Wal-Mart is well known for its aggressive price-matching policies.
So an Atlanta father was surprised to discover over the weekend that the store wouldn't match the prices listed on its own website.
In a column for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Clark Howard wrote that he had gone to the store in search of a new Lego set for his son, and discovered that the price on the shelf was 35% higher than the one listed online.
When he asked a Wal-Mart employee about the discrepancy, he was told that the store doesn't match its online prices.
"So I had to buy it on Walmart.com and do the free pickup option in the store to get the lower price," Howard wrote."My son and I stood there and watched as a different employee came a few minutes later, picked the item up off the shelf, and brought it back to the holding spot for pickup."
But there was a catch to Howard's clever maneuver.
"Unfortunately, I didn't get the confirmation that it was available for pickup until the next day! So I had to go back the next day to pick it up!! That's *not* good customer service," the father writes.
Wal-Mart states on its website that store managers are not required to match prices online — or those listed at other Wal-Mart stores — because the company is not competitive with itself.
"Prices may vary from store to store because each store is required to manage its own inventory," the website states. "Therefore, a manager may lower a price to clear out an overstock item, to reward customers with an in-store sale, or to compete with local merchants. It is not our policy to price match our own stores or our online service since we are not in competition with ourselves."
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