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Cochise
03-07-2007, 02:24 PM
http://www.courant.com/news/local/hc-watchdog0302,0,5198012.column?coll=hc-utility-local

Best Buy Confirms It Has Secret Website
March 2, 2007

Under pressure from state investigators, Best Buy is now confirming my reporting that its stores have a secret intranet site that has been used to block some consumers from getting cheaper prices advertised on BestBuy.com.

Company spokesman Justin Barber, who in early February denied the existence of the internal website that could be accessed only by employees, says his company is "cooperating fully" with the state attorney general's investigation.

Barber insists that the company never intended to mislead customers.

State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal ordered the investigation into Best Buy's practices on Feb. 9 after my column disclosed the website and showed how employees at two Connecticut stores used it to deny customers a $150 discount on a computer advertised on BestBuy.com.

Blumenthal said Wednesday that Best Buy has also confirmed to his office the existence of the intranet site, but has so far failed to give clear answers about its purpose and use.

"Their responses seem to raise as many questions as they answer," Blumenthal said in an interview. "Their answers are less than crystal clear."

Based on what his office has learned, Blumenthal said, it appears the consumer has the burden of informing Best Buy sales people of the cheaper price listed on its Internet site, which he said "is troubling."

What is more troubling to me, and to some Best Buy customers, is that even when one informs a salesperson of the Internet price, customers have been shown the intranet site, which looks identical to the Internet site, but does not always show the lowest price.

Blumenthal said that because of the fuzzy responses from Best Buy, he has yet to figure out the real motivation behind the intranet site and whether sales people are encouraged to use it to cheat customers.

Although Best Buy also refused to talk with me on specifics of the intranet site or its use, it insisted that its policy is to give customers the best price.

"Our intention is to provide the best price to our customers which is why we have a price-match policy in place," the company said in a written statement to me. "As prices and offers may vary between retail and online, our stores will certainly match BestBuy.com pricing as long as it qualifies under the terms and conditions of the price match policy."

"As a company, everything we do revolves around our customers' needs and desires. It is never our intent to mislead them as their loyalty is incredibly important to us," the statement said.

Then they threw in this interesting line: "Although we have an intra-store web site in place to support store operations (including products and pricing), we are reminding our employees how to access the external BestBuy.com web site to ensure customers are receiving the best possible product price."

That last sentence seems to indicate that Best Buy, which is supposed to be staffed by tech-savvy employees, is putting the blame on memory lapses: that employees have somehow forgotten how to access BestBuy.com from the store.

Having been to many Best Buy stores where some helpful employees showed me how they access the intranet and Internet, I can assure Best Buy officials that the re-education process will probably not be lengthy.

After making sure the computer is turned on, employees should click twice on the Yahoo Internet icon and then type in BestBuy.com.

This is not the first time the giant electronic retailer has gotten into trouble misleading customers. The firm, based in Minneapolis, operates more than 1,100 electronic retail stores in the U.S., Canada and China. It has more than 125,000 full-time employees.

Attorneys general in New Jersey and Ohio have accused Best Buy of deceptive sales practices, repackaging used merchandise and selling it as new, and failing to pay rebates and refunds. It paid $135,000 in New Jersey three years ago to settle that state's suit, which was based on hundreds of consumer complaints. The Ohio case is ongoing.

Saulbadguy
03-07-2007, 02:28 PM
Not surprising.

noa
03-07-2007, 02:28 PM
Bastards! :cuss:

Cave Johnson
03-07-2007, 02:39 PM
Stay classy, Best Buy!

Bob Dole
03-07-2007, 02:40 PM
Repost.

eazyb81
03-07-2007, 02:45 PM
Best Buy is scum.

FAX
03-07-2007, 02:46 PM
Good God!!

Now, I must wonder. Is this the real ChiefsPlanet or some false, misleading, and deceptive ChiefsPlanet?

Is Trent Green really going to the Dolphins or has Herm actually been arrested for driving a little too okaaay?

FAX

listopencil
03-07-2007, 03:25 PM
Good God!!

Now, I must wonder. Is this the real ChiefsPlanet or some false, misleading, and deceptive ChiefsPlanet?

Is Trent Green really going to the Dolphins or has Herm actually been arrested for driving a little too okaaay?

FAX


Hold on to your hat...the Broncos have just won their tenth consecutive Super Bowl and the Chiefs moved to the Bahamas a few seasons ago. This site only exists on a server I keep in my lunch box. Don't tell anyone.

Count Zarth
03-07-2007, 07:02 PM
There's actually nothing illegal about this. Prices are higher in the store frequently throughout the industry.

Fish
03-07-2007, 07:05 PM
There's actually nothing illegal about this. Prices are higher in the store frequently throughout the industry.

Maybe not illegal, but very misleading and bad form....

Sam Hall
03-07-2007, 07:08 PM
I'd like to uncover a secret web site that has all the Nintendo Wii systems that I can't find anywhere :shake:

FAX
03-07-2007, 07:10 PM
There's actually nothing illegal about this. Prices are higher in the store frequently throughout the industry.

They're lying to customers about their online discounts, Mr. GoChiefs. That's bad.

Oh, and Jeremiah Johnson is a complete idiot. He would make a good assistant coach for our team.

FAX

chappy
03-07-2007, 07:12 PM
This is not illegal Wal-Mart has misled customers about prices foever.
Plus prices are determined by the local market at a store if you want Internet prices buy it on the internet.

FAX
03-07-2007, 07:16 PM
Actually, now that I think about it, this has happened to me.

I went to their website once, got a price on a cordless home phone. I then went to the store to purchase the fabulous item. When I arrived, the price was significantly higher than the one I had seen on the web. I mentioned this to a salesperson who kicked up their "site" and, lo, the price was the same as in the store.

It never occured to me to go back to their website later to verify that the price had changed.

Those bastards.

FAX

Valiant
03-07-2007, 07:19 PM
This is not illegal Wal-Mart has misled customers about prices foever.
Plus prices are determined by the local market at a store if you want Internet prices buy it on the internet.



Umm, the way I read it.. The customer checked prices instore to compare and the employees used their INTRAnet to take them to a different page that had different prices... This is how the customers got screwed...

There is a difference between is intra and inter...

The key thing is Best Buy manipulated the customers instore with this as the article stated...

chappy
03-07-2007, 07:28 PM
Umm, the way I read it.. The customer checked prices instore to compare and the employees used their INTRAnet to take them to a different page that had different prices... This is how the customers got screwed...

There is a difference between is intra and inter...

The key thing is Best Buy manipulated the customers instore with this as the article stated...




Well in that case its shady and misleading but not sure if it would be illegal. Laws on the internet are very subject and wishy-washy. Any lawyers in the house?

KChiefer
03-07-2007, 07:36 PM
I got a laptop from them once. The online price was $20 lower than in-store. I asked about it, and the clerk said the online was the same as in-store.

I asked to see the price with my own eyes. Then she rolled her eyes at me. I then told her not do that and was about to make a seen.

I too didn't check the price online when I got home.

I'm no lawyer, so I can't say it's illegal, but saying you match online, and then not acutally showing the online price has immoral for sure. And immoral business = illegal business in my book.

Anyways. F Worst Buy.

Valiant
03-07-2007, 07:40 PM
Well in that case its shady and misleading but not sure if it would be illegal. Laws on the internet are very subject and wishy-washy. Any lawyers in the house?


Thats the thing people are not understanding.. This was not a internet site.. It is a Intranet site, you have to have software to access it.. YOu at home could not access the bestbuy intranet site without special help...

We have the same thing at our work, but it is not tied into our sales site(that I know of)...


They will payout in a lawsuit more then likely...

jspchief
03-07-2007, 07:44 PM
"Our intention is to provide the best price to our customers which is why we have a price-match policy in place," Didn't someone just post an article about Best Buy implementing customer profiling in an effort to eliminate people that did things like take advantage of price matching?

It's too bad there's not a competitor to step in and be the good guy. Best Buy has already managed to run all competitive threats out of business.

chappy
03-07-2007, 07:44 PM
I got a laptop from them once. The online price was $20 lower than in-store. I asked about it, and the clerk said the online was the same as in-store.

I asked to see the price with my own eyes. Then she rolled her eyes at me. I then told her not do that and was about to make a seen.

I too didn't check the price online when I got home.

I'm no lawyer, so I can't say it's illegal, but saying you match online, and then not acutally showing the online price has immoral for sure. And immoral business = illegal business in my book.

Anyways. F Worst Buy.

Yeah no doubt its immoral I will think twice about shopping at Best Buy from now on. Even though I'm sure all big business does something shady when it comes to P and M's
This is one of the backlashes of big business running mom and pop stores outta town you lose the honesty and integrety.

Big Business Bigotry!!!!!!!!!!!!

KChiefer
03-07-2007, 07:45 PM
So what if you order a pizza and the person on the phone says it's $15. Then the pizza comes to your door and the pizza boy says it's $20. Then the pizza boy says you can call and check the price. He then dials a bogus number, hands you the phone, and his buddy acts like the manager and says, "Yup, it's $20."

It's an odd hypothetical, but...Is that illegal?

chappy
03-07-2007, 07:47 PM
So what if you order a pizza and the person on the phone says it's $15. Then the pizza comes to your door and the pizza boy says it's $20. Then the pizza boy says you can call and check the price. He then dials a bogus number, hands you the phone, and his buddy acts like the manager and says, "Yup, it's $20."

It's an odd hypothetical, but...Is that illegal?

Sounds like a damn good idea wish I would have thought of that one in college.:hmmm::banghead:

FAX
03-07-2007, 07:47 PM
So what if you order a pizza and the person on the phone says it's $15. Then the pizza comes to your door and the pizza boy says it's $20. Then the pizza boy says you can call and check the price. He then dials a bogus number, hands you the phone, and his buddy acts like the manager and says, "Yup, it's $20."

It's an odd hypothetical, but...Is that illegal?

Good analogy, Mr. KChiefer. Yes. That's fraud and you're within your rights to ass cap the guy right there on the spot.

FAX

Valiant
03-07-2007, 07:55 PM
So what if you order a pizza and the person on the phone says it's $15. Then the pizza comes to your door and the pizza boy says it's $20. Then the pizza boy says you can call and check the price. He then dials a bogus number, hands you the phone, and his buddy acts like the manager and says, "Yup, it's $20."

It's an odd hypothetical, but...Is that illegal?


It's not even a comparable hypothetical..

Here is a bit more accurate..

You buy your pizza online, you choose store pickup for 15 dollars..

You get to the store, and the pizza is 20..

You ask to see the site, They take you too a different site that looks identical to fool you to shut you up and get you gone..

You find out later they frauded you, thru research and a lawsuit that it about to happen.. This is not an isolated or a few single people doing it, the company did it... A multibillion dollar company created a fake site to defraud those checking prices online and wanting to purchase in store..

-----------------------------

On the other side of this, if you are checking prices online... Buy the ****ing thing online...

We take customers to computers with internet at our store if they want the cheaper price online... They get what they want, and the store does not lose out on revenue by straight mark-downs...

jspchief
03-07-2007, 07:56 PM
Yea I found the article: http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showthread.php?t=157019&page=1&pp=15

Here is one of the things that gets you labeled as a "bad" customer:

*Finding rock-bottom prices on Web sites, then challenging stores to pay up on their lowest price guarantees.

They get caught red-handed and start lying about the price match policy being in place for the customers, when the reality is they consider people that take advantage of these policies to be "bad" customers.

F*ck Best Buy.

Valiant
03-07-2007, 08:02 PM
Yea I found the article: http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showthread.php?t=157019&page=1&pp=15

Here is one of the things that gets you labeled as a "bad" customer:

*Finding rock-bottom prices on Web sites, then challenging stores to pay up on their lowest price guarantees.

They get caught red-handed and start lying about the price match policy being in place for the customers, when the reality is they consider people that take advantage of these policies to be "bad" customers.

F*ck Best Buy.


All companies do this in retail now..

Circuit City makes the price match be an advertise product in an 'ad' of a local brick and motor store... Then the item has to be in stock at that store... Circuit no longer matches online prices of competitors, they do not even price match their own website anymore making the customer buy it online in the store...


The reason for this, most of the places that have ridiculous prices have small amounts of stock or no stock of it at all.. This is done so that competitors have to pricematch and take the hit margin-wise, Nebraska Furn. Mart is really bad about their ads and marking TV's down 300-500 dollars then the cheapest competitor when they do not have the tv's in stock...

ferrarispider95
03-07-2007, 08:05 PM
It is deceptive because they are trying to make you think they are accessing their online website to check the price, when in fact they are not.

If they don't want to sell it to you at the online price, they should just have a policy that the pricing is different from the site and store, but they don't because people would raise hell.

So instead they try to trick you.

jspchief
03-07-2007, 08:11 PM
The bottom line is these companies devise marketing schemes with the hopes of duping their customers. Then when the customer actually outwits them, they're forced to take new measures to screw people.

RJ
03-07-2007, 10:20 PM
Due to a very bad experience with Best Buy about 2 years back they lost me as a customer. I can say with near certainty that they will never get another dime from me. The entity that is Best Buy does not give a flying f*** about their customers.

Guru
03-07-2007, 10:52 PM
Due to a very bad experience with Best Buy about 2 years back they lost me as a customer. I can say with near certainty that they will never get another dime from me. The entity that is Best Buy does not give a flying f*** about their customers.
Sorry you had to learn the hard way.

boogblaster
03-07-2007, 10:57 PM
Is there really a Santa-Claus mommy ....

jlscorpio
03-07-2007, 11:19 PM
I'm purchasing a rear-projection HDTV in about 3 months. Best Buy has me by the coconuts. We don't have Circuit City here. Sears doesn't carry the model I want, and their customer service suckseven worse than BB's. I'm just not willing to purchase a $2K sensitive device from an online retailer. There's the local stereo/HT shop, but they don't have a service dept, in the event that I need it worked on. So, I'm stuck with best buy. The model I'm choosing just came out this month, so it probably go on sale anyways. But, in the event that bestbuy.com has it cheaper than the store, I'm printing it out and bringing in the store with me. It just sucks to not have much of a choice in the matter

KcMizzou
03-07-2007, 11:23 PM
Due to a very bad experience with Best Buy about 2 years back they lost me as a customer. I can say with near certainty that they will never get another dime from me. The entity that is Best Buy does not give a flying f*** about their customers.They have the biggest and best selection of DVDs anywhere near my place.... other than that, I agree.

Guru
03-07-2007, 11:23 PM
I'm purchasing a rear-projection HDTV in about 3 months. Best Buy has me by the coconuts. We don't have Circuit City here. Sears doesn't carry the model I want, and their customer service suckseven worse than BB's. I'm just not willing to purchase a $2K sensitive device from an online retailer. There's the local stereo/HT shop, but they don't have a service dept, in the event that I need it worked on. So, I'm stuck with best buy. The model I'm choosing just came out this month, so it probably go on sale anyways. But, in the event that bestbuy.com has it cheaper than the store, I'm printing it out and bringing in the store with me. It just sucks to not have much of a choice in the matter
Sure hope you won't have to utilize BBs service department if it malfunctions during the warranty period. They are horrid about actually taking care of your problems.