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Monday, August 10, 2009

Reader email: Incorrect display price at Canadian Tire, Carbonear

I have to thank Jeff Gilhooly at the St. John's Morning Show on CBC Radio One for publicizing this morning. I've already received two new customer reviews since the show and I look forward to any stories that other listeners might like to share.

This one from Joe makes me wonder, what ever happened to "the customer is always right"? Sure, there might a few bad apples out there ruining the proverbial barrell (switching pricetags, for example), but I believe that the customer deserves the benefit of the doubt in such situations as described in the following email.

"I shopped at Canadian Tire, Carbonear on Saturday past. While browsing, I noticed a yellow sales tag on the shelf under a Wet/Dry Sharpener indicating regular price $79.99, Save $24, Sales price $55.99. Not a bad deal, I figured and I could use the item. I took it to the cashier who rang it up at $79.99. I questioned the price and she checked with the floor personnel who said that the item was not on sale. The tag should have been on a $79.99 Wet/Dry Grinder. It appears that someone at the store had priced the wrong item. It's not as if the sales tag was on a $180 table saw, it was on a wet/dry sharpener that uses two grinding wheels to sharpen, just as the grinder (the item actually on sale) uses two grinding wheels to sharpen, among other things. Both items were exactly the same regular price, the similarity of the name and uses of the items were almost identical. I can see where the employee made the mistake.

I realize that the company has absolutely no legal requirement to sell an item that is incorrectly tagged. That being said, a couple of years back, at the same store, we had decided to buy a stereo that we found, when we took it to the cashier, was incorrectly tagged as being on sale. The cashier simply said, "oops our mistake, here's the item at the sales price". I've had this happen at numerous other stores, Wal-mart, Staples, etc. Never an issue, "our mistake, have a nice day". Sometimes it's as simple as not getting all the sales signs down on time or someone tagging the wrong, similar item. I also realize that there are those out there who might swap tags from one item to another to get a deal.

For the sake of customer good-will you might think that the store would own up to the mistake and make the sale. Not so. Maybe keeping a customer isn't worth $24.00. Anyway, I'm just a wee bit peeved and need to vent."

I welcome your venting, Joe, and hope that you continue to contact me with any other customer experiences you feel like sharing.

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