Can a store force you to pay more for an item a month after the sale has occured?

By vnf4ultra ยท 38 replies
Aug 20, 2007
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  1. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    hi vnf4ultra,

    regarding the price decrepancy itself... each state in the US has their own laws regarding price accuracy. you should check the retail item pricing laws for PA.

    where I live, in MA, if a price discrepancy occurs, then the store is obligated to charge the lower of the two. the store can refuse the sale if the descrepancy is too high, but only at the time of purchase. once you pay and walk out of the store then the sale is final.

    the store would not be breaking any law by asking you to pay them the difference, but they have no legal right to demand it. if you refuse to pay the difference, then any further demands should be considered harrassment.

    if the store owner/manager is bold enough to actually charge/debit your account without your permission then they are literally stealing from you. they can and should face criminal charges if they do it.

    how did they contact you?
    how many times did they contact you?
    did they ask you to pay, or did they demand that you pay?
    how did you end up in the stores "meeting room"?
    in the "meeting room" did they stand behind you or block your exit?

    -if they contacted you more than once, it's harrassment.
    -if they demanded you pay then (depending on the laws in your state) it's probably illegal.
    -if they forced or intimidated you into going into the closed meeting room or blocked your exit in any way, then that is very illegal. they have no right to hold anybody against their will (by force or intimidation)

    the bottom line is: the store screwed up, not you. they have to eat the $200 loss, not you. do not give them any more money. they should feel guilty about putting you through this rediculous ordeal, instead of making you feel guilty about their mistake.

    for now just ignore it and hopefully it will just go away without any further action. but if it doesn't, then the threat of a harassment lawsuit should be more than enough to get them off your backs (you don't actually have to sue them, just say you will if they don't leave you alone). if you don't feel comfortable doing that then call your local police, and have them tell the store owners to leave you alone.

    regardless, I would advise you to contact your state attorney general's office and/or file a complaint with the FTC.

    good luck :wave:
  2. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Booster Posts: 575

    Kudos KingCody, very sound advice!
  3. Ph30nIX

    Ph30nIX TS Rookie Posts: 243

    I work in retail here in Australia and if we advertise a wrong price we have to sell it for whatever the price advertised is. People often try to tell me something like a $100 computer part is listed as $10 or so when they are looking at the wrong thing and then argue saying its advertised as $10. Basically I say "look mate it says $10 for an SD card, where does it says $10 laptop (or whatever)? and even still I have people complaining its wrong so i just walk away. Simple.

    It is most likely (however i dont know your laws) but they cannot make you pay more unless you signed some sort of contract.
  4. Rolfman

    Rolfman TS Enthusiast Posts: 95

    King Cody

    After that advise , anything else posted would be just for posting.
    Nice Advise.....
  5. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,026

    I think we may be talking amongst ourselves here - but I would like to know how this works out in the future. Please?
  6. Rolfman

    Rolfman TS Enthusiast Posts: 95

    Same Here , please let us know
  7. ravisunny2

    ravisunny2 TS Ambassador Posts: 1,986   +12

    Email the link to this thread to the store owner.

    He aught to get the message, loud & clear.
  8. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,388

    Ignoring seems to be working so far, I've heard nothing since. I hope it stays that way. If I hear anything else I'll post an update.
  9. Stacey

    Stacey TS Rookie Posts: 146

    In the state of New Jersey, if an item is priced incorrectly or advertised at an incorrect price the consumer gets the product for the amount it is priced at or advertised at. The seller must take the loss. I understand they are playing on your feelings, but stay strong and as Albert mentioned get a hold of the DA or Better Business in your state. Good Luck
  10. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    ignoring it will probably make it go away ... the store owners know they can't make you pay for it. they would be stupid to pursue it any further.

    I worked in retail for 10 years and was the general manager for 2 stores . I can almost gurantee you that you have nothing to worry about . you owe them nothing. they had their chance to correct their mistake before you paid. once you pay and leave the store its their loss. It is rediculous that they tried to get that money back a month later.

    and BTW if you want to report them to the "authorities", the proper authorities would be your state attorney general's office, the better business bureau, or the FTC bureau of consumer protection. the DA (district attorney) is a criminal prosecuter, not a consumer protection agency ;)

    again, whatever you decide.. good luck :wave:
  11. Barney_Calhoun

    Barney_Calhoun TS Rookie Posts: 22

    Short answer? No.
    Long answer? No, Call the cops and have him explain it to them.
  12. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,967   +2,526

    You Want Me To What...........?

    I live in PA (USA) and our friendly local Shoprite (supermarket) has bought me breakfast, lunch and dinner any number of times when an item has rung up at the cash register for more than an advertised price. It's free when that happens!

    I used to sell electronic equipment and I would think that a "mom & pop" operation would be shooting for 25% profit. Assuming the laptop sold for $800.00, that would place the dealer cost at under $600.00. So it may have come to pass that the dealer didn't lose money he just didn't make any. In any event, his loss is going to be less than the amount he expects you to pay, period.

    As long as you didn't use any ethically questionable tactics to obtain the price you did, this retailer should be referred to the "losers weepers" section of common tort law.

    You should be "bullet proof" as long as you have documentation on the sale available for inspection. As I understand retail sales it's not a forum where they sell you something at an "estimated price", then bill you the balance at a later date.

    As unfortunate as this situation is for small business owners, it's part of the reason that the big guys like Best Buy keep getting bigger. They have price garuantees which are enforced scrupulously. If you find something advertised cheaper you get the balance REFUNDED to you. If they find something advertised for more within 30 days, they're certainly not going to send you a bill. The scenario you're describing doesn't have to happen very often, and this business will self destruct. It's like a blue print for driving customers away. I'd get them to put the request in writing, then sue.
  13. Blakhart

    Blakhart TS Rookie Posts: 353

    Oh man this should be dealt with. They will hate to see this story in the local newspaper, and that's exactly what I would do.
  14. Spyder_1386

    Spyder_1386 TS Booster Posts: 498

    hey vnf4ultra... i don't think that you have anything to worry about really.... pricing errors can be accounted for only as far as the till. If he decides to pursue the matter and reclaim the laptop, you are entitled to sue the company for a whole bunch of things; improper service, loss of working equipment on your part (since you will no longer have the laptop) and even emotional distress lol ... i personally think that the owner is pretty desparate and is trying to cover the pretty big loss he/she has made. don't be the one to make the first move....see how far the owner is willing to take it and then react.

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