As you may have seen in one of my other posts, I’ve got a good sized TV wall going on at work, Nine 32 inch Vizio TV’s sit on my wall. Good? Yes…but we can make it better! On the other side of the office sits Nick. His wall has no TVs. I hope you see the problem here… I need nine more TVs!
Nothing is as simple as it should be. The first time around we ordered the TVs online from BJ’s. They had the best price at the time and were offering free shipping. No brainer, get the good tvs at the best possible price. Check! That is until we found that one of the TVs was broken. Uncheck! The obvious solution would be to go to BJ’s and exchange it. So we did. Eight TVs already on the wall and the mount already to go on the ninth tv, it SHOULD be a quick fix. Hint, I wouldn’t be writing about this if it was simple. Of course, the TV’s don’t match. Two different TVs?!? They have the EXACT same model number. Although, this one wasn’t from the internet, something was up! So we take it back to the store and order another one from their website. At this point we are screwed if we can’t find the same TV. Same model number again (yes, we did check it on the TV itself) but this time it matched. Close call…
Okay, so that was TV wall number one. TV wall two is still being built. Sadly this time was no different. So I’m in Best Buy (I know, not a good way to start) and was buying a laptop for my boss. Knowing that I wanted to do another wall, I wander over to the TVs. I notice that they’ve got the same Vizio model I purchased last time (E320-A0 for those playing the home game) and it’s a bit high on the price. I got them to price match BJ’s (they were going to charge me shipping this time) and it’s a done deal! Nine TVs and I’m on my way…nope! They only have 5 in stock but I can pick up the other 4 at another store nearby. Well crap. I’m thinking to myself, it’s Best Buy, the stores are only a few miles apart. I’ll roll the dice. Both are coming from a physical store and likely the same warehouse. I drop the 5 off then head to pick up the others. I grab the TVs and head back to the office. I get there and find out that they gave me 4 E320-A1s. Crap. How is this possible?
Let me welcome you into the scam that is price matching. In order to price match an item, it has to be the EXACT same item and EXACT same model number, nothing new here. To prevent customers from price matching, Best Buy stocks two variations of the 32 inch TV and stores them under the EXACT SAME SKU. Seriously, I challenge them to explain this. This prevents half of the customers from being able to price match the item. Why have two very different TVs in stock under the same SKU? The variations are minor but enough of a difference where I’d personally be mad. Literally .1 inch differences, slightly different packaging, different power consumption, different response times, different internal board, different viewing angles, different certifications, etc… What TV are the specs on the in-store label selling? Which TV do you get? That being said, when the warehouse checked to see if the other Best Buy had the tv in stock, of course it showed that they did. They had 16 of them in stock. However, they were the other TV. 99% of the time, the customer will never notice. They just won’t be able to price match. Seriously, how often are customers buying 9 TVs and would care if they match? Think about it. If I was working for a hotel and bought 100 TVs and given 50 of each. The hotel would probably never notice and never care. It’d be one TV per room so even if they did notice, they still wouldn’t care as long as they worked. As long as each store only gets one version at a time, the stores won’t notice. Heck, even the Best Buy employees didn’t know about the different models.
So how do you get something like this fixed? Best Buy sure had a difficult time. They could look up in their system the inventory of literally every location. However, it meant nothing. They had no clue which of the two TVs were in the locations. All they had was a misleading SKU. Thankfully, the issue wasn’t on my end. So they called up the stores and had people manually verify which TVs they had. It only took us another week to get the TVs.
Honestly, I doubt this is due to price match fixing. From a manufacturing standpoint they’d lose more money going this route. I just want an answer. Thanks Best Buy! Or should I thank Vizio?