Inside TWiT

Is this a common practice/scam....?

Yay!! Tomorrow we have a doctor appointment to have an ultrasound, and find out the sex of our baby. So I go to check the video camera, since I'd like to get video of it.... Grrr the camera is fragged, I forgot about it... I knew it was broken too. Doh...

OK so I need to buy another small, inexpensive mini-DV cam, today. I'm going to want it around a lot when baby is born anyway, right... So I found a model that fit my budget ($700) and size needs. I wanted something almost palm sized but fairly high quality. I decided to try the Panasonic PV-GS150, from my research it seemed like a good thing to satisfy my needs. I would normally order it online and get a much better deal, but time was not on my side. So I checked BestBuy's website and they listed it for $629 and said it was in stock at the store closest to me. OK I figured I'll bite the bullet and pay the convenience cost of not waiting.

When I got to the store the camera was marked at $664. I asked if I can get it at the same price it is listed at on their website. So the salesman told me if the website had it listed for $629 then they would give it to me for that price. Great... well it was until he goes to the same "public" URL I went to 20 minutes before and it was priced at $664. I was very confused, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt and thought maybe I was mistaken. However I didn't want to pay that price (it would have put me over my cap of $700 with tax), so I left.

When I got home I checked the price again and it was $629.... I cleared my cache to make sure it was the most recent version of the page, and it was. So needing the camera I paid $629 for it online and checked pick up in store ( the same one that was saying the camera was $664).

When I got to the store and picked up the camera, I asked the customer service person a few questions. "Why was the price different, when I got to the store?" I asked.

She said, "Maybe it was a web only price."

"OK thats fine," I said. "But why when your salesman went to the "bestbuy" website did it have a price different than the bestbuy website people outside this building see?"

She said "I don't know why that would happen". Then she added "but I have had a lot of people ask me that recently..."

 I commented, "This seems like an unethical business practice, to show someone a website,representing it as the same one I could visit from home. Only to have it have completely different information."

She shrugged her shoulders and said nothing to this comment. Knowing that there was no way she was going to admit this behavior I left the store.

To me it seemed like the old bait and switch... am I wrong here? Did I take this the wrong way? or Did I stumble on that BestBuy's little sleezy secret?

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