For a brief, shining moment, in-store ads at Best Buy stores advertised a Palm Pre for $99 with a new two-year Sprint contract. Potential Pre customers were stoked. Recent Pre purchasers were incensed. And today, Best Buy was scrambling to fix the situation, since the price drop was really due to an error in the system. Oops.
Best Buy marketing manager John Bernier tweeted that the $99 price in the system was due to “human error,” but the price was honored while in the system, and Best Buy will not be chasing down customers who got that price and demanding an extra $100.
On the ground, the Wall Street Journal discovered that not all stores were quite sure what was going on:
On the West Coast, a man from Best Buy’s location on Geary Boulevard in San Francisco told me the phone was indeed $99, and that “lots of people came in” to buy it (but then admitted that out of three Pres in stock, they’d sold two). Farther south, in Palo Alto, the Pre was also selling for $99, and the one handset they had in stock had already been sold. In Sunnyvale, a salesman reported that they’d had “quite a few” people come into the store to take advantage of the $99 Pre. When I asked him if he’d heard the $100 price drop might be a mistake, he said, “As far as I know, that’s just a special offer we have going on this week.”
But at Best Buy’s store at 13th and Harrison streets in San Francisco, the salesman told me that the $99 offer might be a glitch in the system. “We’re not sure if they’re going to change it back tomorrow,” he said of the Palm Pre‘s price, but they had 30 in stock and had already sold 10.
(Photo: Pre Central)