It all seemed to go so well. When a California man saw a great Cyber Monday deal on a Kenmore dishwasher at Sears, he hopped right on that. $700 off a $1419 appliance? Yes, please. When he learned that the order was in error, though, and he could only have the great price for a dishwasher in the wrong color, who was at fault? Sears wanted him to pay the difference.
Sears wouldn’t explain exactly what went wrong with this transaction to CBS Sacramento. Maybe they don’t know, or they just don’t want consumers to know. Some errors are going to happen during the busiest shopping time of the year, and that’s understandable. This dilemma was one that our readers frequently face here at Consumerist, though: it makes us so, so sad when we lose a great deal because it only existed because of a retailer’s error.
In this case, there were early warning signs of trouble. The order wouldn’t submit through the Sears site, so he hopped online with a customer service chat representative. When e-mail confirmation showed up in the customer’s mailbox, it had the wrong color dishwasher. Sears would have been happy to change the order…if he paid the $360 difference in price between the white dishwasher he was getting and the stainless steel one that he wanted.
In this case, the error wasn’t on a shelf tag or a price sticker or even a website: the chat representative chose the wrong dishwasher. Sears ended up giving the customer a discount on the dishwasher he really wanted, but what happens to consumers who don’t have a TV station on call?
Call Kurtis: When Do Companies Have to Honor Big Sale Prices? [CBS Sacramento]