Home Forums Litoeles H'rabim! WARNING about BEST BUY

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    This is an email I received and I checked the links and this person is 100% right about what they are saying. Be VERY careful when buying from “Best” Buy.


    If you purchase something from Wal-Mart, 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.

    I purchased a GPS for my car:

    a Tom Tom XL.S from

    ‘Best Buy’.

    Their policy states that it must be returned within 14 days for a refund!

    So after just 4 days I went to return it with the receipt & all items in original box. I explained to the lady at the return desk I did not like the way it couldn’t find store names.

    So she said, there is a 15% restock fee. I said no one ever told me that.

    I asked how much. It will be $45.

    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 won’t buy anything here! If I bought a $2000 computer or TV and returned it I would be charged $300 restock fee?

    She said yes. 15%.

    I said OK, just give me my money minus the restock fee.

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

    Corporate has to and they will mail you a check in 7 to 10 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 restock 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 dollar gift card and to use at Best Buy.

    You can keep your gift card because I’m never shopping at Best Buy ever again.

    And if I’d been smart, I would have charged it to my credit card! Then I would have cancelled 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 at Best Buy

    It’s true! Read it for yourself!!

    Best Buys return policy


    so right

    The 15% fee only applies to opened electronic items.

    From the above link:

    Restocking fee

    A restocking fee is applicable in some product categories, unless you are a Reward Zone Program Premier Silver member, the item is defective, or the fee is prohibited by law. The restocking fee charges are:

    25% for Special Order Products, including appliances

    15% for opened notebook computers, projectors, camcorders, digital cameras, radar detectors, GPS navigation and in-car video systems


    Just about any retailer who deals with items that depreciate quickly has a similar policy.


    Walmart doesnt charge a restocking fee for opened items.


    Makes sense because now they may have to sell the item “open boxed” or “floor model” at a lower cost. What if you scratched it? Many other stores have specific return policies- check it out before buying! It might be why they are cheaper to begin with… Office Depot says they charge the restocking fee if the box is missing anything. Both Staples and Office Depot say opened software and certain computer products can only be exchanged for the same title. Target does not allow any returns of opened software and certain electronics.

    Word to the wise: Please check out all fine print before buying anything- saving the few dollars may not be worth it if you need to exchange it for any reason.

    minyan gal

    You have to be very careful when purchasing any big ticket item. Apparently it is incumbent upon the purchaser to find out about the store policy as the store never seems to inform you.

    About 4 years ago I purchased an item (cannot even remember what is was) from Home Depot(Canada). I went to return it and was told that I had kept it too long and I couldn’t return it. There was nothing about the policy on the back of the receipt and I asked to see the store manager. He informed me that this policy is stated by means of a sign – that is posted at customer service/return desk. A customer doesn’t see the sign when making a purchase. I asked why it isn’t on the receipt or posted at the cashier and he said that I had a good point and he would discuss it with head office but that I couldn’t get a refund because the computer was programmed by date of purchase and wouldn’t process the refund. I refused to back down. Eventually the manager said that he, personally, could use the item and took the money out of his own pocket. I did make sure that he really could make use of it because at that point I felt badly that it would cost him money. In the end, I got my money back and the store now has better signage and the pertinent information is on the back of the receipt.


    This is standard for electronic items. And Walmart has the same policy for these items as well.


    Wal-Mart has a very liberal return policy and does not charge a restocking fee for opened electronics.

    Costco and Sam’s Club have even more liberal return policies.


    At least they let you return it. If you come from my area, there are certain national companies that have a no return policy. If you call up the company and want to exchange or return their products, they look up your zip. If you live in my zip code, they won’t allow you to do it. It’s because some of our brethen have taken advantage previously and this is the outcome.


    Also keep in mind that it is up to YOU the consumer to research the item before purchasing. If the person opened and used the item such as the GPS and didn’t like the way it worked because it didn’t find the store names, it is not the fault of the store or the product. The consumer should have done more research on the item and should have asked specifically about that function before purchasing. Don’t blame the store for its return policies on electronic items. Had he purchased the item from a smaller local store they would never take it back for that reason. He has no right to be so outraged for trying to return an item that is not defective or broken in any way, in which case he would have received a full refund. He also has no right to besmirch the good name of the store because he didn’t like the fact that the item didn’t show store names and he basically has sour grapes about it.

    There is a difference when someone tries to return a defective or broken item and someone returns an item that is in perfect condition that they just don’t like or they changed their mind about. The store does not have to take a loss on such a situation and to expect them to is ludicrous. If they have a restocking fee then that’s it. If you have to follow their rules and wait to be refunded or choose to take a loss or keep the item anyway that is your choice.

    The concept here of Buyer Beware is do your research before you buy!!!! Know what you are buying before you purchase and don’t make a chilul hashem because you didn’t get all the bells and whistles you were looking for. Ask questions before you purchase, compare items and know what the different products do, and understand from the get go that if you pay more you get more. Don’t assume that you can take home a product and test it and then just return it to the store if you don’t like it. Ask your friends what they have and if you can borrow from them and test it. Stores don’t “lend” things they “sell” things. They are in business to make money not lose money.

    Pashuteh Yid

    We had a much worse experience at Best Buy. My wife bought an item for my son that I did not approve. He had already opened it. When the box was opened, the serial number tore. They would not take it back THE SAME DAY EVEN WITH THE RECEIPT, as they said they need an intact serial number. Never in my life did I ever hear of such a thing.

    My wife had paid by check. She tried to just drop the item at their store, and cancel the check. They then placed her on some national check registry which makes her check invalid at other stores, as well. We still get calls asking for the money we “owe”.


    The serial number is what identifies the item to the owner and what identifies the item as a sold piece of goods. You have to step into the REAL WORLD and the world of business and play by their rules. What are other store policies when it comes to tearing the serial number off the box? In addition there are laws and regulation involved in stopping check payments its not that “pashut”. You should have checked with your bank or an attorney to find out what the repercussions would be if you went that route. They are not picking on you, stopping a check is considered “fraud” and that is why there is a National Check Registry.

    In all honesty, SHE should have checked with you first before making the purchase. That is not the store’s fault. And had the serial number not been torn, you would not have had a problem. I don’t know why their rules are so strict, probably because they would have to sell it as an open box item. Again, a consumer needs to know the return policy before making a purchase and it is up the consumer to ask.


    electronic items with unsealed boxes can not be sold as NEW anymore. They must be sold as OPENED or REFURBISHED, which gets the retailer less money than those sold as NEW.

    Certain items can be sold as NEW, even if they have left the store and are opened, items such as clothing.

    Charging a restocking fee is a very reasonable thing to do. They did not force you to buy the first item, or to open the package, diminishing its value.

    Most retailers, WALMART included, limit the amount of time you have to return the item, since these items depreciate in value quickly. That is also a reasonable policy.

    It is admirable that BEST BUY and WALMART and other retailers are very open about their policy. They post the policy on their websites, and actually PRINT the return policy on the receipt, so it should be very clear to the consumer what the policy is.


    Anyone who has ever worked in the returns department of any retail store will tell you horror stories about what some people have the chutzpah to return.

    I was at the service desk of a supermarket a few weeks ago, and there was a slice of cake among the returns. Someone had bought an entire cake, realized it was the wrong type when they got home, used it anyway, and returned the packaging with a single slice.

    Unfortunately, the returns clerk had to follow store policy and give them a 100% refund, even though they didn’t deserve it.


    I have only had good experiences at Best buy. I just returned a cd/ipod stereo system to Bestbuy because I wasn’t happy with the sound. I had used the stereo many times and as much as I tried to repack it the same way I bought it, I just couldn’t get it to look the way it did when I had opened it. The return policy said I had 30 days to return it. I returned it on the 30th day and even though I had paid by check they completely refunded the money in cash with no questions asked except if it was broken. They did not charge me a restocking fee and were very pleasant about it.


    You can always dispute the credit card charge, and your bank will investigate and do a charge-back against the merchant and refund your money.


    all credit card companies will support a clearly-worded return policy.


    The Return Policy makes no mention of the serial number. So in Pashuteh Yid’s case he would’ve gotten his money back in a charge-back had he used a credit card and disputed it.


    Also, PY should not have stopped the check. A check should only be stopped if an error has been made, or the check has been lost. The purpose of that is not to subvert your contract with the store.

    If you use a check to pay someone, then stop it, that is tantamount to passing a false check. Think if the roles were reversed, and the store refunded your money with a check, and then they stopped it. Would you think that was unfair?

    Legally, what you did was pass a bad check. You used a check that was to be made no good, and used that to pay for merchandise. No wonder you ended up in the registry.

    It’s not fair to the store owner.

    You wouldn’t do it to a merchant you knew in your neighborhood, you shouldn’t do it to a large retail store either.


    and, dear myfriend, the package was opened. Once opened, the retailer can no longer sell it as new. That’s the law for the last decade and a half or so.




    ronrsr, my dear friend, the retailer has a stated return policy that they advised the customer PRIOR to the sale that the retailer remains bound to. Best Buy was obligated to accept Pashuteh Yid’s return — even opened — as an open package fell within it stated acceptable return policy. Since BB denied PY the ability to return the product under the printed conditions of BB’s return policy, clearly a charge back would have been both proper and successful. (Charge-backs are generally stacked in the credit card holders favor of winning.)


    myfriend, when he bank (credit card company) investigates, they might not refund the money depending on what they conclude is fair and right in this instance. If they feel the consumer is right they will refund the money, if they feel the store is right under the circumstance they will not refund the money.


    The statement above of aries2756,

    when the bank (credit card company) investigates, they might not refund the money depending on what they conclude is fair and right in this instance. If they feel the consumer is right they will refund the money, if they feel the store is right under the circumstance they will not refund the money.

    is correct. Keep in mind, however, that your credit card company is not Small Claims Court which is probably where you would be better off addressing certain claims providing that you can bring a suit there (e.g. the business is located in New York City).


    Small claims court is time consuming and cost money. Disputing the credit card charge is quick and easy, and usually successful.

    Pashuteh Yid

    Aries, I am not defending what my wife did. She should not have paid by check (rather by CC), and should not have abandoned the item in their store, and then stopped the check. These were all unwise.

    The bottom line is that she only did these things because of a mistake my child made when he opened the box. I don’t even know if it was possible to open the box without cutting through the serial number sticker. Never did I ever hear of such a thing, and I doubt it says this on the receipt which usually gives the return policy.

    Be it as it may, in most places, there is courtesy, and a rule that the customer is always right. If an honest mistake was made by a child in how he opened a package, most decent institutions would right away not have made an issue over it and been understanding. This was outrageous customer service. It was only a 100 dollar item, and would not have put them out of business. This is not what you expect from a big chain.


    If you think the customer is always right, take a look at this NYTimes article from 2 days ago:



    Best Buy was considered a bit naughty, but L.L. Bean nice. Do you know which list your favorite retailers would land on?…



    PY, the clerk only represents the big chain and has to follow the rules. Maybe the right thing to do would have been to take the item home and then write a letter to the regional office or the Public Relations department to see how it could be resolved. Just like your son is just a child on the bottom of the chain so is the employees in a local store. When there really is an issue you have to take the problem to the top where rules can be broken and such decisions can be made. The people at the bottom of the totem pole are obligated to follow the rules. The decision would have cost the store money and therefore they would be responsible for the loss so they are not willing or able to make that call.

    Pashuteh Yid

    I believe my wife went to the manager, but I am not sure.

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