When a major manufacturer known for quality electronics accidentally advertised a deep discount on one of its latest smart TVs, customers jumped on it, but when the company realized the mistake, it canceled the orders and sent a gift certificate instead.
Robert Williams of southeast Washington, D.C., and Essence Hunter of Manassas, Virginia, both were in the market for new TVs.
Both learned of a huge deal from Samsung: A 40-inch TV for $100, the ad read, a savings of almost $950.
“So of course immediately I started sending it to my friends and family, and we ordered it as quickly as we could,” Hunter said.
“I almost passed out,” Williams said. “It was that big of a deal, that great of a deal.”
But the TVs never shipped.
“A couple of days later I got an email saying that my order has been canceled,” Hunter said.
Samsung told customers there was a glitch, an error in the price posted.
Williams and Hunter each called NBC4 Responds.
Samsung said the TV was mistakenly listed on sale for $100, and as soon as the mistake was discovered, Samsung provided the correct sale price of $799.99. Samsung said it did not charge customers but instead canceled the orders and issued them $50 gift certificates.
“I don’t want your $50 gift certificate,” Hunter said. “I want my TV that you advertised for $100.”
The Federal Trade Commission confirmed there's no federal law requiring companies to honor the price.
Though the customers got their money back, Hunter said she still feels like they should get the TVs.
It comes down to customer service. In this case, Samsung offered a gift certificate, and it didn't have to. A company is allowed to make a mistake.
Samsung provided the following statement:
“On May, 15, 2016, it came to our attention that the model UN40KU7000FXZA 4K UHD Television was mistakenly listed on sale for $100 on Samsung.com. As soon as this was discovered, we addressed the error and provided the correct sale price of $799.99. Any customers who placed orders at the incorrect price using a credit card saw the order as authorized on their account, but they were not charged as these orders with the incorrect price were cancelled prior to shipping. Customers that used PayPal did receive a charge, in accordance to PayPal policies, but where immediately refunded. Any customer that placed an order at the incorrect price will receive a $50 eCertificate. We deeply apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused to our consumers. Should consumers have any questions, please contact Customer Service at 1-855-726-8721.”