We've discussed before how except for their unfriendly Return Procedure) TigerDirect is a regularly used source for needful technology. They have the all good stuff at or near the low price and fast, reliable shipping.

They should be proud of their reputation and depend on it to close the sale. Instead they behave like the sleaziest used-car salesman that the dark side of one's imagination could conjure up. Bad return policy; sleazy sales tactics. Maybe I should start questioning my loyalty.

Here's the problem today:
TigerDirect Inaccurate Price Comparison
TigerDirect loves their rebate "deals" -- advertised pricing and price comparisons where they state the price with a rebate subtracted. So $250 less a $50 mail-in rebate become advertised as $200.

But it's not $200. You can only get one rebate, so if you need two or more of the thing, you're SOL. Plus there's shipping and handling and extended warranty and return insurance and, well, a list of things to make it not really $200.

Don't know why some state AG hasn't called Systemax on this chicanery, but it'd be swell if one of them would. Maybe it would encourage Systemax, aka TigerDirect, et al, to stop the price fibbery. Just stick with the (real) good price and terrific shipping. (If any AG's are reading this; while you're at it, please take a look at the Systemax return "policy". Clearly created by some creature that only Christopher Walken could play.)

Today's example: TigerDirect comparing their "price" of $199 for a monitor to another store's $249. Actually the TigerDirect/Systemax price is exactly the same: $249. But then when you start comparing shipping and other factors the other store could actually end up cheaper!
TigerDirect sent a promo email out last friday (2/15/08) headlined with an Acer 22" monitor for "$199*" and misleadingly comparing it to (quote) "Staples... $249".

Systemax does not mention that:
-- A. their own actual price is really the same: $249
-- B. their $199 quote is only after a Mail-In rebate and that the rebate is only available once per customer. That means that if you actually need 2 or more monitors then you are still going to pay $249 each for those, and that
-- C. at Staples any order over $50 ships FREE so that, comparing two apples to two apples, the TigerDirect price is actually HIGHER. $502 to $500 (at $27 for standard shipping).

Two bucks isn't much, but it is a fact. Of course the cost of buying this item from TigerDirect gets progressively more expensive the more items you need to buy. The more monitors you need to buy, the greater the advantage, in this case, goes to Staples.

(Click the image to see the screen grab in readable size.)

Come on TigerDirect/Systemax: play straight. Why do you think you need to try to trick us all the time? It's like some kind of weird pricing pathology -- "Must lie to stay on top. Must trick customers to feel good about self."

Why does Systemax insist on these come-on shams, why do they think it is necessary, and why do they continue to get away with it? Shame on you Systemax.