Tech Industry

BlueLight nixes accidental MP3 discount

The e-commerce arm of Kmart says it will not honor the thousands of orders it received for an MP3 player that was mistakenly advertised at a price 90 percent below normal. said it would not honor the thousands of orders it received for an MP3 player that was accidentally advertised at a price almost 90 percent below normal.

A "keying mistake" on Tuesday caused the online unit of Kmart to advertise the Nomad Jukebox for $26.89. BlueLight normally sells the Nomad for $299.99. News of the discount spread via an online message board and hordes of discount hunters swarmed the e-commerce site, according to spokesman Dave Karraker.

BlueLight corrected the glitch within minutes, but not before the company received the wave of orders, Karraker said, adding that some customers placed multiple orders. BlueLight e-mailed customers who ordered a Nomad notifying them that the company could not honor the $26.89 price.

Instead, BlueLight offered them the MP3 player for $274.99, which is the wholesale price that BlueLight pays. The company also offered the customers a coupon good for 20 percent off of their next purchases.

Much of the sentiment on message boards Thursday was that the company is alienating customers and should honor the sales.

Pricing glitches are nothing new to e-commerce sites. Most merchants, like BlueLight, refuse to honor the dramatically discounted prices that result from a pricing error.

"We want to be fair to our customers, but at the same time they have to be fair in what they expect from a company," Karraker said.