The Saturday weekend review #45: Outrageous online pricing deals gone wrong

pricing-errorsPRICING ERRORS HAPPEN EVERY DAY

No matter if you shop online or if you shop in store human error is possible and pricing errors can happen and sometimes depending on policy can be a perk for the consumer.

Just yesterday I noticed a sale at Metro for a product that boasted the regular price at $2.99 and the new lower price being $2.99 which was exactly the same. Sure I had a laugh and took a photo of it because it was funny, but it was also human error.

Online shopping has been going on for years now and its presence is only becoming much more powerful in the world of technology simply because people don’t have to leave home in order to go shopping.

For those that are super busy or have less than optimal amounts of time to spend with the one’s they love shopping online cuts down on time.

For some people who go into a store it triggers spending more than they earn because when they go to the store they tend to ‘want’ more because they physically can touch it.

The same could ring true with sitting behind a computer screen and shopping with the simple click of a mouse and entering your credit card info or using services such a PayPal to complete the purchase.

I was reading online the other day about how a glitch on the Wal-mart website in the USA caused a ripple of  “start the car” moments on social media. Apparently from what I read it was human error that occurred which caused pricing errors online.

Wal-mart is not fulfilling these orders and I can understand why as the prices were just too good to be true. Customers were scoring deals on computer monitors for $9.00 and absurdly low prices on televisions and other items that were clearly priced incorrectly.

The interesting part is that where you might save if you wanted to get that fancy computer monitor for $8.00 if you needed some kool-aid for your kid you were looking at around $70.00 a packet. Yes you read that correct and to be honest anyone would know these are all pricing errors simply because no one sells something for $70.00 that retails at best 2/$1.00 when on sale.

I think as consumers we must be ready for these types of online gitches even if retailers have a powerful technology team behind the scenes because no one is perfect. In Canada we have the scanning code of practice (SCOP) in many big box stores which I’ve talked about numerous times as it’s a big topic for shoppers. This would be a perk if the item was higher than the shelf price and for that Kool-aid if you were in-store that would have been free under the scanning code of practice.

Although there is no scanning code of practice that I am aware of in Canada for online pricing who knows if in the future stores will put together some policy for those that do get caught up in a computer glitch like what happened with Wal-mart USA customers.

 

Taking care of customers

 

Wal-mart is obviously not honouring the outrageous pricing deals that were posted on their website to those that actually purchased them but are sending out $10.00 Wal-mart gift cards in return for the glitch they were caught up in.

I think that it’s great that Wal-mart took that extra step for their customers but I also think that this might be a turning point for those online retailers who are scratching their heads now wondering how they would have handled this situation.

I don’t know if it will go as far as online pricing guarantees similar to a SCOP but if not I think a simple tweet or email to let them know of the problem will be just as helpful. One of my fans pointed out that even with SCOP and where stores are honouring pricing errors to customers as free or heavily discounted might be one of the reasons high prices comes back to bite us in the arse.

It may be true but at the same time a happy customer is also important because that is revenue that keeps coming back or looping if you wish because the customer returns over and over to spend more money.

One comment by a reader Charlie Sommers at Bloomberg.com where I read more about the pricing error was spot on when he left the comment he did below in quotes.

I believe that if a store has a policy in place such as SCOP then as a consumer you have the right to bring it to their attention if it falls under the policy and be awarded what the policy states.

If there is no policy then simply understanding that a problem has happened and needs to be sorted out but letting them know is also the right thing to do. If a cashier handed me back too much money I would without a doubt let her know and it give the money back.

I don’t have much to show for my journey through life so far but I do have a bit of integrity. I would not expect someone to honor an obviously incorrect price that was made because of a computer glitch but then I’m the kind of guy that will point out the mistake to a sales clerk if they give me too much change. Honesty is the best policy and it’s nice to think about karma.

As a consumer do you think Walmart should have honoured the online pricing deals?

What would you say to the consumers who are causing a stink about not getting the pricing deals?

 

Canadian Budget Binder this week

 

Just in case you missed any of the awesome posts at Canadianbudgetbinder.com this week I’ve got them all below for you.

Happy Reading.

 

CBB at home and the blog

 

I’ve been super busy this past week and this upcoming week I’m out-of-town on business so I’ve been taking a back seat when it comes to the blog but am still coming around to read my favourite personal finance blog posts. I think one of the hardest parts about blogging is keeping up with social media and your networks of blogs that you read every single day.

With over 100 blogs that I follow and not all personal finance I do my best to get out there and read and comment as much as I can. I think that taking the time to read a blog post from start to finish and leaving a meaningful comment is more important than slamming up any old comment just to say I’ve been around.

I respect those bloggers and all of my fans that read my blog posts and leave comments.

At home all of our Fall decor is now down and put away for the season although the hanging fern plants are still wild as ever and as much as I would like to keep them indoors over the winter i won’t be this year.

We tried that last year and it turned into a right disaster in the kitchen with dead fern leaves falling to the floor and the dog just making a blinkin mess of them. No stress this year for us and the only plants that came in are the plants that need to be over-wintered like the lime, pomegranate, figs, mallow etc.

As soon as remembrance day is over I’ll be getting outside to hang our giant lit up wreath that we bought at the end of the Christmas season last year for dirt cheap. Then I will slowly work on decorating indoors with the bits and bobs we’ve collected over the years. The  Christmas tree I’m contemplating when to put it up.

When do you put up your Christmas tree?

 

Fan deals of the week

 

This week Canadian Budget Binder fan Cynthia shares her amazing garage sale find that I want to share with all of you. If you love to go to garage sales you can even find indoor garage sales throughout the winter or simply looking for deals on-line to save some cash.

I wrote a post a while back sharing some of my favourite ways for buying and selling at garage sales. If you understand or practice the art of negotiation you can negotiate just about anything you want.

You don’t always have to buy brand new because chances are you will find someone who has the same item you are looking for or a similar item like Cynthia found below. Just last week the wife and I found some face cream that she loves on Kijiji that was unopened but for a deep discount price.

Submit your Brag

If you have a brag that you want me to share email me at canadianbudgetbinder (@) [yahoo] [.ca] by Friday each week to have your brag considered for the Saturday post.

yard-sale-vs-outlet-mallCynthia-

I know I haven’t been around much lately but I had to brag a little! I couldn’t think about parting with $40 for those cute brown boots. Stopped at a yard sale, got a cute pair for $4!!

Making a difference

 

disease-called-debt

Hello! My name is Hayley and I’m a personal finance writer and blogger currently documenting my family’s journey to debt freedom through my blog A Disease Called Debt.  I started the blog in January 2013 as an outlet for my thoughts (and despair) at that time about our debt situation.

My hubby and I have been in debt for around 14 years now and although we have paid some of it back from time to time, it has only been this year that we’ve been heavily focused on debt repayment. Despite earning less than half of our salaries compared to a few years ago, we’ve actually achieved more success this year than ever before!

This success stems from changing our mindset about our finances once and for all. We have a shiny new budget that we stick to and we try to make extra money wherever possible to pay towards our debt.

I’m so glad I started my blog because whilst doing so, I became part of the brilliant personal finance community which I’ve found to be very inspirational and supportive. Throughout my blogging career so far, I’ve been motivated by the success stories from other bloggers and have found many resources and tools to help my family in our own situation. Blogging has also made me accountable to my readers – that in itself motivates me to tackle the debt with a vengeance!

Many people are in debt these days and it can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m hoping that my blog will provide inspiration, help and advice to others in similar situations. By tackling debt in a positive and proactive way, it really is possible to turn a hefty debt situation around!

 

Blog post sharing

 

I really appreciate when other blog owners recognize my hard work at Canadian Budget Binder and share my posts with their fans or even mention my blog on their blog or website.

Here are the blogs that did just that this past week, so please head over and check them out. If I’m missing you it’s because I didn’t get a ping back so please send me an email and I’ll add you next Saturday.

Just one site shared CBB this week so a big thanks goes out to Urban Departures for recognizing CBB and taking the time to share with their fans. :-)

 

Carnival Glory

 

 

Google-web-search-terms

Every week I get thousands of people visit Canadian Budget Binder because they did a search online and found my blog.

Here are a few of my favorite searches that may have even brought you here and you’re reading this, right now.

  • Canadianguestroom- I kind of liked the sound of that for a blog name
  • It feels so good to have money in the bank- I think this is going to be my next blog post because it really does feel good to have money in the bank and although it is easier said than done I believe with motivation and education everyone can save something.
  • Money will kill the relationship- In many cases money is the number one reason a relationship will fall apart but I believe that if a couple truly is in love they will find a way to make money a part of the overall world they are creating together and make it fit. You don’t always have to have the best of everything.
  • Tired of lazy people- Well we can’t change the world but if we motivate the world and we motivate ourselves to be the best we can be then that is what matters the most.

Money-quote

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Mr. CBB
I’m from the UK and now a recent permanent resident in Canada. I bought my first house at the age of 21 after University then my second at the age of 24. I’ve always been fascinated with personal finance, savings, learning to make money and watch it grow while combating debts along the way. Canadian Budget Binder is a place where I get to share my experiences with personal finance and learn about yours along the way. I hope you stick around and check me out on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest where I am active on all social media sites. Cheers, Mr.CBB
Mr. CBB
Mr. CBB

Comments

  1. Wow – catching up with over 100 blogs must take some time! I read and comment on around 50 blogs per week and like you, I find this part of blogging the most time consuming. But at the same time I find this really valuable because I learn so much along the way about money matters and also blogging tips!

    Love those brown boots that Cynthia found in a garage sale. It’s well worth looking around at garage sales or in charity shops before splashing out on ‘must have’ items!

    Thanks so much for including my blog today as part of your ‘Making a difference’ feature – I feel really honoured to be part of this! :)
    Hayley @ A Disease Called Debt recently posted…Friday’s Fab Links #16My Profile

  2. Walmart was correct in not honoring the pricing errors due to the glitch. They have it in their Terms of Use that pricing errors may occur and, therefore, have themselves protected from such things.

    As for the consumers whining and complaining about it, one can tell many have never bothered to read those Terms of Use. And makes one wonder how many of those individuals have broken the terms they are to follow when using the site!

    • That is true that they have the terms and conditions. I think many people fail to read the fine print simply because it’s irrelevant at the time or it’s just too much. It’s not until something happens when they are forced to read then see what they should have done or what is allowed or not permitted. Thanks for commenting Louise.

  3. Christine Weadick says:

    First thing I noticed with your picture at the top was that it was for a brownie flavoured snack!!!! Lol!!! I had heard about that glitch with Walmart’s site, but not about the gift cards they were giving out. The glitch itself comes under the heading ‘crap happens’ but it was nice of them to give out the gift cards. So you didn’t get that deal but you are still ahead of the game by $10.00!! I could live with that…. Really, with anything online the old saw Garbage in garbage out goes. People make mistakes….deal with it.
    I would and have told a cashier about an incorrect price on an item. What they do about it is their business. I told them, but I’m also not going to go back and clear the shelf just because there is an incorrect price. There is a limit to how much of anything one can actually use. This all comes back to things we have been saying for ages…. you really need to know your prices!!!! And read the sign for the occasional humour there….
    I’ll likely be putting up the outside lights shortly as the Christmas parade here in town is on Friday night. I’ll plug them in for that and then not again until Dec 1. I’ll start hauling out stuff then too. The tree doesn’t go up until around the 15th as we buy a real tree every year. Love the smell!!!!! The cat loves hiding under the tree too so when I go to water the tree there will be a little pink nose checking up on what I’m doing!!! Our plants have been dealt with. the truck had it’s winter tires put on and they are now in the garage so when the older boy was putting the tires away any pots still outside went into the garage too. So that’s where my big blue pots are now. The geraniums are in the front porch as are the lime and lemons. We will keep an eye on the temperature out there and so long as it stays in the double digits we leave it. If gets colder than that we plug in a heater for a while. That’s how we did it last year and it worked fine.
    I will have to check out the blog you mentioned, it looks interesting. I don’t have a great deal of time online to look these things over but I try to get to what I can… Love the search terms as usual!!! Have a good weekend!!!

  4. Good for you for following all those blogs Mr. CBB. I’m spending less time on line these days and it’s definitely impacted how many posts I read and comment on…and how many I write. I’m reading more books these days, though; something I’ve always enjoyed. In the end, it’s about stretching our mind and being open to new information and new ideas, wherever we find them. :)

    About the WalMart story: I’m with the fellow you quoted. Why not be honest and make a deposit in the karma bank? I would’ve read those prices and thought “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is” then sent an email to inquire about it.
    Beth @ Aunt B’s Kitchen recently posted…Night Before Payday EggsMy Profile

  5. Always happy to share your posts! I love the search term “tired of lazy people”!
    kelly @stayingonbudget recently posted…Weekend Reading #10My Profile

  6. Sometimes online deals work out and sometimes they don’t. I follow a lot of coupon blogs and the Wal Mart pricing error was the hot topic on many of them. I think it’s decent of Wal Mart to offer the $10 gift card. Mistakes happen (even if you’re a multi-billion dollar company).
    KK @ Student Debt Survivor recently posted…“No Heat For You!”: The Heat NaziMy Profile

  7. Ahhh, the life of a finance blogger. I’m at about 50 blogs, 100 is pretty awesome. There’s so many different flavors out there, I love getting all the different angles and strategies on finance as I develop and evolve my own.

    Are you going to put up any outside lights? Mine will be up the week before Thanksgiving, but only on during weekends until like mid-December. Electric bill was a little TOO high last year, LoL.
    Jacob recently posted…FinCon Ignite Speech Is Now LiveMy Profile

    • I keep the outside lights up all year long because it’s too much of a hassle to take them all down with the shape of our house. I have them on a timer so we only put them on during the cheap hours of the day.

  8. Laurie @thefrugalfarmer says:

    Honestly, I think Walmart should’ve honored the prices – their mistake, therefore, the money loss is their problem, not to mention that they can well afford it. The $10 gift card was nice, but honoring the prices would’ve been that “go the extra mile” step that I think customers deserve. Thanks too, for featuring Hayley’s blog – it’s one of our faves!

  9. That’s the problem with technology – it’s so easy to fall into glitches without anyone willing to take the blame. As for Walmart, I think they should have given away a special discount (more than the $10 gift cards) to people who ended up ordering the items but I know in reality, no retail outlet is that generous. I too picked up a milk powder can after seeing a good deal, only to have the POS teller tell me the wrong price had been advertized and I had to pay the full price recorded in the system. It’s just how the business works and you have to respect that or look elsewhere for a bargain.
    Fehmeen recently posted…5 Tips To Save Money Before Your Vacation BeginsMy Profile

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  2. […] in November I talked about an online glitch for Wal-Mart but they did give back to the customers in question with a $10 gift […]

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