Best Buy - Orlando, FL / best buy deceptive and unfair trade practices
I went to the Best Buy on Nov 2nd, 2007, located at 4601 E. Colonial Drive, Orlando Fl, 32803 to look at satellite radios for me and my wife. There were 8 different radios to choose from. The one we liked had a sign that says "Sirius Stiletto 2 Live Personal Radio V", price $49.99.
I found a sales associate and I asked to buy the $49.99 radio, the sales associate told me that the radio was $329.99, and that the $49.99 price was for the vehicle kit that the radio was sitting in. When I asked where the price was located for the radio we wanted to buy, he replied "I have to go print that up."
I asked to speak to the manager and explained how this was very confusing to me. The manager Mike refused to sell me the radio at the $49.99 price, saying that there was nothing wrong with the sign or how it was displayed. He then told me the plan-o-gram was set this way by the corporate office, this is the lay out of how the merchandise should be signed and displayed. I find it very odd that there would be no price for a $329 item, but there would be one for the $49 item. I asked him if he was going to change this sign tomorrow, which he replied he would not change any signage unless instructed to do so by the corporate office.
He then explained that the model number in small text above the price clearly explains that this is for the "SLV2". There are no boxes and/or imprinting on the radio or car kit that a consumer can see that would allow them to know that the car kit was the "SLV2". When asked how the consumer was suppose to be able to distinguish between the two the two different products, the sales associate told me that I was suppose to ask for the price. To me that make it illogical to even print price signs. I was then told that this was not the type or store you just walk in, grab what you want and go store by the Service Manager. I assume he is trying to tell me the customer needs to be lead around and directed to the correct product for them. If this is true, why would they have CD's and DVD's at this store? You can see how a consumer can get easily confused when even the manager is telling me this.
So the store has NO price displayed for this radio except for the one that says "Sirius Stiletto 2 Live Personal Radio V". There is only a display of the radio, no price 'in their opinion', and there are no boxes of radios for me to read more information on, or get a model number from. As a consumer it would seem to me that the model number would be 'Stiletto 2'.The manager directed me to call their 1-888-BESTBUY since I did not like his answer.
I called and spoke with Vanessa on Nov 2nd at 10:30pm and explained the issue. I then emailed her the (4) photographs I took to show the display. She said she feels that the sign is very deceiving, but all she could do is to give me a $100 gift card "IF" I bought the radio. She lastly said that it seems that the sign was suppose to read "Sirius Stiletto 2 Live Personal Radio Vehicle Kit". She also said I should be able to tell the difference by looking at the box in the store, because it would have a model number on it, this would distinguish it from the vehicle kit. But remember 'this is NOT just a walk in, grab what you want and go store' as the manager previously told us. So there are NO boxes with information for me to read. This is very misleading to the consumer so far about the process a consumer should know when shopping in Best Buy. I have not yet had a similar experience at any other store in my life.
I then asked to speak to her manager at the call center. I got to talk to Mitch at 10:45pm on the same day. He also agreed that the sign is "very misleading". These are their words that the sign is very misleading not mine. So you can see why I am now getting frustrated that even Best Buy customer service feels these signs are misleading. They said they stand by the fact that the model number displayed makes the description irrelevant. I was told it make NO difference what any other text is printed on the sign. Mitch then told me it was easy for him to look up the model number on his computer and see that the "SLV2" was not the radio as displayed; it was in fact the vehicle kit. I asked him if this means I should bring a computer with me when shopping at Best Buy, just incase I need to make sure they printed their signs correctly. He just replied no.
I have photographs showing exactly what I saw on Nov 2nd and how other radios did not have this problem; even the sign below the radio in question says very clearly that the radio has a car kit included with the price. Why should I assume that the radio I am looking at is not the same deal? I did email the corporate office these photos and they agreed it was misleading, but they said the sign was not incorrect totally, just that the sign did not have the full description.
I site Florida State Statute 501.204 subsection (1) which states: Unfair methods of competition, unconscionable acts or practices, and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce are hereby declared unlawful.
I believe I have found the correct statue but I may be incorrect, the retailer and their corporate office refuses to help me and stands by their claim that they may print anything on the sign, which may be untrue, as long as they have the model number correct.
I traveled to another Best Buy located at 845 N Alafaya Trail, Orlando Fl 32828 where the display is exactly the same, except the sign and price for the radio was completely different, furthermore there was now no price for the vehicle kit.
And lastly why would there be a different plan-o-gram for price signage as these stores are just miles apart.
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