Best Buy Sells Busted Cam As New, Blames You. Oops! Employee Pix!

UPDATE: Best Buy Goes Above And Beyond To Make Up For Selling Busted Camera As New

Oh this is too classic. Michael’s grandma bought a digital camera from Best Buy that turned out to already have its seal broken, be filled with someone else’s pictures, and was defective. At first Best Buy said they would exchange it and give her a 10% discount. Then they decided that the customers had busted the camera and insisted the photos on the camera were “demo photos.”

When Michael tried to escalate to Best Buy corporate, Best Buy said the manager had told them already that the camera was “clearly damaged” and therefore they could do nothing. There was no clear damage on the camera except for the most minor of scuff marks.

Then, the smoking gun. Michael found in a separate folder on the camera images of what very much appears to be a Geek Squad team member. Oopsie poopsies. All of a sudden now the Best Buy manager is very eager to help him out. Read the full story at Michael’s blog.

It’s Time For An Apology
The Best Buy Sometimes Isn’t [101 Dead Armadillos]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Stream Of Consciousness says:


  2. ceez says:

    we live in a world of aholes….just refund the damn thing.

  3. pauld79 says:

    He should contact the state attorney general’s office and his local newspaper. I’m sure he’d get a little more than new camera then. Shame, shame, shame them into being decent creatures.

  4. Baron Von Crogs says:

    GG Best Buy

    Good Fucking Going.

  5. radiochief says:

    BB may go the way of CC, if this keeps up!

    • McNugget911_GitEmSteveDave says:

      @radiochief: I doubt it. When you’re almost the only game in town…..

      • radiochief says:

        @McNugget911_GitEmSteveDave: In a perfect world…

      • DerangedRoleModel says:

        @McNugget911_GitEmSteveDave: Wal-Mart plays every game.

        • Stream Of Consciousness says:

          @DerangedRoleModel: Touche.

        • McNugget911_GitEmSteveDave says:

          @DerangedRoleModel: Yeah, I know. But they don’t have the selection that BB does, and the “skilled”(and yes, I shivered/hit myself when typing that) employees to help people buy things.

          • your new nemesis says:

            @McNugget911_GitEmSteveDave: Well, ultimately a new company will step in to fill the gap, perhaps radio shack will expand or something. Then, as usually happens, new company will be considered a godsend until it loses its focus and starts to show up on here for ripping customers off. Its a vicious cycle.

            • MrsLopsided says:

              @skizsrodt: Radio Shack could have gone the Big Box route years ago but decided not to.
              Small mall stores aren’t sexy but Radio Shack remains profitable.

              • fatcop says:

                @MrsLopsided: Ugh what??

              • Corporate_guy says:

                @MrsLopsided: Radioshack is profitable because they gouge idiots. The internet will probably close them down eventually.

                • ScottRose says:


                  “Radioshack is profitable because they gouge idiots”

                  I am not disagreeing. But I don’t see how that’s unique to RS.

                  Or is $59.99 the right price for a 25ft. CAT5e patch cable?

              • Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

                Radio Shack tried a big box store called Incredible Universe.
                They opened twenty & then in yet another of their brilliant decisions shut it all down!

              • targaryen says:

                @MrsLopsided: Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Radio Shack owned by Circuit City? In Canada, Radio Shack doesn’t exist anymore – it’s “The Source by Circuit City”. We’ll see what happens in the next year, I guess.

              • asplodzor says:

                @MrsLopsided: When I was a youngster back in the early 90’s, Radio Shack was awesome… it had every odd electrical component I could think of and then some. It had easy to modify equipment that could be turned into [white hat] phreaking boxes, had a TON of home automation equipment (x-10, IR extenders, etc), and just generally was a fun and interesting place to shop.

                That was not ANYTHING like it has become in the last 5-7 years – they’re just a smaller big-box store now. Everything they sell is mainstream and overpriced, or cheap knock-offs and overpriced. If only they would return to their roots, they would regain a huge clientele that they lost when they lost their utility TO that clientele.

        • RedwoodFlyer says:

          @DerangedRoleModel: At Wal-Mart I actually heard a rather knowledgeable electronics person clearly and neutrally explain the diff’s between a Zune and iPod to someone…I also heard one explain to a customer that the expensive gold plated, bling encrusted cables they were getting with their new TV are unnecessary, and that the cheap ones will work just as well.

          Try getting that at a best buy!

    • CrowMignon says:

      @radiochief: And end up in AA…

  6. MyPetFly says:

    I’ll never go into another Best Buy again. It’s been years anyway…

    • Anonymous says:

      @MyPetFly: Oh, I still enjoy walking into Best Buy…but only to get an idea for things I’d like to later buy elsewhere/online (for half the price…but you can’t always get a good look at a product online)

  7. minsky says:

    What is it with these asshole ‘managers’ at Best Buy?

    What a bunch of fucking crap. Why doesn’t corporate ever come down on these lowlifes for treating customers like scum?

    Best Buy blows!

    • WiglyWorm must cease and decist says:

      @minsky: Really? You don’t think for even a second, with this being the case with every best buy story we ever hear, that this is just possibly something corporate encourages?

    • DerangedRoleModel says:

      @minsky: IIRC, Best Buy actually encourages this behavior. They’re “devil customers.”

    • logicalnoise says:

      @minsky: back before succumbed to the evil blue gianty there were plenty of stories on the idiocy, malcontent and prejudiced actions of BB management.

    • WBrink says:

      @minsky: I’m curious as to how upset the manager is to the used camera being sold vs. how upset the manager is that his geek squad didn’t wipe the internal memory so there would be no record of the repackaging.

    • KCChiefsFan says:


      When I was but a wee lad in the nineties, I experienced the last time my father would ever willingly shop at a Bestbuy. My MP3 player (A Diamond Rio with like 128mb of storage. The first ever production model MP3 player) that I bought from Bestbuy for 300 dollars two weeks prior had just stopped working. To be more specific, the battery stopped holding a charge (a defect the entire line was afflicted with, I’d later learn, and which stores were told to not accept a refund on). My dad took it up to the customer service desk at bestbuy, and clearly explained to a girl that couldn’t have been more than 20 (which I’d later find out was the manager) that the player was no longer holding a charge, and that the battery was defective, but that it would still work if plugged into a wall outlet. So she took the MP3 player and the charger, and went to the back room (which was in plain view, the door was open). She then plugged the MP3 player, heard noise, unplugged it, and came back to my father with something approaching “It works just fine you filthy liar”. At this point, my father tried to calmly explain why it worked when plugged in, at which point the employee decided she was finished talking, and asked my father to step out of line (without getting an exchange or a refund). At that point my father went on a five minute verbal tirade that included the words “idiot”, “moron”, and possibly “is there anything between your ears”. By the end, she was sobbing, and the boss of the store (a GM I guess) came over and asked what was wrong. When told the story, he agreed with my father, and proceeded to tell the girl she was practically mentally retarded, and that her shift had just been ended early. I could hear her crying as we walked out of the store, refund in hand.

      It’s not that they don’t WANT to have good customer service, it’s just that the type of employee they attract is functioning on a fifth grade level, is a b*tch, and just generally has no business working with people, ever. All you can hope for is that lurking somewhere in the store is a general manager willing to call a spade a spade, and to help you where their moronic staff cannot.

      (oh, and yes, I was mortified)

  8. justjimi says:

    Remember when stores gave refunds, no questions asked, without having to resort to major litigation? Sad.

    • fjordtjie says:

      @justjimi: in BB’s defense, (please don’t pelt me with responses I’m a heretic!!) Monday night I bought a Swissgear backpack from BestBuy (through the site to store for a sale of $10 off) and picked it up. I put all my crap in it and went to class, and it hurt my back, so yesterday afternoon I took it back, tags unattached but included. I walked to the counter, said it hurt my back, the service rep said ok, would you like an exchange or a refund, I said refund, and it was instantly credited back. There were no questions asked, just the info I voluntarily provided, and it was easy as pie. So maybe, occassionally, every once in a while, there is an easy purchase and/or return at Best Buy.

      • joe18521 says:


        I, too, have had numerous similar experiences that ranged from none-painful to pleasant. I’m guessing geographically different stores probably have different behaviors.

        • lemur says:

          @joe18521: You’re right. Different BB stores provide different experiences. My wife and I bought a HDTV from BB a while back. There are two BBs in our neighborhood. One provides bleh service: not awful but not great. The other one is pretty spectacular to the point that when price matching the HDTV the clerk corrected in our favor a mistake I made (i.e. he saved us money).

          We also checked out CC at that time and the service there was utter crap. I’m not surprised they bit the dust.

    • RedwoodFlyer says:

      @justjimi: Hate to say it…but remember when customers didn’t take advantage of this? I remember how many people online suggested using Costco’s generous return policy as a “Free TV every 4 years” policy…or how people recommended returning items from anywhere to Target by simply creating a fake wedding registry.

      Judging by some of the scum on slickdeals, we can count on pricematching and other promos to soon fade away as well (one of the worst was the guy who complained when Sears told him to stop using a Gift card to buy another giftcard, and using that to buy another one (they had 10% gift cards at the time)…

  9. SJ Stanaitis says:

    Seriously, who would let that geek squad kid touch their computer? I’ve seen some questionable facial hair decisions in my day, but that my friend is ridiculous!

    I sense a Photoshopping spree inbound…

  10. katiat325 says:

    Did he buy the last camera that was on super sale? (Can’t read the blog, even with DSL it’s loading super slow for me right now.) I can understand if it’s the last camera in stock, so it’ll have pics on it. Or, it may have been returned. I dunno, either way, he should get an exchange for the camera, although I’m not sure about the added 10% off.

    • katiat325 says:

      @katiat325: Okay, nevermind, I take back the comment…however, I usually get good customer service with them, it just really is too bad his MIL had to put up with A-hole. Call corporate again and complain more, this time say you have proof that it was a used camera and that you are considering to stop shopping there for online alternatives and that you’ll be letting your friends and neighbors know as well.

    • nakedscience says:

      @katiat325: Uh. It was sold as NEW. NEVER OPENED.

    • nakedscience says:

      @katiat325: And why not the added 10% off? They REFUSED to help him, even after he had proof. He had to jump through hoops to get taken care of. That is ridiculous and uncalled for. 10%, imo, is low. They should give him a free upgrade to the next model up. And if they don’t, a full refund so he can buy a camera elsewhere.

  11. GyroMight says:

    Come on Mike, you let your innocent grandma buy something from Best Buy? You should have said “Here Grandma let me buy that camera for you cheaper and we will get better customer server from this website I know called, NewEgg.”

    Something very similar happened to my grandpa, he bought an electronic device from BB it was broke, they got the run around, then finally got the money back.

    Now they run all their electronic purchases through me first, so in other words every 5 years or so they need something.

  12. radiochief says:

    In Best Buy the cameras shutter you!

  13. ManiacDan says:

    I don’t know why people even shop at best buy anymore. They’re overpriced compared to amazon, and you have a 10% chance of not getting what you paid for. Even when I need something right away, I still just order it with overnight shipping. It’s not worth the hassle to try to get an employee to unlock the cage for 20 minutes, firmly decline the extended warranty 15 times, wait in the checkout line, decline the (not) free magazine offers, then get home and realize you got sold a box of bricks. Even if you open and turn on the device at the store you’re adding to your wasted time, and the people behind you in line. Best Buy purposely employs the bottom of the barrel, has corporate policies that make shopping there difficult, and is notorious for selling you broken devices. Just switch, and wave goodbye to another relic of the times before the internet.

    • adamczar says:

      @ManiacDan: I agree with you — I actually get angry when I hear a friend say they went to Best Buy for a big purchase. The money saved in shopping at places like Amazon and Newegg more than make up for the extra time spent waiting for shipping. It’s absolutely ridiculous.

    • Brontide says:

      @ManiacDan: +1

      Anyone who intentionally shops there at this point is just asking to be screwed; not if, but when.

    • WBrink says:

      @ManiacDan: Old people (currently anybody over 35) don’t like to spend money on the internet.

      Case closed.

      • "I Like Potatoes" says:

        @WBrink: Wow. You really think people over 35 don’t like to spend money on the internet? And you think people over 35 are “old people”? I certainly hope you are being sarcastic (please, please, please…)

      • ManiacDan says:

        @WBrink && @changed my name: My mother in law thinks that if she moves her credit card too close to her computer it will get stolen, but will happily hand it over to a greasy 19 year old in a restaurant so he can disappear with it for half an hour.

        Also, maybe “35” was a typo and he meant to type 45 or 65. I would consider 65 “old people.”

        I think some people shop offline for fear of fraud (dumb) and because of some deep-seated belief that a specialty store will somehow produce a better pre-packaged product. It’s the same reason why you’ll see someone walking out of a best buy with a DVD player that’s sold at the wal-mart across the street for $30 less.

      • dculberson says:

        @WBrink: Uhh, my father is 71 and he buys stuff online all the time.

      • meadandale says:


        @WBrink: You are an idiot. I was using the Internet while you were probably still in diapers.

    • RedwoodFlyer says:


      Funny you say that about who they employ…when we consulted UniCru about their screening questionare, they gave us examples of how we can pick the “ideal” candidate for a given task. The example they gave for candidates who are confident, empathetic, and patient was Panera. The example they linked to Best Buy was applicants who are good at bs’ing, lack strong leadership (i.e. talking back), and convincing.

      We ended up telling UniCru to f-off though when we realized that applicants should be given the respect of an actual interview and not some stupid “click the radio button” thing.

  14. dresden says:

    I don’t shop at Best Buy… I hate going in there and getting assailed by a bunch of spiky haired douchebags that wouldn’t know their balloon knot from an ethernet jack. And then you deal with the stare down of some meat head spiky haired douchebag who’s job it is to stand by the door and immediately pounce on anyone that triggers the RFID sensors. The place is just a douchefest. I liked CC better because no one bothered me there, but I guess that’s why they are where they are now. :P

    • WBrink says:

      @dresden: As someone who worked at Best Buy for 3 years in college, you forgot to add ‘statutory rapist’ to your adjectives. Just trying to help you out.

      • RedwoodFlyer says:

        @WBrink: Might want to reword that…because now it sounds like you’re saying that you were a statutory rapist!

        @dresden: Are you sure that’s the employees and that it’s not just the people lining up at their mini-mac store?

  15. Franklin Comes Alive! says:

    Looks like Michael’s server now has 102 dead armadillos…

  16. thatsnotfab says:

    Oh, Best Buy. It’s almost insulting how your slogan is “You, happier.”

  17. N.RobertMoses says:

    This is why I shop at reputable local retailers like B&H and J&R.

  18. Nighthawke says:

    Site’s Slashdotted, Wanged, or Goon Rushed, nearly to its knees.

    Anyone that works for BBY has to be a masochist or a Dom; always looking for ways to experience the pain, or to inflict it in one form or another.

    Anyone that shops at BBY has to be a hardcore slave. To experience or accept that kind of treatment is intolerable and inhumane.

    I’ve seen DOGS get better treatment than this!!!

    • Communist Pope says:

      @Nighthawke: Really? You’ve seen dogs get full refunds, no questions or hassles involved? Meaning, the dogs presumably first made a purchase?

      I should like to witness both ends of that transaction, no joke!

  19. jtheletter says:

    So the manager lied to cover his own ass, seems to happen all the time these days. I’m keenly interested in creating/applying laws to corporations, and those who represent them, that would punish corporations for making false statements to the public.

    In this case since the manager’s lie would have resulted in no reimbursement to the customer that sounds to me like intent to defraud. I’m no lawyer, but it sounds like it’s time to ask one and maybe file some criminal charges. Is it overkill? Maybe, but until we the public start making examples of those corporations who lie to us this will continue.

    • TEW says:

      Just don’t call 911. Even the most incompetent lawyer could win this case but he still would charge 20-30 % of the winnings. The best bet would be to threaten them with small claims court and most corporations will pay up to avoid the bad publicity.

    • RedSonSuperDave says:

      @jtheletter: I would be fine with creating a law that required the highest-paid employee of a corporation to be considered the physical body of the corporation, and legally responsible for any crime committed BY that corporation.

      If I write a thousand bad checks or sell a used camera as new, even if it’s an honest mistake, I get to sit in jail while the cops and my victims figure out what happened. When a corporation does it, they make a public apology, send out some gift cards, and “take it seriously”.

  20. Stream Of Consciousness says:

    I hate to admit it but I do occasionally shop at BB…but I have only ever bought DVD’s and the occasional CD from them.

  21. Adhominem says:

    I completely agree. If the customer has the time on his hands, it would be good to hold Best Buy’s feet to the fire. Companies need it every now and then. It is healthy for all consumers.

  22. Outrun1986 says:

    Haven’t shopped at BB in a while, but the one time I did, I found it very easy to order my item online for in store pickup. They can’t add extras like magazine subscriptions since its already charged to your credit card, and they most likely will not pester you about anything. Also saves you the time of having to get someone to unlock the cage while they purposely make you wait in the store for 20 min hoping that you will buy something else while you are waiting. Your order will be waiting at the pick up counter instead. Yes you could order something online just as easily and have it delivered to your door however if you MUST have it now this is the way to go with minimal hassle.

  23. Eryk says:

    Oopsie poopsies…I don’t know if two words have ever summarized Best Buy service better than that.

  24. Courteous_Gentleman says:

    To play devil’s advocate here, until the pictures of the Geek Squad member surfaced, BB did really have no way of knowing that the pictures on the camera were from the customer or not.

    Still, better that the customer be given the benefit of the doubt. It’s tough to play devil’s advocate to a company who knows the devil better than i do.

    • waitaminute says:

      @Courteous_Gentleman: Of COURSE they knew. The pictures found on the camera have embedded meta data on each one. That data would show those pictures were taken prior to the purchase.

      • axiomatic says:

        @waitaminute: You average BB shopper (much less a Geek Squad tech) has no clue what “meta data” is. You may as well have said “jabberwocky” is on the camera and it would have had the same effect.

        Although I must admit, I love to go to BB and hear the lies told by the BB employees selling HDTV’s. Even more fun is to tell the customer the BB employee was talking too “the truth” after the employee walks away. Comedy gold.

      • RedwoodFlyer says:


        Not just that…but it’s not too hard to change the date on a cam in order to “trick” the meta-tags…

    • ovalseven says:

      @Courteous_Gentleman: Do new digital cameras typically have Demo photos on them?

      If not, they had to know that they sold a used camera, and were using the phrase “demo photos” in an attempt to further deceive the customer.

  25. Adhominem says:

    I really like how Customer Service is a court room now. They won’t help you or budge on their position unless you have legal evidence.


  26. philpem says:

    Oh look, it’s a Casio Exilim… Quite possibly the most unreliable camera (or rather most unreliable /series/ of cameras) ever made.

    Seriously, when we were selling the stupid things at work, you could guarantee that most of them would be back within a few weeks with a lens fault. We even had one of our demo cameras (that is, a camera we kept in the cabinet solely for showing to customers) jamming up mid-way through a demo. Fun fun fun.

    To their credit, Casio did release the first “affordable” digital camera — the QV-10 — but even that was an unreliable dog of a camera. Google “casio qv-10 memory error” for the story behind that one…

    While it’s obvious that someone at BB was playing with the camera before it was sold, I wouldn’t be surprised if the fault was down to the sheer shoddiness of Casio kit…

    • RedwoodFlyer says:

      @philpem: Interesting. Our ticket counter staff use Exilim’s to take face pics of our frequent fliers (so that they can be greeted by name once onboard), and despite daily use for over a year, the cams are holding up well…

    • Canino says:

      @philpem: I have one and never had a problem with it. I didn’t exactly buy it for the photo qualities as much as for the pocket size. Pretty good ratings at cnet, places like that if I remember, at least at the time.

  27. Joshua Beiser says:

    What!! That Geek Squad member is my friend Matt! I know a bunch of people that work at this location, this is insanity.

    • Rebecca Brown says:


      If you’re not lying, I think you need to find some friends who don’t rip people off.

      • joshuabeiser says:

        @Rebecca Brown: I haven’t spoken to him in probably a year or more (outside of today, telling him that he was on this site!). I’m going to call him up and try to find out his side of the story, maybe get some answers to our questions.

  28. LetMeGetTheManager says:

    I think we crashed his site.

  29. WBrink says:

    I am constantly confused on how Best Buy is so successful and how they plan on maintaining that success long-term. As old people basically die (sorry old people), younger generations age and become consumers. These young generations have no problems spending money on the internet.

    Is it Best Buy marketing? Are there a very select few people carrying the rest of the worthless idiots @ Best Buy a-la Atlas Shrugged? Every time I go there, they have borderline worthless people working. They can afford to hire the best. They’re practically the only game in town now. Why do they have hiring practices that attract the low lifes I see there? Do they just happen to sell the best and climb the management ladder better than others?

  30. Richard Brown says:

    Did this happen in NY? He looks familiar…

  31. Adhominem says:

    Too bad Best Buy doesn’t sell electric razors that your friend can use and put back into the package to sell as new.

  32. Cesar Vazquez says:

    Best Buy and all of its 1000+ stores are going to go bankrupt because 1 in every 150 customers has a bad experience


    • trujunglist says:

      @Cesar Vazquez:

      1 customer tells 2, 2 tell 4, and so on until BB really is gone. Think it won’t happen? I used to wonder how Sears was so big back in the day but wasn’t/isn’t around at all. I guess we’ll have to wait and see…

  33. Adhominem says:

    @undefined: I frequently see high schoolers who work there advising age 30+ men and women on how to spend several thousand dollars. It’s classic.

  34. Sheila Cook says:

    Way to go, Michael! So pathetic a customer had to go through so much N E E D L E S S L Y, Best Buy. I can’t imagine how much used stuff Best Buy must be selling as new because customers aren’t as skilled as Michael is in proving it.

    I stopped shopping at Best Buy 4-years ago because of how crappy they treat their customers. Not surprised to hear things haven’t changed.

    Just another reminder to A L W A Y S open whatever you are buying at a brick and mortar and take whatever time you need to take to give it a thorough inspection before paying.

  35. Richard Brown says:

    Where did this happen? I think I’ve seen him!

  36. Jason R says:

    Maybe Best Buy needs an “inspection table” like at closing Circuit City stores…

  37. consumerd says:

    Well that pretty much settled me from ever buying from best buy ever again.

  38. girlleastlikelyto says:

    Little correction: The original post indicates that the person who bought the camera is Michael’s mother-in-law, not his grandmother.

    I never understand why people at these big box stores are total asses to their customers. It’s like they don’t know there are places like the Consumerist ready to call them out on their assery! More fun for your readers, I suppose, but a lot less fun for their customers.

  39. SpdRacer says:

    BB can’t go out of business!!! My company gets so MUCH business due to the Geek Squad being full of morons who can’t install a simple router without fraking it up and then overcharging the customer.

    • Prophaniti says:

      (from the blog, 3rd paragraph from the bottom)

      It should be noted that the images used in this post are copies of the originals. I have the originals available on my computer, plus they’re still sitting on the camera waiting to be recovered again and again, if necessary.”

      Sorry, but I almost blew coffee out of my nose when I read that bit.
      Great sleuthing, great story with juicy details, great “got you by the nads” sort of story…but this one bit has so much comedic potential.

    • Outrun1986 says:

      @SpdRacer: Add me to the list of people who would NEVER even think of going to Geek Squad and who would much rather patronize a local computer repair shop, should the need ever arise.

  40. Andrew Mussey says:

    This isn’t the first time I’ve heard of Best Buy pulling this crap. I picked up a hard drive from them, labeled as new, to go home to find that it was full of someone else’s music. Best Buy, however, provided a full refund and many apologies.

  41. magnoliasouth says:

    I once got a crappy computer from Best Buy and the story of how badly they handled it is way too long to explain here. Suffice it to say that I’ll NEVER EVER make a major purchase at Best Buy ever again in my life.

  42. banmojo says:

    this man deserves more than a functioning, new camera. he deserves compensation for all the time he wasted dealing with this problem. BB assholes.

  43. AlexTNOA says:

    I like going to Best Buy after finding the lowest price I can for something and having them price match it. It’s fun because I get an even lower price than the one I found, and I don’t have to wait for it to be shipped.

  44. Anonymous says:

    Reminds me of my similar experience. My mom bought a latop from a Best Buy, the store they went to was sold out so they shipped one over from another store.

    They don’t know any better or are too trusting so they just picked it up and took it home. Luckily they didn’t “open” it and waited for me. I first noticed the Toshiba tape was cut through and there was Best Buy tape over it. Then I noticed there were two packs of security software in the box that was not listed as being in the box. Then the keyboard was dirty. Then just with turning it on and not running everything the CPU usage was 91% steady. They obviously sold them a used laptop. Norton was also totally taken off the computer, and it was listed as being in the computer as well.

    Took it back, while waiting in line I noticed the Geek Squad people had a rack of the software that was in my box behind their counter. Another clue.

    Talked with the manager and he was a d-bag. He told me the computer was not used, but they were demo’ing their software on it. It came from another store, so I asked how he knew. “I have friends there,” he said. “They are good people and wouldn’t do anything bad.”

    He then got an attitude telling me I was getting this software for free. I told him I wanted Norton as advertised, not their “software”. He told me it was better than Norton, lol.

    I complained that someone should have said it was a used computer or at least a sticker or something so you know you were not buying a used computer. He kept tapping on the Fed/Ex shipping label like that was supposed to tell me something. Total attitude about everything, and since I used to work in retail I knew to kill with kindness.

    So I asked to exchange for a new one. Of course they were sold out and he said “they were not getting any more in” And if I wanted a different one, they would charge a restocking fee. Then I wanted a refund, ok, but still with the restocking fee.

    I called HQ and they said they wanted to talk to him. They kept me on hold for 30 minutes. The person said she called twice, once was told he was too busy to come to the phone and the other that he wasn’t there anymore.

    Needless to say they apologized like crazy, paid the restocking fee and got a $50 gift card.

  45. hhole says:

    Anyone know if BB has a Twitter subscription? If they don’t have one I’m guessing the moment they send some poor schmuck to monitor their twits, they’ll either quit or take down the Twitter servers.

  46. baristabrawl says:

    Screw Best Buy! I’m shopping at Circuit City…for 2 more days.

  47. drdom says:

    I don’t get why this is a surprise to anyone. It’s Best Buy. They’re all egg sucking weasels.

  48. shubox215 says:

    Best Buy hates to returned anything because it hurts the end of day numbers for the store. Especially when PSPs (service plans) or Geek Squad services are cancelled or refunded. Most of the time they will not refund services, but when they do, its on the computers department to sell more to offset the numbers for the day. Generally, Best Buy has a company standard of 7.5% for PSPs. SO if the computers department has a revenue budget of 30,000 for the day, they are expected to sell AT LEAST $2250 in service contracts. Usually their goal is around 8 to 9%. Home theater is a little higher

  49. Anonymous says:

    To be fair (i used to work at a BB) there a ton of a$$-hole people out there. they wil try anything to cheat a business out of money. people who think that because they are the customer they get to treat al employees as garbage and that they can demand a refund for being inconvenienced.

    cust: “i drove all the way down here and you dont have it ?!!!”
    Assoc: “did you call first?”
    cust: “no the phones are always busy!!!”
    assoc: “ok wher edo you live?”
    cust; ” 2 miles away!!!”

    whoever thinks that BB is in the wrong needs to STFU. you are just as lowlly as the scum who try and pull sh!t on retailers.

    as for the part of the manager “covering” his a$$ the evidence showed that the camera was abbused and once they had proof that it wasnt due to them they returned it. no where in the law does it say that they have to return it. “caveat emptor”. if the damn seal is broken or its an opened box then check before you leave. if you leave the store and find out later then it is your fault

  50. Nick Silvestri says:

    LOL oopsie poopsies!

  51. LeJerk says:


  52. Anonymous says:

    So I feel your pain, but let’s take a look at this from both perspectives. Retail is one of those jobs like being a waiter. You have to experience it to see how it feels to be in that role. Each and every day customers come in and try to deceive retailers for various reasons. This costs them money. Even Walmart of all people have changed their return policy because of this. Several things could have caused the experience:
    -How did they act towards the employees?
    -Was the store consistent or did it change?
    -If you bought the camera “new” then why wait so long to try and return it?
    -A 1/1/08 date is the default date on new cameras
    -Maybe those pictures of the agent were from where they tested the camera when it was brought in to see if it was working
    -Mistakes happen – maybe it was not intentional. I actually doubt it was.
    -Maybe a customer bought it, opened it, used it, and resealed it and they had no idea.

    Be realistic before you go mud-slinging at people just because they make you mad one time. Think about all of the times you shoped there and got something good. Why do people never spend time writing about the good service they receive.

    This is ridiculous.

  53. Keter says:

    I go to BB as a last resort. As in no one else has what I want. And if an employee comes over and tries to help me, I tell them I’m just looking and I’ll come find them if I have a question. If they get persistent, I leave, go look at something else for a while, and come back when they’re not looking. I only engage them when I need them to fish something out of a case.

    That said, I had a very good experience dealing with an employee working in the camera department. I had done research to pick between three models, and brought in printouts of the information on the three, hoping to resolve the questions remaining and choose a camera. When I got there, some of the information on display conflicted with the information I had downloaded. The employee didn’t know the answer, but went online to some internal resource, and got the answers, which proved correct. (She gave me copies of this information, too, so if it had proved false, I had evidence.) It helped me choose the right camera. And it wasn’t broken or used. ;o)

  54. Anonymous says:

    OK this is nuts… so I just bought an Acer computer from Best Buy a few days ago. I tried to get it up and running but came face to face with the blue screen of death every attempt. I went to return it and they said “So you bought this as an open box item right?” TO which I replied “no, I paid the new full price”. TO which she brilliantly commented “well thats funny because there is a service taq on the box because it was returned before”.

    Hmmmm, nice. Selling me an open box as new? Sweet best buy. And this was in one of the top stores in Los Angeles. Im wondering whats going on after reading this story…

  55. Frank Bezak says:

    I stopped buying from Best Buy a long time ago. Their markup alone is ridiculous, even on small items. Im not even sure why people still choose to shop there after all the bad press they have gotten over the years. They have shown over time that they only are interested in your money, not your customer satisfaction.

  56. Boon Koh says:

    We should all stand up to Best Buy on this issue. I think they need to know they cannot bully customers, especially old and frail ones like a grandmother.

    Is there a number we can all call to complain to Best Buy / Better Business Bureau or an email address of a senior Best buy employee?

  57. Nikola Ranguelov says:

    And then people wonder how come I don’t recommend, or ever go into a Best Buy store anymore… And to think that Best Buy used to be my favorite place to visit, back when my family first moved to the States – wow how much things have changed over 10 years!

  58. tworld says:

    Last week I bought a lap top at Best Buy, and a few days later the power cord simply died. So I went back to Best Buy and they opened a sealed lap top box and gave me the power cord, putting my broken one into the box. I asked what they would do with that box and was told it would be sent back to the manufacturer as “defective.”

    Hmmm, now I’m wondering if the lap top with the broken power cord will make its way back to the shelf to be sold again. I hope not.

  59. Dita Dimoné says:

    I tried to return a laptop to Best Buy because it was far slower than I had anticipated and was worried they’d charge me $50 in restocking fees. But nope, they asked why I was returning it (“too slow for me”) and took it back and refunded me, no questions asked. This is an individual asshole problem. BB is responsible for filtering out the assholes.

  60. Anonymous says:

    Wow.. Well the fact that the camera was resold was definately a mistake…but anyone who read the article can see that the author is not very smart at all. The author claimed the camera was malfuntioning, yet the pictures that were “recovered” of both the previous user and geek squad came out with perfect quality. Which begs the question: What happened to the camera in between then? Was it dropped? Out of frustration did someone hit it? And can as far as evidence, I believe the camera can be dropped on a carpeted surface and leave no evidence and still be defective. In fact, if it were dropped on carpet, wouldn’t it only leave minor scratches?

    Best Buy reselling the camera as new was definately a wrong move, but don’t be so quick to judge the rest of the story until you look at the big picture.

  61. parnote says:

    OMG! I keep praying that BB goes the way of CC … one less predator to prey on unsuspecting consumers!

  62. Anonymous says:

    Just sent a “contact us” memo to BB about how disgusted I am by them! It only takes one time to do it twice!! Never again am I shopping at BB again! Thank you for posting this.

  63. Anonymous says:

    You buy something, leave the store, come back. You could of claim anything.

    If you went in there with NO proof for an exception, then what is there to say? If you brought back proof, explain in a civil way. Things can happen smoothly. Calling corporate, escalating the matter would delay resolution. Everything needs to be investigated before you will get answer.

    Next time, check the box before leaving the store. Life lesson for you. Policies and rules are put in place to prevent scams. Yes, you are not a person who would do this, but how can a store tell?

  64. Cody Robson says:

    Two things.
    One, I am not some fake person hiding behind a facade of some bullshit screen name in the effort of bashing someone.
    Secondly, I am a real-life Best Buy employee. Yes, there are assholes in our company. But they exist in every company. And always will. I am sorry if someone that works with our company has insulted or berated, or in any other way upset you.
    Now with the formalities out of the way, think about this:

    A company is in business to make money. I don’t care if they are “green”, “customer oriented”, “eco-friendly” or whatever else “bullshit” terms they attach to their name. They are there to make money. So I am sorry if us trying to sell you products right the first time – with everything that you need – offends you. I’m sorry if printers are made with cheap plastic wheels that break, don’t come with USB cables, and cost more in ink than they did to purchase. That is not Best Buy’s fault. I’m also sorry if a company builds a laptop that is meant to be cheap (relative to the others in the market) and it just doesn’t quite run Visual Studio 2008 the way you want it to – Celeron procs just don’t cut it here folks.

    No, the manager shouldn’t have lied about it. But here’s the deal, 9 times out of 10, they come into a situation that they have been told very little about, and are forced to make an on the spot decision. Yes, the associate should inform them, but every company has mooseknuckles working for them… even Microsoft, Apple, Ferrari, Wal-Mart, Sony, Pioneer, Chevy, anybody. No one is immune to it, and I’m not trying to drag any names through the mud. It happens. There are more assholes than asses sometimes.

    As a whole, our employees are well trained. Overall, we aren’t out to screw you. And most of us are either recent graduates or are currently working our way through school… since when is that a crime? If our age bothers you, go to Wal-Mart where you can’t find someone who speaks friggin English, or that gets paid minimum wage to move product from one area to another. Ask them what 60Hz refresh rate vs. a 120Hz refresh rate means. Ask some commission based salesman what is actually in your best interest – seems to me they are already cashing that check they are planning to make off of you before you even buy.

    You may think that you would run the company differently, but I have news for you… we are apparently not offending, upsetting, or in any other way belittling quite as many people as many like to think we are… otherwise we wouldn’t have seen PROFITS in our operations last fiscal year. We are still here as a company, and are so viable in our practices that our co-founder is handing over the reigns to someone else.

    Get used to it people, business is business. If it offends you, go to some third world country where the only worry people ever have is how to keep their chickens dry in the rain.

    Get real and grow up.

    • Ominae392 says:

      @Cody Robson:
      It’s too bad you chose to mention a few good points in a diatribe. I think your points about business being business and about managers stepping in to situations ill-prepared are well taken and I agree. But on the whole you seem to be more interested in attacking what you perceive to be attacks by consumers on Best Buy and Best Buy employees.

      For example: “So I am sorry if us trying to sell you products right the first time.- with everything that you need – offends you. ” It doesn’t offend me in the least but what does this have to do with the actual article.

      I don’t believe the original author’s complaint was “Best Buy sold me my item too fast and it didn’t work.” The problem was with the lack of customer service in the face of mounting evidence that the item had been tampered with prior to sale.

      With the economy as it is I think he(the camera complaint guy) has a point. And Best Buy can’t afford bad publicity in this economy. Best Buy is no more immune to recession than any other brick and mortar electronics retailer. Last I checked BB profit margins and stock were both leaning downwards. Profits might be in the black now but for how long?

      It doesn’t matter if you think all of us consumers need to “get real and grow up” because we are the ones with money. Why do you think there is the phrase “The customer is always right”? Maybe we are ignorant children but if I’m given the choice between a company that works its ass off to appear friendly versus a company that just says “ah fuck it, business is business” I know who I’ll choose.

  65. Cody Robson says:

    The majority of my comment was aimed towards the comments on the original article… not the article itself.

    And consumers may always be right (to an extent), and they are the money supply. I don’t disagree with that. But I do believe that an uneducated and ignorant (no name calling against anyone in particular here) consumer and “their money” can sometimes cause more damage than good.

    Maybe we should look at the housing market to see an example of this? I’m sorry if that offends anyone, but no one can force you to read a document… just like we can’t force you to buy.

    Any how, I am done ranting. I just get frustrated when I see people bashing my company. It pays my bills, and I don’t like seeing mud thrown at it. You don’t see us throwing around words like “awful service” “disgusted” or “abysmal” when referring to your company (a catch-all), so please return the favor by being a little more aware of us little guys.

  66. FrankReality says:

    Aw heck, why don’t you just put a “Hall of Shame” or “Avoid List” in a sidebar on your website and list Best Buy as #1 and Geek Squad as #2.

    Friends don’t let friends get screwed at Best Buy.

  67. Philip Camacho says:

    It’s dumb stuff like this that keeps me away from their stores. The internet will eventually gobble up Best Buy as well, just as it did Circuit City.