I had a curious thing happen last week. Back in October I received two E-mail advertisements from Rockler with their 3/4-inch pipe clamps featured for $8.99. The normal price is something like $13.99, so this represented a nice savings. The sale was listed as "until November 14th, or while supplies last." So, I called on Nov. 5th and inquired as to whether these were still available and in stock. The young lady said that she had been told they were out, but if I would wait she'd check. I waited, she checked, and on her return she confirmed that "Yes, they were in stock". So, I order four and was then given the regular price. I told her that I had received a sales notice and that the price was supposed to be $8.99. She said "I'm not showing that price on the computer, but let me check." So, I waited again and when she returned she said, "I'm sorry, we're out of stock!".
So, the next day I called again, confirmed that they had them in stock and figuring that their computer was just screwed up, I ordered them anyway, figuring I would straighten it all out once I received the items. The items arrived on the 11th and I again called Rockler and asked for a supervisor. Explaining the problem, she answered that she was sorry but they were out of stock and couldn't help me. I told her that I had received the items but not at the sales price. She said she was sorry but they were out of stock! "But Maam, I received the items, so you couldn't have been out of stock and your sale event said until November 14th!". Her reply was "Yes, that is correct" she said, "But it also said "While supplies last" and we were out of stock on those." We went back and forth a few times until I began to wonder "Who was on First". So I thanked her for her time and told her I would take it to higher authority.
So, the bottom line from her was that even though it's the same item, they were out of stock on what was the sale price item, but were in stock on the regular price item. Classic bait and switch game in my book, so I contacted the state consumer affairs office and was told that this is illegal. So now I'm filing a complaint with both NY and Minnesota OAG and I'll let you folks know how I make out. But, I thought you should know to be careful with their sales tactics.
I've had them give me the sale price even after the sale is over. You must have been speaking to people who don't know what they're doing. Rockler has always bent over backwards to make me a satisfied customer.
It could be the case, but neither sales person seemed to be able to help and I certainly don't blame them, they appeared to check with a supervisor or someone. When I called to straighten out the problem, I explained to the receptionist what I was having difficulty with, and she connected me to the customer service manager, who was pretty stubbern in her conviction that they had decidedd to sell only so many at the sale price and then end the sale, regardless of the published sale date.
I would not have had a problem at all, if they were really out of stock or even if they had published "promotional quantity is limited", but neither was the case. The whole thing simply seemed to be, that they figured they had sold enough at the sale price and now it was time for me (and anyone else) to pay the regular price. This was my first purchase from Rockler and I must admit that I'm a bit put off by their approach to doing business.
Update on Rockler Price Switch!
Christmas Eve I received a letter from my local State Attorney General's office, telling me that my complaint against Rockler has been handled by them successfully. They contacted Rockler and my credit card has been credited with the price difference!
According to Rockler's response to the NYSAG, they (Rockler) advertize a promotion giving a date limitation and the statement, "while supplies last"; but what they don't advertize is the fact that they fix or set aside a particular number of that product for the promotion! They may have plenty of the product in stock, but if they decide that they only want to sell a limited quantity, then that is their so-called "supply". In my book, and fortunately in NY, that is deceptive advertizing! I prefer NOT to do business with any company that baits its customers and then switches either the price or the stock.
In california that is the norm with car dealers. They say in their ads something like "1 at this price" and occasionally 2 or 3. If the ad says limited quantities then that is fine. If it doesn't say limited quantities then I want a raincheck.
It is good to develop a relationship with people at your local stores. I have done that with a Rockler near me and I get sale pricing on things that have been off sale for months.
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