Best Buy's Exchange Policy: How to evaporate customer goodwill

I've heard a few complaints over the years about Best Buy's onerous restocking fee for product returns, but at least there's a bit of logic to the company trying to recoup the overhead of putting inventory back in stock. This evening, however, we experienced a new, illogical, and highly annoying aspect to their policy.

I bought Debbie an iPod nano at Best Buy for Valentine's Day (I know; I'm an incurable romantic) and it took us a while to figure out that it was defective. It wouldn't hold a charge, and finally stopped displaying anything at all when it was connected to a computer. Fortunately, I kept the receipt and we were still within the 30 day time period for returns/exchanges. So we took it back to the store where we bought it and asked for an exchange.

The exchange itself was fairly painless (although they were out of the graphite model I had originally purchased and she had to settle for a more plebeian chrome trim), but when it came time to finalize the exchange, the customer service rep asked me if I had received a gift card with the original purchase.

I had, indeed, received a $10 Best Buy gift card, as a result of a promotion the company was running. But, apparently, the promotion had ended, and Best Buy wanted its $10 back as a part of the exchange. That's right; we had to give them $10 in order to complete the exchange. We were too flabbergasted to even protest.

Let's recap: because we returned a defective product, through no fault of our own, we had to pay back the face value of a gift card that Best Buy had voluntarily given as a part of the original purchase. I'm at a complete loss to understand the logic or justification for this requirement.

It's funny how one slip up like this can undo years of goodwill with a customer. We won't stop doing business with Best Buy, but we will be more skeptical in future transaction.

5 Comments

what... how... ridicu... flummoxed!

This would be defensible, but poor business, for a return. But for an exchange, it makes no sense. Bad form by Best Buy.

Let me attempt to try to understand this, for I'm a feeble minded simple soul.

1)You bought an item that you understood would be free of flaws ( implied and understood warranties of general sales standards)

2) A rebate was offered,(a verbally and written contract) , which was agreed to by purchaser and merchant.

3) They sold you a defective item. You returned with the trasaction receipt and under the 30 days grace period....and now they want to break that contract unilateraly by revoking the rebate?

I'm no lawyer. I'm just a simple country pharmacist pushing pills, but this sounds like a breach of contract by the merchant. What if the product you purchased had been sold for 20 bucks off the regular listed price on sale.....would that mean you would have to fork over the 20 bucks in the same way they are expecting to give back the rebate? As far as I know,the retailer has been re-imbursed the ten samollas for the 1st transaction by the manufacture.

It is one of the cases if I had enough money to burn, would be interesting to follow through with legal means. It isn't the money. It's the principle.

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This page contains a single entry by Eric published on March 4, 2011 9:02 PM.

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