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Best Buy ordered by court to pay for overcharging at stores in CA

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Best Buy ordered by court to pay for overcharging at stores in CA

Old 02-24-13, 02:21 AM
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Best Buy ordered by court to pay for overcharging at stores in CA

Looks like it was primarily items like DVDs and CDs according to the article. They are going to have to implement some sort of discount program if they get caught overcharging by a customer for the next five years. Something to keep in mind if you live in California.

RETAIL: Best Buy to pay $875,370 to settle false-advertising case

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BY DEBRA GRUSZECKI
February 22, 2013; 04:24 PM

Pay up, Best Buy.

That was the order that Riverside County Superior Court Judge Daniel Ottolia gave Friday, Feb. 22, in a civil complaint against Best Buy alleging false advertising practices in their California stores.

Best Buy Stores, a Virginia-based limited partnership, was ordered to pay $875,370 in fines and costs for advertising one price on an item, but charging more to its customers.

The company, with 126 Best Buy stores in California – five in Riverside County – must also put in place a new “Pricing Accuracy” program for five years to settle the consumer protection case.

Best Buy consumers in California who find they have been overcharged at the check-out counter will be entitled to get $3 off the lowest advertised price of an item. If the lowest advertised price is $3 or less, the customer will get the item for free.

Riverside County District Attorney Paul Zellerbach said the negotiated settlement capped an investigation that has been going on for a little more than a year.

The mislabeling and mispricing case, filed in conjunction with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office and San Diego City Attorney’s Office, was based on 206 inspections by weights and measures officials at 82 Best Buy stores in 16 counties.

“These were predominately low-cost items – CDs, DVDs and food items,’’ Zellerbach said, of violations he said went back to 2008. “Even though the individual prices were somewhat low, the quantity of items purchased, I’m sure, was staggering.”

Best Buy spokesman Jeffrey Shelman, in a statement Friday, said the company strives for 100 percent pricing accuracy.

“During this period of time more than 99.8 percent of prices on the specific products reviewed were accurate,’’ the statement said. “Unfortunately there were also a small number of mistakes among the hundreds of price changes that occur in stores on a weekly basis.”

Best Buy concluded by saying, “We apologize for any pricing errors, constantly strive for greater accuracy and we agreed to implement the $3.00 off program in those rare cases where a mistake is made.”

The judge’s order imposed $600,000 in penalties, plus costs totaling $175,370 and restitution of $100,000.

The Los Angeles and San Diego prosecutor’s offices will each get $200,000. The Riverside County District Attorney’s office will get an additional $10,000 to cover costs; the Riverside County Weights and Measures Department will be reimbursed $8,732.

The case was handled by Deputy District Attorney Elise Farrell.

http://www.pe.com/business/business-...-up-875370.ece
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Old 02-24-13, 12:27 PM
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Re: Best Buy ordered by court to pay for overcharging at stores in CA

I'm gonna guess they made millions in profit from the "errors." Probably worth it since they only have to pay $875k for it.
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Old 02-24-13, 03:29 PM
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Re: Best Buy ordered by court to pay for overcharging at stores in CA

I can remember when stuff I bought at Best Buy would seldom ring up at the proper sale price; I would always have to "remind" the clerk that that CD I bought was supposed to be on sale for $9.99 or whatever.

But I think it's been ten or more years since I've had to do this.
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Old 02-24-13, 08:12 PM
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Re: Best Buy ordered by court to pay for overcharging at stores in CA

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man View Post
I can remember when stuff I bought at Best Buy would seldom ring up at the proper sale price; I would always have to "remind" the clerk that that CD I bought was supposed to be on sale for $9.99 or whatever.

But I think it's been ten or more years since I've had to do this.
Clearly its been ten years since you mentioned buying CDs.
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Old 02-24-13, 10:54 PM
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Re: Best Buy ordered by court to pay for overcharging at stores in CA

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man View Post
I can remember when stuff I bought at Best Buy would seldom ring up at the proper sale price; I would always have to "remind" the clerk that that CD I bought was supposed to be on sale for $9.99 or whatever.

But I think it's been ten or more years since I've had to do this.
I end up having to have them price match their website for DVD/blu sale prices about once a month. Given how many movies I buy from them in a typical week (4-7), it seems like a pretty common issue to me. I can't remember the last time one rang up incorrectly at Target but I don't buy as many from Target.

Last edited by E_v_i_l; 02-24-13 at 11:05 PM.
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Old 02-26-13, 02:13 AM
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Re: Best Buy ordered by court to pay for overcharging at stores in CA

Originally Posted by E_v_i_l View Post
I end up having to have them price match their website for DVD/blu sale prices about once a month. Given how many movies I buy from them in a typical week (4-7), it seems like a pretty common issue to me. I can't remember the last time one rang up incorrectly at Target but I don't buy as many from Target.
Website pricing doesn't have to match in store pricing. A good example of this would be Wal*Mart, where their website pricing has very little or nothing to do with in store pricing. They even have pricing differences between their stores, depending on location.

This would have more to do with in store shelf pricing not matching what you are charged at the counter. Or since advertising is mentioned directly, prices not matching what's in their weekly ad.

In any of those cases, I've had to correct them in the past. And I've seen it as more of an issue at Best Buy than anywhere else.
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Old 02-26-13, 05:21 PM
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Re: Best Buy ordered by court to pay for overcharging at stores in CA

Originally Posted by TheKing View Post
Website pricing doesn't have to match in store pricing.
Except Best Buy uses their website in their in store kiosks. So they have to match the website's prices.
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Old 02-28-13, 10:31 PM
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Re: Best Buy ordered by court to pay for overcharging at stores in CA

Originally Posted by Texan26 View Post
Except Best Buy uses their website in their in store kiosks. So they have to match the website's prices.
Yep. Ran into another one today. Leverage S1 is $15.99 online and in their in-store kiosks but rings up $16.99. It's only a buck but it adds up.
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Old 02-28-13, 11:06 PM
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Re: Best Buy ordered by court to pay for overcharging at stores in CA

I remember many times at BB when I had to point out the price on an item or in the Ad when the price came up wrong. Lately, it has been happening at Walgreens (clearance items) and Costco.
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Old 03-18-13, 07:32 PM
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Re: Best Buy ordered by court to pay for overcharging at stores in CA

Originally Posted by Texan26 View Post
Except Best Buy uses their website in their in store kiosks. So they have to match the website's prices.
They used to have an internal-only website accessible from the store with different prices, but I believe that was put down by another lawsuit.

That said, I have a hard time believing that this was happening on items that were in the weekly ads. I can believe stuff being mislabeled on the shelf, but that happens at every store, and they usually adjust the price and take down the sign. I'd be interested in more details of what they found.
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Old 07-30-13, 05:46 AM
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Re: Best Buy ordered by court to pay for overcharging at stores in CA

wow.. that is some serious step taken up by the court in order to make sure that businessmen donot overcharge people and also provide convinience to common people.

really appreciable.!
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