Best Buy admits to keeping fake rip-off site

Best Buy has admitted to maintaining a fake version of its website for internal use at its stores. This is part of a scam where Best Buy lists cheap prices online and invites customers to come to the store to take advantage of them. When the customer gets there, a dirtbag salesman loads up the fake website and shows them that the price has "gone up" while the customer was driving over to the store and offers to sell the item for the new price.
State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal ordered the investigation into Best Buy's practices on Feb. 9 after my column disclosed the website and showed how employees at two Connecticut stores used it to deny customers a $150 discount on a computer advertised on

Blumenthal said Wednesday that Best Buy has also confirmed to his office the existence of the intranet site, but has so far failed to give clear answers about its purpose and use.

Link (via /.)

Update: An anonymous Best Buy salesman objects to being called a "dirtbag" above -- he says that it's not known among the sales staff that they are participating in a enormous, systematic fraud on Best Buy customers who were being deliberately deceived by an illegal, unethical fake website:

That's exactly right. I take particular pride in trying to do right by the people who ask me a question. All I have is the internal system which we use; I can't get out to the public site from inside a store, because the computers are locked down to prevent general Internet access.

Since I heard about the differences between the internal and external sites, I have been telling customers (quietly, so the managers don't hear) that there can be differences. I've even submitted an "Ask the BUS (Business Direction Team)" question, requesting clarification on what the hell the company is doing with differing prices on the external and internal websites.

Does that sound like the actions of a dirtbag?


  1. I too am a Best Buy employee and like the employee above i too try to be as fair as possible. However i do not believe the site is a “scam”. yes it does imitate the external site and yes it does have different prices sometimes, but the reason the prices are different is because the internal site is designed to show what is in the store and also shows what the in-store prices are. Best Buy is not the only retailer that does this many stores have online prices that are not the same as in-store prices the only difference is best buy allows you to access a website that lists all of the stores prices. Now the employees at the two Connecticut stores either were practicing a very unethical business sense or were unaware of the difference. I know i am able to access both by simply selecting national or store in the Best buy website widget or going to a different computer that automatically links to the external site. so although it might make things more confusing trying to figure out which site is right to the customer its not a scam and all it takes is simply showing whichever has the lowest price and that’s what you get. and yes sometimes in-store prices are lower than online and so-on and so-forth.

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