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 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 over and over again, passing the phone between the store manager and the manager of
  • 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 it was $10. He ordered it on 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 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 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 I explain that it’s defective since it’s missing a piece and she says no.

I step aside and call 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 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

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 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.”

“I understand they are giving you a difficult time exchanging the game.”
“That would be an understatement.”
“Do you have the shipping labels?”
“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 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 that the store manager will let them exchange it. Problem solved, right?


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 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?”
“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 (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:


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

Best Buy Customer Care Team

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


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 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]


Edit Your Comment

  1. gatopeligroso says:

    Sounds a bit fishy. Who buys a game and then puts it away for a “couple of weeks”? Had they found out that the manual was missing that same day, chances are they might have had a better experience.

  2. Dorgon says:

    @Gatopeligroso: I do this all the time with games, CDs, DVDs. I get them when the price is right, and then use them when I have the time.

    Reading stories like this induces headaches in me, yet I keep doing it.

  3. belch says:

    I think my head is going to explode after reading that!

  4. soldierblue says:

    Isn’t their return policy on software 14 days? A “couple of weeks” isn’t entirely specific. If it’s beyond the 14 days I would think it easier to contact the publisher and deal with them.

  5. sleze69 says:

    @gatopeligroso: I bought my kitchen set only to install it about a month later when I had everything in place. /shrug

    Stories like this are why I never buy anything of high cost or of a dubious nature (like a game without a manual) from Best Buy.

  6. Murph1908 says:

    Ok, let’s do the math. BB Store manager makes what, 65K at least? Let’s say manager makes the same. 65k / 2080 hours = 31.25 per hour.

    If this issue costs EITHER manager 10 minutes of their time, it’s more cost effective to just give her the game and end the drama.

    Sounds like both managers spent at least a half hour dealing with this, so they fought a $10 (retail, not cost) return for $31 worth of their time.

    Add in the cost of the other employee’s time, the bad press they are getting here, the bad vibe the others in line would have experienced, the cost of postage for the 2 gift cards, etc. A smart manager would have done the exchange and wrote it off as a loss if nothing else.

    For $10, the manager could have said, “Hmm. I’m not supposed to do this since it doesn’t have the manual, because I am supposed to send full products back to But that doesn’t really make much sense in this case, does it? Here’s your replacement. Thanks for shopping Best Buy.”

    And that may have ended Jenn’s boycott, and this article would have been much different.

    For $10…insane.

    And for those of you who would rip Jenn for spending 2 hours of her life for $10…it’s not just $10 she was fighting for. She’s fighting for all of us, and all of us should be doing the same thing.

  7. jmschn says:

    I feel like i just came out of the washing machine…

  8. Bourque77 says:

    Way to go best buy, keep reminding us of why you suck so bad. This has got to be one of the stupidest things I’ve read recently.

  9. There is a lot of ambigiuity in Jenn’s email to

    1. What was the game?
    2. Why was the game not opened right away after purchase?
    3. Instead of the long rambling play-by-play, why didn’t her husband, Dave, write to


  10. warf0x0r says:

    @soldierblue: Software is only returnable if unopened because 1: That’s the only way BBY can get the money back for it or resell it. 2: Piracy issues… but honestly its pretty much just issue #1.

    If Jenn had provided the publisher with proof of purchase I’m fairly certain the publisher could have emailed her a cd-key or a free copy of the game, especially if its only 10 bucks.

    BBY is horribly integrated to To this day I think its one of the worst website storefronts I’ve ever seen.

    At one point there were two websites! One for the web with lower prices than the instore site so customers would end up paying more for the products they saw cheaper at home.

    @Murph1908: When I worked at a BBY the store manager was lucky to be in the 40k range, but they had sales goal bonueses, especially for PSP and PRP that could easily double their salaries for a quarter… I don’t think its changed much since then.

  11. Gloria says:

    I bought Zelda: Twilight Princess for the Wii for super cheap from Walmart, since it was such a low price. I left it sealed for about a month before I actually got a Wii. At worst, I figured, if I didn’t get a Wii, I could resell the game completely brand new and sealed. That’s why I left it. Easy.

  12. Trai_Dep says:

    I think the first couple of posters that said it was the customer’s fault should each send $10 to Best Buy.

  13. remthewanderer says:

    I bought the Goonies on DVD months ago. I opened it last week. There was no DVD in the packaging. That sucked! Target was no help…

  14. Buran says:

    @gatopeligroso: I do that. Thank you for insulting everyone who doesn’t install every app they buy the moment they get home. I have quite the pile of $20 games that once cost $50 that I picked up when they got to a decent price, and will play when I get tired of hat I’m playing now.

  15. bravo369 says:

    Didn’t someone recently win a small claims court case against a big airline? Can you do that with all companies? I think this sounds like a good case if you wanted to pursue it. Of course it means you’ll have to spend more time and energy.

  16. Buran says:

    The reason I quit shopping at Best Buy whenever alternatives exist was a story almost exactly like this —

    I buy a game, it doesn’t work. I find out through research that it’s a bug in the game that means it won’t work on my hardware. Best Buy refuses to take it back despite their defective-item policy.

    If I knew then what I knew now (I’m sure that’s from some song) I would have filed a chargeback and been done with it, but that was then, and I had used either a debit card or cash.

  17. LSK says:

    Is it embarrassing that I know exactly which game was purchased, despite none mentioned? I’ll give you my codes, it’ll save you the effort.

  18. balthisar says:

    Staples and Office Depot will give you the online price in the store. Just let ’em know at the register, and voila! Don’t think they stock many games, but I’m just saying there’s precedent.

  19. eliazar says:

    Same thing happened to me with X-Files Season 2 that I got online super cheaper than in-store. There were two disk 2’s and the set was missing disk 3.

    I went a few rounds with and the cashiers and managers in-store on an exchange before just throwing my hands up in dismay.

    Total waste of time. I just returned everything in-store and went online to deepdiscount. and Best Buy B&M just don’t go together like O-R-E-Os. I refuse to shop those stooges.

  20. RandomHookup says:

    Next time you have a problem like this, just ask for Major Major Major. Unfortunately, he won’t be in, even if he is.

  21. JeffCarr says:

    Wow! What I would have done is, while talking to the manager, open the new one to “check if it has a manual”, put the manual in my box, hand him back the new box, turn around, and walk out of the store.

  22. gibsonic says:

    tl;dr don’t shop at best buy.

  23. latemodel says:

    I feel dirty. Everyone just needs to learn the word “chargeback”. V/MC and AMEX charge the merchant $25 for every chargeback. Regardless of whether the dispute is resolved in favor of the merchant or the cardholder, the merchant is out $25.

    And after a prescribed number of chargebacks, the discount rates are supposed to go up but I bet BB gets that removed from their merchant agreement. You only have to give the merchant the opportunity to satisfy you and then the CC people will gladly do the chargeback. And why not, it easy money for them.

  24. @latemodel:
    Couldn’t do a chargeback here. They used a gift card for the purchase.

  25. velvetjones says:

    Remind me to read that whole posting again, right before I’m about to pick a fight with someone.

  26. ReccaSquirrel says:

    I’m curious what game it was. It was described as a game you needed to have the manual for to put in a code… um I’m not aware of any game doing that for years now.

  27. RAREBREED says:

    I shop at Best Buy pretty regularly in SF and Daly City, CA since they pretty much closed down all the smaller electronics stores. I’ve had a slew of bad experiences with the chain ranging from being given gift cards with a ZERO balance (and believing the cashier to have pocketed the card with a balance – twice) to finding employees with a “secret stash” of limited stock items in the back room that they are willing to part with at a price.

  28. b612markt says:

    how incredibly irritating. After thirty minutes of arguing with those idiots I would probably have

    1) pulled the CD-ROM out of the box
    2) called over the manager
    3) snapped the CD-ROM into a million little pieces in front of her
    4) told her calmly that she is a waste of perfectly good carbon

    My time is far more valuable than a $10 game. I would have gone online and found it somewhere else after that.

  29. Iron_Dragon_2.0 says:

    @gatopeligroso: I do. I still have copies of Pokemon: Leaf Green and Sonic: Mega Collection sealed up for a day I get really bored.

    @ReccaSquirrel: I’ll bet it was Battlefield 2 or BF 2142. EA has recently been printing the CD Keys on the back of the manuals and I believe some copies of 2142 were reported to be missing manuals.

    Most other companies just put a sticker with the CD Key on the inside of the case these days. I guess paying employees to put in a manual and CD Key sticker costs EA too much. >_>

  30. not_seth_brundle says:

    @Murph1908: $65,000, seriously? Do you know this or did you just pull a number out of the air? That sounds like an awful lot of money for a store manager.

  31. MrEvil says:

    It’s not unheard of for a game publisher’s boxing company (they contract out with DVD pressers) to screw up. If I remember Correctly I think Unreal Tournament 2003 had lots of problems with missing CD Keys. Jenn or Dave should have just called the game’s publisher and explained the situation and they would have probably taken steps to correct the issue. Still, the guys at Best Buy kinda were asshats about the whole thing. Why Best Buy still insists that and Best Buy are two seperate entities is beyond me.

  32. @RandomHookup: Yes! That book was great…

    //end of random comments

  33. shfd739 says:

    Best Buy is the Devil. This is just another reason why we refuse to shop there, and why we tell everyone we know not to shop there. When a few have gone back after being warned they have problems like those already mentioned and get “I told you so”.

  34. D-Bo says:


    It shouldn’t have mattered if everything she did was in line with their return policy. Cynicism at its finest.

  35. zingbot says:

    I hate Best Buy SO much. I wrote them recently about a really crappy experience. Problem is they don’t care. At all.

    This new story makes me want to just screw with them every time I walk near a store. In fact, I think I will.

  36. mac-phisto says:

    i used to work for (undisclosed electronics retailer) & they had a $50 in-store manager leeway policy for this very reason. anything under $50, should a situation like this arise, would be “taken care of” (meaning scrap & replace).

    the very idea of the policy is that it’s less expensive to eat $50 once in a blue moon than it is to lose a customer for life over a few bucks.

  37. Treved says:

    Since I have no

  38. Treved says:

    Since I have no idea what game this was, I don’t know if this would work, but duh:

    Why not simply buy the game again for $20, take out the manual and copy the codes down, and then return the brand new game on the spot. you have the codes and your refund. Am I missing something?

  39. enm4r says:

    @Treved: Exactly what I would have done. I have learned that buying another copy/product and then returning the old one as defective is the easiest situation 90% of the time. Usually they ask if you want an exchange, just say no, you picked the game up elsewhere. I usually abuse Best Buy in these situations.

  40. thunderstruck says:

    If life were Star Trek, BBY would be Ferrengi. It’s all about profit.

    “Friends don’t let friends buy at Best Buy.”

  41. zaq2g says:

    @Treved: You cant return an open game for a refund, only for and exchange for the exact same product.

    Also if the game checks with the servers to see if the registration code has been used, then it could cause problems in the future because too many people have used the same code and it can be banned from the system

  42. tartis says:

    Maybe you should start a scene at the store and let every customer know that you were getting screwed over, then wait for the Police to show-up. Best Buy should have just replaced the game with a new one.

  43. Fl3shy says:

    All PC games require codes to play, most are on the back on manuals.

    For those of you who think it wasn’t worth her time: when did we all become so spineless? It’s not about the money in a lot of these cases; it’s simply a matter of principle!

  44. jlraynes says:

    This is Jenn. Few comments:
    @gatopeligroso- We have one year old twins. That’s pretty much why the game didn’t get played immediately.

    @soldierblue-The return policy is 30 days which we were under, however we were leaving for vacation and weren’t going to be back until after the 30 days had expired so I needed to take of it that day. Also my husband did contact the publisher (that was actually the first thing he did). They wanted him to photograph the key and then they would send us a new manual which made zero sense.

    @tian-The came was Halflife 2 Episode One. Again, one year old twins, not a lot of spare time to play games. I blogged about it, but my husband is actually the one that sent the link to the consumerist.

  45. OMG!Nirian says:

    @Buran: yes that is from a song and i believe it goes “i wish that i knew what i know now when i was younger” though fr the life of me cannot remember the name of the song.@ReccaSquirrel:and to your post when you said no games require a code:world of warcraft,fable the lost chapters,quake 4,guild wars,etc…..

  46. lakai says:

    Few months ago I bought a blu-ray disc of pirates of the caribean 2 . These dvds had slipcovers over it. When I got home ready to watch it, I opened it up and there was a recepit that said ( in-store use) and it was missing the disc. I took it back to the store to try to exchange it, but they wouldn’t let me.

  47. ShadowFalls says:


    Unlike some people, we don’t save up our “allowance” to purchase things in earnest to play them. Sometimes there is a good deal and we don’t have the time to sit down and play something.

    The issue of going to the publisher some cases is since this is such a cheap game, it is likely old and it has already been discontinued. But from her reply here, it seems they did try and were met with the same level of stupidity. They want you to take a picture of something you don’t have because you never had it and that is the whole reason you contacted them… You should contact them by phone if at all possible, there is a higher chance you will get someone more intelligent.

    As mentioned, it would have been easier for Best Buy to not hassle you on something so cheap.

  48. Shmonkmonk says:

    I agree that Best Buy handled this in the worst way possible but you guys should understand why some companies are jerks about media returns, or returns in general for that matter. I’ve worked in retail and it’s really disgusting how ppl buy, use, than return. Fraudulent returns are a huge concern for big retailers. While it’s not often reflected at the store level, customer service is a big issue in HQ and no company would risk alienating their customers unless they felt it was necessary to protect their assets. I imagine a company like Best Buy is a magnet for shady returns. It’s a shame that honest customers has to face the consequences of a few bad ones. The next time you decide to screw a retailer over, just remember you’re making it worse, you’re not teaching them anything.
    @ Not_Seth_Brundle… The Washington Post did an article on retail workers once, Dept. Supervisors (the lowest of all managers) at DC area Best Buy earned $17 an hour (over $35K if full time) If their supervisors are making that much, the dept. managers probably makes anywhere from $45-60K a year and Store Managers probably earn in the six figures.

  49. gatopeligroso says:

    @D-Bo: Well there’s the problem. It wasn’t within the return period. She was going back to the store after “weeks”. Come on, IT IS TEN DOLLARS!

    @Shadowfalls: I actually don’t play games, and there is a good possibility that I can buy a 10 dollar game without having to save up. The point is, she is returning back to the store and carrying herself as if she was just in a few hours ago. Put yourself in their (BB) shoes. What would be your first thought?

  50. darkclawsofchaos says:

    He waited to long. One time I bought a psp game and the UMD(psp disc thingie that you stick into the psp to play the game) was missing, mind you that the UMD is practically what I was buying, I went back the same day in like 2 hours after I left. The clerk exchanged it pronto, she asked what’s wrong and told me to get the exact same title, rung me up for an exchange, I didn’t even need to give any personal info. remember, when doing anything, go for that young person who looks like they doesn’t really care. They tend to use coupons in your favor when they’re not suppose to, they also tend to be the fastest customer service, and make checkouts as painless as possible

  51. endless says:


    murph, you are missing one MAJOR point in your arguement:

    managers are salary, they are not paid at an hourly rate, they could argue with you all year and not cost a cent more than taking care of it in 5 minutes.

  52. Helvetian says:

    Dreadful. Best Buy has some bizarre policies that seem to vary from store to store. For example, when The Departed was released as a special exclusive steelbook, I grabbed a copy. I got home and unfortunately the second disc wasn’t working. Make a long story short, I went to the same BB and wanted to exchange it. At the customer returns counter, the agent wasn’t friendly and actually snatched the new one I picked up and cracked it open, citing a policy that sometimes people exchange DVDs and then return them. This doesn’t make sense, because their system updates the receipt with an exchange therefore impossible to do a return on an exchange. Needless to say, she manhandled the steelbook and tore off the artwork from the top. I had to go get a second copy to replace it, she was very unhappy but so was I. I told her, do not open the DVD. I made it out alive, with my DVD sealed and in mint condition ;)

  53. Jon Parker says:

    @endless: That’s silly. A salaried employee’s time has value. Just because it’s salaried doesn’t mean that it’s not time lost to pissing offf a customer that could have been put to better use.

  54. Murph1908 says:

    Salary or hourly, essentially EVERY business evaluates profitability by the ‘hourly wage’ of employees.

    At my company, the profitability of a software title we create is calculated based on the number of hours of development, testing, etc, even though every one of those employees is salary.

    Salary or hourly, it still costs BB $31 for having him there for an hour…only difference is with salary, you get some free overtime. Just because he’s salary doesn’t mean his time is ‘free’.

  55. jlraynes says:

    @gato-it WAS in the time period for returns. About three weeks after we bought the game, the retun policy for both and BB said 30 days. And my husband went in first to try to return it, was unsuccessful and I DID go in a few hours later to try again.

  56. EmBeth says:

    After a recent in store purchase debacle, I thought I was in the minority of people who boycot that particular axis of evil.

    I made an online purchase of a cd and after picking it up in store, and dug it out from the miles of “packaging” plastic wrap, the price on the cd was $3 less than I paid. Supposedly their policy is to automatically take care of the difference, but two emails to customer service later was told I had to call their 666…er…888 or whatever number.

    Roger told me that unless the cd was listed in their newspaper circular, they can’t check what price the cd was listed at in the store, and I’d have to go back to the store and talk with a manager. Um, no.

    I called back five minutes later and Jose says that their “research team” will look into it and call me back in 7-10 business days and I just had to wait.

    So I did. Now I have voice mail from Tonya saying that they have no way of checking what the price was in that particular store on that particular day, especially since the original purchase was made over three weeks ago (she was snarky mcsnarkison about it too).

    Well of course it was three weeks later because your excuse of a company passed me around more than Paris Hilton in a frat house. So no refund, but I have voice mail to get my blood pumping for those much needed Rocky moments.

    Anyone interested in starting It’s available….

  57. rbf2000 says:

    Here’s the thing about this situation: Best Buy was right in their decision not to take the product back. Because it was missing the manual if they exchanged it out it would be like the customer was getting two games for the price of one.

    This isn’t the customer’s fault, it’s other customers that have tried to scam the system previously, which is unfortunate.

    Had I been working, I would have suggested that the customer contact the distributor of the game. Had they persisted to the point that this customer did, I would have simply exchanged out the game, because it’s only $10, and as other commenters have said, it’s simply not worth the time.

    This, btw, comes from four years of Customer Service experience at Circuit City.

  58. thesabre says:

    Let me tell you a little story about a recent adventure I had at Best Buy, not too different than yours. I recently purchased a certain TV show season on DVD. It was 4 discs and my wife and I both work full time, so we rarely have time to actually watch anything. So, occasionally, on a weekend we’ll put the DVD in and watch an episode or two. Well, about two months later we found that the 4th disc (which also had the series finale, so IMO the best disc) did not play. The other 3 did, but not the 4th. So, we went to Best Buy, where they went on their spiel that there was nothing they could do because it was an opened DVD and we didn’t have the receipt. Mind you, this was about 2 months after we bought it and we rarely keep receipts that long. They refused to give us store credit or exchange (even though defective DVDs go right back to the distributor for a credit, they wouldn’t lose a dime).

    The next day, I called Warner Brothers to tell them and that day they sent out a prepaid envelope to send the 4 disc set back. It took about 2 days to get to them. Three days later I received a new DVD set and a really, really nice letter from Warner Bros.

    My suggestion is to just call the game distributor or publisher. Most of the time, they’ll just send you a new manual/serial number if you show them a receipt.

  59. calldrdave says:

    While the principle was great…I’m sure if you contacted the game company and explained the situation, they’d be happy to send a new one and if it was indeed missing, I’m sure it happens on occasion. Time wasn’t an issue in this case.

    There is “being right” and “being practical” Don’t try to teach a pig new tricks. It wastes your time and annoys the pig. Best Buy Customer Service sucks, the pope is Catholic, and a Bear defecates in the woods.

  60. Buran says:

    @jlraynes: Have you considered buying it over Steam? I finished HL2 and need to do Ep1 and if you buy it over Steam, you don’t have to worry about this nonsense. You have to have a Steam account to play HL2, if I remember rightly, so you already have one…

    Cut out the incompetent middleman. Plus if you ever lose the disk, as I did to my collector’s edition of HL2 that also came with HL1: Source, you can just redownload it.

  61. Buran says:

    @rbf2000: … a store is right to sell someone something defective, then keep their money? …

    If that’s true, then what’s to stop stores selling $10 items for $50 and keeping $40 and then telling the customer it’s their own fault?

  62. blkhrt1 says:

    @EmBeth: For one thing, CDs and DVDs are rarely handled by Best Buy. As is the case with any retail outlet, any retail store, or discount store, they’re handled by an outside source (Usually companies like Mosaic or something like that) So that’s really not at Best Buy’s discretion.

    @thesabre: you say, and I quote:
    “…So, we went to Best Buy, where they went on their spiel that there was nothing they could do because it was an opened DVD and we didn’t have the receipt…”

    Then you follow up to say:

    “My suggestion is to just call the game distributor or publisher. Most of the time, they’ll just send you a new manual/serial number if you show them a receipt.”

    Now how can that be possible in your case if you didn’t have the receipt? No store will just give you a copy of a disc because it doesn’t work without any proof of purchase (i.e. a receipt) Who knows where you got that disc? Seriously, get smart.

    @Shmonkmonk: No way in HELL do managers make that kind of money. Being in the know, managers make around 30K a year. That’s one step below GM of a store. So, DC might be more money, but everywhere else, its way lower than that.

    And as for the original poster, Jenn:

    How idiotic do you have to be to think that Best Buy is not willing to refund your money? Let’s analyze.

    1) You purchased an item ONLINE for an ONLINE price…which Best Buy does not match prices on the website. So in accordance with THIS policy, you would’ve been right in paying the difference. Since is an online store which uses individual stores as inventory. Since the STORE carries it for 20 bucks, that’s what you’re going to pay. Had your lazy husband walked in and picked it up in person, there would’ve been no guffs about it. Did you even print the receipt?! Probably not. And why wait WEEKS to open the game? A receipt does no good if the game isn’t opened within the first 2 weeks. So Best Buy – 1, Jenn – 0

    2) Mad props to the “manager”, “bbe1”, and anyone else involved in this transaction. I’m sure you’re an upstanding and good citizen, but anyone can be a pirate. Prove to me that you bought that game that way, and I’ll exchange it.

    And just so you know, I’m not blowing this out of my ass…I’ve worked retail 10 years. I’m not stupid, and I’m not really concerned with your ban of Best Buy. One less customer isn’t going to affect them…but one less ANNOYING customer is a sweet relief.

  63. d0x says:

    I have to side with Best Buy here. You waited a copy weeks which is more then enough time to copy the disk and keep the cd-key…hell an hour is more then enough time.

    What you should have done was contacted the publisher of the game, they would have given you a cd-key and it would have been over.

    I know the situation sucks but due to “piracy fears” which I might add is a joke because pirates download over the net they dont buy and return or exchance..anyways, due to these fears you can no longer return a game or movie you dont like or may be defective in some way.

    There are many websites where you can get game fixes that will solve the problem, they arent illegal so long as you did buy the game which you can prove with your receipt.

    Oh and the main reason why is im sure they assumed you kept the cd key, maybe gave it to a friend and wanted another so you could play together on different pc’s…you cant do that with 2 of the same key.

  64. d0x says:

    @Gloria: Thats different, Console games dont need cd keys to play them. 99% of pc games require a cd-key to install them.

  65. agent2600 says:

    stories like this are never how they are told. No one at retail tries to make your life difficult, and I’m sure somthing was screwy. Stores get people all the time that try to steal CD keys by saying that the manual is missing (and 98% of the time it is someone trying to do this). The truth is, that you didn’t have to return the game at all. if you would have just called the customer support line for the PRODUCT they would have giving you a cd key.

    people tend to forget retailers just sell the product, they don’t make it, box it, prepare it.

    It’s not best buy’s fault that the manfucture of the game didn’t include a manual

    It’s not best buy’s fault that if they send the game back to the manufacture they don’t get credit because its missing the manual

    your battle is with the game’s manufacture not best buy

    if you would have brought it back a few hours after getting it I’m sure they would have given you a new one

    your a idiot customer and I am sure they will be happy to not have to cater to your moronic demands anymore

    stop trying to point your finger at the closest target.

  66. majortom1981 says:

    For everybody berating ebst buy. How does best buy know that the person really didnt take the book out for the key and try to return the product?

    Who in their right mind waits a COUPLE OF WEEKS to make sure that they got what they bought and that there werent any problems.

    I always open software in the store to make sure that the key code is there

  67. thesabre says:

    “Now how can that be possible in your case if you didn’t have the receipt? No store will just give you a copy of a disc because it doesn’t work without any proof of purchase (i.e. a receipt) Who knows where you got that disc? Seriously, get smart.”

    In my case, Warner Brothers obliged without asking for a receipt. They asked that I provide the store name and city where it was purchased, but that they generally require a receipt. I generalized by saying that you should have a receipt but it’s not always the case. It certainly varies company to company. In my rare scenario, I didn’t need one.

    What’s with the “Seriously, get smart” attitude? I’m offering advice because I got screwed over in the past by Best Buy too and I don’t want others to continue to aggravated when they could solve the problem a different way. Just trying to help. No need for the attitude.

  68. blkhrt1 says:

    First off…get smart about thinking you were screwed too. BEST BUY HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE DVD/CD YOU PURCHASED. They just sold it to you. They didn’t make it, they didn’t package it, they didn’t ship it. All they do is sell it. So by you taking things up with WB, that was smart. For blaming BBY…not so much.

  69. “Randomly mails her a gift card for $0.40.”

    Oh hell no… First thing I’d do after that is start litigations down at the claims court.

  70. Dontdieman says:

    I work at a certain retailer and people play the “Deer in headlights” defense

    I had a guy wanted a huge ProJo Tv and stand and the guy picked a stand and I said the stand was made for slim fit samsung DLP’s and wouldn’t fit the 60″ sony SXRD he was getting he said it wouldnt matter and bought it. One day later he came in and said to me I need to return the stand it’s unsafe and the tv could fall on his grand kids with he has over often and wanted the new stand delivered (A service he never paid for) and the old one swapped out and also he spent his time assembling the other stand the we should deliver the new stand assembled (another service he never paid for) so I let him know there might be a cost for what he wanted done and so he started ranting about how I sold him the wrong stand and that we were putting his grandchildren in danger and that we were treating a army vet like garbage and that we should pay for it all. Well we did and got him out of our hair.

    I felt like telling the guy how big of a scumbag he was and that blaming me to cover up your own stupidity with out a single shred of remorse as almost to say that his behavior was something of the norm. I find it sick.

  71. hop says: