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.
— Erick Fernandez (@ErickFernandez) August 29, 2017
— jordan (@JordanUhl) August 29, 2017
@BestBuy You need to address people charging for water at your stores in Houston
— PassionDrivestheDream (@passionflower92) August 29, 2017
Since when does best buy even sell water or use signs like that?
— Tasty Cakes (@TiffiePop85) August 29, 2017
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.”