Digg Users Sparring With OfficeMax

    January 5, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

A pricing mistake on the OfficeMax website that offered a 4GB USB drive for the low, low price of $17.98 each has Diggers up in arms over the company’s refusal to honor that price.

The Verbatim Store’n’Go drive no longer appears on OfficeMax, but a screen capture of the page with the amazing deal may be seen on Flickr.

Those who have tried to snag one of these USB drives for the $17.98 price are now hearing back from OfficeMax. The company will not honor the pricing mistake or fulfill those orders.

Diggers are up in arms over this, but the truth is they don’t have a leg to stand on here. The legalese on OfficeMax for its site’s terms of use covers “errors or omissions” and a pricing error like this falls into the category.

The lowest priced 4GB USB unit on OfficeMax goes for $69.98, while the other three models price between $119 and $130. It’s easy to see why people would seize upon a too good to be true deal.

I’ve dealt with this sort of thing first hand, when working customer service for a catalog company. One catalog had a pricing misprint, where a popular multi-tool that normally retailed for $49.99 had been tagged with a $4.99 price tag.

You would despair at human nature had you been on the receiving end of angry phone calls from people who demanded the price be honored. Never mind that it was way below cost to the point; people seemed to have no problem insisting they be able to ripoff the company by asking for the wrong price.

Like OfficeMax, catalogers have similar terms of use, and the phrasing is pretty similar. It boils down to a business not having to incur a massive loss just because someone put the wrong price on an item and it was printed and sent to thousands of people.

It’s an unfortunate incident for both OfficeMax and its customers. There are better battles for Digg fans to fight, and they should let this one go.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.