Beware the old 'Bait and Switch'

By drpepper55 ยท 17 replies
Jul 20, 2008
  1. Hi all,
    Just wanted to alert the community and relate to the community a 'beware' of the bait and switch and also of the bait and then not have the item advertised that has been going on a bit lately at your local Best Buy. It has happened to me now on more than 1 occasion here in San Antonio and I'm sure it is also going on elsewhere as well. First, it was a Targus chill pad that they advertised and pictured in their Sunday ad and then try to slip in a different one when you got to the store. What made it even worse was that all they did was try to blame the substitution on the manufacturer sending the wrong one and on and on. Nothing but making excuses and passing the buck was all I heard. Of course the manufacturer was not there to dispute Best Buy's claim and even though the manufacturer did not place the ad, that doesn't matter, they were still to blame Then, Best Buy had a laptop that they advertised and when you got to the store they said that they had already run out, but I have this one over here...yeah, we all know how that goes. For thiis and other reasons I, myself, will not be taking my business to Best Buy anymore because of this sorry practice and this sorry experience which was made even worse when I caught them in it and by how they responded to it by making excuses. passing the buck, and by blaming the manufacturer who had nothing to do with placing the ad, stocking the shelves, or handling the situation. To not fess up and to not stand up and accept the responsibility for the situation has made Best Buy look even lower in my eyes. No wonder as to why they are hurting financially these days if this is how they treat their customers and address problems that they themselves created. I just wanted to alert everyone to this practice and state that the only way we will end this and the only way we will be heard is to call them on it and avoid lettting them take us for granted.
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Same thing happens at the grocery store
    You see something on sale (1/2 Price) but the shelf is vacant (All sold out!)
    Was it there in the first place?

    Yes this is cruel advertising, and probably not against the law
    Maybe I should sell all my computers for a $1 Today only, Oh sorry Sold Out already (and I think the delivery man got it wrong, they were just pictures of computers ;) )
  3. JordanR

    JordanR TS Rookie

    Hey thanks for letting us know about this DrPepper55.
  4. drpepper55

    drpepper55 TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 65

    Glad to be able to get the word out and to hopefully keep someone else from getting burned. As I said, about the only chance we have is to stick together and to let them know that we are tired of being taken for granted and be baited this way.
  5. drpepper55

    drpepper55 TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 65

    Hi everyone. Please share your less than fair and less than pleasant experiences, and the good ones too, that you all have had with the tech/electronic places that we all frequent so that we all may learn and hopefully benefit from in making the not so good ones improve and also make the good ones even better for us all. Together hopefully we can make a difference and also avoid the pitfalls and the bad ones out there. Thanks. Best to all of you...
  6. surfersaiyan

    surfersaiyan TS Enthusiast Posts: 100

    advertisers are scum. shamelessly employing ANY means to flog their cheesy wares, separate you from your money, whether you need the item or not. shame on them. funny, i was just reading this...

    and insurance companies dont rate any higher for me either.
  7. drpepper55

    drpepper55 TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 65

    I certainly can't argue with what you've said and it really applies when you take the typical sales people at Best Buy into consideration. It's almost like being in the middle of a flock of vultures sometimes with how they talk up some things and they try to push some things. Sad thing is that a large majority of the sales people don't have a clue about having some accurate knowledge about what they are trying to sell and will say some things that are all wrong instead of admitting that they don't know the answer to what they were asked. Another thing I learned from this experience is how overpriced merchandise is at Best Buy. I not only found the item I was seeking elsewhere on-line, i found it at less than half of what Best buy had it for, $22,95 vs. $53.99. Boy what a rip-off Best Buy is. Beware the rip-off in more ways thhan one indeed...
  8. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,989   +2,527

    Go for the juggler.....

    Well, why not ask for a raincheck? Most items are eligible, and usually it's for the best, since you can put off buying it until payday.

    This is also why I go to a website late Saturday, (early Sunday morning), or buy the Sunday paper Saturday (early edition), so I'm ready to go Sunday morning when the store opens.

    All that being said, Best Buy usually has what they advertise, (at least the ones near me), Staples however, doesn't give rainchecks, and you need to sleep in front of the door. So, they do get a "shame on you".
  9. drpepper55

    drpepper55 TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 65

    I'm glad that your Best Buy is is more reliable than these here in San Antonio, Texas captaincranky. These here more often than not seem to lack in the reliability area and in the customer service area and don't seem to be doing anything about improving in those areas. Quite the contrary they seem to be getting worse insttead of better. One thing I would be curious about would be if they carried the right item at your store that was pictured and advertised about 3 weeks ago or if they too slipped in a substitute as they did here. I did not want what they substituted, I wanted what theyy pictured and what they advertised we would be getting. Funny thing on the outcome of this was that I discovered how overpriced Best Buy is as I foung the item that they were supposed to have at another electronics shop on-line for less than half of what Best Buy prices theirs, $22.95 vs. $53.99, yes that much difference and for the right item, Best to you...
  10. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,989   +2,527

    Black Friday......CHARGE........!

    Dear drpepper55,

    Brick and mortar electronics retailers are suffering badly from the price pressure of online Etailers. It's always my suggestion to purchase online, especially from Newegg. I live in Philly (PA) and when Newegg's North Jersey warehouse, has my item in stock, I get my product the next day, even with ground shipping. NYC & North NJ are guaranteed 1 business day to Philadelphia. That's probably the only perk of living in this s***hole.
    As you probably know, CompUSA no longer has stores, and Circuit City has been turning in losses every quarter recently. So we may not even have them to kick around much longer. Which leaves us with Best Buy for better or worse.

    "Bait and Switch" is actually an illegal tactic, and it really isn't as prevalent as it was 30 years ago. That being said, nobody is going to supply infinite stock on an item that is being sold at, near, or below dealer cost.

    Product pricing has a certain "rhythm" to it. Once or twice a year Best Buy offers prices on LCD monitors that can't be beat even online. So, when you see a deal, you need to act ASAP. When you snooze, you lose and all that. Any new DVD will be cheaper that at Amazon, but for one week only.

    The best shopping tip I can give you is buy what's on sale, predicated on what you might need in the future, not what you need at the moment. That item's never on sale. The best approach is always to shop a bunch, buy only a little.

    You are certainly right about Best Buy customer service getting worse, and I think it has to do with a higher employee turnover rate, not with any master plan on the part of Best Buy itself.
  11. Deeger

    Deeger TS Rookie

    Best Buy has always had spotty policies in my mind, but that being said, I've never really had hard evidence to back it up. That being said, has never let me down, and I'm quite fond of, and as well.

    EDIT: And Costco. They have simple electronics, but they price them to move them, and in store you can usually find stuff for cheaper. I bought a 32" Vizio LCD TV in store for $530 not long ago. MSRP was up near $700
  12. grc1

    grc1 TS Rookie

    I think we all forgot the one at B**t B*y. They advertized a photo printer when you bought a camera. Well I have a relative that works at the same place and he told me that I will wait an awful long time for the printer because they never had any to begin with. Guess I should have talked to him first.
  13. built

    built TS Rookie

    Best Buy

    While I have had my quarrels with Best Buy, I have to say that I am overall pleased with them, especially when I have had to escalate an issue to their corporate offices.

    I always print out a copy of the ad, or the website info, before I go, and they, like Circuit City, have always honored it for me.

    Also, I just had to do the raincheck thing a few weeks ago, and it went off without a hitch.
  14. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,989   +2,527

    Best Buy Update.....

    I recently purchased an LCD TV from Best Buy. It was on sale, $750.00 to $700.00. Almost 3 weeks later, they put the same TV on sale for $650.00. I took my receipt to customer service, and without argument, they immediately refunded the $53.00 difference. ($50.00 with tax of course).

    It is sort of difficult to badmouth that type of accommodation, wouldn't you agree?
  15. Deeger

    Deeger TS Rookie

    2 words - Restocking Fee. When someone charges me 15-25% to return something, I take issue. Why have Circuit City and Best Buy both gone that way?
  16. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,989   +2,527

    The Customer is Always Right......Or So He Thinks

    I really have seen both sides of this issue,since I'm an avid, nay rabid consumer of electronic equipment and was also a salesman of it for a couple of years.

    Sadly, the average customers perception of the electronics business seems to be that manufacturers pay retailers to haul the merchandise away, and their is a limitless profitability in selling it. >>>Disclaimer>>>; There is limitless profit in selling all of the "Monster Cable" bull s***. But in the real world it's closer to 25 bucks on a 100.

    Customers have brought on a lot of the restocking fees themselves in a number of ways. Buying things they don't know how to operate. Buying things with unrealistic expectations of their capabitities. Claiming merchandise is defective for the sole purpose of returning. And, last but not least, buying big screen TV to watch the Superbowl, then claiming they are defective when they try to return them the following Monday.

    If you think about it, returning an item, costs the store money. There are salaries involved with the customer service employees, and an item's value is certainly diminished when it must be marketed as an "open box" piece.

    If you are not such a consumer as I've described, then you should feel as I do that your fellow shoppers, with less principles than yourself, have managed to jamb you up, as much as the store.

    I was not charged a "restocking fee" on the monitor I returned, the TV I purchased was regarded (by BB) as an "upgrade", and the price guarantee was honored with no reservation or complaint. I love my TV, and I'm keeping it. I didn't buy it to watch the Olympics in high-def and then return it. I feel that Best Buy has always worked with me in the past, and sometimes even went a little further than they had to.

    I would say that some of the causes of returns I've discussed are the fault of merchandise not being properly setup and demonstrated at the store. I've always believed that BB sales staff left a lot to be desired, and weren't as technically knowledgable as they might be. The prime example of this is the disparity of settings on the wide screen TVs. I don't know if the staff is lazy, or incompetent, or merely apathetic as to managing the displays so that a meaningful comparison between two sets could be made, or so that a customer would know what he's getting.

    I think everybody's looking for a fellow "audiophile", "videophile", or "computer geek" to befriend and be befriended by, instead of a ruthless salesman who is the person BB is looking for, and after all they pay the salaries. It would be nice, but that's simply not going to happen, and we have to make the best of the system as it stands.
  17. OrionBlastar

    OrionBlastar TS Rookie

    I ran a computer store that Best Buy and Geeksquad put out of business. I never did tricks like bait and switch. Their rebates of $300 to $500 per system helped put me out of business as well. They did all they could to run us mom and pop computer stores out of business.
  18. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,989   +2,527

    Point of Clarification........

    When a retailer purchases product from a manufacturer, money for advertising and rebates are generally part of the package. A retailer simply can't choose to offer a rebate on a product without the participation of the manufacturer. So, actually the manufacturer does aid placing the ad, but by extension or proxy, if you will.

    Without coming directly to the defense of BB, let me say electronics sales have always been a dirty business, and today's retailers have cleaned up their acts quite a bit from the "good old days".

    While it is admittedly of little comfort to your situation, online retailers are really diverting business from BB and circuit City as well. CC has been posting quarterly losses for some time now. Chain retailers of high ticket items seem to have a limited life span themselves.
    "Atlantic Appliances" and "Silo" come to mind, as well as "Stereo discounters" and "Wall to Wall Sound". These last two, although they were chain stores, probably did business in S.E. PA only. Stereo Discounters met it's untimely end due to its owners cocaine habit, and Wall to Wall sound, who practically invented "bait and switch". Although this is certainly only hearsay, I was told seamy stories of "CompUSA's", rise from the muck as it were.
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