Pricing error.

Today I bought a book, on “Inside Apple”, written by Adam Lashinsky. I initially wanted to buy it as an e-book format, until I came across the physical book for only 15 dollars. It was too good to be true. I bought it immediately.

I went to the cashier and set to pay for the book. However, the price of the book was billed to me as 26 dollars instead. As I did not want to make a fuss at the counter, I quietly paid for my book using NETS. Then I stood aside to let other paying customers go about paying their own stuff, while I checked the back of the book with the price tag. Strangely enough, it was priced at 15 dollars. I kindly asked the cashier that this book was been priced at 15 but instead I paid 26 dollars.

Much to her puzzlement, she contacted one of the staff to scan and check the inventory in the computer to find out the correct price of the book. It took a few minutes to check and double check the price, but true enough, the book was intended to be priced at 26 dollars. Which makes perfect sense, since this book has just been hot off the press. 15 bucks would be a steal. So unless the bookshop intended to sell this with a huge discount tagged to it, it did not gave me that impression. Sensing the price discrepancy made by the bookshop, I was intrigued at how the staff would handle this situation. The book was price tagged at 15 dollars. The inventory was tagged to be priced at 26 dollars. So which price tag is correct?

It took a couple of minutes while I observed 3 young staff discussing amongst themselves on how best to handle this situation. Soon after, they decided. One of them went to the bookshelf and carried those stack of books that I bought back to their storeroom. My guess is that they had to relabel those books with the correct price tags. I can only imagine the trouble they would have to go through, recalling those books and re-labelling them as the books were individually shrink wrapped. That means that the book was intended to be priced at 26 dollars in the first place. But I bought it with the intention that it was a good deal; 15 dollars. What the remaining 2 staff did took me by surprise.

They reprinted another receipt with the price that I would originally pay; 15 dollars. They told me to write my name and sign on another receipt that is intended for refunds. Since I paid the book using a privilege card that entitled me a discount of 10% off the price of the book, they explained to me that the discount is now voided, since the price of the book originally labelled (15 bucks) was lower that the original price of the book (26 bucks) after taking the discount into account. Fair enough. And since the pricing mistake was their fault, I get to enjoy the 15 dollar price tag. So in the end, they refunded me 11 bucks. All in all, I bought the book for only 15 bucks. What a steal!


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