Circuit City Refuses To Honor "Unbeatable Price Guarantee" Because Competitor's Price Is Too Low

Reader Jeff could not convince Circuit City to honor its “Unbeatable Price Guarantee.” Circuit City’s stated policy is to beat any competitor’s price by 10%. Jeff found the same 19″ Acer monitor retailing for $219 at Circuit City for only $129 at a nearby Best Buy, yet Circuit City: “would not price match this item because the cost was too low.” Jeff writes:

I purchased two Acer 19 inch monitors today at Best Buy in Valley Stream, NY at the really great price of $129 each out the door, no coupons, rebates or other price modifiers. Being one who loves a truly great bargain, I walked out of Best Buy and directly across the street to Circuit City where they had the exact same monitors (model numbers and all) in stock at $219 each. I was looking to utilize their 110% price guarantee, which states they will match 110% of the price difference of a local competitor within 30 days. I would then return my purchase at Best Buy, keeping the now lower priced Circuit City monitors. I spoke with Michelle in Customer Service and presented my Best Buy purchase and receipt as proof of price and availability. Because the difference was beyond Michelle’s authorization, she had to confer with the store operations manager Les S. Michelle disappeared for 20 minutes, then came out with Les. Les told me that he would not price match this item because the cost was too low. I asked him where in the policy (which was on a large sign behind him I could find out more information about this aspect of the price policy. I just repeated that he could not match a price that low and walked away. Les would not give me his last name, which I can understand. Les would not write down his first name at my request either..just kept repeating it as he walked away. Strictly on principal, I do not accept this. What is the best method of filing a complaint with officials? Bringing public attention to this specific event, informing corporate of this event?

Circuit City’s “Unbeatable Price Guarantee:”

Circuit City is proud to offer the best prices on consumer electronics. Period. Buy a product from us and if, within 30 days of your purchase, you find a local competitor offering a lower advertised price for the same in-stock item, we’ll refund 110% of the difference. If you haven’t yet purchased the product, we’ll beat the competitor’s price by 10% of the difference between our price and theirs. Either way, you win.

A quick call to corporate should clear up the local store’s obstinance. Their policy is clearly stated, so there is little room for equivocation. Call (804) 486-4000, and ask for Phil Schoonover’s office. Politely explain the situation to whomever picks up. If that doesn’t work, file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and the Attorney General. Either way, you win.

(Photo: alaspoorwho)