Stuff to click on

Saturday, December 2


For some time, Stinky has been saving money for a video game called "Guitar Hero". This game comes with a special controller, and simulates the experience of playing guitar for a rock band. Recently "Guitar Hero II" was also released, but he wants to get them in order.

In exchange for shoveling the snow on our sidewalks and the driveway, he got a little bit of extra cash. Also he still had a gift card from Best Buy that someone had given him and had saved about $30. He added it up and figured he had $60 and wanted to know if he had enough to buy the game. I checked the price on Best Buy's website and found that it was on sale for $59.99 - he had just enough. There was a link to see if the item is available in the store, and it verified that the Bend store had the game in stock. I made a screen print of the page and emailed it to myself (since our printer is not working). I told him that we would go that evening.

He gathered his cash and the gift card and we headed to Best Buy. They had a large stack of the games. He picked one and we headed to the cash register. The game rang up at $69.99 - and Stinky gave me a look of panic as he realized he did not have enough money to pay for the game. I mentioned to the cashier that we had checked the price online from home, and the website said it should be ten bucks less. She called a supervisor over.

The woman that came back said she just checked the Best Buy website and it said $69.99. I asked her to show me. She led me to a little computer that had the Best Buy website up - and the screen showed the price as she said. I asked her if I could show her the picture that I emailed myself - and she replied that the store does not have Internet access. How could they have the Best Buy website up if they don't have Internet access? She started saying that I must have been on some other site, like a price comparison site, that showed an old price. I disagreed - and pressed the issue mentioning that posting one price on the website and charging a higher price in the store was false advertising. She replied, there was no way I could prove my claim so she didn't have to honor the price.

At that moment the Store Manager came over. (They must have PO'd mom radar in that store.) I explained to him that the Best Buy website had one price, and the computer in front of us had another - higher - price. He started to tell me that the Best Buy website is a different company. I explained that on the webpage there was a link to check availability in the stores, and the Bend store was listed. I then asked if I should have my kid put the item back on the shelf and we would leave...

He looked at the supervisor, said "it's only ten bucks - give it to her", and he walked away.

Now, I am not sure if I am mean enough that we would have left. I probably would have made some bargain with Stinky for extra chores in exchange for the extra ten bucks, since the store issue wasn't his fault. But I am really glad it didn't come to that.

So, to give Best Buy credit they did eventually honor the price advertised, but only after arguing with two different employees and threatening to leave. I felt like the supervisor was accusing me of being a liar. The cashier did a great job of talking with Stinky while this was going on though - she seemed very nice.

If it wasn't for the gift card, I wouldn't have gone there anyways. This visit didn't do much to encourage me to return.

On the bright side - Stinky is loving his new game. He is sharing with the girls and there has been a lot of shrieking and lauging and singing coming from the bonus room, where the PS2 "lives".

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