Lawsuit: Best Buy 'false price match' bonus bombshell
Best Buy is soon coming to the UK. And if what's happening over in the US could be an accurate reflection of what we are to expect when Best Buy comes home, it raises a few alarm bells.
Recently, the US District Court ruled to allow a new class action lawsuit in New York against Best Buy. According to Plaintiff Thomas Jermyn, Best Buy “conspired” to prevent customers from taking advantage of the store’s price matching policy. Allegations against Best Buy include:
- an undisclosed Anti-Price Matching Policy
- an 'anti-price matching policy' disseminated from the HQ to regional managers, store managers, assistant managers, and necessary store personnel
- teaching employees how to deny price match requests in its training facilities in New York
- providing financial bonuses based, in part, on denying proper price match requests
- denying more than 100 proper price match requests per store per week
Basically, the suit allegedly claims that Best Buy knowingly deceived customers by using its price match guarantee policy as a ploy to lure unsuspecting consumers into its stores, and to induce them to purchase its merchandise, "pursuant to which employees aggressively deny customers’ legitimate price match requests.”
A Best Buy representative responded by saying, “We encourage customers to become familiar with our price-matching policy and use it to their advantage, especially in these tough economic times.” The representative also added that customers who believe they’ve met the applicable criteria and are unable to price match at their local Best Buy store should contact the Customer Care Center.
But doesn't that kind of defeat the purpose of walking into a 'price-matching store' because it promised a better offer than everything else down the road? Most striking of all claims was Best Buy providing financial bonuses to employees by denying, or lying, about price match requests even if they fit the criteria. Bonus to liars is starting to sound a bit AIGish, so let's just hope being sued for 'false advertising and deceptive practices' in its price matching scheme will change things a bit.