The continuing tragedy of Tropical Storm Harvey will probably grow even worse before anything gets better in southeast Texas, which is all too serious business. However, there are still gaffes to be had along the way. That would include the journalist who hyperbolically tweeted about “looters” after Houstonians broke into a grocery store for survival supplies. And over in nearby Cypress, a water bottle “sale” has ended in utter mortification for Best Buy, which offered up cases with a cringe-inducing $42.96 sign intact. The above photo (tweeted by Ken Klippenstein) began the social media backlash.
Needless to say, this display is about as embarrassing as when Walmart backpedaled over an unfortunate incident involving a “back to school” sign atop a case full of guns. However, Best Buy (which is generally not in the business of selling food, drink, or anything that vaguely resembles survival supplies) was quick to ‘fess up to their “mistake” and offer an explanation:
“This was a big mistake on the part of a few employees at one store on Friday,. As a company we are focused on helping, not hurting affected people. We’re sorry and it won’t happen again … the mistake was made when employees priced a case of water using the single-bottle price for each bottle in the case.”
A 24-pack case of Dasani water can retail for as low as $5 in some grocery stores (depending on region), so a $42 sign doesn’t present a good look. Regardless, Best Buy owned up to the mistake with plenty of humility that seems genuine enough. Perhaps they’ll even show some goodwill toward Harvey victims by making a donation to one of these fine organizations? It couldn’t hurt.
After all, price gouging is not only illegal, but it’s also reportedly occurring (for real) in the wake of Harvey. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton says one gas station is guilty of charging “$99 for a case of water.”