Best Buy Loyalty Rewarded With Deeply Annoying Retail Experience

E. received a reward certificate from Best Buy, and went to cash it in. Sounds like that should be a simple and fun experience. Except there was one problem: the item he picked out cost only $19.99, but the certificate was for $20. From there, only stupidity ensued.

I went to redeem a $20 Rewards certificate at Best Buy.

After waiting in line at check-out the clerk there looked at my certificate and told me I would have to go to the customer service center to redeem it. After waiting in that line, they then refused to redeem the certificate because what I wanted to redeem it for cost $19.99 and not $20.

Apparently the Rewards certificate can only be redeemed at full value. I asked if they would charge me a penny or just forgo a penny’s worth of certificate value but they would not and then rather snidely told me I could go shop for something else (to push the value over $19.99). Their only response to my (then calm and reasoned) complaints about this was that there was no SKU for 1 cent and that they could do nothing.

Just a lot of staring at the computer, hands held up in the air in helplessness. The clerk then would not answer my next question which was “Well, then what’s the cheapest thing in the store?”. “I don’t know I never researched that.” was the reply.

Now upset, I spend 15 additional minutes wandering surly around the store until I find the cheapest thing I can, a pack of gum back at check-out where the adventure began.

I go back to the customer service counter, wait in line again, place the gum, my purchase, and my certificate on the counter, choke back the bile, and ask the clerk to “please ring me out”. The clerk tells me that he “does not like my tone” even though he could “understand my frustration”. He then threatened to not ring out my purchase, since I shouldn’t be upset at all since their hands were tied and that they just work there.

I told him if they would just forgo the penny or charge me a penny there wouldn’t be any tone or frustration. I repeated myself clearly, “Isn’t this suppose to be a ‘reward’? I am not finding this rewarding. Please just ring me out so I can leave”.

Then it gets even better, as he could then not scan the same pack of gum they forced me to go get in the first place.

I am sitting there now unpleasant and irate while someone dumbfoundedly waves a scanning wand over a pack of gum again and again and the machine goes Beep… beep… beep.

He then asks me what he should do about about the gum. I told him they could just keep the gum, that it didn’t matter, that I didn’t want it, that I never wanted it, that I just wanted to pay the tax on my purchase and leave.

So the clerk asks me to hold on, wanders off for a bit, and comes back with a tube of Chapstick that was scan-able. Finally rung up, I hand him a twenty dollar bill to pay the tax and he says “Oh, you’re not going to like this”. The clerk could then not give me change for the remaining amount because they did not have enough cash in the drawer at the customer service counter.

The clerk then made me wait for my change first requesting it over a shirt attached microphone and then yelling across the store.

The clerk finally capitulated to a modicum of common sense and just handed me back my $20 bill and let me leave with my purchase; what I wanted to do thirty-five minutes prior to the ordeal.

I called into customer support afterwards and was told the same thing by the phone representative. That the Rewards certificates could only be redeemed at full value and
not a penny less.

Way to make me feel “Rewarded” Best Buy!