Returning Gifts At Best Buy Is A Big Pain In The Butt

Chris writes to tell us that Best Buy is basically being a huge pain the butt for no reason about exchanging a wedding gift for store credit. Chris writes:

Let me state clearly what they are having us do: I had to return the camera at the store, the cost of which will be refunded to my brother’s card. Then I have to call my brother and explain to him why I am exchanging his gift and ask him to please go back online and purchase a different camera for me. Talk about a pain for my brother who was just trying to get me a nice wedding gift!

I tried asking Best Buy to just give me store credit for the $300 so that I could go online and purchase the new camera without having to get my brother involved, they said no.

We read this letter twice and still can’t figure out why Best Buy wouldn’t just give them credit. We have to assume its because Best Buy likes the Consumerist and gets lonely if we don’t post any complaints from their customers.

Hello,

I love the Consumerist! I’ve long followed all the shenanigans that Best Buy tries to pull, but up until now I have always been personally happy with their service and prices.

Until I got a wedding gift from my brother. My brother sent me and my fiancee the Nikon Coolpix digital camera. It’s a great camera, only problem is that you have to charge the battery. My fiancee and I are honeymooning in the Dominican Republic and plan to travel oversees at least once a year, so we want a camera that takes AA batteries so that we don’t have to deal with finding an adapter to charge the battery for our camera when it runs out of juice.

I pulled up the Best Buy website and looked around until I found a great camera that actually had better features than the one my brother sent me for $100 cheaper! Great I thought, I’ll exchange the camera and have $100 in Best Buy credit to get some blank cds, a memory card and other electronics type stuff.

The first thing that gave me pause was that the new camera I wanted was listed as only available online. I wanted to return the camera to a store and just pick up the new one lickety-split. I thought I’d hit a store and try my luck anyhow.

At the store I was told that I could not exchange the camera but that I could return it (without having to ship it back) and that the card on which the gift was purchased would be refunded. I explained to the person that the camera was a gift and that reimbursing the card would do no good as we wanted to exchange this camera for another camera. After much coaxing it seemed like they would be willing to help us, until they found out that the camera we wanted was only available online. I was told there was nothing that could be done.

Let me state clearly what they are having us do: I had to return the camera at the store, the cost of which will be refunded to my brother’s card. Then I have to call my brother and explain to him why I am exchanging his gift and ask him to please go back online and purchase a different camera for me. Talk about a pain for my brother who was just trying to get me a nice wedding gift!

I tried asking Best Buy to just give me store credit for the $300 so that I could go online and purchase the new camera without having to get my brother involved, they said no. I explained to them that by giving me the $300 store credit that the money would then stay within Best Buy (I’m not going to have my brother buy me a $200 camera and then ask him to go ahead and spend the extra $100 on something else for me at Best Buy) this didn’t phase them. I also told them that if they didn’t give us store credit that I could assure them that I would no longer be a Best Buy customer and that I had in fact seen the same camera that I was interested in purchasing available at both Circuit City and Amazon .com for $10 cheaper, but this fell on deaf ears.

I returned the camera, sent an email to my brother explaining things and asked him to purchase the other camera. The silver lining here is that my brother is saving $110 by purchasing the other camera through Amazon.com. But talk about making your customers jump through hoops to give a gift! Shame on you Best Buy.

Chris

We read a lot of these complaints and “no store credit, only refund” is not a usual response that people get from retail outlets. According to Best Buy’s Online Return policy, they don’t accept exchanges. Only refunds, but apparently not in the form of store credit. Weird. Good to know, we guess.—MEGHANN MARCO

(Photo: garavondik)