Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Best Buy Failed

Back in May, a dear friend gifted me with a new computer and monitor.  The monitor was a Dell IN 1920 18.5" monitor from Best Buy.  This morning the monitor failed on me after a mere two, count them, two months of use.  The display just lost about 2 inches or so of space... just like the picture I took shows.   I took it back to Best Buy where I picked it up in May.  It was under the manufacturer's warranty.  The Geek Squad guy, Juan,  asked if I wanted it serviced or exchanged.  Since it failed so early in use, and following what I've learned from years of reading in various consumer magazines, I took the exchange and ran into a dirty nasty trick.

The geek squad guy told me I was eligible for a 85.99 store credit for the monitor and I could pick one out of equal value or pay the difference on a more expensive model.  They did NOT have the same model monitor in stock so could not do a one for one exchange.   As this monitor was a gift ordered on the net, I took the paperwork from Best Buy that had the order number and my name on it since I'd originally needed them to pick up the original monitor at the local store.  Since the monitor was given as a gift,  I did not have the receipt.  But I am pretty sure that using the order number from order confirmation I had, they could have looked up the original purchase cost and done an equal value exchange. 

Anyway the nasty trick is that I did not get an equal value exchange.  Best Buy's 'store credit' nasty trick was to use the lowest sale price of the item within the last 30 days.  That was, they claimed, 79.99, not the 85.99 the Geek Squad guy told me.  Frankly I don't know if my great good friend paid  $129.99 or $149.99 for the monitor which went kaput in such a short time.  Dell's web sites sells it for $129.99, so I will assume the lower price. 

So Best Buy profited in collecting an additional $20.00 from me (not including tax) for the replacement monitor I took home, as well as pocketing the remaining $30.00 from the original sale price -- assuming my friend paid the full $129.00 + tax.  So they made $50.00 through a deceptive practice that really stinks.

My thinking is this:

If someone makes a gift of a product purchased from a company that has both an internet and bricks and mortar store, then by golly the gift receipt and/or order confirmation number (along with photo id) should be perfectly sufficient to get an equal value exchange.  No reduced 'store credit', no restocking fee.  Equal value.  The product sold through Best Buy failed.  Their exchange practice was, however nominally legal, deceptive and wrong and they got an extra $50 in their coffers that pure bonus.  I did tell the clerk at the counter and his comment?  "I did the best I can for you!"  Bollocks.  Also, In writing this, I looked up the return policy and nowhere does it state that the store credit will be for the lowest sale price of the unit within the last 30 days.   I worked 9 years for T-Mobile and I know what really stellar customer care is, what an employee CAN do to make a customer happy and what world class customer care looks like.  Folks, I can tell you today, I didn't even get 3rd rate customer care!

I'm not going there again and I'm am letting everyone I know about this.  My friend is also writing to Best Buy.  I'm blogging this, sharing it on my Facebook page, tweeting it and letting you all know that Best Buy disappointed me greatly and I left knowing that I will never do business with them again.  If you don't want to be disappointed like I was just don't buy from them. If you don't want a friend you give a gift to to be short changed, don't give them anything from Best Buy because their exchange policy is is unfair and, in my opinion, dishonest.   So if you don't want to be disappointed or don't want a friend or loved one to be disappointed, take your business anywhere but Best Buy.

Update 7/15/2011:  correction - the monitor was a Dell IN1910 18.5 monitor which on their site was $139.00.  My friend is now involved with the dispute.  He found that he did indeed get the monitor on sale for $85.59.  So the math changes a bit.  The fact remains that I did NOT get the appropriate credit and that's still a cheat. 

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