CompUSA: This Video Card Is $114. Whoops! Just Kidding!

Joe was browsing through his CompUSA catalog and noticed a good deal on a video card, but when he tried to order it he was told that it was a misprint and that CompUSA wouldn’t be honoring the advertised price.

I’ve always been a good customer for Compusa, even after their local stores here closed and they went to catalog and online sales only. I’ve ordered a full computer for my inlaws less than 3 months ago, and several parts from their online or catalog advertising they send me via mail or email.

This week I received a catalog in the mail from Compusa. The front says Vol. I Issue 6BE. I was paging through the catalog like I normally do to see what they have. I noticed a videocard that looked to be a good deal and I was interested in it. I tried to order this card yesterday morning.

The videocard is a Visiontek Radeon HD 3870 X2 Overclocked Edition which is advertised in the catalog on page 54 for $114.99 twice including a picture of the actual card. When I went to their website I saw the card was $399.99 at this link:

I thought, wow, what a good deal. I must have to call into the # on the catalog to get this pricing they are advertising. So I called into the # on the catalog (1-800-COMPUSA) and waited to talk to a sales rep. A guy answered the phone and I told him I received the catalog mailer and would like to order a video card. He asked for the part # and I said V261-3874. He said ok, and asked for the priority code listed on the back of the catalog I received. I told him that info was KFE-2801. He said ok, I see we have that card for $399.99, how many would you like? I said I am interested but the catalog pricing shows $114.99 not only once, but twice in the ad with a picture of the videocard.

I was put on hold for several minutes. He returned talking frantic and said that it was a misprint in the ad and that their cost for the card was much more than the advertised price. I said ok, but I want the advertised price, it wasn’t an error in one spot, you show this card part # for $114.99 twice on the same page. He said they would not honor the mistake and that if I wanted one I would have to pay $399.99 for it. I said, what are you doing for those who got the mailer with this pricing. He became rude and told me I was one of about 600 people who tried to call in and get this deal and they are not helping anyone for that type of price. He immediately went on to ask me if there was anything else I would like to order instead. I asked again if they were honoring their advertised pricing and he said no and have a good day.

Typically, stores aren’t required obvious misprints such as a car for $200.00, etc. Things get a little foggy when the misprint isn’t obviously a typo. Usually what a reputable store will do in a situation like this is to post a notice informing their customers that there’s been a misprint. For example, placing a notice on the CompUSA website would have been the appropriate thing to do in this case. What’s not ok is to wait for their customers to call about the mistake and then offer to sell them the video card at a higher price. CompUSA should be making an effort to inform their customers that there’s been a misprint in their catalog.