Not the Best Buy

Will the real BestBuy.com please stand up?

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inside best buy electronics stores, you’ll find kiosks displaying a website that looks just like BestBuy.com. But it’s actually a special in-store website that lists prices that may be different—and higher—than those listed on the chain’s official site. Consumers have complained that the two websites/two prices setup seems intentionally misleading. Connecticut’s consumer protection commissioner and state attorney general agree: Last May they sued Best Buy for what the AG has called “an Internet version of bait-and-switch.”

“We don’t want anybody confused,” insists Best Buy spokeswoman Dawn Bryant. She says the company didn’t learn about the two-prices problem until the lawsuit. She notes that the in-store information kiosks now carry a disclaimer warning shoppers that “the prices may not reflect what they saw on BestBuy.com.” Why doesn’t Best Buy just use its tech savvy as the nation’s largest consumer-electronics dealer and display its real-world website on its stores’ kiosks? “I don’t have an answer for that,” admits Bryant. “I wish I did.”

So how can a Best Buy shopper be sure she’s getting the lowest price possible? “We are training our employees better so that they know how to do the appropriate price matches,” explains Bryant. Just in case, you might want to arrive at your local Best Buy armed with a printout from the real BestBuy.com.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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