Reader Michael went to Best Buy to pick up a hard drive that he saw on sale. The website said that the item was in stock, but when he got to the store there were none on the shelf. The employee he questioned said that the item was out of stock but explained that the website was slow to update. So Michael went home, ordered it for in store pick up and… can you guess what happened next?
I checked the availability of a HDD that’s on sale there on the Best Buy web site, and it reported that it was in stock at this location. I drove to the store, and when I didn’t see any on the shelf I asked a sales associate. He informed me that they were all out of stock and that the web site takes about 6 hours to update the inventory, and that that was the reason for the discrepancy.
I didn’t trust him, however, so when I got home I logged back onto the Best Buy site and ordered the HDD for in-store pick-up at the same location, and wouldn’t you know it, about a half an hour later there was a message in my inbox letting me know that my order was ready to be picked up! I drove back to Best Buy once again to pick up my HDD and asked the employee at the customer service counter why I was told that the drive was not in stock when it obviously was. Her response was just a sort of awkward shrug and an “I dunno.” In the end at least I got my HDD, but I sure wasted a lot of time (not to mention gas) driving around unnecessarily.
You have to admit, however, that his “the website is wrong” line did effectively get you to go away, albeit temporarily, which we can only assume was its intended function.