Canceling Orders Over A Pricing Error Is Not The Same As Bait-And-Switch

Several times a year, the Consumerist inbox is flooded with e-mails from people who are livid because they purchased something online at a huge discount only to have the retailer cancel the order, claiming it was a pricing error and the item should never have been listed at that price. Some people are quick to call this “bait-and-switch,” and state very confidently that the retailer is somehow legally obligated to honor the original price. These people are mistaken.

The latest example of this issue can be seen in the response to a $1,000 Dell laptop advertised on the Army and Air Force Exchange Service website for a mere $25.

A 97.5% discount is quite obviously a pricing error, but that didn’t stop people from logging on in an attempt to snap up the computers.

AAFES and Dell quickly caught onto the mistake and canceled the placed orders, saying that those whose credit/debit cards were charged would be refunded in 2-3 days.

The online reaction has predictably been negative, with the expected cries of “false advertising” and “bait-and-switch.”

But the Federal Trade Commission guidelines on what constitutes bait-and-switch are quite specific.

The main thrust of the “bait” part of that scam is that there is a deliberate intention to deceive the customer into shopping for the initial offer (for example, a deeply discounted computer) while having no intention to ever sell them that product in the first place.

“Its purpose is to switch consumers from buying the advertised merchandise, in order to sell something else, usually at a higher price or on a basis more advantageous to the advertiser,” writes the FTC. “The primary aim of a bait advertisement is to obtain leads as to persons interested in buying merchandise of the type so advertised.”

Then there’s the “switch,” wherein the retailer uses that bait to lure the consumer into either buying a more expensive item or to paying more for the originally advertised product than was initially listed.

In the AAFES/Dell instance, it would be hard to imagine what Dell or AAFES would be gaining by falsely advertising a $25 laptop. If, rather than automatically cancelling the orders and refunding the purchases, the seller had contacted buyers and said, “Sorry about that, but here’s a $350 netbook you should buy instead,” then you might be able to argue bait-and-switch.

And even in the case that bait-and-switch can be proven, that does not mean that the seller is required to honor the original price. Sometimes, such as this Walmart example, the retailer will do something to show that they understand why you’re irritated.

Comments

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  1. Lethe says:

    Next on “Lessons that should be common sense”:

    Don’t use EECBs to try to get refunds for luxury products you bought a year ago and no longer like.

    • Rachacha says:

      Also, don’t go complaining about a product that broke and writing/calling every media outlet about the horrible product without first contacting the manufacturer/retailer and giving them an opportunity to respond.

      • Jawaka says:

        And don’t complain about a company’s return policy when its printed on the back of every receipt and on a big sign at the register and customer service desk.

        • TheRealDeal says:

          I would respectfully disagree. Just because a return policy is printed on the back of a receipt doesn’t mean that it might not be ridiculous and worth complaining about.

          If the policy states that products can only be returned for a full refund on February 29th, otherwise you’ll be charged a 30% restocking fee, I’d certainly call it ridiculous and worthy of complaint, regardless of where it’s printed.

          • shanelee24 says:

            True enough, but that is rarely the case here. Usually it is a completely reasonable return policy, and people complain because they are one day outside of it and feel entitled. Ive read tons of those types of complaints over the last few years.

  2. DrPizza says:

    Entitlement mentality… can we kick these people off the island?

    • Eyeheartpie says:

      It’d be a lonely and deserted island if we did that. Actually, that doesn’t sound half bad.

      How do we vote people off this island again?

      • Rachacha says:

        That is an excellent question, but before I answer it, let me take a drink of this refreshing, ice cold, Coca Cola [sip] AHHHHHHHH, refreshing. Why don’t you come for a ride in my 2011 Ford Mustang with a 6.0L V8 engine, this baby will FLY, and with the optional My Ford Touch, you can wirelessly control your bluetooth enabled electronics like your phone, MP3 player all while keeping both hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road…

      • ianmac47 says:

        The people of the island voted, and they decided to stay, but kick everyone else off. Welcome to New York, now leave.

    • makreljohnson says:

      island, continent, planet, it’s all good.

      (just so you know, I vote for planet)

  3. smo0 says:

    They’ve obviously never shopped at new egg.

    25$ laptops are POSSIBLE! haha

    • livingthedreamrtw says:

      But only for the first 20 people that buy them. If you are lucky to reach check out, finalize check out, confirm your order, and get a receipt and have it canceled on you, only to be told it is out of stock and you can purchase it at regular price, it is a bait and switch. Thanks New Egg. I buy from Amazon now.

      • little stripes says:

        Do they explain to you that you have to be in that first 20 to get the $25 deal? If so, then it’s not a bait and switch.

        • livingthedreamrtw says:

          They did not list quantity at the special. They accepted orders past when they had sold out of their allotted number. Something in the computer system let them over sell more than it was programmed for. Im guessing it was likely due to so many people checking out at the very same second such that the computer didn’t process them fast enough to know they were out of stock.

          Rather than honoring the price and sending one when they came in stock again, it was canceled. Confirmed sale at an actual, advertised price and canceled due to their internal issues.

          • Such an Interesting Monster says:

            The sale isn’t completed until your credit card is charged. And that doesn’t happen at Newegg until the order is determined fillable and approved.

            Would you have felt better if by the time you got around to clicking the order button you got a popup saying the item was no longer available? Or maybe have the whole order canceled before you even got to click the order button? Cause then I’m sure you’d still complain that it was sold out in minutes and you were deceived by their “bait and switch”.

            If they only have X to sell, once those X are sold it’s done. Why people feel that merchants need to go above and beyond to satisfy entitled bargain hunters is beyond me. You rolled the dice and lost. Shit happens.

            • livingthedreamrtw says:

              Sorry, but to me a confirmation of purchase and receipt is the completion of a sale whether they decided to charge my credit card or not. “Sale confirmed” should not mean “Sale confirmed pending we didnt oversell or have one of another 100 reasons in our terms of service to cancel on you.” The inventory of an item should be taken out before those sale confirmed emails get sent out, period.

              I’ve had countless purchases where I missed out on getting the sell price because of selling out, so it isnt a matter of being pissed that you missed it. I’d be much less upset if I never got a confirmation email, the page held me at a blank screen while it was processing, and then came back and told me it wasnt available. Or if I did not get a confirmation email and shortly thereafter got an email back saying “Sorry out of stock due to popular demand”

              What pissed me off was that I thought that I had the deal and missed many of the other available deals out there for the product I purchased because I was under the impression I had a confirmed purchase. I settled for buying on Amazon a while later for a still modest discount but not the heavily discounted black friday price.

              • IgnoramusEtIgnorabimus says:

                agreed, how about I sign a contract to buy a house and then decide I don’t feel like paying for it? why am I the only one that has to be liable for contractual agreements?

              • Such an Interesting Monster says:

                I’m sorry, I was under the impression that a sale required payment. No payment (as in, card not charged) no sale, as you haven’t actually PAID for anything.

    • Fumanchu says:

      Office surplus/resale places are great places to get computers/parts for nothing. They are used but sometimes only 3-4 years old and can be bought for like $15 because the will have to pay to dump them. Great for stripping the parts and reselling.

  4. Hi_Hello says:

    I remember back in the day…. if there was a mistake in advertisement, the store has to sell at least once item for the advertised price.

    • smo0 says:

      I’ve actually heard that too – mis advertising… even if the mistake was on their part…

      Think of it like a window sign where someone forgot the “zero” at the end of a number – they have to honor it lest they get reported to the BBB…

      there was a time before the internet – but the outcome is no different.

    • sirwired says:

      What state had this law? Sounds like an urban legend to me.

      • RandomHookup says:

        I think it’s a bit of a confusion with the law about sales prices. You can’t advertise “75% off regular price” if you don’t show sales at that price at some point in recent memory… Something like that.

    • TheMansfieldMauler says:

      That has “urban legend” written all over it.

      • shepd says:

        It’s the truth in Quebec, and since Canada tends to be far behind the US in consumer law, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if there are US states with similar policies.

        http://hour.ca/2005/09/15/the-price-is-right/

        Although, in Quebec it’s more of a “Retailer gets fined for not selling it at that price” than you get it for free. However, the fines are more expensive than the products are, so stores that decide NOT to give it to you for that price (or free) are playing a VERY expensive game.

    • ob1canobeans says:

      As I recall “back in the day”, retailers would offer popular items at a good price -but never have any on hand. Then they would offer rain checks or suggest a higher priced item. Virgina regulators eventually got around to requiring a retailer have at least one item of the item advertised in each store location (probably why most retailers still say minimum of x per store for popular but hard to find items).

      After the minimum stock is sold it’s back to the rain check or higher priced item.

  5. DariusC says:

    This is a huge consumer issue. Retailers like logitech (they would NEVER do this!) with high priced items that frequently give steep discounts because of their pricing model could easily cancel orders if it didn’t fit their budget. Set retail price high, give 50% discount and call it a pricing error if you don’t feel it falls in line with your profit margin. Imagine what would happen if a retailer didn’t honor a groupon coupon because they claim it would be a “pricing error”. That would be a nightmare! If anyone has any input or thinks i’m wrong, let me know, but this sounds like a dangerous precedence.

    • balthisar says:

      It’s not a new precedent, though. It’s been like this for decades. No “danger” has ever come out of this. Just self-entitled people who think they know the law.

    • Megalomania says:

      You’re absolutely wrong and make no damn sense for the most part. To hit the second “example” first, if they claimed a pricing error, they would both have to a) refund the cost of the groupon to everyone and b) would almost certainly get sued by Groupon and c) would gain a lot of customers who hate them.

      As for your first, it makes no damn sense. Seriously, I can’t even think of a way to cogently debunk it because it’s just a bunch of words strung together. The closest thing I could figure is if you’re talking about is offering a loss leader then cancelling the deals afterwards… which is a REAL bait and switch and still illegal.

      • DariusC says:

        Don’t get angry at me, lol. I read all the comments, I understand now that my fears are unwarranted. I guess the key is, as the above poster said, intent. Problem is, I have ordered things from amazon before and the company would not ship the item because they claimed it was “out of stock” a month after I bought it. When I checked the page, it was in stock and thrice the price. I did get a credit from Amazon, but this is definitely a crappy way to get someone’s money and hold it to build interest and then cancel the order. I understand that I could have cancelled the order at any time, but then I wouldn’t have gotten the price discount. See what i’m saying?

    • kella says:

      Logitech’s online store sells a fairly small set of items, it’s easy to control clerical errors in such a situation. A small group of people can be charged with making sure pricing on the site is correct and a process can be developed. Employees can easily know what the approximate price for a given item should be, and catch cases where prices seem out of line.

      A store that sells thousands of items, like say Amazon or NewEgg, will have much more trouble with this. A network router could sell for $250 or $25, and it’s very possible that even with multiple employees reviewing the pricing before it goes live, an error will be missed. The key is intent. If a retailer intentionally misprices a product, they can be held to that price. If the price was unintentional, then they cannot be held to the price.

      Similarly, if I hack into Amazon’s site and somehow change all the prices to $1, Amazon will not be forced to fulfill those orders. The same is true if an Amazon employee maliciously does the same.

      Your groupon example is unrelated. Groupon pricing is agreed between groupon and the retailer in advance. It’s a contract that is reviewed extensively on both sides, and so the chance for error is slim. Now, if groupon mistakenly posted a $20 coupon for $2, then they would likely cancel the coupons.

      • offtopic says:

        Kella – I think that you are dead on – just an add on. Intent is impossible to determine for sure in most cases. You need to look at other factors to help come to an educated guess as to what the intent was. As the original post said, if there was a follow up offer then you might be able to determine that the intent was a bait and switch. To take the original example, the follow up offer of the $350 netbook then you would likely be able to claim bait & switch – it is hard to find netbooks these days but this does not seem like a great deal. However if the offer was for $100 that does seem to be a pretty discounted price.

    • sirwired says:

      This wasn’t a 50% discount. With that, you MIGHT could make a case. This is a 40-fold price deduction. There’s no danger anyone that has an IQ higher than a walnut or is not equipped with an entitlement complex the size of an aircraft carrier is going argue that this is the beginning of some sort of slippery slope of post-order price changes at a whim.

  6. Smackmouth says:

    Years ago I was working at a newspaper placing ads in the paper before it went to press. It was late and I was in a hurry so I sent an ad through that had all 0′s for prices. It somehow made it past me, the paginators and printers and made it out before it was caught. The advertiser was Lowe’s. They had everything on there from lawn mowers to power tools. Would they still honor that? No, what they did was put a sign on their front door about the mistake. Would you expect to get it at that price? It was technically printed that way.

  7. jessjj347 says:

    The thing that I am unsure with bait and switch is the issue of adequate stock.

    What if a store advertises the low-low price of a product, but then only has a few items in stock to sell, e.g. 5. Many stores have a disclaimer that says, “while supplies last!”, however some stores use this as there weekly selling model. I’m thinking of drugstores like Rite Aid, CVS, etc as an example.

    • jessjj347 says:

      sorry for the grammar fails – no edit button, etc

    • RandomHookup says:

      Technically, not bait & switch. Most state consumer laws give them an out if they include “limited quantities”, though it would be false advertising if they never intended to have the item in stock at all (or consistently had no stock of similarly advertised items).

      • jessjj347 says:

        Well, in some individual stores they don’t intent to have particular items in stock at all, but then they also have a disclaimer like, “not all items in every store” (just checked Rite Aid ad).

        I guess the weird thing to me is that the ads are practically national for these stores and then individual stocks vary wildly on how many of an item they have in stock, if they even carry the item at all.

        • jessjj347 says:

          * individual stores

        • RueLaLaLa says:

          In some retail stores, store stock is based on the what each store sells. If the Company sends Brand A to Store A and stock sits on the shelf for months with only a few sells, but Store B sells out quickly, next season Store A may not receive Brand A but Store B will.

          This is how you get National Ads, but not all merchandise in all stores.

  8. Coffee says:

    From where I sit, there’s nothing wrong with trying to place an order when something seems too good to be true. There have been times when a vendor is trying to move inventory and I’ve gotten some fantastic deals. Having said that, one should never be surprised if that $25 laptop was a pricing error. Get on with your life. Businesses should have to take hundreds of thousands in losses because someone didn’t put a zero at the end of a price, and as long as they refund the money in a reasonable amount of time, no harm, no foul.

    • Nobody Owes You says:

      +1

    • ablestmage says:

      I guess we’ll have to figure out some other kind of name to give it when Consumerist gives an article a headline, but the body of the article describes precisely the reverse, as from the prize-won Lambo recently, among other infractions..

  9. Judah says:

    When does it start being a ‘bait and switch’? When they do it every month? When they don’t chance the price after the error is pointed out?

    • RandomHookup says:

      When they try to sell you something else more expensive instead.

    • Such an Interesting Monster says:

      It only becomes bait and switch when they refuse to sell you the advertised item AND THEN try to get you buy something else that’s more expensive. They have to do both, otherwise it’s not bait and switch.

  10. maxhobbs says:

    Sort of like when a girl acts all sweet and nice and gives you a little “something something”, then you marry her and she turns nasty and puts on 50 pounds. Now THAT is bait and switch.

    • Coffee says:

      She probably put on weight because she’s depressed that the guy she thought was a sweetheart now takes her for granted and periodically crushes her self-esteem by calling her “fat” and “nasty.” She used to take pride in her appearance, but now that he doesn’t let her see her friends anymore (because they are a bad influence), she doesn’t really have anyone to dress up for.

    • Jules Noctambule says:

      I bet she gained that weight because her boyfriend thinks it’s hot. Hey, if I discovered I’d married the kind of person who’d propose just because I put out, I’d cheat while waiting for that divorce to come through, too!

    • little stripes says:

      Wow. You sound like an *awesome* guy. /s

    • Peggee is deeply offended by impetulant, pernicious little snots disrespecting her and violating her personal space at Best Buy. says:
  11. ned4spd8874 says:

    True, these deals are obvious mistakes. But I feel that companies are taking advantage of the “it was a price mistake” line. I seem to run into this a lot and am getting tired of it. I’m starting to be of the opinion that companies should honor their own price mistakes. Both online and in-store. I’ve been turned away from stores and had online orders cancelled as well way too many times because of these “innocent mistakes”. They are way to commonplace anymore and the companies should honor their mistakes.

  12. absherlock says:

    I have no problem with voiding obvious mistakes like the $25 laptop, but for more questionable pricing, how exactly do you prove intent?

    I feel bad for companies that have lax employees, but there has to be some impetus for them to stop making these mistakes and at this point, there isn’t. My official “Judge Marilyn Milian People’s Court” law degree (not valid for real lawyering) has taught me that in a contract case the burden of clarity falls on the person that wrote the contract; seems to me that by offering the prices the companies are “writing the contract” and if there’s any posibility that it could be a legitimate price, the benefit of the doubt has to go to the consumer.

    • consumeristjohnny says:

      The thing you have failed with your Peoples Court degree is both parties must agree to the terms and damages. The party that breached the contract must make the other party whole again (refund the money). The ONLY way a company can be in violation is if the company keeps your money, OR says, we will can not honor the price on the Model #abcd, but we have Model#abcd-2 available for $x dollars more. Would you like us to sell you that one at the new price.

      • absherlock says:

        Good point – now that you mention it, I did actually know that and didn’t think it through to the end. You, my friend, obviously studied under Wapner.

        Still, I stand by my point that something needs to be done to encourage companies to do a better job of policing their prices (and I’m getting a little tired of the government making coin by levying fines when consumers are poorly treated while said consumers get nothing – but that’s a rant for another time!).

        • RandomHookup says:

          The other option to punish the offenders is a class action lawsuit, but, again, the consumers get little, if anything, especially if it’s not a costly transaction. I do like the punitive nature of a big class action, but it enriches lawyers most of all.

  13. Rick Sphinx says:

    Laws are to protect consumers as well as merchants. People make mistakes, and “gross error” is one of them. What is a person switched a price tag on box of candy, and put it on a large cut of meat. The store does not have to honor it. I can if it chooses. I ran a retail store once. Often, I would sell at the price marked if it was not too far off, even below cost. Then immediately fix the remaining items to the correct price. But sometimes you just can’t do it.

  14. Bionic Data Drop says:

    I’ve read thousands of consumer complaints from many different sites. Bait and Switch is way overused and there is only one time I thought the term was used correctly. Seriously, this is what consumers sound like:

    Run out of a sale item? Bait and switch!
    The warranty I bought doesn’t cover physical damage? Bait and switch!
    I’m 2 days passed the return period? Bait and switch!
    The bathroom ran out of toilet paper? Bait and switch!

    Ok, so maybe it doesn’t get that ridiculous, but it’s close. I wish that term was never invented because it’s just a legal term consumers throw around when they don’t get their way to make themselves feel like more of a victim. Just like the slogan (not business law) that “the customer is always right”.

  15. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDave‚Ñ¢ says:

    Awhile ago I suggested doing a “Mythbusters” like series here for many of the common consumer myths that people hold, i.e. a store must ALWAYS honor a misprint, a store MUST take cash, you have to leave the store for it to be shoplifting, etc… with advice/facts from actual experts on the matter. Something like this is close, with actually citing the FTC.

  16. RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

    “No! Not bait-and-switch! Bait-and-bait! BAIT-AND-BAIT!”

  17. Lyn Torden says:

    “AAFES and Dell quickly caught onto the mistake and canceled the placed orders, saying that those whose credit/debit cards were charged would be refunded in 2-3 days.”

    Why wait? Do it today!

    Oh, duh, they need the interest money. Oh well.

    • little stripes says:

      Erm, it’s actually usually the bank that causes refunds to take so long. I used to work for a 3rd party billing company, and we would initiate refunds right away, but it always took at least 2-3 days, sometimes longer, for the bank to catch up.

  18. Bodger says:

    The conditions you describe as ‘bait and switch’ seem not to apply here. Just for argument’s sake, can you then explain why doesn’t ‘false advertising’ apply? If claiming ‘mistake’ is enough to allow one to publish anything in an advertisement how can any claim about a product or service be ruled out? “Buy Dingo’s Breath boots for your family — they immediately cure all forms of cancer and allow you to live for 400 years.” Oh, no, sorry — that must have been a mistake…

  19. madtube says:

    There are some companies that will honor their pricing errors. Over this weekend I was at Williams-Sonoma and found a 5 piece dutch oven set for $200. On top of that there was a promotion for only the weekend for 25% off all cookware. I jumped on getting that set for $150. When I went in, the lady rang it up and told me at the last moment that the sale did not apply. I had my suspicions because before she said it was not on sale, she asked someone how to do a price override for a sale and the other sales associate said they did not know. They never bothered to check on the sale or anything.

    I immediately went to another WS that was nearby. When I went in, I took the tag with the 5 piece set and price up to the manager and asked if their 25% sale applied to this. She mentioned that a number of people had inquired, but nobody knew how to ring it up. I politely stated that I was just asking about the sale and to not go through a ton of effort only for me to not buy it. (I only had enough cash to get on sale.) She said that they needed to figure it out because others were going to ask. After much digging around the store, they found that their district sales manager made a mistake in offering that set on the weekend of the sale. But because I brought it to their attention, the honored the sale price. But I was reminded that they were taking down the 5 piece promo until after the 25% sale.

    Moral of the story: the attitude of both you the buyer and the sales associate can result in a store honoring a sale price that is incorrect. I was cordial and was treated as such. In the end, I got a great deal on high end cookware.

  20. mistersmith says:

    The reason you’re getting complaints is that for some retailers, this is part of their marketing. It goes like this: advertise a ridiculous price, get site traffic and eyeballs, take orders, cancel orders and offer some other discount as an “apology.”

    TigerDirect — same company as Systemax and CompUSA and maybe Circuit City now — are notorious for this. Check out the Slickdeals forum, practically every TigerDirect deal good enough to get frontpaged gets cancelled due to “error,” then everyone that ordered gets an email with an alternate offer. They did this to me a while back, had a $1200 TV up at about $500, took a few hundred orders, then cancelled it and offered it to us at $800.

    One mistake? That’s a mistake. One mistake a month? It’s a shady strategy.

  21. Waffles says:

    I was always under the impression that a price tag or advertisement was an offer to sell, not a contract. If either party finds the terms of an offer unacceptable they don’t have to go through with the deal. Once money changes hands there is actually a sale (a contract) and the transaction is over.
    That being said most online site’s terms of use say that all sales are subject to being canceled due to errors. Most retail store will honor a price tag for the same item not because of any law, but just good customer service and not wanting customers to cause a fuss at the cash register.

  22. stonny9 says:

    I once got in on an Amazon deal for 24 cans of wd-40 for the price of one. They proceeded to ship me all of them and charge me 24 times the original purchase price without telling me. I called to complain and get a refund. Fast forward a month and numerous calls/emails and they told me to ship them back. Told them the box had gotten wet and I needed a new one shipped to me. They decided to refund me the full purchase price and let me keep them.

  23. mcgyver210 says:

    I don’t have a real issue with an honest mistake but I will not wait for a refund since I know it can be processed faster or they can give me the interest for holding my $$$$s.

    Don’t be fooled these big companies can & do make money on that few days come to think of it that could even be a motive to make a dishonest mistake.

  24. GoldVRod says:

    This is the problem with Consumerist’s position as I see it is that there’s been an invitation to treat (the online ad for the laptop) and an acceptance of the offer (the website took the order and processed the credit card taking the money from the buyer).

    The binding contract happened the moment the money was taken. This is NOT the same as a pricing error in a retail store where you haven’t yet paid for it.

    I fail to see how anyone, other than the seller, could know if there was any intention to actually sell at the stated price. For consumerist to state ‘quite obviously a pricing error’ is a mere assumption on Consumerist’s part, not a legal standpoint, thus is irrelevant to this issue. Many electronics sell at vastly lower prices than their MSRP – are we to assume they’re ALL pricing errors and not buy?

    So I believe there was definitely a bait here but let’s move on the switch. I wonder if when you receive the communication from the seller that there’s ANY advertising within the email/letter. I didn’t order this particular laptop so I can’t comment on this specific time, but I have had orders canceled by online retailers and the email you get ALWAYS has ‘you may also like’ type additional items you can buy along with the message. If the email these people received had such advertising then surely that’s a switch, especially if the message had laptops listed at many times the price of the original failed order.

    I don’t expect online retailers to have to honor a pricing error. I just believe it stopped being a pricing error the moment the credit card was charged and people were deprived of their money.

    Taking several days to refund, regardless of whether it’s the banks’ fault or the sellers merchant account, is also unacceptable especially in a world where people use VISA debit cards and are therefore instantly out the actual money.

    So how does an online retailer fix the problem? Make sure your prices are correct before offering the invitation to treat. It’s not rocket surgery.

  25. kuhjäger says:

    We had somthing similar at a company where I worked where the daily deal had a numeral misplaced, making a mid-range cost item 26 bucks, a several hundred dollar difference.

    We had one guy place an order for 100 of them, obviously thinking he was going to get rich selling them on ebay.

    He was not happy when we told him “you are sol buddy”

  26. yzerman says:

    I am pretty sure there are some specific laws in some states where if you incorrectly price a item you have to stand behind that price.

    • RandomHookup says:

      Michigan is a good example. If the item scans incorrectly, the retailer must refund the difference and a $1 to $5 bonus (10 times the price difference with min/max).

      Connecticut appears to have a law that gives the consumer a free item up to $20 if charged more than the posted price.

  27. RandomHookup says:

    Since this involves AAFES, I’m surprised there aren’t any cries of “think of the troops!”.

    /Army veteran

  28. Scoutin76 says:

    I was one of the troops that placed an order on this advertisment. Not something outrageous either, 4 total, one for each member of my family. They did charge my card on, 21 December 2011, and to date have not charged back or sent me an email stating such. All I have right now is a receipt stating “order received by supplier”. So, my question is, how long to they get to keep my money for, Im guessing at least through the holidays now. I do feel its not the consumers fault for “finding” good deals. Its not like this laptop was on the front page in big bold lettering ( like TigerDirect), it was at the bottom of a page with other laptop offers. I believe it should have been honored and dealt with inside the company, since it wasnt like a hacker went in and maliciously changed the site, it was the companies error. I know, if I do something wrong in the service Im held to standard and not allowed the “shrugged shoulders” of oops my bad didnt mean to wreck the jet. I know I, and Im sure many other brother and sisters in arms, will stop doing business with Dell for this lack of intergrity to uphold the price advertised. Good to see a small profit margin was worth it.

  29. Scoutin76 says:

    Still have not received a charge back to my card that was charged on 21 December 2011, also, I thought once they charged my card it was considered a contract, so the erroneous advertising claim is nule now. They cant cancel the contract unless both parties agree, if Im reading the rules right. Again, I think Dell is getting ready for a good lawsuit on this, their facebook page is getting hit hard.

  30. Scoutin76 says:

    So what do you do when Dell has kept your money for a week now. This is getting ridiculous, not only do they have my money, Im sure others too, but also they are making money off of it.