll tell 10 people about their experience. That’s 11 people that won’t be shopping at that store anymore.

  55. wellfleet says:

    I don’t get it… These flash drives are on clearance in my store and I’ve been selling them at 2.49$ all week. I just transfered some to another store who needed them for a customer. I also don’t understand why a manager won’t want to get rid of something that’s on his End-Of-Life report. Once we have to send these back, we get pennies on the dollar. It’s ultimately way more profitable to sell the product than to send it back where it’s sold by volume. Stupid, stupid.

    Sorry, OP, this is lame. Please contact the store’s GM. Also, if you have a receipt, leave a comment in the survey asking to be contacted. For one, the whole company sees this, and it is monitored by District staff who follow up on all open requests for communication.

    As a last note, BBY corporate reads the Consumerist regularly as it is referenced in many communications (although not by name), so don’t be surprised if you hear from someone higher up.

  56. vdragonmpc says:

    Judging by the price fall of Flash Drives lately the price isn’t too far from where they should be.

    We just bought a couple of 8 gig data traveler drives here for 20$ each. So 4 gigs are all over at 10$ why not 5$ or less for smaller ones.

    Heck almost every training event gives out the 1gigs as freebies with company logos on them. Keep your eyes out Verisign gives away free 1gig flash drives all the time. So does Microsoft at events.

    That deal with the manager cancelling the order is like SEARS telling you that the order you were told to pickup is out of stock and they cant help you. Its fraud.

    V

  57. 2719 says:

    dn’t s prblm hr. Thr ws prcng mstk. bvsly 2 GB flsh drv s bt mr thn $3.00 t BB r nywhr ls fr nw.

    S thy nfrmd hm f th mstk, cncld th rdr, rfndd th mny nd wll rss th gft crd pls wth hs whnng h wll gt n ddtnl $15 gft crd.

    m pstv thy hv smthng lk ‘nt rspnsbl fr prcng mstks’ n trms f s. dn’t knw why ppl xpct t gt wy wth ths crp. Mstks hppn nd ys t scks whn thy hppn bt nbdy s prfct. H’s bvsly n f ths ppl tht cn’t tk ‘n’ fr n nswr.

    Mngr: Srry thr hs bn mstk, w cn’t prcss ths rdr.
    cstmr: wnt my mrchnds.
    Mngr: nfrtntly tht wn’t b pssbl…
    Cstmr: wnt my mrchnds!
    mngr: Srry…
    sswp: WH! WH!

    • friendlynerd says:

      @2719:
      Referring to the original poster as “asswipe” takes your credibility to zero.

    • RandomHookup says:

      @2719: True, but the merchant has to do something to show that it’s not deceptive advertising according to Mass. law quoted above. Listing the item at a price, confirming by email twice and having the customer come into the store only to deny it seems to meet the definition of a deceptive practice.

      You can’t just throw up a “not responsible for mistakes” notice and get off scot free.

  58. Consumerist-Moderator-Roz says:

    mariospants: Calm down. This type of furor isn’t necessary.

    2719: Your post was disemvoweled for name calling towards the OP and being nasty and insulting towards them. When you comment here again, do so civilly.

    • 2719 says:

      @Consumerist-Moderator-Roz:

      Well you’re not going to believe me but I wasn’t going to call this guy asswipe. I was doing copy and paste for ‘manager’ and ‘customer’ and missed “C” in one of them but I HAVE NO IDEA how I got ‘asswipe’ in there…

      I do hate people like him.

      • lol_wut says:

        @2719:

        Did you consult OJ Simpson for advice on forming your own defense before making that post. Please stick with the topic on hand.

  59. BrandonAbell says:

    Consumerist needs to stop trying to practice law without a license. . . A key fact is missing: how much time transpired between the discovery of the pricing mistake and the correction of the website? The law you cite uses the word “promptly” to describe how fast it should happen. Did this discovery take place on the weekend? I think a judge would find that “promptly” would mean on the Monday following. If a reasonable person would think that that correction was prompt, then you’d have a hard time getting that law to apply.

    Also, the second part of law cited refers to “actual damages.” That’s a legal term with a legal definition. There are no actual damages in that transaction. Was Best Buy being negligent in not checking their pricing was correct? Perhaps, but then a different law applies. There is no deception. Best you could hope to get is gas money. Have fun paying the filing fee and going to small-claims court to collect the few bucks.

    Next time, maybe remember the saying that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Also, Consumerist: maybe retain an actual lawyer to check your work?

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      Next time, maybe remember the saying that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

      @BrandonAbell: How would that help here? As other people have pointed out the sale price was not so low that you’d think it has to be a mistake.

    • lol_wut says:

      @BrandonAbell:

      The price was low, but it wasn’t like it was a free flash drive after rebate with no limit on the number of drives purchased. If the drive was being phased out, and was part of a clearance sale to free up inventory by offering the drive at a close-out price to get rid of non-moving inventory, what was the problem.

      Can anyone at Best Buy or otherwise confirm whether or not the drives were just being considered a loss-leader or if they were truly being phased out?

  60. OpheliaCachifa says:

    Sounds like this might prompt a cause of action for IED, Infliction of
    Emotional Distress – in which case you have a real good action for
    civil and punitive damages . I’d probably call a lawyer right away.

  61. Wolzard says:

    @BrandonAbell: Amen. Legal terms have specific definitions for a reason. Most judges would probably laugh this out of court if you attempted to claim that there were “actual damages” involved. Same with all those still insisting “omg he stole your identity, sue!” These people have no idea what they are talking about. If the phone call truly happened as it did, it’d be fraud, not ID theft. Huge huge difference. It’s dangerous what happens when those who don’t have a firm grasp of the law try to give legal advice.

  62. Firesoul1 says:

    the Assistant Manager actually help
    matt out, he can now buy much bigger
    drive. if i had 240 dollars that would
    go into a wii and brawl.

  63. GiuliettaOrestes says:

    I tried to place an order with Best Buy a few years ago and was told
    that customers from my zip code were not eligible to do business with
    Best Buy via phone or web orders because their software did not
    acknowledge the existence of my zip code.

  64. lol_wut says:

    Here are my observations from the OP, and the comments that followed:

    The OP placed his order online. Availablity of the drives at the nearest location were pulled from the store’s current inventory as of that morning (maybe updated in real time) and the pricing was per what was listed on the web and possibly even in stores. If there was a mistake in pricing, it is not hard for B & M employees to go ahead and pull off the price tag which would prompt customers to contact an associate for pricing. Or was the feeling at the time this would generate too many questions?

    The OP got his order confirmation and receipt for the purchase so he went down, as instructed by the site, to the local store to pick up his purchased merchandise. Any communication on this order would have come from Customer Service at Best Buy and not the store. Honestly, it’s not up to the store to notify their customers of any delays in processing or cancelation. It was an issue of a loss in profit margins that the store manager or assistant manager couldn’t swallow – most likely.

    I would contact the local news outlets, possibly the AG and go from there. Have them help you work with the store’s district and regional managers to come to a resolution. At this point, you should get an apology for the treatment alone, and then should you want to the merchandise at the price you agreed to pay based on what was documented on the site. Only fair, right?

    At the heart of the matter is how you, as a human being looking to make a purchase from the store, was treated. It’s awful. That should be addressed first and foremost over anything else. From there, let’s talk about how they can make things right. (The apology, getting the drives for the price advertised, etc.)

  65. flipx says:

    Document Document Document everything times who you were talking to, take screen shots of your order process take pictures of the store you go into, the whole 9 yards and if you need to use pictures print them on 8×10 glossy photo paper as judges love to hold pictures the other side waving papers big whoop!can you smell the winning money.

    • lol_wut says:

      @flipx:

      Documentation *is* key. A lack of it can kill you in court, as can an over-abudance. The right amount, which sticks to the facts relevant to the case at hand, will get you the results you are looking for.

    • 2719 says:

      @flipx:

      And what?

      They did not claim he never ordered the merchandise at the stated price. They told him it was a pricing error and could not honor the price.

  66. weaselbringer says:

    I had a pretty terrible experience with best buy as well, this is what happens when you contact them by phone – [www.crotchmail.com]
    enjoy!

  67. Reeve says:

    Though I may agree with the consumerist here – it does seem that you are giving legal advice. Unless you are licensed to practice in the state where you are giving advice (Massachusetts here) you can be sanctioned by the bar association of that state for giving legal advice. Would recommend the consumerist be careful. There is a big difference between directing someone to the law and giving them advice such as “reader has 2 options…”

  68. gnimsh says:

    http://www.newegg.com for all your electronic needs! They have great customer service and so much better deals than Best Buy. People at Best Buy know nothing and I find myself correcting them constantly when I go there…

  69. ClaytonMagoondo says:

    Best buy also likes to sell invisible items. Recently they had a store
    flyer for a Garman GPS. Ordered it online for pickup. Showed as in
    stock. Went to the store, not in stock. Changed online to different
    store, which showed as in stock, not there. Finally I called a total of
    10 stores which all showed as instock – no Garman. Decided to buy the
    more expensive unit. Paid with credit card, they would not credit my
    purchase with my online credit purchase. Took 7 days to get my online
    purchase charged back to my card. Never again


    John

  70. ludwigk says:

    Price mistake is a price mistake, and Best Buy is trying to catch them any way possible. In general you should not expect to cash in on price mistakes unless the company is feeling generous.

    Amazon.com, who are rather infamous for their price mistakes, have a policy of not honoring them.

    I once cashed in on one when Circuit City had some strange printed advertisement for a particular Wii game, I think it was “Super Paper Mario”, where it said something like “Guaranteed in stock, or get a $10 gift card.” Apparently they didn’t even get that many copies in. When I went to the customer counter, the rep acknowledged it was a mistake, then handed me a $10 GC because they didn’t have it in stock.

  71. jimmydeweasel says:

    Am I surprised of another BEST BUY bufoon story? Read and learn people.I bought a 37″ flat panel last week end. Didn’t even entertain BEST BUY. It’s a free market, er ah was a free market. Hank Paulson might eventually make you buy there, but until then…..RUN AWAY

  72. Nerys says:

    Your wrong the transaction took place in MA. The INITIAL transaction took place in MI legally. the INITIAL transaction was claimed to willingly be completed BY the original transactor.

    THE SECOND transaction occured in MA. where the manager CALLED illegally to a CSR and ILLEGALLY impersonated the buyer and CANCELED the order.

    THAT is a crime (multiple crimes) and those occured in MA. The MI transaction is irrelevant. It was completed paid for and admited by the CSR that it would have been honored. HAD it not been CANCELED.

    The cancelation is the transaction of merit here and that one occured in MA. not MI. Period end of discussion.

    I would take them to court. If it was 5 cents I would have taken them to court. Its a matter of principle morals and the word of law and they MUST be shown they can NOT disobey the law.

    The manager QUITE LITERALLY stole his property from him. He can sue for the FULL RETAIL value of that property since its impossible to now REPLACE it at the price he acquired for it.

    Price in court is determined by VALUE not price paid. If someone gives me a $200 ipod for my birthday the PRICE of that ipod is $0 I paid nothing for it. That does not mean you OWE nothing if you steal it from me. THE VALUE of the ipod is what it would cost me to go replace it. Thats $200.

    If I were the judge I would not only COMPEL that store manager to PURCHASE the sticks from his own paycheck and hand them to the plaintiff but I would also award damages for the malicious method he used to steal his property. And it WAS his property. It no longer belonged to best buy as the CSR admitted they WOULD have honored the transaction. It was THEFT pure and simple.

    DO NOT let this slide. TAKE ACTION. Make sure they pay and pay dearly enough to NOT screw the next person.

    Next time it won’t be a 2gb flash drive.

  73. dmtherob says:

    I buy a LOT of electronics but I stopped buying from Best Buy years ago. I am a tech freak and I have to say I know more than most about TVs, Computers, Gaming Systems, Camera’s…. but I have been told misinformation almost every time that I shopped there. If you work in the computer dept., you should know more than the customers and that goes for the other depts. Not only are the sales people inept but the managers have no idea a lot of times. I have seen open box items that seem almost to have been beaten with a hammer. I have been charged double for orders, orders don’t show up late or not at all and I have had orders canceled. More problems with BB than I care to start ranting about in this thread.

    I won’t pay to be treated that way. Thank you internet!!!!

    I am surprised that anyone still shops at BB

  74. Chippy180 says:

    I’m not sure about this,and you can tell me that im wrong if you want,i dont mind.I’m pretty sure that this is an invitation to treat,and that basically much means that the price listed is not an offer,but merely an invitation to make said offer,and the retailer can accept or reject the price offered,its to safeguard against human error.Granted,I’ve been studying economics for less than a year,and the items had already been bought,so I’m unsure if this rule applies.So yep,those are my thoughts on this.Message me if im completely out of my depth,thanks!

    • Aisley says:

      @Reeve:

      Thank you for your kind comment and for caring about the Consumerist and its fans. But one thing needs to be made clear, no one in this website, including the posts, are giving “legal advise”. There’s a series of situations that need to converge in order for any of these comments be considered “legal advise”. But something tells me that you may already know this.

      It’s true that on any situation we can be taken to court. Nonetheless, the defendant does not have to prove that (s)he didn’t do it. It is the prosecution who has to prove that the defendant did it. For this, the first thing the prosecutor has to do is prove intention, and that’s a tall order in this case.

      When Matt says:

      “I hope that maybe this story can get posted on your site and maybe I can get some kind of advice on how to just get my order honored.”

      there are two words that are key “hope” and “kind”. They present the OP situation as one of desperation, where he asks people that may have gone through the same experience and may have had success solving it. He’s not asking for specific legal advise, and he’s not asking what are his legal options.

      About these comments from Consumerist:
      “Best Buy had two choices: honor the deal, or, in the same medium, tell Matt that the mistake was an error. “Whoops you didn’t get our email” isn’t sufficient. Best Buy must honor the terms of the deal.”

      This has the same legal weight as if my Grandmother tells me that I committed myself to wash her dishes; and a commitment is a commitment.

      Now about this:
      “Since they did not, Matt should call Best Buy corporate and tell them he’s going to small claims court…
      The Consumerist is not telling Matt what his legal options are and which one to take. If I tell you I’m taking you to court, it does not need to be true for me to say it (please no smart %^^&*comments here; I’ll deal with my Grandma later).

      And all those Mass Law quotes, they do not imply legal advise. For that the Prosecutor will need to prove that this is information that Matt would have not adquire on his own. And I better close here because if not you all will have to do a collection to pay me for the info, lol. And no Reeve, my post does not qualify as legal advise. You didn’t ask for it, and I did not gave such, even when I am a Lawyer, oops!

  75. calchip says:

    It wasnt’ completely clear to me from the OP’s post, but if the Best Buy store employee *impersonated* the customer, against the customer’s wishes, would that not be a criminal act in and of itself?

    Realistically, you probably won’t get a DA to prosecute the case, but if there is something criminal in the employee’s actions, you might be able to swear out a warrant and at least get the asswipe arrested, which would probably go a long way to ensure that this sort of thing doesn’t happen again.

  76. hallam says:

    When a company does business in more than one state it is subject to the laws of both states, not the laws it happens to prefer.

    In theis case the bricks and mortar store is in MA, the customer is in MA and thus both come under MA law. It makes no difference what Best Buy claim, they have assets in MA and they can be sued in MA.

    And once they took the money for the item the transaction was completed in any case.

    I would sue in small claims court just for the pleasure of walking into the store to serve process. Shout process server very loudly and if anyone tries to block you on the way to see the manager wave the writ at them and say you are on court business. That should work.

    Then the manager can explain to corporate why the store has run up a $2000 legal bill to respond to a complaint they cannot possibly win.

  77. ordered 5 of these on Friday and received a email from BB this morning reminding me to pick them up.

    To the 2 other lazy bums utilizing the in-store pickup at the Hartsdale, NY location…

    Pick up your 5 x 2GB flash drives!!!
    (there are 2 of you as of this afternoon XD

  78. viewsource says:

    $16!!!!!

    $8.40, local pickup, tax included:
    [www.microcenter.com]

  79. beltwayman says:

    The point is this: the transaction would have been honoured by corporate if not cancelled. So please don’t witter on about how BB can welsh on a deal. They did not propose they would – the issue did not arise. BB acepted the offer, promised delivery, and claimed they would complete. This also makes the State jurisdiction issue moot.

    What is the issue is that a person in direct contradiction to the expressed wish of the customer allegedly conducted two false financial transactions – one to corporate cancelling the purchase, and one to the credit card financial organisation.

    Financial organisations have more extensive lobbyists than mere consumers, so the law takes a far more serious view of the alleged misrepresentation than anything else. There is leverage here, and damages do indeed reflect the VALUE of the transaction and the need to restore a person to the position as if the incident had not occurred – the full retail price.

    One last note – BB should not be unduly criticised because corporate intended to honour the offer. Provided, of course, they step in and take adequate steps to ensure that this customers injuries are addressed, and that there is action put in place to prevent a repeat.

  80. LH says:

    I once bought something at best buy and when I opened the box it was empty. I went back and told the store and the employees were very rude and accused me of lying. No one has ever accused me of that and the way they were treated me just really took me back. I’m embarrassed to admit they made me cry. I went home an called their customer help number and they were very nice and sent me a store credit I could use on their online store to replace the missing item I had bought and apologized for the store’s behavior. I’ve never gone in that store again but I doubt anything was done.

  81. seamer says:

    As always we only have the OP’s word that the cancelling email went out to everyone except him (spam filter maybe?), and that an employee impersonated him over the phone.

    Just sounds too nefarious for a $10 sale.

    • AmericaTheBrave says:

      Gosh, you’re right, seamer, Best Buy would never do something like that.

      When will people learn to stop shopping at that place? They’ve done worse to me in the past, so I stopped shopping there in 2002. Their prices can be beat online, there’s no need to deal with their insults and illegal behavior.

  82. UnStatusTheQuo says:

    I don’t know about you guys, but Matt needs a bailout.

  83. iEddie says:

    I would have called the police and reported the assistant manager for identity theft.

  84. xillip says:

    This was obviously a pricing error and was handled very badly by the store. I don’t want to get into the manager impersonating the OP. But this sounds like someone who is really just upset that he almost got one over on the store and was busted. Sour grapes. It’s the same as if a cashier rang up $10.00 instead of $100.00 and your stance was that they made the error, tough noogies. Pricing errors are just a fact of life. Deal with it like an adult.

  85. Aisley says:

    “Matt should call Best Buy corporate and tell them he’s going to small claims court…”

    Here we go again with small claims court! This is bigger than that. As per Beneficial, Inc., what the assistant manager did is IDENTITY THEFT! Here’s the definition:

    “Identity theft: When an unauthorized party fraudulently represents themselves as another party.”

    And they should know. They’re members of the HSBC Group, one of the biggest banking corporations in the world.

    Now, do we still want to go to small claims court?

  86. orielbean says:

    For any of you other shoppers in Massachusetts, Microcenter is awesome. They are much more computer-oriented, have professional and cheap discount options for almost any item, lots of good open box deals, smart MIT nerds working for them, and are located on Memorial Drive in Cambridge, next to the Trader Joe’s. I LOVE that store.

    Now, Newegg and Monoprice will get me better deals on specific items at times, but Microcenter is really close to them in price for no shipping, has a normal human return policy, and can answer questions for you.

    I got 2 2gig SD cards at Microcenter for 10 bucks each over a year ago.

  87. BoomerFive says:

    I am VERY interested in seeing how this shakes out. What a moron that manager was, this opens a HUGE can of worms that BB did not want to open. False advertising, fraud, and who knows what else. I also very much dislike this new commenting system, just my .02.

  88. TheStonepedo says:

    I wanted to replace a speaker in my car with a relatively-inexpense speaker Best Buy claimed they could get for me. After giving them about $100 in exchange for a receipt for a speaker and installation, waiting a week more longer I was told it would take to get my speaker in stock, and going to the store to schedule the installation, I was informed that the speaker was never available. It was not back-ordered or out of stock; it was not available before they let me pay for it and would not be available in the foreseeable future. Had I not gone into the store, Best Buy would have held my money indefinitely without ever telling me about their mistake.

    Why would anyone shop at a store that falsely advertises pricing and availability then follows up with poor customer service?

  89. anticute says:

    I went through this exact same fiasco:

    I placed an order for two of these flash drives and went in store to pick them up the next day. When I got there, the rep scanned the barcode in my e-mail, got confused, and then talked it over with her co-worker before telling me that they “didn’t have it” and couldn’t flll my order. I went home without any complaint and decided to take it up with bestbuy.com directly.

    When I called their number, the CSR was very nice and offered to ship my order and no additional charge. I then receive an e-mail that the item is back ordered and will take 1-2 weeks to get to me.

    At this point, I think that this is completely awful customer service and am still a little upset at the way I was treated in the store so I call up bestbuy.com to see if I can get the store order fulfilled in store. I talked to some other nice CSR who said that it would really be at a manager’s discretion if they would give me my item or not.

    So…I walk into best buy and pull the item off the shelf myself to show that, yes, they have over 70 in stock. I walk up to the customer service/pick up desk and ask to talk to a manager. The lady that turned me away the previous day called him over and they talked about how they did not have to honor the price on their website due to the fine print. The manager didn’t know he was having this conversation in front of the customer (me) and looked kind of sheepish when he realized this. Despite their conversation, he finally said they would take care of it and gave me the two flash drives that I picked off the shelf for $2.49 each.

    Also, there was no cancellation e-mail from best buy. They would have filled the order and shipped it if you called them directly. The store manager may have received an e-mail regarding the item but the customers probably did not.

    Lesson learned: Deal with 1888bestbuy directly.
    Also, just as I am typing this, I get an email from best buy: How was your store pick up experience? How ironic.

  90. HyMinded says:

    As I referenced in the conversation on CC’s CEO’s departure, I am getting the sense that BB corporate is doing the same thing–it’s just that they’re better at attracting the masses to their storefront. Hopefully BB will learn from lesson that is about to be taught.

  91. friedduck says:

    Have them served at the same store where they treated him like this. As seen here on Consumerist it’s likely they won’t respond and he’ll get a judgment in his favor.

    Oh, and Best Buy is still the worst company I have ever dealt with in my entire life.

  92. JoannaElipster says:

    I ordered four of these drives and received the “there are none in stock at your local store for pickup email”. After dealing with multiple levels of transfers through Best Buy’s phone system, I was told that the item did not exist in their system, and that they could offer no substitutes. I was offered the opportunity to cancel my order or…nothing.

    I canceled the order, having wasted enough time chasing $10 of flash drives. I received a cancellation email…and now I’ve received another reminder to call them or they’ll cancel my order. That takes skill!

  93. JoannaViper says:

    Bestbuy.com Conditions of Use give them the right to revoke any offer due to pricing error even if it’s already charged.

    Errors on Our Site
    Prices and availability of products and services are subject to change without notice. Errors will be corrected where discovered, and Best Buy reserves the right to revoke any stated offer and to correct any errors, inaccuracies or omissions including after an order has been submitted and whether or not the order has been confirmed and your credit card charged. If your credit card has already been charged for the purchase and your order is cancelled, Best Buy will issue a credit to your credit card account in the amount of the charge. Individual bank policies will dictate when this amount is credited to your account. If you are not fully satisfied with your purchase, you may return it in accordance with Best Buy’s Return Policy.

  94. Anonymous says:

    I am a Best Buy employee who grew up in that town, have visited that store, the store I work in is out of State but I am shocked to hear about the lack of customer service that was provided, every piece of training has been that if the customer is told something by a representative of the store (i.e sales associate, or website) that the store has to honor it. I am shocked to hear that this was treated this way especially knowing the exact amount the store pays for each drive. I am going to ask my managers at my store, if they have heard about this and what they will do to make sure it doesn’t happen in our store. This isn’t just a case of the customer being mistreated but this is a case of the customer’s rights being violated.

  95. famine68 says:

    Wow, this is silly…if you read in one of the posts this product does not exist…this is just another way to make best buy look bad. I would love to hear what store it is, because this is a very broad description of what happened, and im sure there is more to this story.

  96. MooseOfReason says:

    Actually, it would be more like $37 and change.

    He paid $2.49 per flash drive, not $16.