If you see a TV that normally sells for $2,000 suddenly listed for sale at $99, you probably know it’s either stolen, worthless, or — most likely — a pricing error. You’re free to try to take advantage of that goof, but you don’t really have much of a legal leg to stand on if they realize the error and cancel your order.
bait and switch
It turns out that our post yesterday about the pricing error at Best Buy wasn’t quite accurate. When the retailer’s site offered $200 gift cards for $15, lots of people hopped on this particular bandwagon and ordered them. However, a tipster reports that some cards shipped out before best Buy caught the error. Some shipped out…and they aren’t worth $200. Well played, Best Buy. [More]
Once again, the Walmart website made a pricing error, and once again shoppers tried to pounce on it only to later have their orders canceled. And as always happens in these situations, some of these folks are mistakenly claiming that this was a bait-and-switch scam. [More]
It’s not the fastest or best computer you’ll see, but the laptop that reader J. spotted for sale at her college’s online bookstore was a deal she couldn’t pass up. An AMD E300 processor! 2 gigabytes of RAM! A 320 gigabyte hard drive! All this for only $10. She placed an order and waited…only to have her order rudely canceled with no notice. [More]
Once again, a retailer is making headlines with shoppers angry they aren’t getting the items they ordered at obviously erroneous prices. This time it’s Walmart.com, which experienced a major glitch yesterday, attaching incorrect prices to numerous items. So this is a good time to remind everyone that this is not a “bait and switch” and that retailers are generally not under any obligation to honor pricing errors. [More]
The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs has filed a lawsuit against a moving company, claiming dozens of cases in which movers allegedly held customers’ items hostage until they paid charges that were several times the quoted cost. One woman claims she was told she could get could get her items off the truck — if she had sex with them.
Several times a year, the Consumerist inbox is flooded with e-mails from people who are livid because they purchased something online at a huge discount only to have the retailer cancel the order, claiming it was a pricing error and the item should never have been listed at that price. Some people are quick to call this “bait-and-switch,” and state very confidently that the retailer is somehow legally obligated to honor the original price. These people are mistaken.
Mike came across this sign on a rack of sunglasses while on vacation at a famous vacation destination. “All of the sunglasses on the rack were exactly the same, and had a price tag of $12.00 marked down to $9.00,” he writes. “No ’25 cent’ ones to be seen anywhere. Classic!”
Dave says he was lured in by the promise of a low rate when he switched from Cablevision to Verizon FIOS, but the bills have been much higher than expected and when he called to complain he was told the promotion he signed up for didn’t fit anything Verizon offers.
Anna says Dell sent a special offer on a laptop via text, and even though she acted on the sale immediately she hasn’t been able to bag the deal, and instead was offered a similar product for $150 more.
Corey, who is trying to help his Brooklyn parents improve their TV setup, feels his folks were baited and switched by Verizon, displaying a cheap deal on its site that went away after he entered his parents’ address.
Valente’s plan was simple enough: Purchase a netbook from Best Buy during Cyber Monday sale. Order it from Best Buy’s web site for in-store pickup so he could be sure to have it in hand. Bring netbook home and hide it from his son until Christmas. Unfortunately, he tells Consumerist, the transaction didn’t work out according to his plan, he drove to another Best Buy two hours away that claimed to have a netbook on hold for him. A netbook that did not, as it turned out, exist.
This is the time of year when retailers like to give back to the community by getting you to do it for them when you’re buying stuff. It might feel nice to help out a good cause, but make sure you know exactly what you’re paying for before you hand over any cash. Dominick, for example, just bought a Jack in the Box antenna ball when he thought he was straight-up donating to a non-Jack charity.
The person who blogs at MichiganTelephone just tried to help his friend sign up for DSL from AT&T last week. Their experience was so full of fail that now his friend doesn’t even want to bother trying anymore. Yes, a customer came to AT&T ready to sign up, and AT&T drove him away. Michigan telephone wonders, “Does AT&T have a death wish, or are they really just that incompetent?”
Dick thought he was getting a fair deal by renting a car from Dollar for $28 a day. He was shocked to see that his bill had been jacked by nearly $130 in taxes and fees when he returned the car.
If you bought cameras or electronics from any of these stores recently you were probably scammed: Best Price Camera, Foto Connection, 1 Way Photo, 86th Street Photo, Broadway Photo, Camera Whiz, and Sonic Photo. Or perhaps you bought something online from one of their astonishing array of alter egos and websites (see full list).