Best Buy Sells Box With Wrong Hard Drive, Shrugs

Tony writes that he purchased a Western Digital hard drive from Best Buy this weekend, but not the hard drive he had thought. When he opened the box, he discovered that it contained a different hard drive entirely–not quite a Box of Crap, but still not what he had paid for. But Best Buy stood firm, admitting there was nothing they could do.

This evening I purchased a new Western Digital 2TB hard drive from a local Best Buy store. When I got home and unpackaged the product I noticed that the hard drive inside the box was not the right product. The label on the drive had the correct part number but it appears as though the label was is a fake label that was placed over the existing hard drive label. The two hard drives are completely different interfaces.

I immediately packaged the product back up and went to the Best Buy store to exchange the product. When I arrived the customer service rep started the return process and proceeded to call around to the different stores to find someone that had this same drive in stock so I could drive and pick up the replacement product. So far so good. As soon as the customer service rep was about to finalize the return I attempted to explain to her not to put the product back on the shelf because it wasn’t the correct product. She looked a bit confused and had a Geek Squad technician come over to verify. After she spoke with the Geek Squad technician she left the customer service area and came back with a manager.

This is when things got down right ugly. The store manager started the conversation with “You’re not going to like what I’m going to tell you.” The manager said it was my responsibility to call the manufacturer and work this out because it wasn’t Best Buy’s problem. I begged for her to assist me with an exchange but she insisted that her responsibility ended at that moment. After 20 minutes of arguing and getting nowhere I asked if I could get her managers name and number so that I could try and get a resolution to my problem. She said that they would tell me the exact same thing but finally told me that she didn’t have a general manager because that person had quit. After demanding a number for someone she gave me a number to Best Buy corporate.

I have purchased over $10,000.00 worth of electronics and appliances in the past year alone and it might be hard to believe but I don’t have a criminal background. This was horrible customer service. Any recommendations on what my next step should be? Part of me just wants to throw in the towel because its only $200.00 but it just doesn’t feel right.

Having been in the customer service rep’s position before, let me say: arguing for twenty minutes with someone whose hands are metaphorically tied by store policy does no one any good. It wastes everyone’s time and raises everyone’s blood pressure, and only serves to make the employee feel even more powerless and lowly than they normally do. Or maybe that was just me.

Also, as a public service announcement – always check electronics to make sure that the correct product is in the box before you leave the store. Always.

But don’t throw any towels anywhere yet–Tony hasn’t even made an attempt to talk to Western Digital yet, as Best Buy instructed him. If they don’t help, though, here are a few next steps. First, carefully read the instructions in our article “What To Do When A Store Sells You Box Of Crap And Won’t Take It Back,” which deals with similar but more extreme situations. An EECB could be also a good idea in this case. Here are some Best Buy addresses to get started.

Maybe Tony would have been better off shopping at Walmart.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.