Friday, August 25, 2006

HHGregg Nailed For Consumer Fraud

I told you last month about my recent experience purchasing a flat-screen TV from HHGregg and feeling deceived. Now, Georgia's Office of Consumer Affairs has fined the Indiana-based retailer for engaging in bait-and-switch. The Star's Norm Heikins reports:

Indianapolis-based electronics and appliance retail chain hhgregg has agreed to pay $55,000 to settle allegations by Georgia's Office of Consumer Affairs that the company used bait-and-switch practices in 11 stores in that state.

Gregg also agreed to change its written sales policies and marketing practices, and ensure advertised products were available.

Investigators claim the company advertised low-priced goods that weren't available and advertised discontinued merchandise. They also said Gregg refused to honor advertised prices.

Undercover investigators found enough problems that the Georgia officials became convinced of a "pattern of practice," said Bill Cloud, a spokesman for the Georgia office.

"The problems we saw were among all the stores," Cloud said.

"It's impossible to calculate how many people may have fallen into this situation," he added. Gregg marketing vice president Jeff Pearson said the company would not comment. As part of the settlement, Gregg admitted to no wrongdoing.

Looks like the Indiana Attorney General's office should start taking a closer look at the company's business practices here in Indiana.


Anonymous said...

What a coincidence. I have a college friend who works for the Ga. AG...he says they're not exactly aggressive, so if they took off after HHG, it must have been aparticularly aggregious violation.

This is a shame...HHG was once an excellent locally-based company.

Those spokesmen they've got now are kinda creepy, too...kinda like the wierd neighbor you won't let in your house.

Sir Hailstone said...

Frankly I've seen the same behavior out of Circuit City and Best Buy also. Nothing new here. CompUSA used to be famous for burying the words "limited quantities" in the sales flyer.

Ravekid said...

I was looking for a flat top stove and went to Lowes, Home Depot, Sears, and HHGregg. I will say that HHGregg did have the quickest person to ask us for help. The others were good as well, just not as fast. However, the guy at HHGregg ticked me off. Since it was July, I asked him if they were still doing the Christmas in July thing. He said he could not find out if the price would go down further or not for that sale, but I would get a 30 day promise that they would make up any difference if it went further on sale. I thanked him and was getting ready to leave and he told me to wait. He goes over to a computer and comes back and gives me the Christmas in July sales price. Right there I didn't care if they were the cheapest. That guy flat out lied to me, knowing damn well he could have gotten that price when I asked about it.

Anonymous said...

He is a salesman you dweeb welcome to America.

Anonymous said...

He did not give you a Christmas in July sale price. We have not had, for the five years i've been with the company a sale called "Christmas in July". Even if we did, however, and contrary to popular belief, we do not know the sale prices before they happen. Since you were walking out because he didn't know if the item would go on sale or not.. he was merely trying to please you with some sort of made up reason for a discount.. to say we don't have a "christmas in july" sale would to imply you were either lying or stupid.. so it was easier to go along with you. It gets rather old you know.. I could be selling a $100.00 item for $.99 and 90% of customers would want a better deal. Would you rather he let you leave? Without a discount? of course not.. so it's a damned if you do.. damned if you don't situation for the salesperson who wanted your business bad enough to make up any stupid reason he could to justify the discount he made get your business... oh.. and by the way, if it goes on sale cheaper in 30 days after your purchase.. you get that too..

Anonymous said...

People need to learn how to read flyers, and not create expectations that were never promised by the store.