Troubleshooter: Advertising woes

December 1, 2008 4:09:27 PM PST
An on-line ad on circuitcity.com caught Yaaqob Yubwannie attention. It was a bundle deal: a 50 inch plasma TV plus an Xbox, for the bundle price of $999.00. Yaaqob said, "I was thinking I could get a TV for me and an Xbox for my kids." But when Yaaqob tried to check out on-line, he said the link didn't work.

So he called the customer service number. He adds, "They told me they didn't have anymore." So Yaaqob thought no problem, he would just go to the store and get the deal. But no luck there either. He says, "They told me it was an invalid offer that they rescinded the offer.

I said I have it can't you honor mine? I think they should honor it because I have the advertisement and unless they put some disclaimer on it, then I think they should honor it for the people that did see it."

Yaaqob isn't the only upset customer we heard from. We heard from other viewers who said they saw the same deal and tried to take advantage of it but no luck. We went straight to Circuit City.

A rep said the on-line promotion was posted in error. He added typically errors are spotted very quickly and fixed, but this specific posting occurred on a Sunday, and there was a power outage at the corporate campus. So the correction could not be posted immediately. When we made a check on-line at circuitcity.com under the terms of use, we did find a clause that makes no warranty or guarantee that the information on their Web site is error free.

A Circuit City rep did reach out to Yaaqob. They didn't offer him the bundle for $999.00, but did offer him the deal for $1,249.00. A price he's not willing to pay, especially when he reads Circuit City's slogan. He says, "It says simplicity guaranteed and when you put the word guarantee on anything I shouldn't have a problem."

Circuit city is not alone. Troubleshooter Diane Wilson has heard from several others viewers recently about the same experience when it comes to on-line shopping and an advertised price not bring honored at others companies. Stores do have protection in place, not only are there clauses on-line, but also when you take a look at paper ads, in really small print at the bottom you can find the disclaimers.


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