Best Buy Forgets It Sold Laptop, Won't Take Customer's Money

The Best Buy where Toni bought a laptop earlier this month has no record of the sale, and it won’t collect the funds that have already been released from her account. This sounds like a fun problem to have—$1500 extra dollars, free laptop, woo hoo!—but it’s actually pretty annoying. Toni doesn’t want this phantom $1500 messing up her balance indefinitely, and she doesn’t want to feel like she’s stolen a laptop.

On Saturday 3/14/09 I bought my husband a laptop. We paid for the laptop, a total of 1530.48 with my debit card and as of this date Best Buy hasn’t taken the money out of the account.

While we were making the purchase one register went down and we had to move to another. That register ran out of receipt tape and they had to put a new one in and in the process accidentally voided the transaction so they had to redo it. Everything went fine after the redo, we called our bank from the store to make sure they only charged us once and they did. We took our receipt and new laptop and left.

Fast forward to Wednesday, I sign online to our bank account and notice that the balance is still the same, the debit from Best But never came out of the account. I call the bank and they say that they have released the funds, they are just waiting for Best Buy to take them, the representative from the bank said to call the store and find out why they won’t take the funds.

I hang up with the representative from the bank and call the store, first representative can’t even find the transaction even though I am reading the receipt number to her on the phone, she puts me on hold and gets the manager. Manager can’t find the transaction and told me to call the bank.

I hang up with the manager and again call the bank. The bank said to wait until Monday, today, to see if the funds get taken out of the account, if they don’t I need to call the store again.

I sign on to the account again this morning and the funds still aren’t taken out of the account! Once again I call the bank and the bank told me what they’ve been telling me for a week now, “we’ve already released the funds to Best Buy, we don’t know why they aren’t taking them, you need to call the store and find out.”

Once again I call the store only to be told that they can’t find the transaction, they have no record of our purchase and as far as they are concerned we never bought anything from that store.

All I’m trying to do is do the right thing. Right now I feel like I stole this computer and all I want to do is pay for it. I’m tired of the run around between Best Buy and my bank. And now I’m upset because I have a receipt saying I showed 1530.48 to Best Buy for a laptop that they don’t even believe I have!

We think you should bring a copy of the receipt to the store and demand that someone fixes this—the information on your receipt should be enough to open up an investigation of some sort. (Keep the real receipt with you.) Don’t let Best Buy cancel the lost transaction and re-process your order, in case they suddenly find that transaction in the coming weeks and double-dip into your account.

You should also check with your bank to see whether there’s a time limit to uncollected released funds, or if you can reverse the process on your own. You may end up having to play a waiting game to get the funds back, at which point you can contact Best Buy directly and offer to settle up.

(Photo: NNECAPA)