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.
- PF Weekly Grab a Brew #45: Butt out that smoke with kids in the car
- The cost of the big “O” ovulation tests that is
- October 2013 Net Worth Update (+1.94%) Defending spending habits
- The grocery game challenge Nov 4-10, 2013- Holiday baking on a budget
- Bust our budget October 2013: Romance and Money
- The best crispy sweet potato fries that you will ever taste
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.
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
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.
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.
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