Best Buy Sends The Police After You For Taking Your Loan Application Home

Here’s a weird situation from Orland Park, IL. Mike Quilty, who works for a subcontractor for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, went to Best Buy to purchase a refrigerator.

Best Buy’s loan application required his SSN, which he was not happy about providing because, you know, he works in “security” and likes things to be “secure.” Then, after deciding he did not want to purchase the appliance, Mr. Quilty took his loan application back. That’s when it got weird:

Quilty said he picked up his paperwork, which he had signed, and intended to go to the rear of the store and talk to the sales rep.

“But the clerk shouted that I can’t take the application,” Quilty said. “She said it belongs to the store.”

Best Buy’s spokesman said the clerk was following proper procedure.

Quilty said at this point he decided to leave the store – and take the loan application with him.

The clerk again insisted he leave the loan application behind.

Quilty ignored her and headed toward the door.

The clerk then shouted out to a security guard.

The security guard told Quilty to stop and return the loan application.

Quilty kept on walking out of the store and into the parking lot.

The security guard followed him.

“He never touched me or threatened me in any way,” Quilty said. “I will give him credit for that.”

Quilty tore up the loan application as he walked through the parking lot.

“As far as I was concerned, the application had my name on it, my signature and my Social Security number,” Quilty said. “I wasn’t going to leave it behind. I figured that young girl would just toss it in the garbage once I walked out of the store. I didn’t want anyone getting my personal information because I know just how much trouble that can cause.”

Quilty got in his car and drove off.

“But the security guard must have taken down my license plate number because when I got home, my wife tells me the police are waiting for me,” he said.

The police threatened Mr. Quilty with arrest if he didn’t turn over the paperwork, which Best Buy apparently needed in order to prove that Mr.Quilty had applied for the loan. In the end, the police accepted the torn up pieces of the application.

It’s just outrageous that a store could call the police and try to have me arrested because I walked out with my own loan application,” Quilty said.

The Best Buy spokesman said that in his six years on the job dealing with customer problems, he never had heard of a story like this one.

“The man should have just asked for the store manager and told him to shred the application as he stood there,” the spokesman said.

Would the store manager have shredded the application?

“I’m not sure what the procedure would have been,” the spokesman said.

What a weird story. Is taking your own loan application a crime? We’re not going to pretend to know the answer.

The man who knew too much [Daily Southtown]


Edit Your Comment

  1. JayXJ says:

    Wow. Best Buy steps on thier crank again. Who woulda thought?

  2. homerjay says:

    Why is retail SO fucked up??? WHY? This makes NO sense at all!

  3. Beerad says:

    Thank god he didn’t also have a receipt stuffed in his pocket.

  4. mandarin says:

    Thats a new low…
    Best Buy… Always entertaining…

  5. teh says:

    wtf? I now have to worry about being arrested for taking my personal information?

  6. mantari says:

    Wow. Quite a story

    NEXT UP —

    Best Buy Detains Customer for Theft
    “You’re not leaving here until you exhale, sir. That air belongs to us!”

  7. SadSam says:

    Somehow this does not surprise me in the least – since its BestBuy. Perhaps because he signed the application — completed the process — BestBuy considers the transaction complete and there is no opporuntiy to revoke the contract (loan application) I don’t think such an interpetation of contract law would be correct but since its BestBuy – who knows. I can’t believe they would call the police on this guy, I’d be interested to know what BestBuy’s allegations are?

  8. clementine says:

    I would have thought that the police would have treated that as a nuisance call. Very odd.

  9. timmus says:

    What the holy hell are the Orland Park police doing intervening on behalf of the store in a CIVIL MATTER? A lot of police departments will not touch civil matters with a ten foot pole except to keep the peace. I’m kind of disappointed the guy, after all that, tucked in his tail and surrendered the paper to the police.

  10. B says:

    I’m wondering what the loan application actually says. If there’s some fine print that Best Buy doesn’t want anybody noticing, so they don’t let you take home the application and show it to a lawyer or examine closely.

  11. goodguy812 says:

    i work at a finance company and unfortunately best buy is right on this one. we have to keep all of the original paperwork. which means the manager wouldn’t legally be able to shred it either. until 30-90 days pass by. if hes in security he should know its for his own protection. as gay as it sounds its true.

    when we turn ppl down for a loan they get all huffy and puffy and demand their paperwork be turned over, but we legally can’t do it.

  12. goodguy812 says:

    and i hate siding with best buy!

  13. ReccaSquirrel says:

    This wouldn’t have happened if he just showed them his receipt.

  14. goodguy812 says:

    its to prove they were actually there applying for a loan, and or porvides evidence in the case of identity theft. plus they have to reply in writing giving you information on their decision.

    however, that only applies if he handed over the paperwork in the first place. sounds to me like their are some pieces of the story missing, such as maybe he (like my customers) was turned down and wanted his paperwork back.

  15. AtomikB says:

    He should have demanded a receipt in return for the loan application. I mean, BB should be able to certify that they received it from him right?

  16. goodguy812 says:

    and if this guy is in the security biz and thought he could get a loan without his ssn he is an idiot.

  17. axiomatic says:

    Note to self: NEVER apply for loans through Best Buy. Thanks!

  18. AtomikB says:

    @goodguy812: He DID provide his SSN, and it was written on the loan application. That’s why he didn’t want to leave the application behind.

  19. goodguy812 says:

    i just asked my manager and we have to keep the paperwork on file for 26 months. (for the state of indiana) i’m sure other states have similar clauses.

  20. goodguy812 says:

    i tell my irate customer that try the same line on me to call the police, and the police will tell them the same as i just did. legally they have to keep it on file.

  21. Anonymous says:

    If he changed his mind and refused to give Best Buy the paperwork, I fail to see how this constitutes him “applying for a loan”.

    Best Buy is definitely not in the right. If I take a credit card application home and fill it out, but change my mind at the last minute, is the bank entitled to raid my house to retrieve it?

  22. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    I would’ve stuffed that paperwork in my mouth. I don’t go down without a fight!!

  23. Jerim says:


    Okay, I see what you are saying. At first I was completely shocked and confused as to why Best Buy would do this, but as you say, it is for security. Imagine for a moment if this guy takes the application home and loses it or tosses it. The next thing you know, he is screaming that he left it at Best Buy and they must not have handled it properly. Big lawsuit ensues and this guy gets a nice payday because Best Buy was too careless with the application. After the lawsuit is settled, Best Buy would come out with a policy just like this one to ensure that the applications don’t leave the store and that Best Buy is actually in charge of them, as the courts ruled that they are.

  24. goodguy812 says:

    @Darren666: thats why i say there has to be more to the story. the only way best buy would be right is if he turned it in, then changed his mind afterwards. after you turn it in it doesn’t matter if you change your mind they still have to process it.

  25. Buran says:

    Yet another reason to keep not shopping at Best Buy.

    If you change your mind, how exactly did you apply for the loan — thus meaning they have nothing to keep on file?

  26. goodguy812 says:

    well what you have is a written application vs. a verbal change mind. if they didn’t process it they could get accused of discrimination. say the guy calls back after he verbally said he changed his mind saying he never said that he changed his mind. you have no evidence he changed his mind. so he could accuse you of not giving him a fair chance at a loan because he was black or short or whatever he decides to say.

  27. Nighthawke says:

    Gee, i’m going to buy a lawn chair, go sit out in the local best buy parking lot and watch the fun. These clowns are more entertaining than television.

    OTOH, why in the world would he commit his soul to BB by applying for a loan there? Any credit union would have gladly assisted him in getting a more than fair loan.

  28. ArtDonovansLovechild says:

    It sure sounds like he DID turn it in, as they have no reason to care about a form unless he applied for the loan, as they have the same form online too.

    If he did apply for the loan they are required to keep the loan application for 1-3 years depending on state regulations. There are multiple reasons behind this.

    The most important is to prove you applied for this credit, so if you dispute this inquiry on your credit report they have proof. If they have a signed app, (and Im guessing they made him sign it before running it) they are protected.

    It is also an LP thing. Since so many companies give incentives for thier employees to take credit applications (I remember doing this at JCPenneys in the early 90s) there is always a worry that employees are submitting fake apps to get the dollar.

  29. homerjay says:

    he should have taken it over to the housewares department to see if it would blend. That would have killed all birds with one blender.

  30. ThomFabian says:

    Here’s a case where stopping and discussing the issue may have saved a lot of headache

  31. StevieD says:

    My HR people confirm the laws applying to job applications are quite specific about partially completed applications. I suspect the laws applying to credit applications must be very similar.

    In general the providor (creditor or employer) must prove non-discrimination and other legal issues.

    Blank applications are no big deal. Want a job application to take home with you, go right ahead. I have filled out many credit applications at home as well.

    The issue is with the “completed” or “partially completed” application.

    For completed applications I must show cause. Hired, not hired, retained application for future action. Creditors must show action to the applicatant, as in credit denied or approved.

    The “partially” complete application must be retained to show abandonment by the consumer/customer. That is the key word…. ABANDONMENT. The provider must show that applicant abandoned the application (process) rather than the providor refused the application.

    Shredding may be an option. That is a whole another legal issue. But a started application is to be retained by the provider.

    Now…. one key grey area issue in the OP complaint. Applicant takes an application, maybe to read, maybe to fill out, the provider does not “know” the specifics. So how does BB or any other provider know the applicant has started the process, unless the applicant has involved the provider?

    In this case, BB knew the applicant had started the application. At that point BB has to retain the application, or show proper disposal if the law allows disposal.

  32. goodguy812 says:

    im glad to see some people who have my back on this as i definately do not like best buy.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Regardless of what BestBuy thinks is in their best interests, I still side with the applicant here.

    If I change my mind about something and want to cover my ass from identity theft, I’d prefer to shred and dispose of the forms myself than trust BB not to “lose” it.

    I do think getting the cops involved is a bit over the top. How many times has someone been sued after someone pulled “i’ll take the application home scam”? I bet never.

  34. dawime says:

    So you are saying that if I go into a best buy, get an application, Fill out my name & address,and as I then read the finer print, I cannot dispose of the application right there and then? It makes no sense that they would need to retain it with my personal information if I did not decide to turn it in. I’d be damned if I’ll let them collect information when I am not even getting anything in return (the loan).

  35. goodguy812 says:

    ok the@Darren666: ok then whats to stop some kid who didn’t like you cuz you were poor looking or stinky or fat or black, from just shredding your stuff and telling you your not approved. if you think people aren’t racist wake up. its for your protection. most all places even have a privacy policy preventing your information from beings sold or anything like that.

  36. ThomFabian says:

    Perhaps getting the cops involved was a bit over the top, but so was the applicant’s refusal to discuss the issue and his leaving the scene.

    If there was no legal reason that Best Buy could provide for having to keep the incomplete application then I imagine that they would’ve been happy to shred the document in front of the user.

    I don’t know all of what is on the credit application, but perhaps there are some security/privacy concerns that the store has as well (perhaps guarding against scanned and faked credit applications for some reason?)

    Regardless, it seems much of this could’ve been avoided had the applicant chosen to discuss the issue with the store rather than leave immediately without discussion.

  37. dawime says:

    So if I walk home with an application, come in the next day and say “I started to fill the application I took home yesterday, but decided against the loan”, will best buy then get a warrant to search my house to locate the application?

  38. Hey, its Orland Park! Self proclaimed “Golf Capital of the World”, (just look on the water tower) – what do you expect.

  39. goodguy812 says:

    @dawime: no i don’t think that a warrent would ever get issued. but i could be wrong. i think that unless you show them the partial application, how would they know if you were being truthful and ever started to fill one out in the first place.

  40. goodguy812 says:

    and i’m pretty sure that an aplication cannot be submitted without the signature (which means that you agree to all the conditions and terms.)

  41. goodguy812 says:

    ugggh!!!! i cannot see my post! i hate it when that happens!

  42. marsneedsrabbits says:

    It is incredibly simple, but seems to bear repeating: Do not shop at Best Buy.

  43. StevieD says:

    Back to DAWIME.

    Yep, BB needs your application. Actually BB needs to show that you “abandoned” the application process and that BB did not discriminate in refusing to offer you credit, nor did BB attempt to offer you credit (ie running a credit check etc).

    How far you got, or did not get, in the process is not an issue. Abandonment is the issue. Abandonment allows BB to be off the hook with regards to credit discrimination and other legal issues.

    Personally I suspect that the law would allow you to obscure your information, or would allow the document to be shredded. But that is just a suspicion, not a statement of fact.

    And yes BB really does need to keep that half arse completed application on file.

    The same with employment application records. I have a filing cabinet full of what I call “garbage” applications. Half arse completion or filled with obscenities or other crap so that the person can say the filled out an application to meet their unemployment requirements while at the same time making sure that there is no possible way they would ever be hired for a job. About 3-4 years ago the State Unemployment office actually did a field audit of that filing cabinet and were wanting records (if we had them) going back 5 years. Yes, FIVE years. The law did not require the 5 year time, the State was trying to determine how aggressive we were in cleaning out the filing cabinet. I had records going back to the beginning of time, so the State was happy.

    If there is ever a stink about BB denying credit to one class (or lack of class) people, the state and federal agencies are going to up close and personally examing the bowls of BB’s records (if you get my drift). BB better have kept your incompleted application on file or be able to provide proof of abandonment.

  44. not_seth_brundle says:

    @Darren666: According to the story: “The clerk processes his application, and he’s approved for the no-interest loan.”

  45. Miss Anthropy says:

    Note that he completed the application and was approved. The application probably included something indicating his permission for them to run a credit report, etc. Best Buy would have been in serious trouble if they’d run a credit report and approved a loan without having any documention on hand. That sort of thing pretty much counts as fraud, and any auditor or accountant worth his or her salt would pass out if they found out that completed loan docs (originals, no less, with no backup copy) were allowed out the door.

  46. StevieD says:

    TAKE the BLANK application with you. Most stores are going to encourage you to take the application with you. Relieves the store of the legal liability regarding the abandoned applications.

    But many employers are going to require you to fill out the application on site. The requirement is to cut down on the state unemployment fraud issues as well as determining the applicants ability to read and write.

  47. Padriac says:

    So what happens if I walk into Best Buy, grab a hundred forms, fill in my first name on ALL of them, and then decide “screw it, I’m not interested”. Will Best Buy have to file away all 100?

    If so, I’m going to fill out 100 apps a day just to screw with them.

  48. 4ster says:

    Thank goodness they don’t have Best Buys at the University of Florida.

  49. mrsultana can't get a password to work says:

    Was he entered in the computer? That question makes a world of difference.
    If the application was never submitted, who cares? I let people take those applications all the time. If he takes it, he takes it.
    If it was, even if it was declined, it is now a legal document and a possession of HSBC (not Best Buy… they just hold it until it can be sent out in the next FedEx shipment). He stole and destroyed a legal document, if that is the case.
    The article is a little vague.

  50. StevieD says:

    Back to PADIAC.

    Actually BB is going to file the applications in a file labelled “Crank” and then prohibit your further applications attempts by refusing your entry into the store.

  51. not this this changes anything (or maybe it does)…

    since when does BBY have loans? they have a credit card you can apply for.

    and if someone already mentioned this, my bad.

  52. skrom says:

    This guy needs a tinfoil hat

  53. dandd says:

    Honestly, I would leave the paperwork after I took a pen and scratched out all of my information.

  54. Buran says:

    @goodguy812: You really think thinks like “Policies” will stop businesses from weaseling out for a quick buck?

  55. Buran says:

    @skrom: And the people who have had mail stolen from their mailboxes and used for identity theft don’t? It happens.

  56. Mr. Cynical says:

    Pretty typical for Best Buy, isn’t it?

  57. PORTWEST says:

    The whole thing sounds wrong at first glance but the loan papers he left the store with were on an APPROVED loan. All that info was already in the computer. He didn’t tell them he no longer wanted the loan, he just left with the signed documents. If I were Best Buy I would be wondering just what the scam was.

  58. “I just wanted to make sure I understood the sales rep correctly and that there was some sort of rewards program as part of the deal,” Quilty told me.

    Quilty contends he asked the clerk at the front of the store if he could talk to the sales representative again.

    So why not go back to the counter and ask the clerk to call over the sales rep? It seems weird he’d just leave unless he felt like he’d been had over the details of the loan. I can’t find the other comment that said as much but I would have marked out my SSN. I’m surprised he still had the peices of the application to hand over to the police. I would have thought he’d destroyed them.

    I get why they need to keep the paperwork, especially after he’d been approved, but they really need to explain this sort of thing when they hand people loan applications. Most people wouldn’t think that it’d be a big deal to leave with a partially filled out application.

  59. The Dude says:

    Grab your pen and write VOID — CANCELED — VOID on the app. No harm done, no app processed. And no Barney at your door.

  60. id voice of reason says:

    when I worked there (tech bench) we were told they can’t leave with the info filled out after deciding against the loan because we(best buy) would not get the credit for signing the people up for credit.

  61. Leiterfluid says:

    @goodguy812: You beat me to the punch, I was going to say that shouldn’t Best Buy be required to keep the original paperwork for auditing purposes?

    I hate to defend Best Buy, myself, but I think they were in the right, the application was store property; and I think this says more about our Homeland Security department than BB’s poor customer service.

  62. Cali-D says:

    Similar thing happened to me when I lived in the UK.
    I was in an ‘Orange’ cellphone store buying a new phone and contract. Just as I had signed the contract, the salesman told me that there was no 14 day cancellation period as it was super-special -promo-offer-deal that I was buying. I would not have signed had I been told that earlier, and told him there and then to cancel. “Nope, can’t do that” he said, “your details have been put into the system, a number has been assigned to you”, blah blah blah…
    So I asked him to show me the exact small print where it said I had no right to cancel, and as he handed me back the contract, I tore off the bottom quarter of the page where my signature was, along with the duplicates underneath… and stuffed the lot into my mush!
    The store manager had appeared by this time, so between chews I said to him “take me to court for breech-of-contract if you like, let’s see you show my signature on anything” and with that I walked away, hearing the muffled chuckles of a few witnesses.
    Never heard anything from Orange after that.

  63. Jordan Lund says:

    When I fill out an application I always use my own pen. That way I can claim that while the application itself belongs to whoever, the ink on it and the information relayed by the ink belong to me.

  64. sykotiko says:

    People and their paranoia…

    To see this clearly, let me explain this situation from a store employee’s point of view:

    Store associates are often required to get credit applications as part of their jobs because the store will actually get money out of it. It is still very important to keep that piece of paper the customer sings because it is used as a record. Since most of the apps are currently done on the computer I don’t really believe that the app had the customer’s SSN because I’ve seen one of those… the info is stored on the COMPUTER.

    Most important is the fact that if you are looking for credit, you will be required to give out your SSN to do a credit check. If you are not willing to give away that information, don’t apply for credit because there is no other way to get it.

    The best buy employee was doing what he was required to do and the customer WAS WRONG.

    Be aware that I don’t work for BB but I do work for another company… and I am sure the procedures are similar.

  65. BlueModred says:

    What good would that do? Are you going to ask for the ink back? That doesn’t hold any water.

    Here’s the deal on this:
    BestBuy was right and legal. The customer was wrong, and illegal.

  66. JustIcedCoffee says:

    The Application belongs to BB, he stole it, end of story. He even acknowdelged this by giving it to the police.
    Yes you can fill out an application completely, even bring it to the store and not submit it, but once you submit the application it becomes store property.
    Is someone with “top level clearance” doesn’t understand one of the main uses (whether righ ro wrong) reasons behind uses for said SSN’s I can’t imagine how he can protect our SSN’s from ‘terrorists’ —

  67. coan_net says:

    Now did Best Buy start the loan process – that is start the process of entering the information… and THEN he took the application?

    if so, then the store would need that paper as proof that they are not just doing random credit checks against someone – but has the signed application with approval to do the credit check.

    Otherwise, I can get Best Buy to do a credit check – and then file a lawsuit saying they unlawfully did a credit check since they did not have my permission to do so.

  68. HowlerMonkey says:

    I don’t see that whether Best Buy is required to keep the form (completed or not) is the issue. Rather, the issues seem to be (1) is the form Best Buy’s “property” and (2) is it a criminal offense for the applicant to take the form (completed or not).

    I’ve seen nothing in TFA or these comments pointing to any law that the customer/applicant broke. There’s just been a lot of discussion about why Best Buy has an interest in keeping the application, which is not at all the same thing. Best Buy may be required to keep the application but the applicant may well not be required to hand it over.

    Nor have I seen anything to indicate that if the customer/applicant did break a law, it was a criminal law.

    Without the above, all I see is a bully-boy retailer and corrupt cops. Did I miss something? Does anyone know anything about the relevant laws that proves the contrary? There’s either a lot of missing information or something rotten in Orland Park.

  69. rdm24 says:


    Thanks for the insight, but drop the homophobic “that’s so gay” shit.

  70. Brian Little says:

    I’m going to make what I can only assume is a radical suggestion: stop fucking shopping at Beast Buy, Circuit Shitty, et. al. Just stop. There’s little or nothing you can get there that you can’t get at a _local_ shop who has to deal in the community (and will often match prices, as Queen City Appliance in Charlotte did on my HDTV), or at a reputable online dealer. People keeping bitching about how awful stores are, but continue to return there.

    We Americans are so stupid sometimes. We’ll suck up all manner of foul treatment, cross-town drives in obscene traffic and vapid clerkery just so we can save $20 on a thousand-dollar purchase. Amazing.

  71. oneheadlite says:

    @Darren666: If you don’t trust the employees not to commit identity fraud, don’t apply for a loan there.

    @4ster: Say hi to Andrew for me.

  72. digitalgimpus says:

    Is there any doubt that this company’s management has no regard for the law?

    Forget about charging way above what others charge for the same thing and ripping off consumers… it’s up to consumers to shop smart.

    There are just way too many of these stories. I’m quite frankly sick of even reading them anymore.

    BY LEM127 AT 08:05 PM

    Grab your pen and write VOID — CANCELED — VOID on the app. No harm done, no app processed. And no Barney at your door.

    Not quite. Still doesn’t prevent someone from abusing your SSN which is still on there. Besides… they might just call the cops and charge you with vandalizing BB property.

  73. Crazytree says:

    this is the missing piece of the story:

    if Best Buy does not have evidence that they were authorized to pull the guy’s credit…

    they’re liable for statutory damages for unauthorized access to the guy’s credit report.

  74. lettersnumbershyphens says:

    Stevied, you’re not talking about L.A.W., you’re referring to C.Y.A. Please quote me an actual law that says what you’re saying (“the applicant shall be required to leave his papers”_, as opposed to a cover-your-tail store policy. There’s a difference, you know.

  75. Anonymous says:

    A similar thing happened to me at a GAP store in Philadelphia. I
    insisted on taking the application, and they insisted that I didn’t.

    It ended when I simply walked out with it, over their protests.

  76. Protector says:

    Not sure about this one or that “policy.”

    I work for BBY and absolutely love it when people APPLYING FOR A LOAN object to giving us their SSN and income. Get out from under your rock, people!

  77. shor0814 says:

    I am a bit confused. The spokesman from BB said “The man should have just asked for the store manager and told him to shred the application as he stood there”, but in the next sentence he states that BB “needed the written application as proof he had applied for it.” So even the BB spokesman didn’t have a clue how to handle the situation. Clarify your position before you use the police.

    Now, he may have been assured that the loan was voided in the computer, but leaving the completed and signed application and paperwork behind would have allowed someone to re-enter the information again and stick him with a loan.

    The BB spokesman needs to buy a clue if he thinks that using the loan app for identity theft “could never happen” as it does all the time.

    It is also funny to read the police officer’s reasoning:
    “He said the officer and his wife explained the store probably needed the application to prove that someone had applied for the loan. Without the paperwork, a person working a scam could claim he never applied for the loan and therefore didn’t have to repay it.”
    but this guy didn’t have the refrigerator so there was nothing to pay back.

    So for those “defending” BB, how does one assure that the application is not used after leaving a store? What are the safeguards to prevent identity theft and/or re-submitting the application? I have trusted places before, but these days, I trust very few stores to cancel things in computers.

  78. Extended-Warranty says:

    What a suprise. A customer goes into the store and decides once again that they create the rules and regulations. Then the delightful members of the consumerist without hesitation fully agree with him and blame big business.

    I don’t need to explain why the customer was in the wrong because some people in here actually do have some common sense and have already cleared this up.

    And technically the application is not property of Best Buy. It is property of HSBC who backs the card.

  79. crazycanadian says:

    Woo Hoo. I have a best buy application. I was going to get an account but my wife, who’s pregnant, was feeling sick so I couldn’t finish the application. I took it with me. They didn’t seem happy but the guy didn’t have the backbone to stop me…

    Perhaps I should scan it and post it here…so everyone could see this mysterious and highly coveted document… Maybe I should just go corporate mindset and sell it on e-bay? Offers? :)

  80. blkhrt1 says:

    If he did get approved then the store needs proof that he actually applied and signed for verification reasons. Why does no one understand these things.

  81. dantsea says:

    Why am I not surprised that a Homeland Security contractor doesn’t understand the concept of data retention?

  82. tadd says:

    I may be comparing apples and oranges here. I used to work in a mom and pop computer store about ten years ago and we did third party financing with one of the big national finance companies. Most of Best Buy’s side of the story rings true, as far as keeping the documentation. Except, as I recall: In many (most if not all?) states in the US, you may cancel a contract, no matter what the terms contained in the contract, as you can not sign away on this right even if you want to, within a 24 to 48 hour period. I am not a lawyer and I forget the details, but I am sure about that. I know we had to keep the originals once the application was processed, unprocessed we could return it to the customer or shred it in front of them, their choice. However, they told us the customer did have a right to cancel the contract within, I want to say 48 hours, but it might be 24. This was in PA in the early 90’s. In addition, I recall the finance company cited the relevant law in the fine print. And, we had to keep the originals for our records no matter what the outcome, they were welcome to copies of anything they wanted but could not have the originals as the finance company needed them; approved, rejected, or cancelled.

  83. netbuzz says:

    It’s 5 a.m. and I read this string quickly, but I still do not understand what possible justification the police could have for getting into the middle of this dispute. The form is BB’s “property”? Please, that’s BS. The form itself has no intrinsic value to BB irrespective of whatever legal obligations BB has to retain abandonned applications. The cops should have told BB to contact its own legal department. Had the PD showed even a shred of common sense about this we wouldn’t be having this conversation … oh, and did I mention that it’s 5 a.m.?

  84. Jesse in Japan says:

    Just write two thick black lines through your signature and write the word VOID next to it.

  85. Bobg says:

    My question is-why the hell did he even walk into a Best Buy? After everything that has been written about them on this site I avoid them.

  86. Anonymous says:


    The difference here is that this guy didn’t actually complete the loan process. He was not handing them this application and never did. He should have been able to walk out with it.

  87. Anonymous says:

    Good Guy, this guy did not turn in a loan application. He did not intend to. He did not want the store to have his personal information. There was no reason for the store to have the application. He wasn’t handing in an application to them. If he had turned it into them when he no longer wished to apply for a loan, they could have put the application through. He had every right to walk out with that piece of paper. That piece of paper was not involved in any transaction and he wished to keep it that way.

  88. Extended-Warranty says:

    HAHA, thanks for pointing that out DANTC.

    This guy works for HOMELAND SECURITY and doesn’t know about this.

  89. Jerim says:


    I think the point was that you can’t shred it or dispose of it. If it were a partially completed application, then BB needs to retain it to show that you didn’t complete the form previously and that you weren’t denied or approved for anything. Also a lot of places only allow you to file for credit every few months. So they need that document to prove that he either did or did not apply for credit in the last several months.

    Or the application was complete and had already been run. They were waiting on approval or denial when the customer changed his mind. Too late, because they need that document to prove that this customer actually applied for credit and was either denied or approved. So either way you go, BB needs that form. It is the only evidence they have of what actually transpired between you and them when you attempted to get credit.

  90. Bobg says:

    Solution—–Stay out of Best Buy.

  91. lihtox says:

    @dandd: I want to boost dandd’s comment: what if the fellow had blacked out his social security number? Would he have been charged with vandalism?

  92. Blueskylaw says:

    He should have just showed his receipt at the door.

  93. ShadowFalls says:

    The application though odd as it may seem, is legally Best Buy’s property. But, if this guy used his own pen, that means the ink on the application was his property.

    In this case, they would have to remove the ink from the application for him to have his property and Best Buy to have theirs. This could be done with any means which would be necessary.

    The lesson here? Always be sure to carry your own pen.

  94. @Bloodrose: Then how did he get approved for the loan?

  95. RvLeshrac says:

    My question is this:

    When did Best Buy start handing out loans?

    I know they do credit cards, but I was unaware that they were also a bank.

  96. Anonymous says:

    This is just another reason for me to stay away from Best Buy. In all honesty they should be Worst Buy because their prices suck and are only decent if/when you have some sort of coupon or something.

  97. Anonymous says:

    I often wonder just how insane company employees can get. I’ve seen so much garbage and absurd opinions by business employees that I want to scream. Many are like Larry, Moe and Curly that have gotten into a batch of really bad legal opinions.