A few days ago we reported that Cliff didn’t receive a $100 gift card when he purchased a PS3 bundle from Best Buy, despite an unpublicized corporate memo that seemed to say otherwise. The manager at Cliff’s Best Buy said “You can buy any other PlayStation and you can get the gift card, but not on that one.” This didn’t match up with what others were reporting, so Cliff sent an email blast to the executive level asking why the offer wasn’t honored. Yesterday a Best Buy rep called Cliff and said that they’d be mailing him a $100 gift card. We’re impressed the Best Buy resolved this so quickly.
We’re also glad this was resolved in the customer’s favor, which will probably annoy many of you who disagreed with or attacked Cliff in the original post. Here’s why: Best Buy only honors price matches on in-stock items at competiting stores. Although it’s quite possible that Wal-Mart was already out of stock by the time Cliff made it to the register, the manager never gave this as the reason for the denial, according to Cliff’s story. The first time anyone at Best Buy brought up the in-stock condition was when a CSR said it to Cliff the next day over the phone. Since the manager made a distinction between the bundled PS3 and “any other PlayStation” but never mentioned stock being an issue, it’s far more likely that he denied the gift card to Cliff for some other reason—confusion over the memo, perhaps, or a desire to protect his store sales on the day the Metal Gear Solid bundle was released.
According to Cliff, Best Buy reiterated its in-stock rule but indicated they would make an exception of sorts:
I received a call from someone at Best Buy this morning who had been made aware of the situation by Lisa Smith (Vice President Customer Care). She explained what she understood of the situation and pointed out that the company policy regarding price matches is that the item must be in stock at a competitors store.
However because of the situation and that I was a valued customer, they are going to send out a $100 gift card. I’m hoping to see it in the next 2-3 weeks!
I can’t count how many times a day I refresh The Consumerist, but I’m certainly glad I’ve been reading it. If it weren’t for your tips like escalation and knowing about the executive email carpet bomb, I would’ve walked away from a corporate authorized price match. Thanks for everything and keep up the amazing work!
We think they should have just left it at “because of the situation,” because no matter who you are as a customer, in this case the store manager made a mistake.
Enjoy your gift card, Cliff!