Once again a reader contacts us to complain about Best Buy misleading their customers with an in-store only website that looks identical to the “real” website—except for the prices.
Best Buy still uses a secret internal website to deceive customers, according to the L.A. Times. The website appearing on in-store kiosks resembles Best Buy’s official site in every way, except for the prices. Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal was surprised to hear that his investigation failed to end Best Buy’s bait-and-switch, telling the L.A. Times: “We thought Best Buy had addressed this. That’s what they said to us. Apparently that’s not the case.” A tipster in Virginia also reports the continued existence of the secret website.
We’re adding to our collection of complaints about US Airways and Philadelphia International Airport. If we collect them all, we may win a set of steak knives!
Over 700 tubes of poisonous counterfeit toothpaste were seized in Connecticut, according to The New York Times. The toothpaste is flavored with diethylene glycol, a sweet-tasting chemical more commonly found in anti-freeze. It can cause liver and kidney damage if swallowed.
According to a statement by the Connecticut Attorney General, 160 unregistered contractors were busted in a sting operation. Neat! From the statement:
When we say that we expect contractors to comply with the law we mean it,” Commissioner Farrell said in announcing the results of the sting operation, which was conducted with cooperation from the Ridgefield, Redding, Stratford, Fairfield, and Trumbull Police Departments, Trumbull building officials, and the Connecticut Department of Transportation. “Any person who wants to perform work in Connecticut must follow the State’s legal requirements associated with the job. This should not come as a surprise to anyone. We intend to pursue appropriate penalties and punishment for these contractors.”
In the wake of an investigation launched by the Connecticut Attorney General’s office, Best Buy has finally admitted that the now-infamous “secret intranet” (used to mislead in-store customers about BestBuy’s online prices) exists. The website looks identical to BestBuy.com…except for the prices.
“Mr. Jackson, who lives in Hamden and could not be reached for an interview this week, told local newspapers back then that he had been distracted by caring for his sick father, who owned the floor-cleaning business where he worked. By the time Mr. Jackson realized he had the winning numbers, it was 11:45 p.m. on a Sunday night and he figured lottery headquarters would be closed. The next day was Columbus Day, a holiday, so he thought it was impossible to contact a state official.
Poor Mr. Jackson. If you people play the lottery, check your tickets! Its bad enough to throw away one dollar on a ticket, don’t throw away millions.—MEGHANN MARCO
The state attorney general’s office has started an investigation into whether Best Buy maintains a secret intranet site that may have been used by some salesmen to deny customers discounts that appear on the company’s public Internet site.
We applaud the CT State’s Attorney for moving so quickly on this, but wonder if the investigation will have any teeth. As commenter something_amazing pointed out, Best Buy’s price matching guidelines explicitly state that the website does not match store pricing, and the store only matches “a lower advertised price offered by a local retail competitor on the same available brand and model.”
Annoying internet fad provider MySpace.com is being asked to initiate measures so that parents can block the website from minors.