Best Buy Still Embracing Deceptive In-Store Kiosks

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.

According to our tipster:

Not that anyone should be surprised, but Best Buy is still at it.

My wife spent several hours at home researching digital picture frames online, and Best Buy actually had the best price on one, as well as being the only way to get it in time for Christmas. Last night we went to our local Fairfax, Virginia, Best Buy. They didn’t have the frame at first, and I actually have to commend the staff, they searched for about 30 minutes because one of them thought he had seen it somewhere. They finally came up with one, the Kodak EasyShare EX1011. I took it to a different station and asked them to price check it, and it came up at $255.99, well over the $234.49 that was listed online.

We went to one of their public computer terminals and searched it and it came up at the $255.99, no surprise.

iPhone to the rescue. At first it was showing the $255 price on my iPhones browser, then I realized it was connected through WiFi, so they have it blocking the external Best Buy site and feeding the fake one. I disabled WiFi and searched again and bam, there it was, $234.99.

The electronics department said I had to go to customer service for such a thing, and they promptly took care of the price change.

Keep up the great work, Consumerist.

The L.A. Times called Best Buy’s pen of Pinocchios to provide an explanation:

[Sue Busch, a Best Buy spokeswoman] said the kiosks were never intended “for price-match purposes,” but admitted that “a small percentage of customers did not receive a price match when they should have due to errors in policy execution.”

What is a “small percentage of customers?” Maybe a Best Buy salesman in California can clarify:

“Every day we get at least one person asking why he can’t find a price he saw online,” the salesman replied.

I said I was looking for a DVD player I’d seen online that was selling for $71.99. I said it wasn’t on the kiosk site.

“Here,” the salesman said, “let me show you a secret.”

He switched to a different screen, typed in his employee I.D. number, and the real came up. “Try now,” the salesman said.

I asked why the real website wasn’t available to everyone.

He shrugged. “I wish I knew.”

Maybe that’s something California Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown should also be wondering.

Best Buy kiosks not connected to Internet [L.A. Times]
(AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
Best Buy’s Secret “Employee Only” In-Store Website Shows Different Prices Than Public Website

Best Buy Confirms The Existence Of Its Secret Website
UPDATE: Best Buy Still Using Its Secret Website


Edit Your Comment

  1. azntg says:

    Oh Worst Buy, when will you ever learn?

    First, the in-store kiosk, then, it’s the Geek Squad, then it’s the in-store kiosk again. If patterns hold true, something about the Geek Squad will surface again

  2. nursetim says:

    You know they are doing it intentionally if you get the fake web site through their WiFi. The spin the PR dept will have to put on this will rival the Bolshoi.

  3. flamincheney says:

    Is there a reason why people still shop Best Buy???

  4. abercrombie121 says:

    Yeah, I went in looking for a printer. When I looked at the website the price was $205.98 when I wnet into the store the kiosk said the Price was $249.99. I went on the best buy website from my phone and I showed the price $205.98 to the Salesman as I was checking out and he said the website was having problems and charged me in full anyway

  5. californiadude99 says:

    I attempted to purchase a navigation system for $249.99 (the price I saw at home), then drove 30 mins to the store in Visalia, CA when some curly haired punk in the car audio department showed me the price at $299.99. I told him I knew of the secret website and he’d better show me on the “trick” kiosk. He said he’s looking at the same site you and I do. Liar. I drove a block north to Circuit City and found a BETTER system CHEAPER. That was this summer and I haven’t shopped Best Buy ever since.

  6. StevieZ83 says:

    $235 dollars let alone $256 dollars is crazy, look at radio shack or staples, range some where between $60-180.00 dollars for a frame anywhere from 7-11.3 inches…

  7. matt1978 says:

    @abercrombie121: Good job on standing up for yourself. They saw you coming a mile away.

  8. mjbballar23 says:

    “The electronics department said I had to go to customer service for such a thing, and they promptly took care of the price change.”

    What department are you talking about? The entire store at best buy is electronics!!!!! Second of all, this internal website is by no means a secret website used to deceive customers. It is used to display the in-store price of every item in the store. Unfortunantly there are many incompetent employees at best buy (as with at any other retailer) that dont know this and they themselves believe the in-store kiosk is the real when it isnt. The holidays is a time of ALOT of new employees who havent been properly trained. You guys never worked there so you wouldnt know, so maybe you should learn the facts before you start freaking out. YES, i did work at best buy at one point and although i dislike many things about this company, i defend them on this one.

  9. Boberto says:

    I don’t understand what all the fuss is about. Just because they put ALL higher prices on their kiosks AND redirect your URL request over their public internet WIFI to load the INTRAnet prices when you think you’re getting INTERnet prices. Sheesh! It’s all just an honest mistake. And it only happens to a small number of customers. And it always defaults to a HIGHER price. You people are so fricken’ sensitive.

  10. ogremustcrush says:

    Their kiosks now say at the top in bold : THIS KIOSK REFLECTS IN-STORE PRICES ONLY. Unless these stores systems haven’t been updated, there is no excuse for these consumers to blame the store for their lack of reading.

  11. rolla says:

    why dont consumers just eliminate this hassle by PRINTING out the online ad showing the lower price?? thats what i do, in order to avoid these types of problems.

  12. Eric1285 says:

    Hooray for having 3G internet on my phone and not having to rely on a store’s wifi. One less way for best buy to trick me.

  13. hn333 says:

    @rolla: Best Buy could always say you photoshopped the print out.

  14. ivealwaysgotmail10 says:

    I went in to a best buy 3 days ago, saw one of the in store kiosks with the best buy website up on it, absolutely ridiculous, AND USING THEIR PUBLIC WIFI TO EVEN FURTHER DECEIVE CUSTOMERS!?! CRAZY! WHY HASNT BEST BUY BEEN SHUT DOWN?!


    DOES IT HAVE A SIGN OVER YOUR iPhone Saying “ALL WIFI PRICES ARE IN-STORE PRICES” or at the door saying “Free Wi-Fi (Prices are much higher when you use our wifi)” or “We have the right to deceive customers into thinking they are actually on the internet”

  15. vvv says:

    I was just coming here to email the consumerist about this happening to me just today. I went to buy a norelco razor which is 29.99 on their website, I went in to the store, and it was 49.99 on the shelf, anyways I try to pricematch and they show me that it’s 49.99 on their “website”, instantly I remembered the post on here I saw about 2 months or so ago about this. I go home, bam 29.99. Whatever it’s not worth it, I’m going to avoid BB as much as possible.

  16. Neurotic1 says:

    Why have 2 sets of prices anyway. If something is on sale, it should be on sale. CC also does this but at least their kiosk refelects the prices and when asked, their reps. will look it up for you and pm. Filtered wifi? …haha, that’s a new one.

  17. ogremustcrush says:

    @ivealwaysgotmail10: As far as I know, the message should be embedded on the webpage, so yes you should see it on the wi-fi. However, I haven’t been in a Best Buy recently, so I cannot confirm this. I’m surprised that they could even use the Wi-Fi honestly, when I used to work at best buy, you had to use a company proxy server to get any http access at all.

  18. humphrmi says:

    It seems like an awful lot of trouble to go to just because they have second thoughts about their sale prices. I’m not saying they’re not doing it, knowing Best Buy it’s totally in their character. I’m just saying, rather than hijacking people’s portable internet WIFI to force their non-sale prices onto our iPhones, if they don’t like their own sale prices, why don’t they just not offer them?

  19. omyard says:

    1.) During the summer they had a big yellow banner that said prices reflected in-store prices only. I can’t imagine they’d be dumb enough to remove it and get in trouble again.

    2.) Buy online and schedule an in-store pick-up.

  20. hn333 says:

    @vvv: You should just buy it online and then pick it up at the store.

  21. johnms88 says:

    I almost got scammed by the internal website a few weeks ago when trying to buy a compact flash card.

    I asked for an online price check, which they proceeded to look on the “internal” website. I saod to them “I thought you guys werent allowed to use the deceptive fake “internal” websites anymore?” then asked for a manager.

    They then agreed to check the “national” site and price match for me.
    Just goes to show that you can save money by being a smart shopper and knowing about different businesses.

  22. clarient says:

    Am I the only one getting deja vu from these comments? Haven’t we had this conversations several times before?

  23. ceriphim says:

    @clarient: Yes, so I’ll summarize.

    Story: BestBuy will f**k you over every chance they get

    Responses: Wow, boo, hiss! Okay I’ll keep shopping there.

    Repeat ad nauseum

  24. Sudonum says:

    Drove to my inlaws house for the holiday yesterday and when I got here I realized I’d left the power supply for my laptop at home. Got online and check the local big box retailers to see what they had in stock. CC had a Targus universal adapter on their web site for $69.99. I didn’t have a printer and wasn’t sure if I was going to try and brave the crowds there today so I didn’t bother with the in store pickup. When I went by the store there were actual parking spaces. So I went in to get one. It was $89.99 on the shelf. Took it to the register and mentioned the lower price on the net and they price matched. They wouldn’t do this at the CC by my house.

  25. marsneedsrabbits says:

    … I went on the best buy website from my phone and I showed the price $205.98 to the Salesman as I was checking out and he said the website was having problems and charged me in full anyway

    But then you told him to cram it six ways from Sunday because you weren’t doing business with cheating, lying scumbags; and walked away leaving the printer at the register.



  26. Copper says:

    The wifi filter is crap, but as for the kiosk, if it has a sign, then too bad for people who don’t read.

    I deal with enough people who order online who don’t read directions enough as it is. With this whole “guaranteed delivery by Christmas” crap, people don’t read to find out the cutoff dates for shipping. You can’t order something tonight and expect it to be delivered by tomorrow. I don’t feel bad for people who simply choose not to read what’s in front of them.

    Shame on Best Buy for sucking. Congrats to them for knowing how to run a business. They treat employees and customers like crap, but still make an incredible amount of money.

  27. vvv says:


    I can’t that was my original plan, but it says out of stock online, and you can’t put it in the cart to pick it up. So I went to the store after that.


  28. scootinger says:

    Hearing that something like that happened at the Fairfax BB store doesn’t surprise me…that store is not only full of people that are completely stupid but will also try to screw you.

    One time they tried to screw me out of a return….they claimed that it wasn’t eligible to be returned because two numbers with different names (“EDA” and “P/N”) on the drive and box didn’t match up but the serial numbers did! The cashier “Lizabeth” even claimed that the serial number was the same on every drive! Then the manager and Best Buy’s customer relations department basically backed up what Lizabeth said.

    Thankfully I was able to take it back to the Best Buy in Manassas, where they didn’t hassle me about at all.

  29. darkclawsofchaos says:

    … I’m a cheapassgamer, so price matching circuit city in Best buy is smart as it is smart to price match best buy in circuit city. i don’t see why people don’t do this. Circuit city price match themselves well though, except they always have out of stock problems.

  30. sven.kirk says:

    @abercrombie121: That’s really showing them who is the boss. Complaining and still knowingly pay the inflated price. That will teach them.

  31. goller321 says:

    @Copper: Even if they HAVE a sign, asking an associate to PM their online price and being told the in-store price IS the online price, based on the kiosk, is simple fraud. Anyone commending them for questionable, if not illegal practices shouldn’t be let within 500 feet of selling anything, because they’re crooked scumbags.

  32. endless says:

    Now if they are filtering the wifi thats interesting, though they definitely do not advertise free wifi in their stores, so anyone who is hopping on it, is illegally leeching, so i don’t think you can argue about that. And they still have the giant yellow banner on their in store kiosks. I don’t know if that is enough but its still there.

  33. are BB and CC competing for “worst customer service” of the year award? Silly stores, CUSA won that and received their prize already.

  34. synergy says:

    “pen of Pinocchios”

    rotfl oh classic! Well said!

  35. LadyCarolineLamb says:

    It seems like they WANT to make customers angry there. I try to avoid it, but had 2 $100 gift certificates from there I earned from freq hotel points. I used them a online couple of weeks ago to get the Epson CX9400Fax All-in-One Printer I’d been wanting. Being Christmas shopping time (3 weeks prior) their initial message after completing the order indicated they were backlogged and orders would ship out at the end of January. Whatever. I still wanted the printer. Two days later I got an email basically telling me that it will be soooo long before the printer will be in stock, just “let us know if we can change your order to another model in stock.” No can do, want this printer ONLY. The next day I got one of the “Your order has shipped” emails and got the printer shortly after. what? They couldn’t ruin my Christmas like they wanted, so they just decided to send it two weeks before Christmas anyway? Must have determined I didn’t WANT to deal with it until late January.

  36. LadyCarolineLamb says:

    They should replace the bouncers at the front door with kiosks, then maybe people wouldn’t mind going in…

  37. clyde55 says:

    “You should just buy it online and then pick it up at the store.”

    And then you can stand in the pickup line for an hour to get something that you could have had and been out of the store with in fifteen minutes otherwise.

    This happened to me the Saturday Evening after Thanksgiving. By then the crowds had thinned out and the check out lanes weren’t busy at all. But there were eight of us standing in line at the pickup line with me being number eight. It was exactly an hour before I was waited on. They had one girl working the pickup line, five running cash registers…actually three of them were standing around chatting most of the time.

    Oh, and on line the camera was $213. In the store $249.

  38. The Stork says:

    @Neurotic1: Online you have to be cheaper; you have greater competition. Someone ordering at home can choose from BBY, CC, Amazon, Target, and fourteen thousand others, so you have to lower your price. And since you have no brick and mortar support structure your margin per product is higher and you have room to cut prices and compete.

    Those B&M costs *are* there, though, in store, so you list at the regular price so customers not shopping around pay the difference. Nothing wrong with any of this. But when the customer comes in with the web price, that’s when you match the web rather than being deceptive. That’s the only area that BBY fails in here.

  39. coren says:

    @clyde55: Were you able to take advantage of their “guarantee” and get a discounted price on your item?

  40. jamar0303 says:

    Here in China I’ve never had any problems with Best Buy. I tend to trust them more over the other small vendors that sell in the same general area because they have a warranty that can be relied on. On the other hand, they don’t sell any of the latest game consoles (Wii/PS3/Xbox360) and I can’t imagine why.

  41. Me - now with more humidity says:

    Target’s no better. I looked online for a juicer a month ago, and had the one I wanted for 13.99. The web page urged me to find it in a store, so I checked my local store. When I went into the store, it was $19.99 — and they refused to match their online price. The manager actually gave me 5 pounds of shit about it. When I told her I’d leave my cart full of other stuff with her and go to WalMart, she told me “You won’t be the first. We don’t price match our own site because we don’t have to.” I went to WalMart.

  42. rolla says:

    macys online and in-stores is the same way. But i found out that macys online is entirely different from the stores and that the stores could have different prices. I found this out on their website somewhere. ALso, when i tried to buy a pair of shorts in the store , theirs was full price while online, it was 50% off. Classic bait-and-switch.

  43. clevershark says:

    It seems to me that if they have wifi working and redirecting to the “internal” site, it’s basically to stop you from using one of the demo laptops to access the “external” Best Buy site so you can price check. Redirecting people who use a wifi phone is just a side-effect.

  44. clevershark says:

    I suppose that if you really want to be sure you’re looking at the right site you could always memorize the address of a public proxy server and use that on a demo laptop.

  45. dasunst3r says:

    I got an idea! Let’s send Best Buy a nice message by doing the following, en-masse:
    1. Find items that use this bait-and-switch method
    2. Make a printout of the page(s) of the items you want
    3. Go to Best Buy, get the item
    4. Upon seeing a different price at the register, cancel the transaction and walk out.

  46. krisgpindel says:

    When you look at those seemingly “misleading” prices on their kiosks there is a HUGE yellow banner on the page that loads which says “Kiosk resembles in store pricing – national prices may vary.” Nobody notices that? Not every Bestbuy store has the same price, just as not every Bestbuy store has the same price as the website. Pricing can change with territories, plus they have a good 30 price match anyway, it’s not like the money is lost forever.

  47. ShadowFalls says:

    Best Buy did address this as he said… They just addressed it only in the state of Connecticut.

  48. tamushrek says:

    I shop at best buy all the time and love it :D Bought a game today that was advertised at $59.99 and when i went to check out it was $37.99. I win :) Everyone who priceshops should see that bestbuy is overprices on many of its electronics and If they don’t see that they deserve to pay the extra anyways.

  49. Me - now with more humidity says:

    The LA Times just reported that the kiosks have been disabled.

  50. trollkiller says:

    @nursetim: You know they are doing it intentionally if you get the fake web site through their WiFi.

    Most likely their kiosks are connected via WiFi and the “hosts” file on their server is set up to direct to their intranet site. I will bet it was set up so that the kiosks are not accidentally left on the national site not to block customers using iPhones.

  51. mrsultana can't get a password to work says:

    First, I’ve never seen a WiFi at a Best Buy that did not require a proxy, so I can Shenanegans on this whole story. Second, what is wrong with having the website only show the local prices. Try getting Walmart to match even a Walmart a few miles away! (Damn, I just compared it to WalService…) Third, price matching something is up to the customer to provide the proof, not the customer service. Otherwise, you could walk in and claim Circuit City has a 360 Elite for $279 and you even saw it on their own website.
    Look, Best Buy sucks, but I work because it is flexible with my school, pays more than Starbucks, and gives me a discount to feed my gaming habit. But for every story I see on Consumerist where somebody claims to have been screwed, I have five more that day from people trying to screw the company out of serious cash. I had a guy try to return a sealed GPS today for $700. I opened it because it felt light (my GM is good enough to say it is okay rather than take the shrink) and found a cardboard picture of an iPod. He changed his story to say it came that way.
    The guy in the article probably wasn’t exactly treated fair, but I don’t believe 100% of his story.
    Anybody wonder why nobody admits even 5% of the fault in any of these stories? They try to make themselves look good and like the victim. Doesn’t Best Buy suck enough without you being all Drama Queeney on us?

  52. Iskandr says:

    If you are afraid you aren’t going to get the online price with BestBuy, place an in store pick-up through their website before you leave the house. This way you are guaranteed to get it for the online price.

    There was a CD I wanted that was $14.99. I didn’t want to pay that much at the time so I passed it up. I went online just tonight and they had the CD for $7.99. I ordered it, waited for my confirmation, and headed to BestBuy (it’s like 5 minutes from my house) thinking I got a good deal. Even better, when I got to the store it took more than a minute to find it(try 10 to 15 with 4 people looking) so I got it free because of their in store pick-up policy. If they don’t have it in your hand within a minute of handing them the confirmation you get up to $10 off. Totally worth waiting a few days!

  53. mrsultana can't get a password to work says:

    Oh, and what if they didn’t have the kiosks at all. You would get all pissy with me when I tell you to provide your own damn proof of a price. We have almost nothing to do in the store with The orders come in, inventory takes it off the shelf, customer service gives it to you when you come in. End of story. Nobody can add on your points. We can’t price adjust. You have to take it up with the website.
    And on things they could’ve fixed, but still haven’t, the first story I read about someone not being able to exchange a .com Christmas gift this year is going to get a huge screed in the tone of “blame the victim” (that seems to be the rage on this site these days).
    Let me explain this for all of you:
    If you bring back something your aunt Mildred or dad in Iraq bought you from, it goes back to their credit card or they get mailed a new gift card. No, you can’t just exchange it without getting penalized for the no receipt exchange (one to three per year, max), unless the Rep 2 is a moron who won’t be able to follow through on his promises. Return it and have them order you a new one. We all hate the system. We bitch about it. Nobody has changed anything. I’m sure there is something about your corporate office that you don’t like, but the difference is that after people scream at you, you don’t have to read about it on the web. (Yes, I’ve seen a complaint about a friend on the tubes before and know for a fact that the author was lying to one of these sites). I love reading the Consumerist, but sometimes, you need to know to bitch about executives, not people on the line. When you yell at someone making $9/hour (the “curly” haired guy in comments above and almost every other one of these threads I read), you’re not a smart consumer, you’re a bully.

  54. iamme99 says:

    I don’t understand. If you find an online price that you like, why don’t you just order the thing and be over with it?

    Why get dressed, get in your car, wasting time and gas in your big SUV to try to buy it in-store? To save the $10 shipping charge? Because you need immediate gratification and can’t wait a few days? Because you like interacting with the Best-Buy dweebs?

  55. mjbballar23 says:

    Almost all of the “deceptive practices” you guys are talking about could easily been explained by ill-trained employees. If the employees dont know whats going on, how could they possibly explain the truth to customers. People just need to understand that working at best buy or any other retailer doesnt require an education or even common sense and therefore you should not accept what a saleperson tells you to be fact. As was stated in a previous post, you have to be SMART customers.

  56. Buran says:

    @Me: Yeah, that’s what they said last time.

  57. Buran says:

    @MantisDragon: Can’t price adjust? Really? Then why don’t you try scrolling up and reading the comments above yours in which people have done exactly that, instead of posting lying apologist crap?

  58. Buran says:

    @MantisDragon: dangit, hit the wrong post. Sorry.

  59. Buran says:

    @mrsultana: See my misdirected reply to mantisdragon, which is supposed to be yours.

  60. Buran says:

    @mjbballar23: When it’s criminal fraud and/or bait & switch, that’s not an excuse. Bad employee training makes you in violation of the law? You have no choice but to train people better.

  61. clyde55 says:


    That’s why I was there. It’s a rather involved story. I had ordered it on line to pick up at the store. I do this because I work during the hours that UPS delivers in this one horse town and if I have them leave it at the door, you can say goodbye to that package. So there are reasons, in answer to the person who asked the question above who seems to think there are never any reasons for people to do such things.

    When I went into the store I expected them to be swamped but they weren’t. I checked the in store price on the camera out of curiosity which is how I knew what the store price was. It gets stranger still though.

    I had also ordered two sandisk memory cards which were $14.99 each. The web site said they would have to be shipped and could not be picked up at the store. Why? Who knows. I figured that if I picked up the camera maybe the UPS guy or whoever could stick the disks in the mailbox and I wouldn’t have to worry about them(my fault. I completely forgot how everything is overpackaged these days).

    So besides checking out the cameras, I also checked out the memory cards. And they did have them and and they had them at the same price as on line. And they had plenty of them. So I never did figure out why they had to ship them to me and why I couldn’t pick them up in the story also and they had no answer to that either.

    After unnecessarily waiting in line for that hour, I asked the girl at the pick up counter if I could just go ahead and buy the cards at the store and cancel that part of the order. She couldn’t do that, but she told me if I went ahead and bought the cards I could call and cancel the order on the phone the next day.

    So I did. Except when I called to cancel the order the guy on the phone said the cards had already been shipped out. I asked how could that be since I had just placed the order the previous late afternoon, and that this was Sunday. I also told him I had not received an email confirming they had been shipped, nor did it show on line that the order had been shipped. He said, that sometimes it takes a while to update. Fair enough I suppose except….

    It wasn’t until two days later that I received an email stating the cards had been sent that same day, and it also wasn’t until then that my order on the web site had been updated…showing that the items had been shipped that very day I had received the email.

    And the when the cards came, there they were sitting on my porch step when I came home from work, in a box big enough to hold about 25000 cards if there were no packaging to them.

  62. Zombietime says:


    Sounds to me like you got really good service from and you’re complaining?

  63. iamme99 says:

    @Clyde55 – That’s why I was there. It’s a rather involved story. I had ordered it on line to pick up at the store. I do this because I work during the hours that UPS delivers in this one horse town and if I have them leave it at the door, you can say goodbye to that package. So there are reasons, in answer to the person who asked the question above who seems to think there are never any reasons for people to do such things.

    Ummm, you do know that you can have UPS deliver to your work address also? Or you could pick the stuff at the UPS delivery center. Or you might even be able to have them leave the packages at the local UPS store (haven’t tried this myself).

  64. Copper says:

    @coren: If you read on the website, the $10 comes off if you wait more than 1 minute (or 5 for larger items) AFTER giving the confirmation email. It does NOT count any wait time in line.

    @mrsultana: You’re right. The only thing a store can do for an online purchase is exchange if defective (and within the return period or under PSP/PRP) and it’s in stock. Customers don’t read the website before making purchases and find out what they can and can’t do…pisses me off. Although, I’ve talked to my fair share of idiot store associates who don’t know the policies either…

  65. HOP says:


  66. BK88 says:

    I found a cheap DVD player for $46.39 online at Best and it was listed at $57 in the store. I asked an associate, he went to print it in the Magnolia Home Theater section, and it was the actual price I saw online. So maybe you should have the Magnolia section computers print it out. Or maybe my Best Buy just doesn’t sucketh.

  67. rienholt says:

    I work in a Best Buy and some of these complaints are valid. Mainly due to temp holiday employees not yet experiencing every single situation that can occur but every retail store has these problems.

    These terminal complaints are getting insane though.
    1. There is a big yellow banner that states these represent in store stock estimates and their original prices. It also says ask an associate for help.
    2. We match the online price if our in store price is wrong. Which happens at any retail store.
    3. Some items are available online only. They say that in red.
    4. Some sales are online only despite us having the items instore. Mainly on consumables like paper and ink. These orders must be shipped, can not be picked up in store and our website says that.

  68. vastrightwing says:

    Oh good, another reason to hate Best Buy! Best Buy ripped me off selling me a worthless contract for a warranty they won’t honor. So not only do they try to rip you off with higher prices, they lie to you telling you they will honor a high priced warranty when they have no intention of honoring it. Screw the customer. Great business plan!

  69. normanm4 says:

    You all realize that best buy doesnt have a “santa clause”, they have opted instead to offer consumers the “F.U. Clause”.

    Regarding “[Sue Busch, a Best Buy spokeswoman] …admitted that “a small percentage of customers did not receive a price match when they should have due to errors in policy execution.” This is a standard statement always used to CYA when a dirty practice is applied to everyone!

  70. bubuli says:

    i’m pretty sure somebody said this already: shop online then select “pick up from store.” problem solved.

  71. trollkiller says:

    @Buran: That must be some really good eggnog. Remember don’t drink and drive.

  72. ryanpete says:

    You are all ridiculous. This article is completely false, the in store kiosks have a disclaimer at the top of the window about 2″x 8″ Saying something of the effect.. “Prices on in-store kiosks represent in store pricing only, and do not reflect prices available on” Get your story straight before bashing.

  73. Temujin2012 says:

    1) This isn’t “Bait and switch” There are different prices, and stated clearly as such.
    2) The in store kiosks clearly state, in the HUGE yellow banner at the top, that it reflects in store pricing.
    3) Most locations there is no “free wifi” The network “Best Buy” is internal. GS agents use it for testing, and other stuff. You’re going to get the same stuff you get on the kiosks.

    Stop being dumb, print out a screenshot, or buy it online, and pick it up at the store. Ask the associate to go to National on their employee toolkit. Another way to solve the problem.

    Don’t take it out on Best Buy that you are dumb, and don’t take the initiative in asking the cust. spec. to show you nat.

  74. Caswell says:


    Shopping at Best Buy can be a decent experience, provided you realize that they hate you.

    I typically go there only to price match items, since our local Cicuit City is run by yokels. That, and our Best Buy commonly makes mistakes on pricing open items, such as marking things down to $4.49 instead of what was obviously supposed to be $44.99. Yup, I can feel the hate from them directed at me when I walk in the store.

    Just last week I was returning some items and the gentleman behind me in line was basking in the adoration of multiple Geek Squad and customer service employees. Heard him mention to someone over the phone that “he must’ve gotten it at Best Buy, where else would he buy it?” I had to wonder just how much of this man’s money (and porn) they’ve siphoned off for years to get that level of positive attention.

  75. lolligag says:

    If they’re dumb enough to fall for the in-store kiosks and not do research, then why let a sucker keep his/her money. America needs to stop finger pointing. Also Best Buy employees are not trained properly, so the majority don’t even know that the kiosks display the incorrect prices. If you don’t like Best Buy, shop somewhere else. Maybe then you’ll start finding out the errors of other retail stores.

  76. dewdude says:

    I have never used in-store kiosks or have had any luck getting my local Best Buy to price match ANYTHING…they usually give me some idiotic story about how it’s not enough proof…i’ve gotten to the point i’m just like “that’s fine. I’ll go next door to Circuit City”, sometimes they do something, sometimes they don’t.

    I think what gets me more than anything are the inept people they have selling stuff. I’m a geek for the most part, and when I go to buy something, I either understand the item, or will go do my research. Occasionally I’ll ask an in-store person advice on something..I’ve found thier adivce pointing me to the more expensive item..that does nothing that i wanted it to do…rather than getting a well infomred technical answer…how can you sell HDTV’s when you can’t explain the difference between interlaced and progressive scan?

    I think they diffently need to train people better….or change thier hiring practices. I got denied a job 3 or 4 times from them, despite the fact I have A+ certification and installed home theaters for a living…or maybe they hire dumb people to anger customers and ruse them into buying an shiney expensive piece of crap you don’t need.

    on the otherhand..circuit city is the land of “nothing is displayed you have to ask us”…and I hate not being able to look at an item and rather having to rely on a customer serivce rep tell me what’s available.

    buying online is great…but what about those of us who don’t want/can’t obtain a credit card?

    face it, these corporations are going on the assumption the consumer is a complete total idiot.

    i just don’ stuff anymore….i don’t need a big screen TV or new computer.

  77. sgf323 says:

    I was recently at Store 240 in Omaha, NE to buy a Logitech Harmony remote. I had seen it at Best for $127 earlier in the day. The salesperson told me it was $135 and showed me on their website that I was wrong. I asked if it was the actual or the fake one I heard about in the news. He said it was the real one. So, I pulled out my BlackBerry and pulled up and showed him that the price was actually $127. He gave it to me at that price and when I spoke with the manager he gave me bullshit about it being an old cached page.

  78. Bangner says:

    After reading this article, I find it very amusing. I worked at Best Buy for almost three years but never realized that this was happening. I had witnessed some people asking about the variances in prices on the site, but was always told it was an computer problem. Once again, BBY trying to screw its loyal customers.

  79. impudence says:

    I was in staples today and ran in to the same problem. The filing cabinet I wanted was 149 on their website, but their in store kiosk listed it at 169. So I left and ordered at home and saved 20 bucks.

  80. smashleymuch says:

    ” You should just buy it online and then pick it up at the store.”

    I did this and then 2 days after they billed me I got an email saying the product I wanted wasn’t in stock at the store I chose. I had to wait 30 mins on the phone to tell them to ship it to me. 2 weeks later I was still without my product. I checked the tracking and it was damaged! I had to call the customer service department. They didn’t have the decency to inform me it was damaged . Then I had to argue over my refund. They said I would have to wait 5 days for a “research team” to decided what to do. I filed a complaint with the better business bureau. I just received an email saying that my CC was credited, but still no credit to my account. It has been over 20 days that they have had my money and I am empty handed. I will NEVER do business with them again! Online or in store. I ended up going to Target and finding what I bought online.

  81. MrShmants says:

    I’m a geek squad agent and I just want to set some things strait. There is two site yes, the national site [] and the second site, which is a local site that lists all the local sales. You can get to this second site by using the store locater. The only reason they do that is so people can look at the local store sales. Sometimes the prices don’t match, but it wouldn’t matter because all you would have to do is print out the ad and bring it in and they would price match it. The problem is as a general rule people are retarded (I include myself in that list, I have done some stupid stuff as well) and that doesn’t exclude best buy employees. What is happening is the kiosks are set to the local store prices, and a lot of the employee’s don’t think to go check the national site on a terminal and get the those prices. Also there are some instances where the deal is for online purchases only, but it tells you. What they need to do is set those kiosks to the national instead of the local since we have the paper ads in the store anyway. I almost quit when we had the Geek Squad issue with the porn. This though is just an issue with stupid people in general.

  82. madoxp says:

    @ivealwaysgotmail10: Uh, Best Buy doesn’t offer FREE WIFI, their wireless network setup is specifically for their telxons and Geek Squad to test wireless access. You shouldn’t be able to access any internet unless you are using the correct proxy address. As far as going to a kiosk and putting in a secret employee ID, yeah, thats how we access our intranet with tools to do our job (check inventory, create service tickets, look up receipts for customers who need to make a return without one, etc.).

    The after the CT event .com Kiosks clearly state in bold yellow and black (under the navigation bar where the banner appears when the site is accessed externally) that “THIS KIOSK REFLECTS IN-STORE PRICING.” :)

  83. imakulate says:

    I worked at Best Buy and I was part of Geek Squad for two years until I quit about 3 months ago(best feeling ever, people can show signs of brainwashing there). This was in San Antonio, Texas. During that period we always had different prices online and in store. It doesn’t really have to do with them trying to do a bait and switch so much as they just want more money if you are coming into the store to purchase. The website says at the top that these are online only prices and that it does not reflect in-store pricing. That being said, they are supposed to match the online price every time it is mentioned. This is an easy task that usually can be performed without a manager password, so why employees don’t just give the customers the match(like I always tried to do) is beyond me. Like I said people can be brainwashed into believing that they themselves are benefiting by screwing over the customer whenever possible.

  84. sven.kirk says:

    @impudence: I worked at Staples a few years back. We wold have prices matched easily. But I would have suggested ordering it from the get go, with it being a big bulky item. They usually have free shipping with purchases totaling over $50. Why stress out trying to get it home when it can be shipped for free.

  85. waldo247 says:

    I believe that every Bestbuy will match their online pricing instore, however, the people that they higher do not look at Consumerist and don’t know about the two different websites, instore and online pricing.

    Coming from someone that has worked retail, the person ringing you up does not care how much they charge you. They don’t make a cent more. They may be judged on how many extras they sell to you, but on the basic product, they could care less. There is no scam, just uninformed, underpaid employees. If you are nice to them and don’t freak out, tell them there are two different websites, they can check the real one. Just remember to be nice. People will always be willing to help you more if you stay cool.

  86. rpwalsh says:

    If you don’t like the in store price, there is a very simple way of avoiding it, BUY IT ONLINE!!!! Best Buy and any other company is fully within their rights to charge different prices in store than on their website. The overhead for a storefront is much higher than a nationwide website. Do you think Amazon would be nearly as cheap as it is if it had brick and mortar stores throughout the country? Of course not. Those pimply faced sales clerks along with the lease payments on the building itself take a huge chunk out of the profits. All the whining among so called “technophiles” drives me nuts. You find a low price on a website and then feel that you are entitled to that same price no matter where you go. Everything has to be a god damned conspiracy on the internet. Maybe when some of you get past puberty you will realize that the world is not out to get you. Grow up!

  87. Touchpad says:

    No, at best buy, the in store kiosks reflect local store stock and regular pricing. They don’t put the online price there so they don’t have to give every customer the lower price, only the ones who ask for it. It’s not deceptive, its not a scam, or anything close to it.

  88. goller321 says:

    @Temujin2012: You’re overlooking one VERY important aspect. Many times, when people mention the price for, store associates walk over to the kiosk and tell them they are wrong. No that isn’t bait and switch… it’s fraud!
    Stop whining about how you’re treated. If you dance with the devil, you’re gonna burn you feet at some point.

  89. peteyale says:

    Finally an iPhone commercial concept worthwile.

  90. slicenglide says:

    Dude, I know your wifi bit is full of it, because at all Best Buys in the US you have to input proxy settings for the wireless to work. Yours didn’t magically guess the IP of the proxy server and the port settings. iPhone my ass.

    The kiosk though? Well, that’s anyone’s guess. I just know about their wireless.

  91. gagustafson says:

    The people writing on this website that claim they are being “scammed” by Best Buy are morons, coming from a Customer Service employee at the Best Buy in Minnesota. Those that complain about BB’s prices and customer service: shop somewhere else! If you think that BB won’t survive without your business, open your eyes and recognize that BB is probably one of the top electronics retailers in the world, not to mention the largest growing. My biggest pet peeve is people like you who think we’re just trying to rip you off. Believe me, as an 18 year old college student who works at Best Buy on the weekends, it honestly does me no good to “rip you off.” I know, shocking right? As many before me have said, the kiosks are there to reflect INSTORE PRICES. If you see something on the ACTUAL website ( and come in the store and realize it’s more expensive, believe it or not but customer service would be more than happy to price match it for you, again, it’s very shocking and hard to believe, just bear with me.

    And for the commenter who said he waited for an hour for a .com pick up, I find that extremely difficult to believe, however being as how you went in the SATURDAY AFTER THANKSGIVING, that’s your own fault.

    So, all you that think we’re “scamming” you, honestly, you probably aren’t that important to the company to screen your WiFi on your iPhone or to deny you a price match of OUR OWN online prices.

  92. hals000 says:

    i work at best buy as a salesman, and i would just like to say, i am happy to price match whatever a customer says he saw at another store or i won’t even bother checking 90 percent of the time because it really isn’t worth it. there is absolutely no gain for me to screw the customer as i don’t get any commission or any performance bonuses. i am willing to give any customer a good deal as long as it is above cost to best buy so i dont get in trouble.

  93. Foxer says:

    Ok, I’m calling Bull on the WIFI thing. It is true that there is WIFI there, but we also use a proxy, so unless you also know that they you aren’t getting on any web pages. So I highly doubt that anyone was connecting to the WIFI there.
    Also, like someone else said, at the top of the page in the kiosks is says in HUGE letters, “This reflects in-store pricing only.”
    Just ask someone, and as long as they aren’t new they will know how to get to the national site with the correct prices.

  94. tadees says:

    PLEASE…stop freaking out and act like some of you have never taken a business course or two.
    Before I begin, a couple of caveats: 1) BB should not be excused for not fully explaining to their customers the difference of online pricing and retail pricing (hold on…it’s coming, in a minute), and 2) BB is probably big enough (or should be) to figure out an “everyone ends up happy” way around this-solution…
    That being said, there is a significant difference between running a B&M physical retail location and the minimal expenses required to open an online retailer. Simply opening the doors and turning on the lights could easily justify an x% mark-up. It sounds like many people are more pissed about the pricing discrepancies than the deception. The difference in prices is EASILY justified…running a promo (or ads, unsure of which), rather than specify one is the same is what we should be outraged about.

    Just my nickel.

  95. ekdikeo says:

    Best Buy should get themselves a properly trained, and commissioned sales force, as that’s the only way to properly succeed in this business.

    That being said, anyone notice on the main best buy website, it says that those prices apply to online purchases only, and that instore prices are not necessarily the same? I do!

    Everyone’s totally freaking out about nothing.

  96. clevershark says:

    It looks to me like all Best Buy-related problems can be obviated by simply not shopping at Best Buy.

    As an aside, GAGUSTAFSON should really be up for a “customer service” award!

  97. clyde55 says:


    Gee, aren’t you the corporate wonder calling a customer a liar. I can see you’re headed for a corporate position already, unless of course you actually are one already trying to save face.

    Yes, I have nothing to do with my time but come on here and make up stories about what I did today at Best Buy. For your information, (although it sounds like you’ve succumbed to some kind of brainwashing) and if you had actually bothered to read, you would have seen that I said that I was in there on a Saturday Evening after Thanksgiving. The big crowds had already cleared out. There were only eight of us in line at the pick up counter and IT DID TAKE AN HOUR for me to get waited on while there were cashiers over on the registers doing nothing. There was no wait at all and no line at the check out lines. Most of all there was not enough work to keep the cashiers occupied.

    Frankly, the fact that you called me a liar proves just one thing: You’re just another flunky in a blue shirt.

  98. mrsultana can't get a password to work says:

    Because the cashiers at the front of the store all know how to work the customer service to get your in store pick up? Hey, I was at the hospital the other day and had to wait 3 hours for the doc to put in a cardiac stint. And the friggin’ secretary just sat there filing her nails the whole time!
    Did it ever occur to you that different people are trained for different things? Yes, there are times the front registers have nothing to do, but they are usually terrible sales people and don’t have the codes to work customer service returns/exchange or pickup.
    I worked the Saturday night after Thanksgiving. It did, in fact, “clear out”. As soon as it was announced that the store was closing…
    Best Buy is a part time job. As much as a smart ass as I am, NOBODY at work would think I was brainwashed. But the fact is, there ARE customers that lie (not many) or exaggerate to save a few bucks (far more people). And when someone says they are using WiFi in my store, they are either lying or a former employee who knows the proxy.
    And if there are eight people in line, and Best Buy is sticking to the five minute policy (assuming everyone is getting something large from the warehouse), that’s forty minutes before getting to you. In which case, there are two possibilities: you are exaggerating for effect (you then do have time to “make up stories about what” you do in your day) or you were sitting there watching your watch and timed 60 minutes and zero seconds, which leads me to believe that you are a type-A idiot who was looking to beat up some teenager to make yourself feel better about yourself. Can I suggest instead, try doing some situps, buy a nicer car, learn yoga, and find some way of boosting your flagging ego. Gagustafoson is right on many things. You seem to be looking for something to complain about to make up for your poor planning (nobody can control crowds), lack of understanding of what is really going on (nobody can be trained for every job), and overinflated ego (associates are less important in the world than you, so beating them up proves to everyone how important you are).
    Frankly, the fact that you call him a flunky shows your bias, warped more than any blue shirt, because you don’t think customers lie at all. It shows you are mean, abusive, and either never worked retail or were just plain bad at it.

  99. goller321 says:

    @mrsultana: You and Gagustafoson should get a room.
    I’d love for you to tell me how you know specifically what every BB store in America looked like on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. For you to ASSUME that his store was the same as yours proves the adage about assuming… And why didn’t the manager do something about people waiting in line??? I find an hour, or even 40 minutes unacceptable for waiting in line- especially if the rest of the store was near empty. Also, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out how to determine that you were in line for an hour. He didn’t say exactly one hour he said… “an hour.”
    As for needing a proxy… again, you have zero way of knowing what that specific store’s wifi network was at the time. Just look at the 60 Minutes story on how many stores have open systems. Just because yours in closed doesn’t mean all BB stores are.
    And for the record, I’ve had almost all of my price matches denied for no valid reason, so it isn’t an isolated incident. But then again, I am a devil customer… that’s what your boss called bargain shoppers isn’t it?

  100. Born2Code says:

    I stopped shopping at Best Buy six years ago for a worse mishap. I walked into their store one day and was immediately offered a “free” AT&T cell phone by one the workers. I told him that I already have an AT&T cell phone that i am happy with. He kept saying that i can upgrade to this cool new phone for free after the mail-in rebate.
    I finally agreed and put the purchase on my Best Buy card. When i sent the rebate in, i got a letter from AT&T saying they cannot honor it because i am an existing customer. I explained to them that nothing in the form i was given said anything about existing customers and that the sales person knew am an existing customer. To no avail, they refused to honor the rebate.
    I took the phone back to best buy and demanded a refund. They promptly “refunded” my best buy card and i totally forgot about the whole thing.

    Six months later, i get tracked down by a Credit Collection Agency for defaulting on my Best Buy card payment.
    Turns out they never refunded me at the store. Worse, for some stupid reason they sent the next couple of statements to my previous address. They had my new address, to which they sent privacy statements and such, but still the statement went to the wrong address.
    Once my account was closed I could not connect to customer service. They require an account number to talk to a person, every time i punched in the number they routed me to their “collection department,” which refused to hear me out.

    I finally got hold of corporate and they refused to do anything about it.

    To this date, my one and only blemish on my credit history comes from this incident. I had a perfect credit history before and a perfect one since.
    My only alternative was to sue them in court. I decided to forgo the hassle.

    All my business since then went to competitors.
    I HATE Best Buy…

  101. mrsultana can't get a password to work says:

    I do know about the uniform standards that they use for security. I also know that it isn’t controlled by anyone in the store; corporate does all the work on it and make it the same. I’m still calling BS on the WiFi story.
    As for Gagus and I getting a room, I assume you mean that for our solidarity from people treating retail employees crummy because of their station in life. I don’t tell you to get a room with someone that agrees with you.
    I’ll admit I don’t know what happened at EVERY Best Buy the Saturday after Thanksgiving. There is no way that it would be statistically improbable for the store to be empty with it being the biggest shopping weekend of the year. Just because the store I was at, the one my parents went to, the mall my sisters were at, the shops my friends work at, any retail place the media visited, and the stores everyone bitched about on this site were all jammed all weekend (and mostly since then), I cannot tell a precise location’s census. However, I would love for you to tell me how you know specifically what this BB store in America looked like on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. What were you saying about assumptions? Especially after his story about stumbling onto a WiFi that most employees can’t access turns out to be about as solid as the hunt for WMD.
    And, yes, he did say, “an hour”. Given his predilection for hyperbole, I shouldn’t have assumed he meant precisely 3600.0000000000 seconds. So, I’m going to assume that he meant “within an hour” and that he was whiney because he had to wait 32.3 seconds. I’m not a semantics expert, but that is within an hour.
    But, you have proven what I was trying to point out earlier: feeling superior to a retail employee and then taking it out on them makes you look petty and insecure. My manager never called anyone a “devil”. However, he knows my experience and to back me up on my decisions. When I have to call him for a situation, he will follow what I recommend. It happens frequently, especially if you are an arrogant prat. I think we may have found the reason for the denials of your price matches…
    We can be just as petty in return.

  102. clyde55 says:


    I have to say that this site has been an eye opener.
    It’s easy to find the corporate shills as they continue to use the same method time after time to defend our new United Corporate States of America. I thought the original Rollerball movie was just a bad movie, as it turns out it may have been a prophecy. The only thing that will be missing in the real world is metallic ball, an oval track, and some rollerskates.

    But it’s easy to spot the corporate shrills like yourself and Gagustafoson, and all your clones. Its because each and everyone of you continually make the same post and offer the same silly defense time after time after time. Just repeat and rinse continually.

    The basic rules of your game of corporate defense is this:

    1. The consumer is lying. He is making the whole thing up because in the greatness of corporate America, there is no way that such a thing could happen.
    2. Pick out only the details you can twist and turn and ignore all other pertinent information in the post.
    3. Be sure to tell everyone that the new and benevolent Corporate America is out there only looking out for our best interest. We should be grateful to give our hard earned money to the corporate machine and to kneel at the alter of their board of directors as they bestow their holy greatness on us.
    4. Enter details and arguments into your defense that have absolutely nothing to do with the original comment or the situation at hand. Compare apples to oranges as often as possible.
    5. Be sure to accuse the poster of bad behavior that he does not mention, that you were not there to witness, and have no idea as to whether or not it took place. You know, once the accusation is made it is sure to stick.

    I hate playing these tit for tat games but the fact that you say my “flunky in a blue shirt” comment shows my bias goes back to the above rules. You completely ignore the fact that he called me a liar. So yes, I am bias. I am biased towards the fact that somebody who automatically assumes someone is lying as their only defense is a jerk, aka a flunky in a blue shirt representative of the corporate world of today.

    But let’s talk about the other lies you and your buddy completely ignored. The lie of the sales clerk that a simple phone call would cancel the on-line order? The lie of the guy on the phone that the order had already been shipped when it hadn’t? Was one the liar, or the other or both? Or were both just lazy friends of you and Gagustafoson who didn’t want to bother?

    Second, I’m glad you had a happy time at your store. At the store I was in the situation occurred just as I said, two hours before closing, only it was even worse than I made it appeared as I was trying for some amount of brevity. And for your information, I at no time beat up on some poor teenager or took it out on the clerk, or the guy on the phone. Nor did I accuse them of bad behavior either. In fact, I felt sorry for the one girl they had working the pick up line while two other employees behind the kiosk seemed to be busy with “important things.” (see rule 5) Your imagination does run wild when you have no real defense doesn’t it?

    Maybe I should have mentioned the two guys who got in line behind me and left in disgust when the line barely moved? Maybe I should have mentioned my imaginary girlfriend who was through the imaginary check out lane in an imaginary two minutes and was left sitting and waiting for me for my imaginary hour. Maybe I should have mentioned my very cordial correspondence to the company that was never answered.

    So no, the clerks weren’t rude (I never said they were), the guy on the phone wasn’t rude (he just lied about the items already being shipped) and the corporation itself was as it usually is, unresponsive. And I didn’t mention how they changed the SRP on the item in their ad and on the web a few weeks later, making it thirty dollars more and offering the camera at a savings of $30 dollars bringing it down to what was the actual SRP price on the manufacturer’s web site. And now? The SRP price is back down to $249 which is what it was in the first place. To be frank, I found all of that price manipulation quite humerous because I had taken Circuit City to task for putting a SRP of $279 when it should have been $249, and had defended BB on that score. It didn’t take long to prove they were birds of a feather.

    So next time, make sure you know what you are talking about, and as it turns out the only rude ones in this whole thing were mrsultana and Gagustafoson.

  103. arthurg says:

    I had this crap happen to me. Best buy is a good 30 miles from my house. I saw a great deal at on a wireless router and needed to pickup one for my aunt. I drove into town and went to best buy I found the router in the store and it was 10$ more expensive. I told the sales guy I saw it online cheaper. He proceeds to pull up and show me that I was wrong. I knew I was right as the whole reason I drove 30 miles to best buy was to pickup this router. As my wife and I were walking out the store I told her I bet they were pulling something like this. When I got home I double checked and I was right. I sure as hell wasn’t driving back to best buy agian.

  104. PassionateConsumer says:

    A suggestion for Mr. Gagustafson and other Best Buy employees that are defiantly expressing themselves (I cannot help but wonder – first if you’re actually an employee – second, what Best Buy management thinks of such posts. I’m guessing they’re not saying “atta boy!!: You might want to read the original LA Times article this post refers to.

    The customer clearly felt misled, had real reason to feel that way, and that’s the point. Perception is reality, and if a sizeable percentage of consumers perceive something as suspicious, then it’s folly to slap ducktape on a PR disaster, or ridicule people for ‘not getting it’.

    This is the age of transparency and openness. If companies do anything that even hints of deception, they’ll be found out. The fact that the customer in the article, when using the in-store kiosk, clicked on ‘’ to access what he thoughth was, but was a replica, exact save for price differences, is misleading. It doesn’t matter if you have a sign that says “reflects in store pricing”. If another part of the process tells you something different, then it’s confusing. The entire process, from beggning to end, has to be consistent, and be perceived as fair and consistent.
    A state attorney general apparently aggrees with we consumer ‘morons’.

    Companies need to carefully think through their Brick and Click strategies, as they encourage consumers to shop and order online, and pick up items at local store locations.

  105. Bdo81ster says:

    Although I’ve had the same experience, Best Buy is, in my opinion, still the best major consumer electronic store out there. Infinitely better than Circuit City, which has some of the oddest store policies, and CompUSA, which has straight-out ripped me off before… i mean actually stealing my money by selling me a $30 Reward Membership only to cancel the program 30 days later without refund.

  106. bklingensmith says:

    I just buy the item online from home at the lower price, and choose the pick up at store option. No hassles and the price is correct. Plus…when you go straight to the pickup counter you are less tempted to walk out with 10 movies and dvd’s.

  107. albadia408 says:


    Just wanted to point out that the whiny “coporate america” BS can be spread on both ways.

    The basic rules of your game of coddling whiny consumers who feel that corporate america is out to get them is this:

    1. The company is lying. He is making the whole thing up because in the greatness of corporate America, there is no way that he would NOT be trying to screw every customer who walks through the door.
    2. Pick out only the details you can twist and turn and ignore all other pertinent information in the post.
    3. Be sure to tell everyone that the new and proactive consumer is out there only looking out for our best interest. We should be grateful to give our hard earned money to the consumers who feel they are deserving of special treatment and to kneel at the alter of their masses of complaints as they bestow their holy greatness on us.
    4. Enter details and arguments into your defense that have absolutely nothing to do with the original comment or the situation at hand. Compare apples to oranges as often as possible.
    5. Be sure to accuse the poster of bad behavior that he does not mention, that you were not there to witness, and have no idea as to whether or not it took place. You know, once the accusation is made it is sure to stick.

    See? fancy that. I changed maybe a dozen words that immediately referenced “corporate” rather than “consumer” and it EXACTLY fits what everyone on this site does. Bitch and moan about how we’re all out to screw you.

    I’m not even saying that no Best buy employee has ever tried to screw a customer. That would be ridiculous. There are a LOT of fucked up people out there, and a few of em are bound to work for Best buy. Hell, a few of em are bound to be managers at Best Buy. But 90% of the stuff I see on this site is ludicrous.

    Like the Wifi thing with this story. As someone else mentioned, our wireless has a proxy on it. Managed by IS. EVERY time a new box is opened, its set up that way. The “tipster” should seek employment as a fiction author.

    Or what about the rest of it. First, Geek squad is evil because we’re stealing customers porn. I wouldn’t go so far as evil but, it was taken care of. THEN we’re evil, because we agressively took care of the issue. NOW we’re evil, because in the course of work (that the customer requested), we found child porn and got the sick bastard arrested.

    You people just want to find a reason to believe that every business is out to steal your money. Can someone please found a communist island somewhere that we can ferry these people to?

    If you haven’t skipped this by now, just put your foil hats back on, and go back to believing that sears, or best buy or circuit city is trying to steal your intarwebz and haxx your porn. cause obviously we’re not smart enough to DL our own.

    ~~Double Agent with the Geek Squad

  108. mrsultana can't get a password to work says:

    It is interesting on your rant about assumptions the number that you make.
    I often have to do research because of various situations (customer forgot receipt or brought me one from the wrong store, status of a .com pickup, PSP changes, making calls for credit cards, etc). Frequently, I have to discuss something with another person to plan what is the best way to handle some situation. However, since you don’t work there, and you aren’t me, you have no idea what I’m doing. If you think someone is slacking, ask yourself, “Do I have all the information? And how am I using a network that very few people in America who aren’t a BB employee using?” I once again call shenanegans on that. As retailers are very aware, but sometimes ignore, it takes a long time to build trust, but only one lie to shatter your credibility.
    The snarky tone of my “buddy” relationship with someone in a different time zone that I’ve never spoken directly to shows the kind of disrespect you give someone you consider beneath you.
    However, I think you confuse a “lie” with “not enough information”. A “simple phone call” can cancel an order, unless it has already shipped. You can only call him a liar if he either has access to that database (nobody in the brick and mortar) or has somehow memorized everything that has shipped to that point (only happens in your ridiculously fantasy world of retail employees giving you everything for free, followed by a “happy ending”).
    Why are you so offended at being called a liar when you level that same charge when you have such little information? But, you think I have no information on the WiFi. Except for the fact that I do and you don’t on the latter.
    I don’t assume a consumer is lying. But the second they do about the smallest thing (ie. “I got it as a gift and they swear they bought it here.”), they no longer get the benefit of any doubt.
    The fact that two people left shows me MORE not LESS how busy it must have been.
    I also don’t think corporate anything is benevolent. I do think many of the employees are. But, your demonizing doesn’t fly either. It makes so little sense that someone not on commission and doesn’t really give a damn about $30 of the company’s money would want to screw you. Level the finger at major company’s CEO’s, the GM’s, and consumers that were caught scamming before you. The rest of us don’t really care. Maybe your rule #1 should read, “Assume the employee is lying instead of misinformed due to constantly changing conditions and a large volume of products and different demands. It is more likely that, even though he has nothing to gain, he wants the fillings from your teeth. But at least you get to complain so you can feel superior.”
    Many of us enjoy helping and are smart enough that a few dollars lost here and there improve a customer’s opinion of the company and the chances of them returning. But the greatest gift is when someone is an unreasonable, stuffy blowhard and they say they will never shop there again. Because that improves the store for everyone, lowers the employees’ stress levels, and lowers prices (because we aren’t giving stuff away for free to shut someone up).
    (BTW, love the story of the camera… or was it a showcase of what you meant by rule #4? Ha!)

  109. PandaBunny says:

    Actually this ‘deceptive’ in store kiosk has a bright yellow bar that clearly states that the prices may be different from the national website. Most stores will generally “Price Match” their website, in fact there is a option to do so at the registers. If the employee doesn’t do it its because they are a complete Newb.

  110. gsmumbo says:

    Best Buy has a proxy set up on the wifi in store. How did this person connect and suft the web on the iPhone?

    There is a giant banner that states the prices reflect in store prices. Put two and two together. If the page reflects in store prices and you are trying to price match something in store, they are obviously going to show the same price.

    Price matching is a privledge. is an online store. The store down the road is a seperate store. The Best Buy down the road from there is a 3rd store. All three stores can technically have different sales going on. If you relaly want that online price… order online.

    Best Buy does not decieve it’s employees. It is impossible to go over every situation. I work there. Have for a good while now(before the whole CT situation). When I got hired on my very first day they showed us employees both websites and explained the differences in them. They told us that if someone comes in to price match online, always use the national site because the local site would show in store prices.

    In the holiday seasons… expect a long line. That is the same any where.

    Goller321… seriously. All the stores have the wifi proxy. As for the lines… wait in them. If you are shopping in the holidays, expect long lines. Don’t blame the store for your late shopping. If you don’t want the lines, shop before thanksgiving.

  111. gsmumbo says:

    To whoever it was that said that even though there is a bright yellow banner, we should have continuity througout the site(can’t find the post now)… we do. Having a giant yellow banner that says “IN STORE PRICES. MAY NOT MATCH NATIONAL PRICING” and then displaying the national prices would be misleading. You said having the banner on one part of the site yet showing something different elsewhere confuses the customer. We do the opposibe. We have the banner saying that the prices are local, not national. And we display the local, not national prices. Where is that deceptive?

  112. forever_knight says:

    @iamme99: excellent point. i agree completely.

    i think it’s because people want it now and don’t consider gas as a real expense when making a quick trip out.

  113. StevoDeebo says:

    I don’t have the time now to get into a rant as I’m already gonna be late to work but I’d just like to add/ask one thing. Does this suprise you? Just about every retail store that has a website is going to have some discrepancies between in-store prices and ones found online. It’s retail. They want your money for their product. However, you don’t have to give it to them. There will be customer service horror stories at any retail store. Just read between the lines and keep yourselves from being bent over. I’m not even sure if I’m following the thread right but.. my two cents.

  114. AlphaTeam says:

    These bait-and-switch schemes with one of things I always make sure to avoid. It’s why I usually buy stuff online and in the instance that I really need it right now and BestBuy is the only place carrying it, I usually just go check it out and then order it online from my phone and then pick it up straight away. It’s pretty simple, but of course requires a decent phone and some patience.

  115. wellfleet says:

    Oh for crying out loud: here’s the secret, for ALL THE WORLD to know… There isn’t a secret site. When you log in to any computer as an employee, you log in to a portal called Toolkit. From here, you can access e-mail, HR support, our customer contacts, punch-in clock, and other application. Alphabetically, there are two options: the first is Best – Local, the second is Best – National. Every single employee can access both of these sites, it’s not a secret. Further, some online prices are higher than in-store prices, while some are lower.

    Best Buy and are completely different entities. A Web site doesn’t have to pay a lease, pay for banking services, employees… it’s got very little overhead. It only makes sense that .com sells for less. That said, when you order online, you have to pay for shipping and have no access to promotional financing.

    I am so exhausted by this site’s “Best Buy can do nothing right” stance. As a company, we employ PLENTY of idiots who are not well trained and have no idea what they’re doing. Show me a single billion-dollar company that doesn’t face these issues. What bothers me is this blanketing of an entire corporation due to bad apples. America, per capita, has more homicides that any other industrialized nation. Can we then conclude that all Americans are killers?


    • Christina Marie May says:

      @wellfleet: I have to say a big thank you to you! I wanted to let everone know that at my Best Buy, if I print off the web price even from other stores (just not amazon or ebay) they will price match that store. And as so wonderfuly put up above, YES EVEN THE WEBSITE!!! Because the website might have a much better price! I save $10 on my printer ink and $2 on my paper that way. And I don’t have to drive so far to get it! I also get my movies cheaper!