Best Buy Sells You A Game That Is Missing Its Manual, Won't Exchange It Because It's Missing Its Manual

Jenn’s husband Dave bought a game on BestBuy.com then picked it up in store. By doing this he saved $10. Sadly for Dave and Jenn, the game was missing its manual and you need a code from the manual to play the game. Simple, enough, right? Just exchange the defective game for a new one at Best Buy.

Oh no. No, it will not be that simple. No, it will not.

In Jenn’s story, Best Buy:

  • Refuses to take Jenn’s exchange because the product is defective, which is why she is returning it.
  • Makes her call BestBuy.com over and over again, passing the phone between the store manager and the manager of BestBuy.com.
  • Tells her to go home and print shipping labels, pack up the game and ship it to BestBuy in order to get her exchange. She refuses.
  • Tells her she can get an exchange if she pays an extra $10 because that’s the store price of the game.
  • Randomly mails her a gift card for $0.40.

It’s from Jenn’s blog, but it’s so ridiculous we’ve reposted the whole thing here for you to read. Enjoy.

Jenn writes:

Dave and I had been boycotting Best Buy. A couple of years ago I wanted to buy a laptop that they had advertised. We went to three Best Buys and none had it. The third one we went to said that the store about 20 minutes away had two. I called them on the way there and confirmed that, yes, they had two in stock. I asked if they could hold it for me. They said no, even though I was on my way there and now about 10 minutes away. We get there and they don’t have any. I don’t think they ever did. One of the employees made a comment about it being advertised but they never got a shipment. I don’t think the two they supposedly had ever were really there. So we went to Comp USA, bought the same one, got the price matched, and never went to Best Buy again until recently.

Dave got a gift card there for his birthday. He wanted a computer game and they just opened a brand new store near us. In the store the game was $20. On Bestbuy.com it was $10. He ordered it on bestbuy.com for $10 and did the in-store pickup so he got it later that day. He put it away for a couple of weeks but went to install it before we left for vacation.

Enter problem.

It’s missing the manual that has the encryption key on it so he can’t play the game. No problem, it’s defective so we can exchange it for the exact same thing (only complete this time) according to Best Buy’s return policy. The bestbuy.com return policy says you can return items bought through there back to the store.

Dave takes it back and they refuse to take it back because it’s missing the manual. They tell him to call bestbuy.com. I have to go out anyway, so I take it back to the store. I go the back of the store, get a new game (same exact game, I just want an exchange, or even just the manual) and get in line. The woman at the counter, let’s call her Best Buy employee #1 (BBE1), says they can’t take back opened merchandise and I need to call bestbuy.com. I explain that it’s defective since it’s missing a piece and she says no.

I step aside and call bestbuy.com. After 10 minutes, mostly on hold, I’m told that if the store carries the item I’d like to exchange that they can in fact return it. I get back in line. I talk to BBE1 again, she calls her manager who says no. Her explanation is this: They have to send back all their returns to bestbuy.com and they can’t send something back that is not complete. In order to send it back, they would have to take out the manual of the new game they gave me to put it with the old game so it would be complete when they send it back.

Let that sink in. So I can return it, but only if they give me one without a manual, which is WHY I’M RETURNING IT? Yes. And I need to call bestbuy.com.

I explain that I just DID call them and they said you can return it if they carry the same thing. Manager looks right at me and says, “Well we don’t carry that.”

Oh-ho-ho. “Well, Manager, I brought up the same game a few minutes ago to try to exchange it. There are at least four more on the shelf back there plus the one I brought up to the counter, so YOU DO.”

Manager backpedals and says that they must have just stocked it then. She must have forgot that when Dave bought it, he ordered it online in the morning and picked it up IN STORE later that afternoon. So then she tells BBE1 to call bestbuy.com. She does and they tell her what they told me. They talk back and forth and then she says, “She wants to talk to you.”

“Hello?”
“I understand they are giving you a difficult time exchanging the game.”
“That would be an understatement.”
“Do you have the shipping labels?”
“No.”
“Well, what I can do is e-mail you a link, follow that and you can print out shipping labels, send the game back to us and we’ll send you a new one.”
“So you want me to go home, print something out, go to the post office, sent it back, wait, and then hopefully get a new one when I am RIGHT HERE in the store with the old game and they have new ones on the shelf? Besides, we didn’t get it shipped to us in the first place, it was picked up IN STORE and now I can’t take it back to the store?”
“Um, can I talk to a manager there?”

Manager gets back on the phone and tells that woman the same story about having to take a manual out of the new one in order to send it back. Then she hands me back the phone and says, “She wants you to talk to one of their managers there, not me.”

I get back on the phone and one of the bestbuy.com managers comes on and immediately asks for the store manager (he did not ask to talk to me). BBE1 goes to find store manager. He comes over and she explains the situation. He looks at her and says, now get this, “Why don’t we just exchange the one missing the manual for a new one?”

I think my head exploded at that point. I jumped up, “Yes! That is what I want!”

BBE1 gets on the phone and tells the manager from bestbuy.com that the store manager will let them exchange it. Problem solved, right?

Ha.

BBE1 says she’ll return it and I can go buy a new one. I explain, again, that it was $20 in the store but $10 on bestbuy.com and I’m not paying $10 more for the same game because it was defective. Manager comes back over and says to go get the game (apparently the one I brought back up to exchange in the first place had disappeared) and they’ll fix it so it’s $10. So I go get it and BBE1 does the return. Then she rings up the new game and tells me “That will be $10.49.” I just stare at her. She stares back.

“But I just returned one game. It’s an exchange, why am I being charged another $10?”
“They credit your account for the old one.”
“So they credit it and I have to buy a new one?”
“Yes.”
sigh.
“What account?”
“How did you pay for it?”
“Gift card.”
“Then they’ll credit the gift card.”
“I don’t think we still have the gift card. He spent it.”

So I call Dave to see if he still has the gift card. No, he tells me, but they just sent him an e-mail saying they are crediting him $0.40. Yes. Forty cents.

I explain this to BBE1. She calls over Manager. BBE1 calls bestbuy.com (for the third time) and asks about this. They say they will fix it and mail out a new gift card in 7-10 business days.

I tell BBE1 to cancel the purchase for the new game. We’ll wait till that gift card shows up and use that because the boycott is back on and I’m not spending another DIME in that store. All told, I was in there for two hours. I don’t think it was an unreasonable request and it was all perfectly in line with their posted return policy. It didn’t have to be that complicated. It’s still a pain in the butt to have to have the new gift card issued and wait then go buy a new one, but at least that’s in the policy. It does clearly state that damaged, defective, or incorrect items can be returned to the store. I wonder what their problem was.

I wrote them through the “Contact us” on the website and this is the response I got:

Jennifer,

I am Mich with Best Buy Customer Care.

At Best Buy, we understand the importance of good service, as well as
how frustrating poor service can be. I apologize that your experience
with one of our stores has been unpleasant.

We appreciate all comments from our customers because it helps us find
areas for improvement. When a customer gives us feedback of any kind, we
enter it into a database with other customer comments. We then look for
trends to help us identify areas for improvement. I will properly
process your email for documentation and be assured that your comments
have not been taken lightly.

Thank you for sharing your comments with Best Buy. We look forward to
your next visit to one of our stores or to http://www.BestBuy.com

Sincerely,
Mich
Best Buy Customer Care Team

I wonder if he could properly process my request for those two hours of my life back.

UPDATE:

We get back from vacation and expected to have the gift card with the $10 on it in the stack of mail that accumulated while we were gone. Oh there was a gift card alright. For $0.40. Dave called bestbuy.com and had them check into it. They credited the $10 back on the gift card he had already used. We had told them that and that’s why they were supposed to be sending back out a new gift card. So now they are sending out ANOTHER gift card with the refund on it and we should have that in ANOTHER 7-10 business days.

Customer…what? [Jenn’s Journal]
(Photo:pansonaut)