Best Buy: Buyer Beware

Some sharp shoppers have caught a few interesting tactics being employed by Best Buy stores. In one case, a shopped noticed some discrepancies in a display promoting the store's HDTV Calibration Service. The store had two TVs set up, side by side, one supposedly with the calibration performed, one without. They both appeared to have the same channel playing.  But, in reality, the "calibrated" TV was showing ESPN HD, and the "uncalibrated" example was showing a stretched version of standard-def ESPN. The store went so far as to place some merchandise in such as way as to block the ESPN logo, so shoppers wouldn't notice it wasn't the ESPN HD logo.

The latest situation is also with the calibration display.  This time, one TV is connected via HDMI while the other has component video. Not quite as blatant, but still not the way to do a fair comparison.

I had an interesting shopping experience when I went looking for a TV a few weeks ago.

I went to Best Buy with another experienced writer from Sound & Vision. I was looking for a 37-inch plasma TV, and really wanted it to be 1080p.  There weren't any on display. When I asked a sales guy if they had what I was looking for, he told me that my question was redundant. Huh?  He proceeded to "explain" to us that the TV I was looking for doesn't exist, because at 37-inches, it doesn't need to be 1080p, because no one could see the difference.  Really? 

No wonder these stores are having so many problems. –Leslie Shapiro

The Consumerist

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