March 3, 2007 4:15 p.m. EST
Linda Young - All Headline News Staff Writer
Hartford, CT (AHN) - Best Buy has engaged in an elaborate online switch and bait scheme to deprive customers of advertised sales prices on store merchandise, according to the Gizmodo Gadget Guide.
Sale prices advertised on the Internet at BestBuy.com were used to lure customers into stores, according to Gizmodo. Once at the store customers were unable to buy the merchandise they had seen advertised online. When they tried to locate it, store personnel allegedly used a dummy internal website, or intranet, that had different merchandise at a higher price.
The elaborate scheme was uncovered by a journalist at the Hartford Courant newspaper. The columnist showed how the local Best Buy had denied customer's use of $150 online coupons to purchase store merchandise.
Best Buy officials initially denied that their intranet web site was used for customers. They finally admitted the existence of the intranet site but have not given any clear answers on its use and denied they intended to deceive customers, Hartford Courant consumer columnist George Gombossy reported Friday.
Connecticut State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal's office is investigating, according to Hartford Courant reports. The newspaper also reported that the Internet and intranet web sites looked identical, except for the differences in prices and some merchandise.
"Their responses seem to raise as many questions as they answer," Blumenthal told Gombossy in an interview. "Their answers are less than crystal clear."
In his Hartford Courant newspaper column, Gombossy also reported that the Best Buy Internet and intranet web sites looked identical, except for the differences in prices and some merchandise.
Gee surprise surprise -- they always out of stock of sale items on day one.