Bait-and-Switch in an Apple Store?

During our visit to the US, my wife was in the market for a new iPhone 5c. Not far from where we stayed (San Jose, CA), there was an Apple Store in a mall. Off we went, since - oddly enough - that model was cheaper at Apple than at other stores that sold the device.

My wife wanted a 16GB pink model and the friendly “dude” that helped us found it to be in stock - for the expected $599. Out came the box, he scanned the barcode and said “that’ll be $756.67, please”. Seeing as sales tax in CA is 8.25%, I would have caught that after a hard night of drinking.

Not unexpected, the model they retrieved was the 32GB one. When we pointed out the error, he dove back into the storage area in the back of the store, only to come out with the info that the 16GB model seemed to be out of stock (what, Apple doesn’t keep track of its merchandise electronically?) and asked if we wanted to get the 32GB model instead.

We declined and opted for a yellow 16GB model, which was retrieved and paid for. Apparently, while searching for the yellow model, the pink one magically reappeared, as a colleague came out of the dungeon with it and our sales guy exchanged the yellow one we’d bought for the pink.

Okay, maybe they don’t have their warehouse under control, but quite honestly, it sure felt like a bait-and-switch to me...