The Best Buy in Secaucus, NJ refused to match J&R’s price for a Bluetooth headset, claiming that J&R was not covered by Best Buy’s price match guarantee. Best Buy employees first called J&R—a large New York electronics retailer—a wholesaler. A manager later insisted that J&R was a Mom & Pop store and refused to match the lower price. When reader Steven attempted to cut through the absurdity by calling corporate, he was told that the price match is provided at each store’s discretion. Read his full story, inside.
Yesterday, March 3, I decided to buy a Bluetooth headset because they have recently banned handset use while driving in NJ. I read reviews online, and decided to go with a certain headset that both J&R Electronics in NYC carries, as well as Best Buy. After some quick research, I realized that J&R’s in-store price was $30 less than Best Buy’s in-store price. So I reviewed Best Buy’s price guarantee policy thoroughly, and I couldn’t see why there would be a problem matching the price. I called Best Buy corporate to double check with them, and the lady on the phone agreed with me.
So I headed over to the Secaucus, NJ store, picked up the BluAnt Z9 headset I wanted to buy, and the representative in the “Mobile Shop” that was helping me, asked me who I wanted to price match, and I told him J&R, he said, “Oh, yea, that’s fine, just head over to the customer service counter.” I go to the customer service counter; present the cashier with my proof of J&R’s in-store price, as well as the store’s phone number, in case they needed to call to verify stock, according to their policy. She walks away from me and talks on her walkie talkie and comes back and says that “the store manager says we can’t match that price.” I asked to see the manager. After a few minutes the manager comes, doesn’t even say hi, or how are you today, he just stands there and looks at me. I explain to him how I spoke to Best Buy corporate before coming, etc. He tells me that J&R is a wholesaler, and they can’t match their price. I asked to him explain how it’s a wholesale shop when a normal person can go buy a product there without a resellers ID or tax certificate. Then he told me, “I’ll have someone in the back call corporate for you, when they have an answer, they’ll beep my walkie talkie.”
I waited another 10 minutes and the original cashier comes to me and says “we can’t do it, corporate says it’s the stores discretion, and we’re not going to do it.” I told her I wanted to see a manager. A different lady comes to the counter, again very rude and no greeting, turns out that the first person that came to the counter as a manager figure, wasn’t even a manager. So now this one gives me a run around. She tries to tell me they’re a wholesaler only because they have “wholesale prices,” to which I answered, “So just because they’re prices are lower than yours, they’re wholesale prices?” She was beat, and she knew it. Turns out she doesn’t even know what the fine print is on their price guarantee program, so I had to read it back to her, and then I find out that she’s not even a store manager. So at this point I am pretty disgusted with the stores hospitality and service, and the lack of knowledge of the policy on the whole staff. I asked her to see a store manager or the store’s general manager. She told me that neither of them was here today and that they were off. I continue arguing with her, threaten to call the Checks & Balances Bureau of Hudson County, she panics, then 15 minutes later came an actual store manager, this was the first person I interacted with that greeted me. The manager before introduced us and she told me that “he had just come in,” forgetting that she told me he was off. He claimed that J&R electronics is a local competitor, but they are a “mom & pops store.” I didn’t do anything but burst out laughing. I mean what kind of retail educated manager can say J&R is a mom and pops store? They probably do at least ¾ of the online business that BestBuy.com does, and they have only 1 retail store. They have a far superior customer service and retail structure to Best Buy. He then went on and scanned the product and told me that the best he could do is $79.99 vs. J&R’s $69.95. So asked him for his name and number, they lady’s name I spoke to before him, as well as the General and District Manager’s names and numbers. The gentleman refused to give me their names and contact info and told me that corporate does not allow them to give that info out. So I walked out, and I am now looking for Best Buy corporate emails, hoping you can help me with some contact info. I have attached Best Buy’s Price Guarantee Policy, as well as a screenshot of J&R & Best Buy’s page for the product.
The $30 price difference is not a big deal to me, believe me. It’s the way Best Buy treats it’s customers, and how thousands of customers a day get shafted by them.
Alternatively, Steven could have hopped in his car, spent four hours crossing the Lincoln tunnel, and bought the headset directly from J&R in Manhattan.