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 BestBuy.com.
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.
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?
I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with “pink girly engineering kits.” From Medium:
Zero UI is the new term for “invisible interfaces”—what happens in the future when all the clicking and tapping and typing is history: “If you look at the history of computing, starting with the jacquard loom in 1801, humans have always had to interact with machines in a really abstract, complex way.” [Fast Company]
CEO Dick Costolo will resign, to be replaced in the interim by Jack Dorsey
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