When Best Buy Is Not Your Best Buy

from the false-advertising? dept

It turns out that Best Buy may not, in fact, really be your best buy… The State of Ohio is suing the retailer for “unfair and deceptive business practices” including packaging refurbished items as new, and failing to honor rebates or those warranties they push so hard to sell you.

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “When Best Buy Is Not Your Best Buy”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
blahblah says:

Re: No Subject Given

I used to love best buy, until I moved from one state to the other. I bought a new laptop from their local store, and purchased their 3-year warranty. When I asked if there was a store in the town I was moving to, they went to their computer, and told me that there was. Wow, I got sucker-punched. Not only is there no store here, the nearest one is 6 hours away……..

Glenn says:

My experience has been good

I did get the Sprint rebates on my wireless service 5 years ago when I first signed up. And I am possibly the only person I know that has made money off their warranties. In one case, I bought a three year warranty on my Sprint phone. It broke twice, the first time the store just swapped it out for an identical phone. The second time, they no longer carried my phone, so I upgraded to a newer phone which had a lower price, and got a gift card for the $75 difference. Meanwhile the 3 year warranty only cost me $60.

I also bought a two year warranty on my PS2. It broke toward the end of the two years. But I had purchased it for $299. When it broke, they were selling for $199 and came with a network adapter and game. So I again got a gift card for the difference.

I’m sure these are fairly unique positive experiences, but I’m all for the warranties!

Joel says:

Re: Re: My experience has been good

I also work at Best Buy in customer service, the Product Replacement Plans and Service Plans are worth the money. People think we are trying to cheat them, but we are always trying to help them. The manufactures warranty isn’t going to cover wear and tear, but our plans do. No they don’t cover customer damage, because thats insurance not a warranty. It’s all explained in the brochures if you have any questions take a brochure and read it. Sorry for any bad experiences you’ve had.

Rosalyn says:

Best Buy Rip Off

I purchased a set of WSP150 speakers a while back, in 2005 at Best Buy. They have been sitting in a closet since then. I decided to open the box today and found that instead of speakers, I have 3 transmitters, 2 boxes of ac plugs and 2 sets of Owners Manuals. What can we do? I called your customer service and was advised to speak with the store manager. I spoke with a manager named Sean Medina at the Arlington Texas location where I purchased this and he said since this was purchased over 30 days ago, he could do nothing. Wow, I thought you all had great customer service until now. There is no way I would have the items I have unless an employee removed the original items from the box and this manager acted like he did not believe me. I have the original box! All I wanted to do is an exchange or a gift card. I paid for these and all I have are the components….this really makes me angry and I will refuse to shop at your stores ever. I contacted RCA the manufacturer and they stated that this was done at the store level. I have spoken with 2 store managers, several customer service agents and people at their corporate office and they all state that without a receipt, they won’t do anything. Most companies will at least do a store credit or replace the item with a like/similar item, but not Best Buy! I have reported this to the BBB in Texas and MN. and the attorney general office in Texas and I’ve printed the form and will mail it to the attorney general office in MN. I will tell everyone I come in contact with about this experience with your company. There are several other electronic stores that I can spend my money with. I would like this to go to Mr. Brad Anderson-CEO and anyone else that can handle this problem. Wow, I am really disappointed in your company. The original packaging is still intact, but the boxes inside were switched out by someone within your company. How would I have these items other than at the date of purchase from your store???

William and Rosalyn Newman

Warranty only as good or bad as company says:

Best Buy warranty

My sister purchased a computer on 7/3/03 with a 3 year warrant. On 7/4/06 the computer overheated and suffered internal ignition – ONE DAY after the warranty expired. Obviously, the computer was suffering a defect prior to that day since one day earlier the keyboard was acting up. Emachines would only honor the warrant if Best Buy would honor it. Best Buy will not and therefore Emachines will not. This is the epidemy of bad business and inherent lacks of value in add on warranties. I would like the address of the Board if Directors so that I may inform the effect of proliferating these “bad faith” warranties and consumer opinion on the sale of merchandise that has a propensity to become combustible. I also intend to notify local complaint forums and the media alike.

jewel shindler says:

products and service

My son purchased a boom box from Best Buy a couple of years ago for Christmas. When I took it out to use it, nothing. I couldn’t find the receipt until it was week out of date. It had to be returned within the 30 day period. The people there verified it didn’t work but wouldn’t even give me a gift card. I spoke to the manager of that store In Duncanville and he seemed amused, but wouldn’t work with me. That store has since gone out of business but I have spoken with others who have been mislead by the sales people and refuse to shop there anymore.


E-Machine and Extended Service Contract

I purchased an E-Machine computer sold to me as new but was really reconditioned and 3 yr service contract from Best Buy in Conroe, TX 1 1/2 yrs ago. The monitor “died”; Best Buy sent a new one but not an E-machine monitor along with speakers, etc. with instructions for me to return the bad monitor, speakers etc. in the box they provided with the new equipment. The bad monitor didn’t fit necessitating my out-of-pocket expenses to return the bad monitor or else my credit card would be charged. I included the receipt for my out of pocket expenses requesting reimbursement.

The new speakers Best Buy sent weren’t compatible with my E-Machine and thus, didn’t work. After wasting much time sitting on hold and speaking to unknowledgable people and waiting over a month, new speakers were finally sent.

I was instructed to write a letter to Best Buy requesting my out of pocket expenses. One month later, no reimbursement.

Dealing with Best Buy over this service contract has become a career that I am now terminating. I will not purchase anything else from Best Buy nor will I encourage anyone else. Thanks.

Tim Moore says:

poor customer svc from Best Buy / Emachines

Bought an Emachines system from Best Buy in October, 2004.. didn’t pay ‘protection’ money to best buy to ensure their shoddy Emachine systems would operate a reasonable amount of time.. Needless to say, 8 mos. after I purchased the system, the monitor quit – Best Buy (KC, MO 152Hwy and Flintlock Rd) REFUSED to assist me in getting this monitor replaced or fixed. I will NEVER buy another item from BEST BUY AGAIN.

Jerry says:

worthless extended warranties

Have numerous items bought from Best Buy in Ohio with extended purchased warranties. 3 repairs on the washer within the past 12 months, one day off vacation to wait for serviceman to show and never did. Then when repaired lasted 15 minutes before it broke again. Had to wait over a week for them to come back. Same thing for the tv. Simple on-off button to be replaced. Had to make appointment for serviceman to tell me he had to order the part. 3-4 days later he came and installed the part, and the tv died within a half hour. Same runaround from Best Buy corporate. Doesn’t matter if it wasn’t fixed properly, I had to make another appointment, took another day off work, and lo and behold, the serviceman didn’t show up again and nothing but excuses from Best Buy. They have gotten so large they don’t care if you’re happy or not. Extended warranties shouldn’t mean you wait several days for service and you have a 50/50 chance of it being fixed correctly. Won’t shop here anymore.


I purchased $800.00 worth of car stereo equipment and when I got home and opened the $179.99 Honda cd player, in the box was a USED cassette player for a toyota. The best Buy management was not only rude, but would Not even consider replacing the itme for the correct one! I was totally ripped off for $179.00 and I went all the way up the chain and heard the same thing….”there is nothing we can do”.

Barbara Rodriguez says:

Exceptionally Lousy Customer Service

Their store hours are 10:00 am to 10:00 pm yet you call their store and the phone rings at least 200 times before anyone picks it up: lousy customer service.

I bought a Gateway laptop from them and so far it has had 3 broken/cracked hinges. So far it’s been in their service center a month yet they cant seem to tell me exactly when its going to be fixed. The service order says “12/28” but I guess that is just a paper.

I will NEVER purchase anything else from this lousy retailer. And I mean NEVER.

Briamah says:

I would expect Best Buy employees to feel they provide very good customer service. Maybe to each other they do. But I have found as a shopper that the sales help on the floor was much more professional and responsive than the customer service at Best Buy has ever been. What is strange is that it is usually the other way around. I had 3 extremely bad experiences with the customer service at the Best Buy in my area. I won’t go there any more. Maybe the prices are good and the location is convenient. But what it cost in stress and time if you need an issue resolved and are at the mercy of disinterested at best and just plain hostile at worst customer service actually makes shopping at Best Buy The Worst Buy.

Jorge Urie (user link) says:

Yet further examples of False Advertising Practice


Denver CO 80210
January 16, 2007

Best Buy Corporate

Dear Best Buy Corporate,

I have just been victim to just about the worst example of customer service that I have ever experienced and unfortunately I am forced to write about this very unprofessional and legally questionable experience.

Because of the low prices, I have decided to purchase a new large screen HD television for my living room. After shopping around for several days and speaking to many sales reps I decided on a 61” JVC HD-ILA Projection TV Model: HD61FN97. My sales rep, Cory, pointed out that one of the great benefits to purchasing this TV from Best Buy was that this model came with a “Free JVC Stand (RKCPRM7)” and that Best Buy was offering a $500.00 instant rebate as well. Just like Cory stated, the Best Buy ticket promises a “Free Stand” with purchase and shows the “As Advertised” price of the T.V. for $2649.99 and $2149.99 after instant rebate. I decided this was a great deal so I paid cash and had the television delivered to my house later that day.

The television was delivered on time and the delivery personnel were prompt and professional. After they sat the TV down on the floor the delivery person asked where we planned on setting the unit. I advised him that the purchase was to include a free stand but to no avail the driver didn’t have it on the truck. Not a problem, Best Buy is 2 miles up the road I can go get it.

I walk into Best Buy store #211 4011 E. Mexico Ave, Denver CO 80222 and go back to the Magnolia Home Theater section and spoke to the person behind the counter. This gentleman was very friendly and we explained to him our situation. He hit a few keys on his keyboard and then told us that they did not have any in stock and I would need to go to the warehouse (40 miles away) to pick it up. He proceeded to call a manager over to assist with setting up the transaction.

This is where for the most part my very positive experience turned quite ugly. The Assistant Manager by the name of Rinad Abdul came over and was updated as to the situation. She examined my receipt as well as the flyer posted on the TV for several minutes before telling me that unfortunately Best Buy would not honor the free stand offer. (Image links will be provided at the end of the letter).

I advised her that it was false advertising to make an offer on a posted flyer and then not honor it. She proceeded to explain that I received a $250.00 credit because I opted to receive the “Home Theater Setup” which was an additional charge of $200. It appears as though when a customer opts for this service, Best Buy applies an internal discount and the Television rings up for $1899.99 and then an additional $200.00 charge for Home Theater. Ms. Abdul explained because the television did not ring up for the advertised price that Best Buy would not honor the offer.

Unfortunately at this point our conversation got a little heated as I explained to her that it wasn’t my problem that the charge didn’t ring up in the system correctly. One of the reasons I purchased this television was because of the free stand that came with the purchase.

I told Ms. Abdul that this was unsatisfactory and that I would need to speak with her manager. She advised me that she was the manager and point blank Best Buy will not honor the offer. I again asked Ms. Abdul for her manager and she proceeded to tell me I could call the Corporate Customer Service telephone number. I told her again this would not be satisfactory and I wanted HER manager’s name and number. She advised that she IS the manager and if I wanted to speak with someone else I would need to call the 800 number. .

As I told Ms Abdul that, No, her manager would actually be the District Manager. But she again refused to provide to me any information. As I looked at Ms. Abdul’s name tag I noticed “Assistant Manager” as I pointed that out I asked her again for her Store Manager’s name and number at what point she refused to give that information. I find it quite unimaginable that an Assistant Manager would not provide the name of the Store Manager when asked by a customer who has just spent over $2000 on a purchase. But without fail she did not budge. Ms. Abdul again advised that her manager was the customer service telephone number that she had already provided.

By this point several other employees had gathered and some where in the exchange of words I pointed out that this could potentially lead to legal issues.

It was at this point that, until now, an unknown employee spoke up and told me if I was going to threaten legal action then he would be forced to ask me to leave. It was later determined that this was a Geek Squad employee who managed to find his way over to the Television department. I explained to him that I was not threatening legal action but that Best Buy was legally obligated to provide the stand as the posted advertisement did not contain ANY restrictions to receiving the stand.

The Geek Squad employee (Marc Barela) again spoke over me and told me I was becoming hostile with his associate and that he was going to have to ask me to leave if I was going to be hostile or threaten his associate.

From this point forward I never heard a word from the Manager Ms. Abdul. Mr. Barela from this point forward led the conversation and was rude, unprofessional and kept telling me that I could leave the store and call the 800 number if I wasn’t happy with my purchase. I’m not sure how Best Buy works, but in my company an employee of a division NEVER goes and interrupts a dispute between a manager and a customer of a separate division. That is horribly unprofessional and to be quite honest unacceptable.
To make matters worse, Mr. Barela continually referred to the manager as his associate.

By this point Mr. Barela was not allowing for any further discussion between the manager and I and it had become quite obvious that this situation was not going to be resolved in the store. I proceeded to gather all the documentation for my transaction as well as the names of the two employees who had been so rude and unwilling to assist. As I asked Mr. Barela for his name he replied with a very smug and pompous comment “Make sure you note that Barela only has 1 “L”. It was at this point that I left the store quite upset.

I am very upset with this transaction as I feel as though I have been a victim of a false advertising scheme that Best Buy operates. Had I not opted for the additional service that Best Buy provided then I would have received the TV stand without any issues; It is only because I purchased this additional service that Best Buy altered the price of the television. No where on my receipt or the posted advertisement for the television does it say this exclusion. Nor did our sales rep ever advise us of this or any exclusions with this offer.

Also, I feel as though the management staff was horribly unprofessional as the Assistant Manager was rude and refused to provide the name and or number of the Store or District Manager as well as offered no resolutions to my issues other than “No, We won’t honor it”.

I also feel JVC should become aware of this practice as this Best Buy scheme is having a poor showing for their company as well as possibly violating contract agreements.

Additionally, the unprofessional interruption by Geek Squad employee, Marc Barela, worsened the situation to the point of no return. I can’t understand why this manager allowed this employee from another division to interject into the conversation and then allow for this employee to completely disrespect and belittle a very well paying customer.

Furthermore, the failure and blatant refusal to honor this offer is probably legally questionable therefore I have no choice but to inform certain oversight officials such as the: Federal Trade Commission, Better Business Bureau and possibly others as to the existence of this practice.

I would expect to receive a very prompt response as well as a timely resolution to this issue. You may find images of both my receipt as well as the advertised flyer from the store from the following internet links.

Advertised Flyer:


Receipt for payment:

Jorge U.
Phone – (303)***-****
Email – *******@hotmail.com
cc: Federal Trade Commission
Better Business Bureau
Geek Squad
Tom Martino – Fox 31 News

Evan says:

got hosed at the store

I needed to buy a laptop computer capable of running Second Life. I went to BestBuy where I was pointed toward a Toshiba Satellite. The sales person, then moved me to a more expensive one, saying “this has a better video card.” I purchased the computer and took it home where I realized that the X3100 Media Accelerator was NOT really like a video card and would NOT support Second Life. I needed Second Life for a work project, and returned it six days later. I WAS CHARGED A $150.00 ‘RE-STOCKING’ PENALTY. How is it that I’m out $150.00 because of some bogus information I was provided at the store? Would writing a letter to Minnesota help?


jason wiles says:

This is insane

I love how everybody TALKS about customer service this crazy!!! Most of your posts are retarded you bought an item and it broke after 8 months and you want best buy to what? Exchange! hum that sounds like good business practice? If you dont buy the PSP then you service it under mfg warranty so get off your lazy ass and call emachines or whoever and get an RMA(return merchandise authorization) from the mfg and box it up and send it to them to repair. JESUS i would hate see if any of you people where on CRACK what the hell would your helpless asses do go back to the drug dealer tell him that rock he sold you last year that you dropped it or when you got home it wasn’t in the bag and that he should refund you use common sense what the hell are buying something for to just put it in a closet for a year hum once again maybe not a good personal financial standpoint. And by the way our psp’s are way better than anybody elses we actually service in the store what we sell when you buy an extended warranty at most places you still have to get a rma and mail the damn thing. how easy do you want it the mcdonalds and fast food joints in your area must really be hurting uh? ever wonder how much best buy loses in a year servicing you guys? try nearly 20 million uh if all we cared about was profit hell dont you think we would quit selling the damn things they surely arent profitible. BUT NOOOO! best buy just has it out for you.. some people dont even know how to work products hence the production of the geeks squad to perform in home service and trainings. here is a fun fact 47% of all wireless routers we sell are returned or exchanged of that 47% only 1% is truly defective but no!!! spending a little extra to get it installed is just blastmophy. All i am saying is why dont you try running your bussiness by letting someone return something they bought 10yrs ago without any type of psp or warranty and see how long you stay in business.

G says:

Outright Stole My Money

I bought an LG Washer and Dryer. They cashed my check and took my money out of my bank. A delivery time was setup based on my neighbor (plumber) promising to fix our second bathroom to accomodate the stackable set. I then had problems getting my neighbor to finish the job and of course they will not deliver the items unless the room is ready for it due to code violations. Time went by and I kept in contact with the delivery office so everything seemed OK. Now the deliver shows as Cancelled and neither the store or delivery office will own up to cancelling it. The corporate office says too much time went by and they can’t do anything about it since the items are not retreivable and they don’t have anything comparable. They just told me that they are keeping my money and tough luck that we took too long. They took our $1700 plus, we have nothing in return and they seem happy enough to go to court.

Mike says:

Stupid Best Buy employee

I bought a PS3 system in july of 07, got the 2 year warranty…but the employee never ranged it up on register…so today when i went to exhange my broken PS3 they wouldnt exchange it becuase the employee never rang up the warranty even though i had the recipt they staples to the pamphlet, and they tell me its sony’s problem and i have to talk to them..so im stuck with borken system

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...