BestBuy Pricing Scandal – The New Bait-and-Switch

    March 5, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

Best Buy’s got some ‘splaining to do. Connecticut’s Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has launched an investigation into allegations that Best Buy is intentionally employing a 21st Century bait-and-switch model, enticing customers with sale prices on the store Website and then jacking up the price once they get to the store itself.

Best Buy, of course, denies any such charlatanistic practices.

The investigation is the result of some good old-fashioned investigative reporting on the part of Hartford Courant’s Consumer Watchdog George Gombossy, who, upon a tip from a reader, discovered that Best Buy has two digitized faces.

Here’s the way it works (the sinister version):

The consumer researches a product on Best Buy’s Website, notes the excellent sale price, and runs down to the store for a more tactile buying experience. The in-store price, he notes, is significantly higher than the price listed on the Internet site. He questions the salesperson about this discrepancy and the salesperson pulls up that product page on store computers, showing that the either the customer is mistaken or too late