Best Buy Replaces Your TV, Forgets About It, Offers You Another

Reader Wayne is an honest person. His Best Buy Insignia TV died and so, of course, he brought it back to the store. They kept it for a little while, decided they couldn’t fix it, and replaced it with a similar model. Then they forgot they did this.

We join Wayne after his first replacement TV has died:

Well, I bring that one back, and by this time I found out Insignia was a Best Buy brand. I also noticed once I got to my local Best Buy, there was a the shelf of other Insignia products that had been returned.

Well, this time the lady had a Geek Squad rep look at it and then I hear it has to be shipped off to be fixed. I’m thinking to myself “why not replace the stupid thing?”.

I also found out that I might be waiting about a month for it to get fixed and find out the status. Well, I eventually got that call and that they couldn’t fix it and said to come down and work out a deal. They no longer carried that same model so they replaced it with a like model.

About a week after the TV was replaced they had no clue they even gave it to me. I don’t know if they didn’t have a record of it or if the record was lost but they called me not knowing that the TV was replaced. Sure, I could have collected that second TV but do I really want two pieces of crap?

You make an excellent point, Wayne.

We can’t help but wonder, however, if there’s someone out there also named Wayne calling Best Buy and telling them there’s no possible way they already picked up their replacement TV…


Edit Your Comment

  1. wrongfrequently says:

    I bet you it’s not even someone named Wayne who’s owed that second TV, it’s probably a sound alike name, Dwayne, Lane etc…having worked retail I’ve seen the sound alike problem before and having ALMOST worked for Best Buy I think such a problem is right up their alley.

    • backbroken says:

      You almost worked for Best Buy? I think that practically makes you a Best Buy customer service expert.

      • wrongfrequently says:

        I was offered a job from my former manager at Target and I took the drug test and everything, then she told me about how I’d be expected to get something like 20 instant credits per day and I’d had enough of that crap at Target and didn’t really “need” to work so i said no thanks and have been happier and wiser for it.

  2. LincolnK says:

    a few years ago my wife received an ipaq as a gift, purchased from best buy. the headphone jack didn’t work so we went to the store to swap it out. the store was out of them at that time, so they offered to mail us a new one as we lived in a different city. instead of sending us one new ipaq, they sent a box containing 4 new ipaqs.

    we kept one and took the other 3 back to the store. the manager we spoke to gave us a $30 gift card, which was nice. at the time those 3 items had a combined retail of $900. i’m pretty sure the guy didn’t even care- i’m guessing they were written off by that time or it didn’t matter in the first place that they sent 4 instead of 1.

    stupid integrity, keeping me from profiting from the misfortune of others.

    • Bob Lu says:

      I believe anything shipped to you without you order/require it first can legally considered as a free gift?

      • YouDidWhatNow? says:

        No, they did “order” a replacement iPaq. They got a shipping error on that order. Not entitled to keep them.

    • Frank The Tank says:

      I once completed a “do X deals and Y promotions and you get a free mac mini”…..

      I had a PALLET of macbook’s and four mac mini’s accidentally shipped to me…..

      I wasn’t about to bet $90k that they weren’t gonna come after me…..

      • Conformist138 says:

        Wait… you actually GOT the computer? For real real? How much did you spend on “promotions”? I only got curious about those a few times before realizing that the end wasn’t going to come until I put out more money to useless companies than I ever wanted to. Without knowing the dollar amount I would have to fork over to finally “win”, I didn’t want to risk anything.

  3. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    How do you not know Insignia is a Best Buy brand? Do people not do any research anymore?

    • Epsilon748 says:

      What exactly do you mean? Insignia is a “Best Buy Exclusive” brand. Which in plainspeak means “Best Buy House Brand”.

      It’s pretty similar to the brands we had when I worked at Radioshack. We had Enercell and Gigaware as house brands (replacing the “radioshack” branded products, I suppose to appear as though they were brand name). (Not that I’m proud of working for the Shack, but it was a good job for high school, my boss was great and it paid the bills – got out before they started doing such a crazy push on service plans and such)

      Thankfully I work far away from retail now interning at Microsoft

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        What exactly do you mean? Insignia is a “Best Buy Exclusive” brand. Which in plainspeak means “Best Buy House Brand”.

        …which is exactly what I was saying. Maybe I wasn’t clear. I was referencing the OP’s statement of “Well, I bring that one back, and by this time I found out Insignia was a Best Buy brand.”

        My point was, how do you buy a TV without the understanding (and the research) that Insignia is Best Buy’s brand for its TVs, and not say, a Sony or an LG.

        • Epsilon748 says:

          Gotcha, I thought you were arguing that Consumerist was making an invalid claim. Didn’t catch your meaning first time through.

      • filet o. fish says:

        Thanks for posting your resume.

    • Marshmelly says:

      I never knew that until a couple years ago…not sure where I first found it out from, but I wouldn’t say its common knowledge to most people. That being said, my little Insignia tv has been kicking for 5+ years now. =p

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        I have an Insignia desktop Pentium IV with XP that is still in use. It’s so slow it drives me crazy but it still works.
        Also, it’s the only ‘puter I have that will play my old Titanic game. I might get a newer one and put XP on it so I can play it, but faster.

    • Conformist138 says:

      I don’t usually shop at Best Buy, so if I went online and used their site to look at and compare products and saw Insignia I might not immediately connect it as the house brand. However, I probably would if I wanted to buy it since I research multiple retailers for reviews as well as price (dont want someone getting sneaky and padding reviews on products that need to move, can’t put it past anyone anymore). So, I’d probably notice that, hey, this brand only exists at Best Buy. But, still, not everyone notices these things. It’s ok, not everyone feels the need to rabidly consume all information about every company they want to buy from. Plenty of people look at the price and say, “Yup, that one.”

  4. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    I’m one of those people who would have taken the 2nd free tv and kept my mouth shut.

    I believe in karma, and on one hand I’d think that the universe might screw me over later on down the line…or that this oversite is karma giving me an opportunity, making up for being screwed over prior.

    • failurate says:

      My wife and I were walking through a festival last year and we found a $10 bill on the ground. We walk another 10 yards or so and I see an older guy fumbling around with some bills in his hand. I handed him the $10 saying “I think you dropped this.” My wife looks at me shocked, stating that there was no way to know if the money belonged to that guy.
      I told her not to worry, it wasn’t our money, but that karma would bring it back to us.

      A week later we are the train station with my sister heading down to Chicago via Metra. A woman from what appeared to be a tour group or something comes up to us, tells us they had some no-shows for their group and that she has extra Metra weekend passes that she would like to give us. $15 worth of passes, from a complete stranger, free.
      I felt like Carson Daly had just patted me on the back.

      Back on topic… I couldn’t take the second TV. I always worry about audits and what not. Yeah, they didn’t catch it now, but what happens when they catch it 6 months from now?

      • AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

        IIRC, if a company sends you an extra item you did not order, you can keep it without them retroactively trying to charge you. I don’t know if that would work with a duplicate replacement though.

        But that was a nice story about karma giving back. I try and put good karma out there, but sometimes (like the tv scenario) it’s hard to tell the difference between karma giving you an opportunity, or a test.

  5. SoFlaScorpio says:

    I used to work at Best Buy and while this may seem like an easy way to cheat the system, it’s not. When they replaced the TV the first time, they had to do a return/exchange off the original receipt. That is documented in the system. If they try to do it again, it won’t let them as it will say that the product has already been returned.

  6. pitfal says:

    When I worked at Best Buy this happened a lot, the broken TV, not the double trade in. When this did happen and people realised they bought a crappy TV I would find the comperable model and let them apply the price to a different brand if they wanted. Most people would take this option. I highly recommend taking this route if you think your TV is crap.

    On the double trade in. When they do the trade in they have to process it in the system to get it off the record. If one of the many people involved in this process doesn’t do their job correctly it will never show that you came in to do the trade in. So their records will show you are due for one. So it is most likely someone fogetting to put it into the system that the customer came in and did the swap.

  7. You Can Call Me Al(isa) says:

    Quite a few years ago I returned a defective stereo to Best Buy. They didn’t have anymore in stock to exchange it, so they gave me a gift card for the total. I bought a camera instead. Then, about a month later, I received a replacement stereo in the mail. I kept both.
    The box the stereo came in, though, didn’t have any reference to Best Buy on it.

  8. coren says:

    I’m assuming he got a second call, although the story glosses over that part..(which may be because he glossed over that). Just kinda jumps from “I got a TV” to “They forgot they gave me a TV”

  9. dr_drift says:

    I built a PC and one of the four fans I had bought from Rosewill died within a couple months. I emailed the company and they sent me another four. I emailed them back to let them know that they sent me too many, but they told me to keep the other three. I mean, they probably cost a dollar to manufacture, but I thought it was a nice gesture.

    When it comes to something like a television or a stereo, I think I’d still let them know. I think it’s 30% that I’m honest, 20% that I don’t like ripping people off, and 50% that I’m worried they’d find out eventually.

  10. JonBoy470 says:

    I got “Geek Squad Black Tie Protection” when I bought my wife a Palm Centro a couple of years ago after her MOTO RAZR died. Well, a year later, the Centro itself died. Just wouldn’t power one morning. Brought it to Best Buy, and was told “It’ll take two weeks to send it out and get it fixed”. She hated the crap spare phone I had to switch her to, so at the three week mark, my wife started calling the store daily, asking about her phone. At the four week mark, it still wasn’t back, so we went to the store, she pitched a fit, and was given a brand new Blackberry Curve for our trouble. As it happens, the store called back three days later (an even month) telling us her old Centro was back from the depot. Silly us, we had “integrity” and told them to keep it as they had already replaced it.

    So it seems this is not a unique phenomenon.

  11. MrsLopsided says:

    No record? Sort it out – otherwise you won’t be able to return this one when it goes on the blink.

  12. damageinc says:

    Its likely the employee doing the exchange/return missing something.

    A few months ago I placed three separate in-store pick up orders and was picking up all 3 at once. The employee got my items, scanned the sheets, and I was on my way. A few days later I got an email reminding me to pick up 2 of my orders or they would be cancelled and refunded in a few days. I figured it was just a typical best buy system error and deleted them. Well a few days later, I in fact did receive refunds on 2 of my 3 items. I wasn’t really paying attention during the pick up checkout, but I’m guessing the employee only scanned the first pick up instead of all 3. The 2 items were worth about $70 but I wasn’t about to go back to best buy and try to explain to them how I owe them money.

    • wellfleet says:

      Congratulations, that makes you a dishonest person. The clerk made a mistake and you got $70 worth of free goods. The mistake will get sorted out when the inventory doesn’t match up at store level.

      I have often had restaurants forget to charge me for an item and I always correct them. Not because I’m a self-righteous goody-goody, but because it’s the right thing to do.

      I bet you would scream bloody murder if you were accidentally charged $70 twice.


      • dg says:

        It’s not his job to correct their mistakes. If WorstBuy can’t train their people or set up their systems to prevent these issues, that’s their problem. And it’s not a “one off” thing that occasionally happens to them either. These issues are typically par for the course so if they’re not going to take the care to ensure they don’t have these problems, then I wouldn’t blame anyone for not wanting to waste their time on hold or driving back to the store and waiting in line just to correct WorstBuy’s problem…

        • wellfleet says:

          You’re right. It’s not his job to correct Best Buy’s mistake. It’s not my duty to run after you if a $20 falls out of your pocket but I would. A few weeks ago, a restaurant forgot to charge me for two items, I could have kept my mouth shut and didn’t. You are under no obligation to make the world a better place. Good luck.

        • ChungkingXpress says:

          You’re right…the only time anyone should ever do an honest thing is when they are actually being paid to do so…

  13. dg says:

    Long long ago there was a service on CompuServe that allowed online purchasing (before the Internet). I bought some Infinity SM120 speakers for about 2/3 of the store price. Shipping was $5.00 for these things (and they were heavy so it was a good deal).

    Ordered with credit card, get a confirm #, ship date, tracking #. And NOTHING shows up. Calls, emails, faxes, certified letters. Finally file a complaint with the States AG – I get a call from the company, and the speakers show up the following week.

    One month later, a truck pulls up and says “Hey, got your speakers”. I told him I already had them. He said they were on the truck, set for delivery, they were mine. And if I didn’t want them to call the company and have it handled.

    So I took them in the garage. Called the company – couldn’t get them to believe that they’d double shipped ’em.

    So I kept the things. Sold them to someone for more than I’d paid for them, and essentially got my pair for free + some cash…

    Considering that WorstBuy can’t find their ass with a bright light and both hands on most days, I’d have taken the extra TV they claimed they owed me and then sold it…

  14. pantheonoutcast says:

    Maybe Best Buy is fully aware that their house-brand TV’s are horribly made, and they wanted him to have it as a “spare.”

  15. jpdanzig says:

    I don’t much like BB and I can’t speak for Insignia TVs, but I can say that I have been quite pleasantly surprised by the two Insignia products I do have, the armband HD radio and the laptop speaker bar. Both work very well and seem to be high-quality products. Yes, who knew…

    • Rena says:

      I grabbed an Insignia portable DVD player out of a recycle bin. The motor had burned out, but it also works as a portable display, and does so very nicely. I never did bother to repair it, since I have no need for one, but it would be a cinch to do so if I wanted – it actually has a convenient access panel to do so. Aside from this problem it seems like a very nice unit with a lot of useful features.

      Now, whether this means they make nice DVD players that are easy to repair, or the motors burn out so easily they had to add an access panel… >.>

  16. Matzoball says:

    Similar thing happened to my GF with Amazon. She ordered a product from them. Was charged for them and received them in the mail. Flash Forward 6 weeks. The same product is delivered to her but no charge to her account. She calls Amazon arranges to ship them back not needing a duplicate product and understandibly feels the need to return it. This was not a $10 mistake. She calls Amazon deals with it through customer service has them pay to ship it back. Amazon then credits her credit card for the returned item even though the second one was never paid for. I think she is still working with them on this.

  17. UnicornMaster says:

    two pieces of crap put together make one decent tv.

  18. JonBoy470 says:

    How hard should you really be expected to work to correct an error that the store has made? If the store has given you extra goods, and is steadfastly refusing to take them back, how much of your free time should you really be expected to burn to get them to change their minds?

    It’s called shrink, it happens in every retail establishment, and they factor the associated costs into their business model. It’s not your job to be the unpaid adjunct to their loss prevention department.

  19. BoredOOMM says:

    When will you ever learn the six most important words?

    Do not shop at Best Buy

    (repeat as needed)

  20. Extractor says:

    Best Buy dead Watch needed as well as Radio Shack death watch, which will be coming soon.

  21. darkwolf777 says:

    I had something similar happen, in the opposite direction.

    Bought a 32″ Insignia LCD TV that had a warranty repair early on, and a 2nd repair only a few months before the warranty was up, for the same issue. Tech didn’t have the parts on hand, so I had to bring it into the store where they held onto it for about 3 weeks (we had to watch TV on a 13″ MacBook. Fun times!) decided they couldn’t fix it, so they gave me in-store credit equal to the original purchase price (sometimes those Best Buy replacement plans pay off), which allowed me to pick out a 60″ DLP, and actually walk away with a couple hundred still left in in-store credit.

    They called me a week later to tell me the replacement parts were in for my 32″. I didn’t bother to call back, didn’t want them to go “Oops! We goofed on that in-store credit, we’ll just take that 60″ back and here you go, here’s your 32″ that will probably fail on you in another year or so since this model has a known defect.”