Friday, August 14, 2009

You can buy it, go and try it, you can pay me next week

I'm no fan of Best Buy. I find their stores to be an assault on the senses, aural and visual, and even visceral, when they are demonstrating a bass speaker for the benefit of some music lover. It feels like the entire rhythm section of some band I don't want to hear is playing through speakers rigged up to my spine, and if there's one thing I don't need to hear, it's "Boom Boom Pow," the tender love ballad by Black-Eyed Peas, boom boom powing into my iliac crest.

But this story from the other day is even worse than a Lady GaGa medley of "Poker Face" and "Just Dance." Take it away, Associated Press!

Few if any of the deals retailers have offered online during the recession have been as good as Best Buy Inc.'s sale price of $9.99 on a 52-inch TV Wednesday. But it quickly turned out the offer was too good to be true.

The electronics retailer said it will not honor the $9.99 price posted Wednesday morning on its Web site for a 52-inch Samsung flat-screen TV. By early afternoon, the TV was listed at $1,799.99, almost half off the original $3,399.99 price.

Bloggers and Twitterers lit up the Internet with posts about the offer, some insisting Best Buy must honor it, others making jokes.

Best Buy, based in Richfield, Minn., said it has corrected an online pricing error and will not honor the incorrect price. Orders made Wednesday morning at the incorrect price will be canceled and customers will receive refunds, the company said.

Best Buy did not immediately return a call for additional comment.

Shares fell 27 cents to close at $36.50 Wednesday.

So, some half-awake gozzlehead at BB HQ forgot a few digits. $1,799.99 is substantially more than $9.99 - just ask anyone who ever tried to pay for a Big Weekend with a ten-spot. I'm not an attorney, but I see handsome men and lovely women play them on TV, and I know that Abbie Carmichael on Law and Order and Perry Mason on Perry Mason would see justice served to this tune: retailers ought to have to stick to the price that appears in their ad. Not our fault if their gozzlehead puts in the wrong price. And once they accept the sale price and complete transactions with people on line, doesn't that oblige them to honor the deal they made?

One time some wiseguy used car dealer was selling used cars for "500 bananas," bananas being the cool wiseguy term for dollars. (It's really semolians.) Anyway, along comes Joe Citizen, with a wheelbarrow laden with 500 bananas and he wants his used Mercury Masquerader or whatever was for sale. When it got to the judge, as I recall, the judge said "90 days, Jerry! When you're hot, you're hot!" No, I mean he ruled that the guy had to accept the deal he advertised.

How many bananas could you buy with $36.50?

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