Best Buy Employee Confesses To Scams Similar To Ones Outlined In Racketeering Lawsuit

We thought the scam mentioned in the racketeering lawsuit sounded familiar—it was. A Best Buy employee emailed us on April 4, 2007 to confess to the type of behavior mentioned in the lawsuit. He claims that techniques for tricking customer into signing up for subscriptions (such as MSN) were taught to him by a manager and encouraged by Best Buy. M. writes:

I’m almost ashamed to admit this, but it did happen for the longest time. Ever get signed for something at Best Buy, but you swear that you never signed up for anything. Here is the trick that is used, and that I was taught from a Best Buy manager. When a customer would refuse either AOL, MSN, NetZero, magazine offers, or whatever other D-SUB we had, we’d sign you up anyway.

Read M.’s confession inside.

Being as I worked at Best Buy for over 3 years, and worked my way up for your normal part time employee to a manager, I thought I’d provide your readers with a little insight to protect themselves in the future.

To understand why Best Buy scams people into digital subscriptions, here is a little breakdown. Each retail store has thousands of numbers that they are measured by. The majority of them mean nothing, in terms of “which store is the best in the company” ranking. The big two are revenue and margin numbers. Each store has a daily budget assigned by corporate Best Buy. You might be asking, “What the hell does this have to do with being bugged to sign up for something every time I buy something at Best Buy.” Ok, I’ll tell you.

Best Buy makes a killing if you sign up for a digital subscription (or in Best Buy lingo, they are called D-SUBS) because these these are all margin. Managers obviously knew this and expected us (as employees, or as a manager, the general manager excepted) to exploit the hell out of customers to get these attached to the sale. When you buy something at Best Buy, lets say a computer, all the accessories that you’re talked into are called a basket. On a laptop, employees are expected to attach $300 worth of accessories on top of the laptop to hit the basket goal, and $150 on a desktop. This can be very challenging to do, especially with a customer who refuses to get anything additional, but when you are trained and expected to lie to customers, it becomes a little easier.

It was really easy when a customer would buy that cheap eMachine that was in the ad for the week. eMachine computers always had the “Included Inside: AOL Dialup Service” stickers on the side of the boxes. So, when you came in to buy the cheap eMachine that we were losing money even selling you, we’d lie and say we have to sign you up for AOL’s dialup service because it comes with the computer, and then point to the sticker on the box. So we’d go through the motions of scanning the welcome CD, selecting your address, convincing you to swipe through a credit card, and signing your name. Of course, if you didn’t go through the huge hassle of calling up AOL and canceling, you’d be charged. But who cares, we just made over $60 on your regardless if you went home that day and canceled. Margin went up, and the basket went up.

I’m almost ashamed to admit this, but it did happen for the longest time. Ever get signed for something at Best Buy, but you swear that you never signed up for anything. Here is the trick that is used, and that I was taught from a Best Buy manager. When a customer would refuse either AOL, MSN, NetZero, magazine offers, or whatever other D-SUB we had, we’d sign you up anyway. You know those Best Buy gift cards that are all over the store? Well those are just American Express cards, with a Best Buy face. So, we’d go through the motions of selecting your address but when it asked for your credit card, we’d swipe through a gift card. Since it was an American Express card in reality, the system took it and you were signed up. The customer had to deal with the late fees because they couldn’t charge the credit card the provided. Not our problem.

Along with the goal based on if it was a laptop or desktop, we had a 3 D-SUB goal. We had in-store contests, and Best Buy even had company wide contests where the store who brought in the most revenue for selling digital subscriptions would get free prizes (leather coat, luggage, Coach purses, golf clubs, etc). One of the saddest points was when scammed a family and said AOL came with the Linksys wireless router they purchased. Signed them up for AOL when they already had broadband at home.

Every single department in Best Buy has some sort of digital subscription, so be careful. The computer department has the most, and that is where most people are scammed. Good luck at Best Buy.

Yikes. —MEGHANN MARCO

(Photo:USB)
PREVIOUSLY: Best Buy, Microsoft Accused Of Racketeering

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. not_seth_brundle says:

    I sense a subpoena on its way…

  2. Sharkkmann says:

    I worked at CompUSA and this true there too. I never did good in computer sales because I hated, hated selling things people didn’t need. Which is why I didn’t last in sales…. I feel quiltier than shit selling re[air plans now that the store went belly up….

  3. mantari says:

    Wow. Say, Meghann, if I have a startling confession to send you, you’re willing to go to jail in order to not disclose my identity. Right?

  4. RandomHookup says:

    That confession was administered under the influence of a mighty powerful stimulant. Take a breath next time.

  5. BillyShears says:

    What’s sick is that if this ever goes to trial, Best Buy will beg and plead to end the case with that ever-so-famous coda, “…admit no wrong-doing.”

  6. niccernicus says:

    I just threw up a little inside reading that.

  7. Buran says:

    I don’t give a damn about your “numbers”. You are an IDENTITY THIEF and you are guilty of FRAUD.

    You are nothing better than a scum sucking bottom feeder.

    Oh wait, that’s not fair.

    To the bottom feeders.

  8. scoobydoo says:

    If and when this every goes to trial, BB will pull the old “it was not policy” stunt. They’ll claim anyone doing this was not instructed to do so, and was acting on their own. They’ll be very sorry for it, will pay a small fine and move on with their lives.

  9. BruinEric says:

    That adds extra data to my wife’s surprise subscription to Sports Illustrated last year. She had NO idea why the mag was showing up in her name. Si was helpful in processing the cancellation immediately (via EMAIL!) and without charging us. But still…

    I wanted to buy a cell phone charger the other day and passed on the Best Buy to pick one up at Target. Sorry, scumbags!

  10. alicetheowl says:

    That sounds remarkably similar to the tactics pushed when I worked at Suncoast. We weren’t encouraged to lie or sign someone up if they didn’t want to be, but we were definitely downplaying the fact that you’d be charged for the EWs that showed up after the free trial period was up, and had to push this onto everyone using a credit card. Our “profit” was tracked closely, with the items per transaction counting for something, the add-ons like batteries and disc cleaners and furniture counting in another column, the loyalty cards and movie reservations in another, and the magazine signups in a fourth. All of these contributed to an overall weekly rating, and the ones with the best ratings at the end of the month got Employee of the Month.

    Between the above being shoved down their throats, the higher prices and the depressing decor, I’m sometimes surprised to see there are any Suncoasts left at all.

  11. xamarshahx says:

    is bestbuysuxs.com still around? that site had a lot of this crap on there.

  12. BillyShears says:

    @scoobydoo: They’d have a hard time explaining how something that “wasn’t policy” magically programmed their checkout system to automatically forward specific information to Microsoft.

  13. mantari says:

    I have to admit, I was shocked some time back to go to Best Buy and purchase something, only to have them try to peddle ‘free’ magazine subscriptions at the register. “Have they really sunk this low?”, I asked myself.

    Best Buy is falling into the trap that so many publicly owned corporations are falling into right now. In order to please their investors, they’re directly or indirectly squeezing the customers. (Example: this very topic, even without diving into the whole fake subscription thing. But certainly an unofficial corporate culture that supports mining the customers for profit is part of the problem.) So they’re going for a short term win.

    In the long term, even with the above-board action like magazine pushing at registers, they’re alienating customers and causing slow, small, and gradual damage to their brand.

    This wave of ‘pleasing the shareholder’ is going to be replaced with a new way of doing business. “Meet the needs of your customers, even please them, but don’t harass them, and the profits will follow.” Sounds outrageous, doesn’t it?

    It is until you find a company that you actually _like_ and want to do business with. I have a few of those on my list.

  14. G-Dog says:

    When I worked at Gamestop in Grand Rapids Michigan, we were encouraged to add reservations and subscriptions to the bills of non-English speaking customers.

  15. alicetheowl says:

    @mantari: I really hope you’re right. I work someplace now (locally-owned) that focuses on helping the customer and answering their questions, rather than pushing them to be more profitable. Employees are ENCOURAGED to stay and chat with a customer, rather than just try to sell them stuff they didn’t come in for.

    Sadly, we’re getting an REI in Asheville, so we’ll see how well this company weathers that kind of competition.

  16. scoobydoo says:

    Oh, and why is there a notebook running Ubuntu in a Bestbuy store? I’ve never seen them sell those before :)

  17. dbeahn says:

    This is why I delight SO much in watching for a manager (no point in doing it to some poor employee) in the middle of a sale and trying to upsell some poor customer that doesn’t know any better on a bunch of crap they don’t need, I freely offer my expertise in the field.

    Usually I can get the customer out of best buy without any additional purchases and I’ll give them a list of websites (AVG, ad-aware, etc etc) and the contact number of a friend of mine at (local cable company) that will sign them up for the 19.95 cable modem for a year plan with no hassle.

    The member of management is never happy with me, but I’m always pleased with myself ;)

  18. Moosehawk says:

    “It was really easy when a customer would buy that cheap eMachine that was in the ad for the week. eMachine computers always had the “Included Inside: AOL Dialup Service” stickers on the side of the boxes.”

    Couldn’t this be considered bait-and-switch or incorrect advertising?

  19. mopar_man says:
  20. Canadian Impostor says:

    I started buying everything on Amazon so that I don’t get hassled for stupid subscription shit at the register.

  21. Indecision says:

    @BillyShears: Nobody magically programmed anything. In order for any info to be sent to any third party (MSN, AOL, Sports Illustrated, whatever), the customer is first:

    * Prompted to swipe their credit card, while being presented with a screen explaining why they are doing so, and
    * Asked to sign the electronic pad, which again displays the reason you are signing.

    I worked for Best Buy for four years, and that was always the case with these subscriptions. I’m not saying that nothing shady ever went on, but the fact is, it’s not policy to do so, and yes, I’ve seen people fired for doing it.

    The fact is, the customer is presented with all the necessary information, and there’s almost nothing the employee can do to hide it.

    I’m not saying Best Buy is blameless, but seriously, folks need to learn to read what they’re signing before they sign it.

  22. hop says:

    BEST BUY SUCKETH…………………….

  23. One of the main reasons I quit working at Best Buy was the pressure put on floor associates to push just about everything, so that Best Buy could get a better margin. I refused to sneak a subscription with a computer purchase. I could tell I was on my way to be “let go” for that, however I quit before giving them the chance.

  24. Buran says:

    @Indecision: So I guess all the people who specifically stated they never signed up for any such thing are liars?

    Sorry. I’m much more inclined to believe real people rather than a corporate “person” who has financial as well as “saving-face” interest in lying.

  25. satumma says:

    I can’t help but feel, reading through the comments, that people are very disconnected with the economic system that we have here in the States. A show of hands of the people that own stock in large corporations? Good. Now understand that the stockholders are very demanding that they get a good return on those stocks. If a company fails, people lose money and they bitch and moan about the economy, and no doubt, insist that something “needs to be done”. Executives are fired, action plans are drawn up and the pressure from upper management starts to build on the people underneath them. All because stockholders needs must be met. The beast needs to be fed, and margins need to grow.

    Now, where do you think that money comes from? It comes from you and me. Sure, most companies are legit in their business practices. But most are not willing to let chance decide their fate, especially if there are every increasing demands placed upon them. Retail managers want to keep their jobs. Upper management makes it clear – perform or get canned. The pressure to keep your job is huge – house payments, car payments, debt etc.. all need to get paid. All this pressure is coming from the very top, the stockholders who will jump ship the minute they start to see the price drop. The temptation by people to act in unscrupulous ways to survive is understandable to me. I understand that if I want things to be different then I can’t just complain about the latest company to fall prey to this. Its systemic. We can’t have it both ways – companies that only sell us bargains, return anything we wish at any time, and never pressure us to buy anything, AND great performing stocks. Its all about making money and you can’t do that by giving product away!

  26. rodeobob says:

    I worked for Best Buy for four years, and that was always the case with these subscriptions. I’m not saying that nothing shady ever went on, but the fact is, it’s not policy to do so, and yes, I’ve seen people fired for doing it.

    This is a standard defense in most corporate wrong-doing cases. “…it’s not policy to do so…”

    Of course it’s not “policy” in the written-on-an-official-document sense of the word. If there was a memo saying “sign folks up whether they want to or not”, cases like this would be easy. But there never is.

    Instead, we have several inter-related items:
    *Employees and store managers are all told about the importance of keeping a high margin.
    *Employees and store managers are judged on the accessories sold with laptops, and encouraged to bundle as much high-margin product with the laptop as they can.
    *Employees and managers are told about the high margin subscriptions, which are positioned as the ideal bundled item.
    *Company systems are created for an ‘opt-out’ approach, where all customer information is recorded (and retrievable!), and the default assumption is a purchase unless the customer rejects it.
    *Somehow, someone discovers that unactivated Best Buy Gift cards will work as a payment for these ‘D-SUBS’ in place of the customer, allowing the employee and store to get credit for the margin, but not charging the customer directly.

    The claim of ‘there’s no policy’ isn’t a good defense if there are plenty of other policies that direct, encourage, and allow bad behavior to occur.

    It’s a bit like saying “Yes, officer, I proppped the back door open, piled all the cash on a nearby table, called one of my employees back here and told him about our huge insurance policy in case of burglary or theft, then turned my back on the table and the door, and stuck my fingers in my ears and hummed loudly. But I never intended for that money to be stolen! My company has a strong policy against theft! And no, I don’t see why you need that employee’s address and phone number. All I want to do is report this loss to my insurance company!”

    It’s akin to the Taco Bell overtime lawsuit a few years back. Taco Bell paid managers bonuses for using less overtime, and it just so happened that the managers recieving the bonuses were also the ones filling out the timesheets showing how much overtime was used. There was no “policy” by the company to short employees out of overtime pay. It simply provided the means for franchise owners to so do, and then rewarded those that did, and did not attempt to investigate or punish wrongdoing. Which, for all practical standards, is the same as having an ‘unwritten policy’.

  27. mac-phisto says:

    see, the problem is that in corporate america, the punishments for crimes committed do not exceed the profits gained from such a measure. no one goes to jail. the company does not lose its reselling license. the case is settled & everyone pretends it never happened.

    start holding executives criminally accountable – that’s what sarbanes-oxley was created for. start imposing penalties that are calculated in relationship to money earned from illegal ventures (i like the number 150% of revenue). do this a few times & companies will learn.

  28. FunPaul says:

    I always suspected that they signed me up for their scam credit protection plan when I bought a TV from them a number of years ago. I wonder if someone was trying to make his numbers… Bastards.

  29. Flynn says:

    @mantari: Anyone else waiting for the day when someone goes postal at a checkout register?

    (This script is only slightly modified from my actual interactions at many Best Buys. I — thankfully — don’t bring guns to Best Buy.)

    Cashier: “Thank you for shopping at Best Buy, did you find everything you needed?”
    Customer: “Yes”
    Cashier: “Will you be paying with your Best Buy Credit Card today?”
    Customer: “No”
    Cashier: “Do you have a Best Buy Rewards Zone Card?”
    Customer: “No”
    Cashier: “Well, we’re having a special this week, and we’re waiving the sign up fee…you get all kinds of bonuses just for shopping at Best Buy.”
    Customer: “No, thank you.”
    Cashier: “Ok. With this battery charger, you have the option of a 3 year or 5 year warranty plan. Which would you like?”
    Customer: (Growling) “Neither”
    Cashier: “You also get 8 free issues of Entertainment Weekly with this purchase. May I have your address?”
    Customer: (Getting more agitated) “No, I’m not interested. Would you just ring me up please?”
    Cashier: “Sure, may I have your phone number?”
    Customer: “No, no NO! I came here to just buy something? This is ridiculous!!!”
    [Customer pulls out shotgun and starts mowing down anyone with a blue shirt]

  30. Seacub says:

    Wasn’t Ben in touch with some high falootin’ yahoo at Best Buy who said he personally wanted to fix every problem thrown his way? That might have been the day I was smoking all that crack, so forgive me if I have the wrong company. But it would be interesting to get that guy’s opinion of these recent Best Buy posts.

  31. Xkeeper says:

    @dbeahn:

    This makes me want to make a set of CDs with free, useful software (AVG, Spybot, etc) and an info sheet and start handing it out in front of Best Buy to ward off these morons.

    Hell, they offered me a two year replacement plan on a $25 alarm clock.

  32. alicetheowl says:

    By the time a customer gets to the register, he’s already mentally out the door. It was sheer idiocy on the part of whoever came up with the policy that this stuff gets pushed at the register.

    Of course, the alternative is to be attacked with it while you’re shopping.

    Personally, I’d be pretty happy to shop at a place interested in selling me the stuff I wanted to buy, nothing more, nothing less. A smile and eye contact from someone with a name badge would be nifty, too, but I don’t consider it a requirement.

  33. vr4z06gt says:

    yea….postal at best buy….yea….

  34. Another reason I buy techie stuff at Office Depot. Anyone had probs there?

  35. Primate says:

    Of course no one is going to want to hear this since I’m an employee and clearly a liar and a thief but neither of the two stores I have worked at in the last two years have tried to do that. I have not even heard of this gift card is an Amex thing.
    I am not at all saying it isn’t happening, I am just saying it definately is not a company wide thing.
    We are definately asked to sign people up for the credit cards, reward zone, the magazines, fios, and comcast but I have never been told or heard of just adding it to the sale without telling the customer.
    However, there was a period last year where GS in home network setup with the purchase of a computer and a router ended up working out to making the service free and some people were just adding it without telling the customer. I never did it because in my opinion it was fraud and I will never risk it but I know some people in the store I worked in had done it before corporate came down saying it was wrong.

  36. Indecision says:

    @Buran: “So I guess all the people who specifically stated they never signed up for any such thing are liars?”

    The customers — yes, even the ones stating they never signed up for such a thing — were all presented with a screen on the electronic signature pad that plainly explains what they’re signing for. There is no way for the cashier to override this.

    It’s entirely possible they did not knowingly sign up for the deal. They could have been lied to about the purpose of the signature, and then not bothered to read for themselves. But that screen popped up for all of them, on a display that was facing them.

    Once again, I’m not saying Best Buy is not without fault. I’m just pointing out that the accusers aren’t presenting the whole picture either.

  37. jurgis says:

    Ah Best Buy, the land of scams and poor selection.

    I’m more disturbed that the “extended warranty” game has spread to so many other places.

    Case in point: why does Guitar Center try to sell me extended warranties? I mean people have been buying amps for ages and they haven’t even changed. Right and that Big Muff pedal is going to go out on me… the one that hasn’t changed in 30 years… you can still get originals on ebay that work fine.

  38. jermscentral says:

    As a former employee at Best Buy (’02-03), I can vouch for what’s written here.

    I always found it amusing that we were supposed to mention that we were “not on commission”, because at the time, Circuit City still was. CC later reversed that trend and went non-comm as well, leveling the playing field a bit. In return, we were told to push all these things on our customers, which were MSN and AOL subscriptions back then. We never got any perks for selling these except for the fact that we wouldn’t get yelled at or written up. Speaking of which– I don’t know if it is still done the same way, but department supervisors used to walk around with a clipboard on days when it was time to evaluate the effectiveness of a “Product Specialist”. The PS is graded on a scale from 1-5, representing whether or not the employee needed to improve in an area. If he needs improvement (which usually means he did not upsell an item, offer two ink cartridges with a new printer, push the AOL sub, etc.), the sup will bring the employee aside after the sale and make him go through a mock item sale. Humiliating.

    Back to the subscriptions. We had departmental meetings where the supervisors and seniors would discuss our metrics, which always included attaching subscriptions, and we were encouraged to find whatever method possible to overcome objections and attach it.

    One guy in the department did the following:
    1. Buyer brings an eMachines POS to the register.
    2. Salesman rings up the purchase and scans the AOL or MSN CD.
    3. Salesman prematurely asks for user’s credit card to be swiped, claiming it is for “age verification”.
    4. User typically swipes card, unknowingly signing up for service.

    An alternative in step 3 is that the salesman swipes the card early for the subscription, then again at the end of the sale, claiming the transaction “did not go through the first time”.

    I got out of there after 7 months and a few choice employee purchases :). Folks, if you’re going to buy accessories, like cables of any kind, go to eBay or an online retailer that doesn’t price the item out of the stratosphere.

    Employee discount equals roughly the following:
    Home audio – 50%
    Car audio – 50%
    Computers – 10%
    TVs – 10%
    Accessories – 80%+

    We could buy Monster Cable at 60% off the retail price, $40 audio cables for $6, USB cables for $2.50, and the list goes on. I got my $1000 home theater setup for a mere $500. If “Little Boy Blue” in TVs says you need the $200 Monster Cable power surge protector, leave the store. You don’t need that much, and if you do, buy it online. You’ll get a heck of a lot better deal.

  39. vintagemxr says:

    I grew up in car dealerships in the 50’s and 60’s. the worst of the places I saw (or heard about from my dad) would be so proud of the sales force at Best Buy. The shady, rip-off practices of the car industry seem to have infected all of American business these days.

  40. drezdn says:

    @jurgis, while I personally would never buy an extended warranty, they work great for cymbals.

  41. Brie says:

    @Indecision: So this screen should look like:

    DVDR – 10 pcs $5.95
    Newsweek – 2 issues FREE $0.00

    Total $5.95

    plus tax etc etc… sign here?

    I’m asking because I’ve never seen it itemized this way as I think you’re saying. But I always refuse D-SUBs. I no longer shop at Best Buy but Ulta, the makeup store, does the “Would you like two free issues of In Style magazine?” thing too.

  42. Seth_Went_to_the_Bank says:

    “I’m not saying Best Buy is blameless, but seriously, folks need to learn to read what they’re signing before they sign it.”

    Well, Indecision, your interpretation would not pass legal muster. Under the FTC Act, such practices are considered “misleading and deceptive.”

    They’re illegal. It doesn’t matter, as you point out, that the salesperson may be informing the customer of one thing and the screen may be saying another. It’s not the consumer’s burden to decode misleading and deceptive sales practices.

    They are, by definition, misleading the customer. That’s why, unfortunately, it works.

    If, say, salespeople are telling people they must sign up for AOL to get their Wii – and that’s not true – then it doesn’t matter what it says on the screen. It could even say: “I understand I am not required to sign up for this and I agree to do so voluntarily.”

    Don’t matter. The FTC doesn’t care about the fine print. The first act of deceiving the customer is the illegal action. The second doesn’t “heal” the first.

  43. Indecision says:

    @Seth_Went_to_the_Bank: “Well, Indecision, your interpretation would not pass legal muster.”

    It’s not intended to “pass legal muster”, or to be any legal statement of any sort. People need to learn to read things before they sign them. That’s not a legal defense, or even a moral one. It’s a statement. People need to learn to read things before they sign them. Period.

    @MissedTheExit: “So this screen should look like…

    It’s been a while since I worked there, but roughly, there is a signature box at the bottom, two big buttons labeled “OK” and “Cancel”, and text to the effect of “By signing below I agree to sign up for a 30 day free trial of AOL. After the first 30 days, my account will be charged at the normal rate.” There is nothing else on the screen.

    Once again, because people are horrifyingly nitpicky: It’s been a while since I worked there, this is only ROUGHLY what it says (or said, at the time), I may be forgetting (or even making up) parts of it, but the point is that the text was clear, and it wasn’t buried in the middle of an invoice.

  44. Teapotfox says:

    @G-Dog: I never realised that preying on those who don’t speak English (or don’t speak it well, or can speak fine but just can’t read) was so widespread in the commercial world until I became an adult literacy volunteer. Part of our training was about teaching people to understand contracts, and even included accompanying our students when they went to sign leases, rental agreements, etc… Even so, I don’t think I would have considered the risk your average retailer (like Gamestop) could pose.

    As for add-ons in general–up-selling is almost universal at this point. The bottom line IS the bottom line–it’s all about profit. Once can scarcely go up to the cashier at any shop without being surrounded by impulse items and asked if you would like to add x, y or z to your purchase today. At the very least, they’re angling for your phone number, your email, etc… so they can advertise to you via those methods when you’re not even in the store. Capitalism means that there is competition for market share–it promotes innovation to stay one step ahead of the competition, but it can also mean aggressive marketing and up-selling techniques aimed at consumers.

  45. Jesus On A Pogo Stick says:

    I cannot tell you the amount of calls we had EVERY DAY from customers asking why they were being charged for Entertainment Weekly. We’d tell them that they “forgot to cancel the free subscription” and to call the company (we had the number posted by the phone). What I really wanted to tell them was “We ‘forgot’ to tell you that it truly isn’t free and they you have to cancel it.”

    By the way, if you ever see employees wearing jeans or pajamas (basically anything that isn’t a BB blue and khakis) in the store, know that they had to pay to be able to wear jeans/pajamas for the day.

    Also, if you are suckered into buying that protection plan and realized that you really don’t want it, you can return it.

  46. myst says:

    Best Buy sure does get a lot of negative chatter around here. If there’s so much hatred, why are they are such a huge company, and why do people still go there? Maybe it’s because some people love the prices, but wait…that doesn’t make sense. Every electronics store has a price matching policy; they have to price match competition in order to stay in business. I think people still shop Best Buy because, whether you agree or not, it seems like most customers do get a good shopping experience. ah… I know I’ll get laughed at, but i’m going to post this anyway.

    What’s that saying?

    oh yeah…Don’t hate your haters.. They’re your biggest fans.

  47. exkon says:

    I want to stab someone right now.

  48. ThinkAboutItPlease says:

    Huge, huge, HUGE kudos to this Best Buy-employee for blowing on the whistle on this fraud. It’s fraud, plain and simple. It’s probably been happening Best Buy wide, and to thousands — maybe millions — of consumers.

    What does that Geek Squad CEO guy have to say about this?

    Can he deny that these kinds of games have gone on at Best Buy, and that that thousands of employees have been pressured or induced to behave dishonestly, and thousands of customers have been deceived? And don’t pull an AOL-style lie that “it was just that one rogue employee that Vinny happened to call.”

    Best Buy is culturally corrupt. And corporate culture is the responsibility of the people at the top.

    Best Buy’s suppliers (e.g., eMachines/Gateway) should be enraged as well. Their using Best Buy for retailing affects their own reputation. Does Gateway want Best Buy to play games with the price of eMachine computers?

    I hope other Best Buy employees, former and/or present, will come forward.

  49. IRSistherootofallevil says:

    I seriously think this is digusting. Best Buy should be fined out of business. What’s 150% of revenue generated by fraud? The fine should be set at 15,000% and if the company can’t pay it, they should garnish the executives’ stock options.

    And people should refuse to be bothered by salespeople. I actually ask salespeople where things are and then when they show me all sorts of stuff, I say I’ll think about it and never look back. Oh yeah, and I would actually WALK OUT without buying if they hassled me with upselling. Like, leave the item at the register and say “Since you’re harassing me for giving me your business I’m not going to buy these things anymore.” and get in the car and drive away. And when I get home, I WILL yell at the manager.

    My mom does that all the time….once she got hassled by a floor employee at a Ralph Lauren outlet store, she yelled at the manager that afternoon, and I bet that employee isn’t working at Ralph Lauren anymore.

  50. MisterE says:

    I’d like to think that in this day and age consumers should be savy enough to research what they want. Sadly, I still see people asking the blueshirts “Is this what I need?….” Sigh.

  51. Primate says:

    Yelling at the manager about the employee doing his or her job is not likely to get the employee fired. In fact it would probably result in a kudos to the employee and a laugh between the two about the wacky customer.

    People are lazy, that’s why they are not savvy enough to know what they want. They are too lazy to do the research. They want the employee or their friends to tell them what to get. I see it ALL the time, every day.

    Stores trying to upsell you and get you to buy extra stuff is just a fact of life and a byproduct of all the competition that the internet brings.
    Since places like Best Buy and Circuit City have to drop their prices so low, often to the point of making little or no profit off the merchandise they are left with being much more creative in finding ways to make money. The result is service plans, Geek Squad services, Internet service and selling magazine subscriptions. It’s the environment we have all created by insisting on absolutely the lowest price possible.

    I also am still a firm believer that it is not the culture of the company to defraud these customers. I believe it could be a district or even regional policy but it is certainly not company wide.
    Like I stated earlier, I had never heard of most of those things happening in my 2 years with the company.

  52. The Walking Eye says:

    @Indecision: t’s been a while since I worked there, but roughly, there is a signature box at the bottom, two big buttons labeled “OK” and “Cancel”, and text to the effect of “By signing below I agree to sign up for a 30 day free trial of AOL. After the first 30 days, my account will be charged at the normal rate.” There is nothing else on the screen.

    I’ve been shopping at Best Buy for a long time and I’ve never seen anything even resembling this. I’ve been asked if I want to sign up for such and such, and I say no and they ring me up and I sign the pad so long the total matches what the teller says.

    Did that which you’re describing only occur for certain purchases?

  53. mikecolione says:

    I was in a Finish Line sneaker store a little over a year ago. I was asked if I wanted a magazine subscription free for a year. I thought to myself, “why is a sneaker store selling magazines”, so I told the salesperson that I wasn’t interested.

    About 2 months later I start receiving People magazine in the mail. I didn’t think anything of it at the time. I don’t read magazines so I just trashed them.

    After about a year, my card (bank account) was charged 58.62. I was furious. The charge was reversed immediately by my bank, but it took almost a month to track down how I got subscribed.

    Of course People’s subscription people insisted I signed up for it, but couldn’t provide a signature or subscription card. They didn’t want to reverse the charges.

    I turned my bank loose on them and never heard another word about it.

    I use a local bank and they are viscious when it comes to protecting their customers, which is one of the reasons I’ve stayed with them so long (6 years and counting).

  54. Indecision says:

    @The Walking Eye: “Did that which you’re describing only occur for certain purchases?”

    Yeah, the message only shows up once they scan one of the free trial discs. If you say no to the trial, and the employee you’re talking to is honest (and let’s be realistic here — most of them are), then you’ll never see that screen.

  55. IRSistherootofallevil says:

    I’m sorry but as a salesman or saleswoman, your job in the field is to NOT piss off the customer. Because when customers get pissed off, they go to a competitor. Welcome to the free market. Adapt or die. Sink or swim. Do or fail. Eat or get eaten.

    Maybe it’s time for Best Buy to die just like every other store that came before it. Best Buy doesn’t have a right to exist as a business, especially if it’s dishonest. It’s job as a retailer is to CONNECT THE CONSUMER WHO IS INTERESTED IN BUYING SOMETHING WITH THE PRODUCT(S) THEY ARE INTERESTED IN.
    That’s it. Best Buy won’t be getting my business anytime soon if they don’t fix their policies, and until their useless execs have heard of something called CUSTOMER SERVICE.

  56. IRSistherootofallevil says:

    And as an enlightened consumer, I REFUSE to be hassled by people trying to peddle stuff I don’t want or need for giving them my business. I’d rather go somewhere where the employees are actually HELPFUL. And as for those Best Buy employees that are going to lose their jobs when Best Buy goes out of business, well tough cookies. THEY ruined the company, not the consumer.

  57. IRSistherootofallevil says:

    Actually it’s those fat overpaid execs, but either way they brought it upon themselves.

  58. spinner says:

    A…VAIO running Ubuntu? WTF?

  59. Lacclolith says:

    @Bon Jour, Pee Wee: While I’m not sure how other stores handled things, store 0332 here in Columbia SC is full of crooks. I worked there for quite a while in 2004 and 2005 for the electronics department. While we did not have a quota for digital media or magazine subscriptions, the management would often do shady practices such as signing up individuals for the Work Life Rewards program without their consent or knowledge, lying about stock quantities (especially with items in our circular), and even going as far as to exert racial prejudice against customers.

    For instance, there were a family of Indians who ran a computer repair business not all too far away from my store, and would frequently scope out loss-leaders, clearance items, and items with mismatched price labels. My boss at the time, Thomas Fazzio, would flip into a catatonic rage when he saw those customers, even going so far as to chewing them out in-person and holding an impromptu “staff meeting” regarding how he felt best to deal with them. He’d advise us to not check the computer stock system if anyone with an Indian accent called to request a quantity on hand, and would also advise us to simply tell him “Oh, we don’t have (X) even though the system says we have (Y), it’s a computer error.”

    I hope never to have to work at retail position like this ever again in my lifetime. The amount of pressure put on salesmen forced to make market basket sales is sickening, and the lengths that some of my fellow associates would go to (harassing customers in the store, being rude, even pleading with them near the end of the month if their numbers were low) bring out the absolute worst in people. I feel bad for people who work in big box retailers, as I know that the under-management associates are pushing for these products and attachments for the sake of keeping their jobs.

    It’s a sad state of retail affairs.

  60. Primate says:

    @The Walking Eye:
    What indecision is describing is what happens when you’re being signed up for a subscription of some type like AOL, Netzero, or the magazines.
    So if you have never been signed up for one of those you would not have seen that screen.

  61. Cap'n Jack says:

    It’s alright, I’m sure they passed all that revenue back down to the consumer in the form of SAVINGS!!! :D

  62. paulinsanjuan says:

    Well, PRIMATE and INDECISION have made it clear that shopping at Best Buy means you either 1) get savvy or 2) c’est la vie, tough luck. This is not the way I want to shop. You’re not making enough money cause of competition from the internet? C’est la vie. Tough luck.

    I haven’t stepped into a Best Buy in 6 years and I will help other consumers know what they are getting into with Best Buy.

  63. mac-phisto says:

    i believe the culture exists. i worked at a particular retailer that had the habit of saturday morning conference calls. these calls were normally handled by the district manager, but also occasionally by the regional manager. managers were given specific instructions on how to increase the sales of certain revenue-drivers. sometimes these instructions violated certain laws. the response to an objection was always “do it until we get caught”.

    also, keep in mind that stores with the best numbers are almost always the stores that are using fraudulent methods to obtain them. & it is the leaders of these stores that will be assigned promotions within the company. that’s how the fraud becomes a foundation for a company. that’s when they stop helping the customer & start selling magazine subscriptions.

    seriously folks. magazine subscriptions. in an electronics store. what’s wrong with this picture?

  64. ThinkAboutItPlease says:

    First of all, I want to thank Consumerist for providing a forum for these kinds of communications and discussions. The fraud that goes on at Best Buy, in which probably thousands of employees have been pressured into committing, and in which probably millions of people have been ripped off, in one way or another, is a serious scandal.

    It’s been a couple years since I even set foot in a Best Buy. I got fed up with the scam-the-consumer-cum-customer-no-service mentality that seeped out of every noisy, blue-carpeted corner. I had made three or four comparatively small purchases there and every time I was asked at the cash register if I wanted an extended warranty or extended service plan. Those plans are, of course, pure fat margins, and the unfortunate cashiers are apparently pressured/forced into attempting to sell them. That practice, alone, is sickening. Any other upselling is, to me, sickening: The seller is playing games with you. The seller should be concerned only what creates customer satisfaction. My wallet is not your mine. My wallet is not your entitlement. And if want me to trust you, price things honestly.

    Loss leader pricing with consequent upselling are, to put it simply, tricks. Dishonesty apparently turns Best Buy’s world.

  65. ThinkAboutItPlease says:

    PS – Thank you to Lacclolith, jermscentral and others for coming forward. I am sorry you had to go through that soul-crushing stuff. What a nightmare. I had a job at one point where I was pressured into engaging in unethical practices, or be fired. It was no fun.

    I’d like to see Best Buy employees, any with a shred of conscience, leave in droves. Along with customers. (Probably, as we heard about AOL call centers, new employees at Best Buy are given a lot of rah-rah propaganda that leaves out a great deal of information about the very shady things employees are soon asked to do, every hour of every day.)

    I feel very little sadness when people use loss leaders or other gimmicks, and then customers capitalize upon the gimmick. If you play games, you are inviting games back. Don’t play games, and treat customers with respect, and you will get fewer games and more respect in return.

  66. Primate says:

    @Shadgenki:
    Of course they didn’t but the fact is people still want to be able to walk in and look at things like TVs and such and to avoid being a place where everyone just looks and then buys online they have to price competitively. The downside of that is they are paying all this overhead on things like lights for a big building, heating and so on, and oh yeah I almost forgot ;) all those employees you all seem to love to hate. In order to make enough to pay for all this and reduce the prices on the merchandise they need to find profit somewhere. Best Buy finds it in cables, ink, paper, surge protectors/battery backups, Geek Squad services, and subscriptions.

  67. Primate says:

    @mac-phisto:
    I’m not denying that it happens in Best Buy, I’m sure it does. I’m just saying in my district I have never heard on any conference call instructions explicit or implied to defraud the customer. I can tell you we are trained in many ways to overcome objections but we are never told to do anything without the customers knowledge/approval in my district.
    It may happen in some stores in my district at a store level but I am telling you in the two stores I have worked at it doesn’t happen and is not a culture.

  68. Primate says:

    @mac-phisto:
    Oh, I almost forgot, while selling subscriptions can be a pain for the customer I would say it is no more unusual for an electronics retailer to offer them than it is for Papa John’s pizza and I’ve been offered it there.

  69. Primate says:

    @ThinkAboutItPlease:
    While you may think honest employess leaving in droves might be a valid solution who is going to find all those people new jobs.
    I would gladly leave if I could find something better. Unfortunately I can’t get anything better in my area without a government security clearance and I cannot get one of those without having a job working for a company that will sponsor me.

  70. agent2600 says:

    employess are told, you have to make a % of attachement or you get fired…if you need a job for your lively hood, what would you do? I’ve never done it, but whats the diffrence between that and selling a PSP saying “it covers anything that happens to it” when we all know now that it doesn’t…

  71. Primate says:

    @agent2600:
    I guess I must be lucky. I have never been told I had to sell a certain percentage of anything or get fired.
    I’m not saying they don’t ever come around with the numbers and ask what is going on but all my leadership understands it is not up to us to buy the stuff they just want us to offer it.

  72. Raachie says:

    When I worked at Best Buy, this girl I knew that everyone hated did that gift card thing to set people up for Magazines. At least I believe she did. Some people even saw her take people’s credit cards to do a purchase, then actually swiped the card when prompted to do so with the address and stuff if she had them sign up for Reward Zone already. Cause it would save their address information. Then when it was time for them to sign she’d draw a line through the pad.

    She’d say oh its free.. then when it was time to sign she’d be like dont worry about that and drew the line through. Then she’d get like 13 mags that way and get praised and awarded by our managers. We would tell people what happened, but they didnt give a damn

  73. legerdemain says:

    I’ve worked at a couple of national big box retailers, but never Best Buy. Upselling at the register is a losing game, one only worth playing if you’re poorly-trained in sales, or completely inundated with customers. I’d do it a little on black friday, but even then, I’d barely bother. The success rate is so poor with register upsells, it’s not worth the time and effort. On black friday, more income can be found by just moving the bodies through the line as fast as possible. I mean, if a big-ticket item passes through, you spend a minute or less on it, and move on.

    The key to upselling is planting seeds early on. Say things like “sure, this item will do a great job for you, with its solid build backed up by our world-class service and support.” Or, “not only does this item work well now, I can guarantee it will work exactly as well in five years, or we’ll replace it for free.”

    When I sold televisions and home audio, I had the cable-fu. I ignored the crappy “best, better, good” progression my employer taught. If you did that, you’d be pimping $90 cables to buyers of $150 televisions, losing all credibility. If you had a big tv, I’d sell you the bad-ass cables. If you had a little tv, I sold you the budget cables. If you had a digital source, I sold you the cheap cables (the bottom and midrange optical cables from Monster were effectively only different in their durability). When I was finished, I’d open all the packages, label both ends of every wire, turn around the display of every product you’d bought, and show you where everything went.

    Today, I’m out of this game, but in the market for a TV. I shop locally because you need to see a television before you buy it. I’m amazed at what has happened to the quality of salespeople at these stores. I’m not getting helped, I’m having to teach salespeople about connection technologies, I’m having to look at crap input signals. I know when I’m given a “yes” that really means, “I have no idea, so please, let this be what you want to hear so you’ll buy the item.”

    If someone in my area could sell the public on a premium shopping experience while still providing good prices, I think they’d have a business.

  74. I think most of these comments are hilarious. First off, I bet if any one of you went to the store and had the employee try and use an unactivated gift card as a means to sign up for one of these things, it wouldn’t work.

    Secondly, I can very easily see how someone could accidentally sign up for something or say yes to something without reading the fine print. “do you want a free subscription to a magazine?” “Yes I do”. Is it best buys fault that you didn’t read the part where it says you will be charged after a couple months? They present you with the information both before you sign up and afterwards in the form of a receipt.

    Anyone who has worked in a retail environment can tell you that at least 50% of your customers should have been left in the gene pool. These are the same customers that come to sites like consumerist and complain that they got ‘Skrewed over’ and got charged money for something that they either didn’t understand or don’t remember doing.

  75. Ohh yeah, and that reward zone thing is free so I don’t know how people are getting ‘skrewed’ into signing up. You are getting something for nothing, no matter how you slice it.

  76. andanother says:

    Um, nice try.

    As a Best Buy employee with nearly two years under my belt, I would just like to say that the above story is not true.

    As an employee of Best Buy’s Operation’s Team (i.e. cashiers, customer service), and having worked with the wrath of not selling enough DSUBs and not meeting the quotas set by corporate, I know there is absolutely no way you can sign a customer up for a magazine with a gift card! It is literally impossible.

    If we could sign customers up with gift cards Best Buy stores all over the country would see their magazine numbers going through the roof — which they are not. The numbers are so horrible there are rumors of Corporate pulling the plug on all magazine DSUBs.

    It wasn’t even until recently that we were even able to sign customers up using their Best Buy Credit Card (we couldn’t before because of the lack of Mastercard, Visa, Amex, Discover logos.)

    When you go into the screen that actually signs the customer up for the magazine, the customer has to swipe a credit card. There are then fields that are automatically filled out once the card has been swiped (i.e. the card’s expiration date, the name the card is registered under) and correct me if I’m wrong, but Best Buy gift cards are A) Not register to anyone and B) Have no expiration dates.

    Also, I would to know how a computer “manager” (There are no computer managers, only Supervisors and Seniors [as dictated by CORPORATE]) would know anything about selling magazines. That is purely an operations task. It does not involve the whole store.

    The story has some truths. I know the sales floor has a lot of goals to meet, which probably puts some weak team members under a lot of pressure to perform and ultimately, leads to some of those weak team members using shady tactics to acquire their numbers.

    But, for the most part, that “confession” was probably just a result of a scorned employee seeking revenge on a past employer for whatever personal gratification they feel they need.

  77. Trackback says:

    You may have heard recently about the racketeering case against Microsoft and Best Buy, where Best Buy would sign up customers for an MSN subscription without letting the subscriber know. A former Best Buy employee has explained how the whole scam worked.

  78. mattwillis4 says:

    I hate it when there are some “bad apple” employees that ruin the whole thing for all of us. There are some people like this in every organization. So don’t judge an entire COMPANY on one or two douche bags. I have been a Best Buy employee for five years, and I am part of several district, territory and even on a corporate council based on CUSTOMER CENTRICITY!!!
    The whole point of this movement is to BETTER HELP AND SUPPORT OUR CUSTOMERS!! There is no scamming. The service plans are more than worth their metal (hence me having about 30 active PSPs and 15 more PRPs). And we DO NOT SIGN A CUSTOMER UP FOR ANYTHING THEY DO NOT WANT OR NEED! To do so is a COMPLETE dereliction from Best Buys company values. One of which is… “Show respect, integrity and humility.”
    Those people who do this, I will immediately find and take care of. Just as ANY business owner would. Would you own a retail shop, and then LET your employees lie to customers?
    Now as stated on prior comments, there is money to be made. But I ask another question… If you were a business, are you out to NOT make money? Is the whole point of your business to break even and not grow? If that’s your frame of mind, then you DESERVE to be put out of business.

  79. devilzrule27 says:

    Sounds to me like he was just a shady sales person. Most of the employees aren’t like that since it doesn’t benefit us if you buy more. We don’t see an extra dime as an employee sales person. And all gift cards at any store are branded. Visa American Express, Mastercard, whatever all of them are branded somehow.

  80. sevinci says:

    Seems I’ve just been scammed by Best Buy and Time Warner – Time Magazine. Opened my credit card bill and noticed the $34.95 charge and wondered what it was. Called, seething with rage, and they took the charge off my bill. Then I called Best Buy to tell them they’re unethical, cheesy and they need to make sure this doesn’t happen again. They claim I signed up for the Time Mag subscription when I signed the pinpad for my purchase. Here’s what I was actually told,..”sign up for Reward Zone, get points, yada yada, and you’ll also get an absolutely free subscription.” You can’t even read those pin pad things when you sign – I look at the dollar amount on the register screen and then sign. I NEVER knowingly agreed to these charges and I suspect most people are never informed. Some may say let the buyer beware, but I say that companies like Best Buy should be following some kind of ethical behavioral guidelines or they will and should be censored by society. What surprises me is that once the free trial expired, it is now being auto-billed to my credit card – I never received a bill in the mail (gee, I wonder why?) After paying some other bills tonight, I looked back and discovered that this was not the first charge. I’d been jammed out of $24.95 in December, $29.95 in Feb, and the most recent $34.95. WHAT the @#%^?? I don’t even like Time Mag, it’s biased and inane, and obviously it’s a miserable pub or why would they have to resort to sneaky tactics (along with Best Buy) to get subscribers, and also increase their rates each quarter. Who in their right mind would knowingly pay $90+ for a subscription to Time magazine? It’s insane and I’m incensed at such sleezy, unethical tactics. I will call to have these charges rebated and if they don’t cooperate I’ll report to the state AG office, the FTC, and my credit card company. I won’t be shopping at Best Buy again and I’ll be very vocal nasty Word of Mouth. They’ll go down eventually because they’re sleazy. I’m all for capitalism – but this is flat out wrong wrong wrong.

  81. Trackback says:

    Way back in 2003, we wrote about accusations that Microsoft and Best Buy were scamming customers into signing up for Microsoft’s ISP MSN. The accusation was that Best Buy employees would scan the “free trial” MSN CD-ROMs that were at the store when customers would make a purchase.

  82. jwizzle says:

    I used to work @ best buy in the computer department we pretty much did the same thing. We didn’t go as far as covering up credit cards and stuff like that, but we had assholes who would sign people up for 2 different dial-up services, sign for customers, and push all the buttons, on top of all that they’d sign them up for broadband. The worst was the magazine subscriptions computers didn’t really deal with that much but the front lanes were racking it up.. They taught them to mislead people.. One of our managers actually ran around the store and said if you’re not cheating you’re not leading, and this was one of the higher level managers

  83. hals000 says:

    @ThinkAboutItPlease: I am not sure why you would bother going home to yell at the manager seeing as you are not a customer since you opted not to buy anything. You give the manager little incentive to do anything to make your situation better. How has that worked out for you?

  84. AlphaTeam says:

    I never get the subscription. I just tell them I have them already (which is true half the time).

    I’ve also had them try to pull a fast one on me. Buying a laptop, they said it came with AOL for free for 60 days and I asked them if I had to sign up for it and they said yes. I simply told them not to do sign me up as I had broadband. I simply told them if I had to sign up, I’m not buying the computer. They told me they would “work it out”. Yeah they did, but by then I decided not to buy from them already.

  85. justasecond says:

    I haven’t been working at the Best Buy in Spokane long, but while they do push us to sell more service plans or Geek Squad services, they have never told us to lie. We are told to get our information right, and to upsell, of course. We are not told to add on subscriptions and tell the customer nothing. Our strategy is to explain why everything we suggest is beneficial. As to “Do we have to sign up for AOL?” The answer is yes, if you want AOL. Not necessarily yes, to get the laptop. The question is a tad vague.
    Most of the employees in the computer department don’t try to sell the consumer stuff they don’t need. We suggest services that they might be able to use–we don’t hold a gun to their heads and say sign up for Geek Squad or else. The Geek Squad forms require their signature, as well as waiting for Geek Squad to finish with their computer, which takes half an hour minimum.
    And don’t tell me that Best Buy is the only–or even the most persistent–store that offers crap at the register. At Target, they ask if you want to sign up for their credit card and save two dollars and forty cents. At safeway, I was told I would have saved eighty cents if I had signed up to be a club member. Its required that we ask these things, as well as warranties, service plans, and subscriptions. When you sign up for reward zone, its free–you don’t put your signature on anything, you verify that your name, address, and phone number are correct. They ask for your phone number because most people don’t bring their cards with them, and that is the quickest way to locate them in the database. I am sorry if BB employees seem pushy; some are. They often sell less than they think they do. We are required to make sure that you know what you are saying no to. This means that we assume that the first no is automatic–which it is–and the second no, following an explanation of the offer, involves objections which we need to attempt to overcome. After that, we should stop. Now, you will find that some people won’t stop. They are too concerned with numbers. Either that, or unable to see how they are frustrating their customers. Bail on them, and go find someone else to talk to. They will often narrow down the choices, or give you other options which might save you some money. For instance, instead of the $100 data transfer by geek squad, what about getting an external hard drive? Frankly, you should have one anyway to back up your information. etc etc. Most of us would like you to buy something, but are more than willing to either get you something that you will need, or drop it.
    And, news flash, but there are corrupt employees and employers everywhere, from fast food to retail to tech support to government to repair. That’s life.

  86. shakes says:

    what amaizes me is that whenever one of these articles comes out it is always best buy scams this or at&t scams that etc. the truth is that the scam was done by a crooked employee who wanted to win a cheap prize not best buy.

  87. Anonymous says:

    I purchased a 52″ Sony bravia V series LCD from manny’s tv store for $1699 plus an instant $300 Sony rebate. In reality I got the Sony LCD for $1399 plus tax. Here is where best buy comes into play, because of the $300 rebate people were jumping on the deal. My LCD was to come in about two weeks due to back orders. My wife and I decided to see if best buy would match manny’s price so that I didn’t have to wait. When we got to the store the scaming began, first of all best buy wouldn’t match the $1399 price of LCD, the manger stated that he would give me a better deal. Me and my wife listen keep in mind that I explained to the manager at best buy that I owned a ps3 and didn’t need a blue ray. Best buy was selling the Sony 52″ V series for $1699 on sale. The manager made his pitch $1499 for the LCD $200 for a Sony blue ray that was selling for $299, $69.99 for monster cables and $150 for geek squad services to calibrate the LCD. That’s a total of $2118.99 what happened to me having a ps3 or looking for a price match. In the end I laughed and looked at my wife and said that’s why we shop around so we don’t get screwed (as I pointed to the manager) by these people. The manager looked at me perplex as I explained to him that why would I spend over $2000 when I just paid $1399. In the end best buy wouldn’t price match manny’s tv and tried getting me to spend over $2000 grand. I won’t ever spend big bucks at best buy…did I mention how the manager tried to sell me a samsung and a pioneer plasma…WTF happened to customer service in this country…anyways that’s another story…my advice shop around and buy hdmi cables on line and stay out of best buy when it comes to large purchases. Best buy my a$$!!!

  88. mopedal says:

    Possible Best Buy scam.
    Back on Sept 7, 2009, I tried to purchase a refrigerator on-line but the order, for some unknown reason, would not go through. (It was not a credit card issue.)
    This was a Labor Day Only special on Samsung refrierator (RFG299AARS SKU:8971525) that included free shipping and a free TV. (I think the TV was 19″ Tosheba)
    The link on the computer gave a phone number to call which I did and the person agreed to help. I explained I was trying to order on-line but was having problems but wanted to take advantage of the offer which included a discounted price, free shipping, and a free TV. The person agreed to help and we completed the order (order number-BBY01-300 8207 457).
    Later I discovered I was charged $100 shipping and when the refrigerator was delivered, there was no TV.
    I contacted Best Buy and talked to Sonya. She listened to my complaint and agreed to send my request to the department “Promotions”. I asked her to transfer me to a supervisor. She did this by computer and the supervisor (Stewart)was too busy to talk to a customer. I asked her to leave him a message to call me. I also asked for a way to get back in touch with her in case of problems and she gave me a case ID#66 86 68.
    Later when I hadn’t heard from the promotions dept I called again and talked to a Charles. He was nice but could not help me so I asked to talk to a supervisor. Charles contacted supervisor (Stewart) again and again he was too busy to talk to me. At this time I am thinking for some unknown reason he doesn’t want to talk to me. So we end the conversation. I wait a few more days and on Thanksgiving day I get a message on my phone saying I didn’t earn a TV. The person ends the conversation without a direct number to her of even a number to the promotions department in case I had any questions. At this time I am still out the reimbursement for the $100 in shipping they charged my credit card and getting the TV they promised. When you take into account the lack of communication with the supervisor I am thinking…they know exactly what they are doing…this appears to be very similar to a “bait and switch” scam!
    Beware of doing business with BEST BUY! I feel it is very obvious…they are not willing to make good on their promises!