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Did this store violate some sort of consumer protection law? DVD misprice

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Did this store violate some sort of consumer protection law? DVD misprice

Old 03-30-08, 09:54 PM
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Did this store violate some sort of consumer protection law? DVD misprice

Where I live there is a store called "Mike's Movies & Music" they have 2 in the town here in State College Pennsylvania. I went into the one store tonight with my friend, they carry Criterions and I was randomly picking them up to check prices and I see The Last Emperor has a "On sale $24.99" sticker on it. I instantly knew either it was an error or just possibly an outrageous sale. The sticker on the back had their normal price of $44.99.

I take it up to buy it (obviously) and she rings up the $44.99 price. I tell her it's on sale and point to the sticker. She then calls over her manager who looks at it a bit, asks me if there are any other copies (no), which section I got it from. She looks up on the computer, apparently sees it was never on sale. So she calls their other store in the area to see if they have the item on sale or if it was ever on sale. While on the phone with that manager she starts saying the sticker looks like "someone peeled it off and put it on this boxset." Which was a blatant lie and clearly didn't appear like that. While on the phone she fiddles with the sticker herself, peels it off all the way then places it back on the DVD. When she did this it was obvious the sticker was tampered with, the corner she peeled at had creases and the sticker didn't look as fresh.


She hangs up the phone, says she can't sell it to me for that price, that the store themselves paid $37.99 for it. Doesn't want to get in trouble if she does sell it to me for that price.

Since it's a Mom & Pop/small business I said fine no problem, said if it was Wal-Mart or Best Buy I would put up more fight regarding it. I'm not bloodthirsty and was just hopping at a good deal.


My question is, does she legally have to sell it to me for that price? It was the only copy of the item and the store doesn't have weekly circular ads. I'm not a law student, I figure someone on these boards is and can give some factual response to this.
Old 03-30-08, 09:58 PM
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The store has a right to refuse a sale. It may or may not be bad business to not honor a misprice, but it is their right. Get over it.
Old 03-30-08, 10:28 PM
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The "get over it" was so necessary. Thank you.
Old 03-30-08, 10:30 PM
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Some states have laws that say an item must be sold at the price it's marked or compensation of some sort given to the customer (and of course the price should be corrected), but I'd bet most of them also have exceptions for "obvious price mistakes". If it came down to it, pricing something at 13.00 less than the store paid for it (if those figures were true) probably qualifies as an "obvious" price mistake.
And like was said before, they could always fall back on "we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone".
Old 03-30-08, 11:18 PM
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I'm not sure on laws and such, but I don't think the dude deserves any backlash.. it's not like he plans on suing, he's just curious. A lot of people jump down others throats here for no reason at all..
Old 03-30-08, 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Lipid
The "get over it" was so necessary. Thank you.
Has your sarcasm remedied the situation or accomplished anything else but show you don't like criticism? You'll find yourself missing out on a lot of deals in the future. Get used to it, and forget what is and isn't legal unless you're serious about taking legal action. Honestly, let this and the other go.
Old 03-31-08, 01:33 AM
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Originally Posted by SFranke
Has your sarcasm remedied the situation or accomplished anything else but show you don't like criticism? You'll find yourself missing out on a lot of deals in the future. Get used to it, and forget what is and isn't legal unless you're serious about taking legal action. Honestly, let this and the other go.
It's a message board, people post questions like this. Get over it. The poster may be wondering if this is something he or she should know for future reference, it's not necessarily about wanting vengeance on a store or anything. Consumers should be informed & that's what this forum is about, no ?

As for my input, it really depends on the laws in your state and/or the store policies on the matter. 9 times out of 10 I've gotten the sale price when something's been mislabeled as on sale (or they claim it's been mislabeled)
Old 03-31-08, 01:35 AM
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All I asked was a simple question about the law and consumer rights. I'm not sad or distraught that I didn't get a deal just came here to ask other people on a message board since I didn't find it through google.

I can no longer ask someone what is legal unless I am "serious about taking legal action."?!?!?!

Why can't I just ask knowledgeable people a question just to learn? Is that so wrong?
Old 03-31-08, 02:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Lipid
All I asked was a simple question about the law and consumer rights. I'm not sad or distraught that I didn't get a deal just came here to ask other people on a message board since I didn't find it through google.

I can no longer ask someone what is legal unless I am "serious about taking legal action."?!?!?!

Why can't I just ask knowledgeable people a question just to learn? Is that so wrong?
Ehh.. just ignore that guy. Almost everyone here at the Talk is very helpful and more than willing to answer an honest question like this. There's always a negative Nancy to rain on someones parade, don't take offense to it.
Old 03-31-08, 03:07 AM
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No, I think they can decline an obvious price mistake.
On the other hand, it depends on: #1 how widely the error was spread, #2 the size of the corporation.
I was able to buy a copy of Criterion's House Of Games a few months ago for $20 (MSRP $40) at Virgin because there were multiple copies mispriced. The manager was called over and saw there were a lot of them and said "We have to give it to him". Big corp., small loss easily absorbed but as I was leaving I noticed the manager going back to the bin probably to peel the labels off. The error was noted here and was fairly widespread with multiple locations.
Old 03-31-08, 07:41 AM
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Isn't it fun when someone is rude to you, you call them out, and they claim you can't stand someone disagreeing with you? I love it!

As for the original inquiry, the only thing I can say from personal experience is that I ordered the superman box set (it was 9 discs or so) for 30 bucks from FYE I think. This was something posted on the internet and many people took advantage of it. We all got an email saying there was a pricing error and then directed us to the actual policy.

So nobody got it for that price and I didnt hear about anybody raising hay about it.

I think you did the right thing though being that it was a mom & pop shop. They still should have given you more professional service but they were caught between a rock and a hard place.
Old 03-31-08, 12:18 PM
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I know this isn't exactly what you're talking about, but Wal*Mart has the sticker with the wrong price sometimes.

The price is usually always lower if the Blu-ray or DVD is mispriced, but I don't understand how they can't get the price right on the sticker. I'm not mad that the price is lower, but it's just silly mispricing a BD or DVD. I guess they figure the customer will feel like they're getting a discount and found a good bargain, when really they're just paying the price they'd be paying in the first place.
Old 03-31-08, 12:33 PM
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Generally, the store is protected from this sort of thing to prevent massive fraud. If they were required by law to honor the posted price 100% of the time everybody would just run in with a price gun and lower everything to $0.01.

Remember, while the product is still on the shelves at the store it belongs to them, not you.

Of course, once you've paid for the item and left the store, it's generally too late for them to do anything.
Old 03-31-08, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Lipid
She hangs up the phone, says she can't sell it to me for that price, that the store themselves paid $37.99 for it. Doesn't want to get in trouble if she does sell it to me for that price.
Methinks she lied to you about the price they paid or they should wholesale by buying directly from Amazon. It's $34.99 at Amazon, http://www.amazon.com/Last-Emperor-C...6982038&sr=8-1.
Old 03-31-08, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by SFranke
Has your sarcasm remedied the situation or accomplished anything else but show you don't like criticism? You'll find yourself missing out on a lot of deals in the future. Get used to it, and forget what is and isn't legal unless you're serious about taking legal action. Honestly, let this and the other go.

Have you read the posts he made or do you just like to attack people? Your comments are utter nonsense! Do you have nothing better to do?

Dirk
Old 03-31-08, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by neiname
Methinks she lied to you about the price they paid or they should wholesale by buying directly from Amazon. It's $34.99 at Amazon, http://www.amazon.com/Last-Emperor-C...6982038&sr=8-1.
Doubtful. Amazon is probably using it as a loss-leader or got a deal for bringing in "X" number of titles. Considering a "mom and pop" store would only bring in a few copies, I don't doubt they paid $37 for it.
Old 03-31-08, 06:06 PM
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Groucho is correct, the store is not legally obligated to honor such a price mistake prior to sale. Some stores might choose to honor the price mistake as a matter of store policy or because the cashier doesn't know any better, but that doesn't mean that they are legally required to do so.
Old 03-31-08, 11:48 PM
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Thanks for the good replies everyone. From past experiences at bigger retailers I've always gotten the price on the item even if it didn't ring up like that in their system. This was the first time I was ever turned down and was curious where everything stood. It makes sense that larger corporations like Wal-Mart/FYE would just give the price out while smaller retailers would turn someone away.
Old 04-01-08, 12:23 AM
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I doubt that they paid $37.99 for it - you can buy it from Amazon for $34.99.

Have you seen this movie? If you haven't, you may want to rent it before paying big bucks for it - it was OK but very slow, nothing I personally have any desire to watch again (hence I wouldn't even buy it if it were in the $5 Wal-Mart bin).
Old 04-02-08, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Lipid
All I asked was a simple question about the law and consumer rights.
Maybe it's because lots of people ask questions like this on forums that aren't dedicated to law and consumer rights. Whenever questions like these get asked at forums where people don't do this sort of work, people guess or reply with something they heard. Then people start fighting with each other over something they don't really know, possibly leading a depressed person to commit suicide or go on a shooting rampage at a local school/church/post office.

Laws and rights are different in different states and you'd get much better results asking some sort of legal or consumer rights forum or even doing a search for the laws and rights on the internet yourself.

You'll get much better results that way than asking people at a Sesame Street or origami internet forum.

tl/dr - You shouldn't ask people that don't know. Ask someone that does. You are causing fights and making the baby Jesus cry. I hope you're happy with yourself.
Old 04-03-08, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by neiname
Methinks she lied to you about the price they paid or they should wholesale by buying directly from Amazon. It's $34.99 at Amazon, http://www.amazon.com/Last-Emperor-C...6982038&sr=8-1.
Originally Posted by Shannon Nutt
Doubtful. Amazon is probably using it as a loss-leader or got a deal for bringing in "X" number of titles. Considering a "mom and pop" store would only bring in a few copies, I don't doubt they paid $37 for it.
Originally Posted by Heat
I doubt that they paid $37.99 for it - you can buy it from Amazon for $34.99.

Have you seen this movie? If you haven't, you may want to rent it before paying big bucks for it - it was OK but very slow, nothing I personally have any desire to watch again (hence I wouldn't even buy it if it were in the $5 Wal-Mart bin).
Good sleuthing... I still think they paid less than $37.99 for it and if they didn't maybe they should find another business with margins that thin.
Old 04-03-08, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Mister Peepers
Maybe it's because lots of people ask questions like this on forums that aren't dedicated to law and consumer rights. Whenever questions like these get asked at forums where people don't do this sort of work, people guess or reply with something they heard. Then people start fighting with each other over something they don't really know, possibly leading a depressed person to commit suicide or go on a shooting rampage at a local school/church/post office.

Laws and rights are different in different states and you'd get much better results asking some sort of legal or consumer rights forum or even doing a search for the laws and rights on the internet yourself.

You'll get much better results that way than asking people at a Sesame Street or origami internet forum.

tl/dr - You shouldn't ask people that don't know. Ask someone that does. You are causing fights and making the baby Jesus cry. I hope you're happy with yourself.
Well, that's really a flawed argument, though, because this isn't a Sesame Street forum or an Origami forum. This is a DVD forum & folks who buy alot of DVDs, folks who take advantage of sales, price mistakes, etc... generally have atleast some good input or a good idea on where to find answers to questions like this regarding a DVD price mistake & whether a store should honor it. Nobody here gave an absolute answer anyway, just that laws vary (and they do) & store policies may dicate the answer also. (which they do) Now, if somebody were to go to one of the fitness forums I frequent, for instance, and post questions asking how to fold a piece of paper into a swan & is it legal to do so & should we be insulted if the swan looks more like a duck... well, then that person deserves to get ripped into like nobody's business. LOL

btw, love your baby jesus comment. That was funny, gotta give you props. LOL
Old 04-03-08, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by fitlissa76
post questions asking how to fold a piece of paper into a swan & is it legal to do so & should we be insulted if the swan looks more like a duck
I pray that somewhere, there is some obscure law saying if you try to fold a swan but it looks more like a duck you can get a $50 fine. I'd love to be the guy doing origami code enforcement.
Old 04-08-08, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by ResIpsa
Groucho is correct, the store is not legally obligated to honor such a price mistake prior to sale. Some stores might choose to honor the price mistake as a matter of store policy or because the cashier doesn't know any better, but that doesn't mean that they are legally required to do so.
Not true in the state of Michigan. If the store marks it wrong, they legally have to honor the price. Plus, if it scans wrong they have to give you 10 times the difference up to $5.00. This applies as long as the mistake is the store's fault, not someone tampering with stickers. I've had many battles with stores over this. I always win. All I do is file a complaint with the state and then go in the store a few days later. It gets taken care of.

They don't have to honor ad price mistakes. Also, a majority of the product has to be marked incorrect. If it's just one item out of many, it doesn't count.

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