No Exchange: Best Buy Manager Tries To Void XBOX Warranty

Best Buy has a 30-day return/exchange policy that includes the XBOX, but is that any reason to try to void someone’s warranty just to get them to go away? We think not. Reader Steve was waiting in line at Best Buy while another customer was trying to exchange his defective XBOX. Steve writes:

The clerk told the customer that Microsoft handles all warranties on the Xbox360 and that Microsoft would not allow BestBuy to exchange the device.

The customer asked again to exchange the product because he only had it for less than three months. The clerk asked the department manager over and he promptly removed the front bezel to view the anti-tamper sticker, and declared that they could do nothing for him because the Xbox360 anti-tamper sticker had been tampered with. The customer denied ever opening the case of his Xbox360.

I got quite interested and stepped to the side of the lady in front of me and looked at it from about 3 foot away (arms reach). The sticker was in place and had not been removed! The manager then picked at the sticker to my horror and I then quickly approached the counter and told customer, quite loudly, to not let the manager pick at the sticker.

Damn, Best Buy! If your store doesn’t handle XBOX returns after 30 days then just say that and stand your ground. Don’t tamper with a guy’s XBOX out of spite. Read the rest of Steve’s email inside.

Steve writes:

Dear Editors,

I was at the local Bestbuy here in Springfield, MO and was third in the line to exchange a product. I looked ahead and saw a gentleman with an Xbox360 with a faulty DVD drive trying to get an exchange. The clerk told the customer that Microsoft handles all warranties on the Xbox360 and that Microsoft would not allow BestBuy to exchange the device.

The customer asked again to exchange the product because he only had it for less than three months. The clerk asked the department manager over and he promptly removed the front bezel to view the anti-tamper sticker, and declared that they could do nothing for him because the Xbox360 anti-tamper sticker had been tampered with. The customer denied ever opening the case of his Xbox360.

I got quite interested and stepped to the side of the lady in front of me and looked at it from about 3 foot away (arms reach). The sticker was in place and had not been removed! The manager then picked at the sticker to my horror and I then quickly approached the counter and told customer, quite loudly, to not let the manager pick at the sticker.

I was prepared to throw a fit on the behalf of the timid customer right then and there and declare to all those that were around that the manager had voided the warranty himself, but the manager realized he was busted and quickly allowed the exchange.

Steve

That’s just mean. —MEGHANN MARCO

(Photo: mulad)

Comments

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  1. LittleWolf says:

    I’m Speechless . . damaging someone elses property while in a (relative, it is best buy after all)position of trust?!?!

    Holy Gross Misconduct Batman.

    The mind boggles at why/how someone like that is a manager.

  2. Yeah, incredibly mean-spirited.

    I can believe it, though. Best Buy’s retail culture is shockingly bankrupt of the sorts of values that place customers first. Leaders spend so much time living under the thumb of aggressive sales goals they can’t control that I’m not at all surprised they would lash out and screw with some innocent customer.

    Humans who are habitually not in control of their situations will grasp at any straw that throws them in a driver’s seat — even if only for a precious few minutes.

  3. acambras says:

    Yet another post that helps ensure that I’ll never shop at Best Buy.

  4. CripCrapple says:

    Bwahahahahah! Best Buy and all the rest can suckit. This is a very typical tactic and I have seen this before.

  5. NeoteriX says:

    I would have been sightly skeptical if the story came from the returning customer, but I’m shocked it came from a disinterested fellow customer. A manager picking off the void sticker… that’s really hardcore.

  6. e-gadgetjunkie says:

    But when alls said and done, why did this guy even think that Best Buy would take the thing back? Three months is longer than 30 days. This reminds me of a guy I saw in a closing CompUsa yesterday who was trying to return a Mac keyboard even though they stamp receipts with NO RETURNS, NO EXCHANGES.

  7. Asvetic says:

    My applause to Steve! He’s a modern day hero; swooping in to fight the evils of department managers everywhere. Here’s to his continued fight for customer rights everywhere.

  8. SpyMaster says:

    I won’t even get *into* my Best Buy horror story of what happened when I tried to return a two-day-old defective digital camera. Best Buy “won” the argument…they kept the restocking fee…and I left the store because my wife was dragging me out before the manager was going to call the cops on me…but I will never…never ever…buy anything from them again. I would guess they lost at least $1,000 worth of business from me in the last four years.

  9. aphexacid says:

    Someone on the editorial team should forward this to BB corporate. i hate that place with a passion.

  10. I’m sure the guy was able to become a manager because he’s one of the few people they interviewed who would have the stones to tear the tamper sticker off of someone’s product so not only did best buy not have to take the return but also ensure that Microsoft would not warranty the product because some poor soul had the audacity to shell out 400 dollars and expect their purchase to actually function as intended.

  11. r81984 says:

    You cannot blame the manager for this.
    His job or even his bonus relies on statistics that have no reflection or connection to the actual work he performs. He could be the best manager in the world, but if he allowed that return he could have lost his bonus or his job.

    This is Best Buys fault for having a poor system. That manager has no control over the sales in his store. He has no control over the amount of returns at his store.

    When employers base an employees career on metrics that the employee has no control over, no matter how good of a job they do, then employees have to lie and cheat to gain control of the metrics that control their job.

    Best Buy needs to hire some real leaders and HR specialists if they ever want to prevent crap like this from happening.

    If anyone from Best Buy is reading go to here to find out where to hire real Leaders: http://www.tech.purdue.edu/ols/aboutus/

  12. internetnerd says:

    “The mind boggles at why/how someone like that is a manager.”

    No it doesn’t, it’s a BestBuy. They’re one of the best examples of a big box store where nobody really knows what’s going on.

  13. zentec says:

    Okay, I just have to share the last, but absolute best Best Buy return experience.

    I purchased a Sony NTSC television from BB. It was a good deal, and I wasn’t ready to leap to HD (this was three years ago). I get the thing home and the box clearly states that I *must* cut the box along the bottom to remove the set. There is no way I’m lifting this thing out.

    So I follow the instructions and it’s DOA. Won’t power up at all and shows no signs of life. So I pack the whole thing back into the car and take it back. I stand in the returns line and they tell me that I can’t return it without the packaging. I tell them that it’s out in my car, and when we retrieve it, they tell me they can’t accept it because it’s damaged. I point out the instructions on getting the TV out of the box and finally ask for the manager.

    I explain the situation to the manager and tell him that the television is a rare Sony TV that’s dead on arrival. The high voltage power supply is dead; I should know, I fixed commercial video monitors for years. The manager, sarcastically says “well, how do you *know* that’s what the problem is?”. I ask him to come to the display model sitting on a metal shelf not thirty feet from the return desk.

    I say to him “stand in front of the TV”. He does. Then I say “turn the TV off”. He does. Then I tell him “rub your hand over the front of the picture tube.” He does, and after about five seconds, just as he was beginning to ask me what doing this has to do with my broken television, the collapsing field on the screen generated enough static electricity to give him the jolt of a lifetime.

    I then tell him “mine doesn’t do that”.

    The manager took the flat bed containing my dead TV and moments later wheeled it away, came back, picked one off the shelf and pulled it out to my car. He silent the entire time.

  14. Fetus_God_of_Love says:

    Best Buy offers a replacement plan. It would’ve cost him $59.99 for a two year plan on his XBOX 360. It covers hard drive failure, wear and tear, power surges and practically everything else except for doing physical damage to the unit. I bet the customer didn’t care to get it with his 360 purchase or he couldn’t afford it. 30 days is plenty, especially when he can flat out return it for his full money back. GameStop/EB Games don’t do returns on brand new systems. The Best Buy manager shouldn’t have tampered with the sticker though.

  15. hbluft says:

    Well, i have to say ive had worse luck at circuit city, where the employees and managers cant seem to be able to read their own circular ads. ive had some nasty business trying to get some of their sale prices and deals. Best buy in my area seems to be pretty legit in their business practice around me though.

  16. @r81984:

    While you may not be able to blame the manager for not wanting to exchange the product because of the 30 day period but you most certainly can put the manager at fault for using the anti-tamper sticker as an excuse and more so for picking at the sticker. Any manager for an electronics store should know why you don’t mess with that sticker.

    If the real reason was the 30 policy then he should have stood his ground on that principle instead of examining the xbox and picking at it. He would have garnered my respect for having principles.

  17. Death says:

    @r81984:

    “You cannot blame the manager for this.”

    Yes, you absolutely CAN blame the manager for this. If what you say is true, he is simply passing on his own misfortune of having that particular job to an innocent stranger. If Best Buy forces this type of behaviour you still have a choice between screwing customers or not working at Best Buy. That may be a tough choice for some but the ethics of the situation are crystal clear.

  18. Spare_Change says:

    Best Buy Manglement does not hire decision-making employees (18-25 yrs old only). Best Buy Corporate does not hire decision-making management (19-26 yrs old). Best Buy Executives (40+ yrs old) get paid (handsomly, bonuses, severance agreements, stock…) for taking money from the consumer, pressuring vendors for deals that are almost rape, harassing and descriminating against age, discouraging refunds/returns and encouraging rebates.

    Best Buy is your Worst Deal.

  19. r81984 says:

    @Mike from Boston:

    Most people work for their benefit not someone elses, especially if they work as a store manager at Best Buy. If that is the best job he can get, then I don’t blame him for trying to keep his job the only way he possible can. I’m sure that guy would work somewhere where he does not have to lie and cheat if he could make as much money.

    Best Buy’s upper management, HR, and CEO are the only ones that can be blamed for this because they created this unethical enviroment. Only the upper management can change the enviroment.

  20. joopiter says:

    The only behavior that Best Buy forced is for the manager to not accept a return after 30 days. While it’s a bit of jerky move, considering the XBox was defective, the policy was stated clearly and the manager had the right to stand his ground. For him to go above and beyond by actively preventing the customer from taking his defective but still under warranty merchandise back to Microsoft is a whole new level of douchebaggery. Best Buy may cultivate that kind of behavior from its employees, but last I checked human beings still had free will to not be complete asshats to other people.

  21. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    As this report is from an observer, maybe the facts aren’t 100%. Perhaps this return was, in fact, within 30 days. Otherwise, why would all ths have happened? The manager could have just said “Sorry, you have to go through Microsoft. Bye!”

  22. CaptainRoin says:

    @zentec: HAH! That’s great. Electricity FTW!

  23. Zytokis says:

    I work for Best Buy and everytime I see an article like this it makes me cringe. No wonder many people dislike our corporation. I do hope that the writer of this article has filed a formal complaint with our corporation.

  24. Techguy1138 says:

    r81984

    I some how doubt that that manager would have had any knocks on his record if he insisted that any warranty work take place on micrsofts end.

    He actually did more to endanger his job by being an ass. If that kind didn’t get a brand new xbox I’m sure there would be a flurry of corporate complaints. IF MS examines the console and determines that BB took back a tampered console the store will be out its $$ also. Stupid stupid stupid.

    On high faiure products stores like BB need to act like proxy repair centers. Set up a deal with MS so the defective xboxen can be sent back without BB having to hand off a new unit , right in the store.

  25. Cell9song says:

    OMG, what a piece of shit. kudos to the guy for stepping up (literally & figuratively)

  26. kmhebert says:

    Best buy sucks! I only shop there if I have a gift card. Once I bought Earthbound for SNES there and on the way out a security guard asked to see my bag. I flat out refused and he flashed a “badge” and said he would have me arrested. I finally relented but it left a sour taste in my mouth. But eventually I went back and bought a keyboard and mouse there. I used a debit card and the cashier asked to see my license. I showed it to her and she broke off a corner of it! I complained and she said, “you don’t have to be a bitch about it.” Last straw! I have gotten a couple of gift cards I have used there but they will never see a dime of my money, ever again.

  27. royal72 says:

    god job steve! can we please have a followup to this story with the managers picture and store information please :)

  28. FlapjacksAreTasty says:

    @r81984:

    There’s an expression for what you’re talking about, it’s called the “Nuremburg Defense”.

    Actually, it’s worse than that, because I’m sure BB corporate did not “order” the manager to tamper with the sticker. Funny, I didn’t read about a gun being held to his head.

    Do you have a problem holding people responsible for immoral or unethical behavior? Is everything society’s/corporate’s/THE MAN’S fault?

    Your arguments are so weak I don’t even know where to begin. I think you must be spending too much time with moral relativists and victim-mentality sociologists.

    Some people do bad things. And it’s their fault for doing them.

  29. whizdumb says:

    I have had so many issues with best buy customer service this incident does not surprise me. Bah best buy is awful!

  30. Veltis says:

    Maybe its because best buy is tired to refund a broken 360 every 30 minutes. ^^

  31. flipinomad says:

    thats like a gamer’s worst nightmare, from Best Buy too! I am very interested to interview you and the costumer who was about to get the Chuck Norris round house kick for out website at MyArcadePlanet.com

    please feel free to contact me on AIM at TehAzianDude

  32. afroabdul says:

    I used to work at Best Buy. This kind of crap is exactly what made me quit.

    I suggest going back to that Best Buy and ask an employee for the phone number of the regional manager. Make sure you get the name of the underhanded jerk that did this. Call the regional manager and report what happened.

  33. Slosh says:

    the bastard!

    Last week, I used the headset that came with my 360 for the first time, and the cable was damaged, the mic didn’t work. I took it in to best buy (since i bought the extended warranty) and the first rep I spoke to told me that i’d have to bring in the whole system, and have the ENTIRE thing replaced! The next day i brought in the whole thing, original box and all. The first person I spoke to told me that I could just get a new ehadset if I wanted. I was like no, give me a brand new system.

    And they did.

  34. r81984 says:

    @Warren DeMontague:

    You have the weak argument, mine is rock solid.

    They do not have to order the guy to take actions like this, all they have to do is tell him if you want to keep your job you have to keep returns low and sales high any way you can, both of which are out of the guys control. They know the only way the manager can accomplish this task is to be unethical, but the upper management still use those metrics.

    The corporate culture will not be changed by holding this manager accountable for doing the only thing he can do to keep his job.

    The upper management needs to be held accountable, its their fault for forcing someone to either to act this way or lose their job. This is not an isolated incident, this crap happens at BB all the time. Going after this guy does nothing but force the upper managers to fire him and hire a new pawn they can force and scare into doing more unethical actions just like this.

    This guy would not have refused the return or attempted to peel the sticker off to trick the customer if he was not pressured into lowering the # of returns by the upper management.

  35. Sgt. Bilbo says:

    If the xbox was outside of the 30 day return policy and the customer didn’t have the replacement plan, then the manager should have explained that to the customer. Tampering with that sticker was a HUGE mistake and the manager should have been called on it.

    I work for BB and had I seen a manager pull that crap, I would have been the first to report it to the ethics line. If I lose my job, so be it. My store has fairly high standards, and I’ve seen stores that don’t. Its painful to hear these stories, but if it improves the company, then by all means, get the word out!

  36. Irenicus says:

    Can you blame them? It is xbox 360 we are talking about… But yeah it aint good buisness, good buisness would be to remove the 30 return policy on only the 360 lol!

  37. beyondmp3 says:

    I don’t buy it. Seems like a good story of course, but most customer service managers work their way up from a cashier position, which they were put at because they did not have much of a background in any of the store other departments (PCs, home theater, etc). If anything, the manager probably was compulsive and found the need to pry up the pretty metallic sticker.

  38. tmweber says:

    @r81984

    If he had just told him it was outside the 30 days, the customer could have sent it away to MS through the warranty. Tampering with the sticker would have done nothing to lower the number of returns to Best Buy, only screwed over a customer who paid for Microsofts warranty when he bought the Xbox.

  39. kahnvex says:

    Thats my town! I’d like to know which manager it was, because our Best Buy has some seriously shady characters in it.

  40. Sudonum says:

    My step-sons math tutor is some kind of mid-level manager at the local BB. My older step-son was having some problems with his 360. He had bought it less than a year ago and purchased the one year extended warranty. Six months in he get the “Red Ring of Death” or whatever the hell it is. Takes it back to his local BB. They exchange it under the one year warranty. But that’s it. They tell him he’s had his one exchange and his warranty is no longer valid. But thats a whole other discussion.

    Anyway, after 32 days on his new unit he starts having trouble with it. Tells me it’s doing the same thing his old unit did before it died. I ask the tutor about it being past the 30 day exchange. She tells me not to worry about it and to tell him to take it back to his local BB (this was not the store she works at BTW). She goes on to tell me that since Microsoft has been having so much trouble with these things that they are taking just about anything back. He went in and with a little persuasion was able to get them to exchange it.

    Don’t know if it was a fluke, based on comments on this and other blogs about this machine, or what. We are not looking a gift horse in the mouth.

  41. SliceWarriorX says:

    They should sue or something… Gte M$ involved…

  42. arexsvn says:

    BB used to be so much better….it must be the death-knell of the whole brick and mortar thing that’s making them desperate (lets charge 200 bucks for a anti-virus install!). I had to return a monitor a few weeks ago (the day after I bought it) and had to go through 2 ‘geek squad’ morons who tried to convince me that the crappy display quality was ‘normal’. When I started referring to its horrible gradient performance and backlight issues they finally backed off, but what happened to being able to return something ‘no questions asked’?

  43. Konchu says:

    @r81984

    You are either a troll or a very foolish person. I have worked in environments before with individuals with that mindset who think the only way to meet unrealistic goals is to cheat or bend the rules. And they for a time did very well for their unscrupulous actions.

    But then it all crashes down on them one by one as complaints come in and they get caught in the act. Do you think when this manager gets caught doing this the CEO’s of the company are going to say good job soldier for all your valient efforts. No they are going to act outraged and take no blame and let them take the fall to preserve the companies image.

    Policy is law at a job, this manager could have stuck with policy said sorry I can’t help you this is outside our hands. What the manager did could be counted as vandalism which is not just a moral issue but a legal one, so are you saying its ok to break the law to keep your job even though your employer didn’t tell you to but using personal judgement( or the lack there of) decided this is a easy way to cheat the system.

    Most stores have a store policy with managers having the right to over ride them and approve returns outside of the norm. And it is in their best interest not to use this power too much but is given to protect the image of the store in special cases. I will never fault a manager for being a bit stict on the policy or not bending as I understand they represent the company and will address any issues I have with the company.

    It doesnt matter how much of a shining star you are in any job you do as there will be complaints on you. And the only way to protect yourself from such things is with a solid work ethic to back you up. Praises take a lot more work to get but those managers that can achieve this make people come back for more and I assure you more buisness for the store = more money for the manager.

  44. mantari says:

    “Why did you pull me over, officer?”

    You had a busted tail light.

    “What do you mean I have a busted tail light? It is just fine. I saw it before I got in the car.”

    [officer goes to back of car, hit tail light with billy club] As I said. Busted tail light. Your vehicle registration and ID, please.

  45. wesrubix says:

    Steve you are my hero. Way to stick up for the quiet custy.

    Best Buy, I… wow… I shouldn’t write those things here.

  46. Flyersguy172 says:

    I work at Circuit City and know that our corporate policies are extremely similar to that of Best Buy, as far as returns, exchanges, and warranties are concerned. This item was grossly out of the return period and the customer had reached a point wherein the company (Best Buy) could not assist them any further in the matter. They were directed to the proper venue for product support (microsoft).

    If you’re 5-10 days out of a return period most retail stores will give you the benefit of the doubt and take your return/exchange…but 3 months is just unrealistic. I don’t know if it’s just me, but this whole scenerio just seems suspicious. If someone is trying to return a console to a store 2 months out of the return period, their intentions are not honest ones. It is extremely easy to tamper with, and bypass the anti-tamper stickers on console systems. Perhaps the manager saw something wrong with the sticker that you could not see from your vantage point.

  47. quagmire0 says:

    Bah. I have no ‘sympathy’ for these managers at all. And buying the warranty won’t help either. I purchased a camcorder recently and discovered that it was making alot of noise while recording. I looked it up and found that some of these units have that issue. In most cases, people just took them back and the replacement unit was ok. Three days after buying it, I had the receipt and figured it was just a simple exchange. That simple exchange turned into 30 minutes of various employees and managers “listening” to the camera trying to discover the noise I was talking about – all amongst the car stereos blasting in the department one aisle over and all the other noise coming from various employees in the repair center. Not only that, but they wanted to charge me a restocking fee for the exchange. I finally beat them down enough for them to waive the fee only to discover they didn’t have any non-floor models in stock at any location near me. Needless to say, my family knows better now than to give me best buy gift cards (the only reason I shopped there for the camcorder was to use them up! :) )

  48. bubbavic says:

    I’ve long since stopped shopping at Best Buy. Honestly, I don’t know this place is in business. From the fake internal website to bait and switch customers to the myriad of horror stories revolving around this place, I wonder why no government agency or consumer rights group hasn’t stepped in. This story doesn’t surprise me at all. Not after I read the stories on this site: http://bestbuysux.org/ that is.

    P.s. I’m not affiliated with that site. I just hate Best Buy.

  49. rbf2000 says:

    Everybody is quick to assume that the manager’s intentions were nefarious.

    I used to work in customer service (at Circuit City) and we would have customers that would very carefully reattach stickers in an attempt to make the product look like it was never opened (especially on products that had restocking fees).

    I know I’ve broken the seal on several cameras that were never actually opened, but looked suspicious. It’s much easier to eat the 10% markdown that comes with making the product an open box than to eat the entire cost of the unit if it is actually a brick in the box.

    It’s possible that the manager was not actually trying to remove the label, but checking to see if it had in fact been tampered with.

    Having said that, there was really no reason that he should have concerned himself with the matter at all, he should have simply sent the customer on his way. There’s no reason to make up an excuse to not take a return or exchange when it is outside of the stated return policy.

  50. misterdna says:

    I guess it just depends on where you are and with whom you have to deal.

    I bought my Xbox 360 at Best Buy, which stopped playing discs after a couple weeks. I returned it, they tested it to see if it was true and then swapped me out with a new machine, even letting me keep my old HD in the process. No hassles at all.

    I then made sure to buy their in-store warranty – something I would normally never do, but we all know how reliable – or not – that system can be.

    Great to have that story out there, you can’t be too careful when deal with a retail giant like that.

  51. Jinxter69 says:

    I used to work at a Best Buy as a repair tech, and I worked the tech bench for 2 years. I was what Best Buy considered the first line of defense against returns. The way the Best Buy replacement plan works is different from the way the salesmen are taught to sell it. Is it a replacement plan? Yes, but only if the unit has been sent off for repair a total of three times prior. If and only if it has been sent off 3 times prior for repair and each time it was sent off, the determination was that the item broke down on its own, and not thru some fault of the owner, then and only then will a replacement be warrented. Also, here is another thing despicable about this plan. If your item needs to be replaced, it will be replaced with something close to the original specs as possible. In other words, if it is a computer, you will get a 2 year old or older replacement. Often times you get something that had lower specs because the managers will point out that the unit they are replacing is over x yrs old and that the replacement they will authorize is within the adjusted value of the unit it will replace.

    In a sense you are paying that $60 dollars to hedge a bet that your unit will break down, requiring a repair at least 4 times within the coverage of the replacement plan. Also, the replacement plans are concurrent to the item’s manufacturer’s warrenty. Which means, as long as it is covered by it’s own warrenty, then all repairs are first covered by that warrenty until it runs out.

    Most people are under the expectation that when they buy the replacement plan, then when their item breaks, then they get a replacement. Most people who buy these plans never read the pamphlets for themselves. Best Buy counts on this and make up to 80% profit for each plan they manage to sell.

    Moral of the story, don’t buy these plans. They are NOT worth it at all.

  52. rwfaught says:

    I live in Springfield, MO and have had enough horrible dealings with the local Best Buy that I will not purchase anything from the company, anywhere, including their online store.

    The final straw was when I called to inquire about a video card I was considering buying. The person who answered the phone transferred me to the computer department and I listened to the phone ringing (not on hold) for five minutes and hung up. I immediately called back and this time waited for over ten minutes before hanging up.

    Frustrated, I drove to the store to see if the card was in stock and when I arrived in the computer department I noticed several employees, one young man discussing something personal with an attractive young woman, another two chatting with each other, and one more standing near the main aisle twirling a laniard as she watched people walk by. Meanwhile, the phone was ringing.

  53. Justinh6 says:

    People aren’t like us.

    That’s the bottom line here folks.

    The average american buys electronics at best buy, and circuit city because they are in their neighborhood.

    They like walking around the store, and will pay any amount just to have a new TV or Computer.

    There are still a certain level of people who do not shop online, and do not know the deals to be had online.

    They think that best buy is the only option, and they buy there.

    Drive by a best buy. The parking lot is packed on a sunday.

    I look at their sunday circular, and their deals aren’t anyting spectacular.

    Even their black friday deals are kinda ho hum to me.

    The only place I would buy electronics that is not on the internet would be Costco.

  54. theDevilsDue says:

    @r81984

    I’d have to say you haven’t learned much from the Organizational Leadership and Supervision department at Purdue…

    Regarding warranties. I was reading through one of the leaflets the other day, and as other’s have said, after BestBuy replaces your defective product under the Product Replacement Plan, they consider the warranty replacement contract “fulfilled.” When one of the CSR’s was talking up the plan, he failed to mention that point. I think the same goes for extended warranties, but I can’t find any of the fine print on the BestBuy site.

    If a manager pulled that crap with me, I’d have written a complaint and cc’d it to the store manager, regional manager and corporate office. I would have also filed a complaint with the State AG’s office. I know retail can suck because you have to deal with some real dolts on a daily basis. However, that’s no excuse for this kind of behavior.

  55. deadinthescene says:

    As someone who frequents Best Buy I would like to say that I have not ever had a problem with them. They have always been very friendly and knowledgeable. I highly doubt that this manager represents the company as a whole. If this was in fact a true story someone should have contacted a higher source of management and told them of this “situation.” This manager should be delt with I agree but, the company as a whole deserves a little credit. So I would love to read a story on here for once that has an outcome! There seem to be a lot of accusations and not a lot of progress here.

  56. Nadams1229 says:

    wow, all these horror stories are the exact opposite of mine!. I first bought my xbox 360 last year, just under a year or so of the 360 getting launched. I had heard about the hardware failures, and bought a 2 year replacement plan. My first box died less than 2 weeks after getting it, the dvd drive simply stopped reading discs, every one of my games wouldn’t read on my console, but read on my friend’s. Took it in, but forgot to bring my discs. they brought a copy of table tennis to test it, ran fine. So i had to go home, pick up my discs, and prove they weren’t the problem. The guys i worked with all had their own 360’s and knew the problems associated with them, so gave me a new one when i brought my games in, demonstrated it not reading them. Then, just over a month ago, the hdd died when i tried to download a halo 3 video. Got 3 red lights of death when trying to turn it on, or it would work for up to 2 minutes before freezing.Took it in there, brought my games and documentation (didn’t even need the games this time), and got a new 360 within 30 minutes of arriving, including waiting in line, and the time it took for my support guy to go find one of the new 360’s they’d just been shipped. So the Best buy in Olathe, Kansas has grreat people, sorry.

  57. r81984 says:

    I never said the manager did nothing wrong. That manager is a terrible person. You can complain about that manager all you want, but this activity is BB company culture thats why it happens everywhere and not just this store. Unless the whole company’s culture changes you can keep going after store managers, but there will always be someone else to take their place and continue unethical behavior under the direction of the BB upper management.

  58. orlong says:

    You cant base an opinion of a retail giant with almost 900 stores across the world on a couple stories a month on the consumerist. Nobody and I mean nobody running a company with a half million employees can insure that none of them will be bad employees. It happens. Every company has bad employees. In this case something happened that shouldnt have if the original poster is correct in his story. Everyone knows you cant base an opinion without hearing both sides of the story. Like someone above said perhaps the sticker looked like it was removed and the manager was making sure it was in fact sealed by the factory. I too work in a retail store, one that specializes in higher end stuff than Best Buy does and you would be surprised at the crap people try to pull with returns. The most common being sticker tampering and returning their old broken item that they replaced with their new purchase. Often times not even the same item. Also people often try to return stuff that6 they broke. Screens are a big one. They try to use an a temperature difference excuse which if you work on LCDs you know they dont crack going from cold to hot. Retail stores are in business to sell you stuff, not to support it for 5 years after you buy it. If it breaks 6 months after you buy it why should the place you bought it from be responsible. They didnt make it, they only sold it to you. Call the manufacturer and deal with it through them. It is NOT the retailers responsibility to support your product, it is the manufacturer’s responsibility. Restocking fees are also a necessity. Retailers dont rent stuff to you, you buy it , keep it unless defective. The profit margin on electronics is so slim that restocking fees are necessary because a returned item needs to be marked down 10% to be resold. If tehy only made $60.00 on it and have to mark it down $75.00 to resell it how are they supposed to make money. So yes the retailer has to take responsibilty sometimes but so do YOU the consumer.

  59. MobileLF says:

    Same thing happend to me in Houston, TX. Only it was a “Counter-strike” CD I had never used. The manager tore open the tamper seal before my eyes and walked me to the door.

    Never trusted BB again.

  60. bloodr says:

    @Fetus_God_of_Love

    While Best Buy doesn’t have to exchange anything after 30 days suggesting BB’s replacement tells me you are probably a shill for the company.

    The BB plan is worthless, especially on a high failure rate item like an XBox 360. It can only be used only. You are better off going with Microsoft’s extended warranty which is cheaper (1 year 30 bucks, you have to call them and ask for it) and doesn’t expire after one use.

    Not to mention the folks that service their replacement plan seem to try to do everything possible not to pay out, at least thats been my experience.

    Bottom Line: Maybe the customer was out of the 30 day period but trying to void his warranty (which is now 1 year from MS) is criminal.

  61. Twitch says:

    why, oh why does anyone shop with these morons?

  62. Primate says:

    I work at a Best Buy, so I know that automatically makes me a sub-human to most people out there.
    Just to set some facts straight that I’ve seen misrepresented here I would like to say a few things.
    Best Buy sells two different plans. There is the product replacement plan which when the item breaks it is replaced and that fulfills BBY’s obligation. You need to buy a new plan if you want the replacement covered. This is what you would buy for consoles, controllers and things like that.
    Then there is the performance service plan. That is what most people refer to as the extended warranty and what the tech above was talking about when he said you have to have the item sent out for 3 qualified repairs and on the fourth the item would get replaced. You would buy this plan for items like computers, TV’s and that sort of thing.

    The person involved in this tale was not likely a manager but a supervisor. Manager’s are salaried, supervisors are still paid hourly. Not much of a difference but still. In any of the stores I’m aware of there is no Media (or game section) manager, just a supervisor.

    I find it hard to believe that the person in question was actually going to remove the tamper sticker as he would really have no reason to. I’m not saying it’s impossible, just highly unlikely. If the customer didn’t have a replacement plan the store was under no obligation to accept the return. If it was covered by a replacement plan I can maybe see someone trying to find a reason not to accept a return because returns are tracked but most people have no issue with accepting the return because it’s going to be covered by the plan and not hit the bottom line. On top of that there’s a high chance the customer would have purchased another replacement plan which also looks good on the numbers.
    For those of you that hate Best Buy so much but feel obligated to shop there when you receive a gift card there’s no need to actually purchase anything. Gift Cards at Best Buy can be exchanged for cash. Just make sure it’s a gift card and not store credit.

    To those of you that like to look down on the employees that work at your local BBY I’d like to tell you we appreciate you as much as you appreciate us. We always love dealing with people who think they’re better than us just because we work there. The people who like to say we should not work there and should find another job I would like to just ask if you would like to hire us all? Really, most of the people at those stores are there to earn a living just like most of you and do not have many other choices. Good jobs are not falling out of trees these days and it seems suprisingly hard to remove really poor performers out of the good jobs that exist.

  63. aj74666 says:

    It is beyond me to understand why anyone, especially readers of consumerist, would ever shop at best buy?

    Their prices are not the lowest and their return policy is draconian

  64. GoonieGooGooz says:

    In answer to TWITCH….

    The morons that shop at Best Buy are the same ones that try to return a broken item after 3 months of use……not having gotten an extended warranty….and argue about it and demand satisfaction.

    Especially when the BEST BUY return policy states 30 days on those HUGE Signs all over the store….
    Not to mention the 360 warranty in the box states to contact Microsoft for repair.

    Personally….I don’t blame the manager……I blame the failure of Darwinism due to modern technology in that IDIOTS are breeding in vast #s instead of dying off.

  65. JNighthawk says:

    @bloodr

    I, too, would push the BB replacement plan. I do not work for Best Buy, but in my experience, it has been well worth it. Over the course of about 4-5 years, I received “upgrades” when my laptop broke, twice. Each time it broke to the point of no return, they told me that they had no more of the same model and told me to pick out a new one that costs the same or below the old one (or above and pay the difference). It was fantastic.

    On the other hand, there’s no point in buying a replacement plan for something like a game or basic headphones. On a laptop, though, I think it’s well worth it.

    I’ve never really had any serious problems with Best Buy like the ones other people report having.

  66. Mariachi-D says:

    I work for Best Buy and regardless of the “sticker”, after 30 days it becomes the consumer’s responsibility to contact Microsoft to make good on their warranty. That’s why it’s a manufacturer’s warranty. Had the customer purchased the Product Replacement Plan that was offered to him at the point of sale he would have been able to exchange his 360 without incident. It always amazes me how many customers turn down the PRP when I offer it and when their system malfunctions they think it’s Best Buy’s responsibilty. Protect your investments people. It’s not a scam, these things really do crash. If you get in a car accident and don’t have insurance it’s not the responsibilty of the car manufacturer to replace your car. Peopl are idiots.

  67. tobiejonzarelli says:

    Best Buy is not consumer friendly! Having purchased an expensive television from them, on day 31 the TV died – obviously a defective set – and Best Buy refused to exchange the TV. I had my receipts and everything! It was one day past their warranty, they told me I should have purchased an extended warranty! When I stood outside the store to warn potential customers of their shoddy practices, they called the police. Massachusetts does not have a time limit on returning defective products, maybe I should have called the better business!
    Also, interesting to note there is a person in my area driving around with a large sign on his car that states, “BEST BUY IS NOT CONSUMER FRIENDLY.” Everytime I see him I wave and agree.

  68. benagain30 says:

    Here is my Worst Buy story:
    Was looking for a laptop, saw a good deal (2 year no interest). Purchased it along with the warranty. Laptop ran fine for about 8 months, then the power connector broke. Concensus via research is that the “official” replacement answer is a new motherboard; ie, new laptop.

    Took it in for service. Problem was “fixed”. About a month later began to have issues. After much time and research I determined that the issue was with the “new” motherboard; the RAM was bad.

    Then proceeded to fight the Idiot Squad on it. Agreement was reached that there was an issue but they were unwilling/unable to fix it. Claimed that it was their “3rd party repair center”, etc. After bringing it back about 8 times it finally degraded into a shouting match where I was told I am an idiot (hey, I work in IT designing/building the things; you work at Best Buy, whose the idiot?)

    This all ended when I wrote up the story and submitted to both the Better Business Bureau and the Washington State Attorney General. Within 2 weeks I had a gift card for the full amount. Interesting that the Attorney General admitted that they have LOTS of problems with Best Buy.

    Now I have a MacBook which I am VERY happy with (not from them) and I refuse to patronize the Tacoma, Washington store or the chain in general. Sad to hear they picked up Magnolia High Fi; I used to really like them.

    I guess it’s called WWW research + Credit Card + UPS = end of problem.

    Ben

  69. Buran says:

    @r81984: So it’s OK for people to cheat others just because of some faceless suit? Um, no. Never OK.

  70. capitalass says:

    @r81984:

    You have the weak argument; it is soft like a moral relativists ass.

    Sorry I had to.

    Anyways, while you did not explicitly state that the “manager did nothing wrong”, you clearly said, “You cannot blame the manager for this.”

    I think you are retracting.

    Besides, it seems that people are trying to argue that this manager can be blamed for going way above and beyond the deceit even necessary to fulfill his duties as a Best Buy manager–despite what the culture may foster.

  71. potent1al says:

    This video pretty much sums up Best Buy. Anytime someone talks about Best Buy, I always post this Video.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pFrnkRk28Y&mode=related&se

  72. Nickoli says:

    The law in the UK gives much more protection to the customer: buying something is viewed as a contract, and if the product does not perform as advertised or as intended (including lasting a reasonable amount of time), the retailer has broken that contract. It’s then up to them to go back to their supplier.