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Call Kurtis: When Do Companies Have to Honor Big Sale Prices?

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Photo Credit: Thinkstock.com

Photo Credit: Thinkstock.com

Kurtis Ming Kurtis Ming
Eight-time Emmy Award winner Kurtis Ming is CBS13's consumer...
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RANCHO MURIETA (CBS13) — If a company makes a mistake on your order — should you still get the same good deal on what you ordered?

Steve Mayer thought so.

Tired of washing dishes by hand after his old dishwasher broke several months ago, Mayer saw a Sears.com Cyber Monday deal too good to pass up.

He even printed it out.

A new stainless steel Kenmore Elite for $719.99 — $700 off the regular price, according to the website.

Mayer said the order wouldn’t go through, so he used the online chat feature to place the order with a customer service representative.

“I was able to order it right off the chatline,” he said.

But the next day he found this email confirmation, showing the Sears chat rep ordered him a white dishwasher instead of the stainless steel one he wanted.

When Mayer brought it to Sears’ attention, he said the company told him he’d have to pay the current price if he wanted to switch his order.

The stainless steel model was now $1079.99 — $360 more.

“I’m just not sure why they’re fighting this the way they are,” Mayer said.

“They had a deal,” said consumer attorney Stuart Talley.

Talley said if it’s an apparent pricing error in an advertisement or online, the company may not have to honor it.

But in this case, it appears it was not a pricing error, he said, but instead a worker entering the wrong information during the order.

“They are purchasing the picture of the item on the website,” he said, “not the other color.”

Sears refused to explain what happened in this case, but after we got involved said it would “offer the stainless steel model for him with an additional discount (due to the inconvenience).”

Sears is also going to throw in a free installation kit, although Mayer may be changing his shopping habits.

“They probably lost my business,” he said.

One tip for online chatting — it’s always a good idea to copy and paste your conversation so you can keep it for your own records.

Some websites will also give you the option to email that chat to yourself.

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