Let’s talk about another fleecing of America. In this case… a case history from an actual “Best Buy” customer paying cash for their purchase.

Is Best Buy really the Best Buy?
Case in point: A “Best Buy” customer purchased a Tom-Tom GPS device and paid cash at the point of sale. But the customer was in for a rude awakening when he decided to return the product after just four days. Read his story and beware, as it can happen to the best of intelligent, but uninformed, consumers.

A Nite Ranter reader’s  shocking story of BEST BUY’s “customer service.”

If you purchase something from Walmart, Sears, etc., and you return the item with the receipt, they will give you your money back if you paid cash, or credit your account if paid by plastic.

Well, I purchased a GPS for my car: a Tom Tom XL.S from Best Buy. They have a policy that it must be returned within 14 days for a refund!

So after 4 days I returned it in the original box with all the items in the box, with the paperwork and the cords all wrapped in the plastic. Just as I received it, including the receipt.

I explained to the lady at the return desk that I did not like the way it couldn’t find store names. The lady at the refund desk said there is a 15% restock fee for items returned. I said no one told me that. I asked how much would that be. She said it goes by the price of the item.

“It will be $45 for you.”

I said, “All you’re going to do is walk over and place it back on the shelf then charge me $45 of my money for restocking?” She said, “That’s the store policy.”

I said, “If more people were aware of it they would not buy anything here! If I bought a $2000 computer or TV and returned it I would be charged a $300  restock fee?” She said, “Yes. 15%.”

I said to just give me my money minus the restocking fee.

She said, since the item is over $200 , that she couldn’t give me my money back!

“Corporate has to and they will mail you a check in 7 to ten days.”

I said, “WHAT? It’s my money! I paid in cash! I want to buy a different brand… Now I have to wait 7 to 10 days?”

She said, “Well, our policy is on the back of your receipt.”

I said, “Do you read the front or back of your receipt?” She said, “Well, the front.” I said, “So do I. I want to talk to the Manager!”

So the manager comes over, I explained everything to him, and he said, “Well, sir, they should have told you about the policy when you got the item.” I said, “No one has ever told me about the check refund or restocking fee when I bought items from computers to TVs from Best Buy. The only thing they ever discussed was the worthless extended warranty program.”

He said, “Well, I can give you corporate phone number.” I called Corporate. The guy said, “Well, I’m not supposed to do this but I can give you a $45 gift card and you can use it at Best Buy.”

I told him if I bought something and returned it, you would charge me a restock fee on the item and then send me a check for the remaining $3.

“You can keep your gift card, I’m never shopping in Best Buy ever again, and if I’d been smart, I would have charged the whole thing on my credit card! Then I would have canceled the transaction. I would have gotten all my money back including your stupid fees!”

He didn’t say a word!

I informed him that I was going to e-mail my friends and give them a heads-up on the store’s policy, as they don’t tell you about all the little caveats.

So please pass this on. It may save your friends from having a bad experience of shopping at Best Buy!

Best Buy Store Exchange and Return Policy

The Nite Ranter’s Solution: While we as a country are trying to wean ourselves from using plastic… the situation: Had the Best Buy customer charged the purchase on a credit card, the messy situation would have ended in his favor as the Credit Card company would simply delete the charge from his account and no restocking fee would apply.

That’s shocking as we are all trying to manage our spending habits, but the truth is that we rarely read all the fine print buried in a customer receipt. Retailers looking for a way to hide fees add this fine print to customer receipts. Best Buyer(s)… beware!

It would seem that a cash purchase with no interest was financially a wise decision. In many cases, as witnessed here… it is not.

This Pink Floyd music video just about covers it all about what Corporate America really believes in!

So, beware and use your credit card. Simply pay it off at each billing cycle. Use them (the Credit Card Companies & Banks) for once… instead of them using you!

Send me a comment on your most bizarre consumer “Money” horror story!

2 Responses

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  1. The Santafean

    Ranter, I have not had any problems with purchases at big box stores such as Best Buy. Of course, I always pay with plastic. My card companies, as you mentioned, have always mediated any problems I have had with merchants.

    You did give me a heads up regarding Best Buy. I will pass it on. I might suggest that we buy from our local merchants to help our local economies. I have noted that in the past year many small businesses have closed in Santa Fe and I am sure in the communities of your readers.

    Nov 21, 2010 at 3:43 pm
    • The Nite Ranter

      Great suggestion & point of view Santafean. The “little” guy has a lot to offer…if you just take the time to look. They are an important part of Americana as well as our economy both locally and nationally.
      They deserve our business and more importantly our respect.

      TNR :=(

      Nov 21, 2010 at 8:17 pm