Best Buy puts up price disclaimer after legal probe

Posted by Mark Raby

Hartford (CT) - After a probe from the Connecticut attorney general, Best Buy has now put up a disclaimer at its in-store Web kiosks saying the online prices do not actually reflect what is on BestBuy.com.

Best Buy received legal controversy over an alleged price scandal, causing Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal to file a lawsuit.  Blumenthal's lawsuit claims that Best Buy has an intentionally deceptive website in its in-store kiosks that are different from what consumers see at BestBuy.com.  Computers are spread throughout the store, and if a customer has a question about a certain product's availability, an employee can bring up a site that looks nearly identical to BestBuy.com.  However, according to the lawsuit, this is a special intranet that is maintained independently of the store's actual online portal.

Best Buy offers customers a price match guarantee to in-store customers who want BestBuy.com prices.  Sometimes the online store has exclusive sales, but when customers ask for a price match in the store, employees connect to the intrastore site and claim the sale price does not exist.

The in-store kiosk now has a disclaimer that says, "This kiosk displays in-store prices - which may differ from national Internet prices.  Promotions can differ between stores and Internet.  See your sales associate if you have questions."

Best Buy had previously denied it was doing anything wrong, but the new disclaimer seems to suggest it was at least confusing customers.