Lawsuit: Best Buy 'false price match' bonus bombshell

25 March 2009

http://img297.imageshack.us/img297/8942/thumbbestbuyworst489151.jpgBest 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.

[HDGuru via Gizmodo]

6 comments

  • -=Mike H.
    Like a penny taken from a wishing well, Best Buy won't give a shit.
  • Giles
    Sounds just like the PC World Price Match - never prepared to honour...
  • Fenza
    Giles has a point, PC World staff can be awkward jobsworths unless you're happy to stand your ground. Makes you wonder about their training processes too! I'd rather Best Buy stayed away as they'll just insult us by hiking up their USA prices to keep inline with UK electronic e-tailers such as eBuyer, Scan, etc. I doubt they'll cause a pricestorm by letting us pick up a GFX card at close to USA prices :(
  • Yas88
    effectively an american DSGi then . .
  • Mike
    Perhaps they should ship them as gifts from abroad, that way they could avoid ripoff wages, vat & taxes, then charge lower prices.
  • FringeFX
    Great blog, thanks a lot for the awesome posts!

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