Not surprised in the slightest.
Best Buy has landed itself in the middle of a controversy over its Price Match policy according to Boy Genius Report. Walk into any Best Buy store around the country or pick up one of its weekly circulars and you will find prominently displayed "We'll meet or beat their lowest price. If you see a lower advertised price, we'll match it on the spot."
That is the Best Buy lowest price guarantee if the corporate speak is to be believed. A judge in New York State has certified a class action lawsuit against Best Buy for allegedly having an anti-price match policy in place with the goal of preventing a customer from taking advantage of the price match guarantee Best Buy so prominently displays.
The lead plaintiff in the class action is Thomas Jermyn and all NY State residents who feel they were refused Best Buy's price match are eligible to participate in the suit. Court documents show allegations that claim Best Buy has a corporate wide anti-price matching policy, corporate headquarters disseminated anti-price matching policy to regional managers, store managers, assistant managers, and other store personnel and that the franchise taught employees how to deny price match requests.
The plaintiff's legal team claims to have an internal Best Buy email that outlines ways employees might go about getting around the price match guarantee. The email read in part:
It looms on the wall, on a 9 foot sign. Our Price Match policy. There it is plain as day in English (Y en espanol para los de usted que puede leerio.) However, just because it is our policy, do we abide by it? Does it really help the customer?
What is the first thing we do when a customer comes in to our humble box brandishing a competitor's ad asking for a price match? We attempt to build a case against the price match. (Trust me, I've done it too). Let's walk through the "Refused Price Match Greatest Hits:"
Not same model? Not in stock at the competitor? Do we have free widget with purchase? Is it from a warehouse club (they have membership fees, you know)? Limited Quantities? That competitor is across town? We've got financing! Is it an internet price? It's below cost!
One key allegation in the suit is that Best Buy denied more than 100 proper price match requests per store per week. Another key allegation is that Best Buy paid bonuses in part on denying price match guarantees.