Best Buy Needs 2 Forms Of Photo ID To Give You Five Bucks For A Broken Cell Phone

Quick: in your wallet right now, do you have two photo IDs? I do, but only if you count a BJ’s card. If you don’t, don’t visit Best Buy to trade in your junky old cell phones. In the subject line of his e-mail to us, reader S. declared his weekend to be the “Worst Best Buy Experience Ever.” We wouldn’t go that far, maybe because our bar is set a little low for what the “worst” experience at any given retailer should be. It was pretty irritating, though.

S. writes:

I checked out [Best Buy's] weekly ad and noticed the Trade In deal they were offering on any working or not small device. I have a bag of about 9 old brick cell phones my wife has been bugging me to get rid of for the past few years. I myself am not even sure why I hung onto them. Anyway, this was a perfect opportunity to unload these phones and get some gift cards – $5 per device.

I read the fine print to make sure anything I had applied and it looked like I was good to go, I just could only do 3 items a day. To the store I went. After waiting about 20 minutes in the customer service line, I finally was helped and told that I had to go to the gaming counter to do the trade in, though the employee walked me back and took care of me herself.

She started processing the trade in then asked for my drivers license to process everything.She then asked for a second photo ID. I didn’t have a photo ID, but did have numerous credit cards, my Social Security card, and they were able to pull my information up in their system though my Reward Zone info. Not good enough for them. I said I didn’t have any other photo ID so she suggested she would get a manager to see what they could do.

The manager had the same story. They needed 2 forms of photo ID to process the trade in – even an employee ID badge would work, as long as it had a photo. I left, kind of pissed off. I remembered a few years ago that I got a passport, which you apparently need to trade in old cell phones at Best Buy.

Refusing to back to the same store – this wasn’t the first horrible experience I had at this store – I went to one about 10 miles further from my house. There, they were able to process the trade in with only my drivers license. When I asked if they needed a second photo ID, they said no. I told them that the other store required it and would take my phones without 2 forms. The two girls working at customer service laughed and said “Who has two forms of photo id?” I mentioned how the majority of my recent experiences at that store have been horrible and a third employee working at the next register said that “Yeah, that store is notorious for having bad service.”

I’ve always been indifferent about some of the stories/reports out there about Best Buy, but seeing how some of their stores are managed, going out of business just may be the best thing for them. But hopefully not before I can dig up every old cell phone I have and milk them for $15 each day this week.