Best Buy Ships Crumpled Seinfeld DVDs

What’s the deal with Best Buy? Reader Brian ordered the first eight seasons of Seinfeld, but instead of shipping seasons one, two, or seven, Best Buy decided to send two copies of seasons three and eight. Best Buy was willing to correct its shipping error, but when Brian noticed that several DVD cases were crumpled, Best Buy asked him to keep all eight seasons wrapped for eight business days while UPS conducted an investigation.

I know of a lot of the bad press best buy gets, but on the occasions when they have had good deals, my dealings have gone well. When a good deal on Seinfeld DVDs came up, I decided to give it a go. Spin the wheel, so to say. I figured with AT&T getting me into a 2 year contract on false information, I was due for a good customer experience. I had to buy online due to the hours I work… oh yea, and because I am lazy.

So I buy Seasons 1-8 of Seinfeld. I laughed a little to myself when they said it shipped over 36 hours before UPS posted that they received the billing info. It was neat trick to make any delays seem like the shippers fault. But it was, in all, not related to my issue.

A few days later I get the box. A very quick glance tells me there is something wrong. Hmm, no S1&2 set, and no S7… but what’s this? 2 copies of S3 and S8. Excellent. I call, and in an amazing twist, the lady apologizes and says she will ship out the missing ones and seems to infer I can keep the duplicated. So far so good, but as I mentioned, I work late, so I went to bed soon after. The next day I actually get a chance to look at the sets, only to realize they are horribly beat up. They ranged from sharp corners to so bad that I doubt an in store return would be accepted. This led me to believe it was not a UPS issues, seeing how some were perfect and others were partially digested.

I call again. This went a little less smoothly. It took some pushing and explaining how it’s not wrong to expect merchandises in good shape, but they finally agreed to ship out replacements. I told them I would return the damaged ones to a local store only after they assured me that they would be accepted.

Days later I get the ones that were missing and after that the replaced damaged ones. Behold! Some of them were beaten up too, with tears in the box and some parts that looked dropped. Keep in mind I wasn’t removing the plastic, so I have no idea of the internals.

A third call gets rough when they tell me that it is impossible for them to resend them. I have to go to the store, which is what I was hoping on avoiding in the first place. After basically asking for compensation in small words, they agree to refund my shipping fees, which makes sense, and to “submit it to the dept that handles that”. That ended in a 20 dollar online only coupon that expired in 2 weeks. Wow, thanks. At best buy, that’s like, batteries.

I considered the matter done with. The next day I would go to the store, and exchange/return the damaged ones and duplicates. All minor till now. Before I leave work, I check my email. Some UPS trace had been put on my order. Keeping in mind that I was told I could return them, and I received no warning of this.

I called to clarify what this meant. After pushing through to a floor manager, he spelled it out for me: For up to 8 business days, I had to keep the wrapped 14 box sets. I could not return them or exchange them. I could not get my money back, or do anything to avoid this. I demanded my money back, and it wasn’t even a bluff! I just wanted it over with. He said “No”. I said I was not warned about this, and was told I could return them. He said “Sorry”

So here I am, with 14! box sets that I cannot open or watch, and Best buy with my money, refusing to return it. I can’t help but feel a little screwed over.

I would like to add that for the most part, the phone agents were friendly and in agreement that it was ridiculous. Only the last floor manager was cold and borderline rude in his uncaring attitude; “Yes we are screwing you, and you are going to like it”.

We asked Brian if Best Buy indicated what would happen after UPS turned in their report.

Here is an excerpt from the email that I was sent.

…For this reason, we have filed a damage tracer with UPS. The tracer process can take up to 8 business days to complete. During this time, UPS may want to inspect the damaged murchandise. Please have the box, and or murchandise ready. Do not ship back, or destroy the box, or take it back to the store until UPS has contacted you. Failure to comply will result in the claim being canceled, and all charges will stand. If a replacement is shipped out, you will be charged for it as well. We will update you with any new information as it becomes available to us….

After laughing that they spelled merchandise wrong twice, I called them to find out more information. I explained that way the last representative left it, was that I could return and exchange the DVDs, and the only reason I hadn’t already was just being busy. They said that once a trace is started it cannot be stopped. They are going to follow my packages from beginning to end with UPS to determine what went wrong. Normally I would see this as a good gesture, but, its only a couple of DVDs and I repeatedly told them before that the shipping boxes and padding looked fine, and that there we great looking copies mixed in with the beat up ones, therefore the probability of it being UPSes problem was slim. I asked if “basically, without warning me, you locked me into owning DVDs that I cannot open, return or exchange for at least 8 ‘business days after I ordered them 2 weeks ago'”. The answer was yes.

As for what will happen when the trace is complete? I really don’t know. I would like to think they will let just return everything and get my money back. But I can see issues arising. If they blame UPS, who knows where that puts me, and if not, I still see issues trying to return them in-store due to how bad some of them look. When I demanded my money back they said that they would have to see what the trace turned up.

I know this is relatively small purchase, and other than stress and not being able to watch what I bought, it’s a fairly minor inconvenience. But I am just impressed with how poorly they handled all of this. I would have to think a better company would first try to make sure the customer is not getting screwed, and then make sure he or she is happy… THEN find out what’s wrong in their court.

At least they didn’t try to push me on an extended warranty.

For now, it can’t hurt to play along with their investigation, but if Best Buy isn’t willing to replace the crumpled DVDs, show them a little Festivus spirit by filing a chargeback for unacceptable merchandise, or bumping the matter to Best Buy’s executive offices.

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Comments

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  1. MyCokesBiggerThanYours says:

    Oh. This is it! I am never shopping at Best Buy again.

  2. remusrm says:

    who the hell watches seinfeld?

  3. kantwait says:

    Best Buy really continues to come up with new and exciting ways to alienate customers!

  4. Doc Benway says:

    @remusrm: people from the mid-west afraid to visit New York City need a lame substitute – Seinfeld

  5. best buy’s got more comic relief than all those box sets combined.

  6. Kezzerxir says:

    I don’t think your that screwed. More then likely the DVD’s are fine them selves. Which means, you can keep the ones you ordered and sell the others.

  7. userm8n9 says:

    I would be just as annoyed if not more so, but honestly, who the hell buys online from Best Buy? With so many consumer horror stories involving the company and with so many other options out there (i.e. Amazon), what do you expect from them?

  8. demonradio says:

    @remusrm:

    !!!!!!!!!!!
    What?!

  9. Bay State Darren says:

    @remusrm: That show still cracks me up.

  10. Copper says:

    I am a CCR for BestBuy.com and I just wanted to chime in and say that the techs have an incredible amount of power as far as techs go. Each one has the ability to give an allowance of $75 without asking for a supervisor (not talking refunds here). Refunds are allowed no matter the price.

    On the Best Buy website, each season is $21.99 and for the three they messed up on, the total plus tax is $71.41, which a CCR could have refunded. You could have simply returned them (1-888-BEST-BUY) and gotten a full refund (including shipping) because they were defective and even not paid shipping to return them. Sounds like a sweet deal even though you weren’t in the wrong in the first place.

    My advice is to keep calling BB.com support until you get a smart CCR. And always be nice and yadda yadda. You might even get extra money back for your inconvenience and not in the form of a crappy coupon that’s set to expire in a few weeks.

    Oh and this trace thing is bogus. They can make it go away.

  11. AbstractConcept says:

    @Kezzerxir:

    I think it’s the principle, you don’t order things new expecting to arrive beat up.

  12. Parting says:

    Urgh, how difficult is to package these DVDs?

    If they are well packaged, they would arrive new, not chewed up.

  13. 8abhive says:

    The bad ones look like old, beat-up inventory or re-shrink-wrapped returns.

    It’s nice to see CC so concerned about covering their ass, instead of communicating with their shipping dept and having the junk stock pulled.

  14. 8abhive says:

    Oops, meant BB, not CC.

  15. gniterobot says:

    If this were me…I would have sold the extras that were in bad shape, ripped the dvds to my computer, sold the remaining sets and likely have profited mightily.

    Instead, this guy complains, get hosed even more and then wonders why BB screwed him…

    Consumers need to take advantage of things like this when the arise.

  16. AT203 says:

    Terrible. I guess nobody should shop at [BestBuy.com] this christmans season. An 8 day delay after you receive the merchandise, in order to get merchandise that is not damaged, could ruin your wrapping time or make you miss the 25th.

    I guess [BestBuy.com] is telling you that you cannot count on them for Christmas presents this season.

  17. scampy says:

    This guy is just being overly picky. Its just a couple crumpled corners of the BOX!! The discs inside are probably perfectly fine. The original ones did seem overly abused but the replacements on that stack in the picture seem fine. Hes just picky

  18. phelander says:

    I’m so SICK of the jerk commentators on this site blaming the victims all the time. STFU. If the man wants nice boxes, that’s what he paid for. He didn’t pay for crumpled looking boxes. Some people like to display their movie boxes like you would display books on a bookshelf. Who the hell is SCAMPY to open his big mouth and bitch the guy out?

  19. HappyCustomer says:

    I would definitely want good boxes. What if he wanted it for a gift? What if he did what I do with my dvd’s: watch them once and sell them on eBay? But, on another note, I gave up on BB last Christmas season when I ordered an expensive electronic device online, with a virtual credit card, then could not pick it up because I could not produce the credit card. Losers!

  20. reasonsnotrules says:

    @Phelander

    How was he being a jerk? I fail to understand. I have purchased items from many retailers in 10x worse shape and the product was perfectly okay. If he is so anal about his boxes then he should go to the damn store and pick them out himself. With the boxes in those condition I guarantee that best buy WILL take them back, because they aren’t in bad condition. Go into the store, ask to exchange the “damaged” boxes, then return the dups.

    I am all for standing up for consumers who are getting screwed by the man. But sometimes you expect to be waited on hand and foot and get royal treatment for something that is quite common. Or, should I wait for the article about Sony Pictures using cheap cardboard to construct their Seinfeld DVDs…..

  21. clarient says:

    If this guy wanted beat-up DVD covers, he would have gone to a cheap re-seller like Half-Price Books or something and bought them there. But he ordered them online new, so he deserves to have the new packaging as well.

  22. Festivus, for the rest of us!

  23. spenc938 says:

    Hey Scampy, shut the hell up. He purchased a NEW item. That means unopened, and undamaged. That is not at all what he received.

  24. shepd says:

    He paid for first quality merchandise, he should get first quality. Beat up or otherwise “hurt” merchandise should be marked and sold as such, at a discount if necessary.

    Imagine buying a new car that had a few dents in it and being told it will drive just fine. Sure it will, but that’s not really the point, is it?

  25. AT203 says:

    The haters are missing the point. Perhaps the damage to the merchandise didn’t meet THEIR standard for unacceptable damage.

    That is not the issue at hand. Imagine for a moment that the DVDs had been pulverized and not usable. [BestBuy.com] is saying that he cannot get his money refunded, or exchange the merchandise for 8 days. the quality of the merchandise is immaterial to his complaint.

    It seems that [BestBuy.com] doesn’t want your business this Christmas.

  26. lukobe says:

    Buy from Amazon next time. They ship you damaged merchandise, they replace it promptly.

  27. Jay Levitt says:

    You know what? You didn’t get the e-mail. Oops. It’s not like they called you back after they told you you could return them. As far as you know, they told you to return them. Go return them. If that screws up their trace, that’s their own fault. (I’m assuming you’ve got a credit card provider that’ll stand up for you. If not, get an Amex.)

  28. JAYEONE says:

    I agree with lukobe: shop at Amazon. I’ve always been happy with them, do all my xmas shopping with them.

    OR

    Buy it wherever you want, but ON YOUR AMEX. When “wherever” screws it up, Amex will see you through.

  29. JAYEONE says:

    @Jay Levitt: lol, great Jays think alike.

  30. gamabunta says:

    Maybe it would be a good idea to contact the UPS execs and let them know what happened. If I were you I would file a chargeback with the card company asap because in the end they will probably say they found nothing wrong or you will probably have to jump through more hoops with UPS. Just dispute the charges and all further charges relating to this purchase as they come up.

  31. edrebber says:

    The shipment was rejected because it does not conform to the sales agreement. The Uniform Commercial Code requires the buyer to make the item available for inspection to the shipper or the carrier. Best Buy is within their rights to make this request of the buyer.

    Upon rejection of a shipment, title to the merchandise reverts back to the shipper. If UPS approves the claim, then title to the merchandise transfers to UPS and UPS pays the claim to the shipper. Sometimes UPS will just abandon the merchandise with the buyer and other times UPS will take the merchandise. If UPS denies the claim due to insufficient packaging, then UPS takes possession of the merchandise and returns it to the shipper.

    Once the buyer makes the item available for inspection, then the buyer is entitled to a full refund or replacement.

  32. fluiddruid says:

    @scampy: So, would it be okay if I keyed your car? After all, I’m not slashing the tires, so you can still drive it around. That’s what a car is for, driving. Why should you care if there are scratches on the outside? Right? Are you so vain?

  33. scampy says:

    @fluiddruid:

    Now you are just being ridiculous. A car is something people see every day and is a reflection of the person who drives it. A DVD box is something you stick on a shelf in a closet. I do agree that if this guy is dis-satisfied with his purchase he has a right to return it. As EDREBBER mentioned there IS a process that must be followed though. This isnt Best Buy’s fault its the claim process. On the other hand he could have just taken them to a store and returned them or just sent them back on a RMA instead of asking for a replacement under a damage claim.

  34. reykjavik says:

    @remusrm:
    oh, practically nobody. They only topped out at like 90 million viewers.

  35. edrebber says:

    @scampy: It was stated that Best Buy would not accept a return at the store until the item was inspected by UPS.

  36. scampy says:

    @edrebber:

    Yes they did, because he told them they were damaged. If he would have just said he didnt want them then he couldve taken them back

  37. drjayphd says:

    @scampy: A DVD box is something you stick on a shelf in a closet. Some people like having their DVD’s in pristine shape.

  38. MyCokesBiggerThanYours says:

    The said thing is that, as first commenter, I was being sarcastic. You people are serious!

    This site has degraded into plain old alarmism. One damaged shipment is nothing. Best Buy ships millions of items a week. One damaged box is no big deal.

  39. BigNutty says:

    Am I the only person in the USA that has never seen 1 episode of Seinfeld?

    Damaged merchandise story that was way too long.

  40. Digitamer81 says:

    It doesn’t look to me like this gentleman had a problem with the representatives on bestbuy.com other than getting the lousy coupon and toward the end, the trace. It seems to me the worst part of his service has been the lousy floor manager at his local Best Buy location.

    I also understand his problem with having damaged boxes. I collect dvd’s and I like the boxes to be in pristine condition as well. Some people — and I’m not saying this man is one of them — but some people don’t want people visiting them to see crappy condition things in their home. Some people just like having things in mint condition. If there was no problem with the UPS boxes, then the people at the Best Buy warehouse should have inspected the boxes, and known better than to ship out substandard product, and should have fixed the problem immediately, allowing him to ship his dvd’s back. Best Buy is now screwing this man. He wasn’t rude to the customer care reps, and from what it sounds like, most of them genuinely tried to help him. Don’t bash him for wanting to have nice things, after all, HE PAID FOR THEM!

  41. HOP says:

    best buy sucketh…………….

  42. ogman says:

    Keep an eye on UPS. Last I heard, they own the insurance company that covers their shipping and will they go to great lengths to avoid payout and/or admission that any damage is their fault.

  43. ogman says:

    Watch out for UPS. Last I heard, they own the company that insures their shipments. They will go to great lengths to avoid any admission that they are at fault. Generally, they blame the shipper AND the receiver, apparently hoping the two never actually communicate. Of course, they may want to take care of this one since Best Buy is probably one of their larger accounts.

    BTW…could someone please fix the comment system here at The Consumerist? It’s frustrating to have to retype posts after they disappear into TC’s version of a digital rabbit hole.

  44. ogman says:

    LOL! Of course, the comment then pops out of the rabbit hole AFTER it been retyped. ;o)

  45. reasonsnotrules says:

    @Digitamer81:

    The product is not substandard, in the end the product still does what its supposed to, play on a dvd player for his unholy enjoyment of Kramer. Now if the the dvds were shattered inside, which I know they are not since the damage is so minor, that is a different story. I am getting tired of these articles that look to bash any company over something so minor. I’ll say it again, he could have went back to his local best buy location any time before the end of January and exchanged them for what he wanted, Jerry and the boys in flawless condition.

  46. csdiego says:

    BB.com is cynically passing off the dented crap they can’t get rid of in the store to online buyers.

    I had the same problem with Powells.com: they kept shipping me the books with damaged covers that everybody would pass over in the store. Some had been slashed by boxcutters in opening. One had been messed up in printing and had big globs of thick paintlike stuff in the cover. I finally got sick of it (didn’t have the time to deal with all the returns) and stopped ordering from them.

  47. hollywood2590 says:

    Looking at that picture he only has 2 seasons that are still damaged, 4 and 7. Just take them back to BB and say you don’t have a receipt as you got them for a gift, then exchange them for better boxes. That way he would have all of his seasons in good shape, + like 5 extra he could sell somewhere else. Not a bad deal. This is just whining.

  48. Starfury says:

    Note for this Christmas: do not shop at BB and make sure to let in-laws know not to get me BB gift cards.

  49. Buran says:

    @BigNutty: It’s not your problem, so stop whining about how other people write their complaints. How about shutting up, so that if YOU ever have a problem in the future, maybe you won’t feel like people are attacking you about things that have NOTHING to do with the issue at hand?

  50. Buran says:

    @scampy: It’s damaged goods. If you buy something new you are perfectly well within your rights to be upset if you get something in less than new condition.

  51. Buran says:

    @hollywood2590: I guess you missed the many repetitions of “they will not take it back until UPS gets off its ass and says he can”.

    I say just file the damn chargeback already and let them fight with your bank, because they are basically refusing to take back their damaged junk.

  52. warf0x0r says:

    Damn! The BBY sucks. I have never and will never order anything from their crappy website.

  53. edrebber says:

    UPS will look at the box the items were shipped in. If there is exterior damage to the box the item was shipped in then UPS will probably pay the claim to Best Buy. The boxes could have been crushed before they were shipped.

    UPS could claim the damage is not a total loss and make a partial refund. In which case, the buyer would still be stuck with the crushed boxes and Best Buy would get the partial payment.

  54. Nemesis_Enforcer says:

    @BigNutty: Nope you are not alone. I tried to watch a couple of episodes, I figured maybe it was a sucky episode. I lasted maybe 10 min in on the longest. I just don’t think Seinfeld is funny and I have never been a big sitcom fan.

  55. hollywood2590 says:

    @Buran: Actually I didn’t. Not my fault you can’t read. Go back to my post and read it again. If he doesn’t have his receipt they won’t know who he is and that “he can’t return them”. They will simply do an exchange. That way he gets what he wants + 5 free bonus sets. Thats more than enough to make up for his effort. Seriously, next time you want to be an ass and accuse people of not reading, make sure you’re literate yourself.

  56. edrebber says:

    @scampy: Best Buy may have refused to take back the crumpled disks when they were returned.