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I Don't Care What You Think, I Call a Do-Over

October 1, 2009  

It's going to happen sooner or later—a misprint will offer your product or service for a ridiculously low price that's too good to be true. Not long ago, writes Jackie Huba at the Church of the Customer Blog, big-box retailer Best Buy experienced just such a snafu when its website mistakenly advertised a 52-inch HDTV for $9.99, a discount of nearly $1,600.

As the company became aware of the problem several hours later, it immediately withdrew the offer, unilaterally canceled all orders placed at the incorrect price, and offered apologies to customers, some of whom nevertheless vented their anger via Twitter.

"Few people would expect Best Buy to honor what surely seems like human error," notes Huba, "but the bigger idea here is that every misstep, even embarrassing public ones, are [sic] an opportunity to turn bad buzz into good."

So instead of citing the website's fine print and leaving it at that, she argues, Best Buy could have embraced the mistake—for instance, by publicizing a drawing in which ten of the disappointed customers win the televisions and free installation by the Geek Squad.

The Po!nt: "You can either point to the rules when you screw up," says Huba, "or you can go beyond the obvious and do something worth talking about."

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