Reader Details Wal-Mart Black Friday Game Sale Discrepancies

November 23, 2012 -

A regular GamePolitics reader (who has asked to remain anonymous) points out that something is a little screwy with Wal-Mart's prices listed in its ads and how they ring up at the cash register. His tale begins with this leaked Black Friday flyer at theblackfriday.com, which shows select video games with price points set at $10, $15,and $25. The actual print ad was much different: this screenshot from the Wal-Mart app shows the aforementioned price points to be a bit higher at $11, $18, and $39.

But the wackiness of Wal-Mart's Black Friday game sales doesn't end there. The anonymous reader explains what happened to him when he swiped his credit card to buy several games that were supposed to be on sale:

"I myself had gone there to get a $15 copy of Forza Horizon, but when I went to check out, I discovered it was being sold at the $39 price point," he tells us. " The cashier adjusted it to $18, but how many customers just blindly swiped their credit cards without taking not of items cost? I also saw the same pricing error occur when I bought Tekken Tag Tournament 2 (should have been $25, but it rang up at $39)."

"The Forza price discrepancy was the one that really got me since it was the 1 game I really wanted," the source added. "On the ads, Forza Horizon can be seen in the mid priced games (3rd game from the bottom) and should have rung up between $15 and $18 depending on which ad was being honored. So it seemed even more suspicious that it rang up at the highest price point. How many customers do you suppose just swiped their credit cards without scrutinizing the prices? I'd guess it's in the 10's of thousands."

While we are not sure if Wal-Mart deliberately leaked their Black Friday or not on the above-listed site, it's clear that if it isn't an official flyer then it's a clever reproduction. There's definitely a big discrepancy between that early ad and what was finally printed. Wal-Mart would likely argue that - assuming they claim the ad is real - that it was not the final circular and price would be subject to change. They might also mention that some of these sale prices are regional and vary according to where your zip code is. The biggest issue could be how these discounted games ring up and if any customers have been unknowingly charged a higher price than advertised. That could just be a fluke related to the store where it happened too, but at this point we're not sure if it is an isolated incident or not...

If you have had a similar experience at Wal-Mart or any other retailer, please sound off in the comments.


Comments

Re: Reader Details Wal-Mart Black Friday Game Sale Discrepancies

Oh, and then there is this article claiming that it was Wal-Mart who leaked the ad (with the lower prices) on Nov 8th.

Re: Reader Details Wal-Mart Black Friday Game Sale Discrepancies

Same ad leaked here.

Seems like Wal-Mart wanted to lure people in then change the rules mid game.

Re: Reader Details Wal-Mart Black Friday Game Sale Discrepancies

You do have recourse when this happens. Michigan has one of the best recourse: If you dispute the price on site (after payment is completed at the incorrect price) you're legally entitled to the difference on all items plus the ten times the difference on the most-incorrect items with a maximum of $3.

Most days of the year, that's it - difference plus $3, paid at customer service and all's done. But for Black Friday, the vast majority of stores that do this intentionally will try to weasel out. Don't fight, just leave, and the moment you leave the store after disputing the price you're now entitled to the difference on all items plus ten times the difference on all items with a minimum of $300. This is separate from false advertising, which can be worth up to another $1000 if you're willing to litigate, but the pricing claim can usually be handled by a complaint to the state attorney general's office.

Re: Reader Details Wal-Mart Black Friday Game Sale Discrepancies

but how many customers just blindly swiped their credit cards without taking not of items cost?

 

This is the point of Black Friday, to lure, hook, and reel people in. It's not for the benefit of the consumer.

Re: Reader Details Wal-Mart Black Friday Game Sale Discrepancies

Big stores routinely 'accidentally' mark up sale items (or 'forget' to mark them down). Ironically, it seems to happen most in stores that have everything computerized. How convenient that the computers that determine sale prices and labels don't seem to talk with the computers that control the cash registers.

 
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