J.C. Penney Worker Claims He Was Fired for Exposing ‘Fake’ Sale Prices

What's Hot


2 Types of Black Marks Might Vanish From Your Credit File SoonBorrow

6 Ways the Obamacare Overhaul Might Impact Your WalletInsurance

7 Dumb and Costly Moves Homebuyers MakeBorrow

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

Obamacare Replacement Plan Gets ‘F’ Rating from Consumer ReportsFamily

Beware These 12 Common Money MistakesCredit & Debt

21 Restaurants Offering Free Food Right NowSaving Money

17 Ways to Have More Fun for Less MoneySave

House Hunters: Beware of These 6 Mortgage MistakesBorrow

30 Household Uses for Baby OilSave

25 Ways to Spend Less on FoodMore

Nearly Half of Heart-Related Deaths Linked to These 10 Foods and IngredientsFamily

5 Surprising Benefits of Exercising Outdoors in WinterFamily

10 Ways to Save When You’re Making Minimum WageSave

Boost Your Credit Score Fast With These 7 MovesCredit & Debt

7 Painless Ways to Pay Off Your Mortgage Years EarlierBorrow

The Most Sinful City in the U.S. Is … (Hint: It’s Not Vegas)Family

The True Cost of Bad CreditCredit & Debt

10 Companies With the Best 401(k) PlansGrow

This Scam Now Tops ID Theft as the No. 2 Consumer ComplaintFamily

6 Stores With Awesome Reward ProgramsFamily

6 Ways to Save More at Lowe’s and The Home DepotSave

6 Healthful Treats for Your DogFamily

New Study Ranks the Best States in the U.S.Family

Thousands of Millionaires Moving to 1 Country — and Leaving AnotherGrow

Strapped for College Costs? How to Get the Most From FAFSABorrow

6 Overlooked Ways to Save at Chick-fil-AFamily

Ask Stacy: What’s the Fastest Way to Pay Off My Mortgage?Borrow

Where to Sell Your Stuff for Top DollarAround The House

8 Ways to Get a Good Price on a Shiny New AutoCars

Ask Stacy: How Do I Start Over?Credit & Debt

Secret Cell Plans: Savings Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint Don’t Want You to Know AboutFamily

30 Awesome Things to Do in RetirementCollege

14 Super Smart Ways to Save on TravelSave

The Rich Prefer Modest Cars — Should You Join Them?Cars

You’ll Soon Pay More to Shop at CostcoSave

10 Ways to Save When Your Teen Starts DrivingFamily

Are you really getting a great deal when a major retailer slashes its prices?

That $10 shirt you bought for half off at J.C. Penney may not be the bargain you thought it was.

Bob Blatchford, who worked at a Penney’s in Florida, alleges that the department store was boosting the original prices of items and then marking the prices down, misleading customers into thinking they were receiving huge discounts.

Blatchford told Today:

“I saw a lot of pricing teams going through the store, raising the prices, mostly doubling — towels and clothing. Then they would go on sale, and they wouldn’t always go on sale for 50 percent off,” Blatchford said.

“So it was — not only was it a fake sale, but they were actually paying more than they would have been previously.”

Blatchford claims he was fired two days after the story first aired. And when he filed for unemployment benefits, Penney contested his claim, Blatchford told The Huffington Post. Now he says Penney has filed an arbitration petition, demanding that Blatchford return any company documents he may have in his possession.

HuffPo said Penney “characterized Blatchford’s revelations on NBC that the company drastically hiked prices and then slashed them in order to tout a ‘sale’ as ‘trade secret, proprietary and confidential business information.'”

Is this type of retail pricing strategy a surprise to shoppers? Maybe not. HuffPo says:

The fight between Blatchford and J.C. Penney belies an open retail secret: Discounts, sale prices and big promotions are largely a game of smoke and mirrors. But until J.C. Penney ousted its CEO last year and his successor reinstated old pricing strategies, it was a largely unconfirmed open secret.

J.C. Penney Co. fired CEO Ron Johnson about a year ago after a devastating attempt by Johnson to change the retailer’s sales strategy by getting rid of all sales and coupons. As a result, sales nosedived by $4.3 billion in just one year.

After ousting Johnson, Penney reinstated former CEO Mike Ullman, as well as its tried-and-true sales and coupon strategy. But some customers and people like Blatchford are now questioning the retailer’s pricing tactics.

Dorothy Crenshaw, CEO of Crenshaw Communications, was quoted by HuffPo:

“I’m sure they don’t want people to be talking about it,” Crenshaw said. “It is very likely how many stores operate, but this is much more of a drumbeat around a particular store, at a time that they least need it. They’d love for this whole thing to go away.”

Things may be looking up for the 112-year-old retailer. Penney said it’s now on track for its first profitable quarter since early 2011, USA Today said.

Have you ever felt duped by a store’s so-called sales prices? Share your experiences below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!

💰🗣📰

Read Next: Lookin’ Good! How to Get a Killer Deal on Eyeglasses

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,935 more deals!