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by Mike Masnick

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.

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  1. identicon
    Jorge Urie, 17 Jan 2007 @ 8:23am

    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

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