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Best Buy apologizes for viral photo of nearly $43 packs of water in Houston

HOUSTON — Electronics retailer Best Buy said Wednesday that a viral photo of cases of water selling for more than $40 was “a big mistake.”

The photo shows a 12-pack case of Smartwater being advertised for $29.98 each, while 24-packs of Dasani were shown to cost $42.96.

The company was accused of price gouging in the wake of Hurricane Harvey and was quickly ridiculed on social media when the photo was posted.

But the company told CNBC that it does not sell water by the case and the signage promoting the offer was a mistake made by several employees.

Best Buy sells individual water bottles at checkout counters.

“This was a big mistake on the part of a few employees at one store on Friday,” a company spokesman told CNBC. “As a company we are focused on helping, not hurting affected people. We’re sorry and it won’t happen again.

“Not as an excuse but as an explanation, we don’t typically sell cases of water. The mistake was made when employees priced a case of water using the single-bottle price for each bottle in the case.”