Best Buy Sued for Price Match Denial Policy

Internal Best Buy documents point to shady anti-price matching policies.

Ever been to Best Buy armed with a competitor’s ad in hopes of getting a better price, only to be shot down by a barrage of seemingly inexplicable excuses? If so, you’re not alone.

The U.S. District Court has granted a motion to allow plaintiff Thomas Jermyn and any similarly situated NY State residents to enter into a class action lawsuit against Best Buy for violating its price match policy, according to HD Guru.

The suit alleges that Best Buy knowingly deceives customers. As noted by the plaintiff, Best Buy uses its “price match guarantee policy as a ploy, to lure unsuspecting consumers into its stores and to induce them to purchase its merchandise, while allegedly having an undisclosed ‘Anti-Price Matching Policy,’ pursuant to which employees aggressively deny customers’ legitimate price match requests.”

According to the report, the decision to grant the suit class action status was based on Best Buy internal documents, depositions of current employees and declarations by two former employees.

Some of the evidence supposedly included an “Anti-Price Match Policy” which was distributed to regional managers, store managers, assistant managers, and necessary store personnel. Perhaps most striking of all was the point that alleged that Best Buy provided financial bonuses on denying proper price match requests.

A Best Buy representative responded to questions regarding its policies, saying, “We encourage customers to become familiar with our price-matching policy and use it to their advantage, especially in these tough economic times.” The representative also added that customers who believe they’ve met the applicable criteria and are unable to price match at their local Best Buy store should contact the Customer Care Center.

Marcus Yam is a technology evangelist for Intel Corporation, the latest in a long line of tech-focused roles spanning a more than 20-year career in the industry. As Executive Editor, News on Tom's Guide and Tom's Hardware, Marcus was responsible for shaping the sites' news output, and he also spent a period as Editor of Outdoors & Sports at Digital Trends.

  • MrBradley
    Good for them. I never shop at worst buy.
  • hotroderx
    I might be a minority on this but I never had a problem with there price match ever will except when I asked them to price match Newegg they laughed at me then. But I find that or reps at the bestbuy around here are pretty busy with returns (don't know why they have such a high return rate). So I don't think they really mind price matching items my buggiest complaint is why they don't have prices listed on in store other then that no complaints from me other then there extremely high prices but thats what price match fixes :D
  • mrubermonkey
    Hopefully they will go the way of Circuit City.
  • cl_spdhax1
    it took me about 10 - 15 minutes to get them to price match with a Fry's ad in hand.
  • chaosgs
    Oh boy that brings back memories, We at circuit city did the same thing. Customer wanted a price match id go to the manager to have it done (i cant change prices), than he would go "we cant price match it that far", than id go "so what do i tell the customer" manager- "Tell them we cant do it". Me to the customer- "Unfortunately that is just to good of a deal, we would be losing a lot of money if we matched that" Customer- "Well why in the hell do you have that price matching sign for?", Me- "We do price match, just like Ive said we would be losing a lot of money on this particular price match".

    Brings back old times, but yeah anytime Walmart made a deal on a TV, id have an angry customer breathing down my neck, than id try to persuade him to get a TV we had on sale which half the time worked. I miss working there.
  • chaosgs
    You cant beat walmart price wise, its impossible, so Circuit city's advantage was customer service and expertise, you dont get customer service at walmart, no one expects customer service there (they expect 5 Star service at Circuit city though). Yeah some people have bad experiences at Circuit city customer service wise and i dont blame them, its managements fault. Though every day we would have a customer shit all over the floors and walls in the bathroom every day, every god damned day, and i mean every fucking day.

    Best buy is going to go out of business in the next 5 years, worst customer service ever. Every manager there never does anything, making $100K salary plus sales bonuses, all he does is talk on a phone, the assistant manager smokes pot (he stinks of it and has fucked up pupples), while their employees goof off, circuit city wasnt great but never that bad (Walmart is even worse).
  • rooket
    This is why I don't shop at best buy. Also they shot down my TV price match after telling me that the store would honor it if I brought my online printout with me. So I cancelled the order and bought at Circuit City. Circuit City was a WAY better store and it is a huge shame that they are gone. I won't send my business to best buy, I'll use amazon and instead.
  • PCfreak15
    i work at best buy and haven't caught wind of this yet. price match policy as its implemented in our store is same exact product, same model sold at a retail store within 30 miles. we don't match online prices unless its

    i'd like to see a copy of this anti-price match policy. what are the actual details. this article only says that it exists but doesnt give any specifics.

    not that I love best buy or anything, just working there till i finish my engineering degree.
  • Blessedman
    Chaos that is a very engrossing story!
  • Tekkamanraiden
    That's why I always bring the competitors flyer with me. I especially enjoy making them price match futureshop.