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!


Edit Your Comment

  1. shinseiromeo says:

    All reps can up charge without any manager override. I’ve done it many times, they just add $.01 to the items prize to use the reward zone certificate.

    Based on the OPs only point of view, it appears as if the rep was just being, well, a dick.

    • shinseiromeo says:

      Item’s price too.

      Seriously, I’ve been reading this site for years. Why isn’t it using disqus or something where you can edit under five minutes?!

    • wingrider says:

      So was the OP, so they are even now

      • Such an Interesting Monster says:

        Yeah, sounds like the OP gave the guy way too much attitude and got totally pwnd because of it. Good stuff.

        I really don’t understand how people like this make it thru life without having their heads explode. If something as simple and minor as this sends them into such a tizzy I can’t possibly imagine how they’d react to something major or even catastrophic.

        • Velvet Jones says:

          No, what is amazing is people like the d-bag clerk make it through life without getting repeatly getting the sh*t kick out of them. You’re an **** clerk at a Best Buy. That is one level about above shoveling dog poop for a living. Sad thing is this loser clerk will still be annoying people in retail for years to come.

          • Such an Interesting Monster says:

            Don’t hold back Velvet, how do you really feel?

          • not creative j says:

            last time i checked, there were a ton of people that can’t even find those jobs picking up dog poop. Not to mention the large amount of people that are overqualified for the jobs they have. being a checker at best buy doesn’t automatically a loser anymore.

    • smhatter says:

      Not really. It sounds like the guy at the counter didn’t know how to do it, explained that, and had the customer be a dick to him. If there really was a way to just add a penny, then that is indeed a training issue, but the employees aren’t usually going to try and edge around policy just so you will be happy (because the store is strict about it, and they can lose their job).

      • bluline says:

        Among the saddest things in this story is the inability of the clerk to sell a measly pack of gum without scanning it first. I understand what the scanning process is for in terms of inventory control, balancing cash drawers, etc., but have we become SO dependent on technology that a sale of even the most trivial item can’t be made without a scanner?

        • VintageLydia says:

          Short answer: yes. If it’s not in the inventory most stores will not allow it to be sold (nor are they free.) The cashier could have typed in the SKU but if the scanner was beeping, it generally means it was being read, it just meant it didn’t match with their inventory. This happens a lot with candy, or at least it did in my old store.

          A manager can normally over ride it an attach a value to it, though not always.

      • red says:

        You work at a counter. Your ONLY JOB Is to scan things, perform 8th grade math, and redeem gift cards.If you can’t do that, you are an idiot and deserve bad attitude.

        The OPs surely has some other job that does not require knowledge of the intricacies of scanning.

        Also, having to redeem the card “at full value” is BS and just a tactic to make you spend more money, which would REALLY make me mad.

    • TacoDave says:

      I had the same experience as the OP (and even submitted it here with no response, natch).

      I had to buy a pack of gum because of that extra penny. They also told me there was nothing they could do about it. Liars.

      • BBBB says:

        I had a similar situation at Kohls but the clerk was very cheerful and helpful – my items actually came out cheaper than I thought because one item was discounted more than the sign due to a promotion. They had a display of premium chocolate near the register and the clerk told me that there was a package that would have the correct price to just put me over the certificate amount – – – the clerk gave me free chocolate (they could have just adjusted but chose to have a happy customer.) Kohls has become my store of choice because every encounter at the two stores I’ve been to had pleasant and helpful staff. [Your mileage may vary.]

  2. What’s your problem, Kazanski? says:

    Sounds like much ado about a non-issue. I had the same thing happen to me (albeit the regular cashiers were able to ring me up), you know what I did? I turned around, grabbed a Coke and enjoyed my refreshing beverage and my free Blu Ray.

    • MPD01605 says:

      Great way to handle it!

    • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

      Well, rewards certs work differently between stores–at the bookstore where I worked, we could give change back up to 50 cents, or up to $1 with a manager’s approval. It was about making the customer happy and making them feel rewarded, so they would have more reason to shop with us, not about making them spend money to get their reward.

    • SecretAgentWoman says:

      You and your reasonableness have no place here! Either blame the OP or hop on the Best Buy hate wagon, buster!

    • Alexk says:

      Yes, because “Rewards” means “by the way, you have to buy something you don’t actually want.” The OP is not to blame here.

  3. dolemite says:

    “Would you like to add an extended service warranty to this gum?”

    • Kate says:

      Best post of the day.

    • deathbecomesme says:

      Yea, when someone throws me a ‘tude’ I just get extra friendly. Unless of course they are cursing in which case I just hang up. The benefits of not dealing with idiots face to face :)

    • WarOtter - I went to Japan and all I got was this tumor. says:

      No but could you tell me about having a geek squad member install the gum for me?

      • mauispiderweb says:

        Better watch out … they’ll give you the empty wrapper and charge you $59.99 to get your gum back.

        • Dalsnsetters says:

          And even at that, there’s no guarantee the gum was inserted in the correct place. But they’d still charge $59.99 and refuse to return it to the original condition. ;)


      • vinnycthatwhoibe says:

        They will install a geek squad gum dispenser to optimize your gum experience. Also the dispenser is broken.


    If a clerk ever tells you they “don’t like your tone” they should probably be terminated immediately.

    • deathbecomesme says:

      When customers give me attitude I just turn extra friendly to annoy them even more. If they start cursing then I just hang up on them. Benefits of not having to deal with idiots face to face.

      • Salesman! says:

        Hell, even face to face, if they get shitty with me I’m super friendly but follow the rules & policies to the letter (my company has some seriously shitty policies that we regularly bend&break for customers). They start cussing I give them one warning that I’m not required to tolerate abuse by a customer, they keep doing it (they always do, seems like telling them I wont be bitched at just makes em madder) and I say sorry, can’t help you any more, and page a manager. Once the page goes out I tell them someone will be with them for a minute and nothing else.

    • jessjj347 says:

      To be honest, I really dislike that attitude because customers somehow thing they can say whatever they want to clerks without retribution (e.g. cursing, etc).

      • Sneeje says:

        There is definitely a line, but there are also many, many, many better things the clerk could have said other than that–which is combative. That is the retail employee fail here.

        For example, “I can sense from your voice that you are very frustrated and I am sorry you’ve had a difficult time. I will do my best to get you through as quickly as possible.”

        You acknowledge their frustration without taking blame and then tell them you’re committed to getting them what they want. Not really that hard.

        THere is a difference between a customer being angry and expressing that, and being abusive. Abusive customers should be asked politely (by a manager) to calm down or possibly even leave. However telling someone that is legitimately frustrated that you don’t like their tone is at best foolish, and at worst patronizing and arrogant. Definitely not the way to de-escalate the situation.

        • Emperor Norton I says:

          The instant some jerk tells me to calm down, I explode.
          Because I wasn’t over the top at that point, but they’ve been taught to say that by some corporate weasel.

          • NeverLetMeDown says:

            Or they’re saying that because you have little self-control and get worked up wildly out of proportion to the actual situation. Either is entirely possible.

        • Clever_Innuendo says:

          That’s exactly right. I’ve worked in several call centers, and some of customers have real legitimate reasons to be upset, in which case I’d say something to the effect of, “I’m really sorry for (whatever your problem is). I understand why you’re upset; I’d be upset too. If I can just take a minute to look over our options, I’m sure we can find a solution.” That usually does the trick, especially using the word “we”, so they get the idea that I’m just like them in many ways, and we’re in the same boat.

          Some customers start screaming from the get-go, but you still have to treat them the same way.

          The only time I’d ever say anything to a customer about the way they were speaking to me is if they started swearing AT me. Not swearing in general, but insulting me personally. Many call centers have a policy where if a customer starts insulting you personally, you can warn them politely to stop using such language or you will disconnect the call.

          But you NEVER get to comment on their “tone”. That’s just poor service.

      • Coffee says:

        I can really empathize with you…I worked as a waiter for a couple years in my late teens, and the way some people talked down to me was deplorable. That said, it’s part of the job…if you’re really cheesed, go into the kitchen and punch a wall…it’s never acceptable, as an employee of the business, to let it get personal. It’s just part of the job.


        I’m definitely not a subscriber of “the customer is always right” but there’s pretty much no way to say that phrase without condescension. If we’re taking the OP’s account at face value, that clerk was inappropriate at several points during this affair and he probably shouldn’t be working retail.

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

      My response, I’m sure, would have been something odd like, “I don’t like your face.”

      Let them come back with a comment to that, that won’t get them in a bit of trouble.

  5. Bizdady says:

    In before the Amazon crowd! oh wait thats me! Screw you best buy!

  6. Rebecca K-S says:

    Um. Yeah. That’s exactly the point of the $20 certificate when nothing costs $20 – to get you to buy more.

    • longfeltwant says:

      I am comfortable blaming the OP because he willingly did business with Best Buy. (Sleep with the dogs, and all that; dance with the devil, and all that.) Moreover, he did so much business with Best Buy that he got some kind of kickback — whoa, dude take some personal responsibility.

    • MPD01605 says:

      Or to save $20 off something you’ll buy anyway. Like the other person who responded to you said, they’ve done enough business at BB to get a $20 certificate. I’ve had nothing but pleasant experiences at my BB, which I guess is luck.

  7. spf1971 says:

    I have to say, if the OP sounded in the store the way they sounded in their letter; the are a Douche with a capitol D.

    “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.” Which is it? Did they refuse to answer or did they not know?

    Obviously it was the cashiers fault that the gum wouldn’t scan. Obviously a front line worker should have been able to over-ride the computer system to either allow the credit to be used. Obviously they used up all of the cash in the drawer just so they could piss the OP off even more.

    • Schmoozer says:

      “Obviously a front line worker should have been able to over-ride the computer system to either allow the credit to be used.”

      Actually, yes.

      • Salesman! says:

        Depends, I don’t know how bby is now but when I was there (03-06) I couldn’t reduce or raise by even $0.01 without a manger override. Where I work now, it’s the same way. And god forbid I told a manager I raised something by 1 cent so the customer could get the item for free. Policy (and the certificate itself) says that it’s $20 off a $20 or more purchase. NOT $20 off a $19.99 purchase.

        • SKChance says:

          The certificate says no such thing. It’s (amount of certificate) off of *any* purchase. I use the rewards certificates all the time to buy video games and movies.

    • finbar says:

      Getting upset about a cascade of failure makes does not make the OP a douche. The whole thing might have been avoided if the clerk had politely recommended an inexpensive item to bring the purchase over $20 and the foresight to keep change sufficient to break a $20 dollar bill.

      In all a very a poor attempt to blame the OP.

    • Jawaka says:

      I agree. I also seem to have missed the point where the OP asked to speak with a manager rather than deal with the customer service rep who didn’t have the ability (or know how) to help him.

  8. FyreGoddess says:

    This is pretty standard. I have an account with a retailer that sends me a reward check every so often. It’s usually for $40 and it’s very clearly stated on the check that it can only be used for a purchase of $40 or more.

    Yes, I’m blaming the OP. He clearly didn’t read the fine print and wound up bullying the staff that had no authority to override the exception he was trying to create. I don’t think it’s ever appropriate to take out on the staff a mistake that you have made in not understanding how the rewards program works.

    • Reading Rainbow says:

      It just sounds like a perfect storm to me. The OP not understanding the $20 reward rules, the register scanner not working on the gum, the register not having change for the $20 bill. But you can’t honestly expect a cashier to know the cheapest item in the store. Nor can you automatically expect a cashier to be able to override the reward rules. Unless the cashier actually was giving attitude (which it sounds like the OP was giving some to the cashier) I don’t see how they did any wrong. Annoying?? sure. Wrong? no.

      • dgeurkink says:

        It is not the cahsier’s place to like or dislike a customer’s tone. I have always been told in customer service classes that the tone should not influence my reaction to a customer’s concern. In any customer service job I have had or supervised, an employee that expressed that s/he “did not like” a customer’s tone would be, at the very least written up and asked to attend further customer service training or more likely terminated. With all things more or less being equal in today’s age of internet bargain hunting, the only thing that can reliably set ANY retailer apart is their customer service. Any retailer that ignores that does so at their own peril.

        • Salesman! says:

          Horse shit. A customer’s tone will definitely influence my reaction. Someone with a legitimate issue who comes in, explains the issue, tells me what solution they want, and remains calm the whole time will get the absolute best service I can provide. I will bend, break, and otherwise ignore policy to fix their issue for them. Someone comes in and is a complete dick about a non-issue (such as showing up a 4pm on a 2-4pm delivery window) and wants something unreasonable (refund of delivery fee) will get nothing but a smile, a half assed “I’m sorry you feel that way sir” and an explanation that the store’s policy is that the delivery is non-refundable and clearly says so on their receipt. PARTICULARLY if they blame me for someone else’s foulup. I’ll be happy to help you fix someone else’s problem, providing you dont act like I did it.

        • FyreGoddess says:

          The failure on the part of the cashier was in not calling over a manager immediately, when things turned less-than-civil.

          When I worked in retail, my immediate response to this sort of thing would have been “I don’t have the authority to do what you’re asking, let me call my manager” and then let the manager handle it. Hell, I don’t work in retail anymore, but there is a customer service aspect to my job and at the first sign of anger or harassment, I refer them to my manager, since he has the authority to tell some abusive asshole to fuck off (in so many words).

          Cashiers are under no obligation to take abuse from angry customers, but they do have an obligation to escalate the situation to someone who can make executive decisions.

          Call center employees and receptionists are often empowered to hang up on customers who swear. Cashiers and salespeople are generally expected to escalate situations where the customer is using abusive language or tone to management. If the cashier is at fault here, it is for not bringing a manager into the equation (sooner).

      • mikedt says:

        Oh come on. As soon as I heard cheapest thing in the store I instantly thought of the impulse candy they have near the checkouts. Bottom line, it sounds like the store rep wasn’t interested in helping and was going to do his best to make the OP’s time in the store as painful as possible. Hell it wouldn’t surprise me is he fudged the gum scans just to tick the OP off.

  9. Luke says:

    I don’t like the word ‘clerk.’ but seriously, the terms are on the certificate. OP could have just bought a water.

  10. mister_roboto says:

    I’m surprised that they didn’t have some front door goons hold him down, while the guy behind the counter cut out one of his kidneys. Then telling him “thanks for being a loyal customer!”

    I understand that BB can be convenient etc, and it may be the only electronics retailer in you area… damn damn people, don’t shop there.

  11. The Brad says:

    This has been Best Buy’s SOP for some time just buy some gum and get on with your life.

  12. Sanspants says:

    I once had a $20 reward certificate and was not able to buy a $20 PSN card with it. The casheir said it had to be over $20.

    • Reading Rainbow says:

      That seems weird. It seems to me either it shouldn’t work at all for giftcards (else I’ll use my $20 rewards zone points for a $20 bb gc and then use that for my $19.99 item that I want).

      • jetsaredim says:

        Oddly enough you can’t buy a BB GC but you can buy an Amazon GC. I’ve done it plenty of times. Last year when they were screwing with the Premiere Silver program a bunch I managed to weasel about $150 in free points from the Premiere Silver Customer Service. I just printed out the certificates and proceeded to buy $150 in Amazon gift cards with them. Best Buy sells them with all the Kindles. The gift cards say they’re for Kindle books, but really they’re good for anything sold by Amazon. Better and cheaper than Best Buy right there because of no tax.

        • coren says:

          Wish I got no tax from Amazon, but that’s what I use all my reward certs on too. And Best Buy gift cards.

  13. RavenWarrior says:

    This first part with the RZ certificate has been par for the course for a long time. It even says right on the certificates that they have to be redeemed for their full value. The issue with the change, well, stuff like that happens in retail. You’re not being screwed over, it’s not being poor customer service, it’s just bad timing. Deal with it, OP.

    • jessjj347 says:

      Agreed. The only issue is the policy that Best Buy has with not allowing a “loss” on the certificate should a customer want to buy something worth less value.

      All the rest is a personal issue between the cashier and OP, which is entirely one-sided and none of our business to be honest.

  14. sopmodm14 says:

    i don’t think the cashier was profsessional and competent

    i was able to redeem a $ 5 Toys R us rewards certificate when the final price was $ 4.97 or $ 4.98 or something after taxes a few months back, and should still be ok

    I think they wanted to upsell

    • VintageLydia says:

      But not every retailer operates the same way. Even when I was a retail manager it would have been impossible to legitimately do what the OP wanted (increase the price by a penny.) The most I could have done was scan the “misc merchandise” sku (originally for processing Internet returns we didn’t carry in store,) adjust the price to $.01, and pray when the DM called to ask about it he was OK with that decision (We were really micromanaged. Even the store schedule came from corporate which made things difficult to say the least.)
      The cashiers had no authority to do this and this cashier’s mistake here was not calling a manager when things got tense. That said, my husband used to work for Best Buy and I remember managers avoiding anything to do with customer issues, including CS pages…

  15. kittiefuk says:

    buy gum or w/e to put the total over $20, and then return the item you were forced to buy to get your money back.

    • madcatcasey says:

      That’s what I was thinking. Just buy something else, pay cash, then say “Thank you. I’d like to return this item.”

  16. RulesLawyer says:

    If he’d just slapped the certificate on the counter and walked out with the item, what grounds would they have to prosecute for shoplifting? None, I think.

  17. blinky says:

    Couldn’t he/she just buy a dvd player plus the 19.99 item, then return the DVD player?

    • sakanagai says:

      Nope. The reward certificates are applied to every item in the order based on the item’s price. If he bought another item at say $5, $4 would apply to that item with the remaining $16 going towards the one he wanted. He can still return the other item, but he would only get a refund of $1; the remaining $4, from the certificate remember, get credited to his Reward Zone account (200 points I believe).

  18. jetsaredim says:

    I used a $150 cert to buy a 32G Touchpad when they had the fire sale and they made me buy a something to pad out the $1 difference in the price. At least they held the line for me so I didn’t get shut out of getting one. Anyway, I bought a headset to pad the order and then proceeded to Customer Service and promptly returned it. Sure it took longer, but in that case it wasn’t a big deal for me. Also, prior to this I had already known about this policy since I’ve run into it online a couple times. I have actually been able – from time to time – to find a $0.01 priced item online. Usually a DVD promo trinket. I’ve never actually collected on said items, but it allowed me to use a reward on an item that was priced $x.99 without a problem.

  19. HazyCloud says:

    Happens to me all the time when I try to get the 19.99 iTunes/Xbox cards with a RZ gift certificate. I usually just grab a beverage and go on about my way. OP, Y U NO THIRSTY?

    • Portlandia says:

      HS, I didn’t realize you could use it to buy an itunes gift card. I thought they said not valid for gift card purchases. I usually try to spend them right away otherwise I forget about them.

      Good to know!!!

      • coren says:

        Not valid on Best Buy gift cards. Itunes and Amazon gift cards (and Microsoft and PS points) are fair game. As are whatever other gift cards they might sell.

  20. chargerRT says:

    Been there with other retailers. That’s what the junk food/erasers/magnets at the register are for. I’d also confess that if someone was making this much of a scene about it, my station would suddenly have technical difficulties when it came time to scan the gum. Passive-aggressive FTW!

  21. Murph1908 says:

    My experiences with reward zone certificates had me thinking the OP was going to encounter an additional problem.

    Almost every time I’ve tried to use one, something has gone wrong with the transaction. When this happens, the reward certificate is nullified, still hung up in the failed transaction.

    I am very surprised when the OP came back with the gum, the reward certificate scanned again.

  22. sakanagai says:

    Why not hold off buying the item until there was something else he wanted?

  23. Murbobby says:

    People still shop at Best Buy?

    You get what you deserve..

    I just can’t believe people still buy stuff there..

    • HazyCloud says:

      I do almost weekly. While I enjoy the likes of Amazon and Newegg, with RZ Silver BB is basically paying me to shop there. I’ve received hundreds of dollars in RZ gift cards just for buying crap I’d buy anyways.

      While some people have issues with the Big Yellow, not everyone does.

  24. Kestris says:

    Wow. I’ve never had any issues cashing my reward certificates like this. Of course, generally I’m buying something worth more than their value.

  25. HalOfBorg says:

    I would have hit my frustration threshold much earlier. When they wouldn’t let me buy a $19.99 item with a $20 reward certificate.

    If it was paper, I’d have torn it to bits (making sure I kept any identifying numbered parts) and sprinkled it on the floor as I walked out.

    I mean, it’s so IDIOTIC. If I want to use my $20 gift on a $5 item and blow off the other $15, that’s my problem. I’ll pay the tax myself, no problem.

  26. vivalakellye says:

    There’s no tax at your Best Buy?

    • elangomatt says:

      There is usually something on those type of rewards certificates that says that customer is responsible for all taxes. So basically the certificate can’t be used to pay for tax.

  27. Shampoo Lies says:

    The bottom line is this is just a sh*tty policy. I understand it makes sense for the company to force people to pay money in excess of the “reward” amount, but that’s terrible for a consumer. A “reward” should be a credit you can use however you want.

    • elangomatt says:

      I want cash instead of $20 in merchandise from Best Buy. By your logic they should give me cash in exchange for the reward certificate.

      There have to be some rules with that type of program, and spending $20 or more to reward the certificate is one of the rules. If best buy had allowed this guy to not spend the full $20, then next week we’re gonna have someone else who spent $19.99 on a $20 BB reward certificate then threaten to sue the company because they didn’t get their last penny out of the reward certificate!!

  28. almightytora says:

    This happened to me when I used Shopkick, but with a more pleasant result.

    I was getting a $9.99 DVD and the gift card was for $10. Same situation regarding OP ensued, about not being able to redeem it because it was $0.01 short.

    He immediately showed me the cheapest thing in the store ($0.69 gum), used the gift card, paid the tax on the DVD, and I was out the door.

  29. merc78 says:

    And this is only one reason that I stopped doing business with Bad Buy years ago. They just don’t get it. With other online outlets to deal with who are hungrier for your business (Amazon comes to mind) only a true must have it now emergency would make me buy anything at that store.
    Of course had I also had to deal with the tone and poor customer service I would have asked to speak with a higher authority immediately and of course posted all of this on The Consumerist. :)

    • elangomatt says:

      Not that it is an excuse for the poor customer service, but I’d bet the OPs reward certificate that the poor attitude from the customer service person probably was just mirroring the bad attitude of a crabby customer that doesn’t want to follow the policies set forth by corporate.

  30. jstimson says:

    The complainer is an ass. If he paid attention, the policy is stated in various spots. Here’s one from the online FAQ:

    What can I purchase with my reward certificates?
    Reward certificates can be used toward the purchase of nearly any product or service in store. You must use them on an eligible product or service in an amount greater than the value of the reward certificate. Certificates may be combined with other offers, but they are valid on in-stock items only. At this time, reward certificates can only be used in-store and not at .

    The other stuff that happened is just noise, it can happen at any retailer and he was just unfortunate enough for a few things to go wrong at once. But them main complaint he has is his own problem.

    • merc78 says:

      So how long have you worked for Bad Buy now?

      • VintageLydia says:

        Is it so hard and weird to expect that when people sign up for rewards programs that they abide by the rules of said programs? It’s not like this policy is hidden away on some web page that’s impossible to find. It’s right there on the certificate.

  31. theconversationalist says:

    Go to the video game section and grab a Mass Effect game guide. They just pennied them out, so they’d ring up at .01. Problem solved.

  32. elangomatt says:

    Why would the OP have to go to customer service to redeem a RZ gift certificate anyway? I’ve always just given the paper to the regular cashier and had no problems. And as for walking around for 15 minutes trying to find the cheapest thing in the store, why would anyone think that any non-food item in the store would ever be cheaper than a candy bar or a bottle of soda that is near the checkouts?

  33. touayang says:

    Everyone’s missing the point of the story here……….who still shops at Best Buy enough to get $20 back in rewards cash?

  34. Shampoo Lies says:

    The bottom line is this is just a sh*tty policy. I understand it makes sense for the company to force people to pay money in excess of the “reward” amount, but that’s terrible for a consumer. A “reward” should be a credit you can use however you want.

  35. final_atom says:

    why don’t people follow directions? $19.99 is NOT $20 so it won’t work. just grab the lowest price filler item, like gum or candy, and pay the difference.

  36. anime_runs_my_life says:

    I’ve run into this. I just get the item I want, go to customer service and ask for a manager. I show them the certificate and I’m on my way. The cashiers don’t want to deal with it because it messes up their registers (or so I’ve been told).

  37. VintageLydia says:

    But not every retailer operates the same way. Even when I was a retail manager it would have been impossible to legitimately do what the OP wanted (increase the price by a penny.) The most I could have done was scan the “misc merchandise” sku (originally for processing Internet returns we didn’t carry in store,) adjust the price to $.01, and pray when the DM called to ask about it he was OK with that decision (We were really micromanaged. Even the store schedule came from corporate which made things difficult to say the least.)
    The cashiers had no authority to do this and this cashier’s mistake here was not calling a manager when things got tense. That said, my husband used to work for Best Buy and I remember managers avoiding anything to do with customer issues, including CS pages…

  38. outlulz says:

    Why is this a story? Read the certificate. It says the terms in which you can use it. OP thinks they’re special and shouldn’t have to follow the promotional rules. All Best Buys sell candy and drinks near the registers if you ever need an extra dollar charged.

  39. schernoff says:

    One good side to having Best Buy give me my rewards in $5 increments. I can always find something more than $5.

    Whether or not the customer was being douchy about using a $20 certificate for a $19.99 purchase, there should be enough in a drawer to make change for a $20. And if all the cashier has is big bills, he should be calling his supervisor over to bank the big bills and bring some smaller ones.

  40. danc4498 says:

    As the saying goes, there’s two sides to every story. I’m very interested to hear what the other side has to say.

  41. dush says:

    What an idiot, you can put in the item manually if it won’t scan.
    Dang people are lazy/ignorant.

  42. jefeloco says:

    I have to say that even with BS like this, I ordered my copy of MW3 through them because I want it on release day without paying a bunch for shipping and I will never give another penny to Gamestop after the way a couple of their douchebag clerks talked to me that last time I shopped there.

    A few hints to retail clerks.

    I am not retarded because I don’t want to give you money for something that isn’t available yet.

    I am not retarded because I don’t want an open box sold to me as new.

    I am not retarded because some 17-19 year old douchebag doesn’t understand reality.

    Yes, the douchebag called me retarded because I wanted a sealed box of a game, didn’t want to put money down on preorders and didn’t want a bunch of games anyways.

    BB has pinged my debit card 4 times now for the full purchase of MW3 (even though it won’t be out for another month) and placed the hold on my account for around 24 hours each time. That’s my fault though for preordering through them using a debit card. Two strikes but at least no clerk there has personally insulting me for turning down a plea to give them more money for crap I don’t want.

    • HazyCloud says:

      Man, I feel you. Since Red Dead Redemption came out, I have stopped shopping at GS. I walked in and asked, “Do you have a sealed copy of RDR”? I was answered with “those kind of things make me want to punch somebody.”

      That and many more douchy comments have made me stop shopping there. Hell, I got a $25 Gamestop GC for my birthday recently. I tried selling it online, but no one on the forums would buy it so I decided to just get some MS Points with it. I straight up paid the 19.99 and handed the card to the door greeter and said, “give this to the next customer.” I knew I wouldn’t even want to come back to spend the extra 5.01.

  43. podunkboy says:

    When I go to redeem a RZ certificate, I always go with the intention of spending well over the certificate amount. I look at them as store-specific “found money”, and would never go to BB JUST to redeem a certificate.
    Now the whole “customer service can’t make change” thing is messed up, as I’ve been told to come over to check out at the customer service desk when the lines are backing up at the regular lanes. If they’re going to check people out, they should be able to make change on cash purchases (certainly enough to make change on a $20…) And a cashier should never utter the words “I don’t like your tone of voice” unless there’s going to be a shoot-out at high noon.

  44. Hub Cap says:

    I never shop Best Buy because of the many negative postings on Consumerist. I wonder if they are proud of their reputation. I also wonder what the law says in my state about this. No set of store rules can override the law. No agreement between any parties can override the law. Best Buy = Worst Buy = Never Buy!

  45. nocturnaljames says:

    Don’t shop at best buy. Countless problems solved.

  46. JoJack82 says:

    This happened to me at Future Shop (a Canadian store that is owned by Best Buy and is basically the same store)

    I had a $20 certificate and needed to buy a pack of gum on top of my $19.99 game.

  47. FrugalFreak says:

    seems like reward=Make a sale! No reward but for them.

  48. donovanr says:

    Why why why are there are these Best Buy stories on the Consumerist? If there is one thing that I have learned from this site is that going to Best Buy is not going to end well. The options seem to be:
    Open box find that it is a brick.
    Open box to find that it is used.
    Open box to find that they have “Upgraded it” which made it worse and cost you more.
    Be hassled endlessly about extended warranties.
    Somehow be accused of some crime. Maybe for using a coupon.
    Be beaten and threatened for not showing your receipt 10 feet from where you just paid for something.
    Be sent to Gitmo for violating some TOS.
    Having to argue with management over some clearly stated policy such as price matching where the manager argues nonsense.
    Having to somehow end run some simple policy that they have complicated.
    Getting crap information such as monster HDMI cables being required for the item to function.
    Oh and getting lied to over and over and over.
    And lastly if you are foolish enough to have any expectations of service such as having something delivered or their repairing your computer that you will be so disappointed that you just won’t have words for the emotion you feel.

    Simple answer. Shop Amazon, wait a whole 3 days, and enjoy the near zen master level of zero stress that you will enjoy.

    Some day people will realize that Best Buy is a crap 1970’s store polished up with a modern look but a near total hatred for its employees and customers. It is 2011 and time to not be treated like morons.

  49. MrConsumer says:

    also keep in mind, all transactions on those registers are accounted for. im sure that if prices were marked up above the normal sale price, it would raise red flags. having worked retail before, this was usually put in place to keep people from purchasing a 499.99 tv when you needed to get to 500 for the no interest deal or something, but the same rules apply. it is clearly stated, the OP was just to much of a ass hat to read it. again READ THE FINE PRINT PEOPLE! reminds me of the south park with the ipad mock-off

  50. nikalseyn says:

    I bought all of my computers and many more items over the years at BestBuy, until a couple of years ago when I noticed a drastic change for the worse in their customer service and the personnel at the checkout counters. I now buy online if at all possible, or else go to Meijer, etc. where they have customer service—-and common sense.

  51. Tweak says:

    I used to work at a Best Buy store where they actually took care of thier customer base. (shocking i know, check out store 541 in Saratoga Springs NY) They could have just increased the price by a penny, no manager override is required and you would have been on your way.

  52. Golfer Bob says:

    Bravo! If more clerks would tell cranky, sanctimonious, abusive customers “I don’t like your tone” the world of retail would be a better place. Promotion! On the spot!