Sears is still stinging after a third-party seller on Sears.com stirred up a hornets’ nest of angry discount-seekers by advertising 16GB, WiFi iPad 2s for only $69.
Potential buyers swarmed to the deal only to later have their purchases canceled and any charges refunded because the price was posted in error.
On the Sears Facebook page, the company wrote:
Unfortunately … one of the Marketplace third party sellers told us that they mistakenly posted incorrect pricing on two Apple iPad models on the Marketplace portion of the website. If you purchased either of these products recently, your order has been cancelled and your account will be credited. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
Errors like this occur all too frequently with online vendors. But, just like their bricks-and-mortar counterparts, online retailers are often not legally obligated to honor a price if it is listed in error.
As one reader said in her e-mail to Consumerist, “I’m not mad that they’re not honoring the price (who in their right mind would actually think Sears was selling an iPad for $69?). It’s just a symptom of the problems that happen when a major brand name like Sears lets incompetent and questionable third-party vendors use its name and website.”
Could Sears have handled this any differently than they did?