In a perfect consumer world, perhaps brick-and-mortar stores would price-match their own websites. Perhaps front-line employees would be permitted to use their own judgment once in a while. In this perfect world, it definitely would not be cheaper and easier to purchase an item for in-store pickup on your smartphone while standing in the store.
Reader Aaron did just that recently at Sears while shopping for a hose, and copied Consumerist when he wrote to the company about his experience.
Hello Sears Friends!
I just wanted to thank you for making such an easy to use mobile website – especially from within your very own stores! You see, I had the opportunity to use it today when I was standing in one of your Sears Hardware stores, holding an item in my hand I wanted to purchase.
I visited the Sears Hardware [redacted] today on a quest for a garden hose. Garden hoses are very exciting. I never knew there were so many hose options available to me (vinyl! rubber! polymer!). I found a lovely 50 Ft Never-kink vinyl hose on the shelf which I had researched previously on Sears.com and I knew cost $22.99. Upon ringing up this item at the register, it rang up $25.99 instead of $22.99.
I alerted your cashier of the $3 difference, who showed my phone to your customer service representative who said “we don’t match website prices.” Apparently even website prices for your own website. m.sears.com fired up quickly on my smartphone and allowed me to pay $22.99 for the hose I was holding in my hand with Free in-store pickup. Wow- free in-store pickup! It was almost as convenient as paying the cashier at the very aisle I was just standing in!
Thanks again, for making sure that your mobile shopping website works great while standing in your brick and mortar shores. I will surely be trying it again next time one of your illogical, inflexible, customer-unfriendly store policies and employees who can’t think outside the box thwart my hose-buying plans.
Yes, three dollars is three dollars, and most shoppers aren’t savvy enough to even consider doing this. It’s still quite inefficient, isn’t it?