Best Buy Agrees To Hand Over $100 Gift Card That Manager Denied

A few days ago we reported that Cliff didn’t receive a $100 gift card when he purchased a PS3 bundle from Best Buy, despite an unpublicized corporate memo that seemed to say otherwise. The manager at Cliff’s Best Buy said “You can buy any other PlayStation and you can get the gift card, but not on that one.” This didn’t match up with what others were reporting, so Cliff sent an email blast to the executive level asking why the offer wasn’t honored. Yesterday a Best Buy rep called Cliff and said that they’d be mailing him a $100 gift card. We’re impressed the Best Buy resolved this so quickly.

We’re also glad this was resolved in the customer’s favor, which will probably annoy many of you who disagreed with or attacked Cliff in the original post. Here’s why: Best Buy only honors price matches on in-stock items at competiting stores. Although it’s quite possible that Wal-Mart was already out of stock by the time Cliff made it to the register, the manager never gave this as the reason for the denial, according to Cliff’s story. The first time anyone at Best Buy brought up the in-stock condition was when a CSR said it to Cliff the next day over the phone. Since the manager made a distinction between the bundled PS3 and “any other PlayStation” but never mentioned stock being an issue, it’s far more likely that he denied the gift card to Cliff for some other reason—confusion over the memo, perhaps, or a desire to protect his store sales on the day the Metal Gear Solid bundle was released.

According to Cliff, Best Buy reiterated its in-stock rule but indicated they would make an exception of sorts:

I received a call from someone at Best Buy this morning who had been made aware of the situation by Lisa Smith (Vice President Customer Care). She explained what she understood of the situation and pointed out that the company policy regarding price matches is that the item must be in stock at a competitors store.

However because of the situation and that I was a valued customer, they are going to send out a $100 gift card. I’m hoping to see it in the next 2-3 weeks!

I can’t count how many times a day I refresh The Consumerist, but I’m certainly glad I’ve been reading it. If it weren’t for your tips like escalation and knowing about the executive email carpet bomb, I would’ve walked away from a corporate authorized price match. Thanks for everything and keep up the amazing work!

We think they should have just left it at “because of the situation,” because no matter who you are as a customer, in this case the store manager made a mistake.

Enjoy your gift card, Cliff!

“Best Buy Ignores Internal Memo, Doesn’t Honor $100 Gift Card Promo On Metal Gear Solid Bundle”


Edit Your Comment

  1. Ein2015 says:

    At least they recognized the error!

  2. ThunderRoad says:

    Way to take it seriously!

  3. dualityshift says:

    and did something to make the customer feel appreciated.

    As bad as Best Buy is, they did a stand up job at the corporate office on this one.

  4. AnderBobo says:

    It makes you wonder how many people who don’t get their stories published on consumerist reach such a satisfying conclusion….

  5. @AnderBobo:


    I am dreading the day that the only way the business conducts themselves correctly is after the consumer complains via the interwebs.

  6. riverstyxxx says:

    Meh, Best Buy only acted because the person complained to the right people. Normally they could care less what one person thinks.

  7. darksunfox says:

    Now Best Buy gets the positive press for “righting” a “wrong” as one of the top stories on consumerist and we’re supposed to congratulate them? It just shows that they have a better PR Staff than Gibson Guitars or Monster Cable.

  8. Deezul_AwT says:

    @riverstyxxx – Yeah, whenever I have a problem at Best Buy, I complain to Circuit City. OF COURSE complaining to the right people gets a problem fixed. And this is particular to JUST Best Buy? So when you have a problem at any store, you just ask for the stock boy, not the manager, because hie can help you?

  9. ShadowFalls says:

    Don’t be impressed till you actually receive the gift card… Saying someone is going to do something and actually doing it are two different things.

  10. EyeHeartPie says:


    I think he meant that the only reason Cliff got this type of resolution was because he complained on Consumerist.

  11. dweebster says:

    Whoa, this was a nice surprise from “Best” Buy. Totally out of character for them. Somewhere in the empire Darth is shedding a tear over this one.

    In our area the “Best” Buy refused entry to anyone that didn’t have a state-issued ID (allegedly for the game rating…). Some University students don’t have drivers licenses or have gone through the hoops for a state ID – so had to sit outside for an hour or two as their girlfriends, etc sat in line to pay – IF they also brought credit cards with enough $$$ on them to cover half a thousand dollars for another person’s purchase.

    In other words – rest assure Satan, “Best” Buy is still solidly in your camp.

  12. Kricket says:

    honestly – dealing with best buy corporate is a COMPLETELY different experience than dealing with those morons in the yellow shirts

    whenever i have an issue in the store (which seems to happen EVERY single time i go to the harlem-irving store in norrige, il) – i get on the horn with best buy corporate – right then and there

    once, the customer service rep called into the store to speak to the manager (apparently, he needed to be trained on how to do an exchange) – a second time after i told my story (quick version = best buy owed me a free hd-dvd), the corporate rep seemed geniunely shocked at the ineptness of the manager (who still works there, mind you) – he said he didn’t even want to talk to him and sent me a $35 gift card in the mail (more than enough to cover the cost of an hd-dvd)

    bottom line – best buy corporate is not filled with incompetent fools (unlike the b&m store managers)

  13. planet2334 says:

    Always go up the ladder, it does work. For me I do it ever so sweetly saying “I understand you do not have the power to help me, could you please send me to someone who DOES have the ability to fix this? And once they hear that they don’t have the POWER to correct something, they step up and say how they DO have the power and to prove it, they’ll go right ahead and FIX my problem! So there! (They sure showed ME…!)