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Consumer Watch: Furniture pricing mistake exploited | MilitaryTimes

Over New Year’s weekend, 5,006 customers ordered furniture at cut-rate prices from the ShopMyExchange.com website — then learned that their orders had been canceled.

That’s because those discounts, totaling upward of 80 percent on many items, were a mistake made by the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, when some pricing was done on Jan. 1.

When Military Times wrote about that mistake, a number of people commented. Some noted that customers should have realized it was a mistake. Many asserted that even if it was a mistake, AAFES owed it to its customers to honor the discount — and some wondered whether federal law requires that in such instances.

It doesn’t, according to experts we contacted.

While the Federal Trade Commission Act covers deceptive and misleading actions and practices in commerce, cases like these are more typically simple mistakes made by the retailer.

“Accordingly, it’s up to the retailer’s discretion whether they will honor the mistakenly advertised price or provide consumers that bought the product with some other type of compensation,” said Mitchell Katz, an FTC spokesman.

Moreover, there is no Defense Department-wide policy addressing retail pricing errors, said DoD spokesman Air Force Maj. Ben Sakrisson.

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Consumer Watch: Furniture pricing mistake exploited.

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