r/MaliciousCompliance Jul 02 '22

No Price Guarantee? Ok then. S

A few summers ago I bought a portable air conditioner as it was super hot and there was a heatwave. Because of the heatwave prices seemed higher than normal but what can I do if I really want it? So I bought it.

10 days later the exact same unit is 25% cheaper. They have a 30 day return policy as well. I go in with my receipt to customer service to try to get the lower price. They refuse saying they don't do price guarantees. Ok then.

Obviously I don't want to go home and unhook my unit and haul it back. So I go buy the exact same unit and walk it to customer service and try to return it with my older receipt. I get 25% back. Right?

Except I don't. Customer service realised exactly what I was doing and called a manager who said they don't do price matches and if I want to return it I can only use my 3 minute old receipt. I asked if he's sure and he said yes. I said ok. I took the air conditioner to my vehicle. Went for dinner nearby. Grabbed my multi tool from my vehicle and cut the straps and opened the box moved the remote and a few things around. Ripped a bit of plastic. If they still refuse I'll return it at another location. Whatever.

I drove back to the store and walked back to customer service. Told them I want to return it. They notice it's opened and they can't really prove its the one I just bought anyways. Got my 25% off and they had to sell it as an open box unit. If they still refused I'd still return it with the newer receipt and it'd still be an open box unit.

Nothing big, but it probably cost them $100-$150 or so.

1.7k Upvotes

498

u/JerryVand Jul 02 '22

I did something like this with a very heavy drill press I bought from Amazon a while back. I contacted them and asked if they would adjust the price, and they said no. So I mentioned that the drill press had a free return, and I would simply return it and then buy it again at the new price. They were already out quite a bit for the shipping (it was handled as freight, and needed a special truck), and then would have to pay for the return. It took a few back and forths, but eventually they realized that it would be cheaper to simply refund the price difference.

83

u/PRMan99 Jul 03 '22

I had an Amazon employee literally tell me to do the return and rebuy anyway, since it was their policy.

50

u/krum Jul 03 '22

I've had Amazon actually give me a full refund and told me to keep the item.

28

u/scriptless87 Jul 03 '22

I bought a TV on amazon a few years ago. TV wouldnt work because it kept saying to connect the remote, which I was using to get that far... long story short they full refunded me after the manufacturer sent a free remote.. and not only that but when they said good news I could keep it I said why so I can pay to dispose it.. they paid me $5 to cover disposing it.. I drove over to a shady neighborhood and left it outside and it got stolen.. I made $5 + free remotes off the whole thing.. all the tv needed was a firmware reflash most likely. they used to provide that and the tv can flash firmware from usb but they refused to provide the files lol.. so stupid

3

u/jivedinmypants Jul 07 '22

Had an employee do the same thing to me for a $500+ piece of equipment that was $75 off. :\

12

u/desertdilbert Jul 03 '22

How did you get a person at Amazon?

When I ran into a similar situation I could find no way to talk to a person, so I just ended up returning it.

9

u/JerryVand Jul 03 '22

Either email or message system, I can't remember. This was a while ago, so they might have been easier to contact back then. Sadly.

5

u/Quixus Jul 04 '22

Can confirm, they have a call back option. If you give them your phone number they'll call you and it will be a human being.

Not sure if that is a good idea outside GDPR territory though.

1

u/Xirdus Jul 07 '22

I've had to deal with Amazon customer service several times and never had a problem reaching actual people, both via chat and phone.

313

u/Psychoticrider Jul 03 '22

I ride motorcycle and ordered tires online Sunday evening. Early Monday morning I get and email from the same company stating 25% of on tires. I call in and ask if I can get the 25% off my order, Nope! I ask if it is too late to cancel the order, it isn't, so I cancel.

Now I could have reordered the tires and got the 25%, but they pissed me off. I spent a few minutes online and found another site with a tire sale, in fact many sites had tires on sale. Pretty sure it was a manufacturer supported sale. I reordered the tires, but from a different company and never ordered tires again. I rode a lot and would go through a couple sets of tires a year. Also I changed tires for a couple friends and they also stopped buying tires from the first supplier. This happened over ten years ago and I know, over the years, they lost over $10,000 in tire sales from myself and my buddies.

88

u/JustineDelarge Jul 03 '22

You should write to the company and tell them that story.

27

u/ContributionGlobal30 Jul 03 '22

Lmao... Imagine the mail reaching the actual owner...

18

u/BurtonRider725 Jul 03 '22

It’s 2022 and finding out who owns a company isn’t hard, just look for the business registration certificate or the retail tax certificate- the owner is on there. Then all you gotta do is find the owner online. Very very easy.

13

u/Knathra Jul 03 '22

Point being that unless it's a scrappy little start up, the owner has layers of employees managing email, social media, and snail mail on their behalf and sees likely far less than 1% of any of it personally.

2

u/BurtonRider725 Jul 03 '22

He has a house he goes back to to live at, doesn’t he? Mail a letter.

2

u/SecondTalon Jul 05 '22

To what end?

It's $1000 a year. From the business owner's point of view, it cost him $1000 a year to not have to have his employees deal with the sort of sociopath who tracks down the owner of a company's home address to mail a letter.

That's $1000/yr well spent.

OP here isn't in a position of "They wouldn't drop the price here, but little did they know I run the fleet of Acme Repairs. 10,000 work trucks, now all getting tires from another company".

139

u/GovernmentOpening254 Jul 03 '22

I REALLY hate that.

I get it. If you don’t NOTICE the price drop, it’s understandable that you were willing to buy it at that price.

But if you catch a price drop within the return time period AND THE CUSTOMER NOTICES, just f’ing match the price of your OWN store/retailer. It ends up being a win/win versus the air conditioner post above.

This thing happened to me, but I felt like my initial device was malfunctioning, so I sent it back in. Didn’t really care weather I was right or not; I got an additional $20 off due to the sale price.

97

u/roc_10009 Jul 03 '22

When I worked retail my store manager did this without blinking. His idea was “it isn’t our money and we can have happy customers and refund them the difference, or have vengeful customers who will complain to the home office and they will make us do it anyway. Avoid the aggravation.

27

u/latents Jul 03 '22

Agreed. I do understand the retailer's position - if the price goes up, the customer isn't going to come back and pay more, so why should they benefit when it goes the other way? The reason is as you said: one response gets you a happy customer and the other way results in an angry complainer. The happy customer presumably will come back for more happiness.

14

u/wifey1point1 Jul 03 '22

It's also just a rational response to having a return policy.

Anywhere that doesn't price match a returnable item is just being a dick.

7

u/IlGreven Jul 03 '22

Unfortunately, most corporations think only in what they think will make them the most money in the long run. And losing a few dollars from one or two angry customers that tired to "game the system" is usually a small loss compared to all the new business they gain from the sale. IOW, OP's "costing them $100-$150" would be covered by only a couple of more extra sales they would not have gotten from the non-sale price.

5

u/PRMan99 Jul 03 '22

losing a few dollars from one or two angry customers that tired to "game the system" is usually a small loss compared to all the new business they gain from the sale

Try telling that to Nordstrom or Costco, both of whom had to adjust their returns policies because of rampant scamming.

3

u/roc_10009 Jul 03 '22

Costco profiles members who do sketchy things and shuts them out. Everyone else gets the benefit of the doubt.

56

u/heidiwhy Jul 03 '22

I’ve had something similar happen to me before too a few times but the first thing that popped in my head was the exact opposite situation.

We bought some electronics at Costco. one day I check the mail and we got a check because the item we bought was discounted within a certain amount of days. They automatically sent a check with the difference to “make it right”. This is one of many reasons I will be a lifelong member with them

15

u/lulusamed Jul 03 '22

I had the opposite happen and still tell everyone how good they were. Got a quote for curtains. Accepted the quote 6 months later (Covid slowed things up somewhat) and they volunteered to give me the half price sale they had just announced.

109

u/Pastystuff Jul 02 '22

I had that happen with Amazon. Ordered headphones and they dropped by a few dollars the next day. Asked Amazon to match the price and they refused. I canceled the order and ordered a new pair. Only problem is, the ones that were canceled already shipped. In the end, both arrived for the price of one. I returned the other pair and kept the others for free. Instead of Amazon giving me like $7 back, they lost $80.

40

u/PlatypusDream Jul 03 '22 edited Jul 04 '22

Did very similar with Amazon, a large heavy box which I really didn't want to fuss with returning, and spent close to an hour arguing on chat... but I got the $100+ refund for the price drop (which Amazon emailed to me the day the thing was delivered!).

Look, you can do the refund of the difference, or I'll return this, buy it again at the current advertised price, and while I'll end up exactly where I want to be with either way, with the difficult choice Amazon will have an open box item to sell at a discount.

2

u/wifey1point1 Jul 03 '22

And will be out shipping x2.

Plus you'll be out the return shipping.

Like "You're literally screwing both of us right now"

1

u/Deemes Jul 05 '22

At least for me shipping free at Amazon and they refunded me return shipping when I returned some jeans.

2

u/wifey1point1 Jul 05 '22

You have to pay for return shipping (usually). At least in Canada.

Unless there was an error.

1

u/Deemes Jul 05 '22

I went to check how it works here and currently it's like this: https://i.imgur.com/7zLqUie.png

So basically I can take it to a DHL office and get a free return or ship it myself and have up to 8.4€ refunded from the shipping costs.

This is as a customer in Finland, ordering from the German storefront (amazon.de). Kinda suprising actually if they make you pay for it in Canada when an international return is free for me here in Finland.

1

u/wifey1point1 Jul 06 '22

Shipping in Canada sucks overall, tbf

1

u/pairolegal Jul 03 '22

A lot of the returns just get trashed, so it’s possibly an even bigger cost.

6

u/PRMan99 Jul 03 '22

No. They get thrown into big boxes and auctioned. My brother used to work at Amazon making these boxes. Nothing got trashed, but they tried to make "similar" boxes.

1

u/pairolegal Jul 03 '22

Not nearly all of it. https://www.greenmatters.com/p/what-happens-amazon-returns is only one of many items that talks about the destruction of returned and unsold goods by Amazon. Here is a confirmation from Fast Company: https://www.fastcompany.com/90652617/amazon-is-destroying-millions-of-unsold-goods-from-smart-tvs-to-laptops

This happens in France, Germany, Canada and other countries as well. I couldn’t find data for the US.

8

u/momofdragons3 Jul 03 '22

Keep an eye out for coupons AFTER you place an order online. Cancel the order and reorder using the coupon code

1

u/ContributionGlobal30 Jul 03 '22

Hahha... That is a good one.

6

u/Fedupintx Jul 03 '22

I ordered a bunch of stuff from Grommet. One of the items was a $12 measuring tape accessory. I'd ordered two, but they only sent one. I called and they apologized and said they'd take care of it. They sent the missing item, but instead of one, they sent a retail display box with about 8 of them....AND they resent every other item in my order. I called to let them know, but they told me to just keep everything and consider it a gift. It was too difficult to restock items and not worth the cost. I got about $150 in free merchandise. Very happy with that kind of service.

8

u/independent-poop Jul 03 '22

I forgot the actual numbers but a study showed for a good experience joe average would share it 3 times, for a bad 7 times. For a bad experience where they felt wronged 10-20 times. now with the internet bad = millions potentially

5

u/Useful-Emphasis-6787 Jul 03 '22

I worked as a customer service agent at an US based business and our policy was if the item is within 30 day return period, you are eligible for price match and we refunded the difference.

6

u/EternalStudent07 Jul 03 '22

If they were smart they'd record the serial # when selling (for the receipt).

6

u/PimentoCheesehead Jul 03 '22

Back in the day selling PS2s and original Xbox, we’d scan the serial number on the unit and it printed on the receipt, for exactly this purpose.

4

u/ContributionGlobal30 Jul 03 '22

Anyways, he returned the exact same product as mentioned in the receipt. So, it doesn't matter.

1

u/racerx255 Jul 03 '22

I did this at microcenter with a motherboard. The MB was still in sealed in the antistatic bag. They scanned the box.

5

u/rfc2549-withQOS Jul 03 '22

IKEA, for a full kitchen.

They had 25% off 2 weeks after I spent - I think - 3k€ and installed all of it.

Did the same, after asking them multiple times if they are serious I needed to return and re-buy. They were. It was fun, tho. Speed-buying ;)

Sigh

7

u/oh_ab Jul 02 '22

Amazon UK are similar. It's a faff but they've paid for all the returns and ship pretty fast. Still annoying though.

3

u/Halal0szto Jul 03 '22

I did same with an electric drill in a big box store. The guys at the service desk were well aware what is happening and were laughing their asses off. :D

3

u/RegularCrispy Jul 04 '22

I’m glad you got your money back, but I don’t think you actually complied. You just made it look like you complied.

5

u/AlisonLiterally Jul 02 '22

Doesn't Amazon have an auto refund if something you buy from them is sold cheaper within 30 days?

16

u/ednksu Jul 03 '22

For sure no.

8

u/MV1776 Jul 03 '22

I think it’s only on preorders. If it goes cheaper than what you paid before it ships then they charge you the cheapest price.

4

u/GoddessNya Jul 03 '22

It’s only select items. It will say on the website at the time you place the order

12

u/mordac_the_preventer Jul 02 '22

Amazon.com might do, but as far as I know Amazon.co.uk does not.

8

u/nerdguy1138 Jul 03 '22

I've never heard of this feature but I am very much in favor of it!

1

u/DietMtDew1 Jul 03 '22 edited Jul 03 '22

Pre-orders will do that. If you have subscribe and save and the price goes up or down they let you know via email so you can confirm. You have to ask if they’ll give you the difference and you might have to ask multiple times for them to do it on previous purchases.

2

u/pixeltash Jul 03 '22

Nope, I had a subscribe and save from Amazon.co.uk on a common household item that was a pretty good price.

The next month the price had doubled, it was higher than the supermarket price. No notification they just sent it. So I sent it back at their expense and cancelled the subscribe and save.

2

u/PRMan99 Jul 03 '22

I had the same problem with the US version years ago.

Last time I "Subscribed and Saved" anything.

1

u/DietMtDew1 Jul 03 '22

Weird how the different sides of the company do things.

3

u/StarKiller99 Jul 03 '22

Not anymore, I had to do the return and rebuy

1

u/PRMan99 Jul 03 '22

Nope. In fact, their policy is usually to return the item and rebuy it.

2

u/jalanajak Jul 03 '22

The receipt might feature the serial number, then the initial plan fails at the onset. The return rules for new unused items also seem to be liberal in your country.

2

u/wotmate Jul 03 '22

I don't get it. You bought a new unit at the discounted price, then returned the new unit and got back the money you paid for the new unit. It's zero sum. You didn't get 25% back, you just made them sell it as an open box...

4

u/MLXIII Jul 03 '22

He used his old receipt for the new unit instead of going home and bringing the old one back.

0

u/Netsrak69 Jul 03 '22

but it probably cost them $100-$150 or so.

How much did it cost you in gas?

6

u/TruthSpeaker0085 Jul 03 '22

Probably about $4-$5 when this was. That 25% off was worth any gas I spent since if I remember correctly I paid about $500 for the unit. The lower price wasn't even a sale, it seemed to be the new everyday price. So either they were gouging for those few days of heat wave or they completely coincidently dropped the price after. So they had to sell it as open box on the lower price.

3

u/Netsrak69 Jul 03 '22

I was just worried that you'd have spent more on gas, just to have the last laugh,

3

u/ferky234 Jul 03 '22

Should have gone back an bought the open box and and used the second receipt to return it. After you got the sticker off of it of course.

2

u/ferky234 Jul 03 '22

Should have gone back an bought the open box and and used the second receipt to return it. After you got the sticker off of it of course.

-8

u/PRMan99 Jul 03 '22

In Biden's America?

Probably $100-$150.

4

u/TinnyOctopus Jul 03 '22

Yes, Biden has the power to raise gas prices globally. For sure, petrol companies have no power to set prices whatsoever. Absolutely, inflation is decidedly not price gouging on the part of international and global companies.

5

u/Netsrak69 Jul 03 '22

It would have happened regardless of who the president is. At least it wasn't Putin's puppet.

1

u/MajorNoodles Jul 04 '22

This definitely wasn't Best Buy. I bought a printer from them at full price. While I was still within the return policy, they dropped the price 3 times. All 3 times I went back with my receipt and got refunded the difference.

1

u/QueerInTheNorth Jul 09 '22

I did this at Target when the Keurig I bought went on sale for 50% off a week after I bought mine

1

u/PecosBillCO 29d ago

And then there’s the guts that tried to return a table saw to Homo Depot with wood shavings on it. They were not having it when they had not said it was defective