Best Buy Sold Me A Better Kindle Than What I Paid For — Should I Keep It?

William thought he had bought a WiFi-only Kindle from Best Buy, only to bring it home and discover he’d actually gotten the pricier version that accesses the 3G network.

Now he’s asking for input from the hive mind on whether or not he should exchange the device for the model he thought he bought. He writes:

I went into Best Buy today to purchase a Kindle for myself because is backlogged for a couple of days in shipments. Strolling over to the eReader section, I find a stack of Kindle DXs and a single lone standard Kindle. I quickly snatched it up hoping that it was the WiFi model that I was looking for instead of the more expensive Kindle 3G. It said Kindle Wi-Fi on the outside slip cover and had the correct Kindle Wi-Fi barcode. The Kindle itself was locked in a plastic security box. When I went to checkout it rang up as the $139.99 Kindle Wi-Fi.

However, upon arriving home from the store, I notice a second barcode on the actual box inside the slipcover that says “Network: at&t” and has a different barcode than the slipcover. I quickly google the barcode on this box and it is for the Kindle 3G, not the Wi-Fi model as the barcode on the slipcover would show. The two were sealed together with a clear sticker that if removed would either break or tear the cardboard and the Kindle was still sealed in its original box with the tear strip. Both were sealed with no of tampering.

When I opened the box, there was indeed a Kindle 3G inside. There is a price difference of $50 between the $189.99 Kindle 3G and the $139.99 Kindle Wi-Fi. Do I spend the hour round-trip to go back to Best Buy and make things right by notifying them of their error or do I just keep my mouth shut and enjoy the deal I got?

Tell William what to do through our poll:


Edit Your Comment

  1. Klay says:

    Enjoy the error in your favor.

    • nbs2 says:

      And if the error wasn’t in his favor? Would he not rightly demand the error be corrected? Allowing that a seller be treated in a different fashion (even if a corporate behemoth like BB or AMZN) suggests that there needs be different rules for the relative haves and have nots.

      I would counsel calling the BB and asking to speak to a manager regarding a product bar code error. If they won’t speak with him, then the problem is solved. If they do, then offer an exchange where they can send him another by UPS (with William receiving the new Kindle first) or they can wait until he is in the area again and perform an exchange. From my perspective William owes them nothing, but he owes it to his horse to do right by others.

      • nbs2 says:

        As I hit the SUBMIT button, I began think that perhaps callig AMZN would be a better course of action. BB stocked and sold a WiFi Kindla and was paid accordingly, returning to them would unjustly allow them enrichment. It was AMZN that was hurt in this transaction. and it is with them that I would deal.

        Besides, with BB, you know something will go wrong. With Amazon, probably not.

      • pawnblue says:

        He could and should rightly demand the error be corrected if it happened to him.

        But he better have his receipt and he better be within the return policy.

        Perhaps WIlliam has a restocking fee? Maybe they should just contact Williams business satisfaction line? I’ve head that William takes those calls very seriously.

        Enjoy your Kindle William. Best Buy’s mistake does not obligate additional effort on your part. Unless they want to pay you for it.

    • muralivp says:

      I agree, is this a store where if it was reverse (paid for 3g one but got a wi-fi one) they would have believed you? then, probably take it back to the store, if not, enjoy.

    • Daemon Xar says:

      The really interesting question would be:

      2) If the retailer in question wasn’t Best Buy, would your answer change? Be honest.

    • Difdi says:

      And remember, if you do enjoy the error in your favor, you have no standing to complain if a company ever makes an error against you.

      • tooluser says:

        No, that’s silly. He has no standing to complain about any aspect of the 3G service is all.

        Why do people like you want others to unnecessarily suffer?

      • Baron Von Crogs says:

        No, a company has a duty to provide you with goods or services that you paid for. If they fail they breached that duty. I don’t see much of a duty a consumer has to the company shipping error that gave him the “Widgit +” over the base model ‘Widgit” Go through phone queue hell to talk to a drone who is only counting down the hours until their shift ends or stand in line in an actual retail store to explain to someone you want to pay *more* for something because you got the wrong product. Why should a consumer have to spend time and money (money beyond the difference they want to pay for a product) to correct an error that didn’t put them at a loss?

  2. c!tizen says:

    Oh God, here we go again…

    • Thassodar says:

      I’m going to play the part:

      Obviously he should tell Best Buy and demand that he get the cheaper wi-fi version. To do less would be stealing, and stealing is wrong especially if you know you’re stealing. Only filthy, immoral, socially inept turds don’t do the right thing ALL DAY, EVERY DAY and I’m going to look down my nose at you because you’re going to take advantage of this mistake because I wouldn’t. I hope you rot in hell.

      Am I doing it right?

  3. GuJiaXian says:

    Return it. No, the packaging error isn’t your fault, but honesty is simply so rare these days. Granted, the store probably won’t care and they’ll gladly stick you with the lower-end model you technically paid for, but at least you’ll have a clear conscience.

    Sorry–not trying to be preachy, but I feel strongly about these things.

    • ubermex says:

      On principle I agree, however when he approaches best buy about this, they’re VERY likely to screw it up and send collections after him AFTER he returns it or some similar BS.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      On principle I agree, so I think he should talk to Amazon, and not Best Buy because I don’t trust Best Buy to not 1) accuse the OP of stealing 2) ask him to pay the difference, and charge him a restocking fee and 3) not have stock of the Kindle he was actually looking to buy, leaving OP completely without a Kindle.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        *delete the “not” in 3. I meant that I don’t trust Best Buy to have the other Kindle in stock.

      • GuJiaXian says:

        I think that’s a fair solution. Many products actually come with the instructions to contact the manufacturer with problems (rather than the retailer). And I completely agree with you: Amazon is going to care a lot more about him as a customer (and human being) than Best Buy ever will.

    • ludwigk says:

      The problem is that he probably can’t because it was a kindle wifi in the store as well. Bestbuy systematically received a kindle wifi, stocked it, and sold it. If he returns the 3G, their count will be doubly off as still minus a wifi, but plus a 3G that would simply be deleted when their counts are done, and the phantom missing wifi unit would get eaten as a loss.

      Essentially no good would come from the process. As far as BestBuy is concerned, they paid Amazon for a Wifi, sold it as a wifi, they are whole. Amazon is out the difference, but the OP has no privity with Amazon, they did no business with him. Returning it can’t fix what happened any more.

    • J.A.Reader says:

      While I admire your integrity, this is one of those things where you go through extra effort and trouble just to prove that you have it.

      Bottom line is that the error is not worth the time and trouble for anyone to correct. Going to BB or Amazon to “correct” it will only help in soothing your/his conscience, because business-wise, this kind of error is already taken into account.

      So I hope William doesn’t waste time and/or gasoline and simply enjoys his kindle. Amazon will be making plenty off him buying their books soon enough.

      • bluline says:

        Should BB reimburse this guy for his time and expenses in making the return trip to correct their error?

  4. hypnotik_jello says:

    The day corporations have an ethical bone in their body is the day …

  5. semanticantics says:

    No. The cost between the two, for the store, is negligible, and if it was manufacturing / packing goof, even less for Amazon. Probably less than the value of your time and gas for the round trip.

    If feeling guilty, you could anonymously alert the store that there might be an inventory problem that could result in lost revenue.

    • Firethorn says:

      I have to agree. It’s not worth the hassle of the difference.

      Consider $190 kindle marked off 20% for restock – that’s $38 cost right there, figure $10 for employee time for the return/repackaging, YOUR $10 or so for time/money for the return.

      Just keep it, maybe call and say that you got a 3G kindle in a Wifi box.

    • ludwigk says:

      If it was boxed up as a wifi unit, there would be no inventory problem unless he *tried to return* the 3G. If BB replaced it with a wifi, that would bring their wifi count negative and cause the loss.

  6. pgh9fan1 says:

    Call Best Buy’s 800 number. Generally they’re useless, but it’ll save the long car trip. If they want to correct it then you tell them to handle the exchange via UPS. I’m betting, however, that they’ll tell you to keep the 3G version. Then not only will you have a good deal, but you’ll have a clear conscience.

    • Liam Kinkaid says:

      I agree with this. Calling customer service and asking them to handle it via UPS resolves your conscience and spares you from additional expense due to their error.

      • stealth87 says:

        I’d just call the store and talk to the warehouse manager and let him no what you found here. if their inventory is correct on the ones they have in stock, then you are in the clear. If not, then they would probably just do an inventory adjustment and take the 30-50 (whatever the difference is) hit in shrink.

    • Repossessed_Posse_Pirate says:

      I agree with this as well. You are demonstrating good faith by doing this (clearing your conscious) and have to agree that Best Buy will probably not want to deal with it when you explain that you will have to sacrifice 1 hour in your time, wear and tear on your vehicle, to correct this rather small mistake. Good luck with your decision.

  7. semanticantics says:

    Alternatively, you could take it back in, go over to the Geek Squad desk and have them “optimize” it, easily making up the $50 difference for the store (which is probably “losing” $5).

  8. lemortede says:

    I suppose what it this sill come down to is what your ethics and values will let you do.
    If it was me, I would take it back and exchange it.

    • common_sense84 says:

      You are just dumb. Since ethically you keep it. The workers will not relabel the package. This product is either going back on the shelf as-is where someone else will buy it for the wifi price or it will be sent back to amazon wasting money and sold as a refurbished until for cheaper than the wifi is new. Essentially returning this is a waste of everyone’s time. Best buy may even try to charge you a restocking fee since there is nothing wrong with the item.

      • coren says:

        Since ethically you keep it

        This makes no sense.

        And telling someone else what their ethics should be is hilarious.

      • lemortede says:

        It amuses me that you would call me dumb for returning it.
        Some times the honest thing is not always the easy thing.
        If you are comfortable with keeping it more power to you. I would not be. I never told him to do anything. I said to do what he is comfortable with and what his values will let him live with.

        • Baron Von Crogs says:

          Ethics aside, keeping it is the most logical thing.

          Returning it sets off a chain reaction and if this device is sold as a openbox for 20% off its MSRP while the customer gets the wi-fi only one the store is still taking it on the chin.

  9. MrEvil says:

    It is not unheard of for a product vendor to package a more expensive product inside the box of a cheaper one and sell the upgraded product as the cheaper model. That is probably what happened in this case. I doubt the mis-pack error happened on the store level. Enjoy your 3G Kindle compliments of Amazon I’d say. Odds are Amazon did that intentionally because they were running low on Wi-Fi only Kindles.

    • Bix says:

      Something similar happened when Archos was selling their 605 WiFi player through Blockbuster: It was supposed to be the 4GB SSD +SD card slot version, but the box had no specifics, and many people (including me) got the 30 GB HDD version. Not bad for $70 when the store was going out of business here.

      • Link_Shinigami says:

        nVidia actually did this with their geforce 3 cards back in the day. They made a huge amount of geForce 3 TI’s but no one bought them for what ever reason so they packaged them all in the standard g3 boxes, went “HEY ONLINE RETAILERS! BIG DEAL!” and sold them for like, $30 off the reg g3 prices. The card was a beast too, beat the fx5200 in every category but Dx9 >_

    • wednesdayaddams says:

      I used to be an Amazon CS rep, we did this all the time. It keeps customers happy, coming back and is really not a huge ding for them at all. Your normal rep with the basic skills can give up to $150 in concessions of sorts without manager approval. Of course you have to explain your case but it rarely gets brought up. Don’t think you can just get what you want though if something goes wrong.. if you are clearly trying to work the system you often don’t get any concessions.

      Keep it because they would just laugh at you if you tried to exchange. :)

  10. AngryK9 says:

    You must ask yourself: “Do I feel honest?” Well do you, OP?

  11. cardigan says:

    William seems like the kind of guy who respectfully declines the “Bank error in your favour” Community Chest card.

  12. cardigan says:

    William seems like the kind of guy who respectfully declines the “Bank error in your favour” Community Chest card.

  13. KrizB says:

    Must of been a mistake by a seasonal employee.
    You were supposed to get ceramic tiles.

    • kingofmars says:

      Haha! As someone who was on the receiving end of that scam, I still laughed at that one. I got DIY cabinets from home depot, only to find out that package I bought was full of tiles and some trash.

  14. kingofmars says:

    Normally I would say keep it and let the company write off the loss. The only problem is that his amazon account could be suspended if amazon suspects foul play. I voted to keep his mouth shut, because I doubt that best buy and amazon will raise a stink, and even if they do, they most likely will exchange the 3G model for a wifi by shipping it to Williams house. Enjoy the kindle!

    • semanticantics says:

      He bought it at Best Buy.

      • danmac says:

        He bought it at Best Buy, but the Kindle ties directly into your Amazon account. There are also other perks for Kindle users through Amazon, such as the ability to e-mail PDF or Word files to a special kindle e-mail address and have them automatically upload (via 3G or wireless network) to the device as a converted Kindle doc.

        • Doncosmic says:

          Yes, but when he registers his Kindle with Amazon and ties it to his amazon account, it will register as a 3G model and Amazon will have no way of knowing that he only paid for a wifi model since he bought it at best buy.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Technically, there is no loss because the store rang up that particular Kindle as the wi-fi only version. It didn’t even know there was a different Kindle inside, so it has no record of that Kindle at all. And Amazon presumably shipped (for example) 20 wi-fi only Kindles, and if one of the boxes has a 3G Kindle in it, Amazon wouldn’t know either. On paper, it says 20 wi-fi only Kindles.

      • kingofmars says:

        On some spreadsheet somewhere there will probably be a small loss, likely at Amazon’s end. If they made a million of each kind of kindle the they would have $140,000,140 in wifi sales, and $189,999,810 in 3G sales. I’m sure Amazon isn’t worried about the $50, and the difference in manufacturing cost is probably less than that amount

        Of course amazon might have knowingly placed a 3G in a wifi box when they ran out of the later. That’s the point Mr. Evil made and I think it’s valid.

    • Baron Von Crogs says:

      Foul play? He would have nothing to worry about, I’d be very surprised if Amazon crossed checked registered devices with the device a user purchased. In theory, a user could purchase a wi-fi only model for someone (gift) and later from another party be given the gift of a 3G version.

      And *if* IF anything ever did happen, he can pled plausible deniability. No one will attempt to call him out on his lie, some people still thing is something you type in the URL bar.

  15. wellfleet says:

    If the barcode on the outside corresponds to what he paid, he shouldn’t bother returning it. For one, Best Buy wouldn’t be able to “return” is as the upgraded model because technically. it doesn’t exist in their system. A packaging error at the Kindle factory didn’t cost Best Buy anything. Honestly, this would be a PITA for store and for OP. Keep it, enjoy the error that has zero to do with Best Buy other than luck of the draw, Merry New Stuff.

  16. Keith is checking the Best Buy receipt of a breastfeeding mother (for tips!) says:

    Can everyone else see the poll result? I can’t for some reason- somebody tell me how it looks.

  17. epiphopotamus says:

    Would you take it back if you paid for a 3G and got a WiFi instead? I mean, I hate best buy as much as the next guy, but this shouldn’t be too hard of an ethical dilemma. A mistake was made, if you have the power to correct it, you should, regardless of whose favor it was made in.
    In all likelihood, they may just tell you to keep it.

    • Kibit says:

      I agree.

    • Rhylith says:

      And just as likely the store could turn around and accuse him of shoplifting or force him to pay the difference. To expect large companies to behave as rational, ethical human beings is just asking for trouble.

      Or has this website turned into ?

      • coren says:

        Shoplifting based on…no evidence? Plus he’s returning to them. It’d go nowhere. And they can’t make him pay the difference either.

    • ludwigk says:

      As a packaging error, he doesn’t have the power to correct it by contacting Bestbuy. They bought a wifi model from Amazon, and sold it to him as a wifi. Returning it will just upset the inventory count +1/-1 for 3G and wifi respectively. It systematically doubles the problems. Bestbuy can’t fix this problem because he has a product that differs from what bestbuy sold him. For bestbuy to “fix” the problem, they have to eat an entire Kindle unit’s cost (I know they end up +1/-1, but this is not how inventory works, the extra units are marked down, while negatives count as losses).

      If he had bought a 3G and gotten a wifi, then making bestbuy eat the cost of the unit would be warranted so that he gets what he was due. In this case, it’s just creating a nest of problems for no reason.

  18. BradC says:

    Normally I’d say you should keep your mouth shut, but you’ve just proven that you can’t do that. Take it back.

    • ludwigk says:

      That may be more difficult than it sounds. For most electronic devices, BB won’t return a unit that doesn’t match the serial on the receipt. If the CSR checked the box and contents, they would reject the return.

  19. CardedForDissent says:

    Donate the $50 to a local charity, that should clear your conscience.

  20. Commenter24 says:

    Would taking it back be the honest thing to do? Yes. Should you return/exchange it? Probably. Would I return/exchange it? No.

  21. seamer says:

    Keep it. If you paid for higher and got lower, they’d call shenanigans.

  22. bsh0544 says:

    The only problem I see with keeping the 3G version is if you ever need it fixed/replaced under warranty, they may ask for a sales receipt to show date of purchase, and your receipt doesn’t show that you bought the model you want warrantied.

    • Mighty914 says:

      I think if you register the product, you can avoid those types of problems.

    • LastError says:

      It’s worse than that. Best Buy and AT&T’s inventory system will show that they never SOLD this one. So it will be presumed stolen and nothing good will come of it.

      • Jack says:

        That’s what I would be worried about as well. A lot of the commenters are saying that we should treat the company with respect like we’d want to be treated, and I understand that, but I do fear what would happen if they accused him of shoplifting for doing a good deed.

  23. camman68 says:

    I’d normally say keep it – but if you have a problem, you might not have “proof of purchase” which may be required for warranty work. In that case, you would be SOL.

    • Doncosmic says:

      you just get the warranty work done by Amazon.

    • milhouse24 says:

      “upon arriving home from the store, I notice a second barcode on the actual box inside the slipcover that says “Network: at&t” and has a different barcode than the slipcover.”

      The slipcover is meaningless, in this case, UNLESS he needs a BB receipt as an additional “proof of purchase”…otherwise he could just use the barcode from the actual box that contained the Kindle (not the slipcover).

  24. Judah says:

    Given the state of Best Buy’s customer service, by the time someone with any power realizes the problem and moves to correct, you will have spent one extra car trip and about three hours on the phone. Personally, wasting about $10 in gas and three hours of my life to fix someone else’s error is not worth paying $50 of my own money for.

    If it bothers you THAT much I’d rather donate the $50 to charity and call it day. That way you won’t waste additional resources and you’ll have a conclusion.

  25. Sure I could agree with you, but then we'd BOTH be wrong. says:

    Bank error in your favor. Collect $200

  26. zmnatz says:

    Best buy has a no return policy on open electronics or something like that don’t they or there’s a restock fee or something. So clearly you can’t return it.

  27. YoorCriptonite says:

    Take what you can, give nothing in return. That’s what a pirate would do, and who doesn’t want to be a pirate?

  28. Cosmo_Kramer says:

    Normally I’d say there’s no question here, you should return it.

    1. He bought it at Best Buy to get it faster, so holding onto it until his next trip to Best Buy’s vicinity is not a good solution
    2. Therefore he’d need to return it immediately, which means an hour round trip for that purpose. His time and gas aren’t free.

    I’d call Best Buy and tell them what happened. They could send a Geek Squad guy to his house to pick it up and drop off the Wifi model, or they could give him a gift card to compensate him for his driving time and gas.

    • damageinc says:


      If you lived 5 minutes down the road from a best buy, not a big deal, return it. But an hour round trip isn’t cheap and he shouldn’t have to pay for their mistake. Call, see what they say, and go from there.

  29. bethshanin says:

    Ah! I voted for the wrong one! I feel like a Florida voter suddenly! I was confused.

    Hey everyone, it’s one off. I meant to vote for “take it back and get the one you paid for because its the right thing to do but if it were me I’d keep the better one because I’m not that good of a person”

    Not an option? Oh, shoulda been…

  30. The cake is a lie! says:

    Why even ask the question? If your morality dictates that you have a crisis of conscience on your hands, then you know what you are supposed to do. Ask yourself this, on judgement day when your god asks you if you were honest with your fellow man, do you seriously think “well, the commenters said I should keep it” is going to be a good answer? If you really don’t believe you will ever be asked that question, then you wouldn’t have asked us what you should do to begin with. So stop using us as a sounding board and just go do the right thing.

    • semanticantics says:

      He’ll do more harm to God’s creatures driving there and back than by keeping the item.

      May 21st, 2011 can’t come soon enough.

      • haggis for the soul says:

        I thought nobody could know the hour or the day. God didn’t tell his angels or even Christ, but he told Harold Camping? Bold move.

      • The cake is a lie! says:

        Bwahahahahahaha!!!! ROTFLMFAO!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! WAAHAHAHAHAHAH!!! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!! I seriously haven’t laughed so hard in my entire fucking life!! That was just priceless!!!!!!!!!!

        I’m glad to know that the date of the end is near. That means there should be some really bitchin yard sales and hot deals on Criagslist the week before the end. I seriously wish that posting to these things would bump the article, because I’m going to come back here on May 22nd and laugh my ass off at you again!! That is sooooo funny!!!

        Seriously though, nobody knows when his return will be, but through some really really really huge stretches in math, someone has calculated the exact date of his return out of the bible? Excuse my french, but NOT FUCKING LIKELY!!!! The Bible never predicts the date or the time of the actual end, but it does give signs leading up to it. All I know is that you might want to join a church which holds more closely to the other things the Bible said about Christ’s true church before you get too caught up in what a ‘priest for hire’ has to say about the end of the world. All prophesying about the end of days does for any priest is line his pockets as people try to buy their way out of hell. Talk about a racket…

    • Baron Von Crogs says:

      The right thing is relative and if this God you speak of exists and actually cares about something as petty as this I’m pretty sure every last one of us is screwed.

  31. PDQ says:

    Keep it. If you return it to Best Buy the store can’t put it back on the shelf because it’s already been opened. So they’ll call it “defective” and take a credit from Amazon even though it wasn’t Amazon’s fault.

    Eventually the store manager will notice that his inventory is out of whack compared to his sales and they’ll fix the error at the store level.

  32. Dragon Tiger says:

    It was Amazon’s packaging error. It was packaged as a wifi, inventoried as a wifi, and sold to Best Buy as a wifi. Any discrepancy at Amazon has already been written off.

  33. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    Okay, normally, I am of the mind that it is dishonest to keep something you didn’t pay for, yada, yada, yada. But, this was a packaging error, and I hate Best Buy. The OP did nothing wrong, it wasn’t noticed until later at home. I don’t think the OP is under any obligation to use his own gas to take it back and point out the error.

  34. kcvaliant says:

    I would swap it. Butthis is bb. They will say you stole it as you don’t have a receipt for it and keep the kindle and your money.

  35. kcvaliant says:

    I would swap it. Butthis is bb. They will say you stole it as you don’t have a receipt for it and keep the kindle and your money.

  36. Cyclone says:

    I voted no but I want to add that my vote is to if I want to see stories like this on Consumerist anymore.

    Keep the Kindle, fuck Best Buy.

  37. sirwired says:

    When a cashier makes bad change, or forgets to ring up an item, the only ethical thing to do is clear up the error.

    In this instance, what is BBuy going to do? The only thing they can do is re-package it (with the correct barcode) and then sell it as an Open Box, meaning they will probably make even less on it than they did if it had been packaged correctly to begin with.

    Keep it. BBuy won’t mind, and neither will Amazon.

  38. spanky says:

    Well, he should probably inform them of the error, because there may be another customer out there who’s getting the short end of this particular stick.

    For an hour long round trip, though, I’d probably tell them that I’m not going to be coming back to exchange it. He went to Best Buy for the convenience of getting a Kindle without the wait. The time and effort of going back to the store and/or potentially waiting for a replacement to be shipped negates the convenience factor, which he already “paid” for.

  39. william says:

    look, if you have to ask the question of “should I return/exchange it?”, you are obviously having a problem with this, either consciously or subconsciously.

    For the peace of YOUR mind, I would just return it and get the properly paid one.

    If you never asked the question and kept it, i have no problem with it since amazon/bestbuy made the mistake and you don’t have obligation to correct it, since what is sold the serial number matches.

  40. skwigger says:

    The only reason I would say to keep the better model is because it’ll probably be a huge hassle to return/exchange it. The item won’t match the receipt, and when William tries to explain it, he will only be met with blank stares and scripted responses that the item doesn’t match the receipt.

  41. CTXSi says:

    Just once I would like to see a follow-up to one of these “error in my favor, what should I do?” stories and see how it played out.

    That said, in this case I would say to call Best Buy (either the store or 800 number), explain the situation and that you are more than happy to keep it but wanted to let them know about a potential error. I suspect they will just say to keep it because it will cost them more to figure out what to do about it.

  42. wereallinsane says:

    Yes you should return it and make them aware of their mistake. Despite the fact that corporations act reprehensibly all the time; the consumer sometimes need to lead by example. If we expect corporations to act ethically then we have to as well.

  43. Caffinehog says:

    If you return it, Best Buy will have to return it to the manufacturer. Best Buy will lose the sale, have to pay employees to resolve the “issue,” and have to pay shipping back. The manufacturer will have to spend time, money, and effort to “refurbish” it, then will have to sell it at a reduced cost.

    It saves EVERYONE money if you just keep it.

  44. Beeker26 says:

    Just keep it. I don’t even know why this is an issue. When Corporate America develops a conscience and decides it’s not going to screw people over every day in order to turn a buck then you might have something to worry about.

    Corporations are not people and shouldn’t be given the same level of courtesy. Do you really think they would “do the right thing” if the situation were reversed?

    • vastrightwing says:

      Exactly! Corporations do what’s legally required. They have no conscience, they don’t think. Think of them as rule engines: they work by executing a series of rules. Sometimes the rules are broken and they make mistakes. When this happens, it’s not easy to correct. Learn to accept the mistake and move on, or attempt to have the corporation fix the mistake, but understand that doing so will take an enormous effort on your part.

  45. Kibit says:

    Call the Best Buy, talk to a manager and let them know what happened. Ask if he will be there when you return it. He may tell you to just keep it.

  46. KPS2010 says:

    Call to let them know but never show up to turn it in. Maybe they should give you extras for alerting them of the possible scams/mistake that’s selling 3G for 139

  47. vastrightwing says:

    Corporations are not ethical, kind or fair: they do not exist. Corporations are a complete fabrication. We all happen to agree that they exist. But they don’t. They all act as if consumers must live by their rules and when you don’t, they exploit all the laws governing how they can react against you. Having said this, there are real people who work for these entities and they can be human. So if you feel morally obligated to find such a person, go ahead. But don’t expect any corporation to treat you like a person. People do. Corporations do not.

    I think that Best Buy will ask you to return the item and then charge you a restocking fee to do it! Why, because that is their policy.

  48. yessongs says:

    Why do you even have to ask ???? Of there is an error in your favor take it. You get screwed enough by companies like Best Buy, this equalizes the goof ups. It’s Karma.

  49. TerpBE says:

    Email them about the issue, and tell them they are welcome to come by your house if they want to replace it with the correct model.

    You did nothing wrong, so you shouldn’t have to go out of your way to correct their mistake.

  50. SPOON - now with Forkin attitude says:

    I voted yes, but I would start by emailing bb and giving them 10 business days to request the exchange.

  51. JohnJ says:

    Why should Best Buy customers be more ethical than Best Buy company?

    (Best Buy is a really sleazy operation.)

  52. LanMan04 says:

    Are you an idiot? Keep it.

  53. MPD01605 says:

    My question would be, does the serial number on the box match the serial number on the unit? If so, keep it. If not, no use trying to return it. Either way, call Amazon, maybe they’ll give you a free book. From what I’ve seen, they’re fairly cool about things.

  54. Rostin says:

    I think you should return it.

    I don’t think I would have the strength of character to actually do so, however. Years ago, my dad was involved in a situation that was almost the reverse of yours, but in Best Buy’s favor. He bought a receiver at a Best Buy in what appeared to be a factory sealed box. He didn’t open it until he got home. Turns out that at some point, the new receiver he expected to be in the box had been swapped with a used and broken one of a different model. Best Buy refused to take it back. He finally had to contact the manufacturer, who was more agreeable. So, the me that would probably prevail in your situation is the sauce-for-the-goose, two-wrongs, revenge-seeking one.

  55. CounterFriction says:

    Do we know for sure that the 3G is even working on the model he has? The OP mentioned a second barcode labeled AT&T; in my experience with pre-paid phones, 3G mifi units, etc., usually the vendor must scan a barcode in addition to the item’s sku to “activate” the wireless item. It could very well be that the Kindle is operating on wi-fi only at this point and would be impossible to get onto the 3G network absent a subsequent “activation.”

    Also, screw Best Buy. If he did return it, odds are they would try to have him arrested for attempting to return an item that doesn’t match what they believe was originally sold to him.

  56. Robert Nagel says:

    Call up Best Buy and tell them if they bring you a WiFi model you will exchange it. It wasn’t your fault they screwed up, it shouldn’t be your burden to rectify it.

  57. common_sense84 says:

    Why would you even ask this question. If you tried to return it, the employees will be mind boggled. Their system will put it in as an even exchange and the one you returned will go right back on the shelf with the wifi UPC still on it or they will have to send it back to amazon to be refurbished.

    In the end, the item will either be sold as a wifi model, or will be sent back to amazon and much more than 50 bucks will be wasted to refurbish it.

  58. edrebber says:

    William didn’t get the item he paid for. The fact that the item he received is more valuable is irrelevant. If William wants the wifi only version, then he may return the 3G Kindle, or he can keep the 3G Kindle if he is happy with that item. The fact that William will have to drive an hour to return the Kindle makes it a pain to return. William should keep the 3G kindle.

  59. specialkolin says:

    Keep it, as long as you actually want the 3G version. If you were to accidentally get free sprinkles on an ice cream cone, you wouldn’t return it, you’d have an awesome day cause you just got some free freaking sprinkles.

    keep it, frame the receipt, and gloat to all your friends. Best Buy’s a big corporation, and definitely will not miss $50

  60. LastError says:

    If you paid by credit card AND Best Buy in any way can trace what you bought back to you -for example they scanned the 3G version- they will probably go back and hit the credit card again, probably for the full amount of the 3G, not just the difference.

    Failing that, they will eventually report it as lost or presumed stolen and ATT will lock it out (if they are lazy) and maybe hunt it down (if they have nothing better to do).

    There’s a lot of ifs.

    I’d take it back to the store and try to swap for the right one. Worst-case, you get what you paid for. I am not sure getting to keep it is even the best case because eventually it WILL cause a problem with ATT and your 3G will go away. So I’d rather not even get hooked on it, if it was me. ymmv

  61. Jasen says:

    Enjoy your new (nicer) Kindle.

  62. flip says:

    So long as best buy shows a receipt for it.

  63. Bix says:

    Not his fault, but I would call Amazon to make sure there are no activation and/or warranty issues. Their customer service is awesome and they won’t make you return it.

    Best Buy didn’t lose out on anything in these circumstances, but would be more likely to question you, so don’t even involve them.

  64. FaustianSlip says:

    I actually tried to buy a Kindle at Target as a present for someone, and the guy there told me that they had had to ship all of their WiFi Kindles back to Amazon because there were packaging screw-ups- this was exactly what he described, although he said that in their case, people were trying to ring up packages that said they contained a wi-fi-only Kindle and it was ringing up at the 3G price. Sounds like it’s not just Best Buy.

    If this were Amazon, I’d say call them and see what they tell you. Because it’s Best Buy, I really don’t know what to say. I’d be afraid to just waltz in and try to return it for fear they’d accuse me of having stolen it or switched Kindles around or something. Maybe give the store a call, ask to speak to a manager and explain what happened? They might just tell you to keep it (I’ll bet that they paid Amazon whatever the wholesale price is for a WiFi version, themselves), and that way you’ll have done the right thing by trying to return it and letting them know that their packaging is screwed up.

  65. Bby says:

    You f’n tards are ridiculous!

    You rag on Best Buy all the time, sometimes deservedly so, if they mess something up in their favor and not the customer’s, and DEMAND that they make it right or you’ll go to corporate or some nonsense.

    When a customer has the error in their favor, all of a sudden it’s no big deal.

    Bunch of f’n hypocrites

  66. DowneMixedBoi says:

    Their error, their problem, their loss.

    The same thing happened to me with my iPhone 4.

    I paid for a 16GB, and it ended up being a 32GB.

  67. gman863 says:

    Nt ths thcl qstn sht gn. Phl, yr lst nm s Vllrrl -nt McGrw. ntl y gt yr dgr, bcm prh’s BFF nd hv yr wn syndctd shw, pls kp yr rtcls n-tpc wth tr cnsmr sss.

  68. Sbb says:

    This sounds like a factory error that would be a nightmare to correct. It would probably be close to impossible and the guy would likely be suspected of stealing the device. I wouldn’t even bother trying.

  69. haggis for the soul says:

    But I thought he wanted the cheaper, lesser model anyway for some reason. So why keep this one?

  70. denisem says:

    I don’t think he should exchange it or is obligated to unless he makes the choice to do so because it’s really the other model that he wants.

  71. bkdlays says:

    First off.. why can’t we see the results of the poll? This is no fun!

    Second.. this is Best Buy we are talking about. Think about all the people they rip off. And people are right, there is no way for BB to make it right. If you return it, it will only scan as you purchased it.

    In the end it will end up being written off / clearanced as a open box or wholesaled out to places that buy the open box stuff for resale (like me)

    Keep your Kindle and enjoy it.. and know BB will try to rip you off one day.

  72. says:

    In Quebec, Canada, if you want to be really mean, you could bring the 3G model back to the store, and ask for $10 because of the exact price policy: when there is a mistake in the price, the lowest price prevails AND in the case the item costs more than $10, the vendor has to give you a $10 immediate indemnity. The packaging error is the vendor’s problem, and if they charged you the wrong price, it is their own fault.

  73. MattyC says:

    Best Buy error in your Favor. You collect $50 bucks!

  74. narcs says:

    why are these considered news worthy? sick of seeing the ‘they screwed up and i got a better deal, what should I do’ stories. why brag… why?

  75. YokoOhNo says:

    He should let the FBI or Homeland Security know about this!

    This could be just one of thousands of misprinted/misbarcoded(!) boxes…in the end this could cause the shareholder value of any number of companies to decrease, thereby allowing the terrorists to win.

    I’m scared, won’t anyone think of the corporations!?!?! What about the CORPORATIONS?!?!?!

  76. Baron Von Crogs says:

    Keep it, its their error not yours. The headache and time you need to spend trying to inform them of their error isn’t worth it. It isn’t worth losing sleep over. Your imortal soul (if such a thing exists) isn’t in Jeopardy, just enjoy your gaget already. They don’t give a damn (even if they noticed) so why the hell should you?

  77. selmorestuff says:

    The store wasn’t charged for the more expensive version either besides they can just write it off.
    Kramer : They just write it off .
    Jerry : Write it off what ?
    Kramer : Jerry all these big companies they write off everything
    Jerry : You don’t even know what a write off is .
    Kramer : Do you ?
    Jerry : No . I don’t .
    Kramer : But they do and they are the ones writing it off .
    Jerry : I wish I just had the last twenty seconds of my life back .

  78. botulismo says:

    No, because:

    1.) The packaging error is not his fault
    2.) It’s very likely that the error is Amazon’s, not Best Buy’s. Amazon packages the Kindle, after all. So Best Buy probably spent the 3G price themselves on it. Amazon will not see that Kindle, except possibly as a byte of data marked as defective.

    Now, two things may happen to that Kindle after you return it, neither of which is desirable:

    1.) Sometimes management at stores like Best Buy will take returns, cut a notch off the barcode, and ruin it so it can’t be used, then returned to the warehouse as defective. This is obviously a serious problem in retail stores and it should be done away with, but unfortunately, often times a store gets a better return value from returning a defective item they would from the next option.
    2.) Sold as an open box item for a little above the cost of a Kindle WiFi. Someone else will end up benefiting from your problem, and nothing will have actually been fixed.

    While you can argue that this is wrong, I don’t believe it to be. Honesty is important, but practiced blindly, you are at best appearing insecure about things and at worst being honest to the point of causing additional hardship.

    When making the most moral choices possible in situations such as these, I try to ask myself a few simple questions: whether anyone has been hurt by my hand, whether any effort to make amends (by my own fault or the fault of others) will genuinely help anyone hurt, and whether any effort to fix the problem will cause more suffering than the problem itself has caused.

    In this case, nobody has been hurt by your hand. The only one who suffers here is Amazon, and the problem is an internal one. The best effort to make amends in this case you could offer would be to call Amazon and anonymously let them know that there was a packaging error in your favor. This way, they can identify whether there is a recurring problem and make an effort to rectify it. This is as far as it should go. If you paid to return the Kindle to Amazon (with tracking, as they require it) and got the version you paid for, you would have caused both yourself and Amazon undue hardship in order to fix this. The amount of money spent total on shipping by you and Amazon would nearly be equal to the upgrade to the Kindle 3G anyway, so it’s pointless to let them know about the error and attempt to return it.

    See, while thing most definitely are not simple to identify as “black and white” “honest or dishonest”, it’s still easy to make the most beneficial choice for all parties involved.

    P.S. If I see my advice in a self help-book, especially sold on daytime talk shows, I’ll want a portion of the proceeds. :D