Is Best Buy Misleading its Price Match Guarantee?
Class action lawsuit alleges Best Buy managers were paid bonuses to deny price matches.
March 23, 2009 by Jason Unger

A class action lawsuit is going forward against Best Buy for allegedly violating its “Price Match” policy, according to HD Guru.

The US District Court, Southern District has allowed Thomas Jermyn to sue Best Buy, who is alleging that Best Buy’s “price match guarantee policy as a ploy, to lure unsuspecting consumers into its stores and to induce them to purchase its merchandise, while allegedly having an undisclosed ‘Anti-Price Matching Policy,’ pursuant to which employees aggressively deny customers’ legitimate price match requests,” according to HD Guru.

Among the major revelations listed from evidence within the decision based on internal BB documents, depositions of current BB employees and declarations by two former BB employees are the following allegations:

  • Best Buy had an undisclosed Anti-Price Matching Policy
  • Corporate headquarters disseminated the anti-price matching policy to regional managers, store managers, assistant managers, and necessary store personnel
  • Best Buy taught its employees how to deny price match requests in its training facilities in New York
  • Best Buy provided financial bonuses based, in part, on denying proper price match requests
  • Best Buy denied more than 100 proper price match requests per store per week.

Gizmodo has an example of a reader named Jake who allegedly was presented with different model numbers to get around the price matching policy.

Example: A few months ago my wife and I were looking at a Frigidaire Washer. The model we were interested was the ATF8000FS. At Best Buy, we found the washer there however it was displayed as the ATF8000FSL. At first I figured “Oh this must be some variation on the original model number, like how manufacturers sometimes add a letter to the end of the model to indicate the product color.” Anyways, to make a long story short, this ATF8000FSL was not available from the manufacturer.

The “L” was added on by Best Buy in order for them to skirt around price matching.

We can’t confirm Best Buy’s price matching decisions, but the story has been gathering steam recently. Here’s the FAQ on Best Buy’s Price Guarantee.

Of course, this isn’t the first time that Best Buy has been accused of misleading its customers. The retailer allegedly compared a “calibrated” HDTV to a “non-calibrated” HDTV, with one showing high-def content and the other standard-def.

What do you think? Have you had an issue with Best Buy’s price matching policy?

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