Best Buy Informative - Best Buy: Petty 30 return policy trumps customer satisfaction over an UNOPEND DVD!
STATEN ISLAND, NEW YORK -- (I originally posted an abbreviation of this in response to a posting by 'Jackadams' about Best Buy's petty return polices)
First, before I describe my experience, I admit this this is lengthy, but is actually regarding a minor purchase (a DVD movie). But my gripe is not so much about getting back my $19.50 as it is the PRINCIPLE of DOING the RIGHT THING, and underscores why so many here have a negative view of Best Buy. I feel especially bad for those that were lied out of hundreds of dollars when they purchased those useless ‘extended warranties’. If BB pulled that crap on me they’d be seeing me in small claims court ASAP!
Now, I know there are some Best Buy stalwarts on here who’ll stand up for Best Buy no matter how poorly it treats its customers and will probably call me a whiner or whatever like the others. Fine – let them stick up for robbing people – but they neglect the principle of the monetary system which is about getting a product or service that SATISIFES in return for your hard-earned dollar!
Whether it’s after 30 days or 60 days or even 100 days, if someone decides they want to return a product in FACTORY-SEALED, UNOPENED condition that no longer satisfies their needs in return for their hard-earned money, there should NOT be ANY hassle because an unopened item (ESPECIALLY a simple unopened DVD movie) should be as good as any other item on the shelf and can be easily restocked. Isn’t keeping someone’s money against their will supposedly a crime in this country if they're not getting something in return for that money? Not in Best Buy’s eyes…After 30 days they just keep your money regardless – even if you wish to return an UNOPENED item! What kind of Bulls**t is that? They’ll smugly claim they’re 'actually doing you a favor’ by offering you a store credit, but what if they don’t have anything else you’d want to purchase or you simply need your money back for something important? They took your money but you’re left with nothing of value to you except for a product you can’t or won’t use– that’s STEALING!
My recent experience:
I purchased a DVD movie on 10/17/07 (The Reaping, single disc release $17.99 / $19.50 with tax) not long before I went away for a week. I work a very busy schedule and often travel and I had to leave town for business. When I returned from my trip I wanted to return the DVD to Best Buy for a REFUND since I NEVER OPENED IT. A simple no-hassle return of an UNUSED, UNOPENED and TOTALLY RESALABLE item right?...WRONG!!! Not in Best buy's petty world (or the Staten Island, NY store anyway).
First off as many here espouse, I agree that being polite and using a little sugar is always better than vinegar when dealing with people. But I've found that in many cases, no matter how friendly or 'sugary' you treat BB customer service reps (of course with the exception of some truly nice ones I've encountered) many take a snippy tack and act like robots who've never had to return something instead of real people once there is a policy dispute, as if doing so will get them 'brownie points' for ‘enforcing the policy’. In reality they're only damaging customer relations and re-enforcing Best Buy's shoddy reputation. The buying public is a generally principled bunch – give the customer a little satisfaction and you’d keep their business. Breaking their so-called, 'God-Has-Spoken' policy once in a while would actually help the store's sales and its overall reputation in the long run by encouraging those customers to return in the future.
So, smiling politely I asked "Can I possibly get a refund for this unopened DVD?"(I WANTED my MONEY back NOT A CREDIT). All I got was the “Well, I can only give you a store credit for this because it's-past-30-days-and-it's out of-the-return-policy-and-the-computer-system- won't-let-us-do-it'...What a bunch of Poppycock!...So you mean to tell me now it’s a COMPUTER that makes BB’s customer service decisions!? Hogwash! My career is in computers - there's always a way to override the so-called ‘system'; – and in retail the store manager would most certainly be able to (such as at Verizon wireless when I recently had to exchange a phone). But the problem is when I asked for the ‘store manager’ in the Staten Island store I got 2 snotty 'managers' (one looked more teenaged than the other) who claimed to be the 'store manager' and to be on the ’same level' (Yeah, right! I'm sure the head store manager wears those blue Mc-Uniforms and not a dress shirt & tie!). So I tried the 44th street & 5th Ave NYC store and also got similarly robotic treatment there as well… All this hassle over a lousy UNOPENED $18 DVD! 30 days is not always a reasonable return window for those of us that actually have to work for a living and have busy traveling schedules. 60 days would be fair, ESPECIALLY at Christmastime! But what pisses me off most is just the petty adherence to 'policy' that always seems to prevail over customer satisfaction at Best Buy over such basic things as returning an unopened item that can be easily resold.
CIRCUIT CITY doe have its share of faults too, but at least I’ve had a MUCH easier time there with returns (and price matching as well). I once returned a DVD WELL past 30 days after purchase and even though the girl at the counter did (VERY POLITELY!) mention to me their own30 day policy, she still TOOK IT BACK WITHOUT A HASSLE and gave me a refund because it was unopened. I was pleasantly surprised and let them know I really appreciated it, which underscores my point. It wasn’t so much the $15 bucks I got back that made me happy, as it was the PRINCIPLE of the nice way it was handled, without any double-talk. They put my satisfaction ahead of ‘policy’. That is why I go back there and go to Best Buy ONLY if I need a small purchase and have no other options.
Hope this helps my fellow frustrated Best Buy victims!