Local Brick customers angry after company says it won’t honour online pricing glitch

A Boxing Week discount offered online by The Brick really was too good to be true.

The Canadian retailer says the additional 50 per cent discount applied to online purchases on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day was actually a mistake.

The company says it won’t honour the price its customers thought they had paid. Instead it’s offering to credit 10 per cent of the purchase back to affected customers, to be put toward future purchases.

The company posted on their Facebook page:

“On the evening of December 24th to the morning of the 25th customers purchasing online erroneously received an additional 50% off once items were added to the shopping cart. The advertised price in the flyer and on the product pages was correct when these customers added the item to their shopping card and did not reflect this additional discount until the shopping cart was checked out. The Brick apologies for the confusion and is currently working to contact all affected customers to advise of correct pricing. We recognize the confusion that occurred and are offering to affected customers 10% of their affected online purchase price back as a credit toward their next purchase which can be used on any item, including regular and sale priced items in all categories of the store. If customers have been affected and have not been advised of the credit please email with your invoice details so we can extend our apologies and extend our offer of appreciation of your loyalty to The Brick.”

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Customers are angry about what happened.

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“Right away I think they should have honoured the deal,” says customer Brian Chan. “Simple.”

“And even if they gave me the price match I was still thinking I don’t really want to support them anymore, so I’m probably going to take my business elsewhere.”

Customer Nathan Boudreau was shopping for a TV and was looking online on Christmas Eve.

A friend of his purchased something on The Brick’s website and that is when they noticed the discount. “It was a no-brainer at that point,” says Boudreau. The TV was on sale for $900 and with the 50 per cent discount it was going to be about $600 with taxes and everything included.

Boudreau did get an initial confirmation email saying the purchase had gone through, but another friend who bought something minutes later did not get the discount.

“Originally we thought there might be a problem just because of how great a deal it was,” says Boudreau, “but we kind of hoped, you know there’s always these door-crasher deals, you always hear about Black Friday and the crazy deals.”

It was a few days later when Boudreau saw reports that The Brick was saying they were not going to honour any of those discounts. He called customer service today and was told there was nothing they could do for him. “I had to actually contact them, which was the unfortunate part,” says Boudreau. “There was not an auto-email saying ‘sorry it’s been cancelled’ or anything like that.”

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“It’s pretty crappy.”

David Ian Gray, founder and retail strategist with DIG360 Consulting, says The Brick is “in a real pickle” with this mistake.

“They didn’t advertise a price and then failed to honour it,” he says, “basically it was a ‘wow’ surprise at the end of a checkout process where an extra 50 per cent came off the bill. But a lot of people processed those payments, they’ve gone through, and now they’re stuck with having to try and recoup and deal with customers who are going to be upset with them.”

Gray says this situation is unique to online and E-Commerce sales.

“I think they’ll ride it out,” he says, speaking of what The Brick might do. “The Brick is known for cheap furniture and sale prices and I think people will come back. But it’s going to be a bit of a black eye right at the moment.”

Boudreau says every company can make a mistake, but it’s how they deal with the problem that matters.

“That’s what really sticks in customer’s minds,” he says.

In The Brick’s Terms and Conditions, it states “The Brick Group offers limited-time sales values, special buys and items. Due to competitive market pressures, prices are subject to change. The Brick Group reserves the right to correct, at any time, any pricing errors and to refuse to complete a sale that is the subject of a pricing error.”


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