More than 5,000 customers are being notified that their online furniture orders were canceled after an Army and Air Force Exchange Service pricing mistake offered discounts of upward of 80 percent over the New Year's weekend.
These customers are being offered a one-time 30 percent discount off their next furniture order, and the offer code is being sent by email, said Julie Mitchell, a spokeswoman for AAFES.
Mitchell said the mistake happened last Friday, when discounts were being applied to dented, damaged and returned furniture in the AAFES main stores. The discounts were mistakenly applied to undamaged furniture on shopmyexchange.com, the online exchange store.
"The mistake was discovered Sunday, and the incorrectly priced items were immediately removed from the online shopping site," Mitchell said.
Some examples of furniture with incorrect prices:
- An Ashley Signature Design Darcy two-piece sectional was listed for $199; the regular price is $939.
- A Hillsdale Monaco five-piece dining set was listed for $149.97; it regularly sells for $899.
- A Home Styles China Hutch and Buffet was listed for $199.97; it usually goes for $1,099.99, according to the Raining Hot Coupons website.
Comments from customers about the mistake were mixed, with some saying AAFES should honor the cut-rate prices. One customer said she ordered furniture thinking AAFES was "trying to get rid of end-of-year colors/styles to make room for new ones. We also have our current furniture 'sold' already, because we wouldn't have space for both sets! So now, I'll be forced to either reneg on a sale or go buy myself full-priced that we really can't afford at the moment."
Others had a different perspective: "People need some common sense. Do they really think they can get a deal which is over 80 percent discounted from the original price," wrote one reader commenting on the Military Times story about the mistake.
All exchange customers are eligible to shop at any exchange store affiliated with any service branch, as well as the online stores.
Staff writer Jenn Rafael contributed to this story.