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Canadian Home-Video retailer Future Shop "Lowest Price Guarantee" a lie

I know. Calling a major chain’s policies “a lie” is pretty strong. Well, I have proof.

My girlfriend and I just got off the phone with Future Shop, a major electronics and appliance retail chain here in Canada. We’re in the market for a new motorized projector screen and were looking at the affordable Accuscreen 106″ model. Future Shop has it listed for $670.99. But it’s much cheaper at Tiger Direct.ca. It’s priced at $242.99 to be exact. But we like dealing with Future Shop. We’ve been shopping there for years. We’re loyal customers with online accounts and a great deal of customer loyalty. Well, this mornings ordeal might have just changed all of that.

Future Shop offers a “Lowest Price Guarantee“. They’ll beat any advertised price from a competing retailer in Canada by 10% of the difference. So, of course, we decided to order the screen through Future Shop and contacted them about matching or beating Tiger Direct.ca’s lower price. The web-support team instructed us to call in and place the order and that the retailer would hold true to their guarantee if all conditions are met (email reprinted below). After 40 minutes on the telephone, we learned this to be untrue.

Apparently, Future Shop’s cost on the screen (almost $400 we were told) is above the Tiger Direct.ca retail price which, according to the supervisor of the poor representative who was stuck on the phone with us, is way too low for the retailer to beat. That’s right – Future Shop’s “Lowest Price Guarantee” doesn’t count if that price is TOO low. Even when all of Future Shop’s conditions are met!

The Future Shop rep on the phone agreed that the “Guarantee” should apply to the purchase. All of Future Shop’s conditions were met. She double checked both listings. Double checked all of the details. Went back and forth between web sites to ensure that everything was on the up-and-up. And when she had cleared us to make the purchase with the price beaten by 10% of the difference we went ahead and gave the VISA card a work-out. It was then, after the purchase had been made, as the rep was trying to apply the discount that her supervisor stepped in and told her that it couldn’t happen. That the retailer would be losing too much money if they held true to what they had promised us. If they held true to their “Guarantee”. Future Shop was not going to beat or even match Tiger Direct.ca’s lower price. She apologized and asked if we still wanted the screen for their price of $670.99. We politely declined. As we will decline any further opportunities to purchase anything from Future Shop.

For the record – Tiger Direct.ca is an authorized dealer in Canada. The price of the screen is advertised in Canadian dollars and is not a promotion. $242.99 is their regular, everyday price for the screen that Future Shop is selling for $670.99.

The email we received from Future Shop:

    Hi

    We will gladly price match against any other retailer as long as they are an authorized dealer in Canada, advertised in Canadian dollars, and the item is not involved with a special promotion, such as limited time or limited quantity sale or packaged deal.
    If you would like to have the Lowest Price Guarantee applied to your online order for shipment, we suggest contacting us at 1-800-663-2275 at any time, as we are always available to take your call. We are also more than willing to assist you if you wish to verify the eligibility of this request prior to placing an order.
    For in-store purchases or online orders for In-Store Pick Up, we request that you bring the flyer or advertisement to a store associate during the time of sale. They will ensure all criteria matches and provide the lower price, if applicable.

    Sincerely
    John
    Agent ID XXXXX
    Future Shop

From Future Shop’s website:

    Our Lowest Price Guarantee

    Get it for less. Guaranteed™.
    We will beat any advertised price by 10% of the difference.
    3 great reasons to buy at Future Shop.

      1) If you find a lower advertised price we will beat it by 10% of the difference.
      2) If you find a lower advertised price within 30 days* of your purchase we
      will beat it by 10% of the difference.
      3) If our own price is reduced within 30 days* of your purchase, bring in your
      receipt and we will refund the difference.

    * 14 days for computers, laptops, monitors, printers, camcorders, digital cameras, portable DVD players, radar detectors, projectors and air conditioners.
    Here’s how it works.

    If you are purchasing today:

    • Present us with a copy of the competitor’s current ad.
    • Our associates will verify that the item is in stock and available for
      immediate sale and delivery at the advertised price.
    • We will beat the competitor’s price by 10% of the difference.
    • If you purchase the item from futureshop.ca and there is no Future Shop in your area you can contact us at 1-800-663-2275 or by email at websupportcan@futureshop.com

    If you made your purchase in the last 30 days*:

    • Present us with a copy of the competitor’s current ad and your original invoice.
    • Our associates will verify that the item is in stock and available for
      immediate sale and delivery at the advertised price.
    • We will refund you the difference and give you an additional 10%
      of that difference.
    • If you purchase the item from futureshop.ca and there is no Future Shop in your area you can contact us at 1-800-663-2275 or by email at websupportcan@futureshop.com

    If our own price is reduced in the last 30 days*:

    • Present us with a copy of our original invoice.
    • We will refund you the difference between the purchase
      price and the current price.

    * 14 days for computers, laptops, monitors, printers, camcorders, digital cameras, portable dvd players, radar detectors, projectors and air conditioners

    Here are a few terms and conditions.

      The advertised item must be for the same brand and model and the product must be new and factory sealed, and subject to a manufacturer’s warranty applicable in Canada.

      Advertised prices must be in Canadian dollars, and will be calculated as including all charges applicable for next day delivery to your home address.

      The advertised item must be sold through an authorized dealer located in Canada. The terms and conditions of “Get it for less, guaranteed™” are subject to change without notice.

      Our lowest price guarantee does not apply to advertising errors or misprints, special educational prices, restricted offers, mail order offers, rebates, coupons, premiums, free or bonus offers, OEM products, limited or minimum quantity or limited time offers, close-outs, liquidations, clearances, financing or other special offers.

      If you are not completely satisfied, please talk to our store General Manager. If you need more help call 1-800-663-2275 for further assistance.


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