Today, while searching on the Internet, I found a magic iPhone transmitter thingy that claims that it will play my iPhone music on the car stereo, using tiny invisible radio waves.
This is a device that I need.
I searched some more and discovered the lowest price for the magic transmitter on BestBuy.com. Best Buy was offering the device on sale for $59.99.
This was $2.39 cheaper than Amazon.com.
“Perfect,” I thought. “After work, I’ll make a special trip to my local Best Buy store to buy the magic iPhone transmitter.”
And so, I did.
I was in luck. My local Best Buy store had the $59.99 magic iPhone transmitter in stock. Only, there was something different about this transmitter. Namely, the price tag:
$99.99, plus tax.
“That’s odd.” I thought.
So I pulled out my trusty iPhone, activated the web browser and, again, located the device on the Best Buy website. Sure enough, $59.99.
“Maybe it’s a mistake?” I removed the transmitter from the rack, and brought it across the store to the Customer Service Desk.
“May I help you?” said the Customer Service Desk Lady.
And then, I asked one of the stranger questions I’ve ever had to ask in a store.
“On the website, this transmitter is $40 cheaper. Would Best Buy be willing to match Best Buy’s price on this magic iPhone transmitter device?”
It seems that, with Circuit City out of the picture, Best Buy is now engaging in a heated price war with itself.
The Customer Service Desk Lady took the transmitter device, typed the name into BestBuy.com to verify the sale, and pulled up the listing.
Then, she turned to me and frowned.
“I’m sorry.” She said. “This is an Online Only Sale.” She pointed to the screen, where, sure enough, there in the corner, it said “On Sale” and then, below it, “On Sale – Online Only.”
“So let me get this straight.” I said. “Best Buy is selling this product for $59.99.”
“I want to buy this product from Best Buy right now. In person. Cash.”
“But Best Buy is not willing to match prices…with Best Buy.”
“I’m sorry. It’s Online Only.”
And so, for the hassle of driving to Best Buy, paying $1.00 to park on the street, searching the aisles for the device, and standing in line at customer service only to leave the store empty-handed, I went home and immediately bought the magic iPhone transmitter device from Amazon.com for $62.38 with Free Super Saver Shipping and no tax.
You’re welcome, Amazon.com. But don’t thank me. Thank Best Buy.
Addendum: It gets even more moronic: I noticed after I grabbed the screen shots for this article that there’s a banner just above the product on BestBuy.com that says you can order on the website and pick up your purchase in-store. So, theoretically, I could have bought the thing on my iPhone for $59.99 while standing at the customer service desk, and then asked to pick up my purchase to take home. (forehead smack!)
Few things are worse than bad retail. And as much as I hate the whole “shiny happy people” vibe they work with at the Apple store, those mf’s know how to get me in and out quickly. And with whatever I came in for in my hand. And, gulp, a smile on my face.
I guess it seems that people should always read the fine print before making any assumptions. You mean to tell me it says online only and you still made the trip paid the $1 to park and then waited in customer service to leave empty handed, only to get back into the car drive home and order the product online. So was that to prove a point to who?
Nah, Stephen is full of beans. Probably spends his whole day reading fine print if only to be so self-satisfied. Merry Christmas.