Bad experience with Future Shop
[Gadgets]

A little less than a month ago, I bought a game controller for my brother from FutureShop. While waiting at the cash, I noticed a flyer which advertised FutureShop's price matching policy. I don't have the flyer anymore, but they've posted the details on their website:

Get it for less. Guaranteedtm. We will beat any advertised price by 10% of the difference.

3 great reasons to buy at Future Shop.

  1. If you find a lower advertised price we will beat it by 10% of the difference.
  2. If you find a lower advertised price within 30 days* of your purchase we will beat it by 10% of the difference.
  3. If our own price is reduced within 30 days* of your purchase, bring in your receipt and we will refund the difference.

* 14 days for computers, laptops, monitors, printers, camcorders, digital cameras, portable DVD players, radar detectors, projectors and air conditioners.

Here's how it works.

If you are purchasing today:

  • Present us with a copy of the competitor's current ad.
  • Our associates will verify that the item is in stock and available for immediate sale and delivery at the advertised price.
  • We will beat the competitor's price by 10% of the difference.
  • If you purchase the item from futureshop.ca and there is no Future Shop in your area you can contact us at 1-800-663-2275 or by email at websupportcan@futureshop.com

If you made your purchase in the last 30 days*:

  • Present us with a copy of the competitor's current ad and your original invoice.
  • Our associates will verify that the item is in stock and available for immediate sale and delivery at the advertised price.
  • We will refund you the difference and give you an additional 10% of that difference.
  • If you purchase the item from futureshop.ca and there is no Future Shop in your area you can contact us at 1-800-663-2275 or by email at websupportcan@futureshop.com

If our own price is reduced in the last 30 days*:

  • Present us with a copy of our original invoice.
  • We will refund you the difference between the purchase price and the current price.

Here are a few terms and conditions.

The advertised item must be for the same brand and model and the product must be new and factory sealed, and subject to a manufacturer's warranty applicable in Canada.

Advertised prices must be in Canadian dollars, and will be calculated as including all charges applicable for next day delivery to your home address.

The advertised item must be sold through an authorized dealer located in Canada. The terms and conditions of "Get it for less, guaranteedtm" are subject to change without notice.

Our lowest price guarantee does not apply to advertising errors or misprints, special educational prices, restricted offers, mail order offers, rebates, coupons, premiums, free or bonus offers, OEM products, limited or minimum quantity or limited time offers, close-outs, liquidations, clearances, financing or other special offers.

If you are not completely satisfied, please talk to our store General Manager. If you need more help call 1-800-663-2275 for further assistance.

Okay, fine, very interesting. A few days ago, I get an e-mail informing me that a lot of stores are selling the Logitech Wireless Headphones for pretty cheap. This interests me because the last five headphones or so that I've owned all had their wires broken. I had spoken to some of my friends, and apparently this is a very common occurrence. GD even bought headphones with wires made out of kevlar (that's the material they make bullet proof vests with), and they still broke anyway! I figured if I got wireless headphones, I could avoid the whole wire-breaking problem.

So I check out the prices. Buy.com Canada has them for $84.99 CDN. 1click2computers.com has them for $110.04, NCIX $111.44 CAD, TigerDirect.ca 120.99, Dell for $149.00.

It's a bit pricey for me, so I decided not to buy them.

Then, my birthday came along, and my Dad gives me a $100 gift card for FutureShop. I head over to the FutureShop downtown near my workplace, and I notice that they have the Logitech Wireless Headphones there for $199.99. I bring the price-match flyer to someone who works there and ask them how it works and if I could just print out a web page and bring it in. He told me it has to be a .ca website that deals in Canada. I tell him what if it's a .com website that ships to Canada (I hadn't memorized all the URLs, but I knew NCIX was "ncix.com" and not "ncix.ca"). He told me it has to be .ca 'cause they price match in Canada, but not in the "whole world". That didn't make sense to me, but I didn't push further. I went to my office and printed out prices from all the above retailers: www.ca.buy.com (has ca in it), www.1click2computers.com (they have a little logo saying "all prices in Canadian dollars"), www.ncix.com (they have the Canadian flag logo), and TigerDirect.ca (they actually do have the .ca domain). I printed them all out, and printed for both the iPod version and the non-iPod version of the headphones, just in case.

So I go back to futureshop and pick up the headphones, and head over to the checkout line. When I reach there, I hand him the headphones and the paper and tell him I wanna do the price match thing. The guy says fine, and punches in the headphones, then looks at the sheet of paper. And looks. And looks a bit longer. Then he tells me he has to ask his boss, 'cause the price difference is pretty damn large (from FutureShop's 199.99 to Buy.com's 84.99).

So I get directed to customer service, and wait and wait and wait until finally the manager comes and tells me he's not gonna price match. I ask why not. He tells me he's not gonna price match. I say yes, okay, I heard that, but why not? He tells me Buy.com is not an "authorized retailer of Logitech products", whatever the hell that means. I tell him okay, well I also have NCIX here. And TigerDirect. He tells me none of them are authorized retailers of Logitech products. I ask what does that mean, an "authorized retailer of Logitech". The girl behind the counter tells me they have to have physical stores. I tell them NCIX has a physical store. She says "Where? In Toronto? Are you gonna go to Toronto to pick it up?" I tell her the deal doesn't say anything about Montreal; it just says Canada. The boss sort of gives her a look, like she should shut up. Then the boss tells me that NCIX is not an authorized dealer, so I could order it, and they simply never ship the item.

I laughed right in his face. I could not believe the FUD he was spreading, and the audacity he had to accuse NCIX of sleazy business practices when right here, right in front of me, he's denying a promotion that is publicly adverised on flyers in stores and on their website. I told him I've ordered tens of thousands of dollars worth of products from NCIX over several years, and never once I had a problem with them. He told me to go order from them then.

I was pissed. Normally, I'd do just that: go order from NCIX instead. However, the whole reason I'm willing to spend 84.99 on a pair of headphones is because I've got a gift card from my dad. Suddenly, my cell phone rings. I tell the manager to hold on a second and answer my phone. It's my girlfriend, and I'm late for my dinner date with her. I tell her to hold on a second, 'cause I'm having problems at future shop. She doesn't hear me. I say it louder. She still doesn't hear me. I shout into the phone that I'm having PROBLEMS AT FUTURESHOP. I feel awkward 'cause now it looks like I'm making a scene, but honestly this isn't my goal. I'm just trying to communicate with her. She asks me how long it's going to be. I tell her I don't know, 'cause I'm in an argument. She asks me if it's gonna be 5 or 10 or 30 minutes. I tell her again, I have no idea, because I'm in the middle of an argument with the employees of FutureShop, and I don't know what to expect. She says fine and hangs up. I look up and noticed the Manager had left, and there's a 1800 number written on one of the pages I printed out with the price match.

I take out my iRiver, switch it to record mode, and press the record button, and placed the recorder in plain sight on the counter next to the papers. I feel like I'm a victim of false advertising here, and I wanted to get some evidence. Eventually the manager comes back. You can hear the OGG of the conversation. Here's the transcript (the manager had a bit of an accent, so I'm not sure I managed to transcribe everything accurately):

Me: Alright, so... someone wrote a number here. Is this supposed to mean something to me?

Manager: This this a phone number that is she gives you is Futureshop is like (???) all details or you call if you want call logitech dot com (???) (points at the number on the paper, thump is heard) is only thing we can do.

Me: So you're telling me I have to call Logitech and ask them to authorized Buy.com —

Manager: N- Is that they're authorized (???) we know that they aren't authorized dealer.

Me: You know that they're NOT authorized...

Manager: Yes sir.

Me: So... so this is the number of Futureshop, you're telling me.

Manager: Yes sir.

Me: And I'm supposed to call them and do what?

Manager: Do what?

Me: Yeah, what am I supposed to do once I call them?

Manager: You call them you tell them why you are all fussy like this if you want. Like if you are not happy with our policy, you understand? This our policy is basically that authorized dealer.

Me: Well how do you determine if a dealer is authorized?

Manager: Because we have the company, we have many people they come and they don't wanna all be they call and they check, (???) we don't price deal with this company (points at the paper, thumps are heard).

Me: So you don't... So you don't price deal with Buy.com Canada...

Manager: No sir.

Me: You don't price deal with NCIX...

Manager: Yes sir.

Me: TigerDirect...

Manager: No sir.

Me: Is there list a somewhere I can see, like...

Manager: We don't have a list. We know that our policy... we know that we have authorized dealer is like if you go some company like Dumoulin, Centre Hi Fi, even from the Internet, we have like some compa- like... uh... how you call? Henry! Les competitions Internet qui sont authorize-dealers, ils sont qui, par exemple? Dit moi un nom. (Translation: Henry, the Internet competitions who are also authorized dealers, who are they? Give me a name.)

Henry: C'est comme Dumoulin, Centre Hi Fi, Brault et Martineau, Bureau en Gros, (???)

Me: Alright...

(I leave)

So the moral of the story is: Don't just buy at FutureShop telling yourself "Oh, well I can always price-match it later; I don't have to shop around". Instead, shop around first, and get the price match done WHEN you buy the product, not 30 or 14 days after, less you get screwed over.

I went home and searched around a bit. I found the homepage for Dumoulin and Brault et Martineau. AFAIK, the other two don't even have websites. Of course, neither Dumoulin nor Brault et Martineau sells the wireless headphones. Brault et Martineau don't even sell any products by Logitech at all. I also tried HomeDepot.ca, CanadianTire.ca, HBC.com (La Baie), ComputeCentre.ca, until finally with CompuSmart.com, I got a hit. $99.88 CDN. I'm gonna go back and show this to them. CompuSmart was one of the retailers they listed (though it didn't appear in the recording).

 
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1. msanford said:
The moral of the story is that Future Shop is a TERRIBLE STORE and NOBODY should ever purchase anything from them for any reason. Best Buy bought Future Shop. They are, for the most part, the same store. Only Best Buy is concerned with customer satisfaction, has noncommissioned sales people and actually adheres to their posted policies (I've had much experience in that area). Negate the past sentence for an approximation of a Future Shop experience. You can liken their business practise to that shown in the cult film Boiler Room. Good on you for trashing them, maybe when enough people realize how unbelievably poor their store is, they'll stop shopping there.
Posted on Sun January 21st, 2007, 7:27 PM EST acknowledged

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