Online pricing mistakes happen. When they do, the retailer isn’t obligated to sell the item to you at the original price. Life and retail just are not fair. However, what companies are not supposed to do is cancel your order at an erroneous sale price, then put it through again at the much-higher original price that you didn’t want to pay. That’s what happened to John’s brother and some other posters on the sale forum Slickdeals.
As seen on a website Slickdeals.net, Bestbuy.com had a sale offering two DVDs for $22.98. Among them were Coraline Collector’s Edition and HellBoy II Collector’s edition, both with an original price of $59.99 each. My brother thought this was an awesome deal, so he ordered one of each for him, and one of each for me, online.
Now, that was all well and good, and my brother got the order confirmation e-mail showing that the order was being processed. What transpired next really knocked the socks off me!
Normally, for price mistakes, I would expect a company to issue an e-mail or notice saying that it was a price mistake, and that the price would not be honored. I would not necessarily expect anything beyond that, besides an offer to cancel the order, or some sort of apology like giving it to us at that price anyway. (Wal-Mart, for instance, offered a gift card to make up the difference).
My brother first received e-mails showing that the order was cancelled– that *HE* cancelled the order by RETURNING the items. These were online orders mind you, so they could not possibly have been sent yet! More suspiciously, only one of each item was canceled. A NEW order was then placed using his credit card for the same items AT FULL PRICE!!! ($59.99!!!) The items were marked as shipped, so when he called Best Buy’s customer service number and spent an hour and a half trying to get to a customer service rep, several of which told him that there was nothing they could do, he finally found one that would TRY to refund the difference in price to his credit card.