Don't Trust Best Buy Just Because The Open Box Item Is "Geek Squad Inspected"

Reader Adam bought an open box Blu-Ray player from Best Buy and didn’t notice for 10 months that it was the wrong model. When he mentioned it to Best Buy they told him it was too late and there was nothing they could do because Adam might be just making it up.

Adam says:

On February 3, 2009 for 264.79 I purchased an open box Sony Blu-Ray S550 and have been more than satisfied with the player for over 10 months now. This past weekend I was making some adjustments to the sound settings and went to resync the player my TV when I noticed that the front of the player says S350. I checked the original box from the purchase and it says S550, I then checked the manual for the item and it too said S550. I was unable to check the original receipt since I could not locate it, but am willing to bet that it said S550 as well.

I went to the store to speak with them about the issue and see if there was anything that could be done, I fully realize it has been 10 months but figured it was worth a shot. The manager of the home electronics department told me that there is nothing he can or will do about this since so much time has passed. I explained to him that I have no problem with returning the item and using the money towards towards the player I thought I was buying originally and paying the difference along with any discount he would be willing to give me.
He again stated that there is no way for him to look into the matter because of the amount of time.

I then asked him since he is unwilling to do anything about it, how something like this could have happened. He told me that although it is possible for the mistake to have occurred each open box sale is inspected by the Geek Squad and things like this do not occur very often and he is not going to be able to check what happened. I stated to him that this is somewhat of a common occurrence from the Geek Squad and that in the consumer world they do not have a very high confidence rating from people. He disagreed with me and said that the Geek Squad is in fact well regarded and has the highest marks in the industry for the work they perform.

Realizing this was not going to go anywhere I asked him once more if there is anything that he can do, he once again said no. I finally told him there is something he can do, he can believe his customer and use some rational thought that since it was this long after I obviously did not become aware of the situation till now and I also did not take the player out and bring it with me, I only wanted to talk with them about what might be possible and that this is why Best Buy is losing customers to other stores because whether it is 1 day, 1 month, or 1 year after the fact, Best Buy should try to work with their customers to be sure they are fully satisfied with any purchase.

His final words to me were “if we believed every person that came into the store with stories like this we would be out of business, because I have no way of looking into it and am not going to do anything about it.”

With that I left the store vowing to never purchase anything other than a DVD from Best Buy or a low cost item.

Should I have checked the purchase at the time, absolutely, but I had never run in to an issue like this before and had purchased many items open box. I also refuse to believe that Best Buy could not scan the barcode on the box and see its history of original purchase and then return dates to check if it was done in a matter of days before I purchased it but he refused to investigate the issue at all.

I ended up paying more for a used Blu-Ray than it was selling for new at the time.

The lesson as always, check what you buy from them open box or anytime it says it was inspected by Geek Squad. Just to make myself feel better I sent off an EECB to Best Buy because if nothing else I wanted them to be aware that the store was having problems with its inspection of open box items.

In all fairness, there’s probably a limit to what they can do for you, but the idea that nothing can be done is a little silly. Our readers have gotten $50 gift certificates because someone at Best Buy was rude to them — so we’re certain that they could have offered you something in order to keep your business.

At this point, however, so many months down the road, your best bet might be to discuss this with your credit card company. We’re not sure what they’ll tell you, but it’s worth a shot.

Adam is absolutely right of course, that the moral of this story is to always carefully check your packages when shopping at Best Buy. Here’s a post that will help keep this from happening to you.

(Photo:epicharmus)